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Dirty Habit (Formerly Poste), Hotel Monaco, Verizon Center - "Insane Asylum" Theme Replaces Poste's Urbane Setting


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Why would Kimpton think this is a good idea? Whatta fucked up theme.

Don, Do you think disability bars should be next? Everyone sits in wheelchairs!! Wheee... Or a stage IV cancer bar, where you get to have Boost cocktails and fun enemas because the opiates have c

Wow, over 2 years since someone has posted in here. I had never been and after a gin tasting event in the Living Social building a friend and I stopped in for another drink and something to eat. The t

(from my recent comments on Mouthfulsfood)

I now have a much more solidly positive opinion on Poste. The service was attentive-- a little salesey, but not overly so.

Standout dishes:

Steamed mussels in a delicious broth of saffron, chilis, lotsa ginger, and cilantro. This was the best Asian-inspired mussels dish I've ever had. It has such distinct crisp flavors and the mussels were plump and fresh.

Beef Bourguignon-- the beef itself was as tender and succelent as could be, but the star of the plate are the vegetables. Small carrots and turnips (I think?), green beans, potatoes, with some fennel fronds and other vegetables are all cooked perfectly for this dish. The veggies are available as a side dish as well, so there is no excuse not to try it.

My fellow diners were all quite pleased with the ricotta ravioli of which I had a small taste, and a coffee roasted duck breast over risotto with mango and scallions. I only got to try the terrific risotto.

Chef was kind enough to send out a few of the Hog Island oysters that were slightly cooked on the halfshell in some sort of cream sauce with chervil and American caviar. And after our coffees and desserts, we were each given a tall shotglass containing a mini root beer float! That added a good chuckle to the end of the evening.

I imagine this menu with be replaced soon with more springy offerings, so get there soon.

Some apps and drinks at the bar may be in order in the near future, "on a whim"!

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Not sure if this should be a separate post, but 4 of us (a friend of mine, laniloa, and JG) went to Poste last night to check things out for RW. The full menu (not totally up to date) is available with some surcharges (ranging from $1 to $10) for various items.

To start I selected the foie gras terrine ($2 surcharge) with cognac jelly. The pate was served in a mini staub

cocotte with several pieces of brioche toast. What a wonderful way to start the meal. The foie was complimented by the refreshing quality of the jelly and the portion size was perfect.

For my main I selected the olive oil poached halibut ($8 surcharge that was well worth it). The ample portion of fish was served on top of thin asparagus and melted tomoatoes and garnished with a mushroom truffle froth and some morels. I thought this dish was very good and really enjoyed the earthy component with the fish.

My friend had the Crispy Skin Wild Striped Bass champ potatoes, poached egg, caper beurre noisette. The fish was set atop the pureed potatoes, which was then topped with some greens and a wine poached egg. JG and I each got a bite and thought it was the dish of the night.

Desset was a Valrhona Manjari chocolate terrine with creme anglaise and roasted pistachios. Rich and chocolaty, what is not to like.

I also got to try some of the Kobe Beef Tartare appetizer (not on the menu linked above) and it was great, but I will let the others comment on their dishes.

Overall a good deal for RW and I plan on returning for dinner at some point.

Mike

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I had the strangest meal there this winter. My date and I each ordered an entree, he had a meat dish and I had a fish dish. Neither of our entrees came with a vegetable. His had a potato side and mine had a grain. There were no sides on the menu. I thought the presentation was rather odd and incomplete. I asked the server about it and he said that is how the dishes were always prepared.

I also thought the food was rather salty.

Anywho, I haven't been back though I know people quite like the space and food. Oh well...

edited to correct my poor spelling...

Edited by NCPinDC
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I will echo what mdt says about the quality at Poste, with the admonition "don't order the duck." Laniloa and I both ordered the duck and found it not to our liking. The duck comes on a bed of mango/zucchini risotto. The first plate of duck they brought me was cold. When I complained, they promtly whisked it away and brought a new, hot, plate. To my mind the duck breast lacked the tenderness I usually expect. It was sort of on the chewey side. And the mango/zucchini risotto just did not seem to go very well with the duck. If I had it to do all ove again, I would have ordered the stripped bass. That wine poached egg on the top really looked great and when it was pierced, the yolk provided a nice sauce addition to the dish.

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I thought the duck was ok but not as described. It was supposed to be coffee-crusted. There was no crust. There was no crisp skin that one could pretend was a crust. The mango risotto was too sweet for me and needed some savory balance. It might make a nice take on rice pudding for dessert.

The heirloom tomato salad appetizer with burrata and tomato sorbet was very good. The temperature contrast as well as some background herbs in the sorbet really set off the tomato and burrata. I highly recommend this dish. This and JG's steak tartare were my two favorite dishes of the night.

The cherry cobbler dessert was tasty but more of a cake then a cobbler. I expect a layer of warm, juicy fruit in a cobbler and not individual cherries distributed sparsely in cake.

The service was about what you'd expect for RW. They seemed a little overwhelmed.

I had a very nice lunch there a few months ago and I'm left thinking they aren't reaching too far with their lunch dishes. Much simpler prep which makes it easier for them to meet their goal. Dinner seemed a bit of a stretch.

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Last Friday I had a Berry Smash at Poste: fresh blueberries and strawberries, plunked into the bottom of a glass and pestled, add ice, Ketel One Lemon Vodka, a little simple syrup, and voila: the Berry Smash.

