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Requin, at the Wharf in Southwest DC - Both Locations Have Closed


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On 8/18/2015 at 4:21 PM, Bart said:

This may have to be broken up into two or three threads, but it looks like Mike Isabella is going to take over the Gypsy Soul space and turn it into a Kapnos Kouzina (casual, home-style Greek), but before that happens Isabella and Jen Carroll (a Top Chef buddy and Philly chef) will host a pop up of "Requin", an intimate French-Mediterranean seafood restaurant which will end up being located at the Wharf development in DC.

Read the deets here.

The Requin pop-up is opening on Dec. 11 at the former Gypsy Soul location in the Mosaic District before it opens in its permanent location.

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After reading a glowing review on Tyler Cowen's blog, I had extremely high hopes.  Unfortunately my dinner was mostly just "OK," and we left a bit unsatisfied.  After a confused conversation with the server about how many items to order (more below on service), we ordered two "planches," two small plates, and one large plate for the table.

One planche was a mix of vegetable items:  The highlight was curried cucumber.  Eggplant-tomato ratatouille was pretty good.  Shishito peppers were as expected, though perhaps a bit undersalted.  Celery root pastrami could have used more pastrami flavors.

The other planche was a seafood assortment: The mussels escabeche were very good -- certainly the best bite of food of the night.  Fluke ceviche was tasty.  Smoke blue catfish rilletes tasted like any ok-but-not-great smoked fish salad.

Sweet and sour prawns with fennel confit and citrus glaze was too much sweet, not enough sour. The prawns were large, mildly underseasoned, and just tasted of sweet, orange glaze.  This was the worst dish of the night.

Escargot with puff pastry and garlic bechamel was better. My dining companion noted that the puff pastry was either undercooked or soggy in places.  But the dish was otherwise very tasty.

We split the "small" bouillabaisse.  They did a good a job solving the all-too-common problem of fish being overcooked in bouillabaisse.  I assume that they cooked each fish component separately then combined with the larger bowl of broth at the end.   But I just wanted more flavor.  It needed salt.  It lacked the strong garlic flavor you usually find in bouillabaisse (or its accompaniments).

The other wrinkle was service.  It's calling itself a popup, so easy enough to excuse the service, but: Our server was hard to communicate with.  She didn't understand some of our questions.  And some of her explanations were hard to follow.  This led to a who's-on-first back and forth about how many dishes to get.  She also curiously told us that in the category of entrees for 2-4 people, the smaller bouillabaisse was for 1.  (Fortunately we went with the small, which was easily for 2).  She gave next to no detail on various items.  (We listened in to the waiter talking at the next table to learn more)  She often just tossed items onto the table, e.g., place settings left haphazardly and an upside down menu.  Other servers seemed better, though we were not the only ones who couldn't track down a server to order additional drinks.

I'll certainly come back.  But i think it needs time to come into its own. (And I may wait for the menu to turn over a bit).

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Tired of cooking, and in search of a nice dinner out to celebrate the fact the kids were home from college, we paid Requin a visit 26 December. Similar to Lotus125's experience, the service was not always smooth, but I wrote much of that off because of the holidays. During our experience, the quality of the food and drink more than made up for the service hiccups. No doubt they are refining their flavors and service, since my experience was a bit different than Lotus's. Chef Carroll worked the pass during our visit, and we noticed she reviewed every dish, and tasted many of them as well. It was obvious that a lot of pride and care went into the food.

Despite a late afternoon decision, I was able to obtain a 730 reservation. (Oddly, I had called to reserve a table, but they didn't have any bookings available, but I was able to secure the same time through Opentable.)

The menu, while relatively small, makes it possible try a variety of dishes without feeling obligated to order an appetizer, a main, a side, and dessert.

Our server, who I learned from conversation was highly experienced in establishments ranging from diners to fine dining restaurants, did a nice job of explaining the menu, and as a result, we ordered an appropriate number of dishes. The four of us were were quite satisfied with one planche, four small plates, one large plate, and one dessert.

To begin, the three of us old enough to enjoy cocktails ordered a Clean Slate, a Winter Sour, and a La Louisiane. The last drink, a play on a Sazerac, hit the spot for me; it was well-balanced and delicious.

The vegetable planche offerings, as described by Lotus, were all delicious. I too would have liked a bit more pastrami flavor in the celery root. (My daughter provided a bit of unplanned humor when she found the lone spicy shishito.) The vegetables were served with crostini, which were refilled without request by our server.

Our server recommended two of the small plates as "must haves", which were the escargot and the fingerling potatoes. In addition, we selected the legume salad and the prawns.

