A few weeks ago, my boyfriend took me for dinner and drinks at Circa. I live in Dupont so I walk by the resto almost everyday. After 2 years of walking by and wondering about it, I decided to finally give it a try.
Circa is a small, upscale yet casual cafe-style restaurant located at the corner of Connecticut and Q Northwest- just north of Dupont Circle. The atmosphere is inviting and the waitstaff is very friendly.
We chose to dine on the patio which was ideal for people watching. If you are familiar with the Dupont area, you know there is tons of foot traffic and all kinds of interesting folks to check out.
We started with drinks. Circa offers a variety of creative cocktails and a fairly standard wine and beer list. Although the wine list is short, it offers different tasting options in 3oz or 6oz glasses, or by the bottle. I liked having the option because you could have a half glass if you didnt’ feel like having a full glass of wine, or you could have several small tastings of the various wines on the menu without having to buy a preset wine flight. I loved this option!
Our first dish was the fried calamari. Being a sweet southern gal, I’m a sucker for almost anything fried. The calamari itself was tasty, but pretty typical. The interesting aspect of the dish is that it came tossed with fried pickles, zucchini, squash and jalapenos. The pickles and the jalapenos gave the dish a lot of extra flavor and heat and added a delightfully unexpected dimention of taste. I highly recommend this dish.
Next, we had the halibut. We both ordered the dish because it sounded so promising…served with a vodka grapefruit beurre blanc. But, I’m sad to say this dish was a huge disappointment. The fish was underseasoned and undercooked. The grapefruit was very bitter and did not compliment the other flavors of the dish. And, the fish was served atop a bed of dry cous cous and tiny, shriveled, overcooked asparagus. Rather than being a robust, flavorful dish, it was really wimpy. Not good. I informed both the manager and the waiter about how unpleasant the dish was. Although they offered their apologies and free dessert, they did not offer to take even one of the entrees off the bill. I’m sorry, but to me, that’s not how you run a restaurant. I didn’t want free dessert, I wanted a decent meal and since I didn’t have a decent meal, I thought I should not have been charged for it (or at least not for all of it). In any case, you have been warned against the halibut.
Overall, I really like Circa as a place to sit outside and have a drink or two and maybe some apps. The food is overpriced so I don’t recommend it for dinner. Have any of you tried Circa? If so, leave a comment telling me about your dining experience.
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