Can it be that just a few short years ago there wasn’t a single gastropub in all of Washington?  These days, the concept of high-quality food in a laid-back setting is cropping up all over town.  NOT that we’re complaining.

Gastropubs may be the best culinary trend to come out of the UK since cheddar cheese.  Even so, the first one of note here in Washington was Granville Moore’s, the “gastropub with a healthy Belgian fetish” on the H Street Corridor.  Not far behind was Commonwealth Gastropub, Chef Jamie Leeds’ homage to the original British article in Columbia Heights.  The newest addition to the genre, Againn, brings some welcome flavor downtown.

To the uninitiated, Againn may seem like more of the same.  Couple the popularity of the concept with a name that appears to be a misspelling of “again” and you’ve got a recipe for an easy joke.  But step inside for a bite and it’s easy to see that Againn is an original among its peers.

Just past the hostess stand, on your way to the bar, you’ll arrive at the raw bar.  Try to get by without drooling over some freshly shucked oysters.  Or settle in for the long haul with an aptly named Pint of Prawns (peeled shrimp served in a pint glass with lemon and Marie Rose sauce).  But don’t get too distracted…the ‘pub’ part of ‘gastropub’ still awaits.

We checked out Againn with some friends who appreciate a good pint – an arrangement I highly recommend.  Some highlights among our appetizers, entrees and desserts – and a chance for you to check out Againn for yourself – after the jump. (more…)