Food

100 Best Restaurants 2009: Marcel’s

No. 17: Marcel’s

Cuisine: Classical French cooking with intense sauces and labor-intensive dishes that no one else makes anymore. Chef Robert Wiedmaier presents a mix-and-match tasting menu of $52 for three courses (called pretheater but available all evening), $75 for four, $90 for five, and $125 for seven.

Mood: Glittering mirrors, black-suited waiters, and silver domes lend a retro-luxe feel to the dining room. Of late, service has been a bit scattered and the pacing slightly off.

Best for: A grown-up meal in a grown-up dining room.

Best dishes: Mussels au gratin; boudin blanc with chestnut purée and lardons; turbot with crisped artichoke leaves and truffle essence; breast of pheasant with pheasant-and-thyme cream; lamb tenderloins in phyllo with cumin Madeira sauce; apple with a beggar’s purse, bread pudding, and apple-butter ice cream.

Insider tips: Book early to take advantage of the restaurant’s free car service to the Kennedy Center—slots fill up. The inviting bar has a wallet-friendly menu and a jazz pianist Tuesday through Saturday nights.

Service: ***½ (three and a half stars).

Open daily for dinner.

See all of 2009's 100 Best Restaurants.
 

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Ann Limpert
Executive Food Editor/Critic

Ann Limpert joined Washingtonian in late 2003. She was previously an editorial assistant at Entertainment Weekly and a cook in New York restaurant kitchens, and she is a graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education. She lives in Logan Circle.

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