Last week I wrote a preview to my restaurant week choices, so it’s only fitting to review the restaurants and meals. I have to say this might have been the most disappointing restaurant week after 5 years in DC. A lot of these restaurants are ones I have been wanting to go to for a while, but for one reason or another I haven’t made it there. Favorite courses pictured below.
I actually had an impromptu stop at Bobby Van’s for lunch on Monday to catch up with an old friend. I started off with a lovely Chilled cucumber and yellow pepper soup. It was perfect because it was a cool summer day and we were sitting outside and although the soup was cold there was a spicy flavor that warmed me up. My main course was a grilled chicken sandwich with zucchini and ricotta herb spread, which was delicious and for dessert I had a rhubarb crème brûlée. I was a little disappointed in the crème brûlée mostly because it didn’t have much of the tart flavor from rhubarb that I love. Overall it was a decent meal and it was great to catch up with a friend.
My next stop was at Art and Soul, which was the stop I was looking forward to the most because I am a big Art Smith fan (yet somehow never been to his restaurant). Unfortunately, the terrible service put a damper on the meal. We were seated half an hour after our reservation, received our main course 1 1/2 hours after it was placed, and the hostess gave attitude to one of my friends. I was pleasantly surprised by the serving size of the country style pate that I ordered, but the local hanger steak was pedestrian and the vegetables were very bland. The meal did end on a positive note with the bread pudding, I just wish it was served hot. I understand that restaurants are slammed during restaurant week, but we had to ask for bread, flag the waitress down several times to place our orders, and receive our bill. I have never had to wait this long during restaurant week and the one time that I had been seated later than the reservation, the front of house manager apologized and gave our table additional appetizers on the house. I really wanted to love Art and Soul, but the service left a bad taste in my mouth.
Another place that I have heard about for years and was excited to finally dine at was Johnny’s Half Shell. I feel like Johnny’s is a Capitol Hill/Fundraising staple and since I have never worked on the Hill and avoid fundraisers like the plague, I had yet to sample their dishes (it’s a wonder that I worked on political campaigns). I started with the shrimp and grits and although the flavor was fine, the grits were very watery. The flounder was okay but overall tasteless as were the vegetables that were served on the side. The meal was redeemed with the dessert with a light refreshing peach cobbler.
My final stop was at Kinkead’s with some of my best friends. Again we had terrible service. The waiter messed up several orders, forgot to put in the oyster order in, and was overall inattentive. The heirloom tomato salad however was a delight, but the North Atlantic Cod with mushroom sauce and potato gnocchi were sub par and the crème brûlée had no hard crust. Crème brûlée is one of my favorite desserts specifically because I enjoy breaking the crust and digging into the creamy goodness in side. It was all cream and no crunch.
Although I had wonderful company this was probably my least favorite restaurant week. Perhaps there was a reason that I hadn’t been to most of these restaurants. Hopefully, winter restaurant week will rise to my expectations.