The Dabney

4.7
117 reviews
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$30 and under
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American

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About

The Dabney, located in Washington, D.C.�s Shaw neighborhood, offers fresh American cuisine in an elegant, upscale atmosphere. The menu changes daily at The Dabney to keep up with the season�s best offerings in produce and meat. The restaurant has a full bar which includes an extensive selection of beer, wine and spirits.

Start out your meal with an appetizer like the squid hush puppies at The Dabney. Choose from a menu that often features entr�es like the charred bok choy, the pork belly with grits and the whole quail served with rutabaga. Top off your experience with one of the restaurant�s daily dessert offerings.

Dining Style
Casual Dining
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Cuisines
American
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Hours of operation
Dinner:
Tuesday - Thursday: 5:30pm - 10:00pm,
Friday & Saturday: 5:30pm - 11:00pm,
Sunday: 5:30pm - 9:00pm
Closed Monday
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Phone number
(202) 450-1015
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Payment options
AMEX, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Casual Dress
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Executive chef
Jeremiah Langhorne
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Neighborhood
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Cross street
M St. NW
Additional
Bar Dining, Beer, BYO Wine, Corkage Fee, Farm to Table, Full Bar, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, Wheelchair Access, Wine
What 117 People Are SayingWrite a review
Overall ratings and reviews
4.7based on all time ratings
4.7
food
4.7
service
4.7
ambience
4.0
value
Noise · Moderate
96% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
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OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on December 16, 2016
Overall 4food service ambience

The place is beautiful and the food is tasty and really good. You have many people running around you asking if everything is ok. Even the fact that is in such a nice and unknown alley, it's quite interesting. However, the day I went (one of those polar vortex days), it was really really cold INSIDE the restaurant. It felt as if someone left the front door open all the time and when we asked if they could turn on the heat or something, they looked to us as if we were crazy. Yet, you could tell that everybody around us was fighting the cold with what they had at hand.
But what kind of killed my first impression was the following. The open kitchen looks quite good, except when you leave and realize that your hair and clothes (specially your winter jacket!) smell like grilled and fried food. I am kind of disappointed as I was expecting a better experience after all the fuzz around this place.

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OT
Washington DC
16 reviews
Dined on August 24, 2016
Overall 5food service ambience

My boyfriend and I came here for my birthday this year. I had been dying to try the Dabney after hearing glowing reviews and it did not fail to impress me! The food is all small plates so you can share a number of items on the menu, all of which are to die for. I can't wait to go back!

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AM
Washington DC
17 reviews
Dined on August 2, 2016
Overall 5food service ambience

The Dabney is the perfect mix of rustic elegance meets simplicity at its finest. I recently hosted a dinner party with friends at the Dabney and from the moment we tasted our first small plate to the soup to the dessert cookies, we all felt like we shared something bigger than we could explain. The food is like magic and you genuinely understand the beauty if all the chefs do to make your culinary experience unlike any other. It's intimate, lovely, and one of the best places to be in DC.

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OT
New York Area
7 reviews
Dined on May 28, 2016
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 4

Great food! Love the small plate tasting portions. We split the entrée and ordered 3 small plates, and it was more than enough food. They forgot about us between our apps and entreé, as there was a mixup and our server didn't realize we never got our main. As a result, we were late, and in a hurry to leave, so in our haste, I left my credit card.. They were awesome and called me before we had walked too far, so we could go back and pick it up, thanks!!!

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OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on May 24, 2016
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Loved everything about The Dabney. The hearth-roasted vegetables were my favourite--such a simple but perfect dish. Their hearth is amazing, I'm sure everything cooked in there is delicious. Service was great and they made our anniversary dinner very special!

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M
Washington DC
29 reviews
Dined on May 22, 2016
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 5

Another strong addition to the Shaw dining scene! A very hospitable spot. The story -- locally sourced ingredients and Mid-Atlantic cooking -- is stronger than the food itself, which is firmly in the small-plates, ready whenever, let's be clever genre. A good neighborhood spot but not destination dining.

