My husband and I visited DC for one night last September and we made the choices for our gastro crawl based on your recommendations, so I thought it was time to finally report back. We flew in on a Wednesday and went to Rasika in Penn Quarter for lunch. It was quite delicious and inspired me to start making some Indian food at home. I loved the modern approach and we experienced some very unique flavors. We sat at the bar and, while the bartender was not initially very warm, we won him over by asking him about his favorites. We requested he order 5-6 dishes for us. He good-naturedly went along with it and picked out some fabulous dishes. I specifically remember being wowed by an eggplant and banana dish and also the dal. Oh yes, and the fried spinach.
We did some touristy DC things after settling in at our hotel. Then we were off to dinner. We had a lot of trouble deciding where to go and eventually decided to visit to a few different spots. We stopped by Corduroy for a cocktail and snack. We weren't really into the atmosphere but thoroughly enjoyed our soup (corn?) and a salmon and tomato dish. The bartender was very sweet, and it came up in conversation that Rogue24 was around the corner. I had been considering this place for our big dinner of the night, but decided against it because of cost and also the desire to try a variety of places. The Corduroy bartender informed us they did have a bar (we weren't sure since it is a tasting menu), and that we would be welcome to stop in for a drink and a snack. So we crossed the street and walked down an alley and did just that. There is a tiny bar in the back of the room and we sat down and met the "chef-tender". I had his card in my wallet until recently and now I forgot his name. But he was fantastic and he seemed to have a lot of fun coming up with some drinks for us. There was a lot smoke involved in my husband's whiskey cocktail. We had a couple snacks, which were good, but we were happy with our decision not to have dinner there. It was just a little too deconstructed and modern for my taste.
So we finally decided it was time for our real dinner and hopped in a taxi and arrived at Proof. We sat at a tiny bar table (we always prefer informal bar seating if available wherever we dine) and ordered a ton of food that didn't fit on our table. But we juggled things around and made do. I am sure the bartender who was taking care of us thought we were crazy. He did a so-so job of recommending dishes to us. We found the food to be delicious and also had some fantastic glasses of wine. It was the 1st time we had ever seen the Enomatic wine machine and now my husband is obsessed with the idea of needing one in the restaurant he works at. I honestly can't remember what we ate, it wasn't anything extremely innovative, but it was all tasty. I believe we had some foie gras and also duck??
The next day we grabbed breakfast at the hotel and did some more touristy things. We then picked up our bags from reception and caught a taxi to Little Serow. Our plan was to wait in line and get the 1st seating. Also to eat in about an hour so that we could catch our plane home. It worked! We lined up at 5pm and snagged a seat at the bar and the courses began coming immediately. We loved everything about Little Serow. The restaurant is so unique and the service excellent. The food was spicy (which we love) and absolutely delicious. There is enough said about Little Serow on these boards so I won't go into any more detail, but it is suffice to say that we are fans and would love to go back. The following week I was able to eat to Pok Pok in Portland and decided after those 2 meals that we needed to head to Thailand. We ended up taking a spur of the moment trip last month and got to eat some amazing street food.
Thanks everyone for the recommendations on the boards. It has almost always steered us in the right direction! (see my future post about Schwa)