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Café du Parc

In my last post, I described our arrival in Washington, D.C., a week ago yesterday and our activities in the late afternoon. Here I’ll say a few words about dinner that night. When we stayed at the Willard in late January, we had dinner one night at Café du Parc, one of the hotel restaurants.

I described Café du Parc and that earlier meal in this post. As I noted there, it is a French bistro “conceptualized” and overseen by the Alsatian chef Antoine Westermann, who established the three-star restaurant Le Buerehiesel in Strasbourg. We were sufficiently happy with our meal that we were happy to return last week. And I knew exactly what I wanted to start with: the tarte flambée Alsacienne, described on the menu as Alsatian style pizza topped with smoked bacon, onions and fromage blanc. I loved it in January and had been looking forward for days to having it again.

It is indeed good, but extremely filling. I thought I had successfully addressed that by suggesting to Gail that we split it, along with splitting their petite salade verte organique — organic mixed green with balsamic vinaigrette and fresh herbs. That’s what we did, and both were delicious, but still way too filling.

For my entrée, I had a dish I don’t remember seeing on the menu in January: Boulettes épicées de porc et boeuf, described as spiced meatballs with potato gnocchi, fresh salsa and aragula [sic] salad. A great choice. The meatballs had excellent flavor, the arugula was a fabulous complement, and the potato gnocchi was a delight. The only problem was that I was getting full. Gail had the Tagliatelle ”Primavera” — tagliatelles with forest mushrooms, green asparagus and a light morel cream sauce. She was delighted as well, though she might have been content with a few fewer mushrooms.

Full though I was, I didn’t see how to leave without at least tasting one of their marvelous desserts. There was Profiteroles au chocolat chauf — puff pastry filled with vanilla ice cream, served with a warm chocolate sauce — which I happily ate in January. And there was another dessert, not listed on the on-line menu so I can’t properly describe it, but it was some sort of crepe rolled around some ice cream. I went with the profiteroles. As the waiter took the plate away, he asked how it was, and then mentioned — as if he remembered my having profiteroles in January — that we should try some of the newer desserts. I told him how tempted I was by the crepes and he said yes, I should have them, they were just added to the menu that day. He urged us to talk to him next time, if we arranged to have him as our waiter, and he would advise us.

I was thrilled to be a Café du Parc regular. Nothing would make me happier than to return soon. Maybe we should. It’s hard to think of a better way to pass a few days than to go to DC, visit some museums, drive to some historical or scenic sites in the region, stay at the Willard, and have dinner at Café du Parc on our final evening.

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Categories: Food, Restaurants, Travel
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  1. May 13, 2010 at 4:24 PM

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