The Nitty Gritty
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Sorry for all the emotional punctuation, but the craft brews at Smith Commons always get us
a little a lot excited. Put simply, "three beers" deserves three exclamation points. (That’s gotta be Strunk & White approved, right?)
“But what’s the fourth exclamation point for?” you ask. That’s simple—everything else.
Smith Commons is one of our favorite places in the District. From its unique design that spans three levels and takes full advantage of floor-to-ceiling windows to, yes, the glorious bar, this H Street establishment has become one of our go-to dinner spots. That’s thanks to the righteous culinary skills of 31-year-old Chef Kamal Chanaka, whose international background - including a cooking gig at the Burj al Arab, the seven-star hotel in Dubai that looks like a sailboat, gives him a unique perspective on flavor. “I like to take one dish and incorporate different countries’ flavors into it,” he said of his ever-rotating menu. “This season, it’s all about letting fresh, organic produce shine." But don’t go expecting a plain old salad. Chanaka also knows what’s up in the molecular gastronomy department. “We have fun in the kitchen,” he said.
And you’ll have fun eating it. (We did.) Don’t choose just one dish to try—get three, one for each beer. One of Chanaka’s favorite combos is the Braised Short Ribs served on a hearty portion of Yukon Gold mash paired with the Dogfish Head Palo Santo, a roasty, malty, most satisfying dark ale. Another favorite is the Ceviche made of Chaiham cod and tiger prawns, paired with a citrus-packed Ommegang Witte. Round out your smörgåsbord dinner with a Flying Dog Raging Bitch and the Grilled Gochujang Chicken (made with kimchi and Granny Smith apples) or the Tuna Tartar or the Lollo Rossa + Anjou Pear Salad or the Beet Salad or…let’s just say there are plenty of choices to satisfy everyone. We’ll see you there.