When this Mandarin Oriental hotel restaurant opened in 2009, it was billed as Eric Ziebold’s venture into down-home Southern cooking—a departure from the complex sauces at CityZen, his other kitchen. He installed chef de cuisine Rachael Harriman to oversee production of the fluffy biscuits and crackly fried chicken. Harriman left in February, and in her wake is a watered-down menu. Once-dreamy hushpuppies recently arrived over-fried, slices of duck were gray, and coconut cake was dry. Even the best dishes of the meal—steamed clams in white wine, grilled oysters with a vinegar-bacon sauce, and brick-grilled chicken—were unmemorable.
This article appears in the July 2011 issue of The Washingtonian.