RW = mixed blessing; there can be limited menus and harried, rude staff balanced by splendid discoveries and truly gracious chefs and servers. Not to mention the great watercooler talk as everyone compares notes in the office all week.
So here's my adventures at 2 DC spots: Acadiana gets a B for food, D for service; Kolumbia gets a B+ for food and an A for service.
Acadiana is architecturally promising with a bilevel bar area and big windows. It also has an unfortunately acoustically disastrous dining room. We were seated near the open kitchen and even with soaring ceilings for noise to disperse, I could not hear conversation from anyone at my table. The table service was underwhelming: our server could not have evoked more 'northern charm, southern efficiency'. 3 drinks were ordered, 2 arrived. 6 soups were ordered, 5 arrived. And we were never asked how we liked our dishes.
Food: The biscuits are GREAT, light, fluffy, and warm. The oyster rockefeller soup was tasty, but not very hot and a bit too salty. My entree was excellent - the "grillades and grits" of sauteed veal medallions, cheese grits, and wild mushroom gravy was stellar, tender and full of flavor; other entrees at the table had flaws, the grouper too dry, the crabcake had shells. The wine selection is interesting and varied. Our table liked that Acadiana offered anything on its entree menu for tasting; appetizers were limited to 3 soups and desserts were limited to 3 choices. And there was a nice lagniappe of chocolates with the check.
This place gets a second chance after RW rush.
Restaurant Kolumbia - where are all the reviews on this friendly newcomer? Several birthday parties were happening, the bar crowd was happy, the staff were warm and bantering. Yet there were empty tables. We were seated in a comfy booth, the noise level was good for conversation, and the service was very welcoming. The martini was big, and the french bread worth writing home about. Limited menu for RW - 3 choices each for appetizer, entree and dessert. The fish soup was bouillabaisse style, thick, earthy, with a great crouton; the salad interesting with grapefruit and avocado. The swordfish steak frites was a knockout, a 3 inch high perfectly moist steak with crunchy fries that demand mustard. I ate every morsel. The desserts were good, but I would have liked the walnut tart to have been warm. Bonus - As we left, the chef checked with us how we liked our meal, and asked us to tell our friends - so there we are. try them out and see.