Saturday, January 31, 2015

The Atlas Room Falls From Great to Mediocre

The Atlas Room 

1015 H Street NE, Washington, DC 20002 (202) 388-4020 

Dinner on January 25, 2015

No longer a toss up between which is my favorite restaurant in DC. I used to say it was a tough choice between Corduroy and The Atlas Room. After dining tonight at The Atlas Room, hands down my favorite restaurant in DC is Corduroy.

Tonight's meal at The Atlas Room wasn't bad but it definitely had fallen from its mighty height of superb flavors, and great creations. The meal simply was not satisfying and parts of it were not prepared well. I know what I am talking about, I have eaten at this restaurant eight times since it opened in late 2010.

I started with the Short Rib appetizer: Butternut Purée, Apple Radish Salad, Herb Emulsion. The short rib was not tender and had an odd almost vinegar type taste. I ate half and switched starters with my dining companion because I was not enjoying mine. The Apple Radish salad, on top of the short rib, was good as was the puree and herb emulsions.

My dining companion had the Beet salad as a starter: beets, a cheese, walnut, (I think menu read celery but neither of us remember tasting celery). The beet salad was good but nothing special.

Main Course
I had the Market special: Striped bass with a spicy red cabbage, Fennel Risotto, Green Bean, and I think it was butternut squash puree. The fish was very tasty, my tastes buds really enjoyed the flavor. The entree was topped with a unique and pleasant tasting, spicy red-colored cabbage. The risotto was watery so the fennel flavor was almost non-existent. This was VERY disappointing because I love fennel, and a well made risotto. I would have rated my entree 4 stars except the watery risotto brought it down to 3 stars. I don't know why the kitchen screwed up the risotto, we were the only people in the restaurant from 5:20 to 6:45 pm, when we left.

My friend had the Beef two ways: Flat Iron steak, Short Rib, Parsnip Purée, Chard, Beet, Red Wine. His short rib was a little more tender than the piece I had in my appetizer; and, the flat iron steak was cooked well and good but not enough of it (two thin strips of meat). My dining companion said the collard greens were very good. He felt that all parts of the meal complemented each other and the entree was good but in his words, "That was good but not satisfying."

Another short coming of dining at the Atlas Room this evening is they had no bottled still water (I don't drink DC water...ewww!) and they do not serve hot tea (I did not recall this from past visits??). I looked over the cocktail menu and there was no hot toddy in the offerings like in the past. So I had a good glass of iced tea...brrr!

In the past I have recommended The Atlas Room to numerous people. Sadly I cannot and will not recommend it again. I used to adore this place, I hope this was just a really off night.

food chick

Eat, drink, be merry and validate for parking (TM)