Unexpectedly, the escargot arrived before the vegetable planche, but that didn't really concern any of us. The dish arrived luke warm, and while I would have preferred a warmer temperature, the textures and flavors were great.

The legume salad was a refreshing mix of cannelini beans, haricot verts, watercress, and a lovely vinaigrette.

The prawns arrived next, a serving of two large head-on prawns accompanied by fennel confit. The citrus glaze was sweet and sour as described, and topped with grated lemon zest. The prawns were perfectly cooked as well.

Since we opted for the cote de boeuf, prepared medium, we took our server's advice to have the fingerling potatoes served with the steak.

The beef, a 28oz portion, arrived carved into two large pieces, as well as the rib bone. It was served with a small bowl of potato puree, shishito peppers, and veal jus. The beef was prepared a perfect medium (a table compromise), and it was outstanding. Perfectly seasoned and extremely tender, the steak could not have been any better. The veal jus and potatoes were incredible as well.

For some reason, the fingerling potatoes arrived after the beef, but our server made up for the delay by providing us with an extra serving. They were certainly worth the wait, as they were simply one of the best potato dishes I've had in recent memory. The potatoes were combined with thick-cut salami slices (there's undoubtedly better a culinary term for the method), dried tomatoes, and a whipped raclette. Our server explained that the raclette was turned into an ice cream, so that explained the light, airy texture. Really just a perfect potato dish...

To end the meal, we shared an order of profiteroles. The pastry was crispy and airy, and served with a delicious brown butter ice cream, candied kumquats, and a sprinkling of chopped pistachios. It was a great way to end the meal.

We enjoyed a reasonably priced bottle of cotes-du-rhone domaine santa duc. While I enjoy wine, I'm not well-versed in its description, so I'll only say it was delicious, and complimented the steak quite nicely.

Despite being overloaded with tables, our server was wonderful, and it was apparent that he was knowledgable and skilled.

Overall, we thoroughly enjoyed Requin. There's enough variety for me a pay another visit soon, and I'd like to try their happy hour as well. I have a hunch Requin will improve while still a pop-up, and it will be interesting to see how it does when it moves to a permanent location.

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Really terrific dinner last night. May be a "pop up" but firing on all cylinders.

First, the food. Started with the veggie planche. Then from the small plates, the beef carpaccio, the legume salad, the smashed fingerling potatoes and the kabocha squash. Finally, since there were six of us, from the "for the table" section we shared both the roast chicken and the bouillabaisse.

There wasn't a miss in the bunch. The biggest hits on the planche were the curried cucumbers and the ratatouille (and I'm not a ratatouille fan). From the small plates, the carpaccio and legume salad were delicious but the real star was the smashed fingerlings with crispy salami and whipped raclette. Everyone at the table agreed that we could each eat a whole plate by ourselves next time.

As good as the small plates were, though, the shared plates stole the show. I don't think there's a better roast chicken in town and the bouillabaisse was a wonderful and dramatic rendition with perfectly cooked seafood including two whole lobster claws and a tail. Whatever issues other posters may have had with the salt and garlic levels of the broth seem to have been addressed. There was plenty of salt and a surfeit of sliced garlic in the broth. The one small issue I have with the bouillabaisse involved plating. Since the big bowl is meant to be shared, it would be helpful to provide small bowls to the table to hold the broth. The small plates don't permit diners to have the seafood and the broth together in front of them and led to a lot of spoons reaching into the middle of the table.

The service was equally good. Our waiter and the other waitstaff were timely, efficient and personable. And Chef Carroll was standing front and center by the kitchen checking every dish that went out. This is clearly her baby.

Just go.

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Really terrific dinner last night. May be a "pop up" but firing on all cylinders.

First, the food. Started with the veggie planche. Then from the small plates, the beef carpaccio, the legume salad, the smashed fingerling potatoes and the kabocha squash. Finally, since there were six of us, from the "for the table" section we shared both the roast chicken and the bouillabaisse.

There wasn't a miss in the bunch. The biggest hits on the planche were the curried cucumbers and the ratatouille (and I'm not a ratatouille fan). From the small plates, the carpaccio and legume salad were delicious but the real star was the smashed fingerlings with crispy salami and whipped raclette. Everyone at the table agreed that we could each eat a whole plate by ourselves next time.

As good as the small plates were, though, the shared plates stole the show. I don't think there's a better roast chicken in town and the bouillabaisse was a wonderful and dramatic rendition with perfectly cooked seafood including two whole lobster claws and a tail. Whatever issues other posters may have had with the salt and garlic levels of the broth seem to have been addressed. There was plenty of salt and a surfeit of sliced garlic in the broth. The one small issue I have with the bouillabaisse involved plating. Since the big bowl is meant to be shared, it would be helpful to provide small bowls to the table to hold the broth. The small plates don't permit diners to have the seafood and the broth together in front of them and led to a lot of spoons reaching into the middle of the table.

