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1789, Georgetown, 36th & Prospect St. - Chef Tracy O'Grady Replaces Samuel Kim


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'The Doctor said:

Also, has anyone been to 1789 lately?

They currently have this coupon on their website:

http://www.1789restaurant.com/coupon/index.cfm

I'm wondering if they have the full menu available. If so, I can put off my Restaurant Week meal there and try somewhere else. The deal looks nearly identical.

Was there last night!! We were seated in the main dining room...very romantic. We used the coupon, although most of us ended up eating the rack of lamb and filet so we had to pay an extra $10...which was definitely worth it!!

The appetizers we ordered were:

Scallop margarita: I thought it was the best ceviche I have had in DC. Way better than ceiba.

Mussels: garlicy and finger linking good...

Steak tartare: good but we didn't see the arugula mentioned on the menu. Just a mix of mache or baby greens.

Escargot: good

Softshell crabs: If you think you like Corduroy's version, try the ones at 1789. The citrus sauce drizzled on the top was amazing!! I didn't care for the tempura dipping sauce because it was good as is!!!

Main courses:

Filet: I had this dish. The beef was cooked to perfection...good...but not like Ray's...can't wait until I get by Ray fixings tomorrow!! I didn't understand what the eggs were supposed to do.

Rack of Lamb: Some of you may think it is gross...but I stole the bones from my husband and nibbled on it...all four of them!! Sorry, but that's the best part!!

Pork Chop: good.

Desserts:

Cheese plate

Chocolate tarte

Lemon something...

Sorbet

I encourage all of you to try it.

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Malawry and I stopped off at 1789 for restaurant week last night.

A good choice as the whole menu is available with only the lamb and the filet having surcharges.

We started with a crispy shrimp and cole slaw. The fried shrimp were nicely prepared, but so small the taste kind of disappeared. The other appetizer was soft shell crab tempura with a soy sauce/vinegar (?). Good, but nothing to write home about.

Entrees were the filet and the "rack of pork", more commonly known as a pork chop. The filet was presented with some nice fries, amazing sauteed bell peppers in a sweetish vinagrette, and a fried egg. Again, quite nice, but not mind altering. The pork chop ranks up there with Eve's confit of pork belly as one of the best pieces of pig that I have ever had. Unfortunately the sides (baked beans and swiss chard) did not live up to the standard of the pork. Listed as coming with grilled peaches, I was disappointed to see one sorry looking (but delicious) half on my plate.

Malawry had a blueberry tart for dessert and I had the cheese course ($4 surcharge). The cheeses were quite good and accompanied by some warm toasted nut bread and the biggest raspberries I have ever seen.

About 15 wines by the glass each of red and white is nice for pairing. THe wine is a little pricey, but not out of line for a place at this price point. Service was excellent.

A great restaurant week deal, but I'm not sure if I would make it a top choice at full price.

Edited by JPW
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OK, I'm reporting from Restaurant Week, but since the menu isn't any different it can be a standalone review, too.

Went last night (friday) with a party of 6. We were seated in the Civil War room. While it may not be as ritzy as the others, it's small and I felt we were given more attention as a result since there were less tables to manage. As mentioned previously, there is a $10 surcharge for the lamb or filet, and a $4 surcharge for the cheese course. This has to be one of the best restaurant week deals out there. I'd say the average cost of 3 of their courses regularly would be about $50-$55.

There were no duds in any of the courses we had. I had to see what this scallop margarita was all about, so I went with that for an appetizer. It was really great, but I'd actually call it a "fun" dish first and foremost. There was a lot of flavor going on with avacados, orange segments, sour cream, and the scallops. The escargot got rave reviews, and their complimentary onion focaccia bread is also nice.

And for the main course, I went with what seems to be their most famous, the lamb. It came with garlic spinach, a layered potato/feta thing, and some delicious lamb scraps. There was a rosemary-shiraz sauce to go with the meat. I was very happy with it. I got a taste of the delicious crabcake and the grouper, and both were delicious. The scallops got praise too.

