The Kleinette, with her Groupon, took a visiting friend from out of town for a bite at Policy, at 1204 14th St NW, one of the bustling U Street corridors's newest resto-small plate-bar type places.
Policy has a long list of cocktails, a slick looking bar, and a sort of hip-diner design. Full of booths covered in red patent leather, the restaurant with its low light and pulsing techno music, it gave off the vibe of trying hard to be hip and cool. Its menu of small plates was what drew us in, and, that was the best part of Policy. We had the duck spring rolls,red curried lentils, a baked brie and greens, and some kind of scallop dish. The small plates were really delicious, but, overpriced for what they were without the groupon. They were between $8-14 a pop.
I was really hoping to like Policy, but the experience left me confused. The loud techno music was pulsing at 7pm on a Wednesday night. The service was very rushed, we were in and out in 40 minutes, but the restaurant was nearly empty. The hostess was busy txting and seemed surprised when we took her up on the offer to put our heavy winter coats in the closet. Policy is new, and its atmosphere is confused, expensive eats and blaring nightclub scene. The servers seemed confused by people coming in for dinner - theres just no point in rushing people when your restaurant is empty!
If you want a hip place for a drink with a snack type dish, and Bar Pilar or St. Ex are too crowded, pop into Policy, the bites will be delicious, but it might be a bit loud and too contrived. If you want to have a nice dinner of small plates, but aren't up for a nightclub, I'd probably try a different locale in the area.....
I'm also wondering, whats with the small plates dc?? It seems like these dinner tapas are all the rage throughout a wide range of cuisines - American, South American, etc..... While I like to share, and I like to try a bunch of different dishes, if I am going mid-upscale (for a young non-profit professional) I want to pay my $14-18 for a whole dish with a main item and a few different sides.... I don't always want to share with a group and I don't want to walk out having paid $25 for a variety of things...... Peanut gallery, how do you feel about all small plates restaurants? Are they a pain or do you like the variety? :)