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Marvin - 11 Reviews - 2007 14th St NW, Washington, DC - Bars, Pubs & Clubs Reviews - Phone (202) 797-7171


2007 14th St NW (at Between U Street and V Street)
Washington, DC 20009
(202) 797-7171
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Bars, Pubs & Clubs , Restaurants

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Food & Dining


Marvin - Washington, DC
Marvin - Washington, DC
Marvin - Washington, DC
Marvin - Washington, DC


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Best Scallops in town...


The food was generally good, especially the chicken and waffles. The dessert was burned, and as we were going to the theater, I didn't have time to wait to have it re-made. The se...

rude jerks 3/12/2012

Left my credit card at Marvin Saturday night. They refuse to give it back until after 5:30 pm Monday. Incredible. How is that legal? more

Dinner at Marvin did not disappoint 7/15/2010

I've been to Marvin a couple of times for the bar and have generally had a good time. The last time, however, it was so packed upstairs and outside, we were forced to hang at the bar downstairs before moving on. I'm definitely glad we spent some time down there though, because it gave me a chance to see and smell the food, which convinced me to go back for dinner. To be on the safe side, we checked with OpenTable to make a reservation before heading over, but were told we couldn't make one between 6:30 and 8:30. When we called the restaurant, they recommended just walking in, and when we arrived at a little before 7:00, we were seated right away to a relatively empty restaurant. It filled up quickly, and you could tell because they pack a lot of little tables into a not very big space. Other than it being a bit cramped, I like the atmosphere of dim lighting, dark wood, and lots of candles. We got the goat cheese croquettes with fig sauce to start and they were delightful. For my meal, I went with the mussels in the dijonaise sauce. They had 5 or 6 different sauce options for the mussels, and all sounded delicious, but our waitress recommended this one. The heaping bowl of mussels came with a huge thing of fries, and my meal definitely could have been split for two (with a salad would have been perfect). I also tried the pea and ricotta ravioli, which I really enjoyed. Overall, I thought the food was good and would definitely go back for dinner. Pros: Good food, reasonably priced Cons: Tables are pretty close together, somewhat cramped more

fun dinner spot 7/7/2010

This is a great spot to grab dinner with friends or get drinks on the rooftop when it's nice out. The downstairs has a cool, trendy, yet laid back vibe. I went here for dinner the other night and had a fantastic time. We ordered the scallops, shrimp and grits, and white wine and garlic moules frites to start, which were all really good (especially the fries and grits!). My chicken and waffles were really good...the chicken was very juicy and cripsy, though I didn't really care much for the waffle. Everyone really enjoyed their dishes. Our waitress was awesome, especially when she brought me a sampling of the draft beers when I couldn't decide which one to get. This is definitely a place to check out...just make sure you have a reservation if you go on a weekend. Pros: cool ambience, solid menu Cons: rooftop bar can get crowded more

So close to amazing 4/25/2010

Was expecting this place to be another bastion of indifferent, hipster mediocrity devoid of customer service, but I must say I was pleasantly surprised and it was a pretty good experience. Once you got past the off-putting bizzaro rainbow brite hostess, the place is pretty decent. The outdoor deck, while sparse, is a nice option but definitely could use a little more lighting. Once we were seated, we were greeted by a pleasant and decent enough server - didn't really distinguish himself but then again didn't disappoint either, which is sometimes a victory in itself. Thought the food was really good, everyone at the table enjoyed their food, and I thought it was appropriately priced. Would give it 5 stars if I thought it had a little more character, which I think it relies on in name only. Pros: great staff and food Cons: lacks ambiance and vibrancy more

Groovy Restaurant and Bar, Hip U Street Crowd 4/21/2010

This is one of my favorite U Street restaurants. This uber-hip bistro is named after Marvin Gaye and is full of soul and spirit. The menu is comprised of home-cooked classics and uniquely blends belgian-style and classic southern comfort foods. The perfect example of this food marriage: The Country Fried Chicken and Waffles. Upstairs you'll find a lounge and rooftop bar, which are perfect gathering places, especially when the weather is warmer. Pros: Unique menu items, fun atmosphere Cons: Space isn't very large more

so-so 2/15/2010

The food was generally good, especially the chicken and waffles. The dessert was burned, and as we were going to the theater, I didn't have time to wait to have it re-made. The service was friendly, but not very efficient. And the space, despite it being early, was LOUD. I wanted to like the place, and I hope that in their new place (on Georgia Ave!) they make a few changes - better service and a quieter space! more