The service was equally good. Our waiter and the other waitstaff were timely, efficient and personable. And Chef Carroll was standing front and center by the kitchen checking every dish that went out. This is clearly her baby.

Just go.

Great review, Pork Belly, but is it still possible to "Just go," or was last night the final night? Does anyone have any word on when it might open up in the Wharf Development? There's been a lot written about this, so I suspect I've simply missed something.

I don't know Mike Isabella, but I have a gut feeling that Bandolero might have been the best thing to ever happen to him, because he seems to have really matured as a restaurateur. You can't get truly great at something as complex as this in three-ish years, but I think his ongoing "trial by fire," which includes an extraordinary number of popular restaurants in a condensed period of time, might have really turbo-charged his development. Of course, it's also arguable whether or not it has only been "three-ish" years, but I'm referring to the negative experience he had to endure.

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Great review, Pork Belly, but is it still possible to "Just go," or was last night the final night? Does anyone have any word on when it might open up in the Wharf Development? There's been a lot written about this, so I suspect I've simply missed something.

Don, considering that 1) Requin is still advertising on their Facebook page that they are hiring and 2) the first part of the new Wharf project is expected to open sometime in 2017, I am fairly certain that you haven't missed this pop-up. I'm working on my writeup of dinner Wednesday night (mostly positive), but I will say that I overheard other patrons asking staff how long the pop-up would be in place, and the staff had no idea, or at least were giving that impression.

There wasn't any air of imminent departure during our dinner. Hope you'll go!

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I also asked about their plans to move, and was told that plans were still up in the air. There was no indication they would be closing anytime soon.

I'm not involved in the restaurant industry, but it wouldn't make sense to stay open for only a month. Similarly, it wouldn't make sense for Jen Carroll to move to the area, and then work for only a month. Who knows?

Since I live in Fairfax, I'd certainly like them to stay in Mosaic as long as possible, and from comparing my experience to those of others, it sure looks like Requin is only going to keep getting better.

Can anyone comment on their Happy Hour offerings?

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This is from the article in the first post in this thread (Dec 3):

After the pop-up closes in several months, Carroll said she'll have plenty of Requin planning and scouting to keep her busy. "I wish the Wharf was ready to go and open," Carroll said, "but I'm lucky to have this in the meantime."

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Going to dinner at Requin on Wednesday was bittersweet"”the last time we were there, Grateful Dead concert videos were on the TV screens and The Dead were playing on the sound system.  The space hasn't been altered, but why should it be? It is a great space"”a great dining room and a great kitchen.



Service was gracious and (mostly) efficient from the moment we walked in. Our server took his time answering our questions about the menu and checking with the kitchen to ensure that my food would be gluten-free (I had emailed earlier in the week and received a positive response). As others have said, Chef Jennifer was at the pass checking every plate before it went out of the kitchen.



The vegetable planche made for a fun start to the meal. All four offerings were delicious, accented with a few grains of coarse salt (fleur de del?) by the chef at the pass, which really drew out the flavors nicely. My hands-down favorite was the pastrami-flavored celery root, which really did have a nice pastrami-like flavor (maybe someone's reading this thread). I didn't expect to enjoy the shisito peppers as much as I did. The four different dishes provided nice contrasts, while adding up to a very nice whole. I noticed quite a few other tables ordering it, too, and with good reason. It was all delicious.



My very favorite dish of the night was the fingerling potatoes. Others have described it in detail, but the interplay of flavors and textures really appeals to me. My husband loved the dish as well, but said he would have liked more potatoes for $10.



The weakest dish of our meal, in my opinion, was the Bouillabaisse. The fish and shellfish were all nicely cooked, but for me the broth was overly salty. My husband had the toasted bread with it, and he said that mitigated the salt taste. There was garlic visible in the broth, but I am used to bouillabaisse with a more tomatoey and herbal broth than this one was. I ate the fish and left the broth, and I'll try another dish next time. The chicken other tables were ordering looked good.



We aren't dessert people, but we did try them. Profiteroles for him (not enough, tasted good) and the chocolate soufflé for me (too much of a good thing). A word of caution for those seeking gluten-free desserts here: Ice creams containing gluten ingredients are made in the same machines as those without gluten ingredients, so if cross-contamination is a concern, the ice creams may be off-limits.



We're already contemplating our next visit, obviously! 


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 I don't think there's a better roast chicken in town 

I'm not questioning your judgment at all, but have you had Frank Ruta's roasted chicken at The Grill Room (or Palena)? If not, I would suggest going to try it (if it's still on the menu), and if you still think that Requin's is better, I'll be heading there this weekend.

