1789: Any Thoughts?
- Bob W. Oct 24, 2001 02:43 PM
We're going to 1789 in Georgetown next month for a special occasion meal.
The reviews and comments I have found online are almost uniformly very good.
Any hounds have thoughts to share on this place?
In my opinion, 1789 is an old-style classic restaurant. I actually found it to be a bit stuffy. The food was good but I was not overly impressed with the combination of food/atmosphere/ambiance. I would not go back in a hurry (and haven't in 2 years).
1789 is one of my favorite "special occasion" restaurants in the city. No, make that one of my favorite restaurants in the city, period. I'm not sure I'd call it stuffy. It's definitely not a loud, packed to the gills, "scene" kind of place--it's elegant, intimate, and comfortable, with very courteous, knowledgeable, and attentive service. The dining rooms are always full, whether you go on a weeknight or a weekend, so be sure to reserve ahead if you haven't booked a table already. The chef, Ris Lacoste, is phenomenal. Her menu is New American with a bit of continental thrown in--impeccably fresh ingredients paired in both classic and innovative ways. Don't miss the rack of lamb with the creamy feta potatoes or the filet of beef (if it's on the menu). She also does marvelous things with fish, having worked with Bob Kinkead for several years before taking over as chef at 1789. They have an outstanding wine list with excellent choices by the glass. You can't go wrong whether you order by the bottle or pair a different wine with each course. And be sure to save room for dessert. The pastry chef's seasonal fruit creations (cobblers, pies, old-fashioned crisps with spice or buttermilk ice cream) are to die for--not overly sweet, loaded with fresh fruit, a perfect way to end a meal. There are also a number of selections for chocoholics that will send you home smiling. Enjoy your dinner and be sure to post and give us your impressions afterward.
I couldn't have said it better myself. I try to make at least one pilgramage a year for Ris Lacoste's cooking. The rack of lamb remains the best I have had in the city, although years ago I think the lamb had a very light coating of goat cheese en croute which to me was heaven. It's still sublime.
It's impossible to recommend any one fish dish (always changing and I haven't been in a while), but you can't go wrong. Soups are also usually a standout.
I have nothing but wonderful things to say about 1789. The food, decor and service are outstanding and together provide the perfect place for fall/winter special occassions. The rack of lamb is one of the best in the city. Provided, that is, that I am seated in the Main Dining Room. I do not find the experience nearly as pleasing if I am seated in the "Pub Room" (read "bar"), or the "Upstairs Dining Room" (read "Siberia"). Unfortunately, I don't think they will guarantee you a table in the Main Dning Room, but if I were you, I would at least call ahead and let my request be known before I arrived.
I can't really add to the laudatory posts here (though I don't consider 1789 stuffy at all). Generally, the food is excellent and the service very professional. We've been going regularly since we had our wedding rehersal dinner there in June 1978. We take a group of 8 there on Christmas Eve every year. (They book up before Labor Day most years.) Greg