1190 22nd St NW
Washington, DC 20037-1219
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Westend Bistro

Neighborhoods: West End
Cuisine: Fusion, Private Parties, Contemporary

Westend Bistro is a Fusion, Private Parties, and Contemporary restaurant where most Menuism users came for a family meal, paid between $25 and $50, and tipped between 15% to 18%.

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  • 2/07/2015

    A Fusion food lover from Ashburn, VA tried it and liked it.

Gayot
Rating:
No Rating
Price:
$$$$$
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Megster11187 photo

Megster11187

 Pittsburgh, PA
 

Ripert Does DC!

Being a self-professed Food Network/Travel Channel/anything quasi-food-related nerd, I was totally excited that my mom chose to go to Eric Ripert’s Westend Bistro for Mother’s Day dinner.

For those perhaps not as well versed in this adorable French culinary phenom (as in – have more of a social life than I do!), Ripert is the highly acclaimed executive chef at one of New York’s most famous restaurants, Le Bernardin (and he rocked on his guest appearance on the most recent season of Top Chef)! I was thrilled to learn in 2007 that he was opening a small restaurant in the Ritz Carlton in downtown DC, and 2 years later, I finally had the opportunity to go.

Two key things I’ve learned in life so far:
1) There are major advantages to being treated to dinner by my father, since the alcohol flows like water (check out the wine/drink list at Westend!) and he more or less requires you to order an appetizer, main dish, and dessert, else he might be offended.
2) The fancier the restaurant, the way smaller the serving size, especially if ‘Bistro’ is in the title.

Our party of six started with 4 different appetizers – scallop ceviche, tuna carpaccio, calamari, and the pea & shrimp soup (for those not feeling the appetizers, fresh sourdough bread is available to munch on). I ordered the ceviche, as it’s one of my favorite dishes! It wasn’t a traditional preparation but it sure was delicious. There was quite a bit of butter in the dish, a little too much for my taste, but it wasn’t completely overpowering by any means, just a personal preference!

The scallops were sliced thin, almost like long noodles, and the serving size was perfect but small…I would say I easily consumed it in 4-5 bites. Though, I always feel the sign of a good restaurant is to leave the diner wanting just a little bit more…in this case, however, I think I could have used another serving! Kudos for the taste, it was really great and incredibly fresh…just could have used a strainer for the butter :)

I sampled the tuna carpaccio (soup & calamari aren’t my thang, but I was told the soup in particular was fantastic) which really liked, though I must say I personally didn’t find the presentation all that appealing. Once again, might be personal preference since my mom thought it looked ‘beautiful’…to me, though, it looked a little overly gelled but the taste compensated for this perhaps not-as-intriguing presentation.

Didn’t try the soup, but it smelled fantastic, and looked to be quite hearty and filling (more so than my serving of ceviche)! Lots of shrimp, various beans, and veggies rounded out the dish.

In the name of honesty…I wussed in order to save room for dessert and ordered an appetizer as my main dish, the Grilled Carolina Shrimp with ‘melted peppers.’ A bit wary as to what ‘melted peppers’ were, but it turns out it’s just a fancy word of saying ‘delicious’ :) In all seriousness, just heavily marinated red and yellow peppers with garlic and onion, cooked to perfection. The serving size was small (I would consider to be small even for an appetizer), so ordering the ‘casserole’ of vegetables made it at least look a little more substantial (and was really good)! If I could have a do-over, I likely wouldn’t get this as my main dish…as good as it was, all the other fish dishes looked incredible.

My uncle was kind enough to trade me a shrimp for piece of the Salmon with lentils, and Mom donated a small piece of the Loup de Mer (fancy word for some type of sea bass) with an olive-artichoke relish – both were great, and the portions were appealing and looked to be a great size. Even the Tagliatelle Bolognese met the very high standards of my 16-year old sister, who went as far to stay that it was better than what she usually gets at Armands or Olive Garden! Quite the statement from a teenager.

And of course, dessert! We had some home-made banana cream pie waiting for us at home (I’m a cheap gift-giver!) but we couldn’t resist splitting the Triple Chocolate Cake six ways, though Triple Chocolate Delicious Bite-Size Bar is a slightly more accurate description. It was a great size to complete the meal…though I did think it could have been a little bigger for $9. Taste-wise, it wasn’t overly sweet even given its heavy chocolate preparation, and I found I could really taste the three different preparations of chocolate mousse (mixes of dark and milk chocolates, yum). Other dessert items looked great, giving incentive to go back…highlights include a chocolate peanut tart with malted milk chocolate and lemon beignets.

Overall, a wonderful meal, incredibly flavorful, really satisfying, makes me want to go back at some point (with unlimited funding!) and I was really glad I got to go!

That being said, I’m not sure I would put this at the top of the list for those dining in DC for the first time, as there are better and similar restaurants with more extensive menus & more lively atmospheres (such as Central, Café Atlantico, Ten Penh, Zengo, or Zaytinya in the in the Penn Quarter/Gallery Place areas). I was really pleased with the meal, even the little things that I take for granted, such as the pace. It did take a bit long to get our drinks (though, to be fair, we ordered a complicated mixture of mixed drinks and champagne!) but the wait time in between the appetizers and the meal itself was really ideal…not too full after any one course, and I found myself quite excited every time food was brought to the table.

A reservation is probably needed for busier times, especially given the location of the restaurant. Be prepared to eat well…and spend quite a bit of money!

The only negative I have would be that I was gently scolded by a waiter for taking pictures of the food :) Oh well – hopefully worth it for all my fellow foodies!

Tuna Carpaccio at Westend Bistro

Tuna Carpaccio

Taste was good, wasn’t crazy about the presentation, but I have had better carpaccios in my dining experience.

Field Pea & Shrimp Soup at Westend Bistro

Field Pea & Shrimp Soup

4 stars, according to my Aunt & Uncle. Generous serving, looked to be quite hearty, and it smelled fantastic!

Scallop Ceviche at Westend Bistro

Scallop Ceviche

Taste was great, presentation was gorgeous, and presented in a way that I hadn’t seen before! Scallops were sliced to look like long noodles, great flavoring, would recommend this as an appetizer if you had to choose one!

Fab! - Triple Chocolate Cake at Westend Bistro

Triple Chocolate Cake

So. Good! Would have liked it to have been a bit bigger, but that’s just the dessert portion of my stomach talking :) Really great flavors, could taste the three different distinct layers of chocolate, and not overly sweet. Yum!

lisalj photo

lisalj

 Cheverly, MD
 

Great food. really good service. The hanger...

Great food. really good service. The hanger steak was perfectly cooked, and really good. The dessert was outstanding.

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Hours
Fri-Sat 05:30PM - 11:00PM
Mon-Fri 11:30AM - 02:30PM
Sun-Thu 05:30PM - 10:00PM
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Westend Bistro  Restaurant Reviews

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