Café Saint-Ex

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Café Saint-ExCafé Saint-Ex
Very Good
13 Ratings
Café Saint-ExCafé Saint-Ex

Type: Bar, Eatery

1847 14th St NW
Washington, District of Columbia, 20009-4425
United States

(202) 265-7839 | map

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Added by ManekiNeko

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Ratings: 13 |  Reviews: 9
Photo of misternebbie
3.49/5  rDev -6.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.25 | food: 3.5

Photo of DCLAguy11
3.5/5  rDev -6.7%

Photo of seanchai
3.75/5  rDev 0%

Photo of polopaul20
3.75/5  rDev 0%

Photo of maltusaurelius
4.43/5  rDev +18.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 5

I've been here a couple of times. As others note, the tap list is not super extensive but they usually make up for lack of quantity by having quality craft brews on most taps. The taps rotate fairly frequently. I'd rate the quality of beer high but the selection somewhat slim.

The food on the night I visited was very good. I had a pork chop that was perfectly prepared and the sides were excellent as well. When we arrived the upstairs was filling up so they seated us in the basement which is dark (it is a basement after all) with something of an art deco vibe. I liked it. The downstairs was starting to get crowded by the time we finished desert and our second round, but the crowd seemed fairly mellow so even on a busy night I think it would be fun.

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Photo of blackie
3.73/5  rDev -0.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5

atmosphere: visited before going to see Raleigh's own Rosebuds at the Black Cat on a Thursday night, the place is located on the corner of 14th and T, dimly lit and adorned with dark wood and big windows on both street-fronts it gives of a welcoming vibe even when busy, a raised bar lines the back wall with tables and stools along the others, was quite crowded but luckily scored some stools at the window (my favorite seat at most any bar), with the crowd came a high level of noise, and the necessity of squeezing in between those seated at the bar in order to half scream and half hand-sign beer requests at the bartender

quality: no raves, no regrets

service: not particularly great but I guess you can't expect much when you've got just a few people serving a crowd of this size

selection: some quality stuff but certainly not worth much time or effort to visit, had a Bruegel Amber and a pint of Troegs Rugged Trail, the current list is available online, most intriguing was the Hitachino Red Rice, with the other choices respectable but quite widespread

value: the 330ml bottle of Bruegel and pint of Troegs Brown came out to $17 and change, Ouch!

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4/5  rDev +6.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Cafe Saint-Ex is a great, very cozy little corner bar that seems to get very busy but still remains comfortable and friendly.

The decor is comfortable, semi-deco, with a tin ceiling, yellow and goldenrod walls, and an aviation theme - apparently Saint Ex has something to do with the Little Prince (ahh, yes, Antoine de Saint-Exupery wrote the book, and was an aviator).

There are only 6 taps but they're pretty good (last I was there... Ayinger Celebrator, Chimay Cinq Cent, Delerium Tremens, Anderson Valley Winer Solstice, Belhaven Scottish Ale, Stella Artois), and a dozen or so bottles (Chimay Grande Reserve, Unibroue Don De Dieu, De Konninck, Viking, etc.).

The food is great, and you can order prix fixe (3 courses for $29 until 7, $34 after that) or order a la carte. I had the escargot "poppers" ($9) and they beat the pants off of the ones that I had at another spot in D.C.; and they tied those I'd had at Cafe Bonaparte in Georgetown. The Fried Green Tomato B.LT. ($10) was as if you'd made it yourself in your kitchen, but with a little something extra, and the Sweet Potato Cheesecake ($7) was stunning. All-around, an impressive meal with great service - especially given the tightness of the place and the number of customers being served.

If you can make it, take a look at the menu and see if you think there's something you'd enjoy. I'd definitely recommend it!

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Photo of Atlas1
3.58/5  rDev -4.5%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4

Cafe Saint-Ex is a trendy hipster joint located at the corner of 14th and T streets, NW, just south of the new and improved U Street corridor. The restaurant is divided into two-and-a-half sections; one part is the upstairs bar and restaurant, the second part is the downstairs bar and dance hall/restaurant, and the last "half" is the outside patio that caters to about 10 tables. I always enjoy sitting outside when the weather is nice. The place has a funky French aviation theme going on and the whole place (especially downstairs) is littered with obscure flight-related relics of a bygone era. The upstairs inside area is nice, with a classy-looking bar, but limited overall seating. Downstairs is a bit more open, but it's dark and dank and often at night the music is so loud you can't carry on a conversation. Also, the place has been overrun by DC's hipster crowd, so expect to contend with a self-important trend-setter for the next available table. That said, I think Saint-Ex is a pretty cool place.

