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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.