Two of Georgetown’s classiest restaurants — 1789 and Wolfgang Puck’s Cut at the Rosewood hotel — have reopened their dining rooms in time for Valentine’s Day and are offering Restaurant Week deals.
Their gifted chefs are now orchestrating memorable meals in house (following coronavirus safety protocols, of course), as well as providing ready-to-serve packages for fine dining at home.
At historic 1789, new chef Kyoo Eom brings a sensibility honed at Daniel Boulud’s French restaurants in New York, as well as locally at 2941 Restaurant and Poste Moderne Brasserie. His goal, he says, is to “elevate classics for modern day tastes.” Tournedos Rossini, an intricate presentation of the “softest, flavorful” beef, and foie gras with a truffle-laced sauce exemplify French elegance.
Dishes offered for takeout as well as in house, like Syrah-braised short ribs in red wine and brioche-crusted halibut with an elusively flavored mussel, saffron, wine and cream broth — travel home tastefully. The entire menu is offered as an expanded Restaurant Week in-house option at $55 with a very few supplemental charges and a $15 truffle add-on. It is available Tuesday through Sunday, Jan. 26 to 31, and Tuesday through Saturday, Feb. 2 to 6.
For Valentine’s celebrations, an elegant dine-in-only menu will be exclusively offered at $89, with a $25 truffle ad-on, from Feb. 11 to 14. Choices include a classic seared fois gras appetizer and a luxurious surf-and-turf with filet mignon and lobster. Pastry chef Shari Maciejewski — another recent recruit, who baked at the Inn at Little Washington — describes one of her decadent desserts as showcasing “all the flavors that people love about chocolate.” Indeed, 1789 keys into chocolate love with a Valentine’s at-home package of champagne and chocolate truffles offered for $88 through Tock.
Regulars returning to 1789’s traditional dining rooms are greeted by a familiar face: Brian Zipin, former GM and wine director at Michel Richard’s Central as well as at Citronelle. Zipin, whose wine expertise is matched by his mixology skills, has developed some complex cocktails. These pre-dinner drinks are popular with the mid-30s crowd and younger diners who have “discovered” the reopened dining rooms. Couples who have been celebrating anniversaries and birthdays here for years are equally pleased to be back, he says.
The Rosewood hotel’s chic, airy lounge and spacious dining areas are welcoming neighborhood regulars and local families. Cut executive chef Andrew Skala, a Wolfgang Puck restaurant veteran (in L.A., Las Vegas and New York), offers a distinctive menu, elevating mid-Atlantic produce and meats.
An elaborate Peking duck service is emblematic. Plated on a lazy Susan, its centerpiece is a duck of “fantastic quality” prepared in a classic manner. Among the accompaniments are tortillas made in house, duck tamales, a fire-roasted persimmon salsa, pickled vegetables, a black bean hoisin sauce and fresh cut radish, cucumber and lettuce leaves for wraps. The dish is also offered in a takeout, tailored format.
Skala’s vegetable dishes are as interesting as the restaurant’s signature dry-aged beef choices. A prime example — the fire-roasted, plancha-grilled eggplant with green curry, garlic and coriander — owes its “meatier” flavor and texture to something he says he discovered by accident. After roasting in a smoker oven, it is hung above the grill.
Cut’s Restaurant Week menu, featuring Amish chicken or beef filet, is offered for takeout only for two ($100) or four ($200) through Feb. 7. An elegant Valentine’s Day takeout package for two at $250 features a caviar-topped crepe and main courses of steak and turbot, underscored by imaginative vegetable sides.
In the lounge, a youngish clientele sips cocktails showcasing local distilleries while sampling small plates of creatively composed vegetables and a popular classic burger. A robust wine program, overseen by restaurant and bar director Evan Moore, highlights local makers like Thibaut-Janisson.