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IndeBleu, 7th & G Streets, Verizon Center - Closed.


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#51 JLK

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Posted 13 June 2007 - 04:48 PM

Changes coming @ IndeBleu

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#52 porcupine

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Posted 02 November 2007 - 11:41 AM

So after trying and failing to get into Proof (no seats open even in the bar), I figured "what the heck?" and chose to try IndeBleu for a quick meal before going to a play.

I'm trying to think of a nice, polite, not-to-harsh way to sum up the food, but I can't. The only thing that comes to mind is "yuck". We sampled - and I do mean sampled, because we only finished one thing - five small dishes before heading elsewhere for dessert.

Our waiter was a pleasant fellow, and I admire his honesty for asking me what a negroni was, but wouldn't it be better just to scurry off and give the bartender the order? And wouldn't the bartender be better off looking it up on the internet or in a bar guide rather than faking it? I told the waiter "equal parts gin, Campari, and sweet vermouth", but the shocking pink concoction that arrived in a martini glass tasted.... well, heck, I don't know what it tasted like. Mostly like sweet vermouth. Not like a negroni.

Masala fries: the fries themselves were piping hot, crispy on the outside, just the way I like 'em, but the only flavor I tasted was paprika, and that was faint. The spice just wasn't there.

Samosas: three different fillings with three different sauces, one of which was quite tasty (potato and pea), but the others were blase (lamb and pecorino, spinach and feta).

Crispy duck meatballs: wierd. Mr P's assesment was "actively bad". I don't know if the white disks underneath each meatball were supposed to be edible, but the tamarind date chutney was MIA.

Cardamom glazed scallops: not particularly interesting.

Naan "pizza" mozzarella, pablano [sic], and basil stuffed with choice of spicy chicken tikka, paneer, or prosciutto: again, bad. The naan itself was actually really good, but the toppings were gloppy and the overall taste was kinda nasty. We asked for chicken but got the paneer. Now, I gotta wonder, who out there thinks it a good idea to put mozzarella and paneer on the same dish? 'Cause they're almost identical, except that one melts and one doesn't.

Every dish except the scallops arrived within five minutes of ordering. That doesn't seem right, but then I don't know how things are done in a commercial kitchen.

The staff were all very pleasant, though, so I have no complaints there. But my dinner at IndeBleu is a contender for worst of the year.

Elizabeth Miller
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#53 Chef Tom

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Posted 13 November 2007 - 03:34 PM

Indebleu making more changes.

http://www.bizjourna...tml?jst=b_ln_hl

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#54 DPop

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Posted 13 November 2007 - 04:58 PM

Indebleu making more changes.

http://www.bizjourna...tml?jst=b_ln_hl

I can't understand that move. Going from one chef who never truly caught his stride for 3 years to another who missed at a different place for the last year? And this one doesn't even specialize in the type of fare you are offering?? :blink:

#55 Monica Bhide

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Posted 13 November 2007 - 05:25 PM

Any idea where Garg is headed?

#56 Antonio Burrell

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Posted 13 November 2007 - 07:37 PM

I think Ricky will be fine, congratulations to him and I hope he wins his battle with Symon, which explains why he couldn't tell me who he battled....

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#57 DonRocks

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Posted 13 November 2007 - 11:25 PM

Any idea where Garg is headed?

I heard he's under contract to do his own line of mustard-seed, brahmi, and coconut oils.

They're going to call it Gargoyle.

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#58 Mark Slater

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Posted 14 November 2007 - 12:52 AM

I heard he's under contract to do his own line of mustard-seed, brahmi, and coconut oils.

They're going to call it Gargoyle.

On the Henny Youngman scale, that rates -1. Sorry.

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#59 ladi kai lemoni

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Posted 14 November 2007 - 08:03 AM

They're going to call it Gargoyle.

*Tugs collar* oh, boyyyy.

Alex

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#60 jiveturk21

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Posted 14 November 2007 - 08:40 AM

Last night at the March of Dimes Signature Chefs Event, I talked to the chefs manning the Indebleu station. Without me even asking, they talked about Chef Moore coming to their kitchen and they seemed very excited about the change. I didn't get into it with them at all, but they were definitely happy.

#61 ol_ironstomach

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Posted 14 November 2007 - 02:31 PM

They're going to call it Gargoyle.

