Monday, January 21, 2008

My best Tom Sietsema impression

Last week I had the pleasure of taking advantage of a few of the offerings for DC Restaurant Week. Two lunches and a lovely dinner scratched my eating-out itch without breaking the bank. Below are my impressions, maybe they'll help you when August's Restaurant Week rolls around.

P.S. Also, I know! I have been a lazy blogger! But between all this good eating out, dinner at my fantabulous Uncle Billy's and otherwise trying to watch my calorie intake, I just haven't been cooking anything interesting. I currently have not one, not two but FOUR chickens in my freezer though, so stay tuned!

Zengo - RW Lunch

Zengo has a really interesting menu - a mix of Latin American and Asian flavors with a focus on small plates. For Restaurant Week, however, their menu is fairly limited and goes the traditional appetizer, entree, dessert route and I believe the offerings for both lunch and dinner are the same. Appetizers included their signature Give and Take salad, a shrimp empanada and a chicken lettuce wrap. The salad looked fairly big and fresh, a good light choice. I had the shrimp empanada, which was good though the green curry sauce it was served with was fantastic. The chicken wrap was yummy as well, although that sauce didn't fair as well. What you would assume would be a sweet peanut sauce was actually a very sour tamarind concoction, ick.

Most of our table ordered the miso braised brisket for an entree (though there was also lo mein and salmon from which to choose). Combined with some great mashed potatoes, it made for excellent midday comfort food. Dessert options were tres leches cake and chocolate flan. I had the flan and although I'm ordinarily a huge flan fan, I wasn't too impressed with this.

I would probably visit Zengo again for lunch (their usual $20 bento boxes seem like a great deal), even though our service was lacking this time. The restaurant was fairly full and our waiter was not terribly attentive, but our plates came out in a timely manner so we weren't left hungry.

The Palm - RW Lunch

For awhile now, this has been the only restaurant in DC that Chris has actually wanted to visit. It would definitely be a good place to take a visiting dad or grandfather for a nice Washingtonian meal. The regular lunch menu wasn't jaw-dropping expensive, and in hindsight I should have just ordered the filet au poivre off of that. The RW lunch menu (they don't participate in Restaurant Week for dinner) was very salad heavy. If I remember correctly two appetizer's and one entree's worth. Chris, wanting the steak salad for an entree, actually ended up eating a salad appetizer as well since the only other option was clam chowder (he's allergic). Anyway, I did have the chowder which was fine. I also had crab cakes which were decent. The only dessert was a mediocre cheesecake. Like I said, I should have gone with the filet and called it a day.

Charlie Palmer Steak - RW Dinner

CP has been on my must-dine list for quite some time, so as soon as the Restaurant Week dates came out I rushed to make a Saturday night reservation. Afterwards, I heard reports of poor service and got a bit nervous but we ended up with a fantastic meal. I had a butter poached prawn and risotto appetizer that was one of the most fantastic dishes I've had in quite some time. I chose the strip steak entree which came with a delightful snow pea medley and mashed potatoes. The chocolate and hazelnut pave was divinely rich.

The regular menu was not as frighteningly expensive as I thought, in fact Chris ordered a rib eye and spinach rather than go with the prix fixe. CP also allows up to two bottles of domestic wine without a corkage fee (we brought a Titus Zinfandel that really impressed me). We had no problems with service. Although admittedly, we saw our bussers more than our server but they were exceedingly professional and our server was never far away. In addition to what we ordered, we were offered an amuse bouche of salmon tartar as well as a selection of lovely petit fours with our check.

I would definitely return for future Restaurant Weeks, as well as splurges or special occasions.

4 comments:

Taresa said...

Have you been to Zengo before, or was that your first time? I hear SUCH mixed reviews about that place!!!
You can't go wrong with filet at the Palm. Mmmmmmmm.

Webcam said...
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