Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Café du Parc

Pan Seared Scallops with Fresh Tagliatelles and Wild Mushrooms Sauce
Last night the girls and I enjoyed our first restaurant week meal at Café du Parc in downtown DC. This restaurant resides within the luxurious and historic Willard InterContinental Hotel (established 1818). Café du Parc's restaurant consultant, Chef Antoine Westermann, recently appointed Chef de Cuisine Arnaud Perreau to serve up classy French cuisine in this elegant, yet casual atmosphere.

All of us chose to partake in Café du Parc's Restaurant Week Menu, quite a steal for fine French at $35.10. I was pretty excited for my meal, so I found the restaurant week menu online and carefully chose my appetizer, dinner, and dessert before I even walked into the restaurant. I know this might take the fun out of it, but I enjoy reading reviews of the food from a restaurant I'm about to eat at, because it everyone says the apple tart is "to die for", it probably is and I want to make sure I order it. There actually weren't many options on this menu, but the restaurant did offer it's full menu for those who did not want to enjoy the restaurant week sampling.

Country Pâté, Pickled Vegetables, Mustard and Country Bread
The girls and I first ordered the pairing to our food, a bottle of red, and a bottle of white, both excellent. I started with the soup of the summer: tomato gazpacho (pictured below). I hadn't had it in awhile and thought overall, it was fresh and tasted pretty good. However, we all agreed that a little hot sauce couldn't hurt and the croutons needed a little "omph." Rosie was the only one that got the pate, and if I were to go back, I'd get this appetizer instead. The house-made Country Pâté, Pickled Vegetables, Mustard and Country Bread (pictured above) was fantastic. To be honest, I had pegged myself as "non-Pâté eater", but after trying this I was sold. Our server informed us that their Pâté was actually made out of pork, which made it obvious to us why it was so delicious. 

Tomato Gazpacho with Micro Celery and Croutons
The majority of us tried the pan-seared scallops (top picture) for our entrée. This dish was fantastic! Before even trying it, the look of the dish had me thinking of one of my favorite meals at Central, that presented the tagliatelle in the same way accompanied by some braised beef cheeks. The pasta was cooked well, and the sauce with a mix of mushrooms was light, but flavorful. The scallops were large and seared to perfection on both sides. I was very happy with my entrée and would like to go back for seconds right now.

Our birthday girl chose the Roasted Hanger steak topped with Lemon Parsley Butter, and served with Hand Cut French Fries (pictured below). Luckily, my friends are good at sharing (aka we actually just want a bite of the other person's food and are forced to give up a piece of our own in return), and she offered us each a bite. For my tastes, the steak was well seasoned and cooked exactly how I'd want my steak cook. While she breaked for the ladie's room before dessert, I stole one of her french fries which were nice and salty, but not very crispy (this could have been because they had been sitting there for about 20 minutes while we ate our meal). Sorry girl, others did it too.

Roasted Hanger Steak, Lemon Parsley Butter, Hand Cut French Fries
Our dessert course included a choice of the Apple Tart or the Pistachio Crème Brulee (both pictured below, the blurry picture doesn't do the tart justice). I chose the Apple Tart because I wanted to know what it is supposed to taste with the hopes of making it in the future. It reminded me of a tart I'd had in Belgium, and was very happy with my choice! I wasn't disappointed, and I do plan on completing this challenge when apples are back in season.

Some of the other girls tried the Pistachio Crème Brulee. The serving was huge, and they were happy to share it with the rest of us. I love crème brulee, but I don't love pistachio. I was very happy to find that the pistachio was not at all overwhelming, and I enjoyed the dish quite a bit.
Apple Tart
 Pistachio Creme Brulee
Café du Parc was kind enough to bring our birthday girl and extra surprise for dessert. Based on the look and taste, I'm going to guess it was the Irish coffee glacé from their regular menu. According to that menu, this is a Whiskey gelée, chocolate mousse, espresso granité, topped with Chantilly cream. According to the girls and I, this was pretty darn good.
Happy Birthday!
One comment about the staff... they were great! Our server was attentive and quick with requests. The front of the house manager came over to our table at the end of the evening to ask us about our meal and experience at Café du Parc. With the goal of restaurant week in mind (great food and service at a super sweet price =  returning customers that will pay more for the food next time), I would definitely come back to Café du Parc.

Cafe Du Parc on Urbanspoon

1 comment:

  1. Hi Megan, Nice pics! So glad you enjoyed the Café du Parc Restaurant Week experience. We hope to see you and the girls again soon. BB for CdP