Got there slightly early for the reservation. Had a drink at the bar. Dirty martini, which was just a tad too dirty.
Once seated the experience began. And I'm just going to summarize. The food was overall excellent. The service was efficient. However, the waiter was constantly hovering. I think they should take longer than 2 hours for that many courses, even though they are all only amuse bouche sized. Still a great dining experience for me involves savoring every morsel and having a chance to chat with my dinner companions. This felt like assembly line eating.
Also, there is one chef for every two people, and it makes a big difference who you get. It seems that the chef de cuisine likes to stadn in the middle--request his seciton if at all possible. His descriptions are key. The guy we had wasn't very personable. He was good at making the food but lacked in presenting it. And when I inquired for details he seemed confused and had to aks the middle guy. Finally, I just asked the middle guy directly, but that only last a few courses. Example: "that's eggs 147 with caviar." OK, what does the 147 stand for, what kind of caviar? You get the idea. I got the feeling most diners either didn't know better or were only there out of curiosity or for bragging rights. I didn't get the impression they were that into food.
Those are the negative things. On the upside, it's a great deal for the price. And the food was truly unique and wonderful. Best experience I had in DC.
Highlights: the chocolate foie gras truffle snack in the beginning is like a mysterious little ball. Cotton candy foie gras was so lite and airy it was lovely. The deconstructed ceasar salad in 2 sushi-like pieces, one with only romaine and beautifully shaved parmesan, the other with a raw quail egg on top. A miniature corn on the cob. Zucchini caviar impressed two non-zucchini lovers. Lovely. Sea urchin with pomengranate air. Mmmmm. Kobe beef "meat" and creamy potatoes.
Could've been better: deconstructed wine didn't really taste like wine. Salmon roe cone with creme fraiche is a little bit trite these days.
They're closing down to redesign the menu soon. Make a point to go there now.
Oh, and the wine flights are huge. Don't know why they need to be so big. Also, nobody really tells you what pairs well with what, or how to best enjoy them. Still, they are a great bargain. I recommend spliting one.
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