Le Diplomate opened a few weeks ago in Logan Circle, and it's clear from Tom Sietsema's First Bite that the critic is charmed.
I recently spent three days eating around Paris, yet I can't stop thinking about the food I dispatched before takeoff: at the new Le Diplomate in Logan Circle. In significant ways, the sweeping brasserie from Philadelphia restaurateur Stephen Starr speaks with a more convincing French accent than much of what I encountered abroad.
The critic singles out such dishes as steak frites, foie gras parfait and dover sole menieure at the Stephen Starr restaurant. [WaPo]
Todd Kliman has a complicated, philosophical take on the new Minibar.
Of all the top meals in town, Minibar's is the most hubristic (the $225-per-person charge doesn't include the beverage "packages" that start at $45 and go up to $200), the most presumptive (you don't call to make a reservation—you e-mail until you're chosen), and the most control-freak in its methods (nearly every dish is accompanied by instructions on how to eat it). It's also the most inventive, the most exacting, and the most playful." [Washingtonian]
In the Washington Post's magazine, Tom Sietsema gives a decidedly mixed review to Beuchert's Saloon. "The pie sums up eating here," he says. "Every dish has something to like about it, but also something that keeps you from giving the kitchen a high-five. Ideas trump their execution." Try the fish, though, and the service is winning. [WaPo]
Also in Washingtonian, Ann Limpert finds some good bar food at Brickside.
Hidden among the usual sports-bar fare—a tangy-creamy spinach-and-artichoke dip, chicken fingers and wings—are some unexpected gems. Chicken "pops" translate to hefty, sweetly glazed drumsticks with a cucumber-yogurt dipping sauce. They're a nice starter, as are fried wedges of soft polenta with blue cheese. A slightly spicy tomato broth makes a restrained portion of mussels worth ordering, and it's even better as it soaks into garlic toast." [Washingtonian]
For his $20 Diner column, Tim Carman thinks the soul food at Florida Avenue Grill is past its prime.
As we dig in, the three of us talk as if we were under orders to voice our complaints gently, which tells you something about the respect Florida Avenue Grill commands among those who appreciate its place in D.C. history. The fact is, though, I love only the pig's feet, this glaringly unglamorous pile of steamed trotters whose tangle of softened skin, fat and gelatin almost melts on my tongue while its heat provides a welcome bit of irritation. The rest of the food pales by comparison, a lethargic, rest-home blandness infecting too many of the plates (though the griddle cook did a superb job of crisping the edges of the fluffy hot cakes). [WaPo]