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I'm not questioning your judgment at all, but have you had Frank Ruta's roasted chicken at The Grill Room (or Palena)? If not, I would suggest going to try it (if it's still on the menu), and if you still think that Requin's is better, I'll be heading there this weekend.

Or how about the roasted chicken that spawned the "is a $15/pound chicken worth it" thread, the one at Kinship?!?!   :P

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The one small issue I have with the bouillabaisse involved plating. Since the big bowl is meant to be shared, it would be helpful to provide small bowls to the table to hold the broth. 

Does anyone else think it's kind of misguided to serve a dish such as boulillabaisse "family style?" To me, you have to plate it table-side or serve it for one; otherwise it's just awkward.

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Fair point. It was more of a rhetorical flourish than a considered comparison. But even thinking about it now, I'd put the Requin chicken right up there with Palena (the last place I had it; it's been a few years). FWIW, I also had a good roast chicken at Riggsby and it may be less of a schlep.

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On 3/30/2016 at 0:21 PM, Ericandblueboy said:

So the bouillabaisse at $54 is portioned for 1 person?

All of the most expensive prices (even when there's only one price) in that section are portioned for two people.

Oh, wow - I didn't realize the *less* expensive bouillabaisse was $54. Yes, I think one person is a safe assumption, but I'd ask to be sure. For example, I suspect that for $24, you get a half chicken instead of a whole chicken, so it wouldn't surprise me if $54 gets you half as much bouillabaisse as $76 does - but that's just a guess.

I just had an $18 Bouillabaisse (really a fisherman's stew) at Drift on 7th last week, and it was more than adequate for one.

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A few of us wine geeks had a dinner at Requin last month.  Had a tasting menu and instead of having to pick one from each course, they brought out enough of everything that we all got a tasting of everything.  We opened 9 bottles of wine to go with the meal (8 people) and we could not have been treated better.  Everything was fantastic,but I especially enjoyed the French Onion soup, Ratatouille, quail drumettes (we ordered another round of them because they were so good), and the bouillabaisse.

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On 3/30/2016 at 4:04 PM, dinwiddie said:

A few of us wine geeks had a dinner at Requin last month.  Had a tasting menu and instead of having to pick one from each course, they brought out enough of everything that we all got a tasting of everything.  We opened 9 bottles of wine to go with the meal (8 people) and we could not have been treated better.  Everything was fantastic,but I especially enjoyed the French Onion soup, Ratatouille, quail drumettes (we ordered another round of them because they were so good), and the bouillabaisse. 

That menu looked great. Wish I had known about that one. What was the price?

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Based on the above photo, I went and had their bouillabaisse.  My favorite part of the dish were the calamari rings - I don't know what they did to infuse flavor into those tender squid bodies but they were fantastic.  The mussels and clams were also superb.  The lobster (stewed) and prawns (grilled), however, were a bit overcooked.  It's still one of the better bouillabaisse I've had though.

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We popped in to the (former) pop-up last night. In summary...excellent. Opted for the small plates. A glass of a Gamay Beaujolais for me and refreshing Pimms (with a dark rum base) for my spouse.

Started with the eggplant ratatouille crostini, followed by a really, really good beef carpaccio (potato crisps for crunch and with cornichons). The duck leg, while good, was more difficult to share.  The heirloom carrots were standouts for all the textures and the presentation. Don't miss the desserts.. I had the rhubarb pastry with sorbet, but the clear knockout winner was spouse's profiteroles. A series of delightful dough balls, alternating with scoops of brown butter ice cream and topped with caramel sauce.

Service was good and the FOH manager engaged us with discussions of the next 2 projects (waterfront DC and part of the Isabella Tysons Galleria combinations of eateries).

As we left , spouse said "When are we coming back and we will order the same things except swap out the duck leg for the skirt steak." Looks like we will return soon...very soon! 

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We went last Saturday afternoon for a quick lunch - loved it! We had the smoked bluefish rilletes, wife had the burger with the smashed potatoes (insane), and I had a croque monsieur, which was a misstep - should have gotten the croque madame. :lol:

I recognized the FOH manager that day as Jonathan, whom we met previously at RANGE - he took my young sons and I on a tour of the kitchen. Wonderful guy. A plate of profiteroles and a glass of sauternes later and there went the diet for the week. 

They have a TON of "bargains" - lunch and Happy Hour deals, pre-movie deals, etc. So happy for all of them. Only wish we lived closer. On the other hand, we do kinda dig the Merrifield Garden Center.

Edit: wife had the vegetable omelet, not the burger. I thought something didn't sound right. We regret the error, by which mean, should have also ordered the burger. 

