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I didn't see a thread for The Lafayette, so let's start one.

My boss took a few of us to lunch last week, and it was my first meal at The Lafayette. It was exceptional, if pricey, but he picked up the tab for seven of us.

First impression, this is a beautiful restaurant overlooking Lafayette Park and the White House. The tables are linen covered and the attentive if slightly overbearing waitstaff was uniformed to precision.

The food was excellent, but portions are on the small side. My starter was the carrot and ginger soup, which was a special. It was delicious, served lukewarm for whatever reason. My main course was the braised veal cheeks, and they were a treat. They came as three medallions of 2-3 bites each, on a bed of grilled vegetables. I can't say enough about the flavors of this dish. But at $35 it will set you back.

But I have to write this in italics -- conversation is easy! This is not the noise box that most restaurants have become. I give it high marks for being a place where you can actually go and talk with someone across the table without screaming.

The neighborhood contains The Oval Room, Bombay Club, Equinox, and a few others on the high end of dining, and The Lafayette can hold its own with all of these places.

(Almost unrelated, three days later, in Charlotte, NC, I ate braised pork cheeks at Legion Brewing. That would mark the first time in my life I ate braised cheeks from two different animals in the same week.)

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