Restaurants & Bars

Washington DC & Baltimore

NYker on Montmartre, Bis, Equinox, Kinkead's and Citronelle

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NYker on Montmartre, Bis, Equinox, Kinkead's and Citronelle

Tom Beckett | Jun 9, 2006 06:26 PM

I've been here for two months doing a show at the Arena Stage and have used Chowhound to help find good places for days when I'm free for a long boozy lunch (or dinner in the case of Citronelle). Since this site gave to me, thought I'd give some thoughts back. I had high hopes for Montmartre from what I read. What I found was a charming neighborhood restaurant with well-prepared but run-of-the-mill bistro fair. Wan gazpacho. Good braised rabbit, but too salty. Bad cheese plate with cheese straight from the fridge. Horrible wine-by-the-glass selection. Plus some lovely outside tables where I would have loved to sit but I was told I couldn't drink wine outside. Forget that. Would eat there if I lived in the nabe. Bis and Equinox were completely top notch and DC-specific places. Great French-inspired American for Equinox and excellent haute bistro for Bis. And they have a politico-power vibe that is unique to this town and a total hoot. Bis edged out Equinox for me, but loved them both. Speaking of politico, Kinkead's was like being in a spy novel. All these booths hidden in nooks and crannies peopled by men who looked like they meant serious business. Excellent entertainment. Food good. Nothing, you know, too suspiciously artsy, but the best seafood I had here. And the cheese plate was to die for. My big splurge was Citronelle, but when you go to this high-end a restaurant you are not regionally specific anymore, and I found the food less creative than I had hoped. Perfect service, fine room (though I'm not much for subterannean spaces) and tasty food, but here's my gripe -- I'm tired of sous vide. Yes it makes food tender and makes it taste like it's been doused in a concentrated elixir of itself, but it also gives everything the same monotonous pablum-soft texture. I want some crisp, I want some chew, I want some bite. I guess it's bistros for me.

Thanks for the stay DC.

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