Upon the advice of friends who had gone for drinks and were floored by the layout and decor of the place, I went last night to the just-opened Mie N Yu in Georgetown.
In a nutshell, there is no more modern and interesting restaurant in Georgetown. That said, I wish the chef(s) was as delighted by the food as the servers apppeared to be. Mie N Yu is, through its visual innovation and culinary laziness, a fun but expensive triumph of style over substance.
You've probably already heard about how the menu is divided into "proteins" and "starches" for the Atkins-minded among us. That would be fine if the potatos au gratin were better than what I could purchase from Stouffers and the leg of lamb wasn't a dried-out cafateria-like offering. And for the prices ($9 for the potatos and $19 for the lamb) I expect something better than pub food - or at least as good.
That the braised dishes - short ribs, pheasant - were much more impressive. Still, for the price, the presentation was lacking. Where Mie N Yu does come closer to goodness is in its "Raw" section of sushi-ish appetizers. Granted, it's difficult to ruin raw fish, but once they take it a little easier on the oil, these dishes could provide drinkers and diners alike with a nice meal.
Fortunately, the decor and design are simply SO good that I will likely return for another shot at dinner and drinks. The bar is a spacious affair with a DJ booth that looks like a puppet stage. There are numerous rooms, which I assume will serve their main purpose as "VIP rooms" and the like for private functions. Each of the five dining rooms have their own motif - moroccan wedding, rainforest (I think), etc. We sat in the wedding tent and it was comfortable and adjustable - the tables were like barber chairs to accomodate one's posture. This "division of labor" works well, as I assume on my return visit I will have a different experience - I hope - while only sitting a few feet away from where I first ate.
So what's going to happen to Mie N Yu? Hopefully the kitchen will shape-up and focus more on its braised dishes and vegetarian entrees. The prices are fine IF the food quality is improved. Also, if they can keep out the baseball hat set - a challenge being four doors down from Old Glory - I think they'll carve out a nice niche on M Street that will hopefully breed more of the same.
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