Finally made it to Cedar (822 E Street, in all its subterranean DC glory) and liked it a lot. Smoothly decorated, low decibels = easy conversation, excellent service. Only one vegetarian entree available: a large salad of mushrooms, lentils, egg and stuff, but the vegan amongst us liked it (without the egg of course). He might have also liked the beet salad (without the cheese), but it never arrived (nor was it on the bill). This was strange because the vegan originally wasn’t going to order an appetizer but the server talked him into it, and then apparently forgot all about it. That was the only service issue we had.
I am not a vegan. The maple-glazed pork belly was delicious, fork-tender atop sweet potato puree, which I don’t normally like at all, but it wasn’t toooo sweet. Beef short ribs also tender and good though the accompanying celery puree wasn’t as good as the sweet potato puree. *
The bartender also knows his or her stuff, my Aviation was perfect. Cedar has plenty of affordable wines; a glass of Columbia Valley (Wash.) “Boom Boom” Syrah smelled strongly of vanilla frosting, but was more nuanced and dark-fruity on the palate. Not sure how it would have held up in a tasting against other good/better wines. It went well with the pork and beef, anyway.
* Now that cupcakes have jumped the shark (please?) and burgers will eventually (alas), and DC’s proliferating food carts are fast on their way (though I am fully supportive of the food cart concept), maybe the Next Big Thing will be a restaurant that serves all kinds of food but only in pureed form? Babies and invalids would love it. And maybe you would too!