Lincoln pays homage to namesake with classic American dining fare

With paintings of President Abraham Lincoln adorning the walls and pennies arranged in a mosaic on the floor, a new restaurant in McPherson Square that bears the name of the 16th president stays true to its theme.

An upscale restaurant, Lincoln strives to bring diners farm-fresh food and interesting cocktails.

“We feel like the name Lincoln represents a lot more than just that he was the president. It represents what he accomplished as a president: liberty and freedom of expression; and those are the things that you can see in the restaurant,” the restaurant’s proprietor Alan Popovsky said.

“The food gives you freedom from what you can usually find in restaurants, where you’re not sure where your ingredients came from. We’re focused on making sure the customer knows that we are bringing things fresh.”

The restaurant’s decor pays exhaustive homage to its namesake, filled with oversized white chairs that evoke the marble throne Lincoln sits upon in his memorial on the National Mall.

The American food and Lincoln-inspired cocktails are mouthwatering. Popovsky said the restaurant places a particular focus on its cocktails and recommends the Emancipation Punch, a mixture of gin, chamomile, clove, lemon, lavender and Cuca Fresca cachaca, a Brazilian rum. A bowl of punch serves six.

The Lincoln Sour, a mixture of Knob Creek, Laird’s Applejack, lime, egg white and barkeep apple, had the perfect bite. The Lady Lincoln, a mix of Hendrick’s gin, St. Germain, a house prosecco and lavender sprigs, is a drink for imbibers with a taste for sweet cocktails.

The dinner menu is a compilation of small plates that are meant to be shared among friends or with that special someone in your life. The waiter recommended two to three plates per person to create a full meal.

Lincoln is the creation of chef Demetrio Zavala, who moved from Hudson, the upscale restaurant in the West End. The menu is focused on making all of its food from scratch and with healthy, fresh ingredients.

The rich and decadent macaroni and cheese, made with smoked Gouda, Parmesan and sharp cheddar cheese, was cooked to perfection. Another great choice is the beef short rib, cooked to melt-in-your-mouth tenderness. The rib is placed over a puree of roasted parsnips that only adds to the decadence of the dish.

The restaurant, which puts an emphasis on using locally grown ingredients, also has a host of vegetarian dishes, including a fresh kale salad tossed with hazelnuts, dried cranberries, parmesan and a tangy lemon vinaigrette. Other vegetarian options include a spaghetti squash gratin with Parmigiano Reggiano, parsley and sage, and a spring gnocchi with English peas, ramps, asparagus and portobello mushrooms.

And the staff is friendly, knowledgeable and welcoming, rounding off a great experience.
Overall, Lincoln, located at 1110 Vermont Ave., N.W. (a stone’s throw from Lincoln’s old haunting grounds), is worth a try for its interesting theme, great food and a focus on the healthy and homemade.