101 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington
I’ve spent many hours dining and wining clients at the Charlie Palmer Steak Houses in D.C. and Las Vegas. The interior of the restaurants is a fusion of Asian tranquility with northern European edgy sophistication. The D.C. location has a long water pool inlayed with perfectly rounded rocks in the center of the restaurant. Directly above the pool is the giant glass see-through wine cellar. Tough economic conditions are hurting every institution including luxury establishments, they are fighting back. Take, for instance, Charlie Palmer’s $25 Prix Fixe Lunch Menu. I started with the House Smoked Salmon which is served over a bed of tartar and fingerling potato salad. The smoked salmon was of top quality and it was melt-in-the-mouth tender with a lovely texture and flavor. The smoking was subtle and in balance with the flavor of the fish meat without a hint of the artificial flavorings or colorings that we have sadly become accustomed to finding in our foods.
For the main course, I selected the roasted Angus sirloin served with shitake and snow pea risotto. This was a great combination of tender, flavorful Angus sirloin with elegant creamy risotto complemented by juicy shitake mushrooms.
For dessert, I tried the navel orange panna cotta served with Marcona almond and coconut sorbet. Panna cotta is a northern Italian dessert made by simmering together cream, milk and sugar. Gelatin is added to the mix and the dessert is cooled until set. Marcona is an almond variety that is shorter, rounder, sweeter and more delicate in texture than other varieties. Originating in Spain, they are fast becoming popular in North America. I prefer my panna cotta served with wild berries, but I think Charlie Palmer is on to something with the delicate fusion of Marcona, coconut sorbet and the panna cotta.
At these affordable prices, in these settings, do not miss the chance to pamper yourself.