Jump to content
VandyHoo

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

Recommended Posts

I'm bringing a group of friends to Poste tomorrow night. I haven't been for dinner there in over a year. Anyone been lately? Suggestions?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

(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"!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I can second the Beef Bourguignon recommendation. I had some brought to me during a particularly long, cold week. It made the cold worthwhile.

Also, the french fries. Damn good fries. They go great with many of the drinks on the menu.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

FYI, Tricia has left Poste and moved to Boston, where she's managing a restaurant whose name escapes me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"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:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's nice to hear something good about the place that isn't coming from someone who isn't their own manager, let alone someone who actually likes us :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm just trying to wrap my mind around the fact that someone wants to sit outside in this weather! :)

Share this post


Link to post
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

×
×
  • Create New...