Jump to content
collije

701, 7th St and Pennsylvania Ave, Penn Quarter - Chef Christopher Lambert Replaces Lucas Sousa - Closed Dec 31, 2018

Recommended Posts

Please join us in celebrating our 20th anniversary this month with a $20 three course lunch & anniversary cake at dinner.

701 Restaurant

Sounds great! Your website has links for a $15 lunch at the bar, a $30 prix fixe theater menu and a $35 prix fixe lounge menu. What are the options for the 3 course Anniversary menu for lunch?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sounds great! Your website has links for a $15 lunch at the bar, a $30 prix fixe theater menu and a $35 prix fixe lounge menu. What are the options for the 3 course Anniversary menu for lunch?

20th Anniversary Lunch Menu

Appetizer

Chestnut & Mushroom Soup, Quince & Tarragon

House-made Pork & Cheddar Sausage, Beer Braised Cabbage

Red Wine Poached Pear & Frisee Salad,

Medjool Dates, Goat Cheese, Maple Candied Walnuts

Entrée

Crispy Duck Confit, Cannellini Beans, Potato, Plum Compote

Grilled Shrimp & Anson Mill Grits, Spiced Tomato Sauce, Escarole

Spiced Apple Linguine, Oyster Mushrooms, Grated Midnight Moon

Desserts

Seasonal Sorbet & Winter Fruit Medley

Pecan Bourbon Bread Pudding, Vanilla Bean Ice Cream, Caramel Tuile

701 20th Birthday Cake, Triple Layer Chocolate Cake, Orange Ginger Mousse

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Disappointing dinner at 701 Saturday night. I had fond memories of our initial visit here about a year ago so my expectations were high. For the most part, they were not met.

I started with a Hendricks martini, which was beautifully chilled and bone dry.

To start the meal, I ordered a salad of pea shoots, fava beans, something called marissa cheese, and tiny croutons. The salad was pleasant - the pea shoots tasted of spring, the favas were nice texturally, and I really liked the cheese - but the dressing lacked punch and the whole dish suffered for it. A more assertive dressing with more lemon or acid of some sort would have made a nice salad into a really good one.

My entree red snapper served over "saffron risotto" with peekytoe crab and meyer lemon. I put quotes around the saffrom risotto because, while there was clearly rice under the fish, calling the runny mess a risotto seemed inappropriate. The rice was undercooked, it was not creamy in the least, and it tasted nothing of the promised saffron. In fact, I found no hint of peekytoe crab either. The meyer lemon flavor was so dominant that it drowned out all the other flavors. On paper, this seemed like a great dish but the execution was rather poor and made me wonder what happened between my last visit here and now.

The service was pleasant, prompt, and professional. The ambiance was nice, especially with the piano player. The lack of finesse and general poor execution of the dishes I ordered will make me reconsider a future visit, however.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I hadn't been to 701 since they'd remodeled. And though I've got to say I preferred its previous design incarnation, I decided to bet on it for a pre-theater meal* with a friend.

Assessment? Push.

The bar was quite loud because there was an office party in the area behind the beaded curtains. No biggie--in fact we both observed that this would be a great place for an office cocktail party. The bartender seemed to be serving for the whole restaurant, including the party, but still managed to be really friendly, though very slow--it took a lot of time for us to get drink refills.

I started with the bourbon apple salad, which was FABULOUS. After my first couple of bites, I made my companion, who didn't order a starter, tell me a story so I could stuff my mouth continuously without needing to speak--the apples were saturated in butter and sugar, and were beautifully balanced by the earthy greens and pomegranate seeds.

