The Coupe, the latest project from the owners of The Diner and Tryst, has been open for about two weeks now in Columbia Heights. One of the few restaurants recently to attempt 24/7 hours, this means Columbia Heights residents now have a local alternative to the IHOP over at the nearby DC USA project. But is the food better than chain pancakes? Here's what early reports have to say.
The Hangover Helper News: Bitches Who Brunch check out, naturally, the restaurant's brunch options. A mixed experience leads to an overall review of C+ for the place. Becca from the blog is impressed with the enormous menu and pastries, but less so by the service, crowds of babies and the fried chicken biscuit. "If I were desperately hungover and in need of something to soak it up, I would have devoured this sammich in a heartbeat. Instead, I had one bite, hamburger-style, then knocked the biscuits away from the fried chicken and just ate the chicken by itself." [BWB]
The Fancy News: In a preview post, DCist takes note of the little touches the breakfast dishes get to make them more upscale. "Breakfast hasn't been reinvented, though many staples have been improved; an omelet with serrano ham graces the menu, as does a Tunisian dish featuring eggs layered on top of roasted potatoes." [DCist]
The Name Confusion News: No one's weighed in on the food yet over at Don Rockwell, but several commenters have debated the spelling of the restaurant's name. "This is far from the most important aspect of a new restaurant in a great dining neighborhood, but I haven't been there yet so it's all I got: why is it spelled "coupe"? That's a two-door car. But they've got a bird theme, so wouldn't it be "coop"? Is it seriously possible that they mis-spelled it?," asks levithan. "Please help. This is irritating me to an unreasonable degree." Other respondends figure out the name refers to a type of cocktail glass, despite the "put a bird on it" decor. [Don Rockwell]
The Let's Review A Soft Opening News: Anonymous commenters over at New Columbia Heights are divided over whether they enjoyed the Coupe after its soft opening. "It's the usual high prices and indifferent service you've come to adore from Tryst," says one. Another acknowledges service hiccups but counters, "that's what soft openings are for."
The Noise Level News: Several commenters over at Prince of Petworth seem concerned with the noise level at the cafe. Commenter geep says, "My ears are still ringing like crazy. Not sure if it was all the excitement but I'm hoping that the noise level will wane a little bit as the excitement dies down." [NCH]
The Conflicted Yelper News: Yelp writer Elizabeth S. gives The Coupe two stars. On the one hand, "the food was really boring," she says, having tried the Tunisian Egg Bake (her boyfriend had the Coupe Special). But on the other hand, not everything sounds so dull. "I'm really, really curious to hear about the pad thai omelet. What a strange thing!" [Yelp]
The Cliche Duck Pastrami News: Yelp critic Katherine H. awards The Coupe only one star. "The duck pastrami was ok, but a bit cliche," she said, also not liking the brussels sprouts or the gritty quinoa. "When I sent it back, the kitchen said that's how "quinoa is made." I make quinoa all the time; that's how it's made IF IT IS NOT WASHED." [Yelp]
The Yelp Defender News: With 42 reviews in for The Coupe, the diner is averaging 2.5 stars. Laura L. disagrees, having had great food and service. "Did I go to the same restaurant as these people or are their expectations really high? (Or are mine really low?)" [Yelp]
The Frog Leg Fatigue News: There's one user review for the restaurant up on The Washington Post, where jmb75 gives the place 1 star. "Frog's legs just don't have the same "go to favorite" potential as chicken wings," he said. "When items are executed well, like the Market Chicken, they don't justify the high prices. The breakfast options are more successful." [WaPo]
The Actor's Take: A blog called The Actor's Diet, posting mostly photos, had a perfectly pleasant experience at the restaurant, trying out fruit salad and sausage. "The place has some bad reviews on Yelp right now, but we had a lovely time!" [The Actor's Diet]
The Twitter News: Twitter commentary for the place has been mostly positive. @BrittneyDunkins loved the Tunisian baked eggs; @SonyaLuchauer "loved this spot for an early evening drink and chat." And food writer @GirlMeetsFood has decided The Coupe is now her favorite office space. "Hope we all get along, because I'm moving in," she said. [Twitter]