A recent trip to Corduroy was proof that whether it's surrounded by a boring hotel in an awkward part of downtown or in a charming townhouse near the Convention Center, Tom Power's food will dramatize your life. Now I'm being dramatic, but it's true. When we eat at Corduroy I feel grown-up but not stuffy, soothingly well-wined but not drunk. Conversation is comfortable in the quiet dining room and occurs over a well-paced meal, neither too slow nor too fast. In fact, I think our first meal at Corduroy was, at that time, the longest meal we'd ever had. It spanned 2 hours and, on my 22nd birthday, that unique (to us) experience, combined with flawless food, sparked our intense respect for the restaurant. I've come to associate Corduroy with warmth and romance.
It almost doesn't matter what you eat. Everything is good. It's no secret that I love fish, and lemon is sort of my hobby. Most recently I enjoyed the crispy fluke with lemon sauce and potatoes, but before I got to that I had divine chilled pea soup. I tried to make pea soup a few weeks ago, and it turned out lumpy and weird, while this was smoky and smooth. J had bison with a potato-pancake-y side that he thankfully let me taste. Mmm latke. Nothing like Chanukah in the springtime, it's better than Christmas in July! Molten chocolate sabayon (as good as it sounds) and creme brulee rounded out the meal. We shared a delicious half-bottle of red that we can't remember, but it's not as if we picked it ourselves. We asked our lovely server what would pair well with the fluke but stand up to the buffalo--let's face it, a whole bottle would have made me too drunk for a weekday. The half was a great option.
Corduroy is a really nice place where people can talk. It's a place where you should take people, a place you should recommend to friends of any age looking for a fine dining experience. The staff is friendly and knowledgeable, the new brownstone space is charming, and I'd order anything off the menu (including wine and dessert) with confidence in its quality and deliciousness. I'm just smitten. I'm not the only one. I'm not trying to come up with some crazy place that's amazing that you've never heard of. In this case, I'm confirming what you've heard from the higher ups and magazines--yes, it's true, Corduroy has great food and an excellent atmosphere, and now, with its new location, old-town charm.
1122 9th St NW
Metro: Green/Yellow Lines to Mt. Vernon Square/Convention Center