Jump to content

My Birthday Dinner Treat


zoramargolis
 Share

Recommended Posts

We don't go out to high end places very often, and there are so many wonderful places I've read about here but have never been to. A birthday is one of my rare opportunities-- I have one coming up, but I can't seem to choose among these:

Komi? Restaurant Eve? CitiZen?

Is there another place I should consider? Last year I was treated to the chef's table at Citronelle. I've been to Vidalia and Palena several times, and Oyamel and Rasika and Central. And Corduroy and BlackSalt, of course. But that's pretty much it.

I want to go someplace wonderful where I've never been and I'd love to hear your recommendations.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am apparently the odd man out, but I didn't love my Komi experience. Maybe it was an off night?

I did love Minibar (in Cafe Atlantico). I'm a little behind, they were supposed to expand Minibar so I don't know if it's open or not, but if it is, I think it's worth it to do it once. Recommend the champagne flight with it if you do.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Eve or Komi.
Care to elaborate? Is there a reason you suggest these two over CitiZen?
Komi

From what i've gathered, you don't go out to high-end places very often because your're busy maintaining a very high-end place. I like to call it, "Chez Zora."

1)Why Komi? 2)Exactly!
I am apparently the odd man out, but I didn't love my Komi experience. Maybe it was an off night?

I did love Minibar (in Cafe Atlantico). I'm a little behind, they were supposed to expand Minibar so I don't know if it's open or not, but if it is, I think it's worth it to do it once. Recommend the champagne flight with it if you do.

Now that you mention it, I did go to Minibar a couple or three years ago with some friends from Chowhound. It was fun, but I haven't been anxious to return. Thanks for the suggestion, though.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Now that you mention it, I did go to Minibar a couple or three years ago with some friends from Chowhound. It was fun, but I haven't been anxious to return. Thanks for the suggestion, though.

Yeah, I wouldn't go again, unless I had oodles of money to spend on dining out frequently. But I think it's worth it once for the experience. I'm going to Restaurant Eve on Wednesday and plan to report back afterward. There were two people going this weekend who were going to post their reviews on the Eve thread - one already has.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Care to elaborate? Is there a reason you suggest these two over CitiZen?
I'd lean away from Cityzen as well. It didn't have the same special feel that Komi and the Tasting Room at Eve do, I do not think. Plus, while the cooking is extraordinary, you could experience it on discount at the bar, which isn't cheap, but is a good deal that you might be able to do without a birthday or other big occasion to justify it.

Take a look at the menu at Komi. If you are super excited about it and think you will do the degustazione, then go for it. If you aren't really excited about it and/or would probably not do the degustazione, I would go for Eve where you will get to experience more dishes and less mezze. Komi offers a pasta course and one meat/fish course, while Eve does creation, sea and land, which would probably steer you towards more protein and less pasta if that is a consideration. I've not done the degustazione, but while I have nothing bad to say about Komi, I'd rather have the five course menu at Eve then a series of little bites followed by a two course menu at Komi. That said, Eve is a little more expensive at the entry level - looks like Komi is $90 or $125, while Eve starts at $110.

I posted about a recent meal in the Tasting Room, which totally knocked my socks off. Any of these options are great, so have fun and happy birthday!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have to say that my best meal last year was at Komi, hands down. I think one thing that pushed it over the top was the quality of the seafood that I had, and the number of courses that it was in. That made it very unique in comparison to my other dining experiences. I'm so used to getting so much meat, which while delicious can be fatiguing. So if you really like or don't really favor seafood, that's a big thing to consider.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

What about Marcel's? The food is exceptional in taste execution and vision. The service rivals the best that you will find in the area. Plus the added benefit is the Boudin Blanc, if there is a better sausage to be found in this city, I would love to know about it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Omakase blow out at Sushi Ko?

Waitman and I had a stupendous spur of the moment visit there last week and I want (but can't afford) MORE!

I love the ambiance and food at Komi but it's just way too much for me and my pathetic appetite. I always leave feeling overstuffed and guilty.

The chef's table at Teatro was a blast, we celebrated 3 birthdays that night. I was as usual, overwhelmed by the food but the experience was delightful.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I know Komi is good (best meal in DC I've ever had) but I've heard the Chef's table at Teatro Goldoni is better. When I called last month, I was told 2 people can sit at the Chef's table at TG. Of course my next best meal in DC last year was at Eve.

Zora, I wrote this on CH in May: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/518053 . We've been to Komi three times now and continue to love it. Still, based on our experience two weeks ago I now believe that Goldoni's Chef's Table is the best restaurant experience in the D. C. area. If Enzo will serve you and Jonathan (rather than the "usual" minimum of four) I would suggest having him essentially be your private chef for almost four hours which would be a truly extraordinary experience. He is extremely personable and truly gifted as a chef. The rough proximity of that table to the kitchen, by the way, is very similar to the old table #7 at Laboratorio-he cannot be more than five to ten feet away from you for much of the evening.

