Restaurant: A Rakes Progress

This restaurant is located in the new Line Hotel. The hotel has been created in what was once the First Church of Christ Scientist to which a seven story addition has been built. The hotel is located on the corner of Euclid and Champlain Streets in Adams Morgan.

This use of the church reminds me of the inside of the restaurant Succotash in the Old Equitable Cooperative Bank building at 9th and F Streets NW. (WW 161).

When you arrive at the Euclid Street entrance, which is the primary entrance to the hotel and the various restaurants, you are faced with a rather impressive massive set of stairs. There is no sign of or directions to an accessible entrance. I have since learned there is an accessible entrance around the corner on Champlain Street.

The hotel houses three restaurants, two bars and a coffee shop. Brothers and Sisters is one of several restaurants on the lobby level of the hotel. This restaurant takes reservations.

Spoken English is a standing room only restaurant. Rakes Bar is a third location for which there is a raw bar and lounge menu prepared by the chefs of A Rakes Progress. And then there is The Cup We All Race 4 which is a coffee bar. It sells sandwich breads, savories and whole grain pastries cooked on site daily.

A Rakes Progress is where Virginia and Tom and Debbie and I had dinner on a Sunday night. This restaurant is located on the mezzanine level and surrounds an atrium. From the edge of A Rakes Progress you can look down at the other restaurants and bars. (Reservations are required.)

The restaurant is the creation of Chef Spike Gjerde who also owns the Baltimore restaurant, Woodberry Kitchen.

The primary entrance to A Rakes Progress is up a winding set of stairs. However, there is an elevator at the other end of the restaurant to which you are readily directed as soon as you ask.

The main dining area seats 64, there is an upstairs balcony area that seats 28, there is room for 14 at the bar and an additional 37 in the lounge. There are 2 tops, 4 tops and 6 tops as well as bars.

A Rakes Progress has two menus. One is starters, small plates, salads, items intended to be shared, and suppers. The second menu offers desserts. The menus are printed on heavy cream colored paper folded in thirds and sealed with a nickel size piece of black sealing wax.

The menus are dated with the day of the month and the number of days that the restaurant has been open. The night we were there was day 70 and April 8, 2018.

Having gone through the menu we decided to share everything. This is the list of the dishes that we ordered: cured tidewater hams, sweet potato biscuits , gougeres and cherry jam; vegetable mille feuille, campfire cream; grilled cabbage, turmeric dressing, peanut, puff buckwheat and cilantro; winter lettuces for two with buttermilk, raw roots, torn sweet potato bread; hearth roasted young chicken buttermilk potatoes, creamed greens, roasting jus; hearth roasted lamb shoulder mint dumplings, mushrooms, carrots and herbed crumbs. It was an interesting smorgasbord.

The meal starts with a healthy piece of bread that is a composed of white spelt and whole wheat. It is then grilled, slathered in butter and sea salt from West Virginia.

A woman came by to describe the origin of the butter and salt on the toast. She introduced herself as Ashley the manager of A Rakes Progress. Prior to coming to this restaurant she worked in Miami. She was extremely friendly and somewhat entertaining.

We all agreed that each of the items above was excellent.

(I tried a dessert that was really more about the design of the dessert than the taste of the dessert.)

The service is excellent, attentive and enthusiastic. The servers and helpers are dressed casually as they choose. There are no uniforms.

The restaurant is generally quite noisy, in part because of folks having a good time and in part because of music being played from above. At some point during the evening it suddenly became much louder. I motioned to Ashley and pointed out to her that it was too loud. She acknowledged my concern (the table across from ours did the same thing) and the sound was quickly lowered.

The restrooms are a flight of stairs up to the balcony seating area of the restaurant. There is an elevator but Tom offered to handle the review of the men’s room. He returned with a series of photographs which I have used for the following. (There is some suggestion that he may have freaked out a gentleman who was using the restroom.)

The floors are covered with rectangular tiles. The walls are covered with a marble-like covering to about shoulder height. Then there is a wooden strip running around the whole room with painted surfaces above the strip except over the washbasins which are topped by a counter to ceiling mirror.

To the left as you enter there are two wall hanging urinals open to the restroom with a floor to ceiling partial wall between them. Farther to the left are two fully enclosed commode rooms with a single wall hanging white ceramic commode in each with a properly placed wall railing.

At the far end of the restroom between the commode rooms and the washbasins is a rather weird structured mirror. Tom can be seen in the mirror shooting pictures with his cell phone as someone enters or lives the restroom.

Across from the commode rooms and the urinals there is a white streaked marble counter top with three sunken white ceramic washbasins and “gold faucets.”

A Rakes Progress is only open for dinner but there you can find somewhere to eat in the Line Hotel just about 24 hours a day.

Valet parking is available.

A Rakes Progress
Line Hotel
1770 Euclid St. NW
Washington DC 20009