Adventures in Eating: Washington, D.C.
By Candyce H. Stapen
Washington, D.C., serves up some great restaurants. For adventures in eating, book a table at Bourbon Steak, Black Salt, Rasika and The Source.
Bourbon Steak, located inside the Four Seasons Hotel Georgetown, is not just for steak lovers. Although the steaks are great, so are the seafood, the chicken and the duck. The fun starts with complimentary French fries. Along with appetizers such as sashimi and beef tartare, the restaurant also serves matzoh ball soup made with schmaltz. Hungry ‘tweens and teens can request steak burgers, costly at $18, from the bar menu. Although pricey, a meal at Bourbon Steak is a memorable treat.
Seafood stars at Black Salt. Despite the higher than average prices, the atmosphere is causal. The first thing you come upon when entering is the fish market. Salmon fillets, rockfish, scallops and other seafood rest on ice, available for purchase. Next, walk past patrons lined up at the stainless steel bar as you continue to the two dining rooms in the back.
The first room is noisier than the back room. No matter where you sit, though, the seafood is delicious. Appetizers include a choice of several types of mussels. Among the standout entrees on the changing menu are branzino, scallops and tuna. There’s always an item or two for non-fish lovers.
Rasika, located in thriving Penn Quarter, is one of my family’s favorite restaurants. Rasika means “flavors” in Sanskrit, and that’s what the restaurant emphasizes. The chef describes his food as “progressive Indian cuisine.” Although employing traditional methods of cooking—tandoor (clay oven), tawa (griddle), sigri (barbeque)—the chef adds ingredients that bring out contrasting flavors.
For appetizers, try the ginger and honey scallops served atop a garlic red pepper sauce or the palak chaat, a salad of lightly fried spinach leaves with tamarind and chutney. The black cod is a savory dish that has dill, honey, star anise and red wine vinegar. When full, this popular place can be noisy.
At The Source, Wolfgang Puck’s Asian inspired restaurant in D.C., choose between dining in the casual and less pricey downstairs lounge or in the upstairs main dining area. The lounge, along with sushi and sashimi, serves stir fried noodles, spring rolls, chicken wings and mini-burgers.
The main dining room highlights include wok fried whole sea bass, prawns in a mustard yogurt curry and Kobe short ribs. No matter where you eat at The Source, located in the Newseum, you can order items from the other menu. That flexibility makes this restaurant a good choice for families with older kids who like good food and want a memorable meal.