Shaw's Tavern 09.06.2013

Before I head to a new restaurant, I don't read reviews; why influence the tastebuds?  But while looking up directions to Shaw's Tavern, there was that damn Yelp page and I couldn't help it.  I clicked on it and the range of reviews entered my head.  And it's only the negative comments that stick in your head -- right?  But whatever negativity there was on Yelp, I was very happy to be met with the complete opposite.  

From entry to exit, the staff is warm and gracious, and the food was quite delicious.  Shaw's is exactly the type of neighborhood bar I'd love in my neighborhood:  relaxed, not a lot of bright lights, fun music (there was a little Donna Summer during dinner), good food and drink, and lots of friendliness.  Thursdays are live jazz, and around 9 p.m., Superior Cling was playing.  If I didn't have two kids to pick up, I would have stayed longer.  I recommend perusing their calendar -- they have more live music and trivia nights.  

Shaw's is a gastro pub and there are plenty of small plates on the menu but also larger, hearty dishes that will keep you sated as you make your way through the beer menu.  Let's start there.

There were some familiar beers but I wanted something unfamiliar and had a glass of the Double Daddy Imperial IPA, made by San Francisco brewery Speakeasy Ales & Lagers.  Double Daddy is just the right amount of hoppy without being overwhelming -- a slight bitterness, an opaque golden color, and a smooth finish.  I'm deeply in love with IPAs these days and delighted to find new ones to add to my stash in the fridge (you know, for the upcoming winter).

Next, I had the Blackened Catfish, which was accompanied by collard greens (so good), crushed sweet potatoes (also so good), and remoulade butter (extremely good).  I had a glass of the 2012 House of Mandela sauvignon blanc (South Africa) with my meal.  It was fine with the catfish, but I think I was too blown away by Double Daddy to fully appreciate the wine.

Finally, my dining companions ordered dessert, of which I had one bite:  cornbread waffles topped with bacon ice cream.  May I just say -- WOW.  It was fantastic.  Go.  Eat the cornbread waffles and bacon ice cream.  You only live once.  Well, unless you're Hindu.

Happy eating all!

Shaw's Tavern
520 Florida Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20001


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