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18 minutes ago, Ericandblueboy said:

Dang, the bouillabaisse is now $64 for 1 person.

I haven't been, so perhaps I'm missing something, but, as a general matter, the listed prices here are absurd (as in, at least twice what they ought to be).  Is there a market for this in that area of NoVa?  (Striking but perhaps unfair comparison with my most recent meal:  Just last night I spent ten bucks for a huge bowl of delicious bún riêu at Huong Viet, easily feeding two.  Five miles further west, bouillabaisse for two at Requin is $86.  And a "small plate" of baby carrots will set you back another $13 (before tip and tax).)

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40 minutes ago, Ericandblueboy said:

Dang, the bouillabaisse is now $64 for 1 person.

25 minutes ago, Marty L. said:

I haven't been, so perhaps I'm missing something, but, as a general matters, the listed prices here are absurd (as in, at least twice what they ought to be).  Is there a market for this in that area of NoVa?  (Striking but perhaps unfair comparison with my most recent meal:  Just last night I spent ten bucks for a huge bowl of delicious bún riêu at Huong Viet, easily feeding two.  Four miles further west, bouillabaisse for two at Requin is $86.  And a "small plate" of baby carrots will set you back another $13 (before tip and tax).)

You're not missing anything - like Simul Says (pun intended) in another thread, we're living in a new gilded age. This is like Bourbon Steak's Lobster Pot Pie for $72, except that's in the Four Seasons, Georgetown, and nominally run by Michael Mina; a few years ago, your choices in Merrifield were Arby's and Tippy's Taco House. 

This is a combination of new money (*really* new money, as in, people are conveniently forgetting about the "worst economic crisis since the Great Depression"), television, PR and marketing having run amok and being left unchecked, restaurant "critics" who have betrayed the tenets of their profession by sucking up to the Popular Kids, and ... what was that phrase associated with P.T. Barnum?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hu0Bm_HfX-s

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On 6/4/2016 at 10:00 AM, DonRocks said:

You're not missing anything - like Simul Says (pun intended) in another thread, we're living in a new gilded age. This is like Bourbon Steak's Lobster Pot Pie for $72, except that's in the Four Seasons, Georgetown, and nominally run by Michael Mina; a few years ago, your choices in Merrifield were Arby's and Tippy's Taco House. 

This is a combination of new money (*really* new money, as in, people are conveniently forgetting about the "worst economic crisis since the Great Depression"), television, PR and marketing having run amok and being left unchecked, restaurant "critics" who have betrayed the tenets of their profession by sucking up to the Popular Kids, and ... what was that phrase associated with P.T. Barnum?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hu0Bm_HfX-s

Man, that seems a bit harsh. You make some good points about critics as well as relative value, but I thought I'd see you use your wealth of knowledge and comment about the price as it relates to other bouillabaisse you've had. 

I've not had the bouillabaisse, so I don't know the exact ingredients, or if it could be considered a reasonably priced dish. Given the chef's time at Le Bernardin, it might reflect the cost of the ingredients, since high quality fish and seafood are extremely expensive. I believe there is an entire lobster in the larger serving.

For my budget, the cote de boeuf is very expensive as well, but check out the price for the same quantity and cut of dry-aged ribeye you'd have to cook yourself. http://fairwaypacking.com/shop/dry-aged-beef/28-day-dry-aged-usda-prime-bone-in-ribeye.html

One can certainly eat at Requin without breaking the bank. 

I'm not disputing anyone's perspective, and I hope I don't appear to be snarky.

 

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10 hours ago, reedm said:

Man, that seems a bit harsh. You make some good points about critics as well as relative value, but I thought I'd see you use your wealth of knowledge and comment about the price as it relates to other bouillabaisse you've had. 

...

I'm not disputing anyone's perspective, and I hope I don't appear to be snarky.

You're not snarky, and the truth can sometimes be harsh. I haven't had the bouillabaisse, or even seen it, so I can't compare it to anything, although it's a safe bet that it's not an authentic Bouillabaisse like you'd get in Marseilles - my guess is that it's a large seafood stew that's "inspired" by Bouillabaisse, and there's nothing wrong with that. Do notice that I haven't criticized anything about it, because I don't even know what it is ... who knows, maybe it's worth twice what it costs - after all, people are gladly paying this much for "seafood towers" (I'm not, but other people are).

