Wow, how is it possible that I’ve lived in DC for 3 years and yet NEVER set foot in Corduroy until last night? Based on Tuesday’s spectacular meal, I am kicking myself for not eating there sooner and more frequently.
I will definitely look forward to seeing the new digs–the current space is pretty bland. However, that is where my complaints end. The service was wonderful, and it was obvious that our waiter respects Chef Power and enjoys working for/with him. Our server even said that Restaurant Week had been great, which elicited a surprised reaction from my dining companion (she’s been to far too many restaurants whose staffs openly despise the promotion, I suppose).
For starters, I opted for the oysters on the half shell (a $3 upcharge). The apple-shallot mignonette sauce added just the right amount of acidity and flavor, and it still let the great briny taste of the oysters (which happened to be of the Island Creek variety) shine through. My gal pal had the parsnip soup, which had some chervil oil and a wonderful creamy texture. I believe she used the crusty bread to sop up every last morsel!
The main courses were truly outstanding, and probably our favorite part of the meal. I had the boneless lamb, cooked rare, with garlic creamed spinach. I am not usually a lamb fan, but the server highly recommended it, and I wasn’t disappointed at all. The meat was tender and flavorful and prepared absolutely perfectly. The creamed spinach was probably the best I’ve ever had–in most versions, all you can taste is the cream and/or the cheese, but Chef Power’s rendition had a wonderful spinach flavor and a lovely garlic punch. When I commented to the server about how tasty it was, he said, “The chef really knows how to use seasonings and make different flavors come through.” To say the least! My friend ordered the beef cheeks “osso bucco” style, and oh my gosh, it was delicious. To say that it was tender and flavorful would be the grossest of understatements. The meat was served atop a bed of white beans (can’t remember what variety) and with a small pile of thin string beans. Needless to say, the bread was once again required to soak up all of the wonderful sauces from our quickly-emptied plates.
My girlfriend wanted to skip dessert, but I convinced her to order one anyway so that I could sample two. We opted for the hazelnut bars and the chocolate tart with caramelized bananas. The former was obviously a riff on Michel Richard’s “kit kat” bar, and my friend really enjoyed it–though, to be honest, I liked the version I had at Central better (Corduroy’s version seemed much more dense). The latter was a tart of white chocolate that actually reminded me of a custard; it was served with chocolate ice cream and the bananas, and it was really really good. Once again, plates cleaned.
I can’t believe that, after splitting the check down the middle (I had a glass of sauvignon blanc and my friend had a pilsner) and adding a large tip, my tab was still only $50. Corduroy is an incredible Restaurant Week value, and I can’t wait to sample more of Chef Power’s creations once he settles into his new location. Bravo!