Friends, I went to Westend Bistro recently.  I didn’t go the first day they opened, but I went!  I don’t think you could have talked to me for 5 minutes without me saying, “I’m going to Westend.  You know, Eric Ripert’s restaurant.”  To say I was excited and looking forward to going is like saying, “Children like candy.”  Unfortunately, it turned out to be more like the day you found out who Santa really was (which I won’t say here, I don’t want to burst any bubbles!). 

  • Food: I was so severely disappointed with the meal, I don’t even know where to begin.  The menu had tremendous promise.  My friend and I asked our server which app to get since they all sounded fantastic and he suggested the grilled shrimp and quinoa herb salad.  The shrimp was severely over-seasoned to the point it was almost bitter.  The quinoa herb salad was interesting — glad we tried it (since it’s so  healthy) but I don’t think I’d run to order it again.  Then I ordered the skate in brown butter sauce with braised endive.  It was fine, but there was nothing on the plate that said, “Eric Ripert, 3-star Michelin Chef.”  Don’t get me wrong — the skate was cooked perfectly and the braised endive was tasty.  But I didn’t feel like any of it was special or unique.  My friend ordered the Halibut with seasonal vegetables in garlic butter.  She said it was good, but again, there was no “wow” factor.   Finally, we split the warm Valrhona chocolate cake with malted milk chocolate and rum ice cream.  This was by far the best part of the dinner.  If we hadn’t ordered it, we would have walked out sad from our dinner.   
  • Service: Our server was very polite, but I wonder if he tried any of the food on the menu.  I believe that the servers know what’s really good (or at least we used to know when I worked at a restaurant), but our’s didn’t. 
  • Atmosphere: Despite the fact we had reservations, we still waited in the bar for almost an hour.  I felt like the Seinfeld episode where the car rental service didn’t have Jerry’s reservation for a car.  I wanted to say, “See, you know how to take the reservation, you just don’t know how to *hold* the reservation and that’s really the most important part of the reservation, the holding. Anybody can just take them.” 
  • Attire: Business casual
  • Price: $$$
  • Overall: You know, considering the prices and what we ordered, it wasn’t worth it.  I can’t believe I’m saying that — and it pains me tremendously.  I really want to love the place so I am going to try their fish burgers and/or classic burgers with an order of their fries.  I have a feeling that’s what you should get there — at least for now.

Details:

  • Basically, reservations are required.
  • Hours: Lunch (starts in Dec): Mon-Sat 11:30 AM-2:30 PM; Dinner: Sun-Thurs 5:30-10 PM; Fri & Sat 5:30-11 PM; Sunday Brunch: 11:30 AM-2:30 PM
  • Address: 1190 22nd Street NW; Washington DC 20037
  • Ph: 202-974-4900
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