But then came the next course. My vegetarian companion ordered three of the veggie sides; there wasn't much for her on the menu aside from the pasta, which she wasn't in the mood for, but she was totally happy with just the sides--"these are going to be my entree, so can I just get them all served on one plate?" Sure. Except, well, of course not. They brought out three bowls of vegetables, each served on a large plate with its own serving spoon. And then they left her to stack the plates and spoons and juggle the bowls in the small bar space--no recognition of the situation or offer to assist. For my second, I got the corn and crab chowder, which was served to me with a bowl of stuff in which the server poured the liquid.** The thick liquid tasted almost entirely of uncooked flour. After a couple of bites, I pushed it aside, where it sat for quite some time, until I asked the bartender to take it away. "You don't like it?" (Busy bar, not wanting to announce it to all my neighbors): "No, it doesn't taste right," to which I got a look of confusion. "I don't think the roux was totally cooked because it tastes of flour." "So you don't like it?" "Well, no... but it's not just me--" Soup whisked away. The veggies were all tasty, which I know because my friend offered me tastes when I had nothing else to eat... because the busy bartender never mentioned the soup, offered me any replacement or menu or suggestion for something else to eat.

The soup wasn't on the bill, so kudos to them for that, but what a 'feh' night. I'm giving the place an 'okay' overall because the salad was so good, and I really want the place to work, but there were some systemic-seeming things here that annoyed me, perhaps multiplied since I took someone new to town who is trusting me on restaurant recommendations. Push.

*I don't usually do the fixed price deals because I generally don't want dessert.

** Listen, I totally understand why they do this, but I still find it kind of twee for my taste. Doesn't the menu tell me what's in the soup?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I started with the bourbon apple salad, which was FABULOUS. After my first couple of bites, I made my companion, who didn't order a starter, tell me a story so I could stuff my mouth continuously without needing to speak--the apples were saturated in butter and sugar, and were beautifully balanced by the earthy greens and pomegranate seeds.

Based on both your description and the menu's description, I didn't quite know what to expect from the Bourbon Caramel Apple Salad ($10) with red mustard greens and pomegranate - in particular, I wasn't sure about either the thickness of the caramel or the temperature of the dish. First and foremost, it is (indeed) a salad, and a great one. There were so many different ways that this could have been wrong - too sweet, out of balance, insufficient seasoning, thick saucing - but for my tastes, this was executed to perfection. A light dish, with plenty of acidity and the occasional thrill of salt to balance the apples, this beautiful plate (and the plate itself was beautiful) gained an added dimension when I accepted my bartender's offer of some fresh ground pepper (lightly milled around the periphery - that's how I like to do it).

Cheers,

Rocks

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Had lunch at 701 yesterday, ordered badly and therefore didn't get much to eat. The "Small Plates" were really, truly small, especially compared to "small plates" I've had elsewhere. I got one small plate and shared a small plate with a friend, who had gotten the seafood chopped salad. (the website doesn't show small plates, only apps, but I know the menu said small plates - it's possible I had one app and shared a small plate). I often get two appetizers instead of a main dish (they're so often more tempting and I would rather eat smaller portions - just not this small) so I thought an app and half a small plate (or 1 1/2 small plates, since I can't recall) would be enough. I wish the waitress had advised me that that wouldn't be much food (I did tell her we planned to share the mushrooms).

The funny thing is that the plate the mushrooms were on was massive -- huge expanses of white encircling some very tasty mushrooms (maybe 8 or 9 of them? I had 4 or 5), little red beans ("red peas" were on the menu, these were bean-like but I've never had red peas before) and a nice sauce. Then I had the Bee Gee shrimp (app on the online menu, I thought I recalled small plate), which was delectable -- two largish shrimp, pineapple vinaigrette that was sparkling with the pineapple flavor (on the less acidic side, or maybe it seemed that way when tasted with the shrimp), ginger sabayon. The flavors were in perfect balance and I made sure I got every last bit of it. But next time I would get this appetizer and either get an entree or share an entree. My friend said her seafood chopped salad was very good, though the taste of it I had didn't excite me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Then I had the Bee Gee shrimp (app on the online menu, I thought I recalled small plate), which was delectable -- two largish shrimp, pineapple vinaigrette that was sparkling with the pineapple flavor (on the less acidic side, or maybe it seemed that way when tasted with the shrimp), ginger sabayon.

What did the Bee Gee shrimp do after being narrowly missed by a trawl net?

