On the outside, Farmers & Fishers is stark and contemporary. The menu is painted on the exterior of the restaurant in modern, colorful block letters. “Chocolate-dipped bacon lollipops” tops the list. The walls are lined with windows that look out on the Georgetown Waterfront and small, close tables outline the curve of the eatery, offering the sounds of the water fountain and a view of the often-crowded bar at Tony and Joe’s.
But inside the restaurant, it’s surprisingly simplistic, a homage to the agricultural roots that gave the place its name. Earthy tones color the walls, modest, green-and-white checkered cloths cover tabletops and waiters walk around in jeans and white button-down shirts.
Like its sister restaurant Founding Farmers, Farmers & Fishers is difficult to get into. For a late Friday lunch, I had a 40-minute wait, and another time I found it closed entirely on a Saturday night for a private event. Finally, a 4 p.m. Sunday lunch left me with a nearly empty restaurant.
But despite how minimalistic the inside of the restaurant is, the menu is very complex. The self-proclaimed “pre-prohibition” bar skips pre-flavored juices and builds cocktails from the ground up, with freshly squeezed fruits and first-class alcohol. A carryover from Founding Farmers, the bar produces creative, chef-crafted cocktails such as the Tiger Woods, made with iced tea infused with agave nectar, vodka and lemonade, and the Pancho Villa, with rum, apricot brandy, gin, pineapple and Cherry Heering.
The menu itself, with over 70 options ranging from tacos to crabcakes to pizza, is not one for the indecisive. In the true foodie spirit, I pored over the menu, moving between a fresh beet and warm goat cheese watercress salad, homemade papardelle, crab-melt ravioli and back again.
I finally settled on the crab dip for an appetizer and the four cheese ravioli with wild mushrooms – sans blue cheese – for an entrée. The crab dip blends together deliciously, a blend of crab and artichoke dip served with toasted ciabatta bread. The pasta continued the meal’s delightful, fresh feel: Ricotta, provolone and Parmesan cheeses tucked into an envelope of homemade ravioli and topped with a mushroom cherry glaze. A mini key lime pie finished the meal – a three-bite treat that summed up my overall impression of the restaurant, which was, in a word, sublime.
Overall, the restaurant continues in the tradition started by Founding Farmers: farm-inspired dishes, fresh flavors and a seasonal flair. Like Founding Farmers, the prices for entrees and cocktails are fairly high. But for food lovers looking for a fresh approach to food and bold, unique flavors, Farmers & Fishers is a must. The wait may be long and the prices might be high, but the meal is worth every minute and every penny. With quality food, an elaborate bar and a location on the waterfront, Farmers & Fishers may have cemented itself as an integral part of the D.C. food scene.