The Occidental

4.3
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2317 reviews
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$31 to $50
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American
The Occidental has long been a destination for presidents, residents, & visitors to enjoy refined American cuisine, cocktails & history around the same table.

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What 2317 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.3based on recent ratings
4.2
Food
4.2
Service
4.4
Ambience
3.9
Value
Noise · Quiet
83% of people would recommend it to a friend
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MS
vipMarkST
Washington DC
35 reviews
Dined on 14 March 2020
Overall3Food2Service5Ambience5

I love the history, what a place. But, at least the night we were there, Saturday, March 14, early virus hysteria, the food was forgettable. Very sad. I've had excellent food there in the past. But on 03/14 my family and I had an entirely mediocre, if expensive, dinner.

LL
LindaL
1 review
Dined on 11 March 2020
Overall4Food4Service5Ambience4

Always have a good meal here. Classic traditional DC vibe.

OT
OpenTable Diner
San Diego
1 review
Dined on 11 March 2020
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

So good. Great experience.

TJ
vipTJH3
Washington DC
21 reviews
Dined on 7 March 2020
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience4

Great meal before the National Theatre show. Highly recommend for an outstanding meal.

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
New England
3 reviews
Dined on 7 March 2020
Overall1Food1Service1Ambience3

My server was really rude. Didn’t bring us bread yet brought to other tables. His colleague told him we had asked for something. Our server, on his way walking towards us, rolled his eyes and sighed. The food was honestly was not good either.. For the value, I could go somewhere else with better service. Great ambiance, just had my mood ruined

JB
JoeB
Washington DC
10 reviews
Dined on 3 March 2020
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Tasty food. Convenient to the theatre. We will be back!

P
Patsy
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on 3 March 2020
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Service was great. Our waiter was charming, funny and knowledgeable. The food was fresh and perfectly prepared.

W
vipWine4me
Washington DC
77 reviews
Dined on 3 March 2020
Overall4Food5Service4Ambience5

Had fabulous meals for lunch. We all did specials, shrimp por’ boy was great! Restaurant wasn’t too busy, maybe 1/3 full. Service was OK but not as attentive as expected. Spoke to manager, very appreciative of feedback, definitely will return.

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Washington DC
38 reviews
Dined on 29 February 2020
Overall5Food4Service1Ambience4

UPDATE
Upon my initial review management was quick to contact my to resolve the issue. I was very impressed with their willingness to reach out and apologize and this quick effort will keep me coming back as a regular patron which makes me happy considering the food is so good.

Pros - Food and atmosphere

Cons - Service. Our server (an older Italian man) was very blunt and crass. He was incredibly slow in taking our drink orders and delivering them. However the most disappointing part of the night which really ruined my experience was when I ate a dish he told me was “very spicy” during the order process and when it came very bland I asked him why and he said “Oh yeah I noticed that they didn’t add the pepper to it and I asked and they said they were out of it”. So I responded “well why didn’t you tell me that before delivering the dish I would’ve ordered something else”. He then said “uh, yeah sorry”. Then he had the audacity to charge me for the dish on my bill!! I really want to like this restaurant but unless I hear back from management I doubt I’ll be back again.

S
vipSandy
Richmond
26 reviews
Dined on 29 February 2020
Overall3Food3Service4Ambience2

We went for our 40th wedding anniversary. I ordered the Norwegian salmon which was so so. My husband had the French onion soup and roasted bobo poussin which he enjoyed. The wine was good. The dessert was a linder torte which was pretty heavy and very average. There were free refills on the lemonade. No mention was made of our anniversary and nothing special was done.

MC
MichaelC
New York Area
1 review
Dined on 24 February 2020
Overall4Food5Service3Ambience5

The food was terrific. But the side did not arrive on time. The manager took the cost off the bill. This was a gracious act. Our server was in training. He had difficulty answering questions about the food. Would have been better if he just honestly said "I haven't tried that, but I can get more information for you.". Overall, it was a good experience!

AZ
AntenehZ
1 review
Dined on 22 February 2020
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Had a great time! The food was so great!!! Definitely will go back. It is a little pricy, so definitely not a regular night out, it has to be for a date, occasion, etc.

a
amateurfoodies
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on 21 February 2020
Overall3Food3Service4Ambience4

Service was great, a little slow for an early dinner but very professional. The ambiance was great, with photos and portraits covering the walls. The food was unremarkable with fairly small portions on the fixed price menu, but it was fresh and well prepared.