He swam away (rolling its arms and wiggling its butt) and started singing "Stayin' Alive."

Ashok was the one in the boat.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This restaurant really seems to fly under the radar, but it shouldn't. My family is a difficult bunch to find a restaurant that will please all, and yet on Thanksgiving, no less, everyone came away delighted and satisfied with our meals. I was a little unsure if my FIL would think it not "simple" enough food, but he thoroughly enjoyed it.

3 course meal for $48, plus a tray of sides for $12; I wish I had printed out the menu because I did not take notes. I really wish I had as my meal was out of this world good. I have a dislike for tarragon, but the item on the menu that appealed to me and that I could eat without any alteration for my allergies was prepared with tarragon. For two reasons I went ahead and ordered it. First, because I would be able to eat a dish prepared as the chef intended, and second, because I have eaten at 701 before and know the caliber of the food here. I figured in the hands of a chef who knows what he is doing, it was worth the risk. And ohhhh, was it ever.

Now my SIL, who has a real dislike for tarragon as well, followed my lead and also ordered the same dish. And I am relieved to say she also was pleasantly surprised and loved her meal. The dish was red snapper, with a puree of turnips, I think, with a sauce that tasted of brown butter. There were small dollops of the taragon puree. My MIL also ordered the same and all three of us had plates that were licked clean.

FIL orderd the Turkey dinner, Mr. S ordered the squash ravioli, Nephew ordered steak, and I really can't recall the rest of the orders...the service was attentive without being obtrusive. Live music added to the festive atmosphere. I will add to my post if my memory fills in more, but I can say it was a fantastic choice for dining out on Thanksgiving, and a fantastic place to dine out anytime.

I hope to see more posts about this place as it really does deserve the attention.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This restaurant really seems to fly under the radar, but it shouldn't. My family is a difficult bunch to find a restaurant that will please all, and yet on Thanksgiving, no less, everyone came away delighted and satisfied with our meals. I was a little unsure if my FIL would think it not "simple" enough food, but he thoroughly enjoyed it.

3 course meal for $48, plus a tray of sides for $12; I wish I had printed out the menu because I did not take notes. I really wish I had as my meal was out of this world good. I have a dislike for tarragon, but the item on the menu that appealed to me and that I could eat without any alteration for my allergies was prepared with tarragon. For two reasons I went ahead and ordered it. First, because I would be able to eat a dish prepared as the chef intended, and second, because I have eaten at 701 before and know the caliber of the food here. I figured in the hands of a chef who knows what he is doing, it was worth the risk. And ohhhh, was it ever.

Now my SIL, who has a real dislike for tarragon as well, followed my lead and also ordered the same dish. And I am relieved to say she also was pleasantly surprised and loved her meal. The dish was red snapper, with a puree of turnips, I think, with a sauce that tasted of brown butter. There were small dollops of the taragon puree. My MIL also ordered the same and all three of us had plates that were licked clean.

FIL orderd the Turkey dinner, Mr. S ordered the squash ravioli, Nephew ordered steak, and I really can't recall the rest of the orders...the service was attentive without being obtrusive. Live music added to the festive atmosphere. I will add to my post if my memory fills in more, but I can say it was a fantastic choice for dining out on Thanksgiving, and a fantastic place to dine out anytime.

I hope to see more posts about this place as it really does deserve the attention.

Read this, please.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I took my office to lunch at 701 to celebrate a tough year.  All I can say is that it was excellent.  They permitted me to bring three bottles of wine from my cellar (the normal limit is two per table) because there were eight of us.  The table was waiting for us with sufficient stemware and decanters at the side (very good Riedels).  I brought  three Pinot Noirs, a 2015 Peay Savoy Vineyard, a 2012 Loring Russell Family Vineyard, and a 2009 Patricia Green Marine Sedimentary Ribbon Ridge (opened in reverse order of listing)

Appetizers included Spanish Octopus with fresh anise, citrus, caper vinaigrette, and salsify puree; Lamb Meatballs with charred poblano remoulade and paprika, and: a very good mixed baby greens salad.  Several of them enjoyed the Wagyu sliders, and three were  delighted with the Rockfish with gnocchi, mussel jus, Spanish chorizo, rouille, and tomato confit.  Desserts were an excellent panna cotta and a trio of sorbets (strawberry, cranberry and passion fruit.)  (I just had three scoops of the passion fruit)  A couple of us ended the meal with coffee sherry. 

