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Restaurant check: Quill Washington, D.C.

Published: 20/11/2014 - Filed under: Home » News »

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Located on the ground floor of The Jefferson hotel in Washington, D.C., the Quill is an upscale and very creative cocktail bar and lounge with a cuisine that matches the l distinguished and discreet levels of this boutique luxury host hotel.

This fall, the Quill and The Jefferson hotel’s other dining options put Chef Ralf Schlegel, a creative talent with traditional training and technical expertise in charge as Executive Chef. His resume of experiences would grant more than an honorary PHD in life, food, and culinary experiences and his menu brings a surprising level of contemporary five star grace among the walls of The Jefferson’s tradition and elegance. 

Creative cocktail, a culinary delight, and a lounge atmosphere with live piano music are a combination for a casual yet sophisticated and upscale experience.

The Restaurant

Great upscale and quaint bar and lounge with the equivalent in food, drinks and patrons. I sat in the lounge for dinner but was tempted by the fall weather to sit on the terrace perfectly surrounded by shrubs for privacy from the street.  It was a warm evening and the intimate outdoor space was appealing.  

Settling for the indoor, I first sat directly at the piano.  It was a nostalgic feeling of sophistication.  Feeling the music liven the room it created a true sense of appreciation for the atmosphere.

Known for their specialty and seasonal cocktails, I actually went unconventional and ordered their “Mocktail” ($12).  A concoction of berries, lavender honey and sage served Martini style. If you love a refreshing yet complex drink with great depth and the ability to taste each and every ingredient, you will love this non-alcoholic choice in the Quill’s “Mocktail”

The cocktail menu has roughly 12 – 15 choices of classic concoctions as well as seasonal drinks.  I perused the unique spirits and extensive wine list however if selecting an alcoholic beverage, the “Robinson Mule” with the daily smoked ginger root caught my eye. 

The Food

A decision on appetizers was a difficult choice. The interpretations of several dishes made each one even more desirable when described by the very knowledgeable waitress.  For a starter, I selected the he Salmon Tartare ($18).  There was nothing “standard” about this dish.  From the presentation to the layers of favors, the dish served-up each bite with a burst of flavor.

The Salmon Tartare had hints of pink grapefruit, a very thin layer of avocado and Crème Fraiche, topped with fish roe; a pleasant balance of sweet, sour, and salty flavors.

As an entrée, I was drawn to the Chef’s Daily Soup du Jour of seasonal carrot soup so went with the combo soup and sandwich ($19). Thinking rich and decadent, the soup was refreshing and light with the right amount of texture in small chunks.  My taste buds were very grateful that the entre choice left room for desert.

Thinking rich and decadent, the soup was refreshing and light with the right amount of texture in small chunks.  My taste buds were very grateful that the entre choice left room for desert.

Passion fruit cheesecake!  Need I say more?  I often shy away from cheesecake but am glad I ventured here as this one was not only made with love, but was also on a bed of a personal favorite, passion fruit.  

Admittingly biased, this dish had outstanding flavor combinations.

The Verdict

Looking for a great place for cocktails, lounge with live music, extraordinary food or any combination than Quill is a must visit.  Whether you are a hotel guest, visiting from out of town or a local, this “piano bar and lounge” extraordinaire along with the hidden cocktails and palette pleasing cuisine must be on your list of things to do while in D.C. 


1200 16th St. Northwest, Washington DC, DC 20036 
(202) 448-2300


Open Daily for lunch, light bites, and cocktails

  • Monday – Friday 11:30 a.m. – 12:00 a.m.
  • Saturday – Sunday 12:00 p.m. – 12:00 a.m.

Overall, the Quill is great place for a unique and worthy cocktail, food that leaves you wanting more, and an atmosphere for intimate conversation. The service matched the compliments of the evening’s experience.

By Ross Atkinson

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