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Friday, April 4, 2008

Review: Charlie Palmer's, Washington, DC.

The Washingtonian's Best Restaurants 2008 was an invaluable resource for us during our travels. No surprise to any regular readers of this blog, but my partner-in-crime had a steak craving while we were there. We decided on Charlie Palmer's because the menu looked good and we got 1000 points on OpenTable. Score!

Charlie Palmer owns restaurants in NY, DC, Vegas and elsewhere, and is known for lots of wine (which I did not sample, much to the sommelier's chagrin)-- 3500 bottles on display in the restaurant, and a total of 10,000 on premises-- and high quality ingredients. This location, which is right on Capitol Hill (in the area where the streets criss-cross confusingly; we had to ask some pedestrians for directions). The restaurant itself is spare but impressive: leather banquettes, lots of glass, lots of black and white, lots of chrome, and dark wood. It doesn't have the traditional steakhouse feel, but definitely feels stylish and expensive. The staff was attentive-- no less than six people, headed by a stylishly suited waiter, served us during the evening-- but not overly so. We had plenty of time to talk and people watch.

The scene felt a lot like the early scenes of American Psycho. Lots of gelled hair, expensive suits, and exchanges of business cards. I could practically hear Patrick Bateman's brand litany in the back of my head. The interesting part? Of the serving staff, only one was female. Of the guests, including me, I think there were maybe six women in the entire dining room. Despite Hillary Clinton's run for president, Nancy Pelosi as Speaker of the House, and Condoleeza Rice as secretary of state, Capitol Hill is still very much a boys' club.

There aren't a ton of pictures from this place, because I felt very self-conscious taking them. I'll have to get over that, won't I?

We each got a drink-- Terry, a beer (I really have to keep track of what sort of beer he orders out, don't I?) and I got a cosmopolitan. The first one tasted like straight cranberry juice, the second one was quite tasty.

The chef sent out an amuse bouche, which was a cold cantaloupe soup with grenadine. Very refreshing, and the contrast between the very sweet cantaloupe and the syrupy, tart grenadine was fantastic.

For our first course, we split a Caesar salad-- this was great, with whole leaves of hearts of romaine, lots of freshly grated parmesan, and an obviously fresh dressing that was heavy on the anchovy. It was plenty for two people, but they didn't split the plate. It's a little awkward to share a salad with someone next to you.

Our entrees came up next. Palmer's has a ton of different steaks: from USDA Angus aged from 21-28 days and in various cuts, to Kobe beef at $20 an ounce (5 ounce minimum), as well as chicken, duck, pork, seafood, and one vegetarian (but not vegan) dish. Terry got a steak: a "Cowboy Cut" ribeye, bone in, with horseradish cream, creamed spinach and fries with chipotle aioli.



What an amazing steak. Perfectly cooked, look at those juices! The horseradish cream went with it perfectly. The creamed spinach isn't pictured, but it was very spinachy-- some creamed spinach is far heavier on the cream. He said it's one of the better steaks he's had in years.


And look at the presentation of the fries! This is what inspired me to actually take pictures-- the presentation was hard to beat. On the right side is the chipotle aioli, which was just the perfect level of spice, and on the other side, ketchup. The fries were crispy and delicious. I ate more of them than I should have.

I ended up with the Roasted Breast of Sonoma County Duck with endive marmalade,
roasted macoun apple tarte tatin and seared foie gras. If I eat much more duck and foie, I'm going to start quacking. This was seriously heavenly: the duck itself was well seasoned and not too greasy or too dry, but the real standout was the tarte tatin with seared foie gras. If I just had a plate with that, I would have been a happy girl. The apple tarte tatin was very traditional, and the perfect complement to the foie gras, which was perfectly seared. It's the best foie I've had, bar none (and I've had so much foie in the past month, it's ridiculous). I was torn between gobbling up every bit in a taste overload, or savoring every last bite. I came to a happy medium.



Terry was stuffed, but my eye caught the dessert menu-- apricot basil sorbet! I had to have some, so we did.


Sorry it's so blurry. Again, I was feeling self conscious. There are three flavors there: a rich, true raspberry, a very refreshing mango, and the apricot-basil, which was disappointgly low on basil. The apricot flavor, however, was very good and not overly sweet. And the little cookies? Homemade shortbread. I think I know what's next on my baking list. I love how shortbread is sweet and a little salty at the same time. Yum.

Terry and I have eaten a lot of meals together, and we decided that this one was probably the best one-- the surroundings were stylish but intimate, the menu was outstanding, and the service was superb. If you find yourself in DC and want a steak (or duck or foie..), I'd highly recommend Charlie Palmer's.

1 comment:

Cin Twin1 said...

My hubby is a patent lawyer and is going to DC in a week for work. I have been telling him about the reviews of the DC restaurants, and he might try one out! Too bad I wasn't going with him. I don't think we could get him to take pictures of where he went. We went to The Hideaway last night and thought it was good. We both loved the potatoes. Keep up the great posts!

