A little while ago my aunt was in town, and since she had a birthday coming up and my mother had celebrated one not too long ago, my grandmother wanted to take a group of us out to dinner to celebrate those lovely ladies, and to also spend some time together as an extended family. So my mother and I started scouring Open Table to see what had availability on a Saturday evening for our semi-large group who needed to eat early for a variety of reasons (see: Grandmother is 99 and brother works overnight on Saturdays). We narrowed it down to a couple options, but decided on The Fainting Goat – a gastro-pub that’s a couple years old, and that I’d never really heard about before.
We arrived just as the dinner hour was about to start, and my mother, aunt and grandmother all got drinks from the bar, as did The Boy and I. I had an amazing Sour Berliner Weiss by the Beltway Brewing Company, and it was so tart and lemony and I loved it. The boy had a black lager by Uinta Brewing Company, and it was dark and roasty the way he likes his stouts…except it was a lager. Bizarre! We waited maybe 5 minutes past our reservation time before being shown to our table, which overlooked the main entrance/bar area, and was near the upstairs bar. The later the evening went, the noisier it got which my grandmother doesn’t like, but it was fine otherwise. Once we’d all sat down for dinner, we ordered a couple bottles of wine for during the meal, and went with our go-to red of Malbec. Yum!
We got both a meat and cheese board for the table, and they were delicious. My favorites were a rabbit, and some other meat that had pistachios embedded in it. There was a Manchester cheese that The Boy liked a lot. By the time the waiters came back (and by the time I thought to take a photo), we were left with what you see above – a mostly empty board that we merely picked at one last time as it was lifted off the table. In case you couldn’t tell – that’s a good sign. A cheese board that empties quickly is a GREAT one.
For appetizers, I went with my go-to “trendy” (though perhaps at this point, passé?) restaurant dish of brussels sprouts, but I didn’t even know I was doing it at the time. I ordered the “brassicas” off the sides, and it turned out to be brussels sprouts, broccoli and cauliflower – all my favorite yummy vegetables in a delightful little roasting pan together and delicious. The Boy had a beet salad because he loves beets, and since I don’t eat them, he likes to get them whenever we’re out. He enjoyed this salad quite a bit.
For an entree, I decided to go a little light and ordered off the “graze” menu (which are large appetizer size?) and ordered the “veal” dish, which ended up being a delicious veal carpaccio salad. The Boy had the special rockfish for the day, and this third photo which I convinced my brother to let me take (“Why are you taking all these photos of our food?” “It’s for my blog – is that a problem?” “Whatever, I guess not.”) which I believe is the goat po’boy. All of our dinners were excellent, but the Boy kept singing the praises of his fish after we left dinner, while I was just going, “It was good,” so take that as you will.
And finally, since it was a birthday, we couldn’t go without having a dessert…or two. Luckily for our waistlines, we shared them at the table, because they were really good, and if eaten alone by any one person, would have been super-decadent. One was chocolate and the other was…caramel and hazelnut? I’m not sure – the Fainting Goat website is sadly missing descriptions of their desserts, and I think they may change semi-regularly, so you don’t get to know what we had, just that it was yummy.
So, we’ve reached the end of my dinner description. Did I enjoy myself? Thoroughly, and I can vouch for my dining companions that they did as well. Though my grandmother would have complained it was a little loud, it’s not beyond what you would expect at a hopping U Street eatery. Would I go back? Yeah, sure. Now…the chances of me actually doing that when there are so many other new and interesting places to try in DC are slim, but if someone said, “Meet me for dinner at the Fainting Goat,” I wouldn’t hesitate to join them.