I can't say enough about the service we received.  We were there for a couple of hours, never felt rushed, and everything was like a well oiled machine.  Plates disappeared when they were empty, but not before;  silverware was replaced quietly and efficiently; water glasses were always full and the bread basket was never empty.   Now I remember why I enjoy this place so much every time I eat there.  I guess there is a reason they have lasted for 28 years and counting.

 

 

 

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Did the $17 lunch at the bar here today.  The salmon burger was fantastic.  It took all my restraint to eat only one mini muffin and one roll (plus butter) from the bread service before my entree arrived. OMG, their bread is good. I'm not prepared to say it's as good as Rose's, but it is really good and that's the comparison that came to mind. The burger came with house made potato chips, which I ate too many of. I tried to atone for all the bread by leaving the last 1/3 of the burger bun, for whatever good that did.

The salmon burger was quite substantial and was the size of the bun. When I talked to the bartender about how much I enjoyed it, she mentioned that they used shrimp for the filler rather than some kind of bread.  That was interesting information that I would not have known otherwise.  I'm fine with shrimp, but it might be an unpleasant surprise to others. The fact there is shellfish in this is not noted on the menu description, while the items that are included on the sandwich (pickled onion, etc.) are.  Since some people who are allergic to shellfish can eat fish, and shrimp isn't isn't an obvious or stated ingredient, they should fix this on the menu.  It's a great sandwich.  I'm skipping dinner:ph34r:.

Service was wonderful, as it has been every time I've been here.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, cheezepowder said:

Closing after New Years Eve 

Wow. What a run 701 had. Great, under the radar spot. Had always had solid meals there - and 701 was a trailblazer in that neighborhood.

  • Like 4
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Keithstg said:

Wow. What a run 701 had. Great, under the radar spot. Had always had solid meals there - and 701 was a trailblazer in that neighborhood.

I was thinking the same.  In 1989 and for some years there was no Penn Qtr and little attractive or compelling North of the complex that has housed 701.  Meals were excellent and it was a fun place to dine drink or meet at.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have very fond memories of the bar at 701 from my days in DC.  Situated as it is, right on top of the Navy Memorial metro, it was an easy ride to or from home from me, living on the green line.  The piano player was always engaging, and it was the perfect place for a Manhattan to begin or end and evening on the town.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The first time I was actively lobbied by an old-school lobbyist was here. Great memory. That man purchased a lot of yummy for a lot of ladies...and one or two gentlemen. Good times.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My company at the time bought the place out for two Christmas patries in.....1997 and 1998 - really great times then. Got to go back some times over the years but sadly not too recently.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Truth be told, I preferred this over Fiola for jury duty lunch. I usually indulge myself when I'm there for a day. I'm sure I'd take a different approach for a long-term service. like bringing my own food. 😟

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Pat said:

Truth be told, I preferred this over Fiola for jury duty lunch. I usually indulge myself when I'm there for a day. I'm sure I'd take a different approach for a long-term service. like bringing my own food. 😟

I had a jury duty lunch there a few years ago. As is typical in all of Mr. Bajaj's restaurants, all the food was in front of me in under 10 minutes. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Went here for prom in 1996.  It was my first fancy meal without my parents.  Wow, what a run!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

we had our first meal at 701 in october, and based on that experience, it would likely have been our last regardless of the closure.  i always enjoy reading when this community has fond memories of a restaurant over the years.  sounds like 701 filled an important niche in its time, but at our dinner it felt like a restaurant past its prime.  nothing horrendous, but an unexciting, unmemorable meal on all levels -- food, service, and decor.  but it's a rare, impressive feat to have stayed in business for this long in an ever-evolving restaurant scene.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×