Monday, July 6, 2009


Fahrenheit is located in the Ritz Carlton hotel in Georgetown, but this isn't your average hotel setting. Tucked between the C&O Canal and the Georgetown Harbor, the Ritz was built into the remains of the historic Georgetown incinerator. The smokestack remains, but the interior has been gutted and dressed to the nines. Fahrenheit's dining room has soaring ceilings and bright windows, and the incinerator's "fire" theme is kept throughout (think Atomic Fire Ball candies instead of mints as you exit). Each time we've been there, the dining room has been relatively empty and the low noise level has made for a relaxing respite.

Come on Fahrenheit, Light Our Fire...

Since it wasn't too busy, we tried to engage our server and get him to recommend dishes on the menu. He apparently wasn't in a chatty mood because we had to force suggestions out of him. I started with the fire-roasted (note the fire theme) tomato soup served with a mini grilled cheese sandwich. It was a flavorful tomato soup but could have used a bit more kick to liven it up. The grilled cheese was excellent but they weren't kidding about the "mini" part.

B started with the White and Green Asparagus Salad with black truffle dressing. The asparagus was farmers market fresh and the truffle dressing was an interesting addition. A very refreshing summertime dish.

When B first dined at Fahrenheit with some family friends, he raved about the scallops. This time I decided to try the famed sea creatures for myself. My entree consisted of four huge diver scallops served on a beautiful plate with tomato fondue and cheese-garlic potato sticks. The scallops were cooked perfectly and I loved the crunch of the potato sticks but the tomato fondue tasted a bit too much like jarred tomato sauce. It was a very good dish but wasn't as innovative as I'd hoped.

B, the lamb lover, ordered the Southwest Rack of Lamb served with a cheese quesadilla and pico de gallo sauce. I didn't taste the lamb but the quesadilla was excellent. It was a strange combination but it seemed to work well.

Try to set the night on fire...

We've had several very good meals at Fahrenheit but I just feel like they're falling a bit short of their potential. The fire theme is cute but it doesn't completely carry through to the food and experience. Nothing we ate was particularly spicy and our waiter was the antithesis of fired-up. I do, however, adore the historic dining room and think it's out-of-the-way location gives it a vacation feel that is hard to replicate in DC.

Second Thoughts from B

I think this was the 4th time I've been to Fahrenheit. It was one of first restaurants I discovered after moving to DC, partly through a recommendation and partly through Open Table. If you don't use Open Table and like to eat out, then you're just throwing your money away. For the uninitiated, here's how it works. Instead of calling around for a reservation or rolling the dice and hoping your favorite spot can seat you, Open Table allows you to run a search of availabilities that are sorted by location, cuisine, and/or price point. It also gives overviews of restaurants that include pictures, website links, links to professional reviews, menus, and even useful tips like the dress code. Making reservations takes only a couple of clicks of your mouse and you are rewarded through a point system (100 for regular reservations and 1,000 for special locations/times). After a mere 2,000 points you are eligible for a $20 gift card. In other words, they pay you $1, and sometimes $10, to use a system that makes life much easier (and is a great way to find places to eat that you'd otherwise never hear of).

So why rave about Open Table on a post about Fahrenheit? First, Fahrenheit liberally uses the 1,000 point reservations to drum up business. It is true that some of the other 1,000 point locations rightly need to pay you $10 to dine there, but this is not the case here. I've yet to have a bad meal at Fahrenheit and often am impressed with the dishes that I've found to be a well-cooked mix of flavors in relatively generous portions. While each individual element may not be Earth-shatteringly innovative, the meals on the whole are quite pleasing. And when I'm eating for free because of $100 worth of Open Table reservations, what could be better?
Fahrenheit on Urbanspoon


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the tip!

How often do you two eat out?

You've been in Washington for less than two years, but it seems like you've eaten everywhere...and at a lot of places multiple times!

J said...

We eat out an average of three days a week (not always sit-down style restaurants). While we've been to some of our favorites multiple times, we try to explore new places weekly. We'd love suggestions on new places to try!

Amy said...

You used your $100 Open Table dining points at Fahrenheit. Also, this posts mentions B "the lamb lover."

Alix said...

Ha! Found Open Table. And B likes to eat baby sheep ... which I actually knew. Sheep killer!

RuninDC said...

Hi B & J,

Another great read. You certainly made my day.

Hope you love the post on our new Foodie site: