There is a reason Woodward Table has made an appearance on several listings of the top 100 restaurants in D.C. The restaurant, situated in the heart of the District just a few blocks from the White House, offers a timeless menu that features classic American fare that is sure to satisfy. Woodward Table captivates diners with its exquisite food and earns top marks for presentation as well.
The kitchen staff has an eye for detail as well as fine taste; each dish is artfully plated in the kitchen before it appears on the table — nearly every patron is prompted to pull out their phones to document the meal before daring to lift a fork or knife.
We started the evening with an artisanal cheese board ($24), offering a delicious array of six different cow, goat and sheep’s milk cheeses. We also split a wild mushroom flatbread ($13.50) to preface our meal. The warm golden flatbread was topped with creamed kale, melted fontina cheese and an assortment of wild mushrooms. The flatbread was delicious, though it was tough to compete with the bread basket we started the evening with — a warm pile of golden biscuits that seemed to melt in your mouth.
The main course was where we really had a problem taking the first bite, since no one wanted to be the first to mar the meticulously arranged dish in front of them. Altogether, our group ordered a wide range of dishes, including hearth-baked potato gnocchi ($19), seared sea bass (special/price varies), seared rare tuna ($27), steamed blue bay mussels ($18.50), smoked pork BBQ sandwich ($15.75) and a certified angus strip steak ($35). While the seafood definitely won in terms of presentation, I was enamored with the steak — a thick juicy cut topped with red wine shallot butter and complemented with a side of their award-winning fries.
Other favorites included the Brussels sprouts ($5.50) that were lightly roasted and tossed in a Thai chili sauce, and the gnocchi, which was baked in a cast-iron skillet with kale, butternut squash, wild mushrooms and topped with a layer of parmesan cheese.
While no one had any room left after dinner, we were still unable to resist the allure of the dessert menu. Between the six of us, we managed to sample a large portion of the dessert menu, including bread pudding ($9), a slice of s’mores cheesecake ($9), an assortment of small donuts including a toasted coconut donut and a spice sugar donut ($9) and a torte featuring chocolate ganache, chocolate buttercream and coffee ice cream ($9). I struggled to share my bread pudding, which was topped with slightly-melted butter pecan ice cream and sprinkled with brown sugar and caramel sauce.
The one downside to the evening was the service. While our waiter was entertaining, he frequently approached our table with a “deer in the headlights” glance, tended to disappear for long periods of time and was often confused when the food didn’t spontaneously appear on our table.
Yet the decadent food was well worth the wait, staff woes and slow turnaround in the kitchen. Even though some of the prices might be a little steep for the typical student budget, this spot should definitely be kept in mind for the next parent visit. If you’re in a rush, check out the restaurant’s adjoining “Woodward Takeout Food,” which offers breakfast and lunch dishes that can be picked up on the fly or enjoyed in their small cafe area. If you’re looking for great taste but don’t want to break the bank, I’d highly suggest stopping by.