Alice Waters' "The Art of Simple Food"
Good Luck Foods For New Year's Day-What's Your Tradition?


P1010156 I had some friends from college in town for the weekend and we decided to go out for dinner and wander around Chinatown, but when we couldn’t find any movies worth seeing, we decided to go out for dessert. My friend Pat pointed longingly at a Haagen-Daz, but it was freezing out and we cold-weather wimps vetoed that. At the same time Pat and I thought of Poste. He’d been there for happy hour (as had I for brunch) and thought the food seemed promising (we both remembered the truffle oil french fries dusted with parmesan cheese...WOW!).

The brunch I had there was really good, though I thought the service was a little snotty. I was eating with my mom then and I got the impression that our waiter was really disappointed not to have a hipper crowd at his table. Not surprisingly, I got the same vibe this time. My friends and I went to the University of Chicago—we’re not hip. Our idea of a good outfit for a winter night on the town is something in the black sweater, jeans and converse sneakers department.

But, that’s my (our) fault, nor Poste’s. So we sat down and each ordered something different -- my friend Darcy tried a squash dessert that was not at all sweet (but was served with a little bit of coconut ice cream).  She said it reminded her of the time her little sister tried to make pumpkin pie by dumping a can of the purée into a pre-baked shell. Pat got chocolate sorbet and vanilla ice cream (for about twice as much as it would have cost him at Haagen Daz -- a steep price to pay for loving ice cream in the winter, I guess), my friend Sarah ordered the poached pear and chocolate dessert and I tried the pistachio ice cream with pineapple chunks on top of a chocolate macaroon.

Generally, macaroons aren't something I get really excited about, but this one was delicious. (I guess Poste is in a French hotel, so it's not surprising that their take on a French dessert would be impressive.) It was pliable and hard to eat without a knife, especially after the melting ice cream had made it kind of cold. The almond flavor in the macaroon went excellently with the pistachio ice cream (which thankfully was not bright green) and even the pineapple (which looked a little canned, although the room was quite dark) was okay. I'm not a huge fan of fruit with chocolate, so okay's pretty good by my standards.

Poste Moderne Brasserie
555 8th Street NW
Washington, D.C. 20004
(202) 783.6060


Mike Bober

Though I can't speak to Poste's desserts specifically, I would be very surprised to find out they had used ANY canned ingredients. In fact, Chef Robert Weland is a regular patron of the Penn Quarter Farmers Market on Thursdays (it closed for the season last month, but will be back in the spring). And he uses a decent portion of the patio space around the restaurant to grow his own vegetables and herbs - the heirloom tomatoes they grew in the summer were amazing.

One of the items on my DC Foodie to-do list next year is the "To Market, To Market" program run by the chef. For roughly $60 per person, he leads a group to the Farmers Market and guides them through a shopping trip, picking out whatever looks best to him that day. He then brings the group (and the foraged ingredients) back to Poste, where he prepares dinner using the freshly-procured vegetables.

Poste holds a special place in my heart - their cocktails and their bar menu are wonderful, and I would definitely recommend checking them out. I'm sorry to hear you've had less than stellar experiences there so far.

One note: The Hotel Monaco is a Kimpton property - one of several (including the Madera, the Palomar, the Rouge, the George, and the Helix). Most feature bars or restaurants that are worth a look - Firefly at the Madera, Bistro Bis at the George, Urbana at the Palomar, etc. - and that frequently participate in Restaurant Week, which is quickly approaching.

Amanda Parrish

I see what my mom means when she says I'm too critical! This wasn't meant to be a negative review--only an honest one about the highs (macaroons, truffle oil french fries) and lows of a dining experience.

Mike Bober

I didn't read it as a critical review, Amanda - I thought it was straightforward and honest. A "less than stellar" experience can still be a good time - it just isn't a great time.

I just wanted to share what I know about Poste - and Chef Weland's - commitment to fresh and local ingredients, which I think is a major positive note for them.

Please don't take my comment as a criticism of your review.

The comments to this entry are closed.