Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Restaurant Review: Adour

Well, here's my take on Adour, Alain Ducasse's Washington, D.C. restaurant.

First, let me say that I had a little "intelligence" going into this dining experience -- only a few days before, the Wash Post's Tom Sietsema had written this review of Adour.

The atmosphere at the restaurant is pleasant. The ornate, coffered ceiling that pre-existed Adour is still there, but the window treatments and lighting below have a more subtle, contemporary look.

There are two foie gras dishes on the list of appetizers. Both were excellent, but the seared foie gras with an "onion belt" was the best of the two. For what it's worth, the two diners next to our table both ordered the hamachi appetizer. It looked really good, but (obviously) looks aren't conclusive.

For entrees, my significant-other and I had the duck breast and the beef tenderloin with short ribs. Although the tenderloin was simply good but not great, the short ribs made the beef entree superb. The short ribs had been braised for several hours, and they were absolutely succulent. The duck was good, but not exceptional.

Neither of us ate dessert. (Well, what I mean is that neither of us ordered dessert.) But, as is the custom at many upper-crust restaurants, we received some complimentary petit fours. These included homemade macaroons, which are in a class far above anything that I have ever heard called a macaroon before. Both the chocolate and the raspberry macaroons (pictured above) were utterly sublime. The filling is like an intensely flavored ganache.

So, as shocking as it may seem, the best thing we ate at Adour was gratis.

The wine list at Adour deserves a lot of credit for diversity in price and varietals. We had a Nuit-St.-Georges that was excellent.

I was pleased with Adour, but I wasn't wow'd by it. Sure, I'd go back to Adour, but its menu prices won't make it easy for me to do so. It's worth a splurge when you have one of those special occasions, or if you're dining on an expense account.

P.S. - Adour should have tried to create a bathroom that's located in the same zip code as the restaurant itself.

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