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

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On ‎10‎/‎23‎/‎2018 at 12:30 PM, Mark Slater said:

There are 11 seats at the bar. 4+7 on the long side. 

The Corduroy bar will not be available for seating this Saturday Oct. 27 until after 9PM due to a private event. 

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So I finally made it to Corduroy for dinner after meaning to go for so many years.  Perhaps mistakenly I thought there had been a jacket and tie requirement which goes against my very ethos (modern slob in case anyone is wondering) - anyway the dress code is gone now if it ever existed and I was excited to try the place after so many wonderful reviews here.  Went with a couple close friends who were happy to share in the adventure.

I had the appetizer special, a smoked salmon/cream cheese affair that was quite good with the accompanying bread. Followed that with the chicken two ways - confit and roasted - that was wonderful.  Really enjoyed this dish immensely. Perhaps what helped that was the wonderful wine recommendation from Marc Slater, who stopped by to say hi and to suggest a really great red that all three of us enjoyed.  I'd be glad to add this place to my standard repertoire, such as it is.  Kudos for the wonderful cooking and hospitality.

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Just wonderful, and we DID have Colin as our server! In addition to chicken I had the snapper bisque. Oh my! A nice bottle of Pinot Noir to accompany my chicken and my wife's tuna entree.

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We went to Corduroy for our ten year anniversary and had a really nice meal.  We had a booth which was nice for a nice conversation.  The service could have been a tiny bit more polished- I feel like there was maybe a lot of somewhat young staff, maybe that was just me.  We were seated and just waited a long time for anyone to give us menus or greet us.  No explanation of the tasting menu (so we decided just to order off menu/specials).  I heard the specials at another table and things were presented with a little bit more option than at ours (I didn't know you could get one soft-shell as an app or two as a dinner).  We were given the wine list, but never any offer to help us select something (we ended up being fine, just for a nice occasion it can be nice to get some suggestions).  The table around us had some papers with them and they left and one was left on the floor all evening, and maybe no one else noticed it?  I just thought there were some small attention to detail items that if I were the FOH manager, I would work on.

The food was great.  I had the kale caesar which was very good, and then the soft shell crabs for dinner.  I have been craving some really good soft shells and this hit the spot.  I got the chocolate flourless cake for dessert and hubby got the strawberry tart.  He had the lobster carpaccio- which I think he was neither here nor there about, and the seared tuna dish and just loved it, he thought the flavors in the sauce just really made the dish spectacular.  All in all it was a really nice meal and a nice evening, my small quibbles about some initial service issues aside.  

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I still can't understand why the best fine-dining value in all of Washington, DC is constantly empty.

The 3-course, $30 dinner offered at Corduroy's bar is unmatched in terms of (quality x value) - as far as I'm aware, nothing anywhere else even comes close.

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We had dinner off the regular menu (with a couple of specials) at the bar Saturday night, and split 4 courses (1 appetizer, 2 mains, and 1 dessert), and with one notable exception, it was as good as ever. Everything you see in the pictures was split (plated for two) in the kitchen. Because each course was so different, we stuck with wines by the glass. The only miss of the evening was the fish itself, which just didn't taste fresh (this was at the end of a long Thanksgiving weekend); everything else was Corduroy at its usual level of excellence.

Maryland Crab Blintz atop Chayote Slaw ($15) CrabBlintz.jpg with Cava

Barnegat Light Sea Scallops with Grits ($35) Scallops.jpg with Rully Blanc (Chardonnay)

Black Sea Bass in Jerusalem Artichoke Sauce ($32) BlackBass.jpg with Sancerre Rouge (Pinot Noir)

Flourless Chocolate Cake and Hazelnut Ice Cream ($9) ChocolateCake.jpg with LBV Port
 

Service at the bar was outstanding, and we left perplexed why all of DC isn't lined up every night to have the $30 dinner here - it really says a lot about the power of marketing, and (I'm sorry to say) the gullibility of the masses, who will flock like sheep during Restaurant Week, only to pay more for a *much* lesser meal in turbulent surroundings.

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I don't know if this is the answer, but in Tom's chat last week, someone (maybe you!  ;-) asked why he doesn't mention Corduroy much/ever in his chats anymore.  His answer was that the menu has been unchanged for years, and the place/decor could use a refresher.

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4 hours ago, DonRocks said:

I still can't understand why the best fine-dining value in all of Washington, DC is constantly empty.

The 3-course, $30 dinner offered at Corduroy's bar is unmatched in terms of (quality x value) - as far as I'm aware, nothing anywhere else even comes close.

The 5-course, $70 chef's choice dinner offered in the main dining room is not far behind.

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19 hours ago, Bart said:

I don't know if this is the answer, but in Tom's chat last week, someone (maybe you!  😉 asked why he doesn't mention Corduroy much/ever in his chats anymore.  His answer was that the menu has been unchanged for years, and the place/decor could use a refresher.

Speaking of Siesetma, if that now infamous couple would have dined discreetly at Corduroy, perhaps they would not have been exposed. 

This isn’t the first time I have heard the lack of traffic as a result of Chef’s unwillingness to change the menu & the dated design of the space. Completing a design overhaul could be an expense he is not willing to entertain. The menu on the other hand, well... 

I will always have a soft spot for Corduroy, & think its hands down one of the best in town. There are dishes that are unique to the menu that you can not have anywhere else in the city, and the fact he rarely changes the menu is like returning to a old familiar favorite. I think Corduroy just needs to be included in the conversation more frequently. Every time I visit the District, a stop at 1122 9th St is always in my rotation, and as long as the doors are open, that will never change. 

Delish,

kat

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20 hours ago, DonRocks said:

I still can't understand why the best fine-dining value in all of Washington, DC is constantly empty.

The 3-course, $30 dinner offered at Corduroy's bar is unmatched in terms of (quality x value) - as far as I'm aware, nothing anywhere else even comes close.

I think this has been discussed in DR.com before, be the $30 dinner doesn't appear anywhere on their website.  Or at least I couldn't find it.

I've only been there once, 100 years ago, but these last few posts, and a quick once over of the menu makes me want to head there soon!

 

Carpaccio of Lobster with Drawn Butter $15 - WOW!!

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18 hours ago, Bart said:

I don't know if this is the answer, but in Tom's chat last week, someone (maybe you!  😉 asked why he doesn't mention Corduroy much/ever in his chats anymore.  His answer was that the menu has been unchanged for years, and the place/decor could use a refresher.

Both of those things are absolutely true. That said, I come by about 4x/ year and the experience is always excellent, and I am looking for the old favorites (have been going since the 4 points on K Street). Would like to say I'd go more if the menu changed more, but the reality is that I'm seldom in DC, so the new usually prevails.

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Tom has a reliable repertoire of menu items that he has developed over his many years cooking. He changes them seasonally. Some dishes are favorites that remain on the menu (tuna tartare, lobster carpaccio). What's the problem?

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