Corduroy is a combo warm/moderately sterile bilevel restaurant located on a relatively desolate block of 9th St, NW. It has a lovely gas lamp outside though my first thought was, “why would a locavore restaurant burn superfluous natural gas?” Anywho… we were greeted and seated immediately by a very friendly staff which is always a plus as who needs snootiness anywhere or at anytime?!
The wine list is extensive and impressive, and I started by ordering a split of Chablis, the Domaine Louis Michel Premier Cru. It was just what I was hoping for: yeasty but with the acidic roundness of a good Chardonnay. T got an IPA that he enjoyed but then moved on to my Chablis, and with dinner, I got a fab Pinot Noir from the Willamette, the Lemelson Thea’s Selection. Molto bene!
Small world DC story, both T and I immediately recognized our waiter; he used to work at Hook but left due to an “alcoholic, stoner, crook” of a boss who didn’t pay his employees. I told Drew I thought it was for the best as we were totally underwhelmed by and would not have returned to Hook.
Meanwhile, we were brought bread and butter. The butter was delicious, soft and fresh and just the right amount of salt. I was a bit bummed by the bread though because while it was obviously fresh, I really feel that white bread at a good dinner should always be served warm, and this was not.
I started with the Bibb lettuce salad with a Champagne vinaigrette and it was lovely. Bibb lettuce is fab because as another of its monikers, Butter lettuce, suggests, it is buttery in a soft, pliable, pleasing way. T commenced with a parsnip-tarragon soup; though I adore both parsnips and tarragon, I felt the soup was not memorable in any way and proceeded NOT to share my salad. ;)
For course two, I ordered the heavenly, ethereal burrata with arugula and hojiblanco, a Spanish olive oil that was to die for. This dish was insanely good. Enough said. T thought he ordered the scallops with jerusalem artichoke sauce but instead received the scallop tartare special which came with a giant log o’ scallop roe. People, I cannot even mention here what it tasted like but suffice it to say that I did not go back for roe seconds. Dios mio. The scallop part was nice, but I happily stuck with my hunk o’ cheese. Do you know what burrata is? Mozzerella PLUS cream. Ridiculous! Do you know that scallops are the only migratory bivalve? Love Wikipedia.
For the final pre-dessert course, I opted for the crispy wild King salmon with morels and fresh peas. I am not a morel fan so asked to substitute another mushroom which the chef graciously did with maitakes. Yum. When the fish arrived, it was white rather than pink; I have never seen white King salmon so of course asked, and Drew said it was Ivory King salmon, a rarer wild breed. In any case, it was wonderful.
T chose the antelope with Lyonnaise potatoes and the most wonderful bacon-roasted Brussels sprouts. I immediately started interrogating Drew about how the B. sprouts were prepared and plan to attempt full replication ASAP. Will let you know. T’s antelope and sauce were to die for.
Dessert was a bit disappointing in my opinion. We opted for the pistachio bread pudding (I wanted to cry just thinking about it) and the flourless chocolate cake as T can never turn down flourless chocolate cake. I thought both were totally underwhelming and just plain stopped eating. T liked the bread pudding!
Overall, I thought Corduroy was a fine restaurant, definitely in the upper tier of DC restaurants I’ve been to in the past year, but not a truly special one in any way.
I did enjoy wearing a fabulous new dress though…. :)