I thought he was swapping with Ricky in an attempt to reinvent the fortunes of the Norse Dakota Farmer's Union along more kid-friendly lines. With FOH staff recruited from a well-known Silver Spring eatery, it'll be known as Garrrrrrrrrgraria.

Dave Hsu
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#62 youngfood

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Posted 16 January 2008 - 11:46 AM

Tom says Ricky Moore has left already.

#63 ladi kai lemoni

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Posted 14 February 2008 - 02:07 PM

According to yesterday's TomChat, Mr. Michael Hartzer is headed here to take over the kitchen. I'm moshing.

Alex

"Who ordered the bathtub mint julep?"


#64 DPop

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Posted 14 February 2008 - 04:11 PM

What an excellent pickup for this place. I can't wait to get back in to try it out after Hartzer has had a few weeks to settle in.

#65 Mark Slater

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Posted 14 February 2008 - 04:32 PM

What an excellent pickup for this place. I can't wait to get back in to try it out after Hartzer has had a few weeks to settle in.

Hartzer + tandoor oven = Look Out !

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#66 Walrus

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Posted 14 February 2008 - 06:54 PM

Now this is enough to make me give the place a second chance!

#67 DonRocks

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Posted 28 March 2008 - 12:28 PM

Several years ago, Mark Slater and I were making dinner plans. It was his night off, and we were running through our restaurant options.

'You know what Donny? I've never actually dined at Citronelle before - want me to see if I can get the chef's table?'

It didn't take long for me to answer.

That evening, three of us had a multi-hour meal at the hands of Michael Hartzer. I saw what he was capable of doing, and I remember telling him that very evening that, at some point, he needed to go out on his own.

He found himself at a club in South Carolina, where all the customers wanted meat and potatoes. Then at Ray's The Steaks, where all of a sudden the blackened scallops and crab bisque became destination appetizers. Then at Ray's The Classics, then Viridian.

But all this time, I kept looking back at our meal at Citronelle, and asking myself, "Where is Michael Hartzer?"

I've finally found him at IndeBleu, where he has obtained enough freedom to unleash his considerable talents in all their fury. Twice in the past two weeks, I've had full meals orchestrated by Hartzer, and am convinced that Indebleu is the very first venue that might allow him to become a nationally recognized chef.

There are two very different influences for Hartzer's Caper Crusted Diver Scallops ($13) - the first is an old-school Italian flavor combination, and the second is none other than Jean Georges. Hartzer takes two U10 dry diver scallops crusted in capers which have been chopped and deep-fried. The tops of the scallops get dipped in a Wondra egg wash, and are quickly seared to set the crust, then finished at a lower temperature. They're served atop a reduction of onion, garlic, lemongrass, and jus de pomme, which is finished with coconut milk curry powder, saffron, kafir lime leafs, and lemon juice, and then passed through a Chinois. On the side of the plate are florets of cauliflower, broken off and tossed in a Garam masala with salt, pepper, and grapeseed oil, laid out in a shallow pan covered with foil, and roasted/steamed in the oven. To complement the "Citronelle curry" reduction sauce, there's also a fascinating riff on tamarind chutney - a puree made with black raisins and cracked black pepper (and a touch of apple juice for consistency), which is simmered until falling apart, pureed and strained.

There's no better $13 dish in town right now than Hartzer's diptych of Seared Foie Gras. On the "dark side," the seared foie is sitting atop a toasted brioche, topped with a few precious grains of fleur de sel, and some Valrhona cocoa nids, the whole thing served atop a Ruby Port reduction (a 75% reduction) with star anise, cloves, and cinnamon. Hartzer then folds in some butter, and finishes it with Valrhona chocolate, serving it with whole, dry, black figs reconstituted in the same Ruby Port. On the "light side" sits slices of naval orange, dipped in turbinado sugar and bruleed with a torch, laid out on the plate, and then drizzled with orange oil, chili oil (!), and sprinkled with crushed Sicilian pistachios. It is this relatively simple yang component that takes a great dish, and turns it into one which every chef in this city must experience at least one time - there is no doubt about it: This is genius on a plate. My only qualm about this important composition is that the second time I had it, the grade of foie gras wasn't quite as high, which, when wandering through the realm of greatness, can make or break a dish. I urge everyone to get this dish alongside a glass of 1991 Helfrich Gewurztraminer Steinklotz - a magnificent, memorable food and wine pairing.

