Ris–Washington D.C.

I go to DC periodically and enjoy hitting the trendy spots about town. On my last visit, I had delightful meals  at two bistros, Ris and Central Michel Richard.

Ris is in Foggy Bottom, right near Trader Joe’s and George Washington University. Chef Ris Lacoste is in the kitchen, for the first time in her own restaurant. The dining room is large and, depending on where you are seated, can be loud.  There’s nothing cozy about the place, but we had a nice table in the back where we received attentive and professional service.

The menu is modern American, and while you’ll see many dishes you recognize, Chef Lacoste has put her own spin on them.  We started with posole, which was chock full of tender chunks of pork and hominy, and topped with radish slices and sprouts. My favorite dish of the night, and in fact the entire trip, was her take on soft shelled crab. We were in DC during the height of that crustacean’s seasonal appearance, so I had it more than once and this rendition was sensational.  The crabs were small, so the plate featured two of them, on fava bean puree accompanied by a flavorful onion jam. It was so much more lively than the ubiquitous lemon butter theme, and the crab really popped in this setting.

Dinner spotlights other cuisines of the globe–a glistening lamb shank sat atop a creamy yogurt based sauce and was sprinkled with pomegranate seeds, while the thai salmon and soba noodles floated in a broth redolent of red curry.

The wine list was pricey, but hey, this is Washington, DC.

As is often the case, I found the choice of appetizers to be more inspired than the entrees. Next time around, I’ll try to grab a seat at the bar and try a few more.

Look for another post to follow shortly about Central.

Ris on Urbanspoon

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