For dessert, I had a peach gallete. I'm a big fruit desert person, so I thought it was great (but simple). Can't comment on the chocolate items ordered, but they were well received. There was a lemon concoction (can't remember the french name for it) that I tried too -- a tart little number. It was like cross between a tartlet and a cheesecake. I'd probably try that next time, but the tartness would really creep up on you by the time you were finished.

The service was outstanding. From the moment we entered, the staff was very friendly, from the hostess, to the bartendress, and our waitstaff. We ordered a bottle of pinot gris for the table, and for some reason, they gave us a second bottle for free. It wasn't a mistake or anything, they just started pouring the second bottle and said it was on the house. We graciously thanked them, but I suppose we all thought it would have been awkward to say "why?" as we were being given something out of generosity.

I don't have anything negative to say about this place. It's on par with my other favorite DC establishments like Corduroy, Tosca, Ten Penh, etc. I get a slight impression they feel they're a cut above, due the fancy nature of the place (jacket required and so forth), but they do at least keep up with the others.

Until September 15th, you can have the same 3-course deal for $35. They're anxious to tell you about it too, so don't feel like you're being a cheapskate for taking advantage of it.

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After more than 3 decades in Washington, and fairly close association with GU -- basically living in the Tombs -- I finally dined at 1789 last night. We were a group of five and availed ourselves of the $35/3couses coupon (one coupon per table is good enough). Asked to be seated downstairs, and since we were the first party to arrive for dinner, that wasn't a problem.

Others have commented on the lamb, so I will just say they didn't lie -- fully worth the extra charge. I started with the escargot -- served out of the shell in a garlicky buttery sauce over a slice of baguette. Others had salads which looked delicious, but I didn't try.

What really makes this place so great is the service, friendly attentive and highly professional. They don't have a sommelier on staff, but our waiter was expert. Of course Ris Lacoste's kitchen rocks. Nothing really exotic, but focused on fine ingredients and preparation.

The coupon deal is really worthwhile so I encourage those who read this to get over to 1789 before September 15!

PS: The Tombs is being rennovated and has temporarily relocated to F Scott's, so for those who miss that "historic" watering hole, now's a good time to go renew acquaintance.

Edited by FunnyJohn
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Despite 1789's rep as a place to take your parents and to hang out with tweed-wearing horse folk, I think Ris does a great job of brining in different flavors and styles from southern to Asian to the Carribean. It's not cutting edge, but it's far from staid, and the execution is excellent.

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Despite 1789's rep as a place to take your parents and to hang out with tweed-wearing horse folk, I think Ris does a great job of brining in different flavors and styles from southern to Asian to the Carribean.  It's not cutting edge, but it's far from staid, and the execution is excellent.

I heartily concur with this statement. I have conveyed the same sentiment to many people: that one thinks it is going to be an "old man" place (our term for stuffy places), but the food totally belies that feeling. As Waitman said, not "cutting edge" but still feels fresh and modern.

For two summers, we have taken advantage of the $35 coupon and were never once made to feel like we were interlopers. As others have said, the service is excellent without being snooty or overbearing. We went last summer for our wedding anniversary because we knew we could count on a special experience without any service or food glitches to mar the evening. We have plans to return again this summer.

[The only thing I would add is that it was simply freezing... like most modern office buildings, the A/C was set on high mostly likely to accomdate then men wearing their requisite jackets... I huddled under my skimpy shawl and thought, next time, no sleeveless dresses!]

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From AIWF:

Ris Lacoste, honorary board member of our chapter wishes that you be among the first to know that she is leaving 1789 as of December 31, 2005 to open her own restaurant. Ris will be online today at Washingtonpost.com with Tom Sietsema to talk about her plans.

Ris writes: "Hello all, just wanted to let each of you know as personally as I can that I am leaving 1789 after 10 wonderful years to open my own restaurant. I can't wait to open my doors to all of you who have been so wonderfully supportive. It will be in DC and hopefully will open this time next year. My last night at 1789 is New Year's Eve. Make your reservation. Love you all so much." thank you, Ris

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We ate at 1789 last Friday night, and my impression was "nice but nothing mind-blowing."

