The Place: Red Hen
Where: Rhode Island Avenue and 1st Streets NW
Why Live Near Here: It’s the first full week of January and yesterday we had snow flurries. Lots of us just want to stay inside in hibernate, but second to that, we’ll venture out for warm and velvety pasta. Y’all, if you haven’t ever been to Red Hen, RUN, don’t walk, because their food is the tits! Imagine easily walking over for a warm and tasty bucatini dish, a couple of glasses of cabernet, maybe a chocolate mousse dessert, and then rolling yourself home within 5 minutes. Guess what – that’s what I do. This is Places and Spaces DC’s Editor’s new hood, and this is what I do at least once a week. So, if you’re like me and want to live near a kick-ass restaurant with pleasant neighborhood-type ambiance, a friendly staff that makes you happy to either sit at the bar alone or dine with a group, and most importantly, a delicious and thoughtful menu full of so many insane options that you need to keep coming back to try them all.
Things to Know: Along with his business partners, Chef/Owner Mike Friedman opened Red Hen in 2013 after honing his culinary craftsmanship by working for Jose Andres and various influential kitchens around the U.S., as the Executive Sous Chef of Proof, and from extensive international travel. I don’t know where he came up with his cacio e pepe recipe, but this not listed on the menu item is everything you want and need in a pasta dish. You can’t go wrong with this whole menu, but seriously, get that pasta.
Red Hen has received tons of awards and accolades since opening and was without much drama, minus their outdoor green bench being stolen in 2014, until a strange case of mistaken identity this Summer when DC’s Red Hen was thought to be one of the same name in Lexington, VA. When the DC restaurant was dealing with a storm of both online and real life harassment, lovers of the neighborhood favorite came in to support the place that has become a staple of the not just Bloomingdale, but of the whole city.