Well, despite my better judgement, but considering the parking situation and the rainy weather Sunday, I tried to have a glass of wine and a bite to eat at what is now called The Brasserie at Watergate (formerly? Dominique's?) before seeing Diana Krall at the Kennedy Center. Uugghh.
The good news is that the bar is large, and the restaurant is reasonably attractive, although they keep all the wooden shades closed tightly. The bad news is that the one girl trying to man the bar it is TOTALLY overwhlemed, and that was when it was only 1/3 full. It took us over 15 minutes just to get a $9 glass of J. Lohr Chardonnay, which cost about $9 a bottle wholesale by the way.
We ordered four items off the bar menu. A caesar salad that was five-day old romaine swimming in a vinaigrette salad dressing with a little parmasean cheese and few boxed croutons on top. Six-day old, overcooked mussels (well, it said Brasserie!) in a pungent tomato broth/sauce. Chewy, pale calamarie that had been fried too long and at too low a temperature and was served with the same tomato/broth sauce. And a "lobster fondue with crostini" that was as you'd expect, warm cream cheese mixed with a little cheddar and a few scraps of frozen lobster meat served with stale toast. Even the expresso was lacking.
All that being said, the woman next to us ordered what looked to be the most beautiful cheeseburger I've ever seen and and was washing it down with a nice cold Anchor Steam beer. Maybe she knew something? Readers further beware, the prices on the main menu were high. Steaks and lamb chops were $28-30. Even the chicken dish (cornish game hen) was $22 or $25.
As another poster pointed out, the dining options around the Center are limited. The Brasserie wouldn't stay in business 24 hours were it not for their monopoly. I didn't take Stephenb's advice and try Jeffrey's(?) because I was looking for a more casual meal, but considering my bill at Brasserie was $100, I'll certainly be rethinking that next time.
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