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What Should I Order at Corduroy??

Hey All,

I'll be dining at Corduroy tonight for Restaurant Week. I've never been but having been wanting to try it for a couple of years now.

I know they offer their full menu and I've heard great things about their scallops, but are there any other stand out dishes that might be on their winter menu that I should keep in mind....appetizers, entrees or desserts?

Thanks for the help.

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  1. I second this question! I am going for lunch this week for RW too... any thoughts?

    1. I've only eaten at the bar but the cheese plate was great there.

      1. I loved their seared tuna entree... it was the best that I have ever had I believe. Seasame crusted, on a bed of sushi-rice. Very, very well-flavored. As for apps, the oysters were quite good as well as the lobster carpaccio. For dessert, skip the chocolate molten cake.

        1. I loved the goat cheese app during RW, wasn't big on the soft shell crab even though I really like soft shell crabs, something about it just didn't wow me.

          1. I'm not sure what's on the menu right now, but if they have pork belly, it's a must.

            And Chef Power is a master of all things soup, so that's never a bad choice for a starter.

            3 Replies
              1. re: DanielK

                Definitely the pork belly, in whatever incarnation is happening this week. I've also enjoyed the lobster carpaccio and the scallop/chardonnay dish. The only thing I've ever had at Corduroy that I've been luke-warm to is the mozerella porcupine. It was just fine, and sort of plain.

                For dessert, his "kit-kat" is very good as is the cheese plate.

                Honestly, my only complaint about Corduroy is that they don't really change their menu often.

                1. re: reiflame

                  I was a scallop fan for along time and still am, but the tuna and the roast chicken are exceptional as well. I remember thinking the tuna was unique and peppery and fabulous. The roast chicken is simply the best I've had anywhere. Oh and soups are a must.

              2. The porcupine goat cheese appetizer is cute and delicious.

                1. So, Elyssa - Any recs from last night? I'm leaving in about an hour to check it out for lunch.

                  6 Replies
                  1. re: blue22

                    I had a really wonderful meal at Corduroy last night. The food was great (some of the best I've had at a restaurant for RW) and the service was attentive and helpful.

                    For my appetizer I got the Mozzarella Porcupine. I was intrigued by the description. It was a fun appetizer although if I had my choice again I would probably try something else. Everyone raves about the soups but the choices were parshnip or a squash and neither really appealed to me. The mozzarella is covered in almost a crunchy noodle type thing which makes it look like a porcupine. It's served with a tomato coulis which was tasty. My friend got the goat cheese, carrot and beet salad. She seemed to like it (I unfortunatly couldn't try any of her dishes because she was fighting a cold :( )

                    For my main course I got the crispy trout, served with squash or yam (can't remember but it was yummy) in a delicious curry sauce. This dish was spot on. Full of different flavors, perfectly cooked. If anything I would have liked a tad more spice in the curry sauce but that's just me. The flavor was great...lots of extra sauce to dip bread in as well. :)

                    My friend got the famous scallops. They looked excellent and I will certainly order the next time around.

                    For dessert we both got the kit kat dessert. AMAZING! So delicious and clever. I haven't tried Richard's version so I can't compare. But this dessert was rich, decadent, and fun.

                    Our server, I believe his name was Dan, was fantastic. I've had mediocre service during RW in the past. With our waiter you would never have known that we were there for a special menu. He was helpful with the wines by the glass (which were not overpriced, but normally priced. $10 for one and $8 for another....very nice).

                    Overall my experience was wonderful. I will certainly return when they move into their new space. Our waiter said they will be moving into a townhouse near the Convention Center. On the first floor will be an open kitchen and a dining room. Upstairs there will be a lounge and a bar (possibly more tables?). Sounds like with the new cozy digs Corduroy will only be able to improve in the area they get the most flack for....atmosphere/design.

                    1. re: Elyssa

                      We're going tonight and your review is good help. The trout sounds really good.

                      1. re: Elyssa

                        Thanks, Elyssa! That sounded wonderful. I have reservations on Wednesday. Did you see anybody order one of Corduroy's beef dishes (prime ribeye, specifically)? I'm such a meat-and-potatoes kinda gal that I have trouble pulling myself away from a good steak. Those scallops sound tempting, but after an unbelievable seafood dinner at DC Coast last night, I don't know if more fish will do me any good when there's prime meat on Corduroy's menu...

                        1. re: SouthShore

                          I'm not sure what's on their menu right now, but in general Corduroy does a very good job with steak.

                          1. re: SouthShore

                            Actually the 2 tables on either side of me were scattered so when we sat down one side was eating their dessert (which sold me on the kit kat bar) and the other side was empty so when we were eating our entrees they were getting their appetizers. Didn't see any of hte meat dishes but I imagine they would be good since everything we had was top quality. I've heard from a number of sources, including my bf that the chicken is good as well.

                            I was a little upset that the bison tederloin which was on the website menu was not on the actual menu we had. I would have liked to try that.

                            Btw, I would be interested in hearing about your DC Coast meal. You should do a review :)

                            1. re: Elyssa

                              Oh I definitely will! Sorta swamped at work, but it's coming...

                      2. I had RW lunch there today, and had a different experience. The kitchen was slow, 45 minutes plus wait between first and second course. The root vegetable soup (pureed) was underwhelming, expected something more rustic given the season. The lunch menu on the website is not what you get, especially the short ribs I was craving. Had the Roast Lamb Top Sirloin, that was quite good.

                        Also, half the selections had a +3 next to them. That left a sour taste in my mouth, seemed not to be keeping in the sprit of RW.

