Thursday, January 25, 2018


Succotash located in Penn Quarter is named after the classic dish that has been a longstanding staple of the Southern table. While many know "succotash" when they see it, the dish has been interpreted, modified and passed from generation to generation for centuries. Here, James Beard Award nominee Edward Lee brings his Korean roots and Southern repertoire to a soulful Southern menu, which gives a progressive perspective of classic Southern favorites to downtown DC. Closest Metro is Metro Center or Gallery Place.

The restaurant offers several private and semi-private spaces inside a dramatic historic interior with soaring ceilings.  I had lunch with coworkers at Succotash a couple months prior.  At that time the new Penn Quarter location was still working out kinks, so I was eager to return with Keith for Restaurant Week.  When we arrived, the dining room and bar area were both packed.  We were seated and immediately greeted by our friendly server, Colin.

We quickly decided to pursue the generous Restaurant Week menu, which was their "Taste of the South" option for only $35 per person (normally $42 pp).  The food would be served family style, and slightly coursed out.  To start we were presented with Deviled Eggs and Cornbread Cakes with sorghum butter and blackberry-thyme jam.  The deviled eggs were classic and the cornbread was slightly sweet.  Both appetizers were just a little bite to get us started.

Next, we ate Fried Green Tomato Salad with arugula, radish, buttermilk dressing, and feta cheese.  This salad was very tasty, and I appreciated the balance of fried and raw vegetables.  It didn't make me feel as guilty when I ate my full portion.

The Smoked Chicken Wings were amazing! I am not usually a fan of meat on the bone, but these were light with a simple spice rub and topped with a celery slaw and North Carolina White BBQ sauce.  I didn't really care for the mayo-based sauce, but it didn't deter me from getting my hands dirty and eating those little drumsticks.  Luckily, Colin brought out some hot towels for us to clean our hands with. Nice touch. 

Then came the mains and sides.  Fried Chicken & Waffles were topped with a bourbon maple syrup, pickled okra, and aged manchego cheese.  The salty and sweet combination was intriguing.  The meat was juicy on the inside and crunchy on the outside.  I liked this fried chicken much better than the first one I had in my previous lunch, which was undercooked and too fatty for my liking.  I excused it at the time, as it seemed the kitchen was rushed and as noted earlier, they were still working out some service kinks.  So, tonight's version certainly redeemed some points.

We also ate Crispy Blue Catfish topped with a mint-jalapeno aioli and sliced red grapes, served on top of a lettuce slaw and served with burnt lemon.  The fish was cooked well, not too dry, but the seasoning was a bit bland.  The drizzle of lemon juice helped.

With these mains we had the Collards, Kimchi, and Country Ham.  This side was bitter and funky - in a good way.  The kimchi spice was very subtle and probably would not even be noticeable to most.

Next, came the BBQ Pork Ribs with a simple spice rub and apple cider vinegar barbeque sauce.  They were topped with pickled peppers and served with fried black eyed peas.  Keith found the ribs to be on the sweet side, but reminiscent of the Chinese-style char siu (pork) which is roasted to give the surface of the pork a deep reddish brown glaze.

With this main we enjoyed the daily seasonal side of Chinese Broccoli with an orange-ginger-miso dressing topped with peanuts.  The dressing was bright and married perfectly with the crunchy fresh vegetable.  This dish was probably the most Asian of all.

For dessert we had a little bite of Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Pie and Hummingbird Truffles with fresh berries and whipped cream.  The pie was not as sticky as I anticipated, which was nice as it not fun to feel like you might loose a tooth.  The truffle was just okay.  Keith liked it more than me, but I was underwhelmed and would have preferred a real slice of moist cake to really taste the pineapple flavors.  The fresh whipped cream was the best thing on the plate.  Full of vanilla flavor, I could eat of whole bowl of this with the fresh berries.

All in all we had a great meal for a great deal at Succotash.  Apparently we were impressive eaters, as Colin mentioned how proud he was of us, stating how most diners tap out after the first set of mains. (This is not the first time we've been told this at restaurants - ha! I guess being a food blogger has given me lots of practice, my friends.  LOL!)  We didn't finish everything though, and had some collard greens and ribs leftover which Colin happily bagged up for us to take home.  The set priced Taste of the South option is excellent for large groups, as it makes sharing easy and splitting the check even easier.  The Asian fusion into the Southern fare was subtle, but provided just enough twist on the soulful menu.  Many of the items were standouts, and I would return here again.

September 2019: Michelin Guide named this restaurant to its list of Bib Gourmand in DC - those restaurants that offer "excellent food at a reasonable price."

What Micky Eats...
Total Rating: 4.05
Food: 4, Price: 4, Service: 4, Ambience: 4, Accessibility: 5

Succotash Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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