• Rugby Cafe

    Food & Drink  

    by Moses Y. Bension

    The first thing you notice when you walk into the Rugby Cafe in Georgetown is how much it looks like a Rugby store. The decor is unmistakably Ralph Lauren. The walls are cluttered with antique mirrors and an assortment of Americana; a Betsy Ross flag hangs from the ceiling. The first thing you notice when you bite into one of their burgers is that the Rugby Cafe is more than just décor. The menu features signature burgers that are out to prove that a restaurant that borrows its name from a clothing brand can still rival the best in our nation’s capital. Enjoy it with a cold beer from local brewery Flying Dog, whose tap handles adorn the painted‐black wood‐paneled bar.

    Photographed in Washington, D.C.

    We recommend the Holden Burger (named after the Pencey Prep expellee), a medium rare hamburger of Colorado prime Angus beef topped with smoked bacon, caramelized onions, a house barbecue sauce, locally grown beefsteak tomato, greens, and a slice of white cheddar cheese all on a brioche bun with a side of freshly cut French fries in a display of “top shelf gastronomic brilliance.” F.E. Castleberry tells the story of how, “at the end of one dinner I saddled up at the bar, and the bartender, some staff, and I lined up some shots after closing and just spent the night talking life. The vibe was extremely laid back.”

    Take a train into Washington’s Union Station and catch the bus to M Street & Wisconsin Ave in Georgetown. Walk 243 feet south. Limited sidewalk seating is available during the summer.

    1065 Wisconsin Ave NW
    Washington, DC 20007

    Mar 23, 2012 | Permalink (19) View/Leave Comments

    Owen left a comment on 8/9/2012 at 6:09 PM:

    Does anyone know where I can get the shoes (or similar models) that the guy in the green polo has?

    Julius left a comment on 4/6/2012 at 11:05 PM:

    Nice post. I love Georgetown and the Rugby store there. Actually wearing a pair of Kelly green shorts I bought there last summer. Beer and burger next door had a laid back vibe. Looking forward to going back.

    Omni left a comment on 4/6/2012 at 10:45 PM:

    One beer they make worth drinking is gonzo imperial stout…I’d take lagunitas IPA.  As an aside I visited my girl friend last fall and we spent the day at georgetown…loved the rugby store there and loved the cafe.

    y. l. hollander left a comment on 4/6/2012 at 11:42 AM:

    I have family moving to D.C. in the very near future and trust I’ll be visiting there with some frequency. Rugby will certainly be on my “must visit” list. The room looks to be right up my alley and I’m all in favor of any establishment that’s proud to admit it will cook a burger medium-rare.

    JJ left a comment on 4/6/2012 at 11:28 AM:


    The DC/MD/VA cultural lines are so blurred that anything inside of an hour’s drive of the beltway (without traffic) should be considered local. This is especially true when it comes to craft brews.

    Mr. Castleberry,

    I recommend a visit to Annapolis the next time you’re in town. It’s a short drive from the district and should provide an appropriate introduction to the Chesapeake variety of prep. Annapolitans take summer seriously, they actually burn their socks in the spring.

    The annual St. John’s vs US Naval Academy croquet match is coming up and would provide the appropriate candy camera for your blog.

    Photos from last year’s Annapolis Cup: http://www.annapolissound.com/culture/2011-st-johns-usna-croquet/

    F.E. Castleberry left a comment on 4/6/2012 at 11:08 AM:

    @John—You seem to bear a misconception about what Unabashedly Prep is about and what this particular piece on the Rugby Cafe is. This isn’t a profile on Georgetown/D.C. Upon my previous visits to Georgetown, the Rugby Cafe has been a spot I like to grab a burger. That’s it. It’s what I like (and not to mention a place that actually allowed me to take pictures for an article). This isn’t some Georgetown/D.C. travel guide piece where I recommend a place based on some consensus of votes or popularity. And please, drop the bit about the beer. Is Flying Dog the only beer on tap at Rugby Cafe? Of course not. But it’s brewed only 40 miles from Rugby Cafe. Semantics aside, I considered it local given the International scope of the alcoholic beverage business. Where I’m from, 40 miles is only the opposite side of town.