Loved the wee amusee of sliced pear topped with proscuitto and a green that turned out to be chervil. My salad was crisp and the dressing was nicely acidic but not overpowering. The pork rack entree was...it pains me to say it because 1789 and I go way back and I really wanted to love it again...but it was unremarkable. A serviceable piece of meat, pedestrian sides of swiss chards and baked beans, and underdone sweet potatoes, and it takes quite a bit of effort for anything sweet-potato-related to disappoint me.

Now for the highlights. The dining room is just as old-World gracious and soothing. The service is extremely competent if a bit avuncular in spirit.

Secondly, pay attention to the pepper grinder dispensing freshly ground pepper onto your plate. It is a three-foot wonder commonly found by the side of the fireplace which the servers wield with surprising deftness, considering some of them are not much taller. (I wonder if they have special drills for it before the shift starts.) It can double as a baseball bat. Its shape gives a whole new meaning to the thoughts of "well, the girls do get lonely."

Finally, my tart au fromage blanc, or a sheet-pan cheesecake, in all honesty, was nice and fluffy, and made nice with a mission fig sauce.

So, me and 1789, it's going to be one of those relationships that can tide you over during a slow summer, but love of my life, it is not. On that note, next evening I was at Eve. Stay tuned.

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I had a hard time choosing where to go with my dad to dinner but I finally settled on 1789 (mostly since Ris is leaving at the end of the year and I thought I should visit before then since I'd never been before).

It was a great dinner from start to finish. The bite from the kitchen was a crunchy crostini with some form of eggplant on top. I'm not a huge fan of eggplant, but this little bite was seriously tasty.

My dad had the lobster risotto for a first course and seemed to enjoy it. I had the pumpkin ravioli and it was hands down my favorite part of the entire meal. Wild mushrooms, crisp squash chips on top. Great flavor.

Since we're going to Ray's tomorrow, we decided to forego the red meat and both opted for seafood dishes. He had the crabcakes and I had the North Carolina grouper. The fish was very lightly seasoned but cooked perfectly and was complimented nicely by the fried green tomato and rice on which it was bedded.

My chocolate cake was gooey and warm and my dad's vanilla and chocolate bread pudding was delicious. We could hardly squeeze the last few bites in, but we someone managed to clean our plates and walk away extremely satisfied.

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I hear that Nathan Beauchamp, Chef de Cuisine at Restaurant Eve, will be taking over for Ris Lacoste at 1789.  This is very welcome news for fans of either establishment, I would think.

That's correct: Nathan will become Executive Chef at 1789 in early January.

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Went for a warmup Christmas dinner last night with my folks and girlfriend and had an outstanding experience. I am a sucker for Christmas, and with their seasonal decorations, crackling fire, and quartet of live carolers (appearing all this week), and most of all Chef Lacoste's hearty, comforting cooking, 1789 is just the place to put yourself in a proper holiday mood. Now if only they served egg nog...

(Also have to mention the wallet-friendly pre-theater menu: $35 for three courses, plus amuse bouche and coffee or tea, every night until 6:30 p.m. There is also the "late night" menu, which is identical and served Sunday thru Thursday after 9 p.m. and Friday-Saturday starting at 10 p.m.)

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We had a very nice meal tonight at 1789. Once we got past the stupidity that is traffic at the west end of M St. in Georgetown, it was smooth sailing from there. Valet parking is complimentary, which is a lifesaver in that neighborhood. We had called ahead to say that we were stuck in traffic; our table was ready for us when we arrived. I had forgotten to request a table in the main room when we called, but our space on the second floor was pleasant.

Service through the meal was attentive, efficient, and almost invisible. Courses seemed to come at just the right pacing - water glasses, soft drinks, and coffee quietly filled before you noticed that you needed more. The only service faux pas was just a personal quirk of mine - I hate when you order wine by the glass, and it comes from the bar already in the glass, rather than poured at the table. It's almost universally done that way, though, so it's certainly not an expectation.

1789 is one of those places that "gets it" for RW. The entire menu is available, with upcharges only for the signature rack of lamb and a steak. Oddly enough, even though those dishes are only normally priced a few dollars north of the other entrees, the RW upcharge is $10, which seems out of line.