And yes, it was berry good,

Barry Goode.

P.S. Expect a rebuttal first-thing in Tom's chat tomorrow...

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Had a nice, if chilly, meal at Poste last night. We were seated right under an air conditioning vent - brr. Glad I wore long sleeves despite the heat.

I thought the more mainstream-ish French dishes, the escargot and the rabbit that we ordered, were okay. A little to heavy for the season, in my view. The softshell crab was good but slightly too battered for my taste. Dish of the night was in my opinion the Kobe beef tartare... it was really, really good.

We closed with the chilled mango soup and the cheese plate. The cheese plate was okay, and the mango soup was nice. However, I'm not a dessert fan (would much prefer a scotch) so it was pretty much lost on me.

Oh, I ordered the lavendar margarita to drink. Felt like a tool, kinda, having a margarita in a pint glass while my companion had a nice German Riesling. But you know what? It was great, and the sea salt laced with lavendar was rather delicious. So I don't care.

K

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Had a nice, if chilly, meal at Poste last night. We were seated right under an air conditioning vent - brr. Glad I wore long sleeves despite the heat.

We had the same experience. At one point I contemplated wrapping myself in the curtain.

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There's no mistaking what Poste is trying to accomplish with a full arsenal pulled from the Modern American Restaurant playbook. Open kitchen theatrics, young hip staff backed by a young hip soundtrack (Garden State was on heavy rotation), truffled fries served in a paper cone, kobi beef tartar dressed up as a mini-burger, foie gras, dishes topped with poached eggs...they have pretty much all the bases covered.

I found the apps to be whimsical and fun, the aforementioned kobi beef tartar was hardly mini-burger trite and lived up to the above praise, the salmon tartar came scooped on savory ice cream cones with creme fraiche set in a cone stand filled with sea salt, so I was a little disappointed that my hamachi wasn't more dramatically presented! The hamachi was subtle and rich, but unfortunately over powered by the slices of grapefruit, which I eventually picked out and ate seperately.

The entrees also come dramtically presented in large white bistro style bowls. We went with the red wine braised rabbit with poppy seed tagliatelle, caramalized fennel, and wild mushrooms; lemon roasted chicken with escarole, white beans, sausage, and parmesan; and wild stripped bass with champ potatoes, wine poached egg, and caper beurre noisette. Each dish also comes garnished with a virtual forest of herbs and edible flowers. And here is what I fear is the downfall of the entrees, just way too much going on, dramatic for the dramatic sake, a tighter focus with less frills would serve these dishes better.

Dessert redeemed the meal, a chill mango soup with ice cream was summer refreshing, chestnut crepes rich and decadent, and a 5 course cheese selection which came with toasted raisin bread and two compotes.

Of the Restaurant Week menus I've tried, I'd have to rank Poste as one of the more successful. Perhaps half the menu was offered straight up for the RW price, although I would have liked to have seen more entrees since there were only four offered at the set price. But an extra dollar for the Hamachi, an extra dollar for the cheese course, and other small surcharges on other dishes allowed you to explore the menu without jacking up the RW deal.

post-44-1123187757_thumb.jpg

Roast Chicken

post-44-1123187803_thumb.jpg

Mango Soup

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Next time I decide to head to Penn Quarter for brunch, I'll make sure I have a reservation someplace especially if it's Cherry Blossom Festival weekend AND a local team is playing in an NCAA tournament regional game at the Verizon Center in just a few hours.

After being told that the wait for four at Cafe Atlantico would be 90 minutes, my friends and I walked up the street to check out Poste. Once again, we were told that all tables were booked, but that there was a table at the bar we could sit at right away which we snatched up.

The food was pretty good if standard brunch fare (eggs of all kinds, sandwiches, salads), but we did seem to have a snafu when it came to ordering. I suspect that the person taking our order placed the starter orders but forgot to put in our entree orders after we finished the appetizers. Anyway, an hour passed from when we finished the starters as we lost track of time in conversation before we flagged down someone to inquire about the entrees. They asked what we were still missing and went to check on it.

To Poste's credit, the manager came over and let us know that our meals would be arriving shortly. She apologized for the mix-up and told us they would comp the entire bill for all four of us! That was definitely more than generous on the restaurant's part, and certainly made a good impression on my friends and me.

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The truffled fries really are amazing; and at $4 during happy hour, more than a bargain. I won't say "bargain" for the $10 lavendar margarita, but I will say delicious, refreshing, and unusual.

Poste is a great spring/summer happy hour destination. The only thing lacking was the service...but if you have a few friends willing to hold down a table, making trips to the bar is no problem.

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How was your Easter brunch? Because to quote Ali G, I's got a massive one.

In search of a civilized spot downtown with alfresco possibilities, we settled on Poste - because I was very eager to try out Chef Weland's cooking after multiple drinking but not eating at Poste. At noon, the place was barely populated. But when we stumbled out three hours later, it was difficult to navigate my way in between the people dressed in bright pastel colors and wee children. Perhaps six mimosas could not have been an entirely unrelated factor in how difficult it was to get out. But I digress.

Generally, I dislike eating out on days when everyone and their extended family is jostling for the same table. Nothing will ever compel me to join The Reaming of St. Valentine and New Year's March of Mediocrity. So I was prepared for a certain amount of surliness from staff. Therefore, the first of the beautiful surprises at Poste was the gracious, helpful, unobtrusive service from Karima who is simply too nice to be from DC.

