travel: a vernal showing…

Cherry Blossoms
Cherry Blossoms
Dunbarton Oaks, Washington, D.C.

The cherry trees were beginning their vernal show around the Tidal Basin.  And despite the unexpected freeze, they held up nicely for the official start to the Cherry Blossom Festival.

Though I can’t say I enjoyed living there, it was good to be back in Washington, D.C.  I hadn’t been since I left in 2003.

At that time, D.C.’s culinary scene was vibrant and diverse, burgeoning, but not quite the pulsing beat that it is now.

At the fine dining level, there was Michel Richard, of course, pre-Central.  Jose Andres was on his way to international acclaim, having just opened Zaytinya and on the cusp of creating a culinary revolution for the city.

Fabio Trabocchi was making waves at Maestro (which is now soon to become Michel Richard’s third D.C. area eatery, named simply, “Michel.”).

Abraham Lincoln
Mr. Lincoln
Washington, D.C.

But some of D.C.’s now-brightest stars hadn’t yet arrived.  Eric Ziebold came by way of The French Laundry to open CityZen in 2004. Komi (Johnny Monis), minibar (Jose Andres), and Restaurant Eve (Cathal Armstrong) were nascent. And Bryan Voltaggio was still under the thumb of Charlie Palmer.

Now, Washington, D.C.’s dining scene is quite exciting.

Sadly, this trip was short.  Too short.

Dinners? Only two.

Lunches? There were three.

CLICK on the restaurant names for my reviews:

Cafe Atlantico
Central, Michel Richard
CityZen
Hank’s Oyster Bar
Komi

The agenda for my next trip to D.C. will hopefully include the ones that I couldn’t fit into this trip: Citronelle, Restaurant Eve, Marcel’s, minibar, and VOLT Table 21.  I’ll be back.

~ by ulterior epicure on March 29, 2010.

8 Responses to “travel: a vernal showing…”

  1. Interesting how I keep ending up in spots after you – I’ll be in DC the week of May 15-22 and look forward to your reviews.

  2. I heard Volt’s Table 21 is booked forever. Do you know the earliest in advance they take reservations for Table 21?

  3. @SSM: Here’s a well-known “secret.” They just added four more seats. The last time I checked, there are availabilities as early as August of this year. Otherwise, the original 4 seats are booked out a year in advance.

  4. Also…for some reason I can’t click on the reviews. but I did look at the pictures of Cafe Atlantico. 35$ for 14 courses?! That’s crazy.

  5. @SSM: I haven’t posted any yet. Keep checking back.

  6. Oh okay, cant’ wait. Thanks for the quick response!

  7. Gorgeous photo of the cherry blossoms … the colors are just so vibrant.

  8. Thank you for the great blog – I love it.

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