    Have you ever actually eaten at Rugby Cafe, John?

    John left a comment on 4/6/2012 at 8:55 AM:

    @emjkmj - I think the general issue is that a profile of Georgetown/DC has been offered, with recommendations for the Rugby Cafe and beer from exurban Maryland. I think we can agree on a handshake that Fred/Moses simply aren’t DC residents, experts or travel guides.

    I live in DC. While some suburban MD residents may consider Flying Dog local beer, no DC residents do. Not only does DC have it’s own breweries, there are also great VA breweries that are only minutes away, just across the Potomac.

    emjkmj left a comment on 4/5/2012 at 6:30 PM:

    @ DJ REN- in the food and beverage industry, as-well-as the eat local, “locavores” movement,  anything produced and consumed within a 100 miles is considered local.  It may seem far (40 miles), but when considering how far that, Coors, Miller Lite, Bud, let alone Stella or Guinness traveled.  40 miles is around the block.

    emjkmj left a comment on 4/5/2012 at 6:15 PM:

    I love Georgetown.  My wife and I have thought about buying an apartment/townhouse there.

    Mac left a comment on 4/5/2012 at 10:28 AM:

    This place looks so gosh darn cool I’m gonna call my buddy up and fly us on over there for lunch in my private jet aeroplane.

    DJ Ren left a comment on 4/4/2012 at 4:18 PM:

    @FEC, local to you perhaps, but some of us live here in DC. Baltimore is also 40ish miles from DC (where I reside). As WMM notes, Natty Boh isn’t “local” to DC - it’s a Baltimore beer. Flying Dog is a Frederick beer (and a good one). Neither are local to DC - at least to this DC resident.

    Stephanie left a comment on 4/4/2012 at 3:58 PM:

    Love the idea of Rugby Cafe. Worth the added wait time to go to The Tombs as well.

    Jeff left a comment on 4/4/2012 at 2:20 PM:

    Have not yet enjoyed the Rugby Cafe, but would highly recommend the other Ralph-related restaurant in Chicago. Excellent food/atmostphere and great bartenders. http://www.rlrestaurant.com/

    WMM left a comment on 4/4/2012 at 2:18 PM:

    @DJ Ren, DC Brau is amazing, and a true local beer, indeed.  @ FE, You wouldn’t really consider National Bohemian a local beer because it’s a Baltimore beer, I’d say same goes with Flying Dog and its Frederick roots.

    F.E. Castleberry left a comment on 4/4/2012 at 2:10 PM:

    @DJ Ren—FLying Dog is brewed 48 miles from DC. For all intents and purposes, that’s local.

    DJ Ren left a comment on 4/4/2012 at 2:01 PM:

    Looks nice. Flying Dog makes good beer, sure, but it’s from Frederick, MD. For local brews, try DC Brau. Brewed in the district.

    F.E. Castleberry left a comment on 4/4/2012 at 10:49 AM:

    @Biff—Martin’s is a nice joint…totally different price point/menu than Rugby Cafe but a really nice atmosphere to grab dinner. Since it’s where JFK proposed to Jackie, it’s kind of the cliché choice for a preppy style blog ;)

    @AEV—The Tombs is a nice spot (aside from not having any windows) and I enjoyed it when I was in last. I would disagree that the Rugby Cafe is an attempt to mimmick the Tombs in any way. The Rugby Cafe is independently owned and operated as a cafe…patio seating, etc and is a touch more casual than the Tombs.

    Biff left a comment on 4/4/2012 at 10:41 AM:

    Walk up a few blocks on Wisconsin to Martin’s Tavern.

    AEV left a comment on 4/4/2012 at 10:28 AM:

    For those looking for an authentic Georgetown bar experience, I recommend The Tombs. The Tombs is the kind of well established, “collegiate”, neighborhood spot that the Rugby bar is mimmicking.