The main attraction of my menu was a nod to Easter tradition - braised rabbit with tagliatelle, lardons, caramelized fennel and some kind of mushrooms. This dish was simply too good to be served at brunch, when people's standards are at the lowest. Delicious, hearty, fork-tender, full of fatty goodness, had me licking the plate (well, almost, they do have a rather open floorplan, you know.)

Speaking of floorplans, the interior is lovely and airy with sky-high ceilings, restrained colors and cool vibes. You have to go during daylight hours to appreciate how beautiful and stylish and soothing the place is.

My friend had the quiche, which was pronounced the best ever. From a few forkfuls I was allowed to have, I was tempted to concur. I'm a sucker for crust, and this one had a perfect, flaky but not too flaky, buttery bite that was both a gentle restraint and a perfect complement to the creamy filling.

Chef Weland was fronting the kitchen, and was as pampering a host as two mimosa-laden giggly girls would ever wish for. We enjoyed wee bites of squash blossom (crispy but delicately fried and splashed with dark, rich consomme) and a few forkfuls of eggs with dewy salmon slivers topped with a dollop of caviar. And some delicious serrano ham on crusty bread.

So decadent. So rich. So makes me wish for increased stomach capacity.

As we retired to the terrace to enjoy some fags and more wine (a fresh and crisp viognier), I had another chance to be touched by the gracious and soulful service. After six mimosas, my hand-to-eye coordination was beginning to go, so reaching for my lighter, I knocked over my glass of wine. In my defense, I did manage to catch it midflight, but as any glass-knockers will know, this resulted in a micro-tidal wave of viognier over my face and bosom. Not entirely unpleasant on a warm day, and I'm sure a sight to behold. But still.

The terrace waitress promptly fetched me a napkin, offered another glass (which I had the good judgment to decline) and when asked for the check, would not charge me for that glass.

I almost cried, she was so good to me.

When we left, the place was hopping, the stomach was full, the soul was well-lubricated, and the bosom was dry.

I can't wait to try dinner.

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After the Friday night bacchanal, the heart cried out for a leisurely, undemanding meal, and I really didn't think Poste was going to fit the bill.

But I love THAT sort of disillusionment.

For the booth lovers in your midst, the time to go is a rainy Sunday night, when the restaurant is strangely empty, and the prize seating can be had for a kind smile and a wink to the very obliging staff. The service at Poste always struck me as very helpful with an almost Midwestern wholesomeness and readiness to please.

The theme of the meal turned out to be the mixture of sweet and salty with a crunch that ran through most of our choices that night. Chef Weland was off (as most of them are on a bloody Sunday night, I should bloody well hope so) but his team was holding up the fort just fine. Stop by and introduce yourself to a very friendly (and exceedingly handsome) Todd Wiss dishing out the yummies from the open kitchen.

The appetizer special, salmon tartar, came in a pretty frame of three five-spice wafer cones with crème fraiche on bottom - not top as is custom - nestled in what looks like three test tubes filled with raw sea salt. The saltiness of diced fish spiced with mustard and chives marries so nicely with subtle sweetness of wafers and rich creaminess of crème fraiche. To enjoy the full extent of flavors without losing any to breakage of cones and spillage of cream, I recommend you do what I did - carefully nibble from a heap of salmon, daintily bite on the edge of the cone, and suck out a dollop of crème fraiche from a wee opening at the bottom of the cone. Repeat till there's none left. That way, you can enjoy all three tastes in the same mouthful, and not have the bottom half of the cone crumble down on you once you're done with the fish.

I fully admit that some people will look better doing it than others, and your mileage will vary.

The fois gras terrine served with brioche wedges followed suit with more sweet crunchiness and rich, rich, rich taste served in what looked like a wee cast iron pot - a most winsome presentation that took away the preciousness that so often comes with the Fwah Grah. We nibbled on it throughout dinner, and I must say it fills you up very nicely, and makes for a wonderful way to while away a Sunday night.

The rabbit with poppy seed tagliatelle with braised fennel and wine sauce had me from the time of the Easter brunch so no more praise was necessary except to say that six weeks later, I still love it with all my heart. I will admit that I chose my entrée of Amish roast chicken mostly for its sides of pierogi with pesto and morels, and never regretted it. The flaky richness of pierogis and mushrooms was all comfort, no surprises, and just what I wanted on a rainy night.

My chocolate three ways sealed my belief in the kitchen's deftness with combining the opposite flavors of sweet and salty (come to think of it, it's not completely unlike a Brazilian bikini wax job - a great idea, but really takes some skill because you don't want any amateurs messing with hot wax around THAT.) The cooks at Poste handle that challenge with great skill and imagination - because my rich, dense brownie was saved from overkill by just a sprinkling of fleur de sel on top, and the same bite lingered in its base of toffee. I should mention that my friend's hot date pudding (wheeee! loving the pun) seemed to be all sweetness, but very tempting nevertheless, and I wish I forced him to give up more of it.

I am very glad I finally tried dinner after brunches and drinkies. You can bet I'll return and live to tell about it.

