Thursday, August 17, 2006

return to Restaurant Week-I'm at INDEBLEU

As always, we do try to enjoy a Restaurant Week discount dinner of three courses at $30.06, so last night we chose our one spot this week which was INDEBLEU at 707 G St, NW (

Generally speaking, Restaurant Week can be a good deal, but the service can be sketchy. We told our server we wanted to dine casually, and for the most part, she got everything right. Although our drink order was delayed over 20 minutes and the first bottle of wine came BEFORE the drinks. Ultimately, everything was ironed out by the sommelier as he held our food so that we didn't end up having entrees within seconds of our appetizer, or the wrong wine with the wrong course. Thanks to him!

On arrival, I was immediately sticker-shocked by the new $15 valet parking fee. I can't think of another place in town with this price, and in the future, we shall have to plan to arrive at 630PM to take advantage of the post-rush hour street parking! $15 will surely be better spent on wine!

Indebleu was literally heaving, with some kind of paparazzi party downstairs at the bar (I had to decline the photo op when we went from our car through the red carpeted entryway (were we at the Oscars?)). The dining room as always been a quieter oasis then downstairs, but last night it was busy, and the music (although, pleasant) seemed to be cranked up a bit and faster. All I can say that this felt like an urge to move faster and get more tables served; perhaps I was wrong. Luckily, we slowed down and in the end had a most pleasant experience.

We all ordered the $30.06 three course and we all started with the magnificent BRAISED VEAL SHANK SOMOSAs with CAULIFLOWER PUREE and HOT & SWEET MANGO CHUTNEY. The little puffy pillows were made of perfect pastry and the filling was delish, not to mention both the puree and chutney, which we all mopped up with the superb Naan. The drinks, as always, are fun from the Blackberry Mojito to the Lycheetini (made with
lychee flavored vodka) and the "Holy Basil" a blend of champagne & basil sirop de gomme, which is like a sllightly herbed champagne cocktail.

Our first wine was a refreshing VINA ALJIBES ROSADO(Rose) Tierra de Casillas 2005 made from Syrah and having the slightest ever fizz. Will called it "effervescent rose petals with a hint of raspberry." Our second and final wine was a MORGAN "Metallico" Chardonnay 2005 from Monterey in California, which really hints back to the French Burgundy Chardonnays with lots of minerals and only the slightest hint of oak. It was a nice change, and I always forget what good wines Morgan makes.

Our entrees did not fare as well across the board. The OVEN ROASTED CHICKEN BREAST MASALA with Potatoes Lyonnaise & Corn Cilantro Relish was okay, the PAN SEARED MONKFISH on FENNEL-TOMATO SALAD & Mussel "Rasam" got a "boring" from two friends; indeed the fish seemed more steamed than seared. The winner was my SLOW POACHED SALMON in Olive Oil with "poha" Pressed Rice Salad in Limoncello-Butter Reduction which was a wonderful piece of fish, perfectly cooked and a superb sauce as well.

Desserts were the same all around and this time no complaints for the MILK CHOCOLATE MOUSSE with Caramelized Banana, Caramel Ice Cream (tuille) and Curry Dust. Rich, yes, but the ice cream did cut the mousse's sweetness as did the banana.