Bar food in the Washington Hilton Hotel

 It’s all about sports at McClellen’s.  Located on the lobby level of the Washington Hilton, this was our choice for dinner our first night in Washington. With 15 TVs, all of which appeared to be on a different sports channel, you will never have to worry about missing a game while you eat. Too bad I’m not a big sports fan, but I did appreciate the hunting prints that were on the wall facing us.

When we visited smoking was allowed but there has been a law passed in the meantime that has made sure that there won’t be the horrible smokiness that we endured.

 There is a menu on the table with a list of beers both domestic and imported and a list of martinis. I couldn’t find a martini that appealed to me so I ordered a boring seltzer and lime. Al had a 16-ounce Miller Light for $5. I asked if the bartender could make a Bellini Martini and was told yes, but I would have to buy the bottle of wine and then pay for the Peachtree.

The menu is heavy on appetizers and light on meals, but there is a good variety of choices. We decided to try the buffalo calamari and the brie encroute. I have to admit that the calamari really surprised me. It was fried calamari with buffalo sauce, blue cheese, arugula, and pears. I was expecting the main items to be separate and the sauce for dipping, but it was all in a large bowl more like a salad. Anyway it was hot and spicy and sweet from the pear, a very good blending of flavors and a generous portion. The brie was fabulous, it was served on a large flat plate with cranberry relish on the corners with a choice of crackers or crostini (which were the real weak link in an otherwise stellar dish). The baby brie was inside a flaky crust with cranberry relish baked on top of the brie inside the crust. The relish has a real fire to it that reminded me strongly of chutney.

The menu had some interesting choices that we didn’t go for including quesidilla with duck confit and pulled pork, which I have to admit sound interesting. There was a steak on the menu for $26. Our meal with tip was $32, not a bargain, but in a very expensive city, a good deal.