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Had a very nice dinner last week at Poste. I think this is a restaurant that sort of flies under the radar maybe because of its location in a hotel. We had some really nice, tasty dishes including the already mentioned truffle frites. I had a nice green and white asparagus salad with some prosciutto and a poached egg. Everything was well seasoned and the asparagus was perfectly cooked. We also had the foie gras terrine (in a small crock) and the chicken liver mousse special. All in all, it was a really nice and somewhat affordable meal. It seems as if they have a nice patio for happy hour and bar snacks as well. For those of you who havent been, you should go. I really like this type of cooking, simple food, well prepared, and not fussed with too much. They also have a cool herb and vegetable garden on the patio that they utilize for some of their dishes. Anyway, thats enough....

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"TO MARKET, TO MARKET TO BUY A ......."

Things certainly have come a long way for Poste at the Hotel Monaco. Chef Robert Weland is offering Market to Market every Thursday throughout the summer. Lucky guests (those that make a reservation in advance for the Market to Market dinner) go shopping for fresh produce with Chef at the 8th Street Farmer's Market which is held every Thursday. After choosing delicious, fresh items at the market, guests are brought back to the Hotel Monaco's outside patio and seated amongst the Chef's own grown herb garden. Guest are then treated with a personalized dinner with the fresh produce and meats from which they choose from the market, only $60 per person (excludes tax and gratuity)....Cool eh???!!!! Check it out by giving the restaurant a call see what we're all about.

Poste Brasserie

555 8th Street, NW

Inside the Hotel Monaco

Good food. :unsure:

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I had a disappointing lunch at Poste a few weeks ago. My fish was overcooked and swimming in oil, and the steak tartare didn't have much flavor. None of my companions was thrilled either - I haven't been able to get anyone to go back, even for a business lunch where the firm would pick up the tab.

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I am sorry that you had an experience that did not exceed your expectations. Poste has gone through a lot of change in the past month, including bringing me on board as part of new management. Chef Weland has done a new menu and is rolling out some fantastic ideas for our guests. We would love to have you back as we are all aware of our recent downfalls that have cause us to change in a positive direction. We, as a Kimpton property, will always try to improve our standards. There are of course other restaurants affiliated with Poste that I aslo invite you to try such as Bistro Bis, Firefly and the lounge at Hotel Helix, Rouge, Topaz.

I had a disappointing lunch at Poste a few weeks ago. My fish was overcooked and swimming in oil, and the steak tartare didn't have much flavor. None of my companions was thrilled either - I haven't been able to get anyone to go back, even for a business lunch where the firm would pick up the tab.
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We had a nice turn out last Thursday evening for Market to Market with Chef Weland and we will continue to offer it to you all summer long. Space is limited so please all the restaurant and ask to speak with Bredan Carey at extention 162!

As A Reminder, There is still room for Chef Robert Weland's "Market to Market" dinner tomorrow evening.
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There are evenings when the setting provides the perfect frame for the experience.

The patio at Poste on a summer Sunday night is a lovely oasis from the downtown bustle. The hotel walls wrap around the courtyard blocking out the noise and the traffic, the reasonably comfortable tables and chairs are liberally spaced, leaving you to smooch in relative privacy, and the starry inky sky says it is summer and you are far away from the office.

The summer feeling is picked up and carried on by the delicate, tightly edited menu that delivers the taste of summer as beautifully as the setting. Try oyster shooters in gazpacho-like tangy liquid prettily packed in short test tube-like glasses. These babies are so good you don't want to shoot them. Try heirloom gazpacho with mustard ice cream, so sharp and rich but never heavy. The scoop of ice cream gleaming through the dark pink liquid offers such an unexpected but lovely infusion of flavor, you'll have trouble choosing. Should I scoop out the gazpacho and enjoy the rich creaminess on its own? Should I keep chipping away little bits to tease me? Or should I yield to my abandon and mash it all together? It's delicious either way, and you'll have fun picking yours.

The ostensible simplicity of the heirloom tomato salad is belied by its presentation. It arrives with a customary stacks of tomato and mozzarella slices, both of them perfect, but also with a palate-cleansing scoop of cucumber sorbet, and the plate is lined with tomato water jelly. It's a grown-up, sophisticated rendition of this summer classic that adds a delicate frame around the headliner ingredients but doesn't overshadow them.

My steak tartar and his steak frites were perfectly competent, and I admire the restrained portion sizes that let you enjoy your entrée with no apprehension of the diner's curse known as No Room For Dessert. And you'll want to leave room, because my chocolate pot de crème was a beautiful ending, with its layers of chocolate mousse, milk jam and chili pepper something.

You will also want to introduce yourself to Todd Wyss who minded the kitchen on both recent Sunday night visits, because the man behind a lovely dinner like that needs to be known. He's very cordial and will gladly answer your questions and if you're very good, show you their very own vegetable garden.

Mid-July, Sunday night, Poste courtyard. See you there next time.

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I have liked the food for the most part, but have found the service (even though I know a member of the staff!) to be so awful that I maneuver to avoid going back. The back patio IS really nice, but nothing is nice enough to make me sit outside once the mercury gets anywhere near 90. Forget 100.

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We had a nice turn out last Thursday evening for Market to Market with Chef Weland and we will continue to offer it to you all summer long. Space is limited so please all the restaurant and ask to speak with Bredan Carey at extention 162!

What's your RW menu going to be like? I'm thinking of coming by with a new foodie friend for lunch on Saturday 19th as she wants to do the touristy thing and hit the museums...

