I happened to be in GT today in midst of an appointment and decided to check out the Ritz Carlton restaurant and bar/lounge (yes, because of the piece Sietsma had in the Post)which has just opened.
I was stunned. For the past year or two watching it being built, I thought it was one of the least attractive properties ever constructed. I am soooo wrong. It is elegantly breath-taking inside, if you can imagine the combination.
Passing through the lobby lounge you immediately notice a different twist in décor. Dark, rich, varied, old architectural and fresh flower arrangements that are beautiful, yet tight to the table (so unlike the heights achieved at, say the Willard and even Maestro), so refined.
I took the elevator, in a quiet shush, trip up to the next floor and was enthusiastically greeted by the beverage manager and restaurant manager who were discussing the Post article as I approached. Introducing myself and explaining a bit about chowhounds, I received a wonderful tour of the dining areas and a peek at something Sietsma didnt mention and perhaps does not know about, as it is not yet open (described at the end)
At the entrance to the restaurant they pointed out a restored cable car that carried the goods to the incinerator, suspended from the ceiling. A somewhat foreboding concept, but......and then we entered Fahrenheit. This is where breathtaking happened because of the elegant restraint and quality. Industrial height ceilings in a room that felt warm and inviting. Table tops with stemware that smoldered molten red/orange in color, soft fabric easing the angles almost like smoke softens edges, generous spaces between tables, permitting intimate and private conversation in a space large enough to seat 100+, but dedicated to only 75.
I cant believe I was forced to decline the lunch invitation. Work really does interfere with spare time, especially when you are a self-employed professional!
Next, the manager pressed for the elevator and a male employee exited behind a female guest who was in very causal, worn denims. They were in concentrated chatter when we traded places. As the door closed, my escort asked, Did you recognize Roberta Flack Sad to say not at all, but perhaps it was the lighting.
He led on me to the main level bar/lounge featuring the soon to be famous Fire Red Martini, and an array of the tallest and most colorful martini glasses in DC. A very lovely and comfortable room that will be interesting to visit when occupied by a capacity crowd. With the lowered ceiling height I am hoping it will be so much nicer than many of the area lounges that guarantee a constant cacophony.
Then, to the surprise space on the private meeting rooms level, which can accommodate 70-80 for a reception. Immediately beyond the foyer to the rooms are double door that lead to ----- the base of the 5-6 story restored smokestack. A round room, 50 or 70 feet high, planned to accommodate 12 or less for a private dinner, or perhaps a bar for a reception. During the day, it appears to be naturally lit, by evening/night fitted with floodlights aimed at the top which shower the table with apparent ambient light. A very special place, not yet opened.
I cant imagine what a wonderful experience it will be like to dine at Fahrenheit. Please PM me if interested, I know who will give us all an excellent introduction.
And, one must shudder to think how long a post Ill write about the food!
This is a combination Hotel, Commercial, Residential property; the rooms are priced from 285(cupboard size) to 895 this weekend and more at other times, the sales price of the Residences begin at 1.9 Million dollars, to over 3 Million. I was told that the monthly condo/coop fees will be ~0.1% of sales price.