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A Very Early Report From the Source by Wolfgang Puck (With Menus)
Comments () | Published October 23, 2007

The Source, Wolfgang Puck’s first DC restaurant, has been open just a few weeks, so it’s too early to weigh in with any formal judgments. But it seems as if everywhere we go, people are buzzing about this place. Last night, we stopped by the sleek downstairs lounge to check the place out. 

The upstairs fine-dining room and more casual lower level have separate menus and kitchens, but you can sample upstairs dishes from a perch in the downstairs lounge (our young server wasn’t sure but confirmed that with the general manager). The serene upstairs room was only about a third full, but for a Monday night, a decent-size crowd hung out downstairs, sipping ginger mojitos and classic negronis from the bar and munching on Kobe-beef sliders and designer pizzas.

The lounge menu is snacky and fun. Even the “small plates”—such as crispy chicken spring rolls, tamarind-glazed ribs, and General Tso-style chicken wings—offer portions generous enough to share. Four “bigger plates,” seven pizzas, and a handful of extras, including artisan cheeses and tempura onion rings, round out the roster. Of the bigger plates, the “sausage & pretzels” sounded most intriguing—soft, buttery pretzels paired with two fat links of sausage and house-made mustard for dipping. The mustard was so delicious I was tempted to ask for a bottle to take home. 

It was obvious which dishes came from upstairs the second they arrived at our dark-wood-and-metal lounge table. Blue-crab-and-shrimp dumplings are beautifully plated over a pool of a curried emulsion of lobster and sea urchin, then topped with a delicate Asian slaw. Roasted suckling pig brings three neat rectangles of meat, each topped with a piece of crispy skin and a tiny pickled cippolini onion. The plate is painted with stripes of delicious plum-fig chutney. Though presentations are elegant, portions of these appetizers are by no means dainty.

One dessert menu with four choices is available in both dining areas. The Cherry Blossom, a tribute to the Japanese trees that bloom each spring in Washington, incorporates flavors from Asia as well as Austria (Puck’s birthplace). The centerpiece of a large bowl strewn with macerated cherries is an Austrian cheese-filled dumpling crusted with thin wonton strips that look like twigs. It’s topped with a dollop of ginger ice cream, and a server pours a cherry port-wine reduction over the whole thing tableside. This multilayered dessert took our server several minutes to describe—but was well worth the wait.

Scroll down for the lounge, dining room, and cocktail menus.

The Source by Wolfgang Puck, 575 Pennsylvania Ave., NW; 202-637-6100.

Lounge Menu

Small plates

Maryland Crab Cakes
14
Basil Aioli, Marinated Tomatoes

Kobe Beef Sliders
16
Smoked Onion Marmalade, Cheddar

Crispy Spring Rolls
10
Chicken, Honey-10 Spice

Prime Steak Tartare
16
Herb Aioli, Croutons

Arrancinni
8
Tomato, Basil, Parmesan

General Tso’s 12
Chicken Wings

Tamarind Glazed Ribs 14
Black Bean Powder

Bigger plates

Sausage & Pretzels 16
House Made Mustards

Ricotta & Spinach Gnocchi 16
Bolognese Sauce or T.B.G.

