Adour's motto is "cuisine designed with wine in mind" and fittingly, the dining room is separated from the rest of the hotel by a huge wall of wine. It's a pretty space that is modern without being cold or pretentious. On both visits we've had friendly service and a down-to-earth sommelier that helped us choose our wine. On this visit the sommelier let me taste two kinds of white wines. Both went perfectly with the food.
The first amuse bouche was some sort of cheesy biscuit that was as light as air. This is becoming quite a trendy aspect of many high-end DC restaurants with Adour's offering among the best we've tasted.
The second amuse bouche was a lobster bisque with a lemon foam. The size was small and the consistency was thin, which were both very appropriate for early in the meal. The flavor was the liquid equivalent of fresh squeezed lemon on top of a lobster tail. Wonderful.
We ordered two appetizers to share. The first was hamachi with caviar and a citrus sauce. The fish was so fresh it melted in your mouth and the salty caviar and tangy citrus provided an excellent contrast in flavors.
Appetizer #2 was the crispy soft shell crab meuniere. It was tempura-style soft shell crab served over potatoes and a tomato confit. Soft shell crabs can be heavy on the crunch and light on flavor but these were packed full of herby-deliciousness. DC is soft-shell crazy this time of year and these are definitely some of the best around. It was well-imagined and perfectly executed. A great twist on a local favorite.
My entree was the roasted maine lobster served over vegetables. This was definitely my kind of lobster. Huge chunks of yummy lobster meat and not a shell in sight! The portion was huge and it was delightful to eat.
Adour had a lot to live up to in dessert land because the first time we dined there we had the most amazing rose water ice cream tart thing. We talked about that dessert for weeks and couldn't wait to try another one of the pastry chef's creations. This time around we had the Pineapple Composition which was a pineapple custard/sorbet combo with fresh pineapple and pineapple foam served next to a mini warm pineapple cake.
One tip for those (like us) who drink water by the gallon: the bathroom is soooooooo far away. I'm not kidding when I say that you probably will get lost and may need to stop to rest on the way to use the restroom. Don't even try making it down the steep stairs after a glass or two of wine. Think I'm kidding? Washington Post food critic Tom Sietsema wrote of the long trek to the restrooms at Adour, "I've been tempted to sprinkle baguette crumbs on the path to make sure I return to my companions."
I'd gladly brave the journey to the restroom and back to be treated to another feast at Adour.Second Thoughts from B
Sometimes you just can't beat a first impression. We all have times in our life that the first exposure to a person or a type of food or a city or whatever was so outstanding that any subsequent experience just cannot measure up to the memory of that initial impression that has only inflated with time.
To be honest, I felt that our second trip to Adour would be one of these things. Good, but short of the impossible dream that I had placed on a pedestal in my head. Wrong! Adour was able to match any expections I had.
As J mentioned, the service is both professional and attentive, while also being personable. The room is beautifuly modernized dining room that retains some of the traditional/historic harm. The dishes were all interesting and highly enjoyable - and usually lead to a "you have to try this" moment.