2 weeks ago at precisely 12pm my husband, Will ,was online to secure us a coveted table at The Dabney in Shaw for dinner. My parents were coming to town (hello, babysitters!) and we wanted to enjoy an adult evening at one of the hottest spots in NW Washington, DC.
You may have read all about the incredible food at The Dabney in The Washington Post, The Washingtonian or perhaps Bon Appetite and I whole hardly agree with the all the rave reviews. The food, service and drinks were all incredible and the esteemed food critics from these publications can speak to the food better than I can so I what I want to discuss is the physical restaurant itself, the kitchen and the incredible location in Blagden Alley.
The Dabney is tucked back on Blagden Alley which has a complex history dating back to the 1800s. The Dabney is located in an old row house with the entrance through what was possibly a stable or garage or both at some point in its history. The barn doors are a nod to it’s past and commonly seen in newer construction today as a stylish update on boring bypass doors.
Once inside the barn doors, an idilic patio beckons you come back when the weather is warm and enjoy dining al fresco. Private outdoor space is one of the most coveted features in urban neighborhoods and most buyers would delight in finding a home with a patio like this.
Upon entering the restaurant, you find your self in the bar area with exposed brick, subtle lighting and translucent windows that pass through to the back section of the dining area.
I loved the light fixtures throughout the restaurant; each thoughtfully placed to enhance the dining experience without overwhelming the space.
But of course the kitchen was the main attraction all fully in view to dinners with 3 separate work areas all surrounding a huge open fire which provides hot coals over which most of the food is cooked.
So by all means enjoy the incredible food at The Dabney (we sure did!) but don’t forget to soak in the surroundings and remember the rich history of Blagden Alley.
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