Chef de Cuisine Joe Palma whips up a delicious new bistro classics menu this spring at Westend Bistro by Eric Ripert.
By Katie Test
There are dishes that Westend Bistro, Eric Ripert’s D.C. eat place located in the Ritz-Carlton on 22nd Street, does flawlessly. The fish burger, for example, is a Westend classic, as is the thinly sliced tuna carpaccio. But visit Westend Bistro this spring, and you’ll be greeted by a whole host of new menu items.
Standouts include the grilled baby octopus, charred and served over a chickpea salad reminiscent of hummus and drizzled with a black chorizo-nero vinaigrette. Dip into the warm lump crab – a deconstructed crabcake served with two cromesqui (small, round, fried croquettes with a liquid sauce center) filled with an Old Bay sauce. New to the soups section, the salty Virginia oyster pan roast serves up grilled bread doused in a seafood broth served with clams and oysters.
Not new to the menu, but one of my favorite dishes in Washington, the shrimp and grits remain on the menu. A creamy bowl of Anson Mills grits served with succulent shrimp mixed with a spicy Spanish chorizo, the southern dish is exactly as it should be. Another menu classic, the short ribs, are not to be missed either. Sous-vide for eighteen hours, the meat falls apart with the touch of a fork. For new flavors, try the fish dishes: you can’t go wrong with the striped bass or the salmon.
Don’t leave without dessert – a new half-baked chocolate cake and caramel ice cream is addicting, and I love the coupe. A bowl of vanilla and pistachio ice cream doused in lemon curd, topped with raspberry and little crunchy meringue, I love this party of a dessert. Definitely save room.
I’d recommend enjoying the new menu by requesting to sit at the pass – a two person’s chefs table located at the end of a long marble counter where dishes are passed from the kitchen to the serving staff. The view into the kitchen is dinnertime theater, and one of the best seats in the District.
Westend Bistro is located at 1190 22nd Street NW. Visit them online at www.westendbistrodc.com or call them at (202) 974-4900.