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
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
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