Sally’s Middle Name: A Knockout

Let’s cut to the chase.  Sally doesn’t have a middle name.  Her brother, Chef Sam Adkins, co-owns Sally’s Middle Name with his wife Aphra and they decide to call this out in naming their restaurant. I don’t know why this idea emerged, but the moniker is unique, memorable, and even smile-inducing.

I had an enjoyable brunch at Sally’s Middle Name not long after the restaurant opened in 2015. I’ve been meaning to return to the H Street, NE restaurant, but haven’t gotten around to it. And then I witness Sally’s chef de cuisine Miranda Rosenfelt knock out two chef competitors in the Capital Food Fight* in November, and that pumps me up for a return.

There’s a lot to like about Sally’s Middle Name. The décor is clean and simple with white subway tiles lining the walls. The tiles, in conjunction with a mega chalkboard wall, do double duty serving as décor and as a vehicle for displaying the food and drink menus. The regularly shifting menu reflects a strong commitment to seasonal/local ingredients.

Each dish at Sally’s Middle Name centers on a protein or vegetable that is punctuated by at least one unexpected ingredient.  A sour or pungent component is usually in the mix.

There are beets with smoked trout roe, cress, fermented green tomato, and crème fraiche. Collard greens are paired with mushrooms and miso.  Shaved sunchokes are accompanied by parsley, red onion, and anchovy dressing.

Fingerling potatoes tossed with crème fraiche are served over the ultimate sour ingredient… sauerkraut.   It’s not exactly an intuitive combo, and maybe not for everyone, but I find it brilliant.

Sally’s Middle Name fingerling potatoes

Have brussel sprouts reached a saturation point?  As long as chefs continue to create fresh takes, I’m going to keep eating them.  At Sally’s Middle Name, brussel sprouts are paired with pear and cabbage kimchi and fresh herbs, encircling an egg yolk. It’s another eclectic combo that surprises with its punch.

Sally’s Middle Name brussel sprouts

Smoked Ora King salmon is nestled atop luscious green tomato beurre blanc.  Flourishes of dill and capers join diced fermented green tomatoes in a demonstration of skill and attention to detail.

Sally’s Middle Name Ora King Salmon

Butternut Squash with green curry, rice, and cilantro knocks our socks off with its refined heat and pronounced tang. It’s a contender for our favorite dish here.

Chef Rosenfelt’s winning dish at the Capital Food Fight was Old Bay pork schnitzel with green goddess dressing. Here its re-envisioned as New Bay Chicken Thigh with green goddess dressing.  The chicken is coated with an in-house mix of 15 spices, inspired by Old Bay seasoning. The official judging may be over, but  the feisty taste yields another victory.

Sally’s Middle Name New Bay Chicken thigh

Pate a choux doughnuts filled with chocolate pastry cream make for a pleasant finale. The filling is unevenly dispersed, but this provides an opportunity for an entertaining game of hide and seek.

Sally’s Middle Name doughnuts

Some restaurants captivate me with a few stellar-sounding menu items, while others wow me with a full roster of dishes that appeal to my penchant for bold flavors and unique juxtapositions of ingredients. Sally’s Middle Name falls squarely in the latter category.

The restaurant has an appealing intimacy and warmth, with amiable service that rounds out the experience. Sally’s Middle Name is a knockout on all counts. I can’t wait to return for round three.

Sally’s Middle Name Chef Miranda Rosenfeldt

Sally’s Middle Name1320 H Street NE, Washington, DC

Washingtonian 100 Very Best Restaurants 2017, #53

Related Post

Capital Food Fight:  Giving Thanks  (The Capital Food Fight benefits DC Central Kitchen)

Capital Food Fight: Giving Thanks

As we take time out of our busy lives this week to give thanks -and stuff ourselves silly- it’s appropriate to acknowledge the dedicated chefs, judges, hosts, sponsors, and representatives from 80 local restaurants who participated in last week’s sold-out Capital Food Fight to benefit DC Central Kitchen.  The event, held at the Ronald Reagan Building, […]

Fighting for a Great Cause: Capital Food Fight

After Tuesday’s election, many of us were left reeling.  I spent much of Wednesday fighting back tears as I tried to concentrate on something other than the shocking results. And it was still with a heavy heart that I trudged downtown on Thursday night to the Ronald Reagan Building for the Capital Food Fight to benefit […]

Lamb Lovers Flock to DC’s Lamb Jam

I am a devoted fan of lamb, and so the annual Lamb Jam is naturally one of my favorite food events. This year’s event, held May 15 at DC’s Union Market was a chance for me- and 400 other lamb devotees- to go wild. Lamb Jam pits local chefs in a competition to cook up the best dish- […]

Who’s Up for a Capital Food Fight?

November marks the 25th anniversary of the DC Central Kitchen.  The Capital Food Fight is an annual fundraising event for DC Central Kitchen, which is America’s leader in reducing hunger with recycled food, training unemployed adults for culinary careers, serving healthy school meals, and rebuilding urban food systems through social enterprise.  This year’s event was held Tuesday, […]

Capital Food Fight- Everybody Wins

As 75 restaurants and four chef’s battled against hunger in this week’s Capital Food Fight, the DC Central Kitchen came out the winner.  More than 1,500 attendees supported the fundraising event.  DC Central Kitchen is America’s leader in reducing hunger with recycled food, training unemployed adults for culinary careers, serving healthy school meals, and rebuilding […]

Food Fight!

I’m excited about the Capital Food Fight.  For one thing it’s a chance to rub elbows with the likes of Carla Hall, Duff Goldman, and Tom Colicchio (oh wait… been there, done that*).  It’s also a chance to enjoy food from DC’s hottest restaurants. But more importantly it’s a fundraiser for DC Central Kitchen.  DC […]

Questions or comments?
Send an email to