I started with the Scallop Margarita. As mentioned earlier in the thread, this is a fun riff on ceviche, with avocados, sour oranges, onions, sour cream, and of course, scallops. Very well prepared, served playfully in a tall margarita glass with salt on the rim, and tortilla chips on the side. The waiter picked a Muscat to go with this, but I'm completely blanking on what he selected - it's not on the website. Mrs. DanielK chose Lobster Risotto, with butternut squash, cabbage, chanterelle mushrooms and truffle oil. I managed to steal a bite, and if not Laboratorio quality, was still very good. There was not a grain of rice left on the plate, so Mrs. DanielK obviously approved.

I'm going to have to do the mains from memory, as they are not on the website menu. I had a Bacon-Crusted Rockfish with spinach and lentils - this was fabulous. The fish was a substantial portion cooked perfectly, with just a bit of char on the crust. The bacon was surprisingly NOT overwhelming, and the spinach and lentils were an excellent match. My wife had the Venison with celery root puree, which also came with the spinach. Cooked slightly on the rare side of medium rare, and served with a pinot reduction, I thought this was good, but not great. There was no gaminess to the meat at all - I couldn't tell that this was venison. The celery root puree was brilliant, though. Our waiter was going to suggest a full-bodied white to go with the rockfish, but I insisted on a red since I knew we were going to share entrees. The pinot noir he selected is also not on the website, but it was a good enough match for the two dishes.

For dessert, I had the Lemon Mascarpone Cheesecake with gingersnap crust, candied oranges, and meyer lemon sorbet. This was exactly what I expected - almost a cross between cheesecake and key lime pie. Tangy without being mouth-puckeringly sour, I almost licked the plate clean. My wife had the cheese plate (the only thing we ordered that had an upcharge for the RW menu, but only $3), which had 3 moderately small wedges of cheese. There was a blue of some flavor, a raw sheeps milk cheese with chocolate dusting (!!!) on the rind, and a mild cow's milk cheese that was reminiscent of muenster. It came with a few slices of apple, a few grapes, and several small rounds of a crispy raisin bread/cracker. The cheese was nice, but I thought the crispiness of the cracker was too much for the cheese, and this was no bargain at a menu price of $12.

Total for 2 RW menus, one soft drink, 2 coffees, 2 glasses of wine, and a 25% tip was just shy of $120. That was a very reasonable price for this meal, but I'm not sure if I would be willing to pay the $40 - $50 more it would have cost if it wasn't RW.

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We had a very nice meal tonight at 1789.

Daniel,

We were there last night, as well. And I also had that bacon-crusted rockfish, which was delightful. Nice piece of fish, well-prepared, with a streak of smokiness in the crust and the French green lentils that I just loved. Those elements, combined with the earthiness of the black trumpet mushrooms and the pinot reduction sauce, made for an excellent pairing with the Williams Selyem PN we were drinking. I was so enamored with the dish that I didn't even bother to take anybody up on their offer to taste their mains.

I was less impressed with the onion tart that I ordered to start. There were anchovies in the dish that overpowered every other element, so I could barely taste the onions themselves. The scallop margarita was much more successful. I thought the lobster risotto, which I also sampled, was just OK.

How was your service, by the way? Ours was outstanding. (And I'm not just saying that because the server waived corkage.) I really lucked out in getting great service on back to back nights at RW, first in the Galileo Laboratorio, and then upstairs at 1789.

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Our service was outstanding. Definitely no complaints there.

I don't think you can really evaluate Chef Beauchamp yet. It's really still Ris' menu; I think the rockfish is one of the few new dishes that's his (and as both jdl and I attest, it's a worthwhile addition to the menu).

I guess my one reservation is just that entrees hover around $30 - and I can think of more than a few places in DC that I think are perhaps better at that price point. I really have to sleep on it for a few more days before I decide whether, RW aside, I would go there, or say Corduroy, Notti Bianche, Palena, etc.

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I don't know when you were last at 1789, but the current chef, Nathan Beauchamp, started in January.  You might want to give it another try. 

The poor, poor meal there was just a few weeks ago (I believe 2nd week of February). It was quite a disappointment. I had been looking forward to an extravagant meal there since I moved to Georgetown almost 4 years ago, it certainly did not live up to expectations in service: delivering incorrect appetizers, taking upwards of 30 minutes for a bottle of wine, etc. or food quality, which as I said, was merely mediocre. I wish I could say it was fantastic, maybe it was just an off-night, but alas, it was not an experience I wish to repeat in any form.