                        Overall, it was OK to good. The Argentinean Tempranillo was quite good.

                        1. We had dinner there last night and it was perhaps the best RW experience I've had in the 5 years I've lived here. Food, service, timing, etc..

                          The menu was exclusively a RW menu with upcharges noted where added. I thought there were a number of good options available without upcharges, but we did opt for one $3 upcharge for oysters and one $5 upcharge for the scallops. More about that.

                          We started with $6 glasses of sparkling wine, which seems a reasonable price to me.

                          BF had the oysters on the half shell (6 oysters) with an apple/shallot mignonette. I thought a $3 upcharge on this appetizer was reasonable given the regular prices of good oysters. Having said that, I'm not sure I would order this again. I didn't love the mignonette on the oysters and it was served already "topped."

                          I had the kabocha squash soup supposedly made with a foie gras butter. I cannot confirm that it had foie gras butter, but it was a very good, rich and luscious pureed soup. I would recommend this item.

                          Entrees included the striped bass with a currie squash side. The same dish as decscibed below but with sea bass instead of trout (different selection of fish that day?). This was nice: crispy skin oin the fish, succulent; squash had a nice zip of curry flavor. A good dish overall. Paired with a $6 rose recommended by the waiter.

                          I had the scallps with the $5 upcharge. This was SOOO good. I ordered a $10 glass of chardonnay to accompany. The 4 scallops are served on individual beds of excellent mashed potatoes with a tasty mushroom sauce. I would order this again and pay the upcharge. To be fair though, I'm not sure that I agree that the dish should require an upcharge, but there were a number of non-upcharge entrees that sounded equally good.

                          Desserts: we order the kit kat bar and creme brulee. I orded the kit kar bar; BF, who is "eh" on chocolate ate most of it and LOVED, loved, loved it. I liked it, but not sure I would order it again. I liked his creme brulee; what's not to like about good creme brulee? But I would investigate other desserts in the future. Also, by this time, I was very full.

                          I was curious about the lamb served with ravioli. A nearby diner ordered it and it looked delish. NIce slices of lamb fanned on a plate served with (not in) small ravioli. No upcharge on this item.

                          We asked the waiter for recs and I appreciated that he generally did not recommend any items with an upcharge, with the exception being the scallops.

                          His service was excellent and, as most diners, comment, Corduroy seems to go out of their way to make sure you have a nice experience regardless of whether or not it's RW or any other time of the year. We had a reservation for 6:30, arrived early and were seated immediately at about 6:15. We stayed until at least 8 pm or later. The resaturant was busy throughout this time period, but I appreciated that the space never felt crowded. The courses were well spaced and all of those serving our table were conscientious and inconspicous.

                          In short, I look forward to visiting them during the August RW at their new townhouse location.

                          5 Replies
                          1. re: takajin

                            I can confirm that the lamb with the mini-raviolis is a wonderful dish.

                            On a side note, doesn't Corduroy have such a fun wine list? It's packed full of interesting varietals at reasonable prices.

                            1. re: reiflame

                              I had forgotten about that dish. Excellent, I agree!

                              1. re: reiflame

                                I was really pleased with the wine recs and the by-the-glass prices. 2 of the three recs were very reasonable at $6 a glass.

                              2. re: takajin

                                Can one of you who's been elaborate more on the RW menu offerings? We went last year and enjoyed the scallops (I plan to get them again), but am curious what the options are for appetizers and desserts. Last year I really wanted to try the chocolate sabayon but they ran out before we could order it! :-(
                                We're going tomorrow night!

                                1. re: KWynn

                                  If you check out their menu online right now that more or less is the menu I was given on Monday night. The one thing online that I know is not on the RW menu (at least when I was there) was the bison tenderloin, which I was considering ordering when I was looking at the menu online.

                                  The 2 soups that were on the RW menu was a parsnip soup and the squash soup mentioned above.

                              3. I was there last night and was very favorably impressed . . . for all of the reasons mentioned in this thread . . . in short, great service and great food. I had the carpaccio of lobster as a starter . . . which was inventive and delicious. I had the pork belly as an entree and it was excellent. When finishing the entree I found myself thinking that it was a bit salty, but in all fairness to the Chef, I was practically licking the bowl at that point . . . if I had stopped just short of that, which I probably should have, I likely would not have noticed the salt. I had the kit kat for dessert . . . another inventive and delicious dish. My dining companion had the oysters as a starter, the tuna as an entree and the creme brulee for dessert. She's French and orders creme brulee as a test piece when she visits a new restaurant and she was impressed by Corduroy's take on it.

                                In short, I would recommend everything we ordered.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: Food Rockz Man

                                  My wife and I had RW lunch there yesterday; the food was better than Charlie Pamler Steak but not quite as good as The Oval Room (IMO). I started with 6 Oysters on the Half Shell with Apple Mignonette; the apple was barely noticeable, and replaced by a hint of smokiness. The oysters were tasty but not overly plump. For my main, I ordered the Flat Iron Steak with Bistro Fries which was pretty good and came with piles of crunchy fries. For dessert: Vanilla Bean Crème Brûlée. This version was perfect in every manner save for the absence of vanilla.

                                  My wife had the Warm Goat Cheese in Crispy Potato (a bird’s nest of shredded potato surrounding a goat cheese mound). We spent a couple of minutes trying to figure out what the sauce contained (it had hints of tangerine and red pepper). Her main was the Roast Lamb Top Sirloin with Garlic Mashed Potatoes, which was very flavorful and plentiful, and she had the rich Chocolate Tart with Caramelized Banana to finish.

                                  All in all, very good, if not overly innovative. The service was outstanding.