Archive | October, 2012

Mintwood Place

26 Oct

One of the District’s most buzzed about restaurants since opening in the beginning of this year was Adams Morgan’s Mintwood Place. From critical acclaims (it made Tom Sietsema’s Fall Dining Guide) to presidential visits, executive chef Cedric Maupillier has delighted diners with his eclectic blend of French and southern American cuisine.

Mintwood Place has been on our bucket list of restaurants to visit since they first opened their doors in January, but it wasn’t until a late August day that we finally made our way over there. We decided to dine out on the patio as the weather was perfect for an outdoor dinner.

The menu adds a French twist to southern classics, as was the case when we decided to order a plate of escargot hush puppies as an appetizer. And if you were curious, they were as delicious as they sounded. Wonderfully crispy on the outside and delicately rich on the inside, it’s a clever dish that’s well-executed. Generously-sized portion, too.

Escargot hush puppie

We took some time deliberating over what to order as the main course, but instead of each ordering a different entrée, we tried something different and opted for the roasted pork for two. It turned out to be a very good choice as we were served a mammoth platter of sliced, succulent pork.

Roast pork for two

Accompanied with a roasted mound of garlic and housemade charcutiere sauce, you also have a choice of two sides, so we ordered the broccolini and roasted mushrooms. Both were very flavorful side dishes and complemented the juicy pork. Blending the roasted garlic with the charcutiere sauce and gently spreading it over the pork greatly enhanced the dish.


Considering that the restaurant’s other entrees average around the mid twenties while the side dishes are a la carte, $46 is a very good value for the platter when you factor in the generous portion of pork and duo of sides.

Roasted mushrooms

In fact, we were so full from our main course that we had to pass up on dessert. Nonetheless, the service at Mintwood Place was exceptional. Our server not only knew the kitchen’s preparations by heart, but he also helped steer us in the right direction by recommending the roasted pork. Mintwood Place is an excellent addition to Adams Morgan and is one restaurant we would wholeheartedly recommend.

Mintwood Place on Urbanspoon

A Return to Corduroy

16 Oct

One of the very first restaurants that introduced us to the world of District fine dining was Corduroy. If memory serves me correctly, it was probably six years ago when we were first introduced to Tom Power’s exquisite cooking. It was oddly located inside a Sheraton off of K Street with a no-frills dining room. The kitchen, however, left a lasting impression. I can still recall my entrée after all these years – lamb sirloin with miniature goat cheese ravioli. Rachel, too, can still remember their incredible seared sea scallops.

If only we started this blog six years ago. Since then, this city has seen an unparalleled explosion in dining establishments. Somehow, Corduroy got lost in the shuffle and we have not make a return trip since. In 2008, the restaurant relocated from the downtown Sheraton and situated itself right across the street from the convention center.  We kept meaning to visit the new location but never got around to it.

That was until a few months ago when I noticed Chef Power himself posted on Don Rockwell informing members that he would be offering a special five-course tasting menu for two days only with an incredible price of $40 per person. Considering that the majority of their entrees are normally in the 30s, we basically made a reservation on the spot.

First of all, the new location is a vast improvement from its previous locale. The entrance is nearly hidden while the interior carries a warm, inviting atmosphere. No longer sterile like the Sheraton location, the new address feels modern but not stuffy. The bar is located upstairs where diners can partake in one of the District’s best deals for dinner: $30 for a three-course meal.

Chilled eggplant soup

Anyway, Rachel was about nine months pregnant at the time, so when we informed the waiter we here for the special menu, we made sure to tell him not to bring anything raw (much to my chagrin). Our first course was their chilled eggplant soup. Rich and creamy, the soup was very flavorful and was a refreshing course given the humidity at the time (remember, this was back in August).

Alaskan salmon accompanied with corn relish

Our next course featured a beautifully-cooked piece of Alaskan salmon accompanied with corn relish. Both Rachel and I really enjoyed this dish, and I’m not even a big fan of salmon.

Roast and confit guinea hen with savoy cabbage

Up next was roast and confit guinea hen with savoy cabbage. Another fantastic preparation, the hen was wonderfully succulent while the crispy skin was a delight in its own right.

Wagyu beef strip loin with garlic mashed potatoes

As if this evening could not get any better, our next course was Wagyu beef strip loin with garlic mashed potatoes. We haven’t had Wagyu since Rachel’s birthday nearly two years ago at Sushi Taro, and good heavens, was this a legitimate piece of beef. It really doesn’t need an explanation as a picture says a thousand words.

Broken Arrow Ranch antelope with scalloped potatoes

Just when we thought we had reached the dessert course, our waiter informed us that since he had noticed that Rachel was pregnant, the chef thought we should have one more course to make sure she was well-nourished. Then out came a piece of Broken Arrow Ranch antelope with scalloped potatoes.  Yes, antelope! I honestly could not believe anything would top the Waygu, yet the antelope was one of the most delicious, most tender pieces of meat the two of us have ever come across in our years of dining. I’m not joking – imagine filet mignon, but even more succulent. Yeah, I was nearly taken aback by its lusciousness.

Sorbet Trio

Our meal then concluded not with one but two desserts. First was a trio of refreshing sorbets while the other was a chocolate tort accompanied with caramelized banana and caramel ice cream. Guess which one was our favorite.

Chocolate tort accompanied with caramelized banana and caramel ice cream

Our meal at Corduroy was simply outstanding. We seriously cannot believe it has been at least five years since our last meal there, but it is undeniably one of the District’s best restaurants. It may not receive as much publicity as other places, but Chef Power is a treasure and Corduroy is a gem. We were already trying to figure out when to come back to take advantage of their $30 bar special. No wonder we started blogging about restaurants – our experiences at Corduroy are the reason why.

Corduroy on Urbanspoon