The Federalist is a new restaurant in the newly remodeled Madison hotel in downtown Washington, D.C. I would imagine it’s a bit of a media haunt as it’s almost directly across the street from The Washington Post. No WP employee sightings to report.

Atmosphere: A+. It has this elegant, New England wharf style that was part rustic, part well tailored. It’s a beautiful blend of decors, a fairly large dining room and an extremely low decibel level. We like quiet lunches. And, the adjacent lobby to the hotel was also beautiful and comfortable.

Food: I went for a slight departure this time; Steak Tartare. When I lived in NYC, I ate it a lot. Now, finding it on a menu is few and far between, so, I felt that I had to take advantage of the opportunity. The catch was that it’s an appetizer, so, I got a double order to make it a full entree. The verdict: It was good. I’ve had better, but, I’ve also had much worse. I have to leave it at adequate. My lunch-mate had the Rockfish. She said it was quite good as well. I also got the Syllabub with caramelized bananas. Imagine a non-alcoholic, less caloric version of Banana’s Foster – no flame. Love any version of bananas and cream… Food gets a B+.

Service: I’m going to give them a B-. This version of service just didn’t seem very confident, self-assured. Like most restaurants, there were a number of people bringing things to our table, but, our main server seemed to be a bit unsure about how to serve us. We didn’t want for anything, but, it was a little off-putting. She gets credit for a good effort.

The final word for The Federalist: Overall, this is a B. We liked it, but, get the sense that we would have liked it better had we been there for dinner. We looked at the dinner menu and yes, The Federalist is short-changing itself on their lunch menu. So, we’ll have to go back for dinner and revisit this rating at a later date. But, I wouldn’t let that stop you from going there if you’re in the vicinity. The experience alone was quite refreshing…