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Corduroy, Fine Dining at the Convention Center - Chef Tom Power's Magnificent Cooking


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1 hour ago, DonRocks said:

I'm sure that some restaurants are doing okay right now, but I don't know of a single one that is.

I'd like to remind our readers that Corduroy (menu) is open for dining Wed-Sat, 5:30-10:30. I just made my reservation, and I encourage everyone to follow suit - Tom *loves* cooking for people, and he's one of the very best chefs in DC; the problem is that he's *terrible* at promoting himself or his restaurant. Corduroy could have won a James Beard Award by now, but they haven't even been nominated - not once. This hits home with me, hard - in a lot of ways, for what are (hopefully) obvious reasons.

In other news, I heard Kojo Nnamdi talking several times yesterday about Kwame Onwuachi, who has replaced Mike Isabella as the current media darling.

1 hour ago, naxos said:

We have followed Corduroy from the first location to the new. We frequented the bar for early weekend dinners and the restaurant proper to celebrate special occasions. While we are not dining out now, I am sorely tempted by chefs wonderful soups.

They do take out.

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58 minutes ago, Keithstg said:

They do take out.

Indeed they do, and I've gotten it from them once, before they reopened for dining service. The food traveled beautifully, but the soups were cold, and it took 5-10 minutes to bring them up to temperature at home (once we did, they were exactly like they are in the restaurant). Again, this was before they reopened for dining service, so I'm not sure how things are done now - I'd just call and ask (or, I can ask for you).

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17 minutes ago, DonRocks said:

Indeed they do, and I've gotten it from them once, before they reopened for dining service. The food traveled beautifully, but the soups were cold, and it took 5-10 minutes to bring them up to temperature at home (once we did, they were exactly like they are in the restaurant). Again, this was before they reopened for dining service, so I'm not sure how things are done now - I'd just call and ask (or, I can ask for you).

I looked at the takeout menu and soups are still on- apparently available warm and maybe one can choose frozen if I read the menu correctly.

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12 hours ago, naxos said:

I looked at the takeout menu and soups are still on- apparently available warm and maybe one can choose frozen if I read the menu correctly.

Yep - I picked up some frozen soup and a large wine order a while ago. Soup reheated beautifully.

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11 hours ago, Tom Power said:

Excited to announce we have a new pop up in the alley behind Corduroy and Baby Wale.  "Clos Du Roy"!   The walled in patio is open each night at 5 PM  and taking reservations until 8:30 as all patrons must leave by 10 to keep our neighbors happy.  We are open 7 nights a week weather permitting.  Haven't watched the weather like this in a long time.    Just received some beautiful Tuna today- fatty and fresh. 

YASSSS!!

Gonna make plans to come & visit

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On 3/28/2020 at 9:57 PM, curiouskitkatt said:

Reluctant Home Cooking , Chef Tom Power in Quarantine

In this episode, Chef prepares charred tomato soup. 

Thanks for posting this Kat!!  I only wish I clicked on the link when I had fresh tomatoes!!!!  Only eight and half months to go!!!  

I also found it interesting that when he added all the ingredients to the pot, he didn't stir them up as he brought it to a boil.  He just let everything sit where it landed when he added it as the soup simmered.  I would have thought mixing it all up would have been better, but I'm going to try it the other way just for kicks.

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5 hours ago, Bart said:

Thanks for posting this Kat!!  I only wish I clicked on the link when I had fresh tomatoes!!!!  Only eight and half months to go!!!  

I also found it interesting that when he added all the ingredients to the pot, he didn't stir them up as he brought it to a boil.  He just let everything sit where it landed when he added it as the soup simmered.  I would have thought mixing it all up would have been better, but I'm going to try it the other way just for kicks.

I don’t question what Chef does. His soup creations are the best, bar none. 

Im thinking he may have a better technique at the restaurant with more tools, and the impromptu format of recording may have jumbled his mind a bit😅

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On 11/23/2020 at 3:33 PM, curiouskitkatt said:

I don’t question what Chef does. His soup creations are the best, bar none. 

