Mike Berman’s Washington Watch

September 13, 2013 11:52 AM

Restaurant: Nopa


Kitchen & Bar
800 F Street NW
Washington, DC 20004
Debbie and I went with Hilary and Campbell to NOPA. This is one ofAshok Bajaj’s restaurants, which include 701, Aredeo, Bardeo, Bibiana, the Bombay Club, The Oval Room, Rasika, and now NOPA.

The restaurant is on the 2nd floor of the building at 800 F Street. There are two flights of stairs, one outside and the other inside the restaurant. Dead ahead as you enter is the host station; to the left is a long bar with stools. To the right is the main dining room of the restaurant, which includes a variety of tables and banquettes in several areas marked off by partial walls. Toward the back of the restaurant are three, very well-appointed, private dining rooms seating up to 36 people, 24 people and14 people. At capacity the restaurant seats 160 people.

It was Restaurant Week so the usually large menu was shortened, but still provided ample choices.

Hilary began with Tomato Gazpacho, Parmesan Croutons. Campbell picked Mixed Baby Lettuces, Champagne Vinaigrette. Debbie selected Baby Beet and Mandarin Orange Salad, Aged Goat Cheese, Black Truffle Vinaigrette. I opted for Nantucket Style Smoked Bluefish Pate, Red Onion, Black Rooster Baltic Rye. (This was a pate that I had not tried before and it is particularly good.)

For her entrée, Debbie picked Hanger Steak, Smoked Mustard Sauce, Nopa Steak Frites. Campbell, Hilary and I all selected the Chilean Seatbass, Japanese Eggplant, Wasabi Sweet Pea Puree. (Chilean Sea Bass is my favorite fish.)

Orders of Crispy Brussels Sprouts, Pear and Sesame, and Creamed Corn with Rosemary and Chiles were ordered for sharing. We also shared the Frites which came with Debbie’s steak.

And then came dessert. None of us was that hungary, so the obvious choice was to order one portion of each of the desserts for the table: Chocolate Bar, Dark Chocolate Custard, Dule de Leche, Toffee Corn... Milk and Cookies, Peppermint Ice Cream, Double Chocolate Chip Cookies, Chocolate Milk...Summer Fruit Macedoine, Blackberr y Violet, Sorbet and Lemon Verbena Panna Cotta. It was hard to choose between them.

When we entered I knew I recognized the manager at the front station. Turns out it was Jennifer, who I saw many times in the several years she worked at Equinox. Our server was excellent. He recognized Hilary from Rasika. It turns out that he works at different restaurants in the group as needed.

To the left as you enter the men’s room is a white counter top with two round stainless steel washbasins. To the right of the door are two white ceramic wall hanging urinals with three-foot wide floor-to-ceiling walls on each side and between them. There is a commode room with the white ceramic commode also attached the wall. The walls are covered with shiny dark square tiles and the floor is covered with large yellowish tiles.

Debbie noted that the lights are so dim in the otherwise very nice ladies restroom that it is hard to fix one’s makeup.

There is valet parking after 5:30 p.m.

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