We’ve got some new info about the team that will lead the highly anticipated Adour, the restaurant from three-Michelin-starred chef and restaurateur Alain Ducasse scheduled to open this September in downtown DC’s revamped St. Regis hotel. Because Ducasse has upward of 23 restaurants around the world, he’ll likely swing through the kitchen only a few times a year. So who’s he leaving in charge?
The executive chef will be Julien Jouhannaud, who has been with Ducasse’s restaurant group for eight years. The 29-year-old honed his skills at Le Louis XV, Ducasse’s renowned restaurant in Monaco, and went on to help open Mix, his casual outpost in Las Vegas. For the past three years, Jouhannaud was the chef de cuisine at the Harbour Grill in Singapore’s Hilton Hotel.
A familiar local face will be sommelier Ramon Narvaez, who spent six years running the wine program at Marcel’s. At Adour, he’ll maintain a seasonal 500-bottle wine list. Wine Enthusiast magazine gave Narvaez an Award of Unique Distinction in 2005 and 2006, and he has earned Wine Spectator’s Best of Award of Excellence every year since 2004. Last year, he became a certified sommelier from the Court of Master Sommeliers in Napa, California.
The Ducasse group pulled another homegrown talent, Fabrice Bendano, to oversee the pastry department. He has worked in an impressive number of Michelin-starred restaurants, including the celebrated Taillevent in his native Paris. Bendano started in DC as the pastry chef at Les Halles in 1999 and then worked under Michel Richard at Citronelle. In 2001, he began a five-year stint at Bistrot du Coin, and most recently he worked as executive pastry chef at 1789.
So what does the very preliminary, very early version of the dinner menu look like? Read on. Dishes are subject to change.
Pressed organic chicken and foie gras, black-truffle condiment, baby leeks vinaigrette
Brocolis cappuccino, fresh ricotta cheese, gently cooked garden vegetables
Chilled Maine lobster médaillons, wild greens/herbs, “crudités en copeaux,” natural coral vinaigrette
Cucumber-marinated hamachi, radish, green-apple mustard
Seared foie gras, dates marmalade, and preserved lemon confit
Tender ricotta gnocchi, sautéed lettuce, crispy prosciutto, Xeres vinegar jus
Root-vegetable mosaic, beetroot essence
Russian Malossol Osetra (1.76 ounces)
Caspian Golden Osetra (1.76 ounces)
Buckwheat blinis, crème fraîche
Roasted Maine lobster with salsify and spinach, Mediterranean-style “jus de presse”
Olive-oil-poached Gloucester cod, bell-pepper/white-onion “piperade,” espelette jus
Baked striped bass, duo of half confit tomatoes, balsamic reduction, lemon zest and capers, natural cooking jus
Steamed halibut with assorted green vegetables, veal blanquette ivory sauce
Diver day-boat scallops Grenobloise style with cauliflower cream
Black Angus beef and carrots: seared tenderloin with sauce Velours and slow-cooked short rib
Roasted Pennsylvania rack or lamb, piquillos, confit apricots, creamy quinoa
Duck-breast filet “au sautoir,” polenta, confit shallots, radish, Niçoise olives
Roasted pigeon breast with Yukon potatoes and seared foie gras, salmis sauce
Veal sweetbread meunière, ragoût of Swiss chard with fresh lemon, reduction jus
Gala-apple soufflé, Granny Smith compote, Calvados ladyfinger, vanilla ice cream
Rhubarb & strawberry, buttermilk panna cotta, bostock brioche
Bitter-grapefruit, raspberry-custard, rose-blossom ice cream
Armagnac baba, light whipped cream
Gianduja “sablé,” milk chocolate, bitter orange zest, marmalade/sauce
Dark-chocolate sorbet, coffee granité, caramelized brioche croutons