January 2004: Corduroy

Chef Tom Power's Corduroy is one of the hidden gems of Washington dining.

Chef Tom Power's Corduroy is one of the hidden gems of Washington dining, located on the second floor of the Sheraton Four Points Hotel with no direct entrance and only a discreet sign on the street. Although the restaurant's obscure location means diners usually can find a table even on weekend evenings, it also has tended to obscure Power's accomplishments.

A veteran of Michel Richard's kitchens at both the now-closed Philadelphia Citronelle and Richard's home base in Washington, Power cooked at the Old Angler's Inn before opening Corduroy. His style is impressive for its simplicity and the quality of its ingredients. First-course choices on a fall menu included a buffalo-mozzarella "porcupine"; a flavorful cauliflower-Parmesan soup; and wonderful lobster salad enlivened by a spare application of basil-flavored oil. Main-course choices were equally satisfying: a buffalo strip loin from Georgetown Farm, cooked as ordered and served with dauphine potatoes; a lamb sirloin with tiny goat-cheese ravioli; and a beautifully cooked pheasant.

Desserts, as might be expected from Power's training with a master pastry chef, are superb–delicious chocolate-hazelnut bars, perfectly textured ice creams and sorbets, and a rich chocolate tart.

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