Im thinking he may have a better technique at the restaurant with more tools, and the impromptu format of recording may have jumbled his mind a bit😅

And, his soups were just the thing to keep us warm and happy in the alley space over the weekend.  Alas, I'm afraid this past weekend may have been the last chance for folks to enjoy Chef Power's work at Corduroy for a bit.  It sounded and looks like Corduroy may be on an extended winter break starting now. Hopefully, they'll be back under better conditions early next year. 

Chef, let us know if you and your team have food available or other options for us in the months ahead and thank you for all your delicious food and the always warm service at Corduroy.  I feel like a Tom Power Soup & Filipino Spring Rolls Truck could be just the thing we need to make it through this winter...  

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On 11/23/2020 at 9:58 AM, Bart said:

Thanks for posting this Kat!!  I only wish I clicked on the link when I had fresh tomatoes!!!!  Only eight and half months to go!!!  

I also found it interesting that when he added all the ingredients to the pot, he didn't stir them up as he brought it to a boil.  He just let everything sit where it landed when he added it as the soup simmered.  I would have thought mixing it all up would have been better, but I'm going to try it the other way just for kicks.

I think stirring was edited out to keep the video as short as possible.  I watched the video again and was shaking the pot, it's not likely to burn before it boils if you give it a shake or two.     

On 12/1/2020 at 12:56 PM, youngfood said:

  Alas, I'm afraid this past weekend may have been the last chance for folks to enjoy Chef Power's work at Corduroy for a bit.  It sounded and looks like Corduroy may be on an extended winter break starting now. Hopefully, they'll be back under better conditions early next year. 

Chef, let us know if you and your team have food available or other options for us in the months ahead and thank you for all your delicious food and the always warm service at Corduroy.  I feel like a Tom Power Soup & Filipino Spring Rolls Truck could be just the thing we need to make it through this winter...  

Thank you. Corduroy will be in hibernation until the weather allows us to resume outdoor dining. During that time we will have a limited takeout menu of mostly frozen soups to stock your freezer with.  Sort of like Souper Girl but for omnivores. Depending upon interest there may be other options but it will be mainly soup that you heat on a cold night in the future.    

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8 hours ago, Tom Power said:

Thank you. Corduroy will be in hibernation until the weather allows us to resume outdoor dining. During that time we will have a limited takeout menu 

We look forward to your reopening, and will be certain to order takeout. 

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9 hours ago, Tom Power said:

I think stirring was edited out to keep the video as short as possible.  I watched the video again and was shaking the pot, it's not likely to burn before it boils if you give it a shake or two.     

Thank you. Corduroy will be in hibernation until the weather allows us to resume outdoor dining. During that time we will have a limited takeout menu of mostly frozen soups to stock your freezer with.  Sort of like Souper Girl but for omnivores. Depending upon interest there may be other options but it will be mainly soup that you heat on a cold night in the future.    

Thanks, Tom. Order off of the website?

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I love this place. We went there for my MA graduation celebration, when they were still in the hotel. I think we went the first time for an anniversary celebration, and just keep going back. We also eat most often at the bar (although not always the bar menu), because we like bars. But we have also done larger groups at tables.  Did Christmas Eve there one year. That was good, and worked out very well for one friend's mom who has some crazy food restrictions. 

Thanks for the encouragement to get back in there soon.

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We've had a reservation for outside tonight for quite some time, but the weather is not looking cooperative.  I'm wondering how likely it will be to get two seats inside last minute. Any sense of that among those who have been in recent months?

I tried calling after the restaurant was open last night but got voice mail. They were probably too busy to answer. Since it was still 24+ hours away and forecasts can change, I didn't leave a message. Twice in the last week, I was convinced outdoor plans would be rained out, and things were clear and dry when I needed them to be. I think luck on that has run out...

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14 hours ago, Pat said:

We've had a reservation for outside tonight for quite some time, but the weather is not looking cooperative. 