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OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on May 21, 2016
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Seriously this was probably the best meal I have EVER had. I have not stopped talking about this restaurant to friends and family for days now! I am telling EVERYONE to go.

The owner has clearly put a lot of time, energy, and passion into creating this restaurant and it makes such a difference. Everyone there- the wait staff, the management, bar tenders, and even the guests all were in such good moods and the FOOD!!!! I mean talk about FLAVOR!!!!!!!!! I seriously can't get enough of this place. hands top favorite new spot.

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S
New York Area
7 reviews
Dined on May 20, 2016
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

The food was very tasty but be prepared to leave hungry unless you're willing to order nearly every one of their three-bite small plates (roughly $15 each).

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OT
New York Area
12 reviews
Dined on May 20, 2016
Overall 3food 4service 3ambience 3

The food is very good, so much so it is hard to share it family my style as the restaurant suggest.

Our only complaint was that the restaurant is so popular we were told upon arrival that we could only have our reserved table for max 2 hours. This caused the entire dinner to feel very rushed and resulted in a less than positive experience.

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R
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on May 18, 2016
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Fantastic experience- told them my girlfriend was returning after being abroad for 6 months and they brought out complimentary champagne and menus that had "Welcome Back!" written on them. Staff were incredibly friendly and food was great. Look forward to going back again.

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Z
Philadelphia
8 reviews
Dined on May 15, 2016
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My boyfriend and I went to The Dabney for the first time this past Sunday night. The décor in the restaurant and the friendliness of the staff were the first things we noticed. The food was amazing!! We ordered the catfish dip which we both highly recommended to anyone. We split 6 different "small plates" and our favorites would have to be the pig ears and pork belly. I also love how the menu changes slightly every night, giving us another reason to go back again! The bill was slightly expensive but our drinks are what racked it up- although they were very tasty as well.

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DO
Washington DC
13 reviews
Dined on May 14, 2016
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food and wait staff are excellent. Our waitress really knew the menu and was able to describe the ingredients and taste of all dishes we asked about. This is a small plate restaurant, so be careful not to order too many dishes. One and a half or two small plates per person plus 2 family large dishes for 4 people should be enough. Great tastes and good variety of fish, seafood, beef, pork, and veggies.
Be sure to get your reservations well in advance. They are serious about honoring reservations which is much welcomed.

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RO
Washington DC
4 reviews
Dined on May 14, 2016
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This is one of the best dining experiences around.

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MM
Washington DC
103 reviews
Dined on May 13, 2016
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

BRAVO - Food is outstanding, love the smokiness of the salads and vegetables. Wine list very well curated by Alex Zink and we appreciated to find affordable gems from Bandol, Alto Adige, Sicily. Server Michael is excellent - knows his craft and pays attention to what kind of evening you want. Ambiance is great and not at all fussy

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k
Washington DC
118 reviews
Dined on May 11, 2016
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Superb from start to finish! The food was exceptional. The service was equally as exceptional. Kudos for your excellence!

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B
Washington DC
6 reviews
Dined on May 11, 2016
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 5

There's so much being said about The Dabney right now we had to check it out. The ambiance is fantastic, the service sometimes over-solicitous/interrupting our conversation but that's hardly a complaint, and the food was very good. I can't not recommend it but I doubt we will go back except to snag a spot at the bar for some snacks (catfish dip!). Here are my reasons: Most of the plates are carefully composed of many elements that are tricky to all get into a single bite. This is really nit-picky but it felt fussy to eat. Also, it's a small menu so I feel like I've already tasted everything I wanted to taste. Don't get me wrong. It was very good. But for seasonal and local, I would go to my other recent favorite in Cleveland Park and rhymes with Schmipple.

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CC
Washington DC
7 reviews
Dined on May 8, 2016
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Such an amazing addition to the neighborhood. The food couldn't be better, the service couldn't be more gracious. It's just a delight. Love to see ciders given real attention on a menu. Can't wait to go back.

