So, mt Gf and I just got back from a long weekend in DC-(we live in philly) for my 40th birthday trip-- i havent been there in over 10 years so did not know what to expect and I gleamed some info from this board- so i thought i'd write a short review of my findings.
Stayed at Hotel Monaco- great place, fairly cheap great location clean and great service-
Poste- (inside my hotel) I thought mediocre food and really inflated prices- 16$ for BBQ pork sliders that were 1 inch square - four of them for 16$? i was quite displeased. the burger- $18 for a7-8oz burger- or 21$ if you add benton's bacon-and it wasn't cooked rare as i asked and it was not rested AT ALL- another moderate ripoff imo (the spotted hog's burger for 17$ was far superior- and until this weekend that was the most i'd ever paid for a non kobe/wagyu burger)- did not have lunch/brunch here- tried for Tabard Inn from rec's here but they were booked.
1st night dinner-Oyamel
I thought it was pretty good- great service- decent menu, but some items fell a little flat
the Conchinita Pibil- was NOT authentic in any way compared to the many hundreds that we've had IN mexico in Merida and other yuctecan areas. the guac was OK, not 13 ok though. The Crispy brussels sprouts in arbol chile sauce were very good, as was the Fried Sunnyside Farms egg, pork belly, refried black beans and peas. The Tamal verde was also very good. we also enjoyed the Grilled skirt steak. we opted to skip dessert. All in all i probably wouldn't return, especially on a trip like we were- in philly there is a Jose Garces place called distrito that does what Oyamel tries to do only much better and less expensive. Dont get me wrong- im not looking for taco bell prices- and really money is not that important to me when thinking about where to eat- but I do expect good value for my money, and being a chef/ owner myself- i know what's what.
Dinner night 2: Bistro Du Coin
this was quintessential casual bistro fare- i was overall quite happy- we had prompt service and were seated right at 7 as per our reservation. we were never rushed even though they were mobbed. I got the duck confit/frisee salad - which was very good, she got the Fois app, again very good. next we shared the endive/ham/bechamel second course. i went with the Onglet/frites for my main and she got a small ravioli dish- which was too saucy for her- but well cooked and tasted good. my only complaint is that my Onglet sauce was thickened with a slurry and not reduced/roux thickened as it should have been and subsequently lacked depth of flavor. I'd definitely go back here and I would recommend it. decent affordable wines available as well- we went with an 07 crozes hermitage for 30$- it drank well and we could both enjoy it with our respective meals.
Brunch on Sunday was at Arcadiana-
they have a $29 Prix Fixe for brunch- not a bad deal at all- plus $1 cajun mary's (fairly spicy) or blood orange mimosas-
she got the fried green tomatoes with sauteed shrimp and I got the gumbo- both were good although hers was a little better. then i got the eggs sardou and she got blackened tilapia. my was very nice- eggs poached perfectly (hollandaise while well made and seasoned well was luke warm at best-- only 30 minutes after opening)- the creamed spinach and artichokes were prepared well and tasted great. she liked her fish as well but the standout for her was the accompanying corn cake. Beignets and bread pudding topped us off- we were almost too full to enjoy the rest of the day but walking it off helped.
overall- i was pleased with our choices-
Bistro Du Coin B+
nothing BLEW my mind- but everything was solid enough to make me happy. of course i realize that we could have gone to higher end places and that my experience does not sum up DC as a a whole-
Next time I'd love to try some different ethnicities (ethiopian and some in china town)
i'd go back to the bistro probably for lunch. I want to try the Tabard Inn for brunch next time. I'd also definitely stay at the Hotel Monaco again- we walked everywhere except to the bistro.
1739 N St NW, Washington, DC 20036
901 New York Ave NW Ste 200A, Washington, DC 20001