January 2007: 100 Very Best Restaurants
Jeff Tunks's latest restaurant conjures up old New Orleans.
Reviewed By Todd Kliman, Ann Limpert, Cynthia Hacinli
Comments () | Published January 19, 2007
100 Best Restaurants (2010)

Acadiana
Address: 901 New York Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20001
Phone: 202-408-8848
Neighborhood: Penn Quarter/Chinatown, Downtown
Opening Hours: Open Monday through Thursday 11:30 to 2:30, 5:30 to 10:30 PM, Friday and Saturday from 5:30 to 11 PM, and Sunday from 5:30 to 9:30 PM.
Wheelchair Accessible: Yes
Nearby Metro Stops: Mt. Vernon Square/7th St.-Convention Center, Gallery Place-Chinatown
Price Range: Expensive
Noise Level: Chatty
Reservations: Recommended
Best Dishes Fried green tomatoes with shrimp remoulade; deviled eggs three ways; fried meat pies with buttermilk dipping sauce; seafood gumbo; charbroiled oysters; barbecued shrimp; crawfish etouffee; roast duck; shrimp and oyster po'boys (lunch); chocolate or lemon
Price Details: Lunch appetizers, $7 to $13; Entrees, $12 to $27. Dinner appetizers, $7 to $14; Entrees, $21 to $28.
Special Features:
Wheelchair Accessible, Valet Parking Available
Happy Hour Details:
Monday through Friday, 4 to 6 PM; Sunday 4 to 9 PM.
Happy Hour Days:
Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, Sundays

No. 99: Acadiana

If you’re due to get your cholesterol checked, get it done before dining here, because if what goes in your mouth isn’t buttered, it’s probably been dipped in the deep-fryer. Even the salads, piled with cheese and ham, are calorie bombs.

The latest project from chef Jeff Tunks, who’s previously tackled pan-Asian and pan-Latino, is the cooking of Louisiana. The dishes are often faithfully detailed: Crawfish étouffée was learned at the hand of pastry chef David Guas’s Cajun-country aunt; fried green tomatoes with tangy shrimp rémoulade resurrect a noontime staple at the legendary Uglesich’s; po’ boys come on classic Leidenheimer rolls.

But you won’t need lots of napkins to eat one. The lovable messiness of the sandwich has been edited out, just as elsewhere the heady spicing that gives Cajun its kick has been dialed back. Like the carpeted dining room, which eschews the garden-party colors of New Orleans’s Commander’s Palace in favor of a more subdued mauve and gray, it all feels a little cool and corporate. Still, it’s tough to resist the buttermilk biscuits with pepper jelly and house-made cream cheese or the star entrée, shelled shrimp doused in a “barbecue” sauce that could only have come from the Crescent City—a sinfully rich pool of butter, rosemary, and Worcestershire.
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Posted at 01:37 PM/ET, 01/19/2007 RSS | Print | Permalink | Washingtonian.com Restaurant Reviews