2017 Summer Restaurant Weeks: Week Two, Day One
Monday was the first day of The Big One: The official Metropolitan Washington Restaurant Week, featuring more than 250 restaurants in the greater Washington area.
I took the shuttle from my place at Dupont Circle to La Chaumière, an old French charmer in the heart of Georgetown.
As you can see from the picture…. Nothing, really. If I hadn’t taken it myself, I wouldn’t have any idea what it is, either.
It’s a photo of Moules Farcies à la Bourguignonne, my starter at La Chaumière. The dish consisted of ~10 tiny, tiny mussels, baked in garlic butter with pesto. Savouring the sauce is always the best part of eating a serving of mussels, and I mopped up every bit of the garlic pesto sauce with the restaurant’s good bread.
Veal Marengo is a stew made with veal shoulder, tomatoes, and white wine.
For some reason, possibly because of the mound of rice in the center of the dish, it reminded me of New Orleans. Flavourful and filling.
I ended the meal with a classic: Dark Chocolate Mousse, with a raspberry on top.
Old Man Shouts At Cloud
I’m getting reactionary in my old age. There was a time when a restaurant dress code would have been enough to make me cross the place off my list. People should dress any way they wanted, I believed, and what the other patrons thought about it was irrelevant.
Now that dress codes are largely a thing of the past in all but the most upscale places, I’ve changed my mind.
The ambiance and cuisine at La Chaumière attract a refined, soft-spoken, well-dressed, rather elegant clientele, ranging from their early 20s up, but leaning toward the mature side. Shortly after I started my main, two women in shorts and sleeveless tops—basically beachwear—were seated at a nearby table. One of them was 50-ish, badly bleached, and wearing clothing designed for someone 30 years younger. They were joined by another similarly dressed woman. And then the phones came out.
It was just wrong.
Did she have every right to go to a fairly sophisticated restaurant dressed as if she was headed for the Jersey Shore? Of course she did.
Did I give her the evil eye and mutter rude comments in her direction? Of course I didn’t.
Did it ruin my enjoyment of the meal? Certainly not.
Did I have a right to be mildly irritated by the appearance and behavior of a fellow diner? I think I did, as long as I refrained from showing it in any way.
Until she put down the phone and started playing a tuba.
The interior at La Chaumière. Pictures found on the Net.