With Chef Levi Mezick at the helm, Dupont Circle’s famous restaurant The Jockey Club is worth a second visit.
By Katie Test
The Jockey Club has an impressive history. It has hosted eight Presidents and their First Ladies, Hollywood royalty, generations of Washington Insiders, not to mention dignitaries and diplomats from lands far and wide. Located in the Fairfax at Embassy Row hotel, this dark, intimate restaurant is known not only for it’s people watching but now for its outstanding food.
A new era at The Jockey Club began when Levi Mezick became Executive Chef. Having formerly worked at Daniel, celebrity Chef Daniel Boulud‘s New York eatery. His impressive training doesn’t end there – Chef Mezick has also worked at foodie destination Thomas Keller‘s Per Se. The training shows in his dishes, perfect plates of fresh impeccable seafood and well-composed complimentary flavors.
My personal favorite were the scallops – tender, doused in a brown butter sauce. Chef tells me the most popular dish is the Sea Bass, an Asian-influenced dish with coconut rice and bok choy. For sides, try the tiny potato puffs. Warm and crispy, these little rounds of air-filled potato crisps are like a glorified inflated potato chip, and not to be missed. As for starters, the foie gras shines, and the butternut squash soup is served hot, perfect for finishing out the last of the cold winter days.
I have full faith that Chef Mezick‘s spring menu will be impeccable – The Jockey Club‘s location near the Dupont Circle farmer’s market and the Chef’s own passion for farm fresh ingredients will translate into a menu full of flavorful vegetables and lovely light fruits. Don’t pass up dessert: the chocolate souffle and tiny macaroons are both well-executed staples.
The cocktail menu is straightforward well-executed classics without much guesswork. The drinks are Old Fashioned, updated Cosmopolitans, and a sugar-cube champagne cocktail. Nothing fussy, but very precise. I think of the cocktail menu as I think of the entire restaurant: Fancy without being pretentious, classic without being outdated. The Jockey Club tops my list of must-visit D.C. eateries.
The Jockey Club is located in the historic Fairfax at Embassy Row hotel. For more information, visit The Jockey Club website at www.thejockeyclub-dc.com or call 202-835-2100.