Went to Happy Hour Friday to flirt with cute boys and play darts and groove to the tunes of my yoot, and then had dinner with Viv- a friend I went skiing with in Tahoe. It being Restaurant Week, and us feeling flush with imagined wealth and privilege, we dined at Adour at The St. Regis (dahling!) and it was both elegant and wonderful… and yet not.
The St. Regis has been under reconstruction for many moons, so when Restaurant Week rolled around I jumped at the chance to go inside. You can of course go to the St. Regis at any time, and I’m sure they’d be happy to tell you at length about the hotel’s storied history, but the opportunity to sit down, have a meal, and soak it all in? Expensive.
The best time I could get was 5:30 (early bird special much?) but I took it and we were ushered into a fabulous space with floor to ceiling windows looking out at the foot and car traffic on K Street. The booths had high ceilings and draperies and there were mirrors everywhere- like a modern-day and very un-French Versailles.
The St. Regis is an institution, and so is their chef (Alain Ducasse) and you can’t hate any place that serves French macarons with dessert, but our waiter? Agh. Aside from looking like Rupert Everett’s younger cousin, he was completely ineffective. If you work at one of the finest hotels in the city and for one of the most reknowned chefs in the world, you only have to know what’s good and the food will do the rest for you.
So if someone asks you what was that lovely mystery vegetable they just consumed, you offer to ask, you find out and then you report back. You don’t say “I don’t know” and then swan off looking offended. Lacks class. The place has a bad rep for poor service, but that’s such a small thing that it’s easily fixed and it seems stupid- all staff eat the food, they should know what they’re serving. Another server was happy to entertain our queries and a manager was very apologetic: I like trying new things, I like knowing what I’m eating, and I really don’t think that makes me unreasonable or a difficult customer.
Overall, though, it was a lovely meal. I will go back. Or make someone take me. Macarons are available for retail purchase if you can’t manage to scarf one down.
923 16th St NW
Washington D.C., DC 20005
For reservations: (202) 509-8000