  • Ali Wentworth’s New York Apartment


    by Moses Y. Bension

    Anyone who has turned on Good Morning America knows who George Stephanopoulos is. His wife, actress Ali Wentworth, reviews their transition from 200‐year‐old Washington, D.C. brick Colonial Revival to prewar Upper East Side three‐bedroom apartment in this month’s Architectural Digest (some fifty‐odd blocks uptown of Brooke Shields’ new townhouse in the same issue). Wentworth’s new home features the work of Michael Smith, a more traditionalist designer famous for recently redecorating the White House. Smith’s use of colonial greens and blues, shades of beige, and stained mahogany, while not as colorfully layered as Shields’ townhouse, is definitely more appropriate for the historical sanctity of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

    In the opinion of a very reputable interior designer in the South End of Boston, however, Smith’s work is “dull, flat, insipid, tired, lackluster, mind numbing, and uninspiring.” The designer hadn’t seen pictures of their old place.

    When CBS appointed Wentworth as co‐anchor of its short‐lived talk show Living It Up! and Stephanopoulos was still hosting This Week on ABC, the couple initially invested in a two bedroom apartment in midtown Manhattan. New York designer John Barman fashioned them an open plan with chrome midcentury chairs, abstract paintings on a paneled wall painted orange, and more chairs upholstered in more orange (of the Hermés hue) all in a bold colorful series of rooms that would overwhelm most preps.

    The rooms (like the library overlooking Central Park) in Wentworth’s new home look more like those at the White House. Pieces like mahogany bookcases, a rust‐colored velvet covered sofa, antique Persian rug, and a Regency twin‐pedestal dining table with George III mahogany sideboard and chairs all contribute to a conservative look that, while more subdued, wouldn’t send your family’s equivalent of the Dowager Countess of Grantham running for cover. Smith’s incorporation of timelessness and tradition into his look has a certain comforting old prep appeal. After all, you wouldn’t upholster the chairs in the White House in Hermés orange.

    Mar 22, 2012 | Permalink (4) View/Leave Comments

    Jane Davis left a comment on 6/30/2012 at 5:00 PM:

    You should check out New Orleans designers Alix Rico,Gerri Bremmerman and Tara Shaw. Their individual styles are more flair full and less claustrophobic than these. Michael Carbine’s work is also worth checking out. The northeast needs a shot of southern perspective.

    Rico Boothman left a comment on 4/4/2012 at 10:40 PM:

    We all love the great “Smootchie” although her taste is open to question . . .

    Greg-S left a comment on 4/4/2012 at 9:14 AM:

    Generally, I like his work.

    Gary-A left a comment on 4/3/2012 at 11:57 AM:

    The South End of Boston IS a very gorgeous place, architecturally. Unfortunately, I don’t make the bank to be invited INSIDE any of these townhouses.


  • Stare


    Mar 21, 2012 | Permalink (2) View/Leave Comments

    Tota left a comment on 4/26/2012 at 10:04 PM:

    great last name, i’d say.  what do you know about your family hitrosy.  My grandfather, John F. Trotz, came to USA in 1890 s and, after briefly settling in Detroit, where his older brother Michael lived, came to Scranton, Pa. for a wedding, met my grandmother, and stayed.  Like hundreds of others from his former hometown in Poland, Suwalki, he became a coal miner.  He was killed in the mines when he was 40, leaving my grandmother with six kids at the height of the Depression in 1929.  My father, Edward Trotz, was 3 at the time.  I ran Trotz through the Twitter search engine and found your name.  You are following me, too.  I am 54 and live in Baltimore, where my father moved looking for work after being discharged from the Army Air Corps after the war.  My Dad will be 83 on Nov. 26.  He named me after his father, and my son is named after my father.  I also have two daughters .Sincerely, John Trotz

    Aaron left a comment on 4/3/2012 at 11:02 AM:

    YAY! Thought you were on hiatus!


