When you walk into P.J. Clarke’s — which opened in October — in downtown D.C., you hit a wall of sound. A hundred conversations clamor for priority, waitstaff hustles and bustles around at top speed, there’s clatter and commotion from the open kitchen, and ’50s rock tunes fill any blank spaces. There’s an energy and electricity in the air that feels very New York City, which is unsurprising, since that’s the hometown of the original P.J. Clarke’s.
Though the aesthetic falls between a turn-of-the-20th-century saloon, a not-so-secret speakeasy and a family restaurant (kids are very welcome and highly evident), P.J. Clarke’s is more focused when it comes to the food. It specializes in classic steak house dishes firmly grounded in American traditionalism. Read the full review on the Express website now.