September 20, 2008

Divine Nine -- -- Sept. '08

Divine Nine

Stop on by Station 9

Station 9 Restaurant and Lounge has combined the history of its building and the international culture of the U Street neighborhood to bring you authentic contemporary American cuisine. Your only regret will be that you hadn’t been there sooner.

Back in 1912, 1438 U Street NW was the post office station for zone nine. Today, amidst U Street’s revitalization and diversification, 1438 is home to stand-out Station 9 Restaurant and Lounge. By fusing its building’s history and its current eclectic surroundings, Station 9 boasts a truly contemporary American menu with international flavor.

The d├ęcor of teal walls, complemented by black trimming and wood flooring, is clean cut, but just as inviting as a modern-day version of Grandma’s house. The ambiance is upscale with a casual feel, much like U Street itself. Co-owners Aymeric Saha and Samir Tazi recruited local artist David Rosenberg to design furnishings, like the spherical lighting fixtures made out of plastic cups.

Executive Chef Terrell “Chef T” Danley, two-time nominee for “Chef of the Year” by the Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington, created the sundry Station 9 menu. Some of the sumptuous appetizers are Mama’s Salmon Cake served with a delicious dried pepper mayo and Braised Oxtail. “People are always intrigued by the Grilled Calamari,” said Saha. Frequently ordered main dishes are Big Bob’s Bass with roasted corn, Pan Seared Scallops with lemon potatoes, “U” Street Steak and Mama Laura’s Chicken. It’s real comfort food. You could call it soul food, but only in the sense that you’re eating food that’s comes from the heart.

The drinks have fun, P.O.-oriented names like Goin’ Postal (Jose Cuervo, Chambord, lime, ginger ale) and Special Delivery (Bombay gin, brewed and chilled Earl Grey tea, lemon). The menu prices are reasonable on the regular, so any time is a good time to stop by if you haven’t already.

A big favorite with the restaurant clientele is the big Sunday brunch buffet. Customers pile their plates at any (and all) of the four stations: customized omelets, hot stuff like seafood and fluffy pancakes, fruits and salads, pastries. An R&B and oldies mix of “feel good” music flows throughout the room. “People are shaking their heads all while they are eating. It’s a fun thing,” said Saha.

After dinner, sometimes you get that feeling that you just aren’t ready for the night to end, but you’re not quite sure where to go next. At Station 9, all you have to do is head upstairs to the lounge area, sometimes called The Lounge at Station 9. The entire area, the private booths and single tables are regularly requested for fundraisers, birthdays, corporate events and more.

To check out the menu or to get more information, visit