Restaurant: Lyle’s Restaurant

The Art Deco Building that houses this hotel and restaurant previously operated as the Kimpton Carlyle Hotel and a tavern, The Riggsby.

Bev, Brady, Debbie, and I went to this restaurant on May 8th, the 23rd day that the restaurant was open.

The dinner menu has four sections: For the Table, Small Plates, Entrees, and Sweets.

We shared three dishes to start the dinner; two from For the Table – Spring Pea Fritter, pepper relish and Hot Smoked Trout, cucumber, red onion, yogurt, and one from Small Plates – Ravioli, spring onion, goat cheese, asparagus.

For our entrees – Bev chose King Salmon, soy-ginger, Calrose rice, bok choy, scallion. Debbie chose Fried Chicken, hot honey, sunchoke, pickled vegetables. Brady picked Lamb Loin, fava bean, ricotta gnudi, swiss chard. I selected Local Striped Bass, green chickpea, eggplant, preserved lime.

For dessert – Bev selected Nancy’s Camembert, sour cherry, buckwheat crepes. Debbie went with Strawberries, rhubarb, lavender, lime, meringue chips. I picked Banana Bread, chocolate, walnut. Brady did not order dessert but managed to “share” all of the others as did each of us.

Our server was Isaac. He was excellent, I was particularly taken with his ability to describe in intimate detail each of the dishes that we asked about.

The service was excellent. For example, when Bev and I ordered espressos that were not hot when served, we noted it to one of the servers who was walking by, not our regular server, who quickly whisked them away and a few minutes later new espressos were delivered that were definitely hot.

We also noted that the servers and related personnel all wear white sneakers.

The restaurant seats up to 150 people at a time including a private dining room that seats up to 10 people. But under current D.C. rules, the restaurant can only operate at 25% of capacity.

The main dining room is a series of booths and groups of tables. We shared a booth designed for four people.

You enter the restaurant on a ramp that runs from the lobby of the hotel in two tracks to the level on which the restaurant is located. When you first enter that area, you come across a series of small booths and tables and a long bar that is lined by 18 backless stools. That bar does not seem to be in use at the moment. Once you get past the bar you find the reception station at which you check in for your reservation in the main restaurant.

The women’s and men’s rooms that service the restaurant and the hotel lobby are on the same level as the restaurant and bar down a short hall. The two clearly marked restrooms are across from one another.

As you enter the men’s room, immediately to the left is a black ceramic countertop containing three white ceramic sunken wash basins headed by mirrors and various faucets, etc. Next to the countertop is a door that opens onto a white ceramic commode with appropriate support bars.

To the right are two facing white ceramic wall attached urinals with partial walls on the side of the urinal that is exposed to the rest of bathroom.

The walls throughout the restroom are covered with light blue square tiles. The floors are covered with black ceramic tiles.

There was only one glitch throughout the entire evening, and a small one at that.

The hotel offers valet parking for $20 if you are going to the restaurant. This is the one thing that did not work for us on this visit. The valet was on hand to take our car when we arrived but when we went to the front door to depart, the person handling retrieval of cars was involved in a long conversation with someone and when he finally found our car key and headed out to get our car he seemed to have disappeared. Debbie mentioned it to the front desk and one of the people there quickly responded by coming to the front door and looking for the valet. It turns out that the underground parking garage that the restaurant uses is three blocks from the hotel.

In the future we will come by cab, Uber, or Lyft.

Lyle’s Restaurant
Lyle Hotel
1731 New Hampshire Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20009