Answers from Our Experts (1)
The menu changes seasonally at the Occidental Grill & Seafood, because chef Randy Scruggs likes to feature the best ingredients available throughout the year. Here are the five best offerings on the menu at the steak and seafood restaurant next to the Forbes Travel Guide recommended Willard InterContinental hotel in Washington, D.C.:
1. Specialty cocktails. Since D.C. is known for the cherry trees, the bar features a selection of cherry-themed cocktails using international cherry liqueurs. We suggest the smooth and powerful Capoeira, which features Brazilian cachaça, the white Italian cherry liqueur called maraschino, lime and ginger beer.
2. Entrée salads. This is a healthy and relatively affordable to eat like a queen or king at the Occidental. Our editors adored the Grilled Chicken Paillard, a succulent chicken breast over baby greens, asparagus and mushrooms in a black truffle vinaigrette, the Bison Hanger Steak Salad and the Occidental’s Niçoise style salad of grilled yellow fin tuna paired with slender green beans, black olives and tender new baby potatoes.
3. Side dishes. The restaurant's side dishes are kind of a steal. The sides change seasonally, yet all are generously portioned and tempting. You might compete with your dining companies to see who gets the last of the $6 sautéed Brussels sprouts with pancetta, or the final cherry tomatoes sautéed with herbs and olive oil.
3. Local seafood. The waters around Washington, D.C., in general and nearby Chesapeake Bay in particular are teeming with regional seafood that are deliciously featured at Occidental. Try the Point Judith calamari, War Shore Battle Creek oysters on the half shell or pan-seared rockfish, a meaty, white filet prepared simply.
4. The burger. Of course, sometimes you’re craving a juicy burger. The Black Angus beef burger at Occidental satisfies; top it with your choice of applewood-smoked bacon, pickled jalapeño peppers, basil pesto or sautéed onions and mushrooms. Whichever you choose, rest assured your burger will be cooked to order and paired with tempting French fries.
5. Warm cookies. For a dessert that takes you back to childhood, try the Occidental’s selection of signature cookies. The varieties and flavors change often, but they're always warm and freshly baked. Three can be had for $5, or order five cookies for $9.