Blue 44, Chevy Chase

It was the day of the picnic, and after spending an afternoon feasting on 18 different types of pork, I wanted a light dinner.

Blue 44, with its strong influences from Pittsburgh, isn’t the type of restaurant that a vegetarian would normally frequent, but there are a good half-dozen items on the menu that you can work with.

After nursing a bottle of Fordham Helles Lager ($5), I was curious about the Pierogis ($8), but was skeptical that they were purchased. Surely they were.

Nope – they’re stuffed in-house, and it shows, too. Billed as “classic Pittsburgh-style pierogis” stuffed with seasoned potato, lightly browned and served with caramelized onions and sour cream, these are pretty much obligatory for anyone with roots in western Pennsylvania. You won’t be disappointed if you order these.

The Classic Caesar ($6) took me off-guard because I wasn’t expecting it to be this good. It is, indeed, a classic Caesar (albeit with no anchovies) made with romaine, and properly dressed with a creamy Caesar dressing, shaved Grana Padano, and house-made croutons. This is another dish I can happily recommend.

I didn’t plumb the depths of this menu, but what I had was very impressive, especially given the mediocrity surrounding Blue 44 in that area of upper NW DC. This restaurant reminds me of Town Hall in Glover Park in terms of what it’s trying to be (and don’t dismiss that because Town Hall used to be pretty good).

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