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Restaurant Week we will be offering the following:

THREE COURSE LUNCH: $20.06

Appetizer

Chilled Garden Heirloom Tomato Gazpacho, OR Tomato Bruchetta, OR Arugula Salad with Sherry Vinaigrette

Entree

B.L.T with Heirloom Tomato and Neuske Bacon, OR Seared YellowFin Tuna Salad, OR Grilled Chicken Cobb

Dessert

Weaving Run farms Cherry Cobbler, OR Lemon and Buttermilk Panna Cotta, OR Chocolate Pot de Creme

THREE COURSE DINNER: $30.06

Appetizer

Chilled Garden Heirloom Tomato Gazpacho, OR Tomato Bruchetta, OR Arugula Salad with Sherry Vinaigrette

Entree

Steak Frites, OR Crispy Skin Wild Striped Bass, OR Sheep's Milk Ricotta and Nettle Ravioli

Dessert

Weaving Run farms Cherry Cobbler, OR Lemon and Buttermilk Panna Cotta, OR Chocolate Pot de Creme

What's your RW menu going to be like? I'm thinking of coming by with a new foodie friend for lunch on Saturday 19th as she wants to do the touristy thing and hit the museums...
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Restaurant Week we will be offering the following:

THREE COURSE LUNCH: $20.06

Appetizer

Chilled Garden Heirloom Tomato Gazpacho, OR Tomato Bruchetta, OR Arugula Salad with Sherry Vinaigrette

Entree

B.L.T with Heirloom Tomato and Neuske Bacon, OR Seared YellowFin Tuna Salad, OR Grilled Chicken Cobb

Dessert

Weaving Run farms Cherry Cobbler, OR Lemon and Buttermilk Panna Cotta, OR Chocolate Pot de Creme

THREE COURSE DINNER: $30.06

Appetizer

Chilled Garden Heirloom Tomato Gazpacho, OR Tomato Bruchetta, OR Arugula Salad with Sherry Vinaigrette

Entree

Steak Frites, OR Crispy Skin Wild Striped Bass, OR Sheep's Milk Ricotta and Nettle Ravioli

Dessert

Weaving Run farms Cherry Cobbler, OR Lemon and Buttermilk Panna Cotta, OR Chocolate Pot de Creme

Sweet deal...will be there, friend in tow on Saturday for lunch...

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I was happy to experience Poste for the first time last night; a friend and I had dinner before catching a movie nearby. It was overall quite good, and I would definitely return.

I started off with a half-dozen oysters of the day, a variety from British Columbia. They were excellent specimens and properly shucked, though I would have preferred them a bit colder. Next I had the beef tartare. Bis's version remains my favorite in town, but this one runs a close second. It's presented like a miniburger, with a brioche bun on top and the beef formed into a square patty. This might sound off-putting, but the presentation is really very appealing. It was bing-cherry red, with nice acidity, and served with some beautiful and tasty microgreens and a bit of what tasted like aioli-mayonnaise.

For my main I had the Arctic Char, which was crisply seared and garnished with cauliflower purée. The presentation and flavors were very appealing, though the fish tasted beyond the peak of freshness. My friend thought the same about his Alaskan Halibut, which was prepared rather classically (and unforgivingly) in a caper beurre noisette. He liked his French onion soup, which looked and smelled delicious.

Our service was knowledgeable and thoughtful throughout the evening. They were able to get us on our way well in time for our movie at 7:00.

Poste has a beautiful bar and lounge area, but the restaurant proper seems to suffer from ill-conceived lighting. The room has a good deal of drama owing to the original architecture, but we felt as though we were in a brownout at our booth, perhaps because it was the only one without its own light. More could be done with this space.

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I've really used Poste as a pre-MCI Verizon center hangout. As a bar, it rocks out!

- The bar is always moderately quiet, even before a Caps game.

- They have pretentious, strong, damn good cocktails, including the most inspired gin drink ever.

- Truffle frites.

- Truffle frites for $4 during happy hour.

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I had lunch at Poste a couple of weeks ago that left me filled but perplexed. I had the steak tartar, one of my favorite in the city, with a bowl of French onion soup and a lemon basil martini.

The steak tartar was excellent as usual. It is chunky, with just enough cornishon, seasoning, etc., to bring out the flavor of the meat. What was strange was that it was served on a bed of zucchini and squash. Considering the chef prides himself for using seasonal, and often local, ingredients, the vegetables didn't seem to make sense. The flavor of the veggies were fine but nothing like what you would taste at the height of the season and not needed in the dish.

The same was true for my lemon basil martini. I ordered it to see what kind of basil they could pull off in December. Again, the drink was good but the basil was unnecessary and not nearly as good as it would be in the summer.

The onion soup was fine. Personally I would have preferred more onion but the broth was rich and the cheese nice and stringy.

All in all a good meal, I would go back again. But the unseasonable aspects of the menu left me wondering about the chef's views on seasonal, fresh, local ingredients.

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I had lunch at Poste a couple of weeks ago that left me filled but perplexed. I had the steak tartar, one of my favorite in the city, with a bowl of French onion soup and a lemon basil martini.

The steak tartar was excellent as usual. It is chunky, with just enough cornishon, seasoning, etc., to bring out the flavor of the meat. What was strange was that it was served on a bed of zucchini and squash. Considering the chef prides himself for using seasonal, and often local, ingredients, the vegetables didn't seem to make sense. The flavor of the veggies were fine but nothing like what you would taste at the height of the season and not needed in the dish.

