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Corduroy, 12th and K Streets NW


DonRocks
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That single Wagyu steak, which was widely distributed was defintely the highlight and would give anything at Ray's a run for its money.

My pizza crust was a little limp (that didn't stop my from scarfing up all but one piece of the pie) but a plate of the chocolate hazelnut "Kit Kat" bar more than made up for that one small misstep.

Thanks to the staff for putting up with us and taking care of us so well.

Bill Russell

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Are you familiar with the kind of willpower that is required to, say, turn your back on the most perfect pair of shoes? For instance, darling knee-high boots in cognac leather with 4-inch heels that go fabulously with everything you own? Just because you should?

Let me tell you....trying NOT to eat the goodies generously doled out from the kitchen on DR's farewell night does not compare. No reason seems good enough. So what if one has a dinner date at Komi later in the night! Surely a little piece of pizza won't hurt?? Surely a spoonful of soup won't interfere?

I've done it. I've turned my back on the pizza, the soup and the spring rolls.

And as proud of self as I was, I made a solemn promise to self: very soon, I will come to Corduroy and leave the rest of the night unplanned. And I shall have my vengeance.

See ya soon.

Edited by Nadya (log)

Resident Twizzlebum

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The steak was to die for.

The kit kat bars were divine.

The spring rolls were, as always, heavenly.

But the mushroom soup, the mushroom soup was absolutely orgasmic.

If someone writes a book about restaurants and nobody reads it, will it produce a 10 page thread?

Joe W

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I had not heard of Corduroy until the Women Chef and Restaurateurs had a planning meeting. The luncheon was outstanding, the service subtle and astitute. After reading all of these wonderful post I need to go back.

There are four stages of life: eating, thinking about eating, dieting and thinking about dieting. Money makes the world go round but lets face facts, you have to eat everyday. Paraphrasing from Memoirs of Bambi Goldbloom.
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While the timing of my visit to DC unfortunately did not coincide with the party for DonRocks, I was fortunate enough to get to Corduroy this past Thursday night with my family. In a word our dinner was outstanding. I had the lobster and basil appetizer while one son had the buffalo mozzarella "porcupine, both of which werre fantastic. The only dish of the evening that I was at all disappointed with were the oysters with mignonette my wife had as an appetizer. Mind you, they were still quite good, but they were a small asian variety, difficult to slurp out of the shell and missing the brininess I so love in oysters. Thw mignonette was good, but my preference goes to the natural brine and a little lemon squeeze. This criticism is all about personal preference and should be taken as such.

The mains rocked. I had the grouper with lentils and pureed potatoes. My dish was clean by the time I was done with it.. My wife had the scallops, one son the Wagyu and another the lamb steak with the goat cheese ravili. Our five year old had the kids ravioli. All of these dishes were amazing. I normally despise kids menus, but these raviolis were so good i could have eaten them myself and been happy. Our wine was a Chapoutier white hermitage from 1998 - an outstanding wine and outstanding value.

Desserts consisted of an apple tart, chocolate "sabayon" pineapple sorbet and chocolate tart, once again all superb.

A criticism of the restaurant that I had read was of the decor. While it certainly isn't the incredible decor I have ever encountered in a restaurant, I certainly have no complaints about it. I was quite comfortable and would sooner have this level of food regardless of the decor than a place with an incredible decor and mediocre food.

John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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The food is excellent. Because I travel over 100 days a year and spend far too many nights in hotels I find the ambience for the second floor dining room lacking and nondescript-for me. If his same dishes were in a room with more "character" in, say, Old Town (to compliment Eve) this could be an outstanding experience. In the right setting this chef could really soar.

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But to be fair, Corduroy has added some flair - art on the walls and strings of metal beads separating the bar from the dining room - to the room since the intial Sietsema review likening the decor to an aiport lounge.

Bill Russell

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But to be fair, Corduroy has added some flair - art on the walls and strings of metal beads separating the bar from the dining room - to the room since the intial Sietsema review likening the decor to an aiport lounge.

If your eyelids become heavy and your eyeballs begin to roll up in their sockets, as mine did when I last enjoyed this chef's artistic Powers, you don't notice the decor at all.

Don’t you have a machine that puts food into the mouth and pushes it down?

