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Cherry (Formerly Pinea), Chef Will Morris in the W Hotel near Metro Center


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I had a very enjoyable meal here recently.  We started with a terrific bruschetta trio.  One topping featured smoked ricotta and espellette, another avocado and pistachio, and the third chickpea and grilled scallions. Fritto misto- a plate of light and airy fried vegetables and citrus slices- were delightful on their own or dipped into a zesty green olive aioli.

As a main course I shared grilled swordfish, which was highlighted by the smokiness of charred cauliflower, the saltiness of capers, the crunch of pine nuts, the sweetness of raisins, and the robustness of a generous helping of carrot romesco sauce.  This was followed by a juicy lamb merguez burger with thick and crispy polenta fries.  

I found the dining room to be a bit bland- almost unfinished.

But the food makes this new restaurant in the W Hotel worth a visit.

For anyone interested, my blog post on Pinea can be found here.

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Had a very nice, impromptu meal here, or rather in the Root Cellar bar in the basement, this past Friday. I was meeting a friend for drinks near my office, which brought us to that bar. We hung out, had a couple of drinks, and then decided to order food, all of which is from the Pinea menu. We quite enjoyed it. They had their restaurant week menu going, which included any appetizer, salad or soup followed by any pasta or entree and a dessert. There was an upcharge for one or two items, but it still was a fantastic restaurant week deal. adding up almost any entree and appetizer put you well over $30. Anyhow, the pork chop special was fantastic, and I enjoyed my tuna crudo as well. The bar swung between completely empty except for us to merely mostly empty while we were there. I'll definitely be back. 

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On 2/4/2015 at 2:23 PM, goodeats said:

I wonder why there is not much mention of here, especially with Chef Koslow at the helm? Has anyone been recently?

In my opinion, Pinea remains an under-the-radar gem. The cooking is excellent, the wine list is solid with many reasonably-priced options, and the space is grand, but not stuffy.

A recent meal started with the octopus with pork belly and beans.  An interesting and tasty combination.  Lobster/saffron risotto was decadent, but not cloying.  My friend and I split a serving, but even at (roughly) half it was substantial and could have been a main course.  We finished with the duck breast.  It was tender, and the chef let the rich flavor of the meat shine through with a light touch.  The duck was balanced with chard and pureed chestnuts.  It was a delightful winter's night, hearty meal.

The location is a little out of the way from the Metro, which may explain why it does not get the same attention.  But going back to the Mendocino Grill days, Koslow's cooking has justified walking a few extra blocks.

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Had lunch today at Pinea. I ordered the cacio e pepe, and considering what I had heard about the kitchen's Italian credibility, the best I can say about the dish is that it wasn't unpleasant.

The pasta itself was cooked overly (or underly?) al dente, sort of between al dente and uncooked. The pasta itself looked like the ramen that comes out of the instant package, with squiggles and curls here and there. The sauce was wet, with a puddle at the bottom of the bowl. I assume that, as in classic preparation, some pasta water was added to the sauce to thicken it. Instead, it thinned it. And the taste of the dish was more salty than pepe....

I give it a C- on a scale of 10.

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On 4/2/2019 at 12:22 PM, DonRocks said:

The artist renderings are depressing - the space is being turned into Just Another Hotel Restaurant.  Is it Barrel and Bushel from the Tysons Hilton?  Fire and Sage at the Marriott?  That space has not been kind to recent restaurants, maybe they should be throwing in the towel, but in doing so they're removing a lot of the character from the Hotel Washington.

Downstairs is a great space, but has an accessibility problem from within the hotel.  I'm sure the craft beer/pizza concept will appeal to the tourist masses during the summer, but its always going to be a tough fit until access is easier for guests.

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1 hour ago, genericeric said:

The artist renderings are depressing - the space is being turned into Just Another Hotel Restaurant.  Is it Barrel and Bushel from the Tysons Hilton?  Fire and Sage at the Marriott?  That space has not been kind to recent restaurants, maybe they should be throwing in the towel, but in doing so they're removing a lot of the character from the Hotel Washington.

Downstairs is a great space, but has an accessibility problem from within the hotel.  I'm sure the craft beer/pizza concept will appeal to the tourist masses during the summer, but its always going to be a tough fit until access is easier for guests.

They can't completely throw in the towel; it's a hotel in a prime downtown location - maybe they're trying to come up with something as widely appealing (or non-repelling) as possible?

In terms of Will Morris, it's not a bad idea to have the security of a hotel job - this will get him noticed, and he might have the opportunity to chase his dreams later, or maybe even move up in the W brand. They're looking for profits here; not critical acclaim (although the latter is always a nice bonus).

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There’s no menu on the website that I can find.  Opentable does have a menu with prices but I don’t know how accurate it is.  Based on that menu, I find the prices high and the food rather uninteresting.  I can’t even find a Yelp page for this place.  Has anyone been?  It’s on the Eater July hotlist.

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