The same was true for my lemon basil martini. I ordered it to see what kind of basil they could pull off in December. Again, the drink was good but the basil was unnecessary and not nearly as good as it would be in the summer.

The onion soup was fine. Personally I would have preferred more onion but the broth was rich and the cheese nice and stringy.

All in all a good meal, I would go back again. But the unseasonable aspects of the menu left me wondering about the chef's views on seasonal, fresh, local ingredients.

Use of local ingredients is one thing, but with the current world market for things fresh and decent tasting veggies can still be sourced purchased. Sure they may not taste as good as something locally grown and harvested yesterday, but overall they are not that bad.

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Of course you can get decent tasting veggies at any point in the year. What surprised me is that a chef who appeared to take such pride in seasonal, local ingredients would bother to use summer vegetables in winter. If you are going to be outspoken about local, fresh ingredients, and go so far as to have a garden in your restaurant (which I love, BTW) then stick with it all year round, not just when it's easy. Instead of a basil martini, what about a blood orange drink? Sure it's not local but at least it is seasonal. As a general rule, I question chefs who pride themselves on using the best ingredients and then settle for just OK if it out of season. The tartar with zuchini would be a perfect dish in the summer. But why down grade it now with the unneeded use of random, flown in from who knows where, vegetables?

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Of course you can get decent tasting veggies at any point in the year. What surprised me is that a chef who appeared to take such pride in seasonal, local ingredients would bother to use summer vegetables in winter. If you are going to be outspoken about local, fresh ingredients, and go so far as to have a garden in your restaurant (which I love, BTW) then stick with it all year round, not just when it's easy. Instead of a basil martini, what about a blood orange drink? Sure it's not local but at least it is seasonal. As a general rule, I question chefs who pride themselves on using the best ingredients and then settle for just OK if it out of season. The tartar with zuchini would be a perfect dish in the summer. But why down grade it now with the unneeded use of random, flown in from who knows where, vegetables?

I did not realize that the chef was that big on seasonal and local ingredients. Looking at the menu online I think it minimizes those veggies that are not in season, save the arugla salad and tomato bruschetta. Too bad the squash was so blah.

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I can't say I agree with Hillvalley about the steak tartare. Lisa and I went to Poste before the hockey game last week and ordered the truffled frites and steak tartare along with our drinks.

The truffled frites were OK - the ones at Firefly were somewhat better (more/better salt) but the steak tarare was boring and miserly. Where's the kick of the pepper, anchovies, and mustard? The bite of the capers?? The counterpart of the cornichons? There was something vaguely cucumber-ish in our tartare but both of us agreed that it was most likely plain zucchini.

And the portion size was about the size of a small Wendy's single burger. That's what we get for $13???? For crying out loud, at Les Halles, I get a meal sized portion (very generous) made table side to my specifications and along with frites for only two dollars more. While the DC Les Halles may have it's shortcomings, there is no better place to go to for steak tartare (that is, until I perfect my own preparation!! :P ).

The one positive comment I'll make is that the service was prompt and friendly. We walked in and were the only ones in jeans. The suit and tie [...] club next to us turned up their noses (stupid pompous f**kers), but our server didn't discriminate.

Anyhow, we left hungry and disappointed. And the hockey game sucked. Thank goodness we capped off the evening at Restaurant Kolumbia where we could get some proper food and convivial atmosphere.

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Anyhow, we left hungry and disappointed.

We didn't leave hungry but we did leave dissapointed. We stopped by there for brunch yesterday and while the food was mostly fine, the service was sorely lacking. It turns out that they were down a few servers for the morning but I really think it a situation like that a restaurant would be better fessing up ahead of time that things might not go 100% smoothly rather than let a whole room full of people grow progessively more irritated as they search in vain for someone, ANYONE, to deal with them.

The bottom line was we had to wait way too long for everything. 10 minutes for drink orders, another 15 minutes for food orders, 15 minutes to find someone to get the check....we gave up on trying to ask for a side of toast for our daughter....nobody was unpleasant or rude but there was nobody there when you needed them. We were not the only diners with these problems either.

Other minor but weird glitches....a granola and yogurt parfait that came out with no spoon....not a big deal you say but when a server was only sweeping through the room every 10 minutes you had to sit there and stare at it.....and no spoons or saucers with the coffee/tea mugs maning there was nowhere to put my teabag.

Its a pity because the food was for the most part quite good. The doughnuts were delicious and came with a decadent little shot glass of molten milk chocolate and assorted fillings. My wifes french toast was airy and light and my omelette was good, it marred slightly by very chewy and stringy mushrooms...almost as if they had not been sauteed enough.

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Few things in life are more reassuring than a phone call from an old friend, coming home to your dog, or seeing Rob Weland expediting at Poste.

Weland is one of a handful of chefs in this area who walk the walk when it comes to supporting local, seasonal ingredients and the farmers who provide them. I remember attending a seminar discussing the upcoming Farm Bill on a Sunday evening, and I recognized two chefs there, both on their nights off: One was Frank Ruta, and the other was Rob Weland.

Last night was a strange orgy of summer, a machine-gun blast of seasonal ingredients, and also an eerie echo of dishes I've recently had elsewhere.