The food is typically good. I've always enjoyed their house cut fries, which are crispy and delicious. They used to make their own ketchup, but they did away with that inefficient business decision a few years ago (too bad). On a nice, varied menu that seems to change pretty frequently, I've had the mussels (which were great), a risotto dish (which was bland and required salt), and a few nice fish plates that were quite tasty. Sunday brunch also produces a nice Eggs Benedict. The pricing seems to have increased steadily over the years, and you can spend a bit of money there if really want to, but if you make your first visit during lunch or brunch hours you should be able to have a nice meal at a reasonable price.

And, of course, the beer selection is above par. The draft rotation is usually fresh, and some standard draft selections that you'll almost always find there include Chimay, Delirium Tremens, Belhaven Scotch Ale, and Stella. A few other tap handles come and go on a regular basis. The bar also carries a quality selection of bottled beers as well, which includes, but is not limited to, Sammy Smiths, Tilburg Dutch Brown, and usually a couple of Magic Hat beers. It's a nice beer selection, for sure, but not the most comprehensive one around. Still, you should be able to find something to whet your whistle while you're there.

Cafe Saint-Ex is a good place. Like I said, the prices have gone up steadily over the last few years, but that seems to be par for the course for a trendy restaurant in an up-and-coming neighborhood. If you're in the area, you could definitely do worse than a meal and/or a few beers at Saint-Ex.

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Photo of alysmith4
3.85/5  rDev +2.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | food: 5

Can't say too much about the beer selection here, there were many available the night that I went. I ordered an Allagash White and my friend got a Magic Hat No. 9. Don't remember any others on tap that are noteworthy.

The food here is worth mentioning however. I ordered the grilled sea bass, and it was the best piece of fish I've ever had. The side veggies were delicious as well - asparagus and garlic mashed potatoes. My friend got a fried green tomato b.l.t. and that was really good too. Definitely a cool place to check out, and they have a nice hangout spot in the basement too.

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Photo of Jaynuze
3.18/5  rDev -15.2%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3 | food: 1.5

Found on the corner of 14th and T Street, this is one of DC's only corner bars. St Ex provides a great atmosphere during the day with its beautiful long wooden bar that stretches the length of the dinning area with it's silver taps softly lit by the natural light pouring in through its large bay window. The decor is aviation themed with a touch of French bistro (St. Ex = Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, author of Le Petit Prince). There are several tables provided for dinner and there is a nice counter spot in front of the bay window. During the warmer months, out-door seating is provided as well. "Gate 54", the downstairs lounge, offers a small bar with several taps and about 6 tables for dinning. They also have stadium chairs that line the wall where others can sit and stare at the flat screen. Local DJ's provide the music after ten and tables can be rearranged for a little late night dancing.

Though it is considered a "neighborhood bar", it is generally populated by young suburbanites and hipsters with only a few true blues at the stools. They do offer a nice selection of beer on tap (Chimay Blanche, Delirium Tremens, Allagash White, and some seasonals), but their selection has not been the most adventurous. For a neighborhood bar, it is a bit surprising that they do not offer any locals brews on tap; however they do offer the occasional Old Dominion Brew (usually Tupper's Hop Pocket) in bottle. They also offer a rotating selection of 750ml bottles, but like the food, they are a bit overpriced.

St Ex offers both a Lunch and Dinner menu filled with bistro fare. I'm no food critic, but I must say that I have given the kitchen more than several chances to surprise me. Unfortunately, each attempt on my part is a reminder as to why I had promised myself to, "never eat here again". It's too bad since they really do make an honest attempt at some interesting dishes and the meals are prepared with locally produced organic food. Who knows ... maybe it's just my taste buds. No matter how many times I've been disappointed with the meals, I keep going back hoping something will "click". It's a great place to hang out, though I recommend leaving before it gets too crowded ... and believe me, this place gets CROWDED!! Though the bar generally tends to please the masses (and who can blame them, they have to make a living), it is a nice spot to have an afternoon beer. Though it was intended to become a local pub, it has unfortunately become the next "cool spot" for urbanite-wannabes to "late-night" loiter. If you're looking for a quite and quaint place to grab a few brews, come during the afternoon. If you're looking to make a night of it, move down to its sister bar, Bar Pilar. There is a much better selection of beer on tap (Hook and Ladder, Stone, Clipper City ... just to name a few that have graced the taps) and it is designed more to be a bar than a bistro.

