Rachel and I were rather strategic about this year’s Restaurant Week. We wanted to a) dine somewhere we have never been to before, b) make sure the $35 price tag was worthwhile, and c) eat at a place that offered the full menu.
Adour covered two out of three of those prerequisites – they only offered a limited menu – but given that Alain Ducasse’s DC establishment serves entrees that are typically priced over $35, we made an exception to that last condition.
With our party of six promptly seated for our 7:30pm reservation, the staff was already very hospitable given that one of our friends had brought their newborn along to dinner with a stroller. Adour isn’t one of the most baby-friendly restaurants in the city, but they were very courteous given the situation, though I think the highest honor should go to baby Micah himself. He was very well-behaved throughout the evening and barely made a peep.
While reviewing the wine menu, our waiter dropped off a plate of warm gougères which were quickly devoured by the table. After placing our orders, we were presented with an amuse bouche of carrot ginger soup. Delightfully creamy, it was a nice way to start the meal off.
For our first course, I ordered the daurade ceviche. The fish, which was served atop a layer of avocado, was light and refreshing. On top of the daurade were kernels of fresh corn as well as popcorn. The latter was an interesting ingredient to say the least, both texturally and flavor-wise, but it was way too salty and contrasted with the protein.
Rachel started off with the chilled heirloom tomato gazpacho with compressed watermelon and basil. She debated if this would be a worthwhile Restaurant Week choice given that fact that it was just soup, but after the first bite she knew she had chosen well. The flavor of watermelon was very prominent, and combined with the basil and tomatoes, it was one of the better gazpacho dishes she has tasted.
For our entrees, I went with the braised beef short rib. This dish easily made the meal for me as the short rib was simply outstanding. I barely had to use my knife since the meat was so incredibly tender. Served with sautéed onions, tomatoes, and peppers in addition to a side dish of creamy polenta, I can safely say that it was one of the best short ribs I have ever had. A bold statement, I know, but I was really blown away by the careful preparation of the chef. Considering that this entrée alone is regularly priced at $37, it’s a steal to say the least.
For the entree Rachel ordered the seared Scottish salmon. It wasn’t the best salmon she ever had, but it was well-cooked and melted in her mouth. The mussels on top were a nice touch and overall it was a pleasing dish. After having a bite of the short rib she did encounter some ordering envy, but she happily cleaned her plate.
As for dessert, I ordered the milk chocolate coffee bar. Served with a side of nougatine ice cream, this was a decadent ending to a great meal. Adour’s spin on the Kit-Kat, I would take Ducasse’s version over Hershey’s 11 times out of 10. Topped with crispy rice drizzled with chocolate, it was incredibly hard to put the fork down. Then again, I had to in order to use my spoon to scoop out every last remnant of the homemade ice cream!
Rachel got the roasted pineapple with coconut sorbet. She loved the dessert as the flavors of coconut and pineapple blended together in perfect harmony. Even though she was full from the prior courses, it wasn’t too heavy as she was still able to fully enjoy her dessert.
Overall, Adour was a fantastic meal. After reading some mixed reviews, I must admit that I felt I was going to be setup for a disappointment, but fortunately that was not the case. We had excellent service as they were very accommodating given our friend’s baby. Despite the limited menu options, the food was excellently cooked and even transcendent at times (see: short rib). We even received some complimentary cookies before we got the bill. For all the flack Restaurant Week receives, Adour is a shining example of how it can succeed.