As an addendum I am not a fan of the actual room at CityZen-although Ziebold is an extraordinarily talented chef. I would suggest that Komi's "window" table or a table against the back wall at Eve both add to their respective experiences. Table #49 at CityZen is the best two seater in the dining room although I am not a huge fan of the room itself. My comments about that table from late '04, soon after it opened, with a specific mention of the table: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/172112 Still, it doesn't have the "intimacy" that the others do. Comparing the overall experience of each restaurant, especially for two people, I am suggesting that Goldoni's chef's table is in a class by itself.

One last comment about CityZen: it has greatly matured since it opened. It is an outstanding restaurant today, having realized many of the expectations which surrounded its opening. I am just believe that there is an extraordinary and personal experience available at Goldoni which is not at the others. If you do go to Komi, Eve or CityZen please consider the tables I noted. For all of them I believe they will add to the experience.

Happy Birthday, Zora!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

What about Marcel's? The food is exceptional in taste execution and vision. The service rivals the best that you will find in the area. Plus the added benefit is the Boudin Blanc, if there is a better sausage to be found in this city, I would love to know about it.

The food is indeed very, very good there, but the atmosphere was very stuffy and uncomfortable to me. Very "old money" and stodgy. And because you can get the same (if not better) food quality elsewhere, why sacrifice if you can have both. Also, zoramargolis has already narrowed her choices down to 3 places. So I would assume that she has already considered the plethora of other dining experiences in the city and has narrowed her choices to one of those 3.

I vote for Restaurant Eve's Tasting Room.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hey, wait a minute! I love the Prime Rib. It is unique in Washington. Far from stodgy, it is professional.
I love it as well (except for the sorry excuse for wine service), but I can see how someone would think of it as stodgy and "old money", at least far more so than Marcel's. I should have written "might resemble" instead of the definitive "resembles".
Link to comment
Share on other sites

because you can get the same (if not better) food quality elsewhere

I second Steve on the impeccable yet friendly service, and I also take issue to this quote - the food at Marcel's is outstanding - easily the best meal I had last year.

That said, on the basis of "who knows where they might be next year", I would go with CityZen or Komi. Never know when Ziebold or Monis might wander, but Wiedmeier and Armstrong have roots (multiple places) in the area.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I had my birthday dinner last year at Eve in the dining room. The food was exceptional and the service was excellent. Plus, they give you a little birthday take-away bag with scone mix and high-fat butter for breakfast the next morning. So one more vote for Restaurant Eve.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This has become a really interesting thread. The truth of the matter is that we are extremely fortunate to have Michel Richard, Roberto and now Komi, CityZen, Eve and the Chef's Table at Goldoni representative of the best dining rooms not just in D. C. but, I believe, in America.

Did I mention the back room of Palena, Kinkead's and Black Salt (special menus) and Cafe Atlantico/Minibar? Or Equinox? Or Cindy Wolf who is more than worth the trip. Or...

I wonder how many people reading this thread know what a wasteland the D. C. area was in the past. Today, I chauvinistically consider us to be the equal of anywhere in America. Perhaps we don't have as MANY outstanding restaurants and chefs as NYC, Chicago or SF but we have them.

...and the number is growing.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for the good wishes. I have a res at Komi for the date next week. I'm just keeping my fingers crossed that neither one of us gets the flu that is fulminating around us.

You made a very good choice! I am amazed that you were able to score a res on such short notice.

:P I am returning in a couple of weeks :D

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well I see you made your rez for Komi, but I just wanted to chime in that I had my dinner in the tasting room at Eve Wednesday night and it was phenomenal. I would highly recommend it, maybe for your next birthday. :P

Hoping to get around to posting a full review in the Eve thread sometime this weekend.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Despite its place at the top of some lists, the food at Komi is all thought and not much flavor.

Marion Burros is an ass. Komi was fantastic. We opted for the degustazione tasting meal, which progressed at a liesurely pace, from ethereal, fresh and delicate flavors and textures to the more intense and robust. As many others have noted, the seafood is pristine. We loved the judicious use of fleur de sel to provide seasoning and crunch. The only things I didn't love were lobster crudo, which had neither flavor or texture, and the "s'more" which was on the same plate as the roasted Medjool date. The date was divine, but we were instructed to eat the s'more last, and I found the goat cheese "marshmallow" rubbery and the cheese crackers chalky and acrid. I wanted to have back the flavor of the moscarpone stuffed date! We had a baby goat shoulder as our main, and loved the moist, tender meat and its creamy, crunchy, spicy, warm and cold accompaniments, and the delicous house made flat bread. Dessert panna cotta perfumed with Meyer lemon was a light fresh ending. We brought our own wine and paid corkage--a delicious, complex 2004 Chambolle-Musigny, which we nursed through the meal. The service was perfect throughout the three-and-a-half hours we were there, friendly, efficient and informative. We couldn't have asked for a more pleasing experience. We even were given the window table without asking for it. Thanks to all who recommended we go there!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...