Date Night: The Partisan, DC

I have a nasty habit of comparing tough decisions to Sophie’s Choice. Every time I say it, I realize the severity of the analogy and instantly utter deep apologies. So if someone could please help me construct a less offensive comparison to having to decide where to eat on our trips back to DC, I would appreciate it.  And then apply it to last week on our 24 hour road trip to the city and you’ll understand how I felt when Scott asked innocently, “Where would you like to eat?”

Not so innocent.

In fact, days were spent deliberating, bouncing between choices in anxious confusion where we should spend our one night in the city.  How do we pass up an opportunity to return to one of our favorites? Should we go with the latest and greatest buzz on restaurant openings? Do we trust our foodie friends in the city to steer us in the perfect direction? All of these thoughts landed us in Penn Quarter for our first experience at The Partisan.

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As part of the reputable Neighborhood Restaurant Group, The Partisan has long been on our radar. Since opening in 2014, it has been given consistent nods at the Rammys as well as listed in the top 100 list in Washingtonian. Boasting an impressive selection of charcuterie (attached to Red Apron) and small plates, this won our final choice for our first date back in our city.


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Our DC nights of old usually warranted two cocktails a piece, but since we had several more stops to make we decided to be adult and limit ourselves to one. Sadly, we arrived just prior to the release of a new cocktail menu and several of Scott’s top choices were no longer available. Our server was apologetic (and maybe somewhat embarrassed) and I honestly can’t tell you what the final result was – it’s all a blur. I stayed safe with a glass of bubbly and can attest to whatever Scott had, it was good. We’d be interested to try items from the next menu…


I’m pretty sure that my non-stop crying (real tears, people) over how much I miss DC allowed me to have full control over our order. Scott must have been a)mortified and b)grasping at straws to stop my wailing. That’s how we ended up with a completely mushroom-laden dish, and I will confess it stopped my crying jag for a minute. I loved the Kale Salad (wild mushrooms, salsify, shallot, goat cheese, pedro ximenez vinaigrette) and Scott picked around the mushrooms and enjoyed the rest of the plate.


After he allowed me to indulge in my mushroom fetish, I made sure he was happy with the rest. He ordered the Beef Fat Fries (his judge of a good restaurant lies in their fries), the Street Corn, the Chili Garlic Cauliflower, the Rotissi-fried Chicken, and the Summer Squash with pine nuts. Our favorite? Hands down the cauliflower.

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We were beyond full, and so we broke Scott’s rule and did not order dessert – to our everlasting shame.

Though not in our list of best dates in DC, I will say that the ambiance was spot on, and as the night went on and the lights dimmed, it was easy to see why The Partisan ranks up on everyone’s list. The food was good, the atmosphere was cozy, and our date night in DC was a success.

Have you been? Thoughts?



The Partisan Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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