For a classic institution in Washington, PJ Clarke’s sure does like to mix it up. This is a welcome and surprising change from the other American, traditional downtown restaurants that serve the same menus day-in, day-out without special functions or any sort of variety.
By contrast, PJ Clarke’s hosts fundraisers, seasonal functions, themed events and more. They have a start-of-summer patio bash, an all-you-can-eat-oyster fest, and recently hosted a lobster feast. The events are all classic and on-brand with PJ Clarke’s tradition and style, but are fun and provide something for regulars and newbies to look forward to.
Downstairs, Sidecar, the members’ only, private dining space, has a more gourmet menu and more refined service. Sidecar regularly hosts events—from book signings to cocktail tastings and more.
On this lovely summer evening, I snagged a table for two on the patio with Emily for the Lobster Feast, which benefited the One Love Foundation. The meal was a set price of $65 for your lobster dinner and all-you-can-imbibe Dark & Stormys and Port City beers. The lobster dinner was an enormous plate of two Maine lobsters, boiled New England style, wilted bliss potatoes, corn-on-the-cob and melted butter, along with peach cobbler for dessert.
The lobsters were enormous and looked lovely, but eating a full lobster in that fashion results in quite the mess of mucky green slime all over your plate. No wonder they give you lots of bibs and napkins. I typically eat lobster tails so I was unfamiliar with the crack-your-own.
The lobster was delicious, and the corn-on-the-cob buttery and flavorful. The peach cobbler, which came served in a cast iron skillet, was an absolutely delectable end to a wonderful summer evening on the patio.
I’m looking forward to next year’s lobster feast—mess and all—and to future events at PJ Clarke’s.
1600 K St. N.W.