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I’m not sure why I always want to call this restaurant “The Flying Goat,” especially since to my knowledge flying goats don’t exist, but fainting goats do. Their logo is an upside-down goat, but that’s just logistics.

Walking into the U St. restaurant, I noticed the lighting. Fainting Goat was a little too dark for me, but it definitely added to that cozy feeling and “neighborhood joint” vibe. The seats at the bar downstairs were already taken (not bad for a Monday at 5:30pm), but not to fear, the friendly hostess told me there was a bar upstairs too. Check. Bartender acknowledging me the second I sat down? Check number two.

I started with the recommended cocktail “Not so dark, a little stormy.” Made with Santa Theresa Solera Rum, house ginger soda, kaffir lime juice and candy ginger, it looked like an Arnold Palmer and should have been called “Not so dark, a lot spicy.” I love spice, and this is one of my new favorite drinks.

To my delight, the menu goes the Rose’s Luxury way, simple and to the point, instead of reading like an epic novel. It’s divided up into four sections — nibble, graze, chomp, feed — with each category featuring about four items. The dishes’ descriptions were also interesting, reading more like a list of ingredients than descriptions. For example: “Leeks: romesco, buttermilk, lemon” and “Goat: turnip, carrots, red wine.”

I started with a dish off the “nibble” option Garden: heirloom vegetables, garlic, ginger. The presentation was phenomenal with wonderful colors and plating. The taste? It was okay. The vegetables were overcooked; I found the potatoes unnecessary, and the popcorn had too much seasoning.

I moved on to the fluke ceviche from the Graze portion. I could have ordered two more of these; it was that good. I just wish the fish had been firmer. The Brucey’s Cocktail has received a lot of love on Yelp, and it lived up to the hype. Smoked lemon juice, Don Ciccio & Figli Limoncello, Silver Tree Vodka, Averna glazed grilled lemon wheel = winner.

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Brucey's Cocktail #thefaintinggoat

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During other visits I’ve tried the porchetta sandwich under Chomp, which I liked, but it needed just a little more flavor…still ate the entire thing; the pork fries which were amazing; and the beef, which I thought was okay, and I especially loved the price point ($23). Back to drinks, I enjoyed the prosecco on tap and Kumquat Fashioned. FYI, if you are a vegetarian, Fainting Goat is not for you.

The Fast Five

  • The Music: LOVED the music selection.
  • The Vibe: Cozy yet funky. If it’s packed at 5:30pm, I can’t imagine what it’s like on the weekends.
  • The Decor: Nice touches of light colored wood and attention to detail.
  • The Service: Wonderful service from this picky person!
  • The Verdict: Great addition to the neighborhood. This is the place to go for imaginative, well-developed cocktails (and a great beer list).

Want more? I don’t normally send people to Yelp, but I found most of the reviews surprisingly accurate. Pssst…Fainting Goat will start serving brunch soon.

Feature photo courtesy of Fainting Goat