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Aug 14, 2001 10:18 PM

Cafe Matisse

  • w

Has anyone tried cafe matisse in friendship heights?

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  1. It's probably been two years since I've been there, but I'll tell you what I remember. The front room has a few tables and a nice little bar. Good thing too, because they weren't good at honoring reservations in a timely manner. The back room had some exposed brick, and nice banquets. There was an unpstairs dining room as well, and it seemed kind of stark, but wasn't being used at the time. The tables were set with decent linens, silverware and stemware. While the hostess desk was very polite (I believe one of the ladies was an owner, or owner's wife), the waitstaff was only profficient. The wine list was good, although pricey. The menu was not long, but was a very sensible mix of appetizers and main courses; salads, meats and seafood in a bit of a provencial style. Good first courses included frogs leags and composed salads. Good second courses were rack of lamb and some of the fish. Sorry I don't recall more specifically. Prices were high, but reasonable. I guess to sum up, it was half-way downtown in many ways, but the perfect solution for diners coming from each direction. Don't really know why I haven't been back. There was another, kinda similar place we liked in Glover Park called Saveur(?). About the same price range, as good or better food, but not quite as nice a setting.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Bill

      Winnie: I forgot to mention that I'd love to hear an update if you go. Thanks.

      1. re: Bill

        Thanks for your review. I will let you know what I think if/when I go. (I've been to Saveur and found it pretty good but a very limited menu).

        1. re: Winnie

          Was there 2 weeks ago, after a hiatus of 2 years. It remains a pretty place, and certainly stylish for that neighborhood. Unfortunately, I found the food to be barely fair, as it was the last time I was there, and even more overpriced than last time. (I tasted 3 main dishes, 2 appetizers, 1 dessert.) The service was also only fair -- had to ask twice for several things. The kitchen performance was very erratic, although the place was only about 1/3 full. I specified in great detail how I wanted my main dish - rack of lamb - cooked. The 2 double chops arrived WAY overcooked, and without one of the sides listed on the menu. I tasted the side that was there - polenta - was cold and gluey. When a new order was brought (which took 15 minutes instead of the 5 minutes promised by the waiter), the second side was there but there were only 3 tiny chops instead of 2 double or 4. The polenta was warmer but still gluey. Profiterole for dessert: the pastry, filling and chocolate sauce all tasted like they were bought at the Safeway.

          I will not go back, and don't recommend it.