Restaurant week for me has never been that exciting. I have either had a job where there was no humanly possible way i could sneak out for an hour and a half or a boyfriend who thought the concept was ridiculous. Normally i will do one dinner with the boy of that year and be mildly satisfied.
This year, my whole office got really into it. We spend a good deal of time talking about food in here ... trading recipes and planning group dinners and the such. One of the girls even has a spreadsheet ... So this year we got a tip four months ago about the Restaurant Week dates for August. We work in the political world so August is paradise. We must have each made 6 reservations for various lunch/dinner combinations.
In reality as a group we just went to one lunch together at Brassiere Beck. We made the reservation four months ago before the RW list was actually posted and nobody checked if Beck was actually on the list... so to our surprise upon arrival, they are not participating. We are told by our waitress that "none of Robert Weidmaier's restaurants participate in discount restaurant week affairs." No wonder its not packed with interns! Our waitress continued to be sooty throughout the meal ... prompting us to ask her to explain just about every dish on the menu ;-). I should say that the rest of the staff were delightful.
We stayed of course and everyone left perfectly satisfied, impressed and full. I choose the Duck Congolese Almondine, Paul had the Potato Leek Soup and the Avocado, Shrimp, Hearts of Palm and Maria Rose Sauce salad, Roshan had the Roasted Pork Tenderloin with Confit of Cabbage and Mustard Sauce and Kellyn choose the Roasted Rabbit in Kriek Beer.
I had the Duck Congolese Almondine cooked medium rare and it was perfection. It was displayed on a bed of Israeli couscous with a sweet almond cranberry type sauce that was definitely not overwhelming. I loved the mix of crunchy almond slivers and the couscous with a little of the tender duck on top. Very rarely in my life have I wanted to lick a plate clean ... but the waiter literally had to wait for me to sup up the last bits of sauce with my bread (which was also fantastic.. it was light and flavorful and served very hot).
I sampled the other dishes... the pork tenderloin can only be described as melts in your mouth wonderful. This was my first experience with Rabbit so I can't compare this particular presentation but it was very tender and flavorful. I didn't love the salad but that was just because I didn't love the sauce... it had a bit too much mayo for my pallet but the presentation was beautiful ... like ceviche.
It was lunch during a work week so we did not sample the beer (a monumental mistake), but the list was overwhelmingly impressive and i would like to wander back for a happy hour at the bar to sample a few along with a few small plates.
1101 K Street, NW
202-408-1717 or opentable.com for reservations.