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So in case you did not know, it is Restaurant Week in DC again. At $20.09 for lunch for $35.09 for dinner, diners can enjoy or sample select menus from participating establishments. But even at the discount rate, $35.09 is a lot to spend, though you get a 3 course meal.
The Sports Freak, a co-worker of his, and I went to Charlie Palmer's near the Capitol earlier in the week. None of us had dined there before, so it seemed like a good place to try. We got there about 15 minutes early so after letting them know we were there, we settled at the bar for a pre-dinner drink. Value is not what you expect there, as I ordered a vodka tonic that was more tonic than vodka and cost $10.
Dinner was better. After we placed our orders, we were given an amuse-bouche of tiny shrimp ceviche. Served in a metal "Asian soup spoon", there was the right balance of acid and seasonings. The tiny shrimp came in twos and marinated in lime juice and cilantro. Very good start. For appetizer, I had the cold Virginia Corn Soup. The cream based soup was light and refreshing. While they put a little Maryland blue crab in the middle, I think the soup would have done just as well without it. The others had heirloom tomato salads with goat cheese. Two big slices of tomato and a mix wild greens, they reported it to be good.
On to the main entrees. All three of us had the roasted beef sirloin. The sirloin itself was very good. Tender and flavorful, it was a good portion of meat. I had ordered mine medium and it might have been a bit on the rare side, but still good. The accompanying carmelized shallots were excellent, but how can carmelized onions not be good? The potatoes, not so much. Boulanger potatoes were sliced thin, but surprisingly tasted slightly raw, even though they seemed througly cooked. It could have used a little more salt as well. We also ordered a side of zuchinni and squash for the table. That was great was shavings of parmesean cheese on top.
Dessert was possibly the big let down of the meal. The Sports Freak and I both had the peach cobbler. Baked and served in a ramakin with a dollop of frozen vanilla custard, it was very runny. That might have been the downfall for the dessert as being baked in the small vessel instead a big batch made the crust finish quickly. The peaches were still very firm, almost as if they were just warmed or quickly boiled and the liquid never had a chance to bake out of the dish. The co-worker had ordered the Pennsylvania berry soup, which was a raspberry base served with panna cotta and sorbet. He said it was very good, but he is partial to raspberries.
In all, it was a very good meal. The restaurant decor is very bright and modern and you feel that it is very new, yet the service was established. It is in the bottom of a fairly new building which opened earlier in the decade. I would go back for Restaurant Week again, but would find it hard to go on the regular menu on my own dime. The pricing was very high, but for a special meal or business, it would be on my list of places to go.