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A recent $250,000 renovation and new happy hour menu have breathed new life into the bar of Dupont Circle’s Daily Grill. Gone are the office-tile ceiling, teak-wood bar top, and ’90s glass lampshades. Now, the rustic-toned bar is lined with copper panels, marble, and the obligatory Edison bulbs.
It wasn’t the new facade that brought me here, but rather the updated bar menu from chef Phil Kastel with a selection of items ranging from $3 to $5. It turns out the cheapest dishes are the best.
The $3 mozzarella lavash was crisp with healthy doses of basil, tomato, and freshly shaved parm—enough to satisfy one, but just as good to share. But the “Capitol dog” most caught my attention . The butter-toasted bun with a pork sausage comes topped with sauteed onions and peppers as well as strips of bacon. That’s right, strips of bacon, not your usual bacon bits. It was everything I expected it would be (for $3).
There weren’t many enticing $4 selections. I did try the naked wings, and I have to say, I prefer mine dressed. They were a little dry and slightly burned.
Onto the $5 food: The pub burger is hearty and full of flavor, topped with bacon, balsamic onions, and bleu cheese on a bed of lettuce. If you’re not full yet (I was), try the short rib sliders, which consist of two no-frills pieces of beef with a slathering of horseradish and an overly large serving of onion fries.
In addition to the food specials, Daily Grill also offers $6 specialty cocktails, $8 martinis, and $4 wines. There’s a rotating East Coast beer on tap for $4.
Daily Grill’s happy hour menu is available weekdays 4 to 7 p.m., Saturday 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., and all day Sunday.
Daily Grill, 1200 18th St. NW #2; (202) 822-5282; dailygrill.com
Photo by Russell W. Warnick