Cheat Sheet: Compass Rose Just off 14th Street

By Rina Rapuano  |  May 1, 2014
Credit: Rina Rapuano

The Gist: The menu pulls from the owner’s extensive travels and varied culinary interests, so you may find dishes from Morocco, Turkey, Brazil or Lebanon sharing the same table.

The Vibe: The tiny townhouse next to Café Saint-Ex pulls from a multi-culti pool of diners who can choose between a dark, chic front room or a light-filled, relaxed back room.

Eat This: The modern, fresh take on bhel puri chaat (an Indian street snack) and the comforting, pizza-like khachapuri that hails from Georgia - the country, not the state.

Drink This: The Compass Rose cocktail ($11), as long as you’re okay with the intensity of rosewater in your sparkling wine.

Skip This: The Georgian house red ($7), which isn’t exactly bad - just more notable for its novelty than anything else.

For Fans of: Baby Wale, Fainting Goat, Thally

The Damage: About $30 per per person for a cocktail, a small plate and a shared khachapuri. (There’s no dessert yet at this nascent spot.)

The Verdict: ​We’ve seen these hodgepodge concepts crash and burn, but keeping the menu tight and having an accomplished chef in the kitchen - onetime Jaleo chef John Paul Damato - could make this globetrotting restaurant the exception to the rule. And so far, so good.

Compass Rose, 1346 T St. NW; 202-744-9307