I've always loved New Heights restaurant in Woodley Park - but for whatever reason, hadn't been in a couple years. Recently I revisited it.
The room is still glorious: occupying the top floor of a townhouse-style building that overlooks Rock Creek Park, the restaurant is elegant, refined, quiet, intimate in a way that would suit an anniversary dinner or a business meal. The staff are polished, professional, attentive. The menu is interesting: a nice blend of modern and classic, with some eclectic touches (some Indian accents, of all things).
So we ordered. When our courses came it was clear that the food was fresh and thoughtfully prepared and presented, as I'd always remembered it to be - but frankly (how to say this delicately?), it just didn't have much flavor. Soup (pumpkin and avocado combined) had no kick, and needed lots of both salt and pepper just to give it some - any - flavor. Shrimp appetizer (which the server warned me was "really spicy - is that OK?") was the exact opposite. I fruitlessly scoured the crustaceans in the daubs of sauce provided - to no avail. Beef kabobs were nice and juicy, as promised, but where's the taste? Nothing. I couldn't even taste regular black pepper or salt in the preparation. Even the yogurt dipping sauce didn't help. Lamb curry was similarly cursed: nice, beautiful, big chunks of lamb...but I never met a curry with less kick.
Nothing was bad, per se, it just had no taste. So I guess if you need to feed a spice-averse spouse or boring boss, this is the place for you. But until I hear they've learned about herbs, chilies, spices, and salt, I'll stick with Sake Club across the street or hoof it up to Cleveland Park. What a shame...