The Red Hen


Long time no see.

It’s been a few months since I’ve updated anything here about our latest outings even though we’ve been doing a lot of fun things. (Sean’s been on my case about it!)

I really do love going back and reading past posts and since we’re gearing up for a new year, I’m resolving now to keep this blog going strong.

So for my first update, I’m reviewing a dinner we had at the Red Hen in the historic Bloomingdale neighborhood of DC. It’s from a few months ago, but the food is just too pretty not to share.


You’ll need to make reservations a few weeks in advance as this place fills up fast. No reservation but really want to eat here? Don’t worry. Be there promptly when they open at 5:30 pm and snag a seat at the U shaped bar.

This dinner was a pre-anniversary celebration, so Sean and I decided to go all out with appetizers, pastas, and mains. The meal started off with a few fresh pieces of homemade bread with zesty olive tapenade. I’m a huge fan of olives and often make this at home, but the Red Hen’s version was really delicious.


We were impressed with all their starter choices, but we finally settled on one. This is burrata appetizer, a creamy ball of cheese sitting atop a mound of farmer’s market summer tomatoes and corn.


The next course was pasta! Sean ordered the duck ragu and I got zucchini pasta. The green pasta was beautiful- if you look closely, the pasta are shaped like flower buds. The sauce was really unique and delicious with yellow squash, green pea puree, lemon zest, and pistachios.


For the mains, we ordered huge juicy scallops with polenta (pictured above) and slow-braised short rib with smoky beans and chorizo topped with goat cheese.


Those interesting square wedges on the side are my new favorite Italian discovery, Roman style gnocchi. We ordered this, thinking we were getting the traditional potato based pillows that you normally think of with gnocchi. Instead, these were made with semolina flour, loads of parmesan cheese, and fried rosemary and sea salt. Very delicious and as soon as I got home, I googled recipes to make these at home. 

I actually did make these at home and while they were good, they need some tweaking. I think Red Hen’s version had loads of cheese compared to ours.

It was about here in the meal that we just couldn’t eat anymore with happily filled stomachs. It’s a shame, really, because we were too full for dessert, which looked beautiful judging from nearby tables.

The Red Hen was such a special dinner experience, and worth its higher prices. Each course was creative and we discovered some new taste combinations we’ve never seen before. I’m excited to go back and try some different seasonal dishes on their menu for winter and spring.



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