... We've all had the experience: You crack open the menu at a new restaurant and you can't make up your mind what to order, it all looks so good. Then the food hits the table, and what was beautiful to behold on the printed page turns out to be insipid on the plate. You feel betrayed even before the meal's half over.Kliman later admitted that he also likes Granville Moore's and really enjoys Ethiopic as well.
Then there's the meal that proceeds from the opposite set of expectations, like my recent dinner at the new Atlas Room (1015 H Street NE; 202-388-4020): Nothing looks especially appealing, and everything turns out to be delicious. You don't just feel good about dinner; you feel immediately more optimistic and hopeful about human nature.
A seafood stew came with perfectly cooked shellfish and a delicate, marjoram-flavored cream broth. A flatbread with butternut squash, pulled pork and goat cheese sounded dull but was exceptional, each element distinct and cleanly handled. A roast chicken was perfectly cooked. I braced myself for an oversauced, salty short rib ravioli, with either undercooked or hard, overcooked pillows of pasta; but the dish couldn't have been more carefully executed.
Add in a good cocktail menu, a setting that suggests a hipster's version of a supper club, intimate and stylish, and informed, attentive service, and you have the first restaurant on H St. that merits serious attention. ...
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