The Needle: 2941

Chef Bertrand Chemel’s French leanings have given way lately to a fixation on things Asian. A recent offering of duck, well flavored but tough, was scattered with a pho-like herbal mix of mint, Thai basil, and cilantro. Monchong, a white fish from Hawaii, was nicely flaky and translucent, but its mound of basmati rice and a simple curry didn’t suit its $29 price tag. Off the Pacific track, a corn-and-mascarpone ravioli was terrific and a generous lobe of foie gras was perfectly seared, but a ruby-rare square of Mishima beef, served with a filet of hamachi and a lemon-butter sauce, was oddly devoid of flavor. Still, dinner ended on a high note: an almond-crepe soufflé was fabulous, as were a pair of take-home baguettes.


-September, 2009 

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 Petworth.