Restaurant adventurer Conlan Northcutt visited Spark and had a glowing report.
Spark at Engine Company 12 is DC’s newest smokehouse restaurant, opening its doors on Saturday February 3. Housed in the historic firehouse of Engine Company 12 in Bloomingdale, it boasts rustic interiors and a second floor event space generous enough to hold 400 people. A knowledgeable, engaging staff is ready with recommendations, tips and explanations for every menu item. Plates are meant to be shared — everyone digs in and uses copious amounts of the paper towels generously provided at the communal tables. It’s an engaging eating experience the staff has undoubtedly worked hard to create.
Highlights included the appetizer jerk chicken wings, pork belly and Wagyu beef with black butter. The chicken wings were a menu item from Old Engine 12 Firehouse restaurant that chef Peter Prime had to keep. Once you eat them, it will be no surprise why they remain on Spark’s new menu. Pork belly is crispy on the edges, succulent and fatty and melts in your mouth. And the black butter, colored by squid ink and flavor enhanced by roasted garlic, is as fun to eat as it is to watch melt over the medium rare strips of Wagyu beef.
Also, not to be dismissed as forgotten sides dishes, the bone marrow mashed potatoes and fried kale are stars of the show.
Dessert, which sounds almost unbearable after such a rich meal, is meant to entice and intrigue, and does not disappoint. The Urban Legend — Pop Rocks and cola rum syrup served with banana fritters — make an interactive event to close out the meal. And house made guava lime sorbet push pops had us reminiscing about childhood summers at the neighborhood pool.
Spark has outdone itself in presenting a feast for the eyes and the stomach. Our suggestion, go now for pork belly and fired kale, and return in the spring for cocktails on the front porch.
Full bar and happy hour specials available
1626 North Capitol Street NW