--Nikita Khrushchev to Richard Nixon during the "Kitchen Debate" in Moscow, 1959

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The food is excellent.  Because I travel over 100 days a year and spend far too many nights in hotels I find the ambience for the second floor dining room lacking and nondescript-for me.  If his same dishes were in a room with more "character" in, say, Old Town (to compliment Eve) this could be an outstanding experience.  In the right setting this chef could really soar.

IS that to say a room affects the flavor of food or the quality of service? Huh? How can good food, served correctly taste any different or lessen because of the room you are sitting in? It is still the same food... Served the same way... Regardless of the environs, great is great. I have eaten there a number of times and have not been disappointed once. How does art on the walls or sitting at one table or another make a bit of difference. If it's great food, served correctly who cares? Maybe I'm just simple...

Edited by sdelgato (log)

"I know the human being and fish can coexist peacefully."

—George W. Bush in Saginaw, Mich., Sept. 29, 2000

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The food is excellent.  Because I travel over 100 days a year and spend far too many nights in hotels I find the ambience for the second floor dining room lacking and nondescript-for me.  If his same dishes were in a room with more "character" in, say, Old Town (to compliment Eve) this could be an outstanding experience.  In the right setting this chef could really soar.

IS that to say a room affects the flavor of food or the quality of service? Huh? How can good food, served correctly taste any different or lessen because of the room you are sitting in? It is still the same food... Served the same way... Huh?

He was saying that the overall "experience" would be outstanding in a different room, not the food.

I don't agree that the experience at Corduroy as it is right now, in the room it is in, isn't outstanding. But I do agree that the atmosphere of a restaurant affects the overall experience.

A meal of Michel Richard's food is a more enjoyable experience sitting in front of the kitchen at Citronelle than the same food would be if served at, for example, the basement of Full Kee.

Edited by bilrus (log)

Bill Russell

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A meal of Michel Richard's food is a more enjoyable experience sitting in front of the kitchen at Citronelle than the same food would be if served at, for example, the basement of Full Kee.

And I found the over-the-top, overdressed look of the room at the Inn at Little Washington detracted from the food. It's all personal taste.

The decor at Corduroy left me cold. But I'd cope if I could eat those scallops every night.

Heather Johnson

In Good Thyme

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A meal of Michel Richard's food is a more enjoyable experience sitting in front of the kitchen at Citronelle than the same food would be if served at, for example, the basement of Full Kee.

And I found the over-the-top, overdressed look of the room at the Inn at Little Washington detracted from the food. It's all personal taste.

The decor at Corduroy left me cold. But I'd cope if I could eat those scallops every night.

I think I told you the other day that I thought the decor at the Inn reminded me of a Victorian whorehouse.

Anyone watch Deadwood? It's a lot like the Chez Amis.

Edited by bilrus (log)

Bill Russell

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A meal of Michel Richard's food is a more enjoyable experience sitting in front of the kitchen at Citronelle than the same food would be if served at, for example, the basement of Full Kee.

And I found the over-the-top, overdressed look of the room at the Inn at Little Washington detracted from the food. It's all personal taste.

The decor at Corduroy left me cold. But I'd cope if I could eat those scallops every night.

I think I told you the other day that I thought the decor at the Inn reminded me of a Victorian whorehouse.

Anyone watch Deadwood? It's a lot like the Chez Amis.

except without the dead hookers... love that show!!

"I know the human being and fish can coexist peacefully."

—George W. Bush in Saginaw, Mich., Sept. 29, 2000

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I think I told you the other day that I thought the decor at the Inn reminded me of a Victorian whorehouse. 

Anyone watch Deadwood?  It's a lot like the Chez Amis.

Wow, you hit the nail on the head! :raz: The giant fringed lampshade that was low enough to bump my dining companion's head was definitely a distraction.

But back to Corduroy - I finally went for the first time last week and I was expecting a brightly lit, gray-upholstered, airport lounge monstrosity from all I've heard, so I was actually pleasantly surprised. Nice lighting, a few glass vases here and there, and you have to give them credit for frosting the glass so you can't see the Sheraton gym. The scallops and the chocolate sabayon were phenomenal, as reported here.

Amanda

Metrocurean, a D.C. restaurant and food blog

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  • 3 weeks later...

I thought I would keep this thread going...