The Maine Lobster ranges from 1 1/4 - 1 1/2 pounds (market price, in the upper $30s). The lobster is broken down, then split in half. The tails are brushed with tandoori paste, then seared in a cast-iron skillet - the combination emulating what you'd see from a tandoor - then quickly finished in a butter bath. The claws and knuckles are simply blanched, then also put into a light butter bath. The first thing plated are the peas and carrots, with the carrots rounded to mirror the shape of the peas - both are quick-sauteed with butter and shallots, and topped with a little house-made yogurt which is made with half-and-half flavored with cardomom and boiled yogurt culture. Then come the knuckles, claws, and tails. Everything is served in a sauce similar to a beurre blanc in technique, reduced with shallots, garlic and Muscat, then emulsified with a touch of cream. A little butter is folded in, a fair amount of pickled ginger is added, and the whole thing is pureed. The remarkable thing about this dish is its perceived lightness, despite being staged with butter at multiple cooking points. A minor concern arose the second time I had this dish: It was served with some small rice gnocchi which, while fascinating (how often do you see rice gnocchi?), detracted from the purity of the presentation - these were glutinous little cannonballs which endangered an otherwise glorious melding of France and India. I'm certain that Hartzer is merely experimenting, and this dish can absolutely tolerate (benefit from?) a subtle introduction of rice, but perhaps just a light sprinkle of toasted basmati?

Almost four years ago, I wrote this posting on eGullet. That same week, I ran into Michael at the bar at Citronelle, and he lambasted me for poking fun at a restaurant before it even opened. Little did either of us know at the time ...

Cheers,
Rocks.

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#68 ladi kai lemoni

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Posted 28 March 2008 - 01:22 PM

And you would think with all the goodwill and excitement directed towards IndeBleu these days, they would at least spell his name correctly on the website.....

Alex

"Who ordered the bathtub mint julep?"


#69 giant shrimp

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Posted 28 March 2008 - 04:43 PM

spaghetti and meatballs is a fun way to end a meal at indebleu, the latter three smallish gulab jamuns served with saffron cardamon ice cream extruded onto the plate at tableside into strands of pasta, with a bit of noticeable exertion by the server so we knew that we couldn't have done this for ourselves. in no time at all the ice cream softens up and the few strands i had were delicious, preferable to the dough balls, which were a bit restrained, harder and less syrupy than they can be. mango mango was less focused, a mousse of alphonso mango the centerpiece, rubbing up against some blackberries. a shot glass of "tini" sits off to the side and i didn't know quite what to make of it, or determine how it was supposed to relate to the rest of the dessert, until told when it was time to relinquish our plates that it was vodka and mango juice and was encouraged to finish it off. it did work better as a libation than a dipping sauce.

a wild mushroom dosa of rolled up lentil crepe looks like a darker and longer, open-ended version of the fried pig's feet cigar being served at central these days, but you are greeted inside with plump, concentrated mushrooms and a parting, zippy note of manchego cheese that truly is the last thing you taste. saffron pea coulis is faint in flavor, by comparison, but at the very least it lends a nice complementary color to the dish. some of the beautiful presentations here are more fussed over than others, but they don't last quite as long as they might because they are served in portions intended for sharing and doling out with a big fork and spoon.

ahi tartar looks just about as pretty as it's pictured on the restaurant's web site, topped with a raita that soothes most of the heat out of its jalapeno seasoning. the dice of the fish is larger than in central's somewhat similar tuna burger, slickening your mouth with the tuna's sweet fat, drawn out with the assertive sweetness of a pepper mousse. the plate is finished off with a nice handful of papadom, for crunch, i suppose, which you don't really need.

moving onto cooked rare yellow fin, a coriander crust is the accent that lingers. by comparison, olive and date chutney and pickled red onion are garnishes. you can make a game of letting your tongue find the cauliflower in the moist couscous.

small, flat handkerchiefs of paneer taste almost as familiar as a good italian cheese ravioli, but fenugreek in the tomato sauce and tumeric and dill in the pasta suggest a wider horizon and a journey that might be disconcerting were it in less judicious hands. the asian spices that help define these recipes harmonize well with the main ingredients and riff on comfort food, like what happens when you bite into a vosges exotic chocolate bar.

the cooking here is so richly nuanced that i'm afraid there was quite a bit i missed. you'd almost need to be a solitary diner to pick up on everything and a conversation i was having on the radiant images and dreamy music in "paranoid park" -- the frightening appearance of the tatooed father when you finally get to see him packing up things in the garage, the angelic face of the teenager who may or may not be charged with skateboard manslaughter, a lovers' quarrel drowned out by nino rota themes from fellini soundtracks -- didn't help. still, it doesn't take that much concentration to enjoy a good meal here in a luxurious dining room with polka-dotted curtains. we were on our way to the new big wong to see if there's still any chinese life left in chinatown. with diversions such as indebleu on the route, i'm not sure we are ever going to get there to find out.