Friday, April 4, 2008

Review: Charlie Palmer's, Washington, DC.

The Washingtonian's Best Restaurants 2008 was an invaluable resource for us during our travels. No surprise to any regular readers of this blog, but my partner-in-crime had a steak craving while we were there. We decided on Charlie Palmer's because the menu looked good and we got 1000 points on OpenTable. Score!

Charlie Palmer owns restaurants in NY, DC, Vegas and elsewhere, and is known for lots of wine (which I did not sample, much to the sommelier's chagrin)-- 3500 bottles on display in the restaurant, and a total of 10,000 on premises-- and high quality ingredients. This location, which is right on Capitol Hill (in the area where the streets criss-cross confusingly; we had to ask some pedestrians for directions). The restaurant itself is spare but impressive: leather banquettes, lots of glass, lots of black and white, lots of chrome, and dark wood. It doesn't have the traditional steakhouse feel, but definitely feels stylish and expensive. The staff was attentive-- no less than six people, headed by a stylishly suited waiter, served us during the evening-- but not overly so. We had plenty of time to talk and people watch.

The scene felt a lot like the early scenes of American Psycho. Lots of gelled hair, expensive suits, and exchanges of business cards. I could practically hear Patrick Bateman's brand litany in the back of my head. The interesting part? Of the serving staff, only one was female. Of the guests, including me, I think there were maybe six women in the entire dining room. Despite Hillary Clinton's run for president, Nancy Pelosi as Speaker of the House, and Condoleeza Rice as secretary of state, Capitol Hill is still very much a boys' club.

There aren't a ton of pictures from this place, because I felt very self-conscious taking them. I'll have to get over that, won't I?

We each got a drink-- Terry, a beer (I really have to keep track of what sort of beer he orders out, don't I?) and I got a cosmopolitan. The first one tasted like straight cranberry juice, the second one was quite tasty.

The chef sent out an amuse bouche, which was a cold cantaloupe soup with grenadine. Very refreshing, and the contrast between the very sweet cantaloupe and the syrupy, tart grenadine was fantastic.

For our first course, we split a Caesar salad-- this was great, with whole leaves of hearts of romaine, lots of freshly grated parmesan, and an obviously fresh dressing that was heavy on the anchovy. It was plenty for two people, but they didn't split the plate. It's a little awkward to share a salad with someone next to you.

Our entrees came up next. Palmer's has a ton of different steaks: from USDA Angus aged from 21-28 days and in various cuts, to Kobe beef at $20 an ounce (5 ounce minimum), as well as chicken, duck, pork, seafood, and one vegetarian (but not vegan) dish. Terry got a steak: a "Cowboy Cut" ribeye, bone in, with horseradish cream, creamed spinach and fries with chipotle aioli.



What an amazing steak. Perfectly cooked, look at those juices! The horseradish cream went with it perfectly. The creamed spinach isn't pictured, but it was very spinachy-- some creamed spinach is far heavier on the cream. He said it's one of the better steaks he's had in years.


And look at the presentation of the fries! This is what inspired me to actually take pictures-- the presentation was hard to beat. On the right side is the chipotle aioli, which was just the perfect level of spice, and on the other side, ketchup. The fries were crispy and delicious. I ate more of them than I should have.

I ended up with the Roasted Breast of Sonoma County Duck with endive marmalade,
roasted macoun apple tarte tatin and seared foie gras. If I eat much more duck and foie, I'm going to start quacking. This was seriously heavenly: the duck itself was well seasoned and not too greasy or too dry, but the real standout was the tarte tatin with seared foie gras. If I just had a plate with that, I would have been a happy girl. The apple tarte tatin was very traditional, and the perfect complement to the foie gras, which was perfectly seared. It's the best foie I've had, bar none (and I've had so much foie in the past month, it's ridiculous). I was torn between gobbling up every bit in a taste overload, or savoring every last bite. I came to a happy medium.



Terry was stuffed, but my eye caught the dessert menu-- apricot basil sorbet! I had to have some, so we did.


Sorry it's so blurry. Again, I was feeling self conscious. There are three flavors there: a rich, true raspberry, a very refreshing mango, and the apricot-basil, which was disappointgly low on basil. The apricot flavor, however, was very good and not overly sweet. And the little cookies? Homemade shortbread. I think I know what's next on my baking list. I love how shortbread is sweet and a little salty at the same time. Yum.

Terry and I have eaten a lot of meals together, and we decided that this one was probably the best one-- the surroundings were stylish but intimate, the menu was outstanding, and the service was superb. If you find yourself in DC and want a steak (or duck or foie..), I'd highly recommend Charlie Palmer's.

1 comment:

Cin Twin1 said...

My hubby is a patent lawyer and is going to DC in a week for work. I have been telling him about the reviews of the DC restaurants, and he might try one out! Too bad I wasn't going with him. I don't think we could get him to take pictures of where he went. We went to The Hideaway last night and thought it was good. We both loved the potatoes. Keep up the great posts!

