Q & A


If you remember my article about Restaurant Week in January, you remember that I was thoroughly impressed with my meal at Corduroy. The food was excellent and the service was even better. I went there again last night with Amy because I wanted to try Corduroy on a day other than Restaurant Week.

Sadly, Corduroy still doesn't get very crowded. Yesterday at about 4:30, I was able to go online at OpenTable and make a reservation for 7:30PM. I just don’t think people know what they're missing by going elsewhere. Granted, this restaurant is not in an ideal location at 12th and K (located on the second floor of the Four Points Hotel). It's pretty far away from the hustle and bustle of Georgetown, Dupont and Adams Morgan. It's not walking distance from the Capital area or White House. It IS close to the Convention Center though - VERY CLOSE. If I was at the Convention Center for business for the day, I'd be sure to stop off at Corduroy afterwards for an expense account dinner. Corduroy also has free valet parking, so you can drive there and park easily like we did last night and save yourself the cab fare.

Last night, I'd say that only every other table was taken. The dining room is quiet and calm, as well as the bar area where a single bartender is able to handle the small crowd. The servers aren't running around like chickens with their heads cut off and the entire place has a calm, serene feel to it. It's perfect for a romantic evening out, or a lunch-time meal to talk business.

Like last time, the service was impeccable from the moment we sat down. Corduroy does a great job of giving you the atmosphere of a 5-star restaurant. When you order, someone comes by and immediately makes sure you have the right utensils to eat your meal. For instance, Amy ordered a bowl of soup to start, and they brought her a soup spoon as soon as we were done ordering. They also took away any utensils that we wouldn't use. How many times has a restaurant brought me food but I didn’t have any silver to eat it? It’s the little things that matter sometimes.

I actually think that the food was better this visit. Maybe it was the fact that I ordered lamb sirloin rather than scallops, or maybe it was because I tried the lobster salad AS WELL as the buffalo mozzarella porcupine. (Our last trip to Corduroy, Amy ordered the porcupine and I wished to God I had ordered it. You can read my write-up on Restaurant Week for a full description of the porcupine.) The lobster salad is served cold. Chunks of lobster are mixed with tomatoes and mild seasoning, positioned delicately on a layer of thinly-sliced cucumbers, and topped with micro greens and a basil oil. I was very impressed with how a dish as simple and delicate as this one had as full a flavor as it did. I'm not a huge fan of lobster myself, and I devoured this dish.

Amy had a very smooth parsnip soup with fresh tarragon and a tiny dollop of sour cream. The soup had a comfort-food taste to it -- very hearty, but not thick or overly rich. Chef Tom Power doesn’t go overboard trying to make his soups creamy and thick. She thoroughly enjoyed the soup, as did I when she was generous enough to give me a sample of it. (For those of you following Amy’s pregnancy, Amy is now eating more and manages to eat at restaurants without having to run to the bathroom and puke.)

The entrees Amy and I ordered were pretty good. My lamb sirloin was served a perfect medium rare with a simple reduction sauce. The meat was very flavorful - really an ideal cut of meat. It didn't have the usual tough texture that lamb can have nor did it have a gamey taste. On the side it came with an equal portion of tiny goat cheese ravioli topped with a light cream sauce. The only bad thing I have to say about this dish is that the ravioli was a tad overcooked, and tended to stick to each other. Otherwise, the entire dish was delicious. Amy ordered the buffalo striploin. It also was cooked a perfect medium rare and topped with a simple reduction sauce as well. On the side - some perfectly cooked thin green beans with butter and salt (which Amy later commented were the most perfectly cooked green beans she’s ever had at a restaurant) and a gruyere cheese potato cake.

As if I hadn't eaten enough already, we ordered some dessert as well. Amy remembered the vanilla bean creme brulee that she had last time and couldn't help ordering it again. Like last time, it was fantastic. I branched out a little and order the pistachio bread pudding. I was a little disappointed in the bread pudding. It was soggy and had way too much butter in it. I prefer bread pudding to be a bit firmer, but that is just my taste. We also had a bottle of wine with the meal. As I stated in my previous review, the wine list has a wide variety of wines at prices starting around $30. We ordered a $34 bottle of Pinot Noir with our meal, although I ended up drinking almost the whole bottle by myself. Luckily, I spread it out over a couple of hours, so I wasn’t completely tanked by the time the meal was over.

Tom Power's masterful cooking was evident in each dish we ate. He takes quality ingredients and prepares them simply. I wish more restaurants in this area would follow his lead in this respect. You can pile as many fancy-sounding ingredients into a dish, but if they don’t taste well together, or are of poor quality, then it will taste accordingly. (Ok, I’m done preaching for the day.) At about $125, our bill was actually very reasonable considering all the food we had and how good it all tasted.  I'll be heading back soon.

1201 K St., NW
Washington, DC
(202) 589-0699

Corduroy Web Site

Weekdays 6:30am-10:30am, 12pm-2:30pm, 5:30pm-10:30pm
Weekends 7am-11am, 12pm-2:30pm, 6pm-10:30pm

Parking: Street parking available, free valet with validation
Reservations: Taken
Smoking: In bar only
Dress Code: Business Casual
Amy's Bathroom Rating: The bathrooms were the hotel's bathrooms and they looked like the hotel had just opened yesterday.
Nearest Metro: Metro Center



They had a problem two months ago:


I'm not sure if I should look at the dchealth website anymore. It seems that every business has been on the list...