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DC
Washington DC
6 reviews
Dined on May 6, 2016
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Beautiful restaurant and terrific service! Went for my birthday and was treated with personalized service and a special menu wishing me a happy birthday. The food was delicious and the open kitchen is a great concept. My only complaint is the liquor selection...they only stock alcohol and ingredients from the region, so your options are very limited. My dining companion and I both wanted Kettle One martinis with olives, but they only had 2 vodkas to choose from (neither that we'd ever heard of) and olives were not available since I guess they're not grown around here...so they gave us martinis with pickled okra. Definitely not the same and disappointing to not be able to drink what you want when you're dropping that much on food. It was a bit too pretentious (though, noble, I guess?).

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A
Washington DC
10 reviews
Dined on April 30, 2016
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Fav restaurant

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OT
Washington DC
10 reviews
Dined on April 30, 2016
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 5

Definitely worth the hype. Delicious food with a creative menu. Not for those who like their bland grilled chicken type of meals. Fun atmosphere. Service was fine, the waitress was a bit dull and seemed rushed by our longer meal.

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OT
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on April 30, 2016
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This is our new favorite restaurant in DC. Having worked in the industry before, I'm tough to impress, but the Dabney floored me. They have crushed the trifecta of excellent food, superb bar service, and perfect service - all set in a perfect, thoughtfully designed dining room. We will be back...with friends next time.

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DD
Washington DC
27 reviews
Dined on April 29, 2016
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We loved everything we ordered on our date--from the ciabatta bread to the softshell crab. Our cocktails were also on point. Can't wait to come back and try them again since the menu changes daily!

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L
Washington DC
10 reviews
Dined on April 23, 2016
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Probably my favorite meal in DC this year. Took some foodie friends from San Francisco, and they were equally impressed. Every dish we had was absolutely fantastic -- bright flavors, fun textures, both innovative and straightforward at once. Oysters were some of the best any of us had ever had. Dishes that were unlikely hits (e.g., roasted vegetables) were somehow transformed into something really special. And the space is great. Service was a tiny bit slow at points (we couldn't find anyone to help us once or twice when we were needing something), but that wasn't too bad. Our waiter knew what he was talking about and made great recommendations. Overall, an excellent experience. Highly recommend and would definitely go back, if I'm ever able to nab another reservation.

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OT
Washington DC
8 reviews
Dined on April 20, 2016
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Outstanding food and drink! The Hearth Roasted Vegetables and Quail alone warrant a return visit! Add some ridiculously good biscuits and brilliantly paired wine and it is easy to see why people love this place so much. Service was totally on point and sincerely kind. I'm excited to go back.

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C
Minneapolis
7 reviews
Dined on April 17, 2016
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Wonderful dining experience.

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OT
Richmond
1 review
Dined on April 16, 2016
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Just absolutely wonderful and delicious!

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OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on April 14, 2016
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Incredible overall dining experience

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OT
New England
1 review
Dined on April 12, 2016
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

If I could give The Dabney 10 stars, I would. The meal was absolutely perfect. From cocktails to food to service, it was all unbelievably amazing. The food was inspired: subtle, elevated, smart, and most importantly, every bite was delicious. I was so impressed with the care in selection of every single thing (the napkins are even gorgeous!). The service was impeccable--everyone was so friendly but professional and knowledgable.

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OT
Washington DC
4 reviews
Dined on April 9, 2016
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food was really a highlight. In particular, the vegetable dishes were exceptional. Maybe a tad pretentious? Sorghum custard? Lacquered quail? Nonetheless, The Dabney is a great dining experience.

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S
San Francisco
9 reviews
Dined on April 7, 2016
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Best seasonal mid-Atlantic fare I've encountered. [NOTE: customary mid-Atlantic fare is often too heavy for me.] Chef's appreciation for finding the best ingredients and then applying his imaginative touch makes for a special dining experience. Front staff provides attentive service without being intrusive. All around great experience. Plan to return each and every season to see what Chef has in store.

