Mike Berman’s Washington Watch

May 30, 2007 10:06 AM

Restaurant: PS7


777 I Street NW
Washington, D.C.
The restaurant opened in September 2006. The PS is from the name of the chef/owner Peter Smith and the 7 comes from the 777 address.

As you enter the restaurant, there is bar area to the right. There are 10 high stools at the bar, and a seating area, with a padded high backbench, along one wall, and a variety of comfortable chairs that in total seems to accommodate about two dozen people.

The dining area is to the left. First, there is a dining room filled with tables of 4 and tables of 2 that could be moved around to create larger tables. The room holds about 40 as configured. Outside the dining room is another dining area that runs the length of what is a fairly narrow room. The dining area is on two levels, running the length of the area. On the raised area there is a row of 4s and deuces. On the floor, there is a another row of 4s, and across the narrow area of couple of deuces. The area seems to seat about 32. At the end of this area there is a semi-private dining area. There is a curtain that is pulled over the large opening to the area. The evening we were there it had one large table that could seat 10 around a large square. But it appeared that it could also be broken up into four 4s.

The menu is somewhat unusual. There are 5 columns of items with a price at the top of each column, being the cost of each of the items. The columns ranged from $10 to $23. There is a sixth column that is a 5-course tasting menu, priced at $77 and $107 with wines. The foods in each column seem to grow in size of portion from the lowest priced to the highest priced. It appears that the $10, $13 and $15 columns are intended to be appetizers, but for sure the items in the $15 column work well as small entrees.

I started with Sarah's Salad, composed of Bosc pears, Maytag blue cheese, dried cherries, spiced walnuts, pickled pearl onions, mini croutons, and Pear Nectar Dressing. I then selected as my "entree" two items. From the $13 column I chose Speck Ham Wrapped Monkfish, with spice roasted butternut squash and Chanterelle Mushroom Broth. The other selection from the $15 column was Pan Roast Duck Breast, with Mission figs, raised parsnips and Roasted pearl onions with Rosemary Jus. For certain the latter dish was ample as a main course. The other 8 people in our group selected a variety of items, including Butter Nut Squash Soup, Portobella Mushroom Carpaccio, Sarah's Salad, Pan Roasted Rockfish, Pan Seared Sea Scallops, and Red Wine Braised Beef Shortribs.

No one in our group had dessert, but there are some appropriately decadent selections.

The men's room is all black, except for the white wash basins, urinals, commode, and large charcoal gray tiles covering the floor. There are black mid-size tiles from floor to ceiling, covering the entire back wall. The lighting is subdued. As you enter the room you can't help but notice to your left, at about the 6+ foot level, two gold fish bowls embedded in the wall. There are several goldfish swimming in each one. There is an opening at the top of the bowl that allows air into the bowl. There are two urinals straight ahead, separated by a partial wall between them, that is about 3 feet high. The commode is situated next to the urinals, but it is enclosed in floor-to-ceiling walls and a door. Across from the commode area is a black marble counter with two wash basis and a large round mirror.

There is valet parking.

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