Mike Berman’s Washington Watch

May 30, 2007 10:07 AM

Restaurant: Corduroy


1201 K Street NW
Washington, D.C. 20005
Fax 202-589-0688
When you arrive at 12th and K and don't immediately see the restaurant, don't give up. The restaurant is located on the 2nd floor of the Four Points Hotel.

Chris and I arrived for lunch, and saw a large sign in a main floor window that would make you believe that the restaurant is behind that window. No such luck. The only way to the restaurant is through the hotel lobby, but even when you enter the lobby, the location of the restaurant is still a mystery. We never did see a sign directing us to the restaurant. Chris asked a person walking by and they directed us upstairs. We took the elevator to the 2nd floor. Even when we got off the elevator, it was a challenge to find the restaurant. Turn right after you get off the elevator, or left, if you decide to use the stairs. As you enter there is, directly ahead, a walled-off area, including a long bar and a good number of tables.

There are about 70 seats - 2s & 4s - with a banquette running along the far wall of the dining room. I tried to get a noon reservation, but could not get a reservation before 12:30 p.m. It was a little hard to understand that limitation since there were a number of tables available when we arrived, and it does not seem likely that at that hour they had been vacated by a first round of diners. It seemed particularly noisy as the dining room filled up.

Service was timely, but I don't think we saw a single smile on a captain, serving person, or bus person during our entire visit. There are 8 first courses, 8 second courses, and 10 desserts. The prices are moderate.

Chris had the potato leek soup, which was just okay, followed by duck confit with savoy cabbage. I had the warm goat cheese in crispy potato - which was quite good. The cheese was firm and warm, and the fine string potatoes were very crispy.

For my second course, I chose crispy striped bass with sherry vinegar sauce. We shared pistachio bread pudding with a dollop of ice cream. The portion sizes were about right for lunch.

The restaurant does not have its own bathroom. Rather you are directed to the hotel bathroom, which is like a thousand other standard hotel bathrooms ... not worth writing about. Finding it is also a challenge.

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