A real Bouillabaisse for two, in the South of France, properly made, costs over $100, and is worth every penny and then some. At Chez Fonfon - which is a legendary restaurant which may (or may not) be coasting off its name - Bouillabaisse costs 53 Euros per person. I was taken to Le Petit Nice for my birthday, and had lunch at some Bouillabaisse specialist near the docks which was recommended to us by Gérald Passedat himself - the meal lasted for several hours, and after a couple half-bottles of Cassis Blanc, the bill was around $200 all-in. Later that night, we had a multi-hour dinner at Le Petit Nice, and the next morning, I had what can only be called "the worst hangover that anybody has ever had," resulting from about eight hours of eating and drinking the day before - I thought I had died and gone to hell, and spent several hours writhing around, praying for relief which only came with the passage of time. I've had several terrible hangovers before, but this was the worst because of all the rich food which acted as a supplementary toxin.

The cruelest thing about hangovers is that - unlike when you have, say, the flu - *nobody feels sorry for you*.

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We've had bouillabaisse in various places in the South of France, some very expensive, some not as much.  Some excellent, some okay, some not so much.  Pretty much like in the US.  We'll be in Cannes in a few weeks and we had Tetou recommended - allegedly the best bouillabaise anywhere.  I was intrigued until I saw it was 160 euros per person with langoustine, cash only - no credit cards.  Requin is a bargain in comparison.

My wife and I went to Requin a couple of weeks ago.  We skipped the bouillabaise but had a "reasonably" priced meal (relative to upscale restaurants in the area) made up of a bunch of small plates.  It was good enough to make us want to go back, but not good enough to make it a rush.  While we'll probably try the fish or chicken "for the table" next time, I see no reason to spring for the bouillabaise.

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9 hours ago, jpbloom said:

We've had bouillabaisse in various places in the South of France, some very expensive, some not as much.  Some excellent, some okay, some not so much.  Pretty much like in the US.  We'll be in Cannes in a few weeks and we had Tetou recommended - allegedly the best bouillabaise anywhere.  I was intrigued until I saw it was 160 euros per person with langoustine, cash only - no credit cards.  Requin is a bargain in comparison.

Don't say this until you've had Tetou's, jpbloom, - you seem like you have some experience, so when I say "you" here, I'm using "the universal you," and talking to everyone. I don't know the restaurant, but it's *absolutely* worth $160 a person to try real bouillabaisse once, and to budget a good three hours for the meal. Just make sure you get a bottle of Cassis Blanc (make *sure* it's Blanc (not Rouge) that has seen *no oak*) - if ever there was one, single wine that was positively made to go with authentic Bouillabaisse, it's Cassis Blanc, and I'd go with a non-expensive bottle of whatever the restaurant recommends as a perfect match - they'll have it in half-bottles or even carafes, and it shouldn't cost over $10-15 a half-bottle, and might be less than that. There are certain food-and-wine pairings that are a match made in heaven (Muscadet and raw mollusks, Sherry and Spanish ham, etc.), and this is one of them - please trust me on this. And if your research shows that Tetou bears out the ongoing-greatness test (traditional is *good* in this case), please believe me that you'll remember this for the rest of your life, and one day you'd be punching yourself at the thought that you walked away from what could have been a once-in-a-lifetime chance to have authentic Bouillabaisse, and yes, it's absolutely worth the money if it's the real rendition - I give you my word that it is. I almost want to say that I'll pay for your meal if you don't like it, but I'll refrain from going that far - reading your post, it sounds like you've had traditional bouillabaisse before; just maybe not the best. Remember: Marseille is a good two hours from Cannes, but there should be *something* good for bouillabaisse in Cannes - I should add that Cannes is *relatively* superficial, and I had the worst Michelin two-star meal I've ever eaten there, at La Palme d'Or in the Hotel Martinez (an absolutely stunning location on "the crescent," and the magnificent view of the sea through the glass doors is what added the second star). Note also that langoustines are not one of the traditional fish: if I'm remembering correctly, the four staples are rascasse (a must), dorade, lotte, and St. Pierre. Perhaps grondin (but not as a substitute for rascasse) and a couple others will be offered, but these are pretty much the basis of the traditional version (these fish will have been - *or should have been* -  swimming in the Mediterranean Sea the evening before you eat the soup, and purchased from the fisherman at the dock that very same morning, and individual restaurants often add whatever came in that morning if it's worthy). Each restaurant has their own little secrets, and if additional fish are added, that will in no way invalidate the authenticity of the experience; quite the contrary - it probably means that's what the fisherman caught during the night. If you've never done The Full Monty, be *sure* and ask your server for advice and help - they're generally very enthusiastic at polite, eager tourists trying this regional specialty that they're so justifiably proud of. In case you can't tell, I think that authentic bouillabaisse is one of the great dining experiences the world has to offer, and that dining cannot possibly get any better than this. Having it for lunch, and making it your primary meal of the day, is a wonderful thing to do, even if the rest of the day will be spent recuperating. I envy you (in a good way) right now. Try to make contact with older local people, preferably chefs, and ask them who has the best traditional bouillabaisse in the area (it's worth a thirty-minute drive; just be careful drinking about DUI's in France - they're pretty severe, and enforcement has recently become quite strict - definitely *not* worth the risk (sorry to piss in your soup!)) This post has nothing whatsoever to do with Requin, btw, so I may move it out of this thread. You know, the French respond remarkably well to letters - even faxes - and especially when a polite attempt is made to write in French. If you write the restaurant, and let them know you're coming from 4,000 miles away to try their fabled bouillabaisse, you will most likely get a letter back, and they'll be looking out for you - just make *sure* you don't pick the wrong restaurant.

