The Jefferson, one of Washington’s most luxurious hotels, recently unveiled a new restaurant in place of its formerly Michelin-rated Plume. The Greenhouse takes its name from its plant-filled placement under a dramatic skylight, with a menu that emphasizes seasonal ingredients.
The Greenhouse is led by executive chef Fabio Salvatore, who imports Mediterranean and coastal Italian influences to the historic dining room framed in marble and iron accents (1200 16th Street NW). The a la carte, fine-dining menu slightly mirrors its predecessor Plume, long known as one of D.C.’s most expensive restaurants.
Plume, which has remained closed since the pandemic began two years ago, has boasted a one-star Michelin rating every year since D.C.’s inaugural edition debuted in 2016 — even in the 2021 while it was dark — but just dropped off of the coveted red book’s 2022 D.C. guide.
For the glamorous, lobby-level canvas’s new chapter as Greenhouse, Salvatore’s concise menu begins with appetizers like Chesapeake Orchard oysters, king salmon tartare, burrata and a spring green salad with Asian pear ($21 each). A zucchini souffle with briny crab ($33) sits atop a pool of tomato pepper coulis.
On the entree side, a springtime risotto ($41) gets tossed with peas and develops its natural burnt orange hue thanks to a tomato saffron sauce, topped with charred scallops.
The $64 filet mignon is complemented by roasted baby artichoke, hearty trumpet mushrooms, and potatoes, and then doused in an earthy Barolo wine reduction.
Pastry chef Fabrice Leray is behind the dessert menu, which includes options like gingerbread pineapple sponge which absorbs the flavors of caramelized black sesame and mango saffron sorbet. The charred casing tastes of floral, fruity Tahitian vanilla meringue.
In addition to The Greenhouse, Italian-born Salvatore is also at the helm of Quill Bar & Lounge located just past the opulent lobby of the Beaux Arts-era hotel.
The Greenhouse opens for breakfast between 7 a.m. and 10:30 a.m., lunch from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and dinner from 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Pop in for weekend brunch Saturday and Sunday between 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Snag a seat online.
Meanwhile, Plume’s German-born chef Ralf Schlegel went West this year to lead another top-tier hotel restaurant at The Peninsula Beverly Hills in California.