  • Wear It Like You Stole It

    Dress Code  

    Photographed in Steamboat Springs, CO

    Noteworthy: vintage fur stole taken from grandmother's closet, hair.

    Mar 20, 2012 | Permalink (10) View/Leave Comments

    nmkscl left a comment on 7/10/2012 at 6:09 PM:


    Michael left a comment on 4/2/2012 at 12:09 PM:

    Fred, Is this blog going on hiatus? Best of Luck with Rugby

    MDM left a comment on 4/1/2012 at 5:11 PM:

    JSV, you are now officially a muse.

    mens button jacket left a comment on 3/31/2012 at 8:31 AM:


    mens button jacket left a comment on 3/31/2012 at 8:30 AM:

    Awesome style. Like your outfits too.

    DBJ left a comment on 3/29/2012 at 2:50 PM:

    Wear It Like You Stole It- it took me three days, but well played.

    WMM left a comment on 3/24/2012 at 6:07 PM:

    My apologies then. Here in W.DC they’re rampant on gals (and a preferred look).

    MGM left a comment on 3/23/2012 at 11:14 PM:

    Nah.  I just see them on my guy friends.  Are they common for women too?

    WMM left a comment on 3/23/2012 at 3:27 PM:

    @MGM Don’t see women wearing Ray Bans (Wayfarer’s)?!?!

    MGM left a comment on 3/23/2012 at 1:29 PM:

    Great sense of style.  I especially like the popped club collar and the belt over the untucked oxford shirt.  The cardigan sweater also nicely complements the “fur.”  And you usually don’t see too many women wearing Ray Bans.  Overall, I like this style.  Well done!


  • Going Dutch

    Dress Code  

    Photographed in Amsterdam, The Netherlands

    Notewothy: RRL jean. Hands down the best fitting jean I've ever worn, RRL denim is made in the United States of the finest Japanese woven 14.5 oz selvedge denim. They are jeans the way jeans used to be made when America made most things with their bare hands: button flys, hearty construction, and long-lasting. I wear the low straight fit.

    Lookmatic tortoise eyeglasses
    • Rugby linen herringbone sports coat
    • Brooks Brothers university stripe oxford cloth button down sport shirt
    • Polo club tie
    Rugby rugby shirt
    • Ralph Lauren belt and sterling silver engine turn buckle
    RRL jean

    Mar 19, 2012 | Permalink (43) View/Leave Comments

    Saturdays left a comment on 4/2/2012 at 2:09 PM:

    JAH - I recommend checking out the RRL Thread on StyleForum - you will find a lot of info in terms of sizing. My advice is go 31 for a just about right fit.

    Makaga left a comment on 4/2/2012 at 12:29 PM:

    Hi, Fred (and any other commenters),

    I am looking to buy a Harris Tweed Harringbone jacket, but can’t decide whether to get a grey one or a brown one.  What do you think is more functional, especially if I avoid wearing black trousers/shirts/shoes?  Thanks in advance!

    JAH left a comment on 4/2/2012 at 11:35 AM:

    Hi, Fred (and anyone else with RRL raw denim experience).  I’m debating purchasing the slim-fit, dark-rinse jeans during the 25% off sale.  I wear a 30x30 in chinos/non-raw denim.  What size do you recommend?  Thanks in advance!

    F.E. Castleberry left a comment on 3/29/2012 at 7:36 PM:

    @SM—You can find the disclosure policy in the “About” section.

    SM left a comment on 3/29/2012 at 5:43 PM:

    Is there not a law requiring bloggers to clearly state if any of the items they’re reviewing have been gifted to them? Anyway, good look. Rugby shirts usually seem a bit collegiate to me, but this looks really swell.

    Stephen left a comment on 3/28/2012 at 9:19 AM:

    Hey Fred, I love the look you created with wearing all that! Just a quick question though, what kind/style of shoes were you wearing? Also did you roll your jeans or go for the classic go-to-hell anckle look?

