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Chloe - The Return of Chef Haidar Karoum, 1331 4th Street SE at the Navy Yard


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Story from Washingtonian.   

"Most of all, though, the restaurant will be devoted to foods that Karoum loves to eat—from pastas to shrimp banh mi. Crispy cauliflower with lemon, tahini, toasted pine nuts, and mint will be reminiscent of a dish that his father used to always make for potlucks. Meanwhile, roast chicken is one of his favorite meals, period.

The menu will mostly consist of “medium-sized plates,” along with a few larger family-style platters like whole fried fish with chilies, lime, and herbs. “I’m a pisces, so I’m like a fish fanatic,” Karoum says."

Opening "this Fall"  but you know how that goes. 

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On 1/8/2018 at 5:21 PM, reedm said:

No pictures, but there was a table full of very polite bloggers next to us who were taking picture with some fairly serious looking lighting, so I imagine you'll be able to find some nice photos on Instagram soon. 

Psyched to hear that Chloe is firing on all cylinders out of the gate, but nothing about the above sounds polite. I'm beginning to find myself in the Carole Greenwood camp when it comes to restaurant photography. #fyourinstagram

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By “polite”, I meant they asked me if it was bothersome, and I said no. That wasn’t a unanimous sentiment at my table. The light they used was about the same as an iPad, and since they weren’t taking pictures non-stop, it wasn’t intrusive. They were also sitting at a corner table. 

I certainly see your point, though. 

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In the mood to try something new, we dropped in on Saturday night.  The place was quite full but had a few seats in the bar and at the kitchen counter.  The short version is good space, good service, high-variance food with several stunners and lots of potential.  We ordered:

-Broiled Oysters, horseradish glaze, rutabaga kraut, brown bread crumble.  Absolutely delicious. They hit the magic spot where you can still taste juicy, briny oysters, but there is a ton of warm, flavorful goodness.  Best broiled oyster I've had in awhile.  

-Cobia Crudo, avocado, Thai chilies, lime, fish sauce, crispy shallots, puffed black rice.  Great fresh fish.  The puffed black rice added a terrific nutty flavor that contrasted well with the fish and spice.  We agreed, however, that the avocado should come off.  It seems like a nod to so many asian-flavored  crudo dishes that aren't as good.  And it  added no flavor.  (It was also slightly underripe, but I'd feel the same way if it were riper.) 

-Roasted Kabocha Salad, green apple, watercress, arugula, pepitas, cider vinaigrette.  This was an unfortunate fail.  The squash was almost inedibly starchy.  I've had kabocha many, many times and never seen anything like this. Either the squash was underripe or undercooked. But it was tough and mealy.  (Also unfortunately adding to the dish was our discovery, after we stopped eating it, of a short, translucent worm-type thing swimming in the dressing.  No big deal.  It happens, and our server handled it with grace.)   Hopefully just a one-off glitch. 

-Roasted Kaleidoscope Carrots & Parsnips, vadouvan labne, dill, crispy amaranth.  Delicious labne that went well with the root veg.

-Maine Scallops, celery root, pomegranate relish, wilted greens, celery salad.  This was generic.  The scallops were cooked well and went fine with the celeriac.  But the dish just didn't come together for me.

-Roasted Cod, papadam, coconut, fenugreek, curry leaf, ginger greens.  Great dish. The fish was perfectly cooked and covered in a thin crust that gave it a nice texture.  The curry was delicious and just a bit spicy.

-Russet Potato Gnocchi, smoked king trumpet mushrooms, kale, black pepper, pecorino.  Ok but not great.  We didn't get any smoke flavor from the mushrooms.  Maybe slightly undersalted.  

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The Vietnamese-themed spice-roasted chicken is worth the half hour lead time it takes for it to be prepared.  Whoa, that was good. My husband has been forgoing chicken skin to reduce saturated fat in his diet, but he made an exception for the skin on this chicken. This was beautifully prepared, crisp on the outside, moist and tender on the inside. The sticky rice underneath was wonderful too, as were the greens and the chili-lime dipping sauce.. 

We enjoyed four smaller plates while the chicken was being cooked. The timing worked out just right. I think I might have eaten the broiled oysters too quickly to appreciate them fully.  They arrived first and I was famished. We loved the Bavarian white sausage, with the spaeztli, savoy cabbage, and golden raisins. That was my second favorite plate of the night, after the chicken. We enjoyed the quinoa-crusted salmon, and the accompaniments mitigated a bit of the crunchiness of the crust. I guess I'm not sure how I feel about quinoa as a crust. The salmon was excellent, and I liked the combination of ingredients (lentils, etc.).  We also ordered the carrots and parsnips, and the labne does work well with them.

I really wanted to order the blue cheese dessert plate but was just too full.

Waiting for my husband to arrive, I ordered a bottle of the Prairie Standard at the bar, and that took me all the way through dinner. That's a rather robust beer.

Neighborhood-wise, it's amazing how built up the area back there is now. I hadn't been down near the Yards in a while.