LO
LorenaO
1 review
Dined on 21 February 2020
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

This spot is classic! Our waiter was so friendly and attentive and of course the food was delicious. We got the pre theatre menu and it was perfect.

HD
HelenD
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on 18 February 2020
Overall4Food4Service3Ambience4

Took an awfully long time to get our food but otherwise the food was good.

the waiter who offered to validate our parking did not disclose that a fee would be added to the bill. He also was careless and didn’t put the full stamp on our parking ticket (a key piece with a number was missing) so the valet refused to honor it. So beware! Parking came to $38 with the $10 bucks added to our bill plus full cost of valet

BN
BobN
Washington DC
6 reviews
Dined on 18 February 2020
Overall5Food4Service5Ambience5

The crab soup was flavorful and devine. The ravioli very good, but not as eye-watering as the soup - as the soup knocked me over with its flavor. The service and ambience superb.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Washington DC
4 reviews
Dined on 15 February 2020
Overall4Food4Service3Ambience4

Service was not at the expected level. New York Streep was excellent

M
Markie
Washington DC
8 reviews
Dined on 14 February 2020
Overall3Food2Service4Ambience4

Service was good and atmosphere was nice but food quality was only fair. Expectation was much higher than provided.

AP
AnthonyP
Chicago
1 review
Dined on 14 February 2020
Overall3Food4Service3Ambience3

Sadly, I would not recommend this restaurant for Valentine’s Day. The menu was prefix. I like having more choice. And, our experience was that service was extremely slow. Indeed, we had to ask multiple times for assistance, bread service, drinks, order taking, etc. In someways, it appeared we were forgotten. And, for at least two courses, we received the wrong dish. The prefix menu was $100 per person. That cost is high considering the service. Our past experiences have been outstanding. That is why we chose this restaurant. additionally, our advice is to reserve seating in the main dining room on the ground floor. The Valentine’s Day seating was on the second floor and packed in tightly. Thank you.

SH
vipStephanieH
Nashville
16 reviews
Dined on 14 February 2020
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Fantastic meal and service!

AV
vipAdrianaV
Washington DC
23 reviews
Dined on 14 February 2020
Overall4Food4Service5Ambience4

Came here for Valentine’s Day and it was great

OT
OpenTable Diner
Washington DC
4 reviews
Dined on 14 February 2020
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Great Valentines Dinner! For a last minute reservation the Occidental was great! Great setting, amazing food, awesome service! Thanks!!!

J
vipJeanine
Washington DC
4 reviews
Dined on 14 February 2020
Overall3Food3Service3Ambience4

Slow service. Undercooked meat!

MH
vipMiscHuman
Miami
35 reviews
Dined on 8 February 2020
Overall3Food5Service2Ambience4

Most of the complaints about the Occidental on this and other sites seem to focus on weak service. Our experience mirrored that. We were seated quickly, and found the restaurant clean, comfortable, and pleasantly-appointed. The photos of various customers from over the decades gave us a fun pass time of playing “who is that?” Our server was an older fellow with a distinctive mustache, a jovial manner, and an accent that may have been Italian. We ordered wine, and it was exceptional, and worth the not-inconsequential price.

We placed our orders, and the appetizer arrived, was enjoyed, and its remains taken away.

Then we waited. And waited some more. The server did not come by to explain or even notice that our food was so long in coming.

Eventually, the food was served; it was cool, which makes me think that the kitchen had finished it in a timely fashion, but the waiter had forgotten about it. Our entrees were still delicious, despite being less-than-hot, but the fries were stone cold and inedible. We got the attention of another server (ours was missing in action, as per usual), and they quickly got us some hot fries.

At the end of the meal, our waiter delivered the bill, and a final insult: inverting the wine bottle to dump the dregs in my glass.

It is a shame that a restaurant with such excellent food and wine allows such incompetent servers to undermine the experience.

KK
vipKevinK
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on 8 February 2020
Overall1Food3Service1Ambience1

Service was terrible. Food was delayed. Side dishes not served until the entrees. Drink order we had to wait for 10+ minutes after being seated. Table location was jammed in a corner that made it difficult to get out of the chairs. I’ve never had a disappointing experience there like this. Very out of character but this was substandard service all the way.

I
vipIndydiner
Indiana
117 reviews
Dined on 7 February 2020
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Food and service were amazing

VD
VetnonD
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on 6 February 2020
Overall5Food5Service4Ambience5

Good service. Great food in a relaxed seating

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review