As a frequent restaurant-goer, I often have an internal debate over where to dine. My policy is generally to intersperse meals at hot new places with visits to those that stand the test of time. This includes Policy, a restaurant that’s been part of the 14th Street corridor since 2009, before it was the bustling dining destination it is today. Executive Chef Lonnie Zoeller took over the kitchen at Policy earlier this summer, infusing Latin flavors into the predominantly small plates menu. Zoeller most recently served as Executive Chef at Vinoteca.
Policy is a place where you can dig into inventive dishes like crispy duck stuffed arepa and pork belly chicharron, or take a more familiar path with a bacon cheeseburger topped with pepper jack cheese. As a guest of the restaurant, I have an opportunity to sample a broad selection of dishes, which sends me into a tizzy over where to begin. Salchipapas, empanadas, arepa, chorizo… ay caramba!
Salchipapas is a hearty skillet dish, featuring thick chunks of chorizo and fries, dressed with creamy salsa rosada and cheese.
A plate of shrimp empanadas served with a side of bright aji picante is a standout. A crispy exterior gives way to an oozing blend of shrimp, rice, peas, chopped eggs, potatoes, and tomato puree.
Grilled chicken with chick pea salad is perched atop a spicy cashew sauce. Radishes and pickled carrots give the dish a lively boost.
Arroz Con Coco fuses coconut rice with carrots, black beans, and avocado. It doesn’t have the sizzle of other dishes, but its a satisfying accompaniment to entrees like chicken or strip steak.
Zoeller will change the menu to reflect seasonal and locally sourced ingredients, which means fall dishes should be appearing soon. Policy also has a popular brunch, with Latin-inspired dishes taking center stage. I’m intrigued by offerings like arepas benedict, chorizo on a baguette, and nutella and roasted plantain pastry.
While policy is often debated in DC, there’s no question that Policy is still worth a visit.
Policy, 1904 14th Street, NW, Washington, DC