The Restaurant Project: Lyon Hall (May)

June 18, 2011 § 8 Comments

Technically, the May installment of The Restaurant Project started in late April, when Scott and I nabbed tickets to the Top-Dog Half Smoke Challenge at Hotel Palomar in Rosslyn (one of our favorite quiet-night-out cocktail spots; it’s got a great balcony overlooking Georgetown and Constitution Avenue.

Now, at this point, I think anyone who frequents this blog is aware that I love Domino’s. What you may not know is that Scott loves hot dogs. For as long as I’ve known him, he has loved hot dogs. Gross, I know! But … really, who am I to judge? Of course, when we heard about this event — during which 11 local restaurants put up their versions of half smokes — we knew it had Scott Will Love written all over it.

It turned out to be a warm but drizzly day — in fact, it was the first day in the series of a month-long period (one that has long since ended) where I had a great hair day, every day — and we chitchatted while waiting in line for delicious bites from BLT Steak, The Source, Liberty Tavern/Lyon Hall, PS7, Firefly, and others (since the Palomar is a Kimpton property, their establishments were well represented). The day would have two winners, one picked by the people and one picked by the judges; we agreed that one of the two would become the location for the May restaurant project.

See? The afore-mentioned great hair. It's gone now. Oh, and judge Mike Isabella, who wrapped me a giant bear hug when I told him I couldn't wait for Graffiato to open.

We voted for The Source, which served a messy chili halfsmoke, though Firefly (fennel sausage, bacon chili) and 701 (pork belly!) were also highlights. Ultimately, the judges chose Firefly as the winner. We’ve eaten there many times, so it was immediately a toss for May; the people’s choice winner was PS7, which Scott had enjoyed but hadn’t really hit my radar (this was more hot dog action than I’d seen cumulatively in life). PS7 it was for May.


So why does the title of this post say Lyon Hall?

A simple case of squeezing too much into one night. Our reservations were for 8:30; but we met a friend for her birthday dinner at Lyon Hall at 7:00, and frankly, got a little too full — and lackluster service delayed us as well.

(Also, Lyon Hall *was* represented at the Top Dog Challenge, so it served its purpose of helping us discover new venues … since we don’t already have a long list …)

Now, back to Lyon Hall; I’m not going to write a ton about this experience because I don’t particularly like to slag places. I think every restaurant likely has a night where someone calls in sick, or mixed up schedules, or something goes wrong — and it must’ve been one of those nights because … the service was terrible. (Our waitress just absolutely couldn’t be bothered by us — half my meal was delivered when everyone else had finished. The manager ended up knocking probably a third of the tab off our bill … I’ll leave it at that.)

As far as the food … I grazed because I was still operating under the assumption that we were going to PS7 for dinner. Yup, I’m an idiot. Also, it was mid-May and I was still working on achieving the proper level of cellulite for swimsuit season, so I ordered a cheese plate — cheddar, pecorino, and goat (it’s hard to say anything bad about a cheese plate — and fries (the 30-minute late arrival to the table).

Scott kept up the sausage theme — he had the Hungarian lamb sausage with grilled octopus, summer bean salad and fennel lemon puree.

Overall, we were with great friends and had a great time in spite of the service. I’d give Lyon Hall another shot — but I might do a quick lap around the block to make sure the same waitress wasn’t working that night before I requested a table.


Hot Dog Hot Guy

See? He loves all kinds of hot dogs!!


April = Pubbelly (Miami)
March = Volt
February = Kushi
January = Let’s not talk about it.

On the Docket for June: Smith Commons

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