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The poor, poor meal there was just a few weeks ago (I believe 2nd week of February).  It was quite a disappointment.  I had been looking forward to an extravagant meal there since I moved to Georgetown almost 4 years ago, it certainly did not live up to expectations in service: delivering incorrect appetizers, taking upwards of 30 minutes for a bottle of wine, etc. or food quality, which as I said, was merely mediocre.  I wish I could say it was fantastic, maybe it was just an off-night, but alas, it was not an experience I wish to repeat in any form.

What you'll see on 1789's website is that the restaurant "has the charm of a historic country inn." What you won't see is that they churn out over 500 dinners a night. Given that Ris Lacoste - not exactly chopped liver - had run this kitchen for over ten years, no doubt mastering every quirk and nuance, I don't see how it's going to be possible for Nathan or anyone else to fill her shoes in the near-term.

Skeptical, pessimistic.

Rocks.

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Got to agree with Rocks, ate there just before Ris Lacoste left with our 2.5 month old with us and everything was excellent, food, service, room, etc.... Got engaged there some 11 years ago, service was outstanding as was the food.

I'd wait and give it a couple of months. It's gonna take time. Given the support level there I hope he makes it!

Hopeful,

Drummeral

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1789 was mentioned in the lastest "The List" e-mail newsletter.

1789 Restaurant's Executive Chef Nathan Beauchamp, recently nominated for the Rising Culinary Star of the Year award from the Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington (RAMW), has introduced a five-course tasting menu showcasing different species of asparagus for the month of May 2006. Look for four courses that include asparagus, plus a spring-inspired dessert by Pastry Chef Zoe Behrens. ($65 per person or $100 per person, if paired with 1789's selection of wines, plus tax and gratuity). 

Says Chef Beauchamp, "Our tasting menu affords guests the opportunity to compare the flavors of wild and white asparagus to the garden asparagus." He begins the menu with a salad of Leedstown Farm asparagus, Virginia prosciutto, everona Piedmonte and lemon emulsion followed by Eastern Shore asparagus custard of roasted lobster, white asparagus, pickled ramps and truffle vinaigrette. Then there's a new take on veal 'Oscar,' with roasted veal tenderloin, crispy sweetbreads, and crab and asparagus ragout with Madeira followed by a constant bliss soufflé with wild asparagus and brioche. Dessert? Try the strawberry rhubarb galette with Bergamot ice cream. (1226 36th Street, NW; 202.965.1789)

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This place is over-rated and very out of date!

Care to elaborate? A new chef took over early this year, who is no slouch BTW, and I would be very surprised to see it coasting.

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Care to elaborate?  A new chef took over early this year, who is no slouch BTW, and I would be very surprised to see it coasting.

Hi, From what I have heard from some pretty good critics (our friends) of dining establishments, that 1789 has not lost a beat and may have been updated quite a bit! They tell me the menu has some new interesting twists and service is still great. The wine list while very good, they say contains no super surprises. However on our last vist in December 05 represented a couple of small production items at a reasonable cost. Hopefully they can take advantage of pulling in some nice surprises at a reasonable fare? Mr. William Watts would be the man to talk with. You can't go wrong here. Ask for recommendations!!! That works everywhere!!

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Do you think you could be a little more specific?

I went right after the new Chef starting working, and the food was not that great and the atmosphere was even worse. It just seemed so old school and aristocratic for my taste. At those prices, there are much better choices in DC!

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I went right after the new Chef starting working, and the food was not that great and the atmosphere was even worse. It just seemed so old school and aristocratic for my taste. At those prices, there are much better choices in DC!

Well, the chef can't do much about the atmosphere and many people seem to like it. It might take a while for the "style" of a new chef to show up on the menu and what you had right after the new chef started working might not be representative of what is on the menu today. My understanding is that Chef Beauchamp was going to introduce new items to the menu seriatum rather than all at once. His new tasting menu seems to be a prime example of his strategy.