Lovely Sunday Brunch 1/22/2010

My favorite DC brunch spot - and I don't really enjoy the act of brunching. The food is always delicious - classically prepared french flare and the best part is that you hardly ever have to wait. I also get caught up in the amazing subway tiles and white marble bar slab. Pros: Funky interior, Croque Madame Cons: No reservations more

Great atmosphere - can be fave spot bar for anyone 1/6/2010

The bartenders knew their stuff, and there was a diverse, but not TOO diverse crowd there. I think that most anyone could walk into Marvin and feel comfortable, whether you are the preppiest of the preppy, or the hippest of the hipsters. Great place to bring visiting friends from out of town. Pros: Laid back crowd, welcoming atmosphere Cons: Only one bathroom more

Every dish was good 12/28/2009

My family recently ate dinner at Marvin before a the theatre. They were very accommodating to us when we were almost half an hour late for our reservation. They knew we were pressed for time, and took our orders and served us quickly (but without us feeling rushed). The food was all very good. Each of the four entrees we ordered (fried chicken, roasted rockfish, pork shank and lobster)was delicious. In addition, I think one of the hallmarks of a good restaurant is how well they do a salad of simple greens and housemade vinaigrette. Marvin definitely passed the test on that. We did not order dessert, but decaf coffee was served in a large (enough for 2) French press pot. The service was not overly friendly, but competent. We will go back. more

2008 Fall Dining Guide 10/11/2008

2008 Dining Guide 2008 Fall Dining Guide By Tom Sietsema Washington Post Staff Writer Sunday, Oct. 12, 2008 Black, white, straight, gay, young and not-so-young: They're all gathered on U Street NW in what looks as if it's been around for decades rather than merely one year. The two-story restaurant and bar (love that rooftop deck!) give off a sexy, European vibe; a big portrait of singer and Washington native Marvin Gaye in the center of the dining room reveals the owners' source of inspiration. The menu is a hybrid of Southern charmers (fried chicken and waffles) and Belgian hits (moules frites in five flavors), and the biggest surprise to most newbies is how smoothly they integrate. Spoiling the party for some of us is the noise, which is avoided only if you dine early. But I'd be willing to read lips through dinner if it meant a chance to dig into Marvin's very good duck confit with tangy beets, scallops poised on nests of melting leeks or profiteroles in what could pass for a hot spot in Brussels. more

