The team behind Rebellion in Dupont has taken over Veranda and will reopen the Logan Circle restaurant as The Commodore Public House & Kitchen on Thursday with a spiffed-up space and new gut-buster menu featuring poutine that swaps in savory potato funnel cake for fries and cornmeal bao buns with grilled pork belly.
“I’m going redneck on this,” says executive chef Travis Weiss, who also oversees Rebellion.
Chef de cuisine Ryan Carson will help Weiss lead the kitchen. Even though they will admittedly be making some drunk food, Weiss also aims to flex his culinary muscles. “I wanted to show I have a finessed side, not just burgers and fat-boy food,” he says.
One example: marinated Rappahannock oysters with fennel pollen, citrus, dill, and St. George gin. Unlike most restaurants, the Olde Salts aren’t served on the half shell. “It’s almost a play on ceviche, but done a la minute,” Weiss says.
Other highlights include cioppino, mushroom Bolognese pasta, and a charcuterie plate of Weiss’ housemade meats called “CRod on the Couch,” named for Weiss’ wife, Carolina Rodriguez Weiss, who has a bad-day routine. “She’ll get off the bus, beeline it to Whole Foods, and bring home charcuterie, cheese, and jams,” he says. “Then I’ll come home to find CRod on the couch with a bunch of meats and cheese.”
The 60-seat patio will eventually host food events like pig roasts and crawfish boils. Weiss says they plan to outfit it with picnic tables to give it a beer garden feel, which is a contrast to the inside bar and dining room that looks more like the set of Grease (think ’50s diner chairs) meets your friend’s industrial-chic loft.
The Commodore's décor also references the Navy: An old submariner helmet, which inspired the restaurant's name and is featured in its logo, is used as wall art. Meanwhile, the cocktails are named with Wes Anderson's The Life Aquatic in mind. “Esteban was Eaten,” for example, combines mezcal, lime juice, orange juice, and vanilla syrup for a tangy patio sipper. Jennifer Collins, who also bartends at Bourbon Steak, was tapped to run the cocktail program.
1110 P St. NW, (202) 234-6870; commodoredc.com
Photos by Laura Hayes