Arrived late into DC, most of the restaurants that we wanted to go to were already fully booked. Didn’t want to stay out late, so we settled for a restaurant next to Courtyard Downtown.
A few years back, Chef/Owner Tom Power moved the restaurant from a downtown location to a converted townhouse across from the Convention Center. Corduroy featured local sourced produce, kind of farm-to-table, prepared in a strict French technique with New American tones. The main dining room is formal but not stuffy. Bright wood, soft lighting, and dark accents wind through the space with white-tablecloth elegance.
Nuits Saint Georges, Domaine Henri Gouges, Clos Des Porrets St. Georges, 1er Cru, 2011
Driving up from Beaune, Nuits-Saint-Georges marks the start of the Cote de Nuits, the northern half of the Cote d’Or. The appellation is split into two by the river Meuzin and the town which hugs it. Although there are no grand crus, there are a wealth of premier crus (27 in total) ranging in style depending on vineyards particular aspect and geology. The vineyards to the south are often held to be the richest and most age-worthy and include Les Saint Georges.
Nice bright ruby at the rim. Complex nose, meaty and earthy aromas dominating the dark fruit. Well structured with acidity to the fore, backed up by fine tannins. Tasty dry pinot noir.
Sold out in most wine cellars online, was so glad to find a half bottle here.
It was a quiet night for the restaurant – Congress was in recess and the Convention Center has not really came back to live. But given that the rest of the popular places were fully booked, we were not convinced about our pick. But when the food started coming, our doubts were quickly dispelled. The creativity comes from the combinations of primary ingredients rather than elaborate plating.
The baguette was fresh and delicious, crusty on the outside and soft and fluffy on the inside. Mopped it with the creamy locally sourced butter, it was a great snack to munch while we waited for our meal.
Grilled Ishtar And Golden Rod Squash Salad
Ishtar is the hybrid name for a pale green zucchini and Golden Rod is a precocious yellow variety of squash. Cut and grilled with a simple dash of olive oil and salt and pepper, this was a simple good eats for the summer.
Special Marinated Heirloom Tomato From Virginia with Olive Oil and Balsamic Vinegar
The maitre’d introduced this special for the evening, which Chef Tom got the inspiration from his Japanese partner. The heirloom tomato was marinated in a umeboshi brine and then dressed with olive oil and balsamic vinegar to produce this fruit tomato appetiser.
The appetisers were delicious, and now we looked forward to the main courses.
Peppered Rare Tuna with Hijiki and Sushi Rice
Another Japanese influenced main course with the a tuna steak lightly seared on the outside and crusted with furikake (rice seasoning). Served with a side of sushi rice and hijiki (seasoned seaweed) just like how they do it in Japan. It was a welcome sight after a week in New York to see something Asian on our menu in DC.
Charcoal Grilled Prime Beef Striploin with Roasted Fingerling Potatoes and Shallot Jus
This is French style fine dining, so don’t expect a huge slab of meat on the plate. This USDA Prime striploin was just the right size me, at medium rare and really juicy. Fingerling potatoes were great as there wasn’t any residue duck fats from the roasting. And the au jus infused with caramelised shallots was the binding sauce just right for the steak and potatoes. Served with a small side of creamed spinach.
Corduroy is understated, sophisticated and impressive. You don’t need a (Michelin) star to be good, and Corduroy exemplified that. Service was extremely good. I will definitely return here if I come back to DC.
1122 9th Street, Washington, DC 20001
Tel : +1 (202) 589-0699
Visited in Aug 2022