Best Scallops in town... 9/5/2008

Best Scallops in town... more

Best Scallops in town... 9/5/2008

inalehk Provided by Partner
Best Scallops in town... more

What's Goin' On? 3/22/2008

Sietsema Review What's Goin' On? By Tom Sietsema Washington Post Staff Writer March 23, 2008 Chicken and waffles on the same menu as waterzooi, Belgium's classic marriage of cream and seafood? "I love Southern cuisine," explains Eric Hilton, one of four co-owners of the new Marvin restaurant and lounge. Hilton, a local music producer, also claims an appreciation for European culture and the late Motown star Marvin Gaye, who spent time recovering from professional and personal troubles in Belgium in the early 1980s. Gaye, says Hilton, "is my favorite singer and a native son" of Washington. All of which explains the hybrid bill of fare and the life-size profile of Gaye at one of the most engaging bistros to debut on the restaurant scene in several years.There's no flashy sign announcing what's inside 2007 14th St. NW. Instead, discreet stenciling on the door and a bucket of champagne in the window suggest that the owners want to keep things low-key. Aside from a hostess who doesn't want to seat you until your entire party is present and accounted for, Marvin gives off a warm vibe. The dining room, dressed with framed chalkboards listing wines by the glass and naked light bulbs plunging from the ceiling, looks as if it had been imported from Brussels, and the tunes are a soulful mix of funk, jazz and even (Jamaican) ska. In a city whose restaurants sometimes fail to reflect the existence of Washington's large African American population, Marvin is a happy exception, although the clientele represents a rainbow coalition of faces and ages. It might take a visit or two to find the treasures on the menu. I know they do not include the baby-back ribs, whose flavor is compared by a dining companion to lighter fluid (accurately, I should add). Nor would I reorder the dry hamburger, or the French onion soup, an uptight version that lacks much depth in its broth. Marvin's firm and cheesy grits outshine their decoration in a starter of shrimp and grits, and a trio of sea scallops set on braised leeks and lapped with a vague butter sauce fails to seduce me. When a friend orders a salad of dandelion greens, our waiter says, "You know they're bitter, right?" Sure enough, they bite, a situation intensified by the presence of lemon and fennel in what amounts to a bush of greens. A few leaves go a long way. "Liver 'n onions," on the other hand, is an haute hoot: seared foie gras and a nest of caramelized Vidalia onions. Priced like an entree at $15, the first course is also delicious. The pedigreed stars get welcome support from sweet pears and a splash of Banyuls vinegar. Another appealing introduction, a combination that would taste right at home in a Parisian bistro, is the duck confit, framed with tangy pickled beets and a drift of goat cheese. The appetizer that says Belgium more than any other: cheese croquettes, hot and crisp, and chilled out with a little salad. The kitchen aces some of its Belgian and soul food creations, frequently adding a sophisticated touch to the standards. But the flair, in keeping with the owners' philosophy, is pretty affordable; main courses average $18. From the start, Hilton wanted his new place to offer "food you can eat often" (along with "music you can listen to often"). I've never met a mussel I didn't like here. Served in big white bowls, the steamed seafood comes with a choice of accents that you might wish you could buy by the jar: white wine and shallots; bacon, leeks and beer; creamy mushroom sauce; a zippy coconut curry; and gumbo, which demands a loaf of bread to mop up every drop. The pleasure doesn't stop with the tiny, meaty mussels. Every bit as tempting are their long and luscious french fries -- fried the best way, twice -- which show up with a tray of ketchup, wasabi-spiked mayonnaise and curry-laced mayonnaise (my weakness). The waterzooi could siphon fans from Brasserie Beck and Belga Cafe, until now Washington's best-known sources of Belgian food. The version at Marvin is big and beautiful, a craggy shrine to lobster, shrimp and mussels in a subtle cream sauce emboldened with wine and clam juice, and broadened with diced carrots and potatoes.The sea of fish has competition, though, in the fried sole, which is teased into a long golden coil that rises dramatically from a smoky bed of collards and (unnecessary) white asparagus. The entree's light breading crackles; its flesh is deliciously moist. The other Southern staple to consider is chicken and waffles, which is just that -- a nice piece of fried chicken atop a single thick waffle, or "breakfast and dinner," as one of my friends put it while drizzling maple syrup on the a.m. component. At its best, that waffle is light and tan, though I've also had one with scorch marks on it. Not every dish at Marvin looks abroad or down South. The braised pork shank, for instance, is simply a terrific haunch of meat poised on lentils sweetened with diced carrot and garnished with gently cooked haricots verts. Marvin is a place to hang as well as to eat, a reality underscored by an intimate, second-floor lounge (with a DJ every night of the week) and a long, semi-covered deck that is bound to become a solid gold destination in the summer months, if not now. The formula might feel familiar; the owners of Marvin also count Washington's popular Eighteenth Street Lounge and Local 16 in their portfolio. Marvin's knowledgeable servers take what they do, but not themselves, seriously. Staff members also seem to get along unusually well. Chef James Claudio, soon to be 25, is a 2003 graduate of the California Culinary Academy in San Francisco and Hilton's stepson; his sous-chef, Brendan L'Etoile, 25, is the former executive sous-chef at Willow in Arlington and Claudio's best friend from grammar school. "I'm telling you," Hilton says in a phone conversation, "people are tight." The restaurateur was talking about his team, but he could just have well been referring to the way its fans feel about Marvin, warts and all. more
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Menu for Marvin

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  • Marvin is an always-popular U Street bistro and bar; the downstairs restaurant serves a mix of Belgian-style classics and American South staples--such as chicken and waffles--while the upstairs bar...

  • 1/19/2010 Provided by Citysearch

Additional information

  • Hours:

    Mon-Thu: 5pm-2am, Fri-Sat: 5pm-3am, Sun: 5pm-2am, 10:30am-3pm
  • Payments:

    Master Card, American Express, Visa, Diner's Club, Discover
  • Neighborhoods:

    Northwest, Northwest Washington, Cardozo / Shaw