Friday, April 4, 2008

Review: Charlie Palmer's, Washington, DC.

The Washingtonian's Best Restaurants 2008 was an invaluable resource for us during our travels. No surprise to any regular readers of this blog, but my partner-in-crime had a steak craving while we were there. We decided on Charlie Palmer's because the menu looked good and we got 1000 points on OpenTable. Score!

Charlie Palmer owns restaurants in NY, DC, Vegas and elsewhere, and is known for lots of wine (which I did not sample, much to the sommelier's chagrin)-- 3500 bottles on display in the restaurant, and a total of 10,000 on premises-- and high quality ingredients. This location, which is right on Capitol Hill (in the area where the streets criss-cross confusingly; we had to ask some pedestrians for directions). The restaurant itself is spare but impressive: leather banquettes, lots of glass, lots of black and white, lots of chrome, and dark wood. It doesn't have the traditional steakhouse feel, but definitely feels stylish and expensive. The staff was attentive-- no less than six people, headed by a stylishly suited waiter, served us during the evening-- but not overly so. We had plenty of time to talk and people watch.

The scene felt a lot like the early scenes of American Psycho. Lots of gelled hair, expensive suits, and exchanges of business cards. I could practically hear Patrick Bateman's brand litany in the back of my head. The interesting part? Of the serving staff, only one was female. Of the guests, including me, I think there were maybe six women in the entire dining room. Despite Hillary Clinton's run for president, Nancy Pelosi as Speaker of the House, and Condoleeza Rice as secretary of state, Capitol Hill is still very much a boys' club.

There aren't a ton of pictures from this place, because I felt very self-conscious taking them. I'll have to get over that, won't I?

We each got a drink-- Terry, a beer (I really have to keep track of what sort of beer he orders out, don't I?) and I got a cosmopolitan. The first one tasted like straight cranberry juice, the second one was quite tasty.

The chef sent out an amuse bouche, which was a cold cantaloupe soup with grenadine. Very refreshing, and the contrast between the very sweet cantaloupe and the syrupy, tart grenadine was fantastic.

For our first course, we split a Caesar salad-- this was great, with whole leaves of hearts of romaine, lots of freshly grated parmesan, and an obviously fresh dressing that was heavy on the anchovy. It was plenty for two people, but they didn't split the plate. It's a little awkward to share a salad with someone next to you.

Our entrees came up next. Palmer's has a ton of different steaks: from USDA Angus aged from 21-28 days and in various cuts, to Kobe beef at $20 an ounce (5 ounce minimum), as well as chicken, duck, pork, seafood, and one vegetarian (but not vegan) dish. Terry got a steak: a "Cowboy Cut" ribeye, bone in, with horseradish cream, creamed spinach and fries with chipotle aioli.



What an amazing steak. Perfectly cooked, look at those juices! The horseradish cream went with it perfectly. The creamed spinach isn't pictured, but it was very spinachy-- some creamed spinach is far heavier on the cream. He said it's one of the better steaks he's had in years.


And look at the presentation of the fries! This is what inspired me to actually take pictures-- the presentation was hard to beat. On the right side is the chipotle aioli, which was just the perfect level of spice, and on the other side, ketchup. The fries were crispy and delicious. I ate more of them than I should have.

I ended up with the Roasted Breast of Sonoma County Duck with endive marmalade,
roasted macoun apple tarte tatin and seared foie gras. If I eat much more duck and foie, I'm going to start quacking. This was seriously heavenly: the duck itself was well seasoned and not too greasy or too dry, but the real standout was the tarte tatin with seared foie gras. If I just had a plate with that, I would have been a happy girl. The apple tarte tatin was very traditional, and the perfect complement to the foie gras, which was perfectly seared. It's the best foie I've had, bar none (and I've had so much foie in the past month, it's ridiculous). I was torn between gobbling up every bit in a taste overload, or savoring every last bite. I came to a happy medium.



Terry was stuffed, but my eye caught the dessert menu-- apricot basil sorbet! I had to have some, so we did.


Sorry it's so blurry. Again, I was feeling self conscious. There are three flavors there: a rich, true raspberry, a very refreshing mango, and the apricot-basil, which was disappointgly low on basil. The apricot flavor, however, was very good and not overly sweet. And the little cookies? Homemade shortbread. I think I know what's next on my baking list. I love how shortbread is sweet and a little salty at the same time. Yum.

Terry and I have eaten a lot of meals together, and we decided that this one was probably the best one-- the surroundings were stylish but intimate, the menu was outstanding, and the service was superb. If you find yourself in DC and want a steak (or duck or foie..), I'd highly recommend Charlie Palmer's.

1 comment:

Cin Twin1 said...

My hubby is a patent lawyer and is going to DC in a week for work. I have been telling him about the reviews of the DC restaurants, and he might try one out! Too bad I wasn't going with him. I don't think we could get him to take pictures of where he went. We went to The Hideaway last night and thought it was good. We both loved the potatoes. Keep up the great posts!