If Joe H or Poivrot Farci chimes in, pay attention to what they say - they've both done this in the past.

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We had our second visit to Requin Friday night with the same feeling as before - good enough to want to go back but not good enough to make it a rush.  My wife really enjoyed her onion soup and would definitely order it again.  My baby octopus, on the other hand, were very tough to enjoy (literally) - with the slightly burnt ends, it was like eating crispy rubber bands.  I expect baby octopus to be somewhat chewy but this went too far, and they had no flavor.  The snapper saved the meal.  Whole fish, very nicely prepared, served filleted with the head and tail, accompanying by well seasoned and crispy vegetables.  The pork chop (which we had considered) at the next table looked much less satisfying, so we were happy with our choice. 

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I took the kids to Requin to catch some Pokémon.  I wanted to order the bouillabaisse but I was leery of getting tough shrimp/lobster for $64.  I rarely (almost never) send food back to the kitchen (for some reason I rather avoid the restaurant in the future rather than send food back).  But at $64 per person, I would feel compelled to send food back, or even perhaps remind the server when ordering that the last time the shrimp/lobster were the worst part of the dish because they were overcooked.  Do others share my dilemma?

I ended up not ordering the bouillabaisse, instead, we had the quail drummette, crispy duck leg, grilled bavette steak, and fritto misto.  The fritto misto was rather bland, and there was no sauce to give it flavor.  We could've squeezed the shit out of the lemon but I don't think that would add sufficient flavor.  The quail, duck, and steak were all pretty good but they were pretty pricey for "small plates" ($15, $18, and $23 respectively).

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We went to Requin with some friends for a late birthday dinner.  Both Mike Isabella and Jen Carroll were there, which our friends were very excited about.  We had a choice of two RW menus (three course or four course) or their regular menu.  Friends chose the four course RW menu.  We started with lamb rillette, smoked fish rillette of some type, white bean dip and I had the mussels and clams escabeche.  I liked my dish the best, the lamb and beans were good too, I didn't really care for the fish.  This was definitely a nice sharing course, but we did need more crostini and had to ask to get more.  We all got cocktails, then switched to wine, the waiter made a nice recommendation on the wine.

Second courses were tomato salad for me, beef carpaccio (not my favorite preparation, the beef just didn't taste as fresh as what I thought it should, although it wasn't off), and two orders of the smashed potatoes, which really are as good as all the other reviews stated.  Third course was trout subbed for rockfish for friend, steak frites for the hubbys and swordfish with harissa lentils for me.  I loved the harissa lentils, I would like to try and make those at home.  The fish was nicely cooked.  I stole some of Hubby's fries but otherwise didn't taste his dish, but he enjoyed it.  

For dessert we had profiteroles (not exactly what I expected, but was good), I had chocolate souffle with a side of sorbet which was great and Hubby had ice creams which he really liked and I didn't try as I was trying to eat as little dairy as possible.  Overall it was a really nice meal.  We had a great table in the front in a corner, which gave us great privacy, but sometimes it meant catching a waiter took a second, but overall service was very good, the waiter knew what dishes were good, explained the menus well, refilled drinks appropriately.

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Had a wonderful brunch yesterday with my daughter. 

Requin has continued to evolve since their pop-up days. The menu has expanded and changed quite a bit, and I think the portion sizes have increased on some dishes. That said, Chef Jen's french-influenced cooking continues to impress.

My daughter started with a spectacular roasted carrot and fennel soup topped with crispy leeks. For her main (she is a vegetarian, btw)  she ordered the wild mushroom soft scramble. The softest scrambled eggs were served on puff pastry, and served with smashed roasted potatoes and a green salad. Lovely dish. 

I chose the Tilefish poboy, which was served on a fresh baguette with red pepper aioli as well as sliced lettuce, pickles, tomatoes, carrots, and probably a  couple others I can't recall. 

Both entrees were served with a market salad with the best lemon vinaigrette I've ever tasted. 

Service was very nice. 

