Chef Daniel Boulud opened DBGB over two years ago in DC and at first nobody could get in; it was in instant hit. So I was surprised to see they had room just 2 days prior for a Friday night/holiday weekend during IMF when everything in DC seemed to be booked. I had tasted some of Chef Ed Scarpone's treats at various foodie events, but had sadly never made it in; bad me.
Four of us headed over and we had a glorious time dining outside in gorgeous weather overlooking the fun plaza at City Center DC, which has quickly become on of the hottest dining and shopping destinations around town.
The menu is not huge, but there were so many wonderful things to choose and tit was hard to decide. We asked our server Luis, who was helpful with guidance. I started with a Baby Why Can't We Elope, which was a bit sweeter that I had hoped, so I didn't fall in love with the vodka drink made with yuzu and cantaloupe. The salty flatbread and sourdough bread was perfect with the most wonderful salted butter as well.
After we ordered, we were in shock when multiple plates arrived "from the chef."First came two of the Tarte Flambee, that amazing Alsatian flatbread of fromage blanc, onion and bacon, that was truly irresistible. We must have failed to order any veggies, so Chef Ed sent us three spectacular veggie starters that would have blown the tastebuds away of any vegetarian!
Roasted Delicata squash was probably my favorite with brown butter, sage, pomegranate, lemon crème fraîche, pumpkin seed and yogurt.
SWEET AND SOUR EGGPLANT was a major hit with honey baked eggplant, sherry vinegar, sumac yogurt, mint, chickpea socca
And while we liked the CHARRED YOUNG LEEKS with crispy fried egg, dijonnaise, smoked soy vinaigrette, it suffered from being quite salty and intense on the palate.
We prayed that no more would come, as we had ordered enough to start and then our starters came after a nice long rest.
Grilled Kale Salad with brussels sprouts & sweet potato, a gorgeous Roasted Corn Salad with cojita cheese, pickled shallot, cilantro, scallion and garlic aioli and two of had the
superb Octopus a la Plancha with bonito, pickled ginger and tonkatsu sauce.
Our host was a friend and winemaker from Oregon so we opened a delicious bottle of his 2013 Native Flora Jaguar Pinot Noir and it is always a treat to drink any of his wines, but the chef, sommelier and staff were truly impressed with its delicacy, finesse and quality. I must also give them credit for using fine Riedel for all the wines they serve. I actually had a glass of Lamy-Pillot St. Aubin 1er Cru 2006 "Les Charmois" that was tasty, if a bit funky due to its age, but a fine pairing with my appetizer size Hand-Cut Steak Tartare with pickled Veggies and Egg Dressing. The tartare was very traditional and superb with lots of intensity from the meat making that truly shine. (I am so glad I changed my order to the appetizer size!).
Sausages are stars here so there were Thai with Lemongrass, pork, red curry, green papaya, peanut, quail egg and basil fried rice which is really a meal in itself and apparently the top seller. Nobody can deny, though, that the Boudin Blanc is a star with Truffled Pork, Apples and Pommes Mousseline; it's like butter (to quote Barbra) was all we could think.
Our server Luis always had a smile, and was always helpful, but he also seemed to be so personable with everyone he was helping, and the outdoor seating area was indeed full.
Sommelier Andrew has chosen some nice wines for the menu and we need to head to back to try them as well as so many other dishes that were truly mouth-watering.
Bravo to the entire team at DBGB which has settled in to be a great DC bistro. It's so nice to welcome Daniel Boulud back to DC after almost 3 decades!