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Well, the chef can't do much about the atmosphere and many people seem to like it.  It might take a while for the "style" of a new chef to show up on the menu and what you had right after the new chef started working might not be representative of what is on the menu today.  My understanding is that Chef Beauchamp was going to introduce new items to the menu seriatum rather than all at once.  His new tasting menu seems to be a prime example of his strategy.

That's fine, however the atomosphere is important and should compliment what's on the plate. I guess there is a reason they call it 1789, I am not sure the modern food of the new chef fits.

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That's fine, however the atomosphere is important and should compliment what's on the plate. I guess there is a reason they call it 1789, I am not sure the modern food of the new chef fits.

The call it 1789 because that's the year Georgetown U was founded.

I suspect that the decor springs naturally from the restaurant's location in an old Georgetown manse. I don't mind a little old school aristo scent to it every now and then; there are more than enough places with more style than taste, more music than conversation and more denim than silk. Sometimes a little tweed and god forbid a necktie make for a pleasant change of pace.

I'd expect the service style to reflect the decore, but can't imagine that a chef would feel compelled to change their food to fit it.

"How was dinner?"

"Oh, he tried to serve us slivers of seared sashimi-grade tuna with a tamiri syrup and a sea-urchin air, but all that post-Adria, neo-Asian minimalism clashed so violently with the chintz I had to send it back."

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Sunday's review

Congrats to Nathan...them was some big shoes to fill.

And i'll say that Natty Beau has big feet. By that I mean, he as the talent, as he aptely displayed as the chef de cuisine at Eve, to fill the shoes left when Ris Lacoste retired at the end of last year. Wow, three stars in his first review as the HMFIC, most impressive.

eta:

The chef's designer pork chop is thick and full of savor, enhanced with sweet carrots and a thick block of crisp-tender bacon that melts on the tongue.
Oh my God!
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And perfectly cooked tilefish gets an elegant escort of diced lobster, English peas, fava beans and pearls of Sardinian pasta cooked in lobster stock.

Those pearls are "fregule" which ARE traditionally served with seafood, including lobster. :unsure: !

Also glad to hear rhubarb still matters in the new kitchen.

As for the decor, I do think a little updating is in order without losing the essential character of the restaurant. It's a little too Connecticut/Virginia ca. 1982.

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As for the decor, I do think a little updating is in order without losing the essential character of the restaurant. It's a little too Connecticut/Virginia ca. 1982.

[/quote

LOL, I agree, the space is feels cold like an old plantation home. I think there are better places for the money.

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I am starting to question the way Tom hands out stars!

I remember the snails in puff pastry vol-au-vent from almost 4 years ago at Bisto Bis. The snail came out of a can. Are the snails from a 3 star restaurant using "prime" ingredients fresh or canned? From the stock, almost masturbatory review, the steak tartar seems very unextraordinary and the eastern sundries -pineapple, rice wine vinegar, jasmine rice- drift against the grain of the "traditional" setting and pre-civil war wood.

Mr. Beauchamp's epicurean integrity and prowess are not in question. The review itself however appears labored and desperate to maintain the 3star tradition.

"pork chop is thick and full of savor..." writes Mr. Sietsema.

Would that be savory the herb, or savory salty?

"perfectly cooked tilefish..."

Other than by means of applying heat or salt, how was the fish cooked? "Perfect" is a tedious description reserved for housewives to rate cupcakes from half a century past.

Congratulations on the stars, but as far the manner in which the review is written:

delineation is like peanut butter; less you have, more you spread it.

Reminiscent of a term paper based on a second hand account of a book that was never read in its entirety.

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good through September 13. Any appetizer, any entree, any dessert, but $10 supplement applies to lamb, beef and foie gras.

Also printable from their website.

This deal is a steal of epic proportions matched only perhaps by the $45 3 course deal at Cityzen's bar. No the food isn't Cityzen level and some of the Chef's compromise dishes designed to placate those who prefer more traditional fare over particularly creative offerings fall a little flat, but this is a deal well worth taking advantage of. The ambience is great and the service outstanding. The wine list, while rather familiar, contains several reasonably priced $7 glasses, thus making dinner for 2 for under $100 entirely possible.

