Sunday, January 23, 2011

Eating Out - American

Neither of us were looking photogenic, so you'll have to settle for this fish (which was very photogenic).

RIS (American)

All told, this has been a pretty crappy week for the Kuethes. I spent the first part of the week battling a cold, and Kathryn fought the same ailment over the weekend. All was not lost, however. We had about 6 hours where we were both healthy enough to venture out for dinner. We were finally able to checkout RIS, an upscale American restaurant that serves updated classics without pretense.

  • RIS is just down the street from us. It opened about a year ago to a bunch of fanfare. The chef, Ris Lacoste, has been a favorite of the DC restauranti for years. Although we follow the DC food scene, we tend to frequent the low-rent ethnic joints, and we're not as up on "chef" culture. To attack this deficiency firsthand, we made a late night seating at RIS to celebrate Winter Restaurant Week, where, just like Summer Restaurant Week, each restaurant offers a fixed price prix fixe menu.
  • The appetizers: Kathryn tried the gnudi (a variation of gnocchi), but I went with the wonton soup. These sort of disparate dishes side-by-side on the menu are RIS's calling card. They were both very good, but once again, Kathryn picked the better dish.
  • In order to avoid getting out-picked for the main course, I ordered what Kathryn ordered. The pan roasted Chesapeake rockfish, served with potato confit, pickled onions, olives, cured lemons, Parmesean cream, and minted pine nuts. It was absolutely-knock-your-socks-off-good!
  • We each ordered our own dessert. This is the kind of thing that only happens with prix fixe dinners. I had the ice cream and cookies (both made in house). The chocolate and banana ice creams were outstanding, and the cookies were pretty good, too. Kathryn had a flour-less chocolate cake with bourbon ice cream. It was probably the better dessert, but the bourbon ice cream was definitely my favorite food of the night.
  • In sum, RIS is one heck of a nice restaurant. Reviewers sometimes pick on the hodgepodge menu of comfort foods from various cuisines, but I think that the restaurant proves that all sorts of cuisines define modern American comfort foods. And at RIS, these foods are expertly prepared.

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