Circle Bistro
A sleek but warm bistro near GW University.
Reviewed By Todd Kliman, Ann Limpert, Cynthia Hacinli
Comments () | Published October 16, 2006
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Circle Bistro
Address: 1 Washington Circle, NW, Washington, DC 20037
Phone: 202-293-5390
Neighborhood: Foggy Bottom/West End, Downtown
Cuisines: Modern, Breakfast, American
Opening Hours: Open Monday through Thursday 7:30 to 10:30 AM, 11:30 AM to 2:30 PM, and 5 to 10 PM, Friday 7:30 to 10:30 AM, 11:30 AM to 2:30 PM, and 5 to 11 PM, Saturday 8 to 10 AM and 5 to 11 PM, and Sunday 8 to 10:30 AM, 11:30 AM to 12:30 PM, and 5 to 10 PM.
Nearby Metro Stops: Farragut West, Foggy Bottom-GWU
Price Range: Moderate
Dress: Upscale Casual
Noise Level: Intimate
Reservations: Recommended
Best Dishes Potato-crusted oysters with bacon-chive crème fraîche; roasted-beet salad with walnut vinaigrette; lamb rib eye with ratatouille and olive tapenade; duck with celery root, spinach, and orange; brownie sundae with espresso ice cream and candied walnuts.
Price Details: Lunch appetizers, $7 to $10; entrees, $12 to $17. Dinner appetizers, $7 to $18; entrees, $19 to $27. Brunch entrees, $9 to $16. Three-course pre-theater menu (served until 7 PM), $35.

From January 2006 100 Very Best Restaurants

Photograph by Kathryn Norwood.

THE SCENE. The most unassuming of all the Adamstein & Demetriou designed places in town, this modest hotel restaurant in the West End manages to feel cozy, sleek, and vibrant, thanks in part to the brilliant, hearthlike orange of the walls. It sometimes seems more popular with out-of-towners (many of them visiting faculty at nearby George Washington University, which owns the restaurant, or parents checking up on their investments) than with locals.

WHAT YOU'LL LOVE. The simplicity and directness of chef Brendan Cox's French bistro menu. Theatergoers, take note: This is one of the few spots in town where you can eat romantically, and well, for around $100 for two.

WHAT YOU WON'T. The size of the menu, which has shrunk since Cox began and become more calculatedly crowd-pleasing. It's a boon, perhaps, to management but a disservice to a young, ambitious chef. And unless you're intent on getting some work done at your table, you're likely to find yourself craving some ambience on quiet, sparsely populated weeknights.

BEST DISHES. Frisée salad with lardon and sautéed mushrooms; a warm, melt-in-your-mouth leek-and-goat-cheese tart; juicy roast chicken full of smoky, bacony flavor; tangy beef tartare; apple Charlotte so rich and buttery the crust will put you in mind of shortbread.

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Posted at 05:27 PM/ET, 10/16/2006 RSS | Print | Permalink | Washingtonian.com Restaurant Reviews