I had promised myself a quiet recovery weekend after the one before it and a long week at work. Which of course meant we went even crazier and later. Struggling on a Saturday morning, Official Friend of DCWD Rajistan suggested we find pub food in an effort to go with a "hair of the dog"cure. Which I obviously read as quality gastropub. After whittling down some suggestions, we ended up on Lyon Hall.
Lyon Hall is the new gastropub offering from the owners of Liberty Tavern, and much like some of the other upscale Clarendon restaurants we've visited, has an absolutely beautiful dining room. There's just something pleasing about classic but modern decor.
The space is divided into three spaces: a lounge to your right of high bar tables, an actual bar to the back, and to the left the actual dining area, separated from the bar by a row of blue leather half-booths. Globe lights hang over the tables, and the sun pours in from the huge windows framed by blue velvet curtains. The space is all straight lines, from the small white brick-style tiles to the black wood paneling to the lines on the metal grated ceiling. Again, modern but clean.
The chairs are gastropub-style cafe chairs, and the tables are all two tops in combination, all for the most part on top of each other. Which is probably the only downside I can think of.
Lyon Hall serves a pretty standard French brasserie fare. And I will eat mussels anytime, anywhere. So despite other solid options (I mean, it was brunch time, after all), I ordered the mussels frites Lyon, which came in a broth of sabodet sausage, gruyere, and dijon. I loved a lot about this dish: the fact that the fries came on top of the dish; the crumbliness of the sausage; that mild bite from the gruyere and dijon; the small bites of onion you got once in a while. Still, the mussels just weren't the greatest. A little oversteamed to me, so a little chewy. Good, just have had better.
Rajistan had the shortrib frankfurter, which came on a poppyseed bun with house mustard. This was a solid tender bite, and the house mustard really packed a kick. It was one of those dishes that made you say, this is a really good hot dog... but I guess it's still a hot dog. Which I mean in both a good way and a bad way; good in that while the shortrib gave it a different dimension, it still retained its hot dog sensibilities, but bad because again, it's a hot dog.
I guess I should admit that we also both ordered a beer flight, in this case the "Belgian": Stella Artois, Goudan Carolus, Kapitel Prior, Troubador Obscura. Served in small 5oz glasses on a faux charcuterie board, it was a really nice touch to go back to during the meal.
Solid food, lovely dining area. Definitely worth a second look.
Food Rating: *** (out of 5)
Date Rating: 4 Hearts (out of 5)
Dress Code: Casual
Bar Rating: Classy Crowd to Hipster Hangout
Cost: $$$ (out of 5) ($50-$75 for two)
Pairing: Head over to Clarendon Ballroom for a drink and some dancing on its rooftop pavilion, especially as the weather gets better.