Highlights from the menu include delicious diver scallops seared to a crisp brown crust, but not the least bit overcooked inside with a corn custard, very good and interestingly presented escargot en pastry with spring garlic and lobster mushrooms. The salmon was less exciting (isn't it always?) as was the foie gras.

The desserts were outstanding. In particular, the Vanilla and Chocolate Bread Pudding and the Chocolate Mint Torte stood out. The Bread Pudding is one of two desserts that have subsumed the creme brulee spot on the menu by themselves being about half creme brulee and half something else. It sounds weird, but it worked very well. The chocolate mint torte is a must for anyone who likes mint with their chocolate. The mint flavoring is particularly intense and the torte surprisingly light. The chocolate cake mint ice cream that accompanied it was a hit as well.

The ambience at 1789 is special and the service last night was impeccable. We never wanted for a thing, were never the least bit rushed, and couldn't stand up to go the bathroom without someone swooping in to open the door and escort us to the stairwell. We felt like royalty all night.

Chef Beauchamp's development of the 1789 menu remains a bit of work in progress, but one well worth trying while this deal continues.

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Echoing Youngfood's comments, I'll add that (1) the vanilla and chocolate bread pudding is a delicious custardy delight not to be missed; (2) the service is fantastic; and (3) the coupon (three courses for $35) is a deal you should consider taking advantage of before it evaporates into the autumn air. We had a wonderful evening last night. It wasn't perfect, there were dishes that were great (the pork chop, I swear) and just good (the champagne cured salmon (a little too salty) and the branzino). Also still needing work: the by the glass wine list and, yes, the decor. But. The general quality of the food, the many very good dishes and the unbelievable service made the night. I left feeling like I'd had a wonderful experience -- the kind of great night you have when you're out of town on vacation. Kudos to 1789 for handling our announcement that "we'd like to take advantage of the coupon" as if we'd announced we were ordering a bottle of their most expensive champagne. Will I go back? Getting there in the Georgetown traffic requires Zen skills I do not possess, and I don't know that I'd feel as good about it if I'd not been able to take advantage of the coupon -- at least not yet. I don't think it would become part of my "regular rotation." But I had a wonderful night and I would like to go back, especially to see how 1789 progresses.

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I went right after the new Chef starting working, and the food was not that great and the atmosphere was even worse. It just seemed so old school and aristocratic for my taste. At those prices, there are much better choices in DC!

As an African American, I do understand the complaints about the atmosphere of 1789. I mean, a restaurant that is named for "a significant year in Washington's history", that offers "the ambiance of a stately home" with “19th century caricatures” and "early American relics" is not exactly what I would personally consider nostalgic. It is very old money type of place and a subtle reminder of time periods that weren't exactly "the best of times" for people who look like me. I don't know if DLB is also an African American, but either way, I can certainly understand people not exactly feeling comfortable and relaxed in such a priggish & formal atmosphere.

HOWEVER..............

The food is absolutely phenomenal!!!!!! I went there on Monday night for the summer deal. We could only get a 9pm reservation. And waiting that long to eat dinner increased my expectations exponentially. Not too many things are good enough to just ify such a a late eating time—on a school night even! But, 1789 did NOT disappoint!

My boyfriend had the tuna starter, the duck break main course (served with figs and some other stuff) and the lemon cheesecake with raspberries for dessert.

I had the escargot starter, the lamb main course (with mashed potatoes and lightly creamed spinach) and the chocolate & vanilla bread pudding (an edible symbol of the racial harmony that is conspicuously missing from the broader restaurant theme and ambiance…..? maybe? :) ) for dessert.

Everything was absolutely amazing!!!! The tuna was incredibly fresh and bursting with flavor. The escargot was perfectly seasoned and the pastry crust was just sturdy and flaky enough to hold the juices and add a nice crunch to the dish.

I genuinely could not decide which main course was better. The duck was excellently seasoned and the lamb sliced like butter. The creamed spinach was just creamed enough to offer some depth but did not overwhelm the spinach flavor. And the mashed potatoes were perfect and had obviously been whipped just before they made their dining room entrance.