Grilled Ham & Cheese 12
Brioche, Fontina, Smoked Ham

Blue Fin Tuna Tartare 17
Avocado, Ginger, Wontons

Pizza & Calzone

Four Cheese Calzone 16
Smoked Ham

Margherita 14
Fresh Tomato and Basil

Smoked Salmon 22
Dill Cream and Caviar

Pesto Shrimp 18
Goat Cheese, Dried Tomatoes, Rapini

Prosciutto Di Parma 16
Micro Arugula

Spicy Chicken 14
Eggplant, Roasted Tomatoes,
Sweet Peppers

Sausage & Goat Cheese 14
Wild Mushrooms, Leeks

More Fun Snacks

Artisan Cheeses 3/12 5/18
Honeycomb, Quince Paste

Olive Tapenade & Hummus 12
Goat Cheese Toasted Bruschetta

Hand Cut French Fries 8
Bearnaise

Tempura Onion Rings 8
Harissa Aioli

Dining Room Menu

First Flavors

Spicy Tuna Tartare, Sesame–Miso Cones, Shaved Bonito, Tobiko 15

Wild Japanese Hamachi & Tuna Sashimi, Avocado, Shiso Leaves 17

Roasted Suckling Pig with Plum Chutney, Pickled Cippolini, Sweet Bean 16

Seared Big Eye Tuna, Wasabi Peas, Yuzu Shallots, Hot Garlic-Balsamic Ponzu 18

Tandoori Sea Trout, Pickled Cucumbers, Tomato Chutney, Cardamom Raita 16

Warm Maine Lobster-Daikon Roll with “Sweet & Sour” Dressing 19

Tasting of Maryland Crab: 18
Sauteed Crab Cake & Crab Salad, Mango, Thai Vinaigrette, Aromatic Herbs

“Tiny Dumplings” Pork Belly, Black Vinegar, Chili Oil, Ginger, Cilantro Leaves 14

Blue Crab & Shrimp Sui Mai with Shanghai Curry Lobster-Uni Emulsion 16

“Chinois Style” Chicken Salad, Chinese Mustard Dressing, Candied Cashews 14


Fish & Shellfish

“Wok Fried” Whole Sea Bass
, Yuzu Ponzu or Spicy Thai-Chili & Fragrant Herbs 40

Spicy “Assam Prawns,”
Fresh Curry Leaves, Turmeric, Mustard-Yogurt Curry 30

Pan-Roasted Maine Lobster
, Garlic-Pepper Sauce Scented With Thai Holy Basil 58

Steamed Wild King Salmon “Hong Kong Style,”
Baby Bok Choy, Ginger, Soy 30

Pan Roasted Red Snapper
, Red Thai Curry Shrimp, Pineapple-Chili Sambal 29

Seared Maine Diver Scallops
, Tamarind Peanut Sauce, Pad Thai Noodles 31

Meat & Poultry

Lacquered Chinese Duckling
, Wild Huckleberries, Ginger, Glass Noodles 30

Kobe Beef Short Ribs
“Slow Cooked” Indian Spices, Masoor Dal Lentils, Raita 34

Pan Roasted Organic Chicken
, Garlic Gai Lan, Lapsong Sausage Fried Rice 28 20

Grilled Lamb Chops
, Hunan Eggplant, Pea Tendrils, Chili-Mint Vinaigrette 36

Szechuan Filet Steak “Au Poivre”
Caramelized Shallot-Peppercorn Sauce 37

Grilled Kobe NY Steak
, Chinese “Hot & Sweet” Mustard, Parsnip Puree 60

Kurobuta Pork Chop & Honey Glazed Belly
, 10-spice, Fennel-Pear Marmalade 38

Cocktails

Featured Classics- $12

Aviation

Plymouth gin, maraschino liqueur, fresh sour

Sazerac

Sazerac rye whiskey, herbsaint, peychauds bitters

Negroni

Hendricks gin, campari, sweet vermouth

Singapore Sling

Tanqueray 10 gin, cherry brandy, pineapple juice

Dark and Stormy

Gosling's "black seal" rum and ginger beer

Sidecar

Martell vs cognac, cointreau, fresh sour

Specialty- $12


Asian Pear Drop

Absolut pears vodka, sake, pear puree

Peach Creek

Knob creek bourbon, white peach puree, fresh ginger

Ginger Mojito

Montecristo spiced rum, muddled ginger, mint

Passionfruit Cosmopolitan

Skyy citron, passionfruit puree, cranberry juice

Cucumber Martini

Hendricks gin, muddled cucumber, fresh lime juice

Flirtini

Stoli rasberi, chambord, sparkling wine, cranberry juice

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Posted at 01:10 PM/ET, 10/23/2007 RSS | Print | Permalink | Comments () | Washingtonian.com Blogs