We went to J&G for lunch today. I don't know how crowded it usually is but it was pretty sparse at 12 today (MLK day). Perhaps it was the holiday. The food was pretty close to perfect. The view out the window of the Washington Monument is pretty amazing.
The service was excellent. They have a bread server who continuously came around and supplied a fresh chunk of chewy bread whenever you finished the last one. We also tried some of their custom made sodas/drinks. The cherry soda was very good; not too sweet and an intense cherry flavor. The green iced tea was a little strange. It had an intense green color that was a little scary. It tasted fine, but the color...
For appetizers we had the calamari and mushroom risotto. The calamari lived up to every review I've read and without question deserves its place on Washingtonian's 25 best dishes in DC. The calamari were very lightly battered - more like a good, light tempura batter - and were cooked perfectly. Their texture was like al dente pasta rather than the tough chewy stuff many other places serve. There were thin slices of red chili thrown in that were superb; very hot but added an interesting taste despite the heat. The Yuzu dipping sauce in combination with the peppers was perfect. The mushroom risotto was also excellent. The mushrooms popped with intense woodsy flavor and the rice was a creamy backdrop cooked just right. If I had to go back I don't think I could choose between the two. I'm glad I split them with my wife.
My wife had the Parmesan crusted chicken for her main course. It was cooked just right and the artichoke complemented it perfectly. I had the cod (served the same as the halibut which they list on their web site lunch menu). It was also excellent; the fish was snow white with a nice brown sear on the top. It flaked away with a light touch of my fork. The sauce gave it a bold taste with the chili in it giving a little shot of heat at the end.
For dessert we both had the warm chocolate with vanilla ice cream. As good as expected. All in all the food was really good with everything cooked just right with interesting flavors that blended when they were supposed to and always popped with something special. I'm not sure why it's called a steakhouse but its ranking as a top DC restaurant is well deserved. I look forward to going back.
515 15th St NW, Washington, DC 20004