This restaurant experience was credit to (another) fantastic Groupon: Spend $30, get $60 worth of food. We bought the deal last year, before the new Washingtonian Top 100 list was out, and Againn was booted off. Oh well! Maybe we didn’t get to check a restaurant off the list, but it was still a fun time. Againn classifies itself as a gastropub, and therefore is riding the wave of many other restaurants (like Kushi) in offering authentic food (that Americans still like) in a back-to-basics way, all within a minimalistically trendy atmosphere. I love it.
When we showed up, the place was packed with that younger/older (do you know what I’m saying? not right out of college, but still young and hip) after-work crowd. Againn has a decent happy hour, and many were taking advantage of the low-lit, chatty scene.
We started off with two recommended cocktails. I tried the Little Sister, which contains vodka, prosecco, st germaine, rose syrup, and citrus. Apparently, it won a contest for “best cocktail” at a Phillip’s Collection event. Because he can’t resist bourbon, Chris chose the New York Avenue: bourbon, leopold’s 3 pins, sweet vermouth, and housemade orange bitters.
We were also so hungry that we ordered a plate of prosciutto right away. Againn makes their charcuterie in-house, and though we were ravenous for pretty much anything at that point, the prosciutto did not disappoint. It was also fun to eat the meat with the intense pickles that came along!
For my entree, I went for the cod with clam chowder. Unfortunately, I misunderstood how this dish was going to be presented. The cod was served in the chowder, which was very thin and broth-like. I think I’ve also come to realize that I don’t like cod! The dish did boast a different taste with every spoonful — with all of the celery, onions, etc. — but overall, the tastes were a bit too bland for me. I did enjoy the actual clams though.
We don’t like Scotch, but felt pressured to try a small sip. I can’t even remember what kind we ordered, but I had the teeniest baby sip, and made Chris finish the rest! Not our favorite, but look at how extensive their list is, and you can see how they must know what they’re doing in this arena.
Would I go here againn? (Sorry, I couldn’t resist.) I think so… but maybe I’d just try the bar food. I’m thinking we went a little fancy with our choices, and perhaps Againn does the simple things better. Maybe I’ll go for their scotch eggs next time!