Restaurant Kolumbia report
Six Chowhounds got together for a pricey, discouraging lunch at Restaurant Kolumbia on K St.
I'll let the others chime in for themselves, but I doubt the news is going to be hopeful. I started with a watercress and apple salad where all the ingrediants were shredded finely into a large heap. Couldn't taste the ingredients for the acidic dressing. The flourescent lighting in the middle of the dining room does not help the food any, but I for one find the 'mounding' of food here unattractive.
My second course was smoked lamb shoulder. The smoke covered any lamb flavor.
Of the other dishes I tasted, the stand out was the pierogi platter. About as fine a display of these babies as you are likely to find. Other items ranged from dreary to shrug inducing. These included a borscht that pulled its punches, a pork sandwich that was very much dried out, and an ok duo of seafood soups - lobster and mussels. The duck confit 'salad' was mostly a duck vs. frisee affair. The duck lost.
While the pierogi were certainly alright, a plate of them sure gets boring after the second or third one. I would have rather enjoyed them while they were accompanying something else.
Apart from an attractive bar, and a well-priced bar lunch special, I can't see anything that foretells a promising future for Kolumbia.
The soup duo was saffron mussel veloute and lobster bisque, each on half of the soup bowl. There were a few whole small mussels and a couple of small pieces of lobster as well. The veloute was fine, but the lobster bisque was terrible. It tasted of commercial lobster bisque base--just burnt butter and burnt shell.
There were some other things in the duck/frisee salad, such as a slice of pear and some goat cheese, but no sign of the grilled mission figs listed on the menu.
A chicken kiev was ok but without the nice burst of aromatic butter and herb stuffing that should come when first cut into. It was a bit dry like the pork. The potato puree underneath the chicken was very good. Also good were fries that came with the pork sandwich.
All in all, not much to go back for.