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Photo of jaluria
3.88/5  rDev +3.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5

A relatively small establishment with 2 floors. The main dining area of at the street level, while the 'club' space is downstairs. This is a great place to have a beer or an appetizer en route to another bar/club in the U Street area. The interior is well decorated in the style of the 1940s/WWII. The space is small, but open with windows on two sides of the restaurant since it's on the corner of the block. The service is above average, but the place can get quite crowded so you might not get any attention for more than a few minutes. The food is good, but pricey.

As for the beer selection, it is modest in terms of sheer number, but what they do have is excellent. The owners/managers seem to be expanding the beer list constantly, as more and more beer enthusiasts in the area travel to different parts of the District. There are usually tastings and events every month that brings in a variety of people, making for a very interesting local bar/restaurant.

Overall, I like this place and it's nice to go to before you go out to one of the nearby destinations like Velvet Lounge, 9:30 Club, etc.

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Photo of Starchild
3.8/5  rDev +1.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4

Visited Cafe St. Ex after their new sister site Bar Pilar was closed. Inside you’re find a stylish deco avionics setting, that fits its cafe name perfectly. A few weekends ago, I was here during a saturday night and hung out in the downstairs lounge which felt like a typical frat basement, due to the sheer number of people.

I sat down at a table upstairs and reviewed the menu. They have about 5 beers on tap including allagash white, bluebird bitter, delirium tremens and stella. The bottle list looked good, but I wasn’t too pleased to see Allagash 10th ale for 40 dollars a bottle or Chimay Blue for 28 dollars. At the trendier Eighteenth Street lounge, chimay is a reasonable 18 dollars a bottle. I ordered a BLT with apple-wood smoked beacon and a side of sweet potato french fries. The food was great and my girlfriend and I left there impressed. I would gladly eat here on a regular basis. Next time, I’ll be trying the tequila cheesecake, which received rave reviews from the table next to us.

In conclusion, Cafe St. Ex is a better beer bar thats a perfect place to stop in for a pint, people watch, and grab a bite to eat. Its very close to U Street, although 14th street turning into quite a nice strip. Also, keep an eye out for weekday events such as beer tastings and bring your own ipod mix night.

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Photo of ManekiNeko
3.8/5  rDev +1.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3 | food: 4

Located just two blocks away from the U Street/Cardozo Metro stop, Café Saint-Ex has the signs of being a nice up-and-comer to the DC beer scene. I showed up on a slowish Tuesday in June for a beer tasting and stuck around probably a little too long afterwards.

It's basically a French style bistro upstairs and a lounge downstairs (the lounge is called Gate 54). The bar is a gorgeous old wood number. This place is named in honor of WWII French pilot and author of "The Little Prince" Antoine de Saint-Exupery. It shows in the decor. Largely an aviation theme featuring beautiful stained glass windows with a stylized art deco plane, it's exudes a nice sophisticated air. The downstairs lounge is rather cozy (to be expected from a lounge) and features DJ's spinning wonderfully obscure music most nights. This is also where the beer tastings are usually held.

If you're the sort that requires scads of beer kitsch on the walls, be forewarned there ain't none of that here. However, you can take your non-beer loving friends or s.o.'s here and they won't know you're at a little beer oasis, or asteroid B-612 if you'll pardon the reference.

Beerwise, the selection is not as impressive numerically as, say, the Brick or RFD's, but what is here is top notch and should satisfy most everyone. Local beers are featured proudly and at a nice discount during happy hour. There are four taps in the place (Stella Artois, Chimay White, Delirium Tremens, and either Old Dominion Oak Barrel Stout or OD's current seasonal) and a selection of about 25 beers in bottles or cans. Some macros do show up in the mix, but they are kept to an acceptable bare minimum. The person who manages the beer selection is trying to expand the offerings to feature local or regional craft beers as well as imports. Beer tastings are also held on at least a monthly basis and usually feature either a single brewer or a specific theme. An upcoming tasting I heard about was a Youngs vs. Sam Smith's tasting accompanied by fish and chips. Sign me up.

The food I had that night was ye old standby of mussels and frites, both very tasty. The rest of the menu looked delicious and worth coming back for. I suspect that the rating I gave the food will improve as I try more of their offerings. The chefs apparently like good beer and are more than willing to use it as an ingredient in their dishes for specials of the day.

Prices were very reasonable and the staff I dealt with were courteous and professional.

Places for improvement would be having the beer menu listed on their website and honing/augmenting the beer selection. I know the latter is occurring and the first is easily taken care of. I suspect I'll be hitting this place on a semi-regular basis.

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Café Saint-Ex in Washington, DC
Place rating: 3.75 out of 5 with 13 ratings
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