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My wife and I had been to Requin 4-5 times and we headed there again on Saturday night after grabbing a late reservation on Open Table.  The last couple of trips it was cold outside and the comfort food inside was really good, especially the cauliflower gratin.  I was hoping for a lighter meal of late spring early summer but was disappointed.  The menu had not changed much and even the special (braised shortrib) was on the winter/heavier side.

Still, the meal was good and I found some dishes that were excellent.  The burrata and tomato salad was a gooey mound of cheese with  tomatoes that popped with flavor and sharp pickled onions. The roasted mushrooms with pickled ramps were also noteworthy. Unfortunately, the chicken liver mousse with soppressata jam was unappealingly slimy.

The room and bar were full and they were turning away people at the door.

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13 hours ago, Ericandblueboy said:

"'Top Chef' Alum Jennifer Carroll Quits Mike Isabella's Restaurant Empire" by Warren Rojas on dc.eater.com

didn't think it was all that good with her there.  Not sure if this dog will still hunt.

I agree completely. Read that story a little more deeply, and you'll also see that Isabella Cove is a ship that has sailed - for his sake, I hope he signed air-tight contracts for his new ventures: If so, he's set for life; if not, he's done.

Been to Graffiato lately? Me neither. Remember how it was the hottest restaurant in DC? Me neither.

It's amazing how quickly restaurant writers can hop from one train to the next. Before that it was ... take a guess: X.

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On 10/14/2017 at 7:45 PM, DonRocks said:

I agree completely. Read that story a little more deeply, and you'll also see that Isabella Cove is a ship that has sailed - for his sake, I hope he signed air-tight contracts for his new ventures: If so, he's set for life; if not, he's done.

Been to Graffiato lately? Me neither. Remember how it was the hottest restaurant in DC? Me neither.

It's amazing how quickly restaurant writers can hop from one train to the next. Before that it was ... take a guess: X.

coincidentally (ironically?) Carroll used to be the head chef at the Eric Ripert restaurant 10 Arts in the Philly Ritz, which she later left to venture out on her own after Top Chef. We did get to eat there while her original season was airing and quite enjoyed the food.

I will disagree with your premise that Graffiato wasn't the hottest restaurant in DC at one point in time. When Isabella was a runner up on the All Stars season of Top Chef he made a pepperoni sauce for one of his finale meal dishes that had the judges (particularly Gail Simmons) swooning. And when it opened it was to considerable hype, particularly because the sauce was on the menu. It was very difficult to get a table for weeks/months. 

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2 minutes ago, Deac said:

I will disagree with your premise that Graffiato wasn't the hottest restaurant in DC at one point in time.

You're reading me wrong - between West End Bistro and Little Serow, it was absolutely the most popular restaurant in DC.

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Side-stepping the discussion in media res about the status and fate of Isabella Inc., we went last night to the new Wharf location as a result of an audible. I realized only at the last minute (on a Friday night) that District Winery is NOT part of the new District Wharf development (oops). Wanting to make the rounds we searched for an available two top and went with Requin. 

Summary judgment: it's a buzzy place, with a kind of flamboyant entrance/facade, that'll get busier over time. The layout is odd, and there was a mix of early 20s scenesters, expense account riders, and even a couple infants parked in hi-chairs adjacent the fashionable moms club. I thought the kitchen is operating at a high level, esp. for this early in the run, but not producing anything totally novel or mind-expanding (e.g., presence of lobster thermidor on the menu).

Food: Escargot CrossaintsPommes Beignets (on the fly sub for 86'd Truffle Gougeres), Chanterelle Tarte"Paris" Gnocchi*, and Red Snapper Sashimi

Drink: Dr. Hermann Riesling (2016)Puzelate-Bonhomme Cot (Malbec) (2015), Priest Hill Cab-Sauv (2014)*

* highlights

 We checked into Hank's Oyster bar but only to look around. We also had before/after drinks at Kith & Kin and Pearl Street Warehouse, respectively. Based on some of the Gen X and Boomer-rific acts coming to Anthem over the next few months and steady drumbeat of new openings, I expect this place will manage to stay near capacity on weekends purely due to proximity volume, but hopefully they can maintain quality nonetheless.

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Any idea what pumpkin caramelle is?  I googled caramelle - it's a type of pasta.  Also in the dish are stone crab, truffle butter, parmesan, espelette.  I was wondering why they would use stone crab meat?  I'm not sure if I've ever had stone crab other than the claws served cold.

P.S.  the dish is getting good reviews on Yelp. 

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It's a filled pasta that looks kind of a like a wrapped up piece of saltwater taffy, so guessing the filling is pumpkin, then the sauce is truffle butter, crab meat and espellete pepper with parmesan sprinkled on top

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