It appears to have dried up. Did you get to eat outside?

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12 hours ago, saf said:

It appears to have dried up. Did you get to eat outside?

Yes! Against all odds, my weather luck held once again. I'm on quite a streak. It cleared up and stayed clear.

We had a really hard time finding parking, so I had to call to say we'd be late. But, once there, everything was wonderful. It had been such a long time since we had been to Corduroy that we were having trouble figuring out when the last trip was. They have done a nice job setting up outside in the back of the restaurant. It must have been a lot of work getting all that gravel laid. Everything is level and packed down, which I had wondered about when trying to decide on shoes.

I got my old favorite of tuna with hijiki and sushi rice, which I first started ordering in the hotel days. It was just as perfect a dish as I remembered. It seems a shame to eat here without ordering soup, but I really wanted salad more than soup last night, so I started with a gem salad and anchovy vinaigrette. The chef, however, sent out gratis tastes of the Avgolemono, so I got soup too:). The texture of that soup was remarkable.

My husband got the striploin and Lyonnaise potatoes, which I encouraged because I wanted a bite of steak. Cunning plan. He also ordered (and enjoyed) the charred tomato soup.

I had a glass of cava to start out and a glass of 2010 Bordeaux with my tuna. I didn't ask beforehand if it would go with the tuna, but seemed like a fit to me. Both glasses were excellent and, at $15 each, seemed like a good value as well. It's been a long time since I ordered a glass of wine in a restaurant, but I know I have paid more in the past for wines that were not nearly that quality.

We ate dessert at home (black raspberry ice cream and a strawberry cupcake with  buttercream a friend had bought me from a fancy cake place).

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7 hours ago, Pat said:

We had a really hard time finding parking, so I had to call to say we'd be late. But, once there, everything was wonderful.

There is no such thing as "driving to Corduroy" anymore. We went on July 31st, and drove around for nearly 45 minutes, before giving up, driving a mile north, and getting on the Lyft app ... only to find some sort of surge pricing which would have cost nearly $25 to go one mile (!), so I decided to drive back to Arlington, but on the way past Corduroy, there was, by some sort of divine intervention, an open space.

I can honestly say that in all the times I've been to Corduroy in the past 18-ish years, the dishes were *the best* I've had there, and I'd bet I've been here over 100 times.

Salads of Baby Gem Lettuce with Radish and Anchovy Riesling Vinaigrette ($10) don't sound that exciting, but they couldn't have been made, more importantly dressed, any better. 

As good as they were, the entrees were even a notch higher.

I don't know how many times I've had the Peppered Rare Tuna with Hijiki and Sushi Rice ($33), but certainly over a dozen. This was the most perfect rendition of this now-classic dish I've ever had here. It didn't "look" any different, but every single flavor component, including the cooking of the tuna, was flawless - it literally could not have been any better.

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Its equal was the Tonkatsu with Salted Kombu Caraflex Cabbage ($27), which I've had only once before as a tasting portion. I don't see how either Tonkatsu or Salted Kombu Caraflex Cabbage could be any better than these were in terms of flavor, temperature, and texture.

IMG_8083.jpg

We had my favorite table in the house (the elevated booth across from the kitchen), and I'm near-certain that Chef Power hovered over both these dishes - that's the best explanation for why they were so stratospherically great. If you can, get a bottle of aged Red Burgundy with this meal (there's currently a 2010 Thierry et Pascale Matrot Monthélie on the list for $70) - it deserves nothing less.

I'm pretty sure that, start-to-finish, this is the best meal I've had in 2021 (although there's a single course I had elsewhere that might be my "dish of the year" so far).

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6 hours ago, DonRocks said:

There is no such thing as "driving to Corduroy" anymore. We went on July 31st, and drove around for nearly 45 minutes, before giving up, driving a mile north, and getting on the Lyft app ... only to find some sort of surge pricing which would have cost nearly $25 to go one mile (!), so I decided to drive back to Arlington, but on the way past Corduroy, there was, by some sort of divine intervention, an open space.

