Comfort in the city
Petworth's Summer opening of Homestead came with mounting anticipation during the past year, as their name had been emblazoned on the wooden slats at the start of construction outlining what would soon be one of their three outdoor dining spaces. The restaurant is in the heart of Petworth, attracting millennials and foodies alike for a taste of the newest hot spot in the ever growing DC food scene. I was excited. I had been following the progress on Instagram, checking out the tentative menu and waiting patiently for the doors to open. What I experienced was incredible service with passionate employees; a warm, buzzing atmosphere; and overpriced food and drink. Here's how it all went down...
I started at the bar, while waiting for my dining companions to arrive. The bartender was extremely friendly and seemed very happy to be there - I love a happy bartender. The cocktails were exciting and refreshing, and the wine on tap was a fun surprise - #roséallday people. However, happy hour is still a little steep and only includes beer at $5 a pop.
We were seated after a quick trip to the restroom, where the experienced a blooper of the door knob coming off in our hand....haha. I saw this happen a few more times throughout the night, and actually found it pretty funny. I'm sure it's fixed now. Our server, Jesse, was phenomenal. He is clearly passionate about his job and loves to talk "shop." Talking shop about food is my favorite thing to do, so we obvs became besties.
Jesse got us super excited for the fresh burrata and tomato caprese appetizer. It was peak tomato season and this app did not disappoint. The burrata was creamy and salty, tomatoes juicy and ripe and a vibrant basil oil was just the right pop to bring the dish together. Perfectly toasted crostini added some texture and we all fought over the sizzled basil leaf on top. A+ for the first course.
NEXT! So, the menu was a little overwhelming. There are appetizers, shareables, soups, salads, entrees and also this whole family style situation. I was beginning to panic and Jesse told us the pork chop was amazing, so we basically just all got that. I think the menu should stick to a theme - do all family style, or get rid of it. But hey, maybe that's just me -- too many options is stressful for me at a restaurant.
The pork chop was advertised with a jalapeño spoon bread, brussel sprout hash and pickled jalapeños. Sadly, what seemed good on paper just did not translate well to the mouth. The spoon bread, usually super moist and similar to Thanksgiving stuffing, was so dry. It was like a mini overcooked corn muffin that needed an entire stick of butter to prevent choking. Womp. The pork chop was also overcooked and under seasoned. The pickled jalapeños were great for flavor, but we only got two! The hash was also unmemorable. For $26 this pork chop should have been perfect. When I go out to eat, I expect the food to be better than I can prepare at home, and this just wasn't the case. My dining companion ordered the seafood risotto, which was filled with what seemed like frozen bay scallops (noooo.), and a whole lot of water.... not something you ever want to find in risotto. Again, for $28 this risotto should have been spectacular.
Jesse kept us smiling though, he really was a delight to chat with and we liked him so much we decided to try our luck with dessert. He recommended the tiramisu made with local coffee! It was fantastic! Creamy, spongy, bitter, sweet, moist and steeped with strong espresso. We loved it! We headed up to the rooftop bar after dinner to cap off the evening, and it was a lovely space packed with eager DC residents ISO summer rooftop options.... ah, to be young again.
Our service was impeccable, the bathrooms were clean and quaint, ambiance cozy and warm, and our food experience was a sad entree moment sandwiched between delicious appetizers and desserts. I will definitely try Homestead again, but may need to stick to the snacks and apps for the sake of my taste buds and my wallet.