#70 porcupine

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Posted 06 July 2008 - 06:50 PM

Strawberry Thai basil caipirinha to start, mushroom dosa, scallops, ravioli in fenugreek-tomato sauce, tofu tindaloo, and blueberry cobbler with black cardamom ice cream. What a pleasant surprise after our last dinner there. If I hadn't read that Hartzer was there I would never have tried it again. Friendly, efficient, honest service, too. I am impressed and pleased. Also, for the time being, at least, if you're in Penn Quarter and need a quick dinner right away, you can probably get in to Indebleu without a reservation. For a while, anyway. Good thing to know.

Elizabeth Miller
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#71 DonRocks

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Posted 26 January 2009 - 11:31 PM

So All, Vikram Is Now Awol.

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#72 cheezepowder

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Posted 02 April 2009 - 08:27 PM

From the Going Out Gurus chat today

Fritz: I'm going out this week to check out Stir, the lounge that's replacing Indebleu. Can't tell you anything about it yet, obviously, but you might want to have that on your radar.



#73 DonRocks

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Posted 02 April 2009 - 08:31 PM

From the Going Out Gurus chat today

"Stir" will be the downstairs lounge.

I'm under a gag order regarding the eventual new upstairs name, so I can't help you out with that one (but I will add that it's the same chef, same owners).

Cheers,
Rocks.

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#74 DonRocks

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Posted 13 January 2010 - 05:03 PM

In what must be the most amazingly unreported story in recent DC dining history, Indebleu closed - almost a month ago! It shut its doors for the final time on December 18th.

I'll have more to say about this in a few days, but restaurateurs should be aware that Michael Hartzer is on the market. Feel free to contact me if you wish to get in touch with him.

It is unbelievable that, between all the blogs, reporters, chats, and general restaurant coverage in this town - including a gazillion people on this website - nobody has said anything about this. I only found out myself this afternoon. Sheesh. (I think one reason nobody knew is that Stir, the downstairs bar, remains open (but only three days a week now), so passersby would have no reason to think otherwise.)

Cheers,
Rocks.

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#75 csirwillis

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Posted 13 January 2010 - 06:12 PM

In what must be the most amazingly unreported story in recent DC dining history, Indebleu closed - almost a month ago! It shut its doors for the final time on December 18th.

I'll have more to say about this in a few days, but restaurateurs should be aware that Michael Hartzer is on the market. Feel free to contact me if you wish to get in touch with him.

It is unbelievable that, between all the blogs, reporters, chats, and general restaurant coverage in this town - including a gazillion people on this website - nobody has said anything about this. I only found out myself this afternoon. Sheesh. (I think one reason nobody knew is that Stir, the downstairs bar, remains open (but only three days a week now), so passersby would have no reason to think otherwise.)

Cheers,
Rocks.

The website said it is closed for "remodeling"
Christopher Willis
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Grist Mill
815 14th ST NW
Washington D.C.

#76 Escoffier

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Posted 14 January 2010 - 09:33 AM

The website said it is closed for "remodeling"

It's hard to get good contractor help these days... :angry:

In memory of David Weber of Malvern Racing, Desmo4USA, and StephenB. Good friends gone forever.


#77 mollyava

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Posted 14 January 2010 - 10:21 AM

FYI - Nycci Nellis of TheListAreYouOnIt.com tweeted this info on 12/31. You can follow her at www.twitter.com/nycnell. :angry:
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#78 Chris Cunningham

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Posted 14 January 2010 - 12:48 PM

I actually knew this before it even happened, as the GM is a friend of mine and told me what was up....but it didnt even register for me to say anything. She said the restaurant had closed but they were trying to make a go of the upstairs bar only...so it kinda closed and it didnt as well :angry: Sorry!

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#79 collije

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Posted 16 January 2010 - 01:07 AM

Looking forward to Michael's next gig, someone can definitely use his talent.




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