I like Corduroy just the way it is. I like the it's not right on the street -- it keeps the annoying tourists in their Hawaiian shorts and Bermuda shorts from coming in, ordering White Zinfandel (now that I think about it, I don't even thing they have it on the menu) and ruining the experience. It's a foodie hangout. We know about it and appreciate it.

Of course...This might not be the best thing for the owners.

In case anyone from Corduroy is reading...There is an empty space for lease at Connecticut Ave and Macomb, right next to Cactus Cantina. PLEASE MOVE THERE!! I promise I'll be there for dinner every day. :biggrin:

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In case anyone from Corduroy is reading...There is an empty space for lease at Connecticut Ave and Macomb, right next to Cactus Cantina. PLEASE MOVE THERE!! I promise I'll be there for dinner every day.  :biggrin:

But then Corduroy would also be cheek-by-guanciale with 2 Amys! That would present a major dilemma.

"Mine goes off like a rocket." -- Tom Sietsema, Washington Post, Feb. 16.

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I find the entire menu really brilliant. Lobster, fantastic. Tuna, devine. Wine list, criminally cheap. Nothing on that list would make me cringe price wise. It's the one list in the city where I have no problems ordering anything because I know it's priced extrememly fair as compaired to shelf prices in stores.

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I think the spring rolls are only available on the bar menu but the many Corduroy experts on this board would know better than me. The mozzarella porcupine is great too.

Don't miss their desserts either...chocolate tart is great for chocolate lovers.

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The mozzarella porcupine is great too.

Don't miss their desserts either...chocolate tart is great for chocolate lovers.

I will second the porcupine and if you like softshell crabs try the app if it is available. Simply put, it was the best one I have ever eaten.

Wearing jeans to the best restaurants in town.
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There are times in life when your expectations are so high that you cannot help being disappointed. Saturday night at Corduroy was an exception to this. Our dinner was fantastic, and a huge thank you goes to eGullet’s own Fero Style for taking such great care of us, which included paring wines with our dishes. My plan had been to order the Mozzarella Porcupine and the Lamb Sirloin with Goat Cheese Ravioli. However, we were also informed that they could do a tasting menu as well. With those words, my plans were tossed, and we chose to order the 5 course tasting menu. Our 5 courses consisted of the following:

1. Oysters – the 3 oysters were good, but difficult to slurp out of the shell. I am not a big oyster person, so this was the least impressive dish for me.

2. Lobster Salad – a wonderful salad consisting of chilled chunks of lobster served with baby arugula drizzled with basil oil.

3. Sorrell Soup – This soup was spectacular, and was served cold and contained the same basil oil as was used in the Lobster Salad. This was one of the highlights of our meal.

4. Red Snapper Bisque – I don’t like red snapper, and I also have not had a good bisque in a restaurant for a couple of years. Yet, this soup was full of flavor and one that I would order again.

5. Scallop – served with garlic mashed potatoes and morel mushrooms. I ate this with some initial trepidation, as we were informed that the chef gets his scallops from New Jersey. Since I grew up in New Jersey, I had visions of ingesting scallops freshly harvested from the Hudson River. :wink: However, this was probably my favorite dish, as the scallop was seared perfectly and had such a fresh, clean taste.

6. Beef Cheeks – prepared osso bucco style and served with tarbais beans. Each bite melted in my mouth. Fabulous.

7. Wagyu Steak – At this point we were expecting to have dessert. However, we were told that they had an additional entrée for us. Twist my arm; I guess I will eat the steak. :biggrin: The Wagyu was such a flavorful steak. My wife was stuffed so I was a good husband and helped clean her plate.

8. Dessert – consisted of the chocolate tart and a strawberry tart. I don’t remember much at this point (food coma had kicked in) but neither plate had anything left on them when we were done. As good as the chocolate tart is, that strawberry tart was outrageously good.

At $55 per person, this is one of the best “bargains” in town, especially since our 5 courses turned into 8 courses. Chef Tom Power stopped by to talk with us on our way out. He told me that he is originally from New Jersey, and after swapping Jersey Geography stories, he told us that the scallops come from southern New Jersey. I cannot recommend the tasting menu enough, as it gave us a great opportunity to sample several items on the menu, which included many items that I would not normally order. Thanks again to the staff at Corduroy for a wonderful experience.

"My cat's breath smells like cat food."

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