Last week I had the chance to visit the new Bidwell at Union Market. My friend Olga was invited to check it out and took me as her +1. We arrived early in the evening on a Tuesday. It was fairly empty when we got there, but it quickly started to fill up.
The restaurant is named after General John Bidwell, an Army General in the 1800’s who was an avid farmer and developed the Bidwell melon. The restaurant’s logo is inspired by a cross-section of the flower shaped melon.
Chef John Mooney’s dishes feature local & sustainably sourced ingredients. In the spring, they will start growing some of their produce right on the roof of Union Market.
The menu is diverse and features light dishes such as fluke sashimi and lobster tacos, but it also includes more filling comfort food like braised short ribs over mashed potatoes and raclette grilled cheese.
Scott, the restaurant manager, and Inez, the kitchen supervisor, expertly explained the dishes and pointed out the featured ingredients. The staff was warm and friendly and really on point with service despite it being a brand new restaurant. They really run the kitchen like a well oiled machine.
My favorite dishes were the delicate fluke sashimi, the flavorful lobster tacos with avocado cream sauce, the crisp and tender pork belly, the perfectly grilled lamb chops, and the roasted oysters.
Also, I really liked the canella margarita. The cinnamon does not overpower the drink, it just gives it a hint of warmth and spice. Another hit was the house-made thousand islands sauce, a great combo of tart and sweet, colored with beets. It’s perfect for dipping your french fries.
Both Olga and I agree that we must go back soon. Bidwell already started serving brunch on Saturdays and Sundays. We were advised to get there early for brunch, as it quickly starts to fill up.
On the list for my next visit: the raclette grilled cheese with a slow poached egg, the house-made burrata with roasted beets and hazelnut, and the fish and chips which seemed to be one of the most popular dishes.
Check out some iPhone photos of the dishes we tried:
The canella margarita: a perfect mix of sweet and sour, with warming cinnamon.
Inez, expertly demonstrating how to use their vintage meat slicer that dates to the 1920s. If Bidwell ever wants to get rid of it, I’m happy to take it off their hands.
Charcuterie and cheese platter, with toasted flatbread, crisp bread, and honey.
Pear and Point Reyes blue cheese salad with pecans and raisins. Lobster taco with a creamy avocado-tomatillo-jalapeño sauce.
Fluke sashimi with chives, cilantro & mint, a hint of jalapeño, grapefruit segments, and citrus marinade. Delaware oysters.
Roasted oysters with garlic butter, bacon, and Parmesan.
Crisp pork belly and arugula. Grilled lamb chops.
Braised short ribs with mashed potatoes, brussels sprouts, and pan juice. Brussels sprouts with bacon.
Caramelized banana bread pudding with vanilla bean creme anglaise.
Thanks to Olga for inviting me to come along, and to Bidwell and Gail Schoenberg PR for a great evening.
Bidwell at Union Market
1309 5th St NE
Washington, DC 20002
Disclosure: Our dinner was complimentary. I was not required to write a post. All opinions are my own.