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29 minutes ago, Pat said:

The Vietnamese-themed spice-roasted chicken is worth the half hour lead time it takes for it to be prepared.  Whoa, that was good. My husband has been forgoing chicken skin to reduce saturated fat in his diet, but he made an exception for the skin on this chicken. This was beautifully prepared, crisp on the outside, moist and tender on the inside. The sticky rice underneath was wonderful too, as were the greens and the chili-lime dipping sauce.. 

We enjoyed four smaller plates while the chicken was being cooked. The timing worked out just right. I think I might have eaten the broiled oysters too quickly to appreciate them fully.  They arrived first and I was famished. We loved the Bavarian white sausage, with the spaeztli, savoy cabbage, and golden raisins. That was my second favorite plate of the night, after the chicken. We enjoyed the quinoa-crusted salmon, and the accompaniments mitigated a bit of the crunchiness of the crust. I guess I'm not sure how I feel about quinoa as a crust. The salmon was excellent, and I liked the combination of ingredients (lentils, etc.).  We also ordered the carrots and parsnips, and the labne does work well with them.

I really wanted to order the blue cheese dessert plate but was just too full.

Waiting for my husband to arrive, I ordered a bottle of the Prairie Standard at the bar, and that took me all the way through dinner. That's a rather robust beer.

Neighborhood-wise, it's amazing how built up the area back there is now. I hadn't been down near the Yards in a while.

Just as Verizon Center pulled everything east, Nationals Park is pulling everything south. I worked at Waterside Mall for years and years - when I'm there now, I literally don't know where I am - I sort-of recognize the old east- and west-towers (which are still there, but redone), but nothing else. 

I guess it would be sorta silly to say I miss Negril there, when the only other options were Blimpie's and Jenny's. Interestingly, I bought my first "real" wine - 1982 Beychevelle - at a little deli there named Harry's (where, believe it or not, Elliott Staren worked for a time).

If anyone here knows Elliott, please pass on my regards. Sergio Toni (or his son-in-law, Luigi) of Sergio's, also.

Screenshot 2018-02-21 at 07.23.22.png

PS - Why isn't anyone listening to me about the hummus?! This will assuredly change by the end of March, but that may be the single best dish I've had so far in 2018.

reedm, thanks for the compliment, but there are now people in this community who know more than I do (I guess I'm not supposed to say that, huh? Everyone needs a hero.) I organize a good, albeit runaway, website, and do what I can, but in the past several years, DC has exploded - damned near a complete turnover - and I haven't caught up to it yet because of my doggone injuries. The economy is slowing down, I'm getting better, (I think) and I hope to be caught up in a year.

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I forgot to write-up our Valentine's Day meal at Chloe, but I suppose better late than never.  In all, we liked the place a lot, but aren't desperate to go back.  Per my request, we were seated at the chef's counter, which provides one of the best views of an open kitchen in the city.  In fact, I can't think of a DC restaurant with a better view of the kitchen--even including omakase bars.  Everything we had was good to very good, including the beef hummus (which, as some others have mentioned, tasted like delicious "taco beef", but the hummus we had recently had a Shaya in New Orleans was far superior, in our opinion).  Our waiter said the chicken was the best he had ever had, so we ordered that as our large dish.  It was good, but a tiny bit dry, even when pouring the Vietnamese-inspired sauce over the top.  Kinship's version still reigns supreme.  Our pannacotta dessert may have been the best part of the meal. 

One small note: we did notice the waiter's attitude seem to take a noticeable turn for the worse after we let him know we wouldn't be getting a second drink.  May have just been coincidental but we both noticed it. 

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Three of us enjoyed Chloe for an early dinner a couple of weeks ago. Two of us had been before, shortly after the restaurant opened in January, and we'd been waiting for the opportunity for a return visit. If you read no further, I'll simply say the restaurant has only gotten better. The food and service were simply outstanding. This must be one of DC's best spots. 

The menu still consists primarily of small plates, in addition to three entree-sized dishes, as well as a handful of dessert options. We began with a couple of cocktails, one of which I had to order as soon as I saw its name--"Kabbadi Highball". I learned about Kabbadi after a recent trip to India, when one of my colleagues told me he had become a fan of the sport after watching too much of it during sleepless nights. The cocktail, consisting of Scotch, Garam Masala, Star Anise, Orange, Angostura, was delicious, and it certainly evoked memories of some of the flavors of India.  

Our server was excellent, and even though I was pleased to hear her recommendation of ordering all of our dishes and letting them course them, I was a bit skeptical. Of course, I shouldn't have been, since the pacing of the dishes was just about perfect. (They arrived a bit quickly, and I suspect I could have slowed the pace a bit, but I opted not to.)

Between the three of us, I was the only omnivore. (One pescatarian and one less adventurous eater who doesn't eat fish). As a result, we ordered snacks and small plates only, most of which were vegetarian. Without exception, each dish was delicious.

