Monday, November 10, 2008

Review: Bardeo

I had dinner last night at Bardeo, the smaller and less formal next-door cousin of Ardeo restaurant.

Bardeo has been open at its Cleveland Park location for many years so this review is more of a check-in or progress report for an eatery with which many Washington, D.C. residents are familiar.

This is a place where you can get a choice of about a dozen small plates -- proscuitto-wrapped fig and risotto balls, for example -- as well as a good choice of wines by either the full glass or half glass.

All three of the reds I drank last night were fine; I'd probably grade them each as a B or B+. I ordered mussels steamed in a creamy white wine and butter mixture. (Yeah, yeah, I know . . . . mussels with red wine? Well, I just wasn't in a white wine mood.) Anyway, the mussels were not impressive. I enjoyed dipping my bread into the liquid, but the mussels were simply "okay." They were big, but not nearly as tasty as P.E.I. mussels.

My other dish was the star of the night: the potted foie gras, which was infused with (I'm guessing) with cognac or armagnac and served warm with grilled bread.

The interior is very pleasant -- sleek and post-modern. But I never like to sit too close to the entrance, especially in cooler weather because of the draft that sweeps in whenever someone enters.

I always have a good meal at Bardeo, but rarely a great one. But that's fine. Bardeo's is what it is -- a nice casual bar-eatery with upscale food that is served in unfussy ways. It's not a restaurant that's trying hard to impress anyone, but when I want something good to eat and drink that isn't too far from my neighborhood, Bardeo often comes to mind.

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