Saturday, March 31, 2007

CHEF GEOFF comes and goes

Saturday evening after attending a thrilling performance of the live spectacle GO DIEGO GO with our kids we decided to head across the street from the Warner Theater and sup at CHEF GEOFF's a Washington standard in the theater district (or what we have of it) for many years. We have been before and always were pleased, but with 6 adults and 3 three and a half year olds, it was a true test for the restaurant.

I first found it odd that our server could not take the kids' food order and our drink order at the same time. The bar is one way, and the kitchen the other, he explained. So it took some time to get things coordinated. Once the kids were settled with their orders, which to me tasted quite sad, we could continue with ours. Sam ordered the "create your own pizza" which offers toppings of mozzarella, tomato, parmesan, cheese and "green stuff" which frankly doesnt sound
very appetizing. The "create your own penne pasta" has the same options and that's the entire children's menu, which actually surprised me. Sam's pizza with mozzarella and tomato was about the blandest I ever tasted (even the crust), but at least he ate 1/2 of it.

I must give credit for the excellent ($7) Cosmopolitans which are perfectly mixed and then served from a shaker at the table. BUT, WHY does the server remove the shaker with the rest of the drink? Do they reuse this? I doubt out, and frankly I would like to finish off what I paid for, especially since the martini glasses are not that big!

WEST CAPE HOWE 2005 Unoaked Chardonnay has an intense citrus flavor and makes a nice wine for appetizers. It is one of the few wines in the low to mid-$30 range on the menu, which again, surprised me. When we are out with so many people, we like to avoid high priced wines as it is often unfair to those who don't drink as much.

The CRAB FRITTERS with GREEN TARTAR SAUCE which my server steered me to were superb. Crunchy, crab filled and while I am not a tartar sauce nut, the green, slightly spicy version was a big improvement over any I have ever had. The SHRIMP & CALAMARI FRITTO MISTO with SAMBAL AOILI actually came with 3 dips and was quite a huge portion. After Sam's recent love affair with Calamari, we thought he would be anxious to try it again. WRONG! So much for toddler's eating habits. One of the oddest appetizers was the FRENCH ONION SOUP, which was a deconstructed version of the traditional, with a nice soup being served with a huge cold slice of crouton and some cold shredded cheese on it on the side. Sorry, folks, but this doesn't even come close to bad bistro. "FRENCH" Onion Soup is not French without that completely gooey cover piping hot and just melted all over the soaking, yet crisp, crouton underneath.

The entrees fared much better in all categories. The excellent OLD VINE RED Petit Syrah-Zinfandel Bin #41 from Marietta is a find and bargain in the $30-range and pairs superbly with the excellent burgers.We opted for the DC CHEDDAR BACON Burger with CHIPOTLE MAYO. The Mayo was nice and spicy and gret with the fries and the burger was juicy and tasty...a true gem.

Sadly, the long afternoon and difficult start to the dinner made us cut short our visit before dessert as the kids got pretty antsy....

HAPPY PASSOVER--don't eat as much as I do!