Woodley Park has surprisingly few exciting restaurant options, despite its prime plot between Adams Morgan and Cleveland Park.
But now the neighborhood has a new salvation in the months-old District Kitchen.
Launched by longtime Sonoma chef Drew Trautman and manager Jawad Saadaoui, District Kitchen has an easygoing sensibility that starts at the entry, where guanciale cures on hanging twine and a vintage oven serves as the host stand. The theme continues to the menu.
Meals here could easily comprise only small plates. Start with Trautman's country ham ($6), the chef blending the meat into a deviled spread with mayonnaise, hot sauce and spices, then serving it with toast points.
House-made fusilli ($13) is tossed with Cincinnati-style lamb chili. Unlike tightly coiled commercial fusilli noodles, this dough cooks into long, thick strands that catch the Cheddar-topped chili in their lanky curls.
The restaurant's egg hash could shame some of the city's best breakfast options. As a dinner appetizer, the deeply yellow shirred egg ($12) coats the earthy hash of chopped potatoes, whole forest mushrooms, onions and rosemary.
Should larger portions appeal, opt for the cider-braised pork shank ($22), a dense portion of meat that collapses onto a bed of braised cabbage.
Welcome to the neighborhood.
District Kitchen, 2606 Connecticut Ave. NW (at Calvert St.); 202-238-9408 or districtkitchen.com