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Fearless Critic restaurant review
Casual restaurant

Mon–Fri 4:30pm–11:00pm
Sat noon–11:30pm
Sun noon–10:00pm

Features Live music, outdoor dining
Bar Beer, wine, liquor
Credit cards Visa, MC, AmEx
Reservations Accepted


Adams Morgan
1858 Columbia Rd. NW
Washington, DC
(202) 986-0757
Grill from Ipanema
Get this grill drunk, and you may have some fun with her

It’s got a funny name but the Grill serves food that is overpriced and under-flavored. Not that this observation would occur to a clientele that is generally one or two signature caipirinhas on the wrong side of sensible to notice flavor.

Though this Adams Morgan spot has prices that would settle comfortably into the plush menu of a first-class eatery, the Grill’s atmosphere and kitchen creations make it appear more a happy-hour hotspot than a place in which food is taken particularly seriously. The restaurant takes its inspiration—of course—from the cuisine of Brazil, but it differs somewhat from the traditional Americanized Brazilian steakhouse in corporate downtowns: Ipanema has a plentiful selection of chicken and seafood mains (and a handful of vegetarian salads), as well as the typical meat offerings.

The thing that saves the Grill (and the thing that appears to have made it) is that caipirinha and its many avatars. The restaurant makes a decent one, with plenty of quartered limes and fine sugar. If the drink is a little on the sweet side, the misstep is forgiven by the generous use of lime juice and cachaça: there’s very little ice or water in these drinks. The Grill also offers a less interesting caipiroska (made with vodka), a couple of fruit-filled batidas, and a plain old shot of cachaça.

The Grill’s seafood is mostly fresh, but nothing special. Fish can arrive rather parched, so be sure to specify your doneness preference. You also have an choice of two types of clay-pot stews that can be made with any assortment of fish and shellfish, including white fish, shrimp, scallops, squid, mussels, and clams. One of the better options, the moqueca a capixaba, is a tomato-based stew made with cilantro and a few slices of bell pepper—the acidity of the vegetables goes especially well with mussels or shrimp.

Both staff and diners tend to be tall, tan, young, and—on the whole—lovely, at least as far as looks go. In terms of manners, though, the prevailing mindset falls somewhat short of that mark; the atmosphere can be noisy and the overheard conversation boastful. Add to this the overpriced fare, and the Grill from Ipanema is a sad song indeed.

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