OK. JUST TO BE SURE EVERYONE KNOWS THE REAL FACTS BEHIND THIS STORY. The closure was due to "a leaking garbage disposal under a sink used for spraying food debris from plates before they enter the dish washing machine." These are words from Tom Power himself on the DCist.com post where this story originally surfaced. Surely, nothing worth closing a restaurant down for a whole day, I can say.


I absolutely love Corduroy - and want to say that on Saturday I went with several wine-biz people and we brought several bottles to taste with some customers. They did not give us an ounce of trouble, the service was impeccable, and we were able to conduct business with very little difficutly! On a Saturday evening, no less!
The beef cheeks were divine, the soft-shell crab was decadent, the scallops delicious, the desserts - outstanding. Bravo Chef Tom!


My college roommate, my mom, and I went to Corduroy last on the first night of restaurant week. This was all of our first time eating at Corduroy. When we got to 1201 K street, we were surprised to find the restaurant atop a flight of stairs inside a hotel. We continued upstairs to find the restaurant dimly lit and dully decorated. I wondered what all the talk I read on this website was all about. Could this really be the place? We sat down and looked at the menu. The restaurant was full when we arrived and remained so until closing. Our reservation was for 8:30pm, the only time I could get for that night. Our waitress came right away, gave us menus and informed us that two items would not be available that evening - they were out. My appetizer was a Vidalia onion soubise and my entree seared tuna with sushi rice and some seaweed. Desert followed - hazelnut chocolate bars, from a recipe the chef learned when he was at Citronelle. Our dinner was fantastic. One of the best I've ever eaten in DC and I've visited my fair share of restaurants - including Kinkead's, Galileo, Marcel's, La Chamiere, Tosca, Taberna del Alabardero, DC Coast, etc. The dishes were well presented with great attention to detail, which was only a bonus to the amazing tastes that blended together with every bite. Exquisite. I loved Corduroy and I hope more people go to experience this one of a kind restaurant in DC.


how can you say its not walking distance from the white house, it's only 5 blocks away....


What a great surprise. We had hoped to go to Komi for our anniversary, but unfortunately it was closed this first week in January. When I saw that DCFoodies had Komi ranked #1, I felt that it was worth trying #2, Corduroy.

Corduroy was able to seat us with just a 20 minute notice (It was Wednesday). We had the usual take on the unremarkable features of the location.

However, the first bite on my beet, carrot and goat cheese salad convinced me that dinner was indeed going to be a culinary delight. The lamb sirloin, cooked to my specification (as rare as the chef would allow) was further confirmation. And, nothing like the baked chocolate sabayon as the finish to a memorable 24th wedding anniversary meal. My husband was equally pleased with his selections, and especially delighted with the bill which also included a fine bottle of syrah and two dessert liquors. Corduroy is now on my list for dinner celebrations and out-of-town business guests. Congratulations to Tom Powers!

Miss. S

Hi Jason - I'm a pretty avid follower of Amalah.com -- that's how I found your website, which is so awesome, I've become a DC-restuarant know-it-all. Thank you! Seriously, I went to Courduroy recently because you wrote a great review of it. I thought the food was excellent, service was awesome. They are VERY careful to make sure you have the exact silverware you need at that moment, and nothing you won't be needing! Anyway, good review. Thank you.


I went here on Dec 30th with my fiance, it was booked for the 31st. We each had a salad, I had the lobster salad and my Fiance had the special (something walnut I believe) They were both Great. We then ordered the Mozzarella porcupine, which is recommended above. It was also very good. For the main course we had scallops and the wagu (sp?) beef. The Scallops were good but did not compare to the wagu beef tenderloin, it tasted so good and the sauce was incredible. We then ordered two desserts and got out of there for under $100 without including alcohol. It was definitely worth the trip, We will be goping back.


Recent business lunch at Corduroy was a very pleasant surprise. The roast chicken is one of my new favorite meals in D.C. And the staff was superb.


Ate at Corduroy again a few weeks ago, figured the bad experience fhe first time had to be a fluke, but sure enough it wasn't. I can't figure out what people see in this place. The Mozzarella porcupine is a giant boring, bland cheese stick, my meat was overcooked (medium rare is not the same thing as medium well), the service was abrupt, and the menu is boring at best. Forget the fact that the place has no ambiance whatsoever. For the money I can think of 5-10 other places you have given positive reviews I'd rather eat at. Corduroy is fair at absolute best.


Unfortunately, I have to agree with you on the menu lately (Chef Tom Power branched out over the Winter and Spring, but is not back to his usual menu), but otherwise I think you are in a very small minority with your opinions on the service and the food.

Michael Mahle

Though my dinner at Corduroy was very good, I'd hardly call it 5-star worthy (not really sure what constitutes a five-star review, the NY Times only gives out 4 stars at most, and this restaurant would be likely only get 1, maybe 2 stars if Bruni was having a good day.

The place was drab, and the reasoning behind the name "Corduroy" given to me was a little strange. The server said that the chef wanted guests to have no preconceived notions of what the food was going to be like, and so "Corduroy" is void of describing what the dining experience is going to be. Huh? Yeah, that's what I said.


Where are you getting 5 stars from? The Post, as most newspapers, only gives 4 stars as well and Corduroy got 2.


Jason, Have you been to Corduroy lately? Is it still worthy of a nice birthday dinner? Unfortunately, we can't afford Komi...


My absoulte favorite restaurant.....or one of them! I highly reccommend the tomato soup. It's a little spicy but so delicious. The steak was also very very good. The service is impeccable, however the decor could be improved.

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