Adoring Adour for Restaurant Week (closed)

I am not a fan of French food.  I much prefer the more pronounced flavors found in Indian, Asian, and Latin cuisine. Nevertheless, Adour was at the top of my Restaurant Week wish list, as #5 on Washingtonian‘s 100 Very Best Restaurants for 2011.  Restaurant Week is the perfect opportunity to try new foods, and to sample a menu where entrees range from $34 to $44.

It has been a week and far too many restaurant meals since I’ve been to Adour (including four meals in New Orleans).  Still the memory of my dinner at Adour lingers.  Simply put, it is one my favorite meals I have had in quite some time. And I have had many good meals in the last several months.

When RW was first announced reservations for Adour weren’t yet available online.  I picked up the phone and actually called Adour.  I know that this doesn’t sound exceptionally radical but I usually rely on Open Table for my reservations.  But desperate times call for desperate measures.  I could hardly contain my excitement when I was easily able to secure a reservation by phone.  Note for the future.

Adour is in the beautifully-restored classic and classy St. Regis Hotel.

In contrast to the hotel decor, the restaurant has a modern, elegant feel to it.  The word that comes to mind is swanky.  The chairs and tables are all white with black and silver accents, including leather placemats.

We are warmly welcomed into the dining room. The service is formal and a bit reserved but certainly attentive.  Complimentary gougeres (cheese puffs) are delivered to our table.   This is followed by bread, which is good (as it should be) and an amuse bouche made of pureed cod and potatoes.  My friend thinks the amuse bouche is something you may get out of a can at Trader Joe’s or Costco.  I disagree, although it doesn’t blow me away.

The RW menu has three starters, three entrees, and two desserts.  I start with a lobster bisque.  There are chunks of lobster in a peppery broth and delicious croutons.  It is divine.

My husband begins with a beautiful beet salad with goat cheese fondue and candied walnuts.

My friend has the stuffed squid appetizer, which she is hesitant about ordering, but ends up loving the flavor.

Two of us order contemporary chicken breast parmesan with tomato marmalade, polenta, and a parmesan emulsion. I struggle with my decision but in the end it wins out over the other choices of monkfish or braised beef cheeks.  The chicken melts in my mouth.  It is as moist a piece of chicken as any I have ever had.  The parmesan crust adds an interesting texture.  I savor every bite.

My husband and friend have the roasted monkfish with peewee potatoes and mustard sauce. The sauce is described as “exceptional.”

Dessert is the pièce de résistance.  My friend and I have the orange tian which features clementines, orange creme and marmalade.  It is refreshing, it is tangy, it is sweet, all at the same time.

My husband and friend have the milk chocolate dome.  They enjoy it but are not raving as we are about our tian.

We are also served a plate of orange/raspberry macaroons and shortbread cookies, which are both outstanding.

The Restaurant Week menu at Adour is clearly modified from the regular menu to feature simpler dishes.  I don’t mind.  I hesitate to say I will be back for a non-RW meal, given the prices and the fact that I am still not convinced that I love French food.  However, if a special occasion arises I would consider Adour and I will certainly recommend it to others. I do know that as soon as I get the email announcing summer 2011 Restaurant Week, I will pick up the phone to call Adour.  At $35 for three courses, c’est magnifique!

Adour, 923 16th and K Streets, Northwest, Washington, DC

My rating (on a 1-5 scale):   4.6
Zagat Rating: 24
# 5 Washingtonian‘s 100 Very Best Restaurants 2011

Washington Post review
Washingtonian review

Adour (St. Regis Hotel) on Urbanspoon

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