A special of Salmon Tartar ($4.75 per piece) was diced wild Alaskan King Salmon belly with shallots, chives, EVOO, and crème fraiche, topped with American sturgeon roe and served in a five-spice cone. These were similar in style and spirit to an amuse-gueule I recently had at Maestro, although these were bigger, and topped with less roe.

The Heirloom Tomato Salad ($14) was slices of red, yellow, and green farmers'-market quality tomatoes, topped with creamy Burrata cheese, not unlike what I had the night before at Liberty Tavern. However, this dish was smaller, three dollars more expensive, used slightly better tomatoes, and was much more complex in its presentation. Surrounding the tomatoes and cheese was a sprig of fresh purslane, one of the most undervalued herbs, and only the second time I've seen it in a dish this summer - not surprisingly, the other time was at Palena. There was also plenty of basil, a little purple shiso, some remarkable tomato gelée off to the side, and the only thing on the plate that missed for me, a little scoop of tomato ice cream which was just a bit too cold and bland - had I let it melt into the olive oil, it would have come across better, so this is probably my mistake. What a great salad this was, simple and complex at the same time.

Steak Tartare ($14) has been on the menu for a long time, and has become one of Weland's signature dishes. It's a miniburger, with hand-cut beef served raw with fresh egg yolks, capers, chives, and mustard, sitting atop razor-thin, almost imperceptible cuts of local zucchini and yellow squash. The dish is served on a housemade brioche bun and comes with a little baby mizuna, sauced with a little lemon crème fraiche and touched with the merest hint of Fleur de Sel. It's not a large portion of tartare, and it is expensive, but it's also a clever and novel juxtaposition of two classics - one from ages ago, and one from this decade.

To complete the cold tomato-tartare motif, there are few soups in town right now as good as Weland's Backyard Heirloom Tomato Gazpacho ($12), a purée of heirloom tomatoes with Sherry vinegar, EVOO, garlic, cucumber, tobasco, thyme, red peppers, and red onions, poured onto a mirepoix of Dijon-mustard ice cream sitting atop purple shiso with crushed black pepper. It's a complex gazpacho that weaves lots of different flavors together into a unifed whole, and calls loudly and strongly for the bread basket to sop it all up with (as does the Heirloom Tomato Salad).

Poste is expensive - appetizers run in the $10-15 range, mains range from $23-28, and drinks are not cheap. But it's heartening to see it bustling with such good crowds, people willing to pay a little extra for Rob Weland's commendable respect for seasonal ingredients, elevated to another level by his clever, elegant recipes and the fine cooking technique coming from his kitchen.

A special note of thanks to the charismatic AGM of Poste Mike Hill, most recently GM of Firefly. Mike is a friend of mine, a dedicated professional, and a shining star in the front of the house. He's also one heck of a good tennis player.

Cheers,
Rocks.

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We had dinner at Poste for the first time last night and the food, service, and atmosphere were all exceptional. Everyone in the party agreed it was one of the best meals in a while. The food was beautifully plated and the flavor matched the presentation. The crispy skin snapper with champ potatoes, red wine poached farm egg, caper beurre noisette had a lot going on but the flavors melded perfectly. My husband loved the halibut poached in olive oil. Our waiter was great, taking the time, for example, to describe the items on the charcuterie and cheese platters. The portions aren't gluttonous, which I appreciate; there seems to be more emphasis on quality than quantity.

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Poste's Pan Roasted Organic Chicken buckwheat crepe, napoli carrots, chanterelles is delicious. The crepe didn't do anything for me, but this I probably enjoyed this dish more than I have any chicken dish I've ever had at a restaurant. Yes, I'd rather have this dish again than Palena's chicken or even a tasty chicken salad special at Eve.

Poste's poached egg atop Snapper on the other hand didn't work for me. I knew it sounded weird, but somehow between my preference for fish and my recent infatuation with poached egg on my salad I went for it. It only overwhelmed an otherwise heavily salted dish.

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If you think that braised rabbit with tagliatelle is going to be about the pasta because it's listed on the menu under the pastas (the first of only two, the second a vegetarian ravioli), you are in for a surprise, because it's all about the rabbit. The noodle is glued into a small fist over a thin pool of pesto, buried by the meat, which is tender enough to pick into strands, though only barely moist, not bad, but under-developed and not helped much by a dribble of darker sauce, scattered crisp mushroom, apple and a fennel three-way: cooked bulb, frond garnish and what I assume was the pollen smudged onto the lip of the bowl. (the tagliatelle with urchin from a few days before at the palena cafe was much better and much less expensive, although it is an early course.)

Entering the kit-kat races, a sweet potato milles-feuilles, with small scoops of decent semi-freddo and ice cream is not about the pastry but the intriguing, and largely successful, combination of the orange potato and panes of chocolate. This danse macabre of a dessert, which will make more sense the closer we draw to Halloween, isn't exactly easy to eat: breaking through the chocolate roof squeezes the filling onto the plate and a thin, brittle-like bottom sticks and is hard to get up, but it tasted good (unlike palena's recently added concord grape sorbet, if you have an aversion to mish-mash with what might have been candied citrons).

Anyway, I just can't believe the chef did much of our cooking (and there was more of it), and if this is opening up opportunities for younger people down the line, they certainly deserve further encouragement.

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I'm surprised more people don't talk about Poste, because the lady and I had a fantastic meal and experience from top to bottom here last night for our 1 year anniversary and I would be remiss if I didn't do a quick write-up.