    Saturdays left a comment on 3/27/2012 at 4:16 PM:

    @MP - Thanks for the info! I haven’t spoke with Alex but I have with one of his associates, actually bought my RRL Varicks from the Chicago store. Amazing quality - I highly recommend them.

    MP left a comment on 3/27/2012 at 2:35 PM:

    @Saturdays - All of the jeans are japanese selvage denim. They are just handcrafted here in America. Ralph gets all the Denim sheets from Japan. Back in ‘98 he bought back some of the original Levi 31” denim machines but left them in Japan in the Okayama prefecture (an area known for producing high quality denim)

    The boots are still by Julian yes. I do not work for RRL anymore but if you have any questions, call Alex in Chicago. He’s the most knowledgeable specialist in the company.

    Saturdays left a comment on 3/27/2012 at 2:28 PM:

    @John - I get your point, it is understandable. I am just pretty confident that everything Fred posts is his own taste and he has made that clear countless times.

    @MP - Not sure why you are mentioning this to me, since I favor the US craftsmanship. The jeans in the picture are 100% made in USA, from the denim to the construction. I was merely pointing out that there are japanese selvedge denim RRLs as well, and those are just as great as the US ones. I do have a question though, in case you are stilla specialist. Who is making the boots this year for RRL, is it Julian? Or have they moved on to someone else.

    MP left a comment on 3/27/2012 at 11:25 AM:

    @Saturdays - having worked for RRL and been a specialist, i can assure you that all of our jeans are handcrafted in america. The sheets of combed denim do come from japan, but if you’re looking for good denim that’s where to get it from. Ralph did a superb job in the way of denim and the RRL line

    John left a comment on 3/27/2012 at 9:23 AM:

    @Saturdays—Readers, like me, are interested in whether items were bought or gifted/heavily discounted because Fred is advertising, reviewing, and recommending the items. If they were a gift from the vendor, then there is an obvious conflict of interest that I like to consider when interpreting Fred’s endorsement and review. It’s about ensuring an educated perspective as a reader and ‘consumer’ of Fred’s blog.

    I love this blog, but I do like to understand what I’m reading and looking at.

    F.E. Castleberry left a comment on 3/27/2012 at 2:19 AM:

    @Florian—Wow, you really did see me Saturday night…you should have said hello! The tapas was good, all things considering.

    Florian left a comment on 3/27/2012 at 2:16 AM:

    I was sure i saw you in Amsterdam saturday evening. How was the tapas?

    Saturdays left a comment on 3/27/2012 at 12:28 AM:

    I can never understand why everyone in the comments care whether your clothes were gifted or if you bought them yourselves.

    Fred, keep doing what you do, if someone gifts you something you deserved it, and noone should pry whether or not that was the case.

    And to those who think RRL jeans are expensive, you just aren’t looking in the right places - so here’s a tip this March 30th there is a 25% coupon that can be applied on RRL items - go have fun guys!

    Peter left a comment on 3/26/2012 at 8:52 AM:

    I agree with you 100%, RRL jeans are handsdown the best denim in the world.  My next question is, what wash are the pair you are wearing in the pic posted above?

    Caroline | Back Down South left a comment on 3/25/2012 at 9:02 PM:

    One of my new favorite shots of you here - love it all.

    F.E. Castleberry left a comment on 3/25/2012 at 12:19 PM:

    @Chris—I implied I was good. You implied I was a top fashion photographer. There’s definitely a difference.

    Chris left a comment on 3/25/2012 at 11:38 AM:

    Fred, yes, I have a general sense that top fashion photographers do well financially. I had no idea you were a top fashion photographer - apologies.

    F.E. Castleberry left a comment on 3/24/2012 at 1:25 PM:

    @Chris—Are you even remotely aware of what a good fashion photographer can earn in one year? One can make money in almost any business…you just have to be really good at it. You have to devote at least 10,000 hours to it.

    Chris left a comment on 3/24/2012 at 10:58 AM:

    If freelance photography pays for $400 jeans, I’m in the wrong business!

