The new Requin at the Wharf joined the slowly blossoming hospitality scene along the Southwest waterfront October 26, and early reviews reveal its first customers are fans of the new French restaurant from restaurateur Mike Isabella.
The only standalone dining establishment within the mile-long stretch of new development still taking shape in D.C., Requin marks the culmination of the celebrity chef and restaurateur’s dream of adding a full-fledged Gallic restaurant to his mushrooming portfolio of eateries.
Originally conceived in conjunction with fellow Top Chef alum and former business partner Jennifer Carroll, the latest iteration of the seafood-friendly enterprise features familiar sounding dishes modified by executive chef Michael Rafidi.
Core offerings include: roasted bone marrow bolstered by Szechuan peppercorns and bacon; escargot bundled in a croissant (think: gourmet pigs in a blanket); seasonally inspired bouillabaisse (more tomato focused in the summer, loaded with seafood in the winter); foie gras French toast with yam jam and fried pistachios; gnocchi with truffle butter; and assorted vegetable dishes (chanterelle tart, whole roasted cauliflower, pear salad). Other reason for a visit: cocktails and “martini service” from barman Taha Ismail.
Read on to hear what the public is saying, just a few weeks into service:
The Damn Good Duck News: Yelper Grant O. gushes about “one of the best duck entrees ever. It was duck breast with duck leg confit. The duck skin was crispy and the duck breast was cooked perfectly. The meat was soft and flavorful.” Facebooker Tyler Aarons writes that duck, scallops, escargot, and Allo Allo cocktail were “all done to perfection.” [Yelp]
The Bill Breakdown News: Facebooker Bo Shuff says, “The price point is very high for a small plate concept. Two people, no drinks, $130 and we had to go find more food ... The Parisian Gnocchi was outstanding, but $23 for 6 small pieces? Come on.” Washingtonian notes that “dishes are meant to share — both small and large. It’s good to keep in mind if you get sticker shock when looking at the plats principaux, which include a $64 whole roast chicken.” [Facebook, Washingtonian]
The Social Media News Bites News: Instagrammer @aimbraun was “so grateful for delicious and healthy options.” Twitter user @AndyRoszak posted about his “delicious dinner tonight at @RequinWharfDC. Glad you are here,” he alerted Mike Isabella. [Instagram, Twitter]
The Out of the Gate News: Facebooker Angela Hernandez says, “Honestly, food was excellent as was service. Usually the first night of a restaurant has some kinks, but not here! The tuna tartare and escargot are a MUST!!!” And Danielle Petersen says, “When you enter the door you are greeted with a smile and welcome. The Bartenders and servers are friendly and on point. Then we get to the food. Delicious.” [Facebook]
The Jaw-Dropping News: Yelper Victoria B. describes Requin as “a drop dead gorgeous space. Surrounded by glass from floor to ceiling, it is the only standalone restaurant in the wharf. It truly is a beautiful space with water features, a fire pit, and of course a waterfront view surrounding.” And Hillary S. says, “Really enjoyed our first visit to Requin! The space is beautiful with fantastic views of the water — perfect for sunset.” [Yelp]
The I’ll Be Back News: Facebooker Jeanne Griffin praises the “Gorgeous environment. Excellent, gracious service. Cocktails are off the chart fabulous ... can't wait to return!!!” And Rohan Malhotra billed his first trip there a “10/10 experience.” “Will certainly return,” he says. [Facebook]