You have good parking karma;). The crazy thing was that we'd been to Centrolina a couple weeks before and parking hadn't been bad (though that was a Sunday night). The space we ended up with for Corduroy was close to where we parked for Centrolina.

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Returned to Corduroy last night for the first time in many years and it felt like a big welcome home hug.  I have loved Corduroy since its Four Points days and I will always associate it with the Don Rockwell community.  The care and attention that Chef Power puts into his food is always reflected in the warmth of the amazing front of house.  We were celebrating my birthday last night and I brought my kids there for the first time so it felt extra special.  We revisited old favorites like the seared tuna, and soft shell crabs, but were also introduced to exciting new dishes like the tonakatsu, and the incredible chilled avgolemono soup (I can't go to Corduroy and not order soup).  The outdoor space is lovely and the mural Chef's wife painted sets such a joyful mood back there.  Even with all the amazing new restaurants in DC, I knew I wanted to support Corduroy on my birthday.  We loved every minute of our experience there. 

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6 hours ago, gnatharobed said:

Returned to Corduroy last night for the first time in many years and it felt like a big welcome home hug.  I have loved Corduroy since its Four Points days and I will always associate it with the Don Rockwell community.  The care and attention that Chef Power puts into his food is always reflected in the warmth of the amazing front of house.  We were celebrating my birthday last night and I brought my kids there for the first time so it felt extra special.  We revisited old favorites like the seared tuna, and soft shell crabs, but were also introduced to exciting new dishes like the tonakatsu, and the incredible chilled avgolemono soup (I can't go to Corduroy and not order soup).  The outdoor space is lovely and the mural Chef's wife painted sets such a joyful mood back there.  Even with all the amazing new restaurants in DC, I knew I wanted to support Corduroy on my birthday.  We loved every minute of our experience there. 

We were there the night before you, and while the Seared Tuna and Tonkatsu didn't *quite* reach the absurd heights of the previous visit, they were both still superb (the Tonkatsu was a perfect medium-rare previously, and both dishes were a bit saltier on this evening - but trust me, this is nitpicking greatness). I balked when I saw the Chilled Avgolemono soup on the menu (this is one of my "comfort foods," and the thought of having it cold is like the thought of having lasagna cold), but when Tom sent out a little sample, I was amazed at just how good it was. Also, a sashimi appetizer of Hamachi was fantastic - it was divided into loin meat and belly meat, with the same cabbage that comes with the Tonkatsu (it works equally well with both and did not seem redundant).

The pictures of the tuna are a bit washed out, but I included two of them to show just how thick this cut of fish really is.

It is a mortal sin that on a Wednesday night, a 6:30 reservation was the final one of the evening. This restaurant should have a Michelin star.

IMG_8215.jpgIMG_8217.jpgIMG_8219.jpgIMG_8221.jpg

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Funny - we were there Saturday. 7:00 reservation in the alley. It was nicer than expected. I mean, it is an alley, and we did see a few rats run down the side along the walls. But it was like a courtyard, and we really enjoyed ourselves. First time here in far too long.

I had the chilled Avgolemono, while he started with oysters. We were both very happy with our choices. I too hesitated because the Avgolemono was chilled, but it was so very excellent.Then I had tonkatsu, and he had the tuna. He loves that tuna, and had high praise for the rice. I enjoyed the tonkatsu. I don't like cabbage, but I enjoyed that cabbage that came with it. (Sometimes it can be hard for me to order there, as I do not eat seafood. Was fine on Saturday.) Started with cocktails, had a nice bottle of chardonnay (recommended by the waiter, and very nice) with dinner. A glass of port with chocolate banana dessert for him, and a glass of sauterne with blueberry tart for my dessert. 

So lovely to eat here again, and so waiting for the return of inside dining and the bar! (Yes, I know, inside dining exists. I'm just not comfortable inside at the moment, even with both of us fully vaxed.)

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