    F.E. Castleberry left a comment on 3/24/2012 at 10:38 AM:

    @DJ Ren—Thank you. I purchased everything I’m wearing with my own hard earned cash I make as a fashion photographer.

    DJ Ren left a comment on 3/24/2012 at 9:11 AM:

    Fred, great look. Did you purchase the RRL jeans, or were they gifted? Likewise, the sport coat?

    James left a comment on 3/23/2012 at 3:11 PM:

    Looks like an ad we would see at the mall!

    F.E. Castleberry left a comment on 3/23/2012 at 12:35 PM:

    @DBCC—Because the look is overtly sporty, not wearing a pocket square felt better.

    DBCC left a comment on 3/23/2012 at 12:18 PM:


    Great look. Rock solid.  Where’s the pocket square?

    Michael Arthur left a comment on 3/22/2012 at 10:48 PM:

    True Prep!  Hail hail Michigan?

    Michael left a comment on 3/22/2012 at 6:35 PM:

    I really like the blazer!

    VN left a comment on 3/22/2012 at 1:15 PM:

    Next time you’re down in Amsterdam we should have a drink!

    Paul left a comment on 3/22/2012 at 10:31 AM:

    5 spectacular items by Ralph Lauren. The look is flawless. He can almost do no wrong.

    Alfred left a comment on 3/22/2012 at 8:50 AM:

    Cool photograph.

    Miss Margarita left a comment on 3/22/2012 at 3:33 AM:

    Love that look!

    Joey Dee left a comment on 3/21/2012 at 10:39 PM:

    Great photo, and great articles. There have not been enough days this winter to layer like this. One of my favorite go to looks when its a tad brisk out.
    At first, I was questioning the yellow and blue rugby shirt when i first saw it on the rugby website, but, as displayed here its a solid look.
    RRL denim is a super stuff. There’s a reason RL’s success continues to climb, leaving his competitors behind. RRL is one of those reasons.

    AmyLynn left a comment on 3/21/2012 at 9:47 PM:

    I have loved RL jeans since they originally introduced the women’s Saturday Jean. I have never found any of these high-end trendy jeans that fit as well as a pair of RL!

    cam left a comment on 3/21/2012 at 9:37 PM:

    fred - thank you sir

    F.E. Castleberry left a comment on 3/21/2012 at 9:34 PM:

    @cam—Because I felt like it (and I’m outside at dusk as the temperature is dropping a few degrees)?

    cam left a comment on 3/21/2012 at 9:07 PM:

    fred, very good look overall. ralph lauren is a favorite of mine. i do have to ask why you have your lapel “popped” and your shirttail untucked?

    MGM left a comment on 3/21/2012 at 8:09 PM:


    I don’t care what AEV says, this has to be my favorite picture on this entire blog.

    Saturdays left a comment on 3/21/2012 at 7:44 PM:

    To be fair the RRL japanese selvedge jeans are amazing as well. Although I favor the american craftsmanship and would rather support american labor.

    Rugby RL makes some great selvedge jeans as well, I have a pair of the limited edition ones (made in North Carolina) and the quality is amazing.

    Poloist12 left a comment on 3/21/2012 at 7:24 PM:

    Daaang! Not been on in a bit, got some catching up to do. Love this look; slider belt? I’ve lost a great deal of weight these last few months and I’m going to have to start all over. The one item i’m not wanting to part with is my Rugby slider belt. Think I’m going to take it to the cobblers and see if they can cut it down for me a bit.

    Shawna left a comment on 3/21/2012 at 6:58 PM:

    Great look. OCBD, club tie, rugby shirt and sports coat = layered perfection.

    Mary left a comment on 3/21/2012 at 6:21 PM:

    totally agree with you - the Lauren Jeans Co. by Ralph Lauren are the best jeans for women I’ve found. and I love this look on you btw.

    NPHAF left a comment on 3/21/2012 at 5:34 PM:

    Lovely picture! Very inspirational.

    Matt left a comment on 3/21/2012 at 5:29 PM:

    Good stuff here, Fred.


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