Yannick Cam at Le Relais
Last I had heard, he was involved(?) or cooking(?) at Le Jardin on 19th Street in DC. I have been to this restaurant many times for lunch, and fortunately, recommend it with only a few reservations.
They took and old bar and added a lot of dark wood, but not of the highest quality, and green leather, but again, clearly not a big investment. The room still looks rather bare, with no rugs and little art. There are white linen table clothes, good silver and crystal, but several bad tables running down the middle of the room.
The lunch menu has morphed since it's opened from primarily "fine dining," to a "please everyone place," with sandwiches, salads and only a few true appetizers and entrees. I have never had the former, and they seem kind of out of place. That said, a lot of people seem to be here for a steak sub and a coke. I have had a few of the salads, which are okay, and the daily soup specials have been excellent everytime. I always have a fish entree and have never been disappointed. Nice portions of fresh tuna, swordfish or salmon, cooked perfectly, and usually accompanied by a nice pan sauce, sauteed spinach perhaps, and a nicely done potato or portabello mushroom side dish. Prices, at lunch, are excellent.
Believe me, if your looking for a well prepared fish dish and a nice glass of wine for lunch, stay away from that awful, rip-off G-town Seafood Grill and walk across the street to Le Jardin.
So, what are the reservations? Well, first, the service is not so hot. They are always understaffed. And secondly, the place just feels too nice for a sandwich, and not nice enough for a grand meal. Would love to hear thoughts from a dinner patron.