The dessert was great, but it didn’t knock my socks off. Nothing was wrong per se, it was just that their bread pudding version was a bit to custardy for my tastes. It’s better described as a thick custard in a bowl with small blocks of bread throughout.

The service was absolutely wonderful!! Very attentive but not obtrusive. And since I tend to be a slow eater, I REALLY appreciate this quality. We mentioned that I was tired, so we wanted the check with dessert. So our waiter even offered to have our car brought around while we were finishing dessert so it would be right outside as soon as we walked out the door.

All in all, the dinner was a extraordinary gastronomic experience. I think TS was right on the mark with his 3 star review. So much so that I would even happily wait for a 10:00 reservation if need be!!

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We went here last night for my fiance's birthday (which happened to coincide nicely with the last day of the extended restaurant week promotion), and had a great experience. We were seated upstairs in a smaller room, which made it feel more like you were eating at somebody's house, and the professional-but-not-snooty waitstaff added to this impression. I started with the bluefin tuna appetizer - a fairly straightforward preparation (big block of tuna, seared, sliced, and salted, served with a cherry-tomato, pearl onion, and parsely salad), which really showcased the top-notch ingredients. Then I had the scallops which were nicely caramelized, and served with corn puree, chanterelle mushrooms, and some sort of microgreenery - I was glad of the salty mushrooms to cut the corn's sweetness, and the whole dish worked well together. My fiance had the steak tartare appetizer, which he thought was too salty, and the lamb, which he seemed to think was delicious (he didn't gnaw on the bones though!). For dessert, I had the peach gallete, which featured fresh peaches treated with (I would guess) spiced brandy, and my fiance had the bread pudding, which was tasty as advertised on this board. I had a glass of wine, and the whole thing came to under $100.

Also, although the restaurant week promotion is now over, the $35 three-course menu is still available pre- and post-theatre.

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We also had a very nice meal here 2 weeks ago to celebrate our 3d wedding anniversary. Nothing new to add in terms of the food that hasn't been said. Everything we had was very well executed-- while nothing hugely innovative, with the $35pp special, we both thought it was quite the bargain. Actually, I liked the steak tartare appetizer (especially as compared to the dish at Zaytinya, where I felt like my pile of raw steak would never end...), although I didn't care for the crackers/pita chips that accompanied it; also enjoyed liked the lemon cheesecake. We also liked our server, who was fun and totally not pretentious or snooty.

Knowing I can wait for the summer special, we still haven't gone during the rest of the year.

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A new twist on the tuna appetizer tonight -- Blue Fin tuna sashimi with crispy beef tongue, housemade (and searingly hot!) mustard & garlic pickles. This dish is incredibly delicious -- very fresh, flavorful tuna with several unique textures and flavors. Loved the homemade pickles! Another favorite dish was the steak tartare, served with capers and pickled onions and topped with a quail egg. I kept stealing tastes of this from Beau and would return to 1789 just for this dish alone. Also loved the silky fois gras terrine which was paired with roasted pineapple and saturnes jam and the crabcake which appeared to be 100% crabmeat without any binder whatsoever. And those are just from the appetizer/second course options.

The restaurant was packed at 9:30 when we arrived with lots of celebrations (birthdays/anniversaries) all around. It's great to see Nathan Beachamp's personal touch on the menu, from freshening up of old favorites to the addition of new, more modern creations. We look forward to a return visit very soon.

-Camille

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Had a great dinner at 1789 last night. The tuna tartare with crushed macadamia nuts and shaved hearts of palm with citrus was truly inspired and refreshing as a first course. Second course was a grilled veal short rib that was incredibly tender and perfectly seasoned. Finished off with a nice filet of beef that was cooked to a perfect mid-rare. Sadly, the "Lobster Twice Baked Potato" that came with the beef had only one singular nugget of lobster in it. I thought it was a fluke, but one of my dinner companions had the same exact issue...and on both potatoes, the nugget was placed at the top of the potato so it tricked you into getting the feeling that it was almost being pushed out of the top by all the other bits of lobster underneath only to be ultimately disappointing.

Oh well...the dinner in all was spectacular, the service was spot on and we could not have enjoyed ourselves more. Kudos to Nathan and his staff. They're really putting out an excellent product!

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