Late-Night Bites Not Hard to Find

Several Hill-Area Eateries Serve Till Midnight and Beyond

Posted March 14, 2007 at 3:44pm

Thanks to Sunday’s early arrival of daylight-saving time, your after-work routine may be out of whack. The lingering sun tricks you into staying at the office a little later, not realizing it’s already 7 p.m. Then post-work cocktails slide back a few hours into the night, and before you know it, it’s 10 p.m. and you still haven’t eaten dinner. Even though the majority of restaurants across town are preparing to close their kitchens around then, there’s no need to go hungry. Here’s a look at some restaurants near Capitol Hill for dining well into the night. At least until your brain gets used to all the extra sunlight.

[IMGCAP(1)] After Midnight

The Tune Inn
331 Pennsylvania Ave. SE
This Capitol Hill landmark, once lauded by then-Attorney General Janet Reno for “the best hamburger in town,” has been drawing hungry crowds at all hours of the day for more than 50 years. Place your order by 1 a.m. on weekdays and by 2 a.m. on weekends to stay in the waitresses’ good graces. Breakfast is served all day.

Billy Goat Tavern
500 New Jersey Ave. NW
This Chicago transplant dishes up its legendary burgers and “cheezborgers” until 2 a.m. most nights, as long as there’s a crowd to keep it open.

The Dubliner
4 F St. NW
This popular Irish pub serves a late-night menu from 11 p.m. until midnight Sundays and Mondays and until 1 a.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Bar fare such as buffalo wings, chicken fingers and nachos are joined by Dubliner signatures like fish and chips and a sirloin burger.

Old Ebbitt Grill
675 15th St. NW
When most of the city’s classic restaurants have long closed up shop, Old Ebbitt Grill keeps right on bustling, serving its full dinner menu until midnight and a late-night menu until 1 a.m. The late-night menu offers a well-rounded selection of Old Ebbitt’s most popular dishes from burgers and crab cakes to grilled rockfish and the restaurant’s signature trout Parmesan. Old Ebbitt also runs a popular oyster happy hour Monday through Thursday from 11 p.m. until 1 a.m., when all raw bar items are half off. Seems like a good enough reason to postpone dinner.

Clyde’s of Gallery Place
707 Seventh St. NW
Old Ebbitt’s downtown sibling, Clyde’s of Gallery Place, offers the same late-night oyster happy hour Sunday through Thursday. Clyde’s also serves a special menu until 1 a.m. daily. With three bars spread over two levels, there’s plenty to keep you busy after that midnight oyster fix, as well.

[IMGCAP(2)] Bistro Francais
3128 M St. NW
No late-night dining list would be complete without this classic hangout in Georgetown. Straying further from the Hill, Bistro Francais is a favorite for its French bistro fare and some of the latest hours in town — dinner is served until 3 a.m. on weeknights and 4 a.m. on weekends. The restaurant offers an “early bird” special from 5 to 7 p.m. and again from 10:30 p.m. to 1 a.m. each night. For $19.95, early bird diners get three courses and a glass of house wine. The bistro menu offers classics like sirloin steak with parsley butter and fries, mussels, fish soup, and roasted chicken with tarragon sauce.

Stroke of Midnight

Jaleo, Oyamel and Zaytinya
Chef Jose Andres has created a mini empire in Penn Quarter, and his three tapas-style restaurants offer night-owl friendly hours for ordering food. The kitchens at Jaleo (480 Seventh St. NW), Zaytinya (701 Ninth St. NW) and the brand new Oyamel (401 Seventh St. NW) all stay open until midnight on Fridays and Saturdays and 11:30 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday.

Jaleo is Andres’ tribute to the cuisine of his native Spain, and Zaytinya offers the chef’s spin on Mediterranean-inspired small plates such as zucchini and cheese fritters, braised lamb shank with eggplant, and fried squid with fresh dill and garlic yogurt sauce. Oyamel’s menu of Mexican street foods includes tableside guacamole, red snapper with tomatoes, olives, onions and capers, and hand-made corn tortillas stuffed with fillings like baby pig confit, braised oxtail and sautéed grasshoppers (don’t knock it until you’ve tried it).

Brasserie Les Halles
1201 Pennsylvania Ave. NW
This French steakhouse offers continuous service from 11:30 a.m. until midnight daily. A square meal of steak, fries and a salad will set you back only $17.50. Other menu classics include steak tartare, snails broiled in garlic butter and choucroute garnie, which combines smoked pork loin, white veal sausage, frankfurters, smoked pork breast, boiled potatoes and sauerkraut.

If you’re the type who prefers to be in bed by 10 p.m., it’s worth noting that Les Halles added breakfast to its repertoire on March 1. The breakfast menu, served from 7:30 to 11:30 a.m. Monday through Friday, is divided into Parisien and Washingtonian choices. The French side offers croissants, crepes and brioche french toast, while the Washingtonian selections include eggs with home fries, a Scottish salmon and sour cream omelet and oatmeal.