I'll forgo any elaborate descriptions of the food because I simply don't have the range or descriptive ability some of our more knowledgeable posters do. However, for those curious, I enjoyed a lovely foie gras terrine and seared scallops on smoked pork belly with a 2004 Trimbach Riesling and an excellent choco-banana dessert (I don't remember exactly) that was the special that evening.

Food porn aside, however, it's rare that I remember the service more than the food, but that's the case for yesterday's dinner. From the moment we stepped in, we were treated like rock stars, to the point where the lady was wondering if the host was confusing us with someone else. We arrived for our 8:30 reservation a little bit ahead of schedule (granted - we had a room in the hotel, so that made an early arrival quite feasible), but our table wasn't quite ready yet, for which the host was super-apologetic. Neither of us were put out at all and it gave me a chance to check out the bar, which I had wanted to do anyhow. So, while we waited for our table, I tried out the 10-y/o Bruichladdich (so salty!) which was great and I'm sure Joe Riley is beaming, haha. Not even 15 minutes later, the host arrives to tell us that the party before us had left and that our table was ready. But because of the delay that was barely a delay, the host was so intent on taking care of us, that he wanted to comp our drinks. We had already closed out our bar tab and we told him that we were going to order a bottle of wine. Well, apparently we must have been a very modest couple, because not only was our bottle of wine comped, but we were also given a taste of the dessert wine gratis, and a special chocolate congratulatory note was included on our dessert. This blew us both away and just made a fantastic evening even better.

I wish I could remember the names of our fantastic server and host, but I guess this might help time-stamp who was working last night. Thank you Poste so very much.

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I have been here about five or six times, which might as well be a thousand visits for me given my aversion to going to the same place multiple times, but it is easy to return because it is great in so many different ways. Yesterday it was perfect for a few drinks and some truffle fries after the Georgetown game and before a mid-afternoon movie. In a few months it will be perfect for long lasting happy hours spent outside drinking one of their 30 infused liquors and nibbling on the bar menu. And then, a few months after that, it will be perfect for a more robust dinner or a satisfying brunch before a matinee show close by.

Like I said, I don't like to go to the same place often, but when a restaurant has so many sides to it, it is hard to resist.

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I am planning to visit Poste for the first time with a few girlfriends next Saturday morning for brunch and I noticed that there were only a few mentions of brunch on here, and I believe the most recent was from February 2007. Anyone been to brunch at Poste recently that could make any recommendations?

Also, now that the weather has FINALLY decided to be nice, is it possible to request outside seating with our brunch reservation? Or is that more of a first come/first served basis?

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I am planning to visit Poste for the first time with a few girlfriends next Saturday morning for brunch and I noticed that there were only a few mentions of brunch on here, and I believe the most recent was from February 2007. Anyone been to brunch at Poste recently that could make any recommendations?

I went to brunch at Poste a couple of months ago with my parents; none of us were thrilled. Though the food was well-prepared and definitely fresh from the garden, it's hard to get excited over scrambled eggs, toast, fruit plate, bagels... I've also previously had the Cobb salad, which I believe is availalbe for brunch, and again- good, fresh tasting, but nothing exciting.

That said, people do rave over the house-made doughnuts. For me, the best part of Poste on a Sunday is the excuse to drink basil lemontinis in the morning ;)

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Well, I just got back from Poste. If my dinner had been $25 dollars, instead of $60, I would have been ok with it. For $60 or a little over, I can get a nice meal at Palena, Oval Room, Komi, etc.... Oh and to top it all off, they ran out of their special by 8PM. Terrible.

Service- A

Ambiance-A+

My meal- F------

Appts- I had the softshell crab- it was literally a small softshell crab with some weeds on top and overcooked!

Main Course- The tuna on top of a mashed potatoes with more weeds. The tuna was large but dreadful. The bottom of it was bright bright red/fusia and very tough (I have cooked and eaten lots of tuna and never seen anything like it.) I did not send it back because I had already eaten over half of it (due to the way I cut the tuna, I did not reach the bottom until I was well along) When I asked it this was normal, the waitress said yes. My friend had the same dish, and it did not have anything remotely like that. Both tasted like nothing. The mashed potatoes were ok, but tasted like they were out of a box. OHHHH I forgot, the red wine poached egg on top ....damn, I wish I did not remember, I am about to yak. This combination should be illegal.

Needless to say, my meal ended there.

Friend #1 meal- F-----

The hanger steak- Small, extremly tough and not properly seasoned. I had to chew on a small piece for about 2 minutes before I could eat it. They missed the mark on this one by a long shot.

Wife's meal- F--

Chicken- Well seasoned, but extremely dry. She loves chicken and could not finish it. She had the liver pate/foi grass (however you spell it) and it was just plain disgusting- they added a hint of lemon to it and it just was not right. You can get the same thing at Palena-WAY BETTER, for 4 dollars less.

Friend #2- F------

Had the same thing I did.

Overall I am really mad that I spent $120 (including wife) on this meal. I really do feel like I was robbed. :lol:

P.s. I really wanted to love this place since one of my good friends is one of the cooks. I have to talk to him about this.

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Appts- I had the softshell crab- it was literally a small softshell crab with some weeds on top and overcooked!

Main Course- The tuna on top of a mashed potatoes with more weeds.

What were the weeds? Ramps?
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