Monday, February 2, 2015

Washington DC: 701 Restaurant

Ahh restaurant week, you came and left so soon. This year I was extremely unprepared on where I wanted to go and had a date to catch up with an old friend. Originally we picked a restaurant way up into DC, and the day of the reservation when I mapped out how long it would take me to drive that was just not going to happen after my day. I quickly texted my friend, gave her a location I wanted, and she started spurting of restaurants to me.
We settled on 701 Restaurant and I couldn't have been happier. One of my favorite things about restaurant week is that you can give a more expensive restaurant a trial run before committing to the full priced menu. Let me tell you, 701 did not disappoint.

I wish I took a photo, but the inside is absolutely gorgeous, extremely classy. Their website describes the experience being like “the warmth and charm of a private club,” which is absolutely on point. 

Once we were seated and made it known we were looking at wine, we were informed that there was a wine expert (sommelier?) there to help us if we’d like. I settled on a glass of rose – Whispering Angel, very good. Bread was brought out, which was average, except for the cornbread muffins being quite dry.
Not one to pass up bacon of any sort I ordered the Braised Bacon endive, apple, frisee, cherry mustard which was a savory, delicious combo (sadly not on their regular menu). Important to note this was more of a pork belly consistency. The freshness of the frisee really helped cut the heaviness of the bacon. Even my pescetarian friend was able to admire the lovely bacony scent coming from my dish. A tuna tartare aficionado, Amy went with what else but the Tuna Tartare wasabi vinaigrette, asain pear, persimmon-yuzo sauce and said it was delicious ($13 and on their lunch menu normally).  
For dinner I went with the “Duck Tajarin,” or Duck Spaghetti $20 as their normal menu states duck ragout (bolognese)/Trevisiano/goat cheese/crumbles cracklings. This was served on house made pasta, which really took this dish a notch up. I haven’t had a goat cheese on a Bolognese style pasta, but it worked really well. The cracklings were a nice textural addition. The restaurant week menu didn’t state there was crackling on it so the random crunch freaked me out at first – but once I knew, I really enjoyed them. Amy went with a butternut squash pasta special which she enjoyed, but would look into ordering something else the next visit.
As far as desserts go, we both had our eye on the Chocolate Pots De Crème $9 salted caramel, brownie bits mint ice cream. This was super rich, but when you paired the pots de crème with the salted caramel and mint ice cream a magical party happened on your taste buds. I don’t know why I don’t order desserts and restaurants, but desserts like these really need to make me need to start.
Service was impeccable (I pretty much grilled our server on how everything was prepared and the ins and outs of most of the dishes), ambiance was perfect and food was delicious. This is the place you need to go if you want to impress someone, celebrate a special occasion or go out on a nice date night. My only complaint has nothing to do with the restaurant but with the restaurant week menu. I prefer it when restaurants highlight their normal menu instead of throwing random specials on it – I like to try and see the actual dishes normally serves.

Would I come back? Yes, I would like to come and try more of their dishes and drinks! I just need to get my butt back into DC soon! 

701 Pennsylvania Ave
Washington DC
Penn Quarter
Archives Metro
(or Federal Triangle and walking a couple of blocks!)
701 Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Image Map

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