Ethiopic Reigns on Lower H Street

Now readers of last weekend’s Saturday Post know what denizens of H Street have known for months: Ethiopic makes killer kitfo (read Tom Sietsema’s review here).

Now that the restaurant has undergone a lengthy refurbishment, diners can enjoy a more polished aethetic experience while sustaining the same high caliber of Ethiopian food that DCists have come to expect.  Yes, Ethiopian food has for years been synonomous with U Street, but since Ethiopic opened last year, the flavor has spread eastward.

The new Ethiopic features a fresh and clean exterior (sadly, the choice to a Comic Sans font was made–and we know there’s nothing comic about Comic Sans).  Floor to ceiling plate glass windows show the tables inside as well as large Ethiopian-style paintings facing outwards.

The ambiance inside is semi-formal, with, I’ll just say it, beautiful Ethiopian waitresses smiling encouragingly at you as you navigate the menu.  They will give you a tutorial if you’ve never eaten Ethiopian fare before, but here’s a primer–injera is the tortilla-like spongy bread, served cold and used to pick up the food.  Kitfo is the marinated steak tartare.  Tibs is a spicy lamb dish.

But really, you can’t go wrong with the Vegetarian Sampler.  It’s a little safer (in case you’re eating with someone who doesn’t particularly enjoy raw meat; and we know they’re out there) and it gives a broader range.  What Ethiopian food does with veggies is like what Hank Williams does with a four bar refrain: magic.  If you do get the Veggie Sampler, add a whole fried fish for a few bucks more to complete your eating-with-your-hands experience.

Ethiopic is located at 4th and H Streets, NE, surrounded by new businesses like The Big Board and Tru Orleans.  The food is fresh and delicious, the experience is engaging, and the location and price are right.  What are you waiting for?


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