Good Grub Sans Media Fanfare at Chef Geoff’s in Washington, DC
March 4, 2014
WASHINGTON, DC, US – In an age when the Food Network has made the world’s top chefs international celebrities, it’s refreshing when accomplished cooks are humble enough to interface with the world primarily on a first-name basis. That’s definitely the case with local DC darling Geoff Tracy, better known to the world as “Chef Geoff.”
Appropriately, the culinary wizard has named his local chainlet of DC-area restaurants Chef Geoff’s. And the eclectic American menus and Southern-tinged service are just as humble as the down-to-earth executive chef at the helm.
We’re partial to the heart-of-downtown location on Pennsylvania Avenue across from Warner Theater. It’s aptly placed for a lunch break during downtown business or a casual dinner to cap off a day of sightseeing nearby on the National Mall. It may look a bit schmancy (white table cloths, wood wainscoting, and candlelight), but don’t worry: it’s actually a laidback spot for a good burger and a beer. This is especially true at happy hour (all day Monday and Tuesday and Wednesday-Sunday from 3:00pm-7:00pm), when generous burgers are around $7 and pints of draft beer are $4.95.
The menus truly have something for everyone. For basic palates, in addition to those hearty burgers, there are pizzas, soups, salads, and sandwiches. For more gourmet appetites, there are treats like gouda-stuffed risotto balls, tuna tartare, and beet/goat cheese ravioli. Those craving international tastes can sink into lamb samosas, miso-glazed salmon, and pad thai. Vegetarians have an easy time of it with choices like the black bean burger, steamed edamame, and curried veggie sandwich.
Special menus allow for either decadent indulgence or health-conscious restraint. Wednesdays and Thursdays bring the “Bacon Bar” menu, a shrine to the swine. Pork infuses every selection off this menu from appetizers to mains to even dessert and drinks! You might start with a pepper bacon spinach salad, move on to braised mini pork shanks, finish with maple tres leches with candied bacon, and wash it all down with pork slap pale ale. On the other hand, the dedicated gluten-free menu (available daily) caters to those with health concerns without sacrificing flavor, whether it’s white truffle-parmesan popcorn or shrimp with gouda grits.
We’re rambling on so much about the food here because it really is tasty, and, moreover, Chef Geoff checks his personality at the kitchen door to keep the focus squarely on the food. That’s not to say, however, that the chef is a stranger to the media spotlight. His wife is Norah O’Donnell, co-anchor of CBS This Morning, and the couple splits their time between New York City and Washington, DC.
Just think of him as an average “Geoff” living an extraordinary life.
Read more about Chef Geoff’s in our Washington, DC Guide.