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Morrison Clark, in the Historic Morrison-Clark Inn at 11th & L Streets NW

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We had a nice dinner there last night, after having not eaten there in many years. I was pulled in by the fact that opentable was giving 1000 points for reservations at prime times. I took that to mean that they're having trouble filling tables, but since I didn't know why, I figured we'd have a meal there and see.

The service was quite attentive, from the moment we walked in. Later in the evening, the chef was circulating in the dining room, chatting with the diners. The menu is largely Southern in its emphasis. I wish I had taken real notes so I could remember the menu more clearly. At least one item on the menu featured ramps. The dining room was as I remembered it, perfect for a cozy, romantic meal.

I had the bourbon shrimp and grits, which was subtly flavored and just the right size appetizer for me (3 shrimp and a small portion of creamy grits, with an herb I couldn't identify that added a nice note to the flavor). My husband had the Kentucky Bibb salad with roasted beets, which he polished off in short order, though he's not incredibly fond of beets. The breads that were brought by the table were good. I preferred the cornbread to the raisin roll, which I thought was slightly dry. The butter was at just the right temperature for spreading.

For entrees, I had the duet of lamb, which I loved: roast loin slices layered with spinach and grilled leg slices with black-eyed peas, ham, and chanterelles. I really liked the black-eyed peas with the lamb. The flavors complemented each other well. The lamb dish was delicious, perfect except for some oversalting of the greens. My husband had chicken (roasted, I believe), with corn and soy bean (I think) succotash. There was a disparity in the size of the entrees that was a little odd. The chicken, while somewhat cheaper, was quite a bit less food than the lamb entree. But, since I couldn't finish all of my entree, my husband ate some of the lamb as well, and it all worked out biggrin.gif .

We were too full for dessert. I was almost too full to finish my coffee. Maybe half the tables in the restaurant were full midway through the evening. There were also a few people eating outside. I had made the reservation because we hadn't eaten out in a while, and I thought Friday night would be a good night to go out. By the time Friday arrived, however, there was reason to celebrate, and it turned out to be lovely place for that. I'm not sure why this restaurant has fallen off the radar. (I tried to find recent reviews before going--good, bad, or indifferent--and couldn't find anything.)

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