Roasted Marcona Almonds -- Espelette chile

Plate of Pickles -- Piparra peppers, garlic, olives, cornichons, fennel pollen

Cobia Crudo -- Avocado, Thai chilies, lime, fish sauce, crispy shallots, puffed black rice

Sheep's Milk Ricotta -- Grilled house made bread, really raw honey, rosemary, olive oil

Roasted Asparagus & Hen of the Woods Mushrooms -- Bernaise

Grilled Ramps -- Romesco sauce, aged manchego, marcona almonds

Housemade Spicy Garlic Sausage -- Eye of the tiger beans, crushed cornbread, pickled kale

Russet Potato Gnocchi -- ramps, asparagus, wild mushrooms, snow peas, parmesan

The flavors, textures, and aromas of each dish were wonderful in their own right. For my tastes, I appreciate how the menu offers a diverse choice of options, which certainly seem to be globally influenced. I can't think of many restaurants similar to Chloe.

I would feel comfortable putting a blindfold on and making selections, knowing that I would get a fantastic meal. 

Grilled Ramps with romesco was a unanimous favorite. I think it's the first time I've tasted ramps, and they lived up to the hype. The other favorite was the incredible roasted asparagus dish. The asparagus was bright green, but impossibly tender, and the roasted mushrooms were a treat. The surprise was the incredibly light (whipped?) bernaise, which made for a delicious combination.

The Chai panna cotta and the Chocolate Sundae provided a perfect finish to a wonderful dinner. 

Looking forward to a return visit!

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I went back to Chloe for a second visit last night, and it was even better than my first (and I loved Chloe when I first tried it last January). Standout dishes were the gnocchi, beef hummus and Chesapeake soft-shell crab. Also exceptional were the burrata and the crispy whole fish. The summer version of the gnocchi features the addition of sweet corn, making it even richer and more delicious than when I savored it in winter.

My son and I enjoyed sitting at the Food Bar, watching skillful, busy cooks create gorgeous plates of food. The service was outstanding, and the meal was fantastic. I am looking forward to going back!

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Long overdue post but went there about a month ago with a food writer friend who was visiting from Chicago.  Can't remember everything we ordered but OH MY GOD was it good.  Especially the sable and the other fish (think it was cod or black cod).  Also the burrata and the ricotta.  And the drinks.  And the dessert.  It was all spot-on.  I don't get to go out much so I really appreciated everything about this place.

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I've got a bit of the dreaded spring time crud, so I'm not up to posting about our recent experience at Chloe, but I will say it was better than ever. Every dish was a hit, and the service was wonderful. Sounds identical to beachgirl54's experience!

I posted a few pictures on instagram, and you can find them if you search for the hashtag #donrockwelldotcom

 

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We never got around to writing about dinner at Chloe months ago, but it was phenomenal. I forgot everything we ordered but we definitely had the crispy whole fish, the roasted mushroom hummus, and the cobia crudo. As we were settling up, we realized we did not eat meat at all during the meal, an anomaly for us and a pleasant surprise. As two devoted carnivores, it takes a lot to draw us away from ordering meat but Chloe did it and we didn't notice until the end. We left stuffed and had to cancel the brussels sprouts as we were filling up fast. 

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We have returned to Chloe after a few months and we liked it perhaps even more than the first time, if at all possible. Chef Karoum (previously at the now shuttered Proof as well as at Estadio and Doi Moi) is presiding over a smooth-functioning establishment, both for the food and the overall experience.

Nested in the vibrant Navy Yard District, Chloe delivers excellent new American food with a twist. The restaurant mainly serves small to medium plates (like tapas), which range from the hamachi crudo to grilled Path Valley scallions with romesco sauce  (a close relative of the typical Catalan Calçots), from the seafood gumbo to roasted cod, from white sausage to veal hummus. But Chloe excels also in main dishes such as the grilled Berkshire Porkchop and the Crispy whole Fish. The atmosphere is lively but not too loud, the servers charming.

This time, we had the Hamachi collar, Utica style greens, grilled scallions, seafood gumbo, gem lettuce, the cheese plate and  the grilled Berkshire pork chop (the big dish). Everything was great, though we were particularly fond of the grilled scallions and the seafood gumbo.

The servers are always very nice and competent. We actually have known some of them from our past visits to Proof and Ray’s the Steaks. It was nice to see them in Chloe.

The restaurant is full of light with a contemporary décor, notably a prevalence of glass and windows throughout.

Prices are in line with other comparable restaurants in DC.

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Chloe is a nice place for outdoors brunch.  From 11-12, the outdoor seating area was completely shaded by the building.  The pedestrians on the sidewalk were mostly masked and don't come close to the diners.

We started with some Crispy Cauliflower, sauced with tahini, lemon, and garlic.  This is a good dish, just don't double it up by ordering the Mediterranean Hero, which has the same cauliflower and falafel with a harrisa sauce.  Skip the hero, you can get better falafel at Amsterdam.

The best dish was Penne Pork Bolognese, with excellent execution on the pasta and sauce.  The next best dish was the chunk of Crispy Pork Belly with pipian rojo served on top of a masa tortilla.  Maybe it's a bit too heavy for brunch, or not.  The dish that really didn't wow was the bitterly charred Spice Grilled Chicken with jalapeno-cilantro emulsion served over jasmine rice.  The rice with green sauce was delicious though.  The slaw was just undressed raw cabbage.

We finished with some Crispy Churros.

IMG_4951 (1).jpg

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