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c
Washington DC
7 reviews
Dined on April 1, 2016
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Charming place with really interesting and delicious food. I enjoyed the steak tips with the greens the best - the greens were some of the best I've ever had! They were also really helpful about letting us know which dishes were gluten-free. The skillet cornbread was also a highlight. Can't wait to go back and try their desserts!

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OT
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on March 31, 2016
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Well curated dinner with my two teenaged daughters. Loved the pork belly, black bass, small plates, housemate sodas. Lively atmosphere and warm, informed service.

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MM
Washington DC
103 reviews
Dined on March 26, 2016
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Love this place! Delicious grilled salads, best soups since Gerard's Place, smoky fish and meats, and using such great variety of forgotten produce. Desserts (which I don't normally care for) are super. Entire menu is inventive but still real food - no crazy molecular gastronomy ;-)
I love the wine list - so many affordable gems and that takes a commitment from the leadership.
This past trip, I had a vegan guest - staff could not have been more accommodating. We all enjoyed a delightful evening!!!

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OT
London
1 review
Dined on March 26, 2016
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The Dabney is such a gem. It is off the beaten path a bit but so good! The food is outstanding, so fresh, so innovative! They even end your meal with a little sweet treat from the chef. The bar scene is great as well! Amazing French 75s, great wine menu, and awesome waitstaff.
I cannot wait to come back!

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OT
Washington DC
9 reviews
Dined on March 25, 2016
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This restaurant is deserving of all of it accolades. Continued success

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OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on March 19, 2016
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

great place, it is a bit pricey but wonderful. you will not be dissapointed

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MF
Washington DC
5 reviews
Dined on March 19, 2016
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

I'm blessed to have an 18 year old son who enjoys new experiences and loves all food and wants to cook professionally someday. When he read the WPost Magazine review on The Dabney, he wanted to go as his special spring break treat when he returned from Frostburg's cafeterias and fast food. It exceeded expectations for both of us. And this in the bleak winter months of radishes and microgreens. We can only imagine the menu when corn, tomatoes, peaches are available. No detail was overlooked, great care was clearly taken with every facet of the restaurant, the food, the service. My son watched 8 people hard at work in the gleaming kitchen just a few feet away, experienced how a hearth makes food taste better than an oven, watched the whole operation proceed like (crazed) clockwork. And the chef constantly surveying, watching, tweaking. A very special, delicious evening that neither of us will ever forget. PS: try the Homestead - a Manhattan for the ages. And the veggie platter and cornbread were sublime. Everything was delicious, but those stand out.

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r
Washington DC
5 reviews
Dined on March 15, 2016
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent food, good service, fun location -- the Dabney is a welcome addition to the food scene in DC. It will quickly become a tough reservation to get. We celebrated my wife's birthday there and it was perfect for the occasion. If you like Woodberry Kitchen in Baltimore, you will like the Dabney.

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PG
Washington DC
78 reviews
Dined on March 13, 2016
Overall 4food 3service 4ambience 4

The atmosphere here is great -- friendly informal waitstaff who are nonetheless very attentive and knowledgeable. The bar was buzzing even on a Sunday night, and sitting next to the big open kitchen was fun; especially on a chilly night, there was a little extra warmth from the fire. About that fire: I think the best things at the Dabney come off it. For example, the bread here is not boring room temperature rolls; instead slices are buttered, grilled and served with delicious sorghum butter with spices. My dining companion loved the pork entree. But the rockfish was kind of disappointing; the flavor of the fish was overwhelmed by the thick layer of spices on top. Non grilled things that were great: the inventive desserts, the smoothly blended cocktails.

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N
San Francisco
54 reviews
Dined on March 11, 2016
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I came here for my 30th birthday. It was outstanding -- easily the best restaurant I've been to in DC. In fact, in quality, vibe, and atmosphere, it's much more similar to restaurants in SF or NY than to those in DC.

The celery root is phenomenal. The quail and pheasant were also very very good. Rockfish was a bit salty but quite good. Beets were tender and bursting with flavor.

The only downside was it took quite a while for our food to arrive and then quite some time passed between courses. We were in no rush so that wasn't a big deal, but it was noticeable.

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