HOME > Chowhound > Washington DC & Baltimore >
Feb 19, 2008 08:17 AM

West End Bistro - Reveiws?

Has anyone been here? What do you think? What are the best dishes and wines. Thanks!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I went in early December (birthday dinner). Really nice setting inside, not the most gorgeous street views outside. Very good service, attentive but not overbearing.

    I had a crab cake appetizer that was absolutely spectacular. It was exactly that; I giant cake of crab meat with a couple pinches of spices / herbs and nice Old Bay-like aioli. I also had the braised veal cheeks that were very nice, very tender and flavorful. I can't remember dessert, but I do recall the whole meal being very very good.

    I do have a couple criticisms though. This place is not a bistro, it is expensive. When I think bistro, I think casual fare with entrees that top out around $20. West End is at a much higher price point. Also, the portion size left a lot to be desired. After a 3 course meal and a bottle of wine (total bill over $200 for both of us), I left hungry...and not hungry like "hey I could use another nibble of that crab cake", hungry like, "hey honey that was a great dinner...I'm gonna stop by subway on the way home and grab a footlong if that's ok with you"

    Overall, a very nice meal though. I hope you enjoy!

    4 Replies
    1. re: gatorfoodie

      I agree with the criticisms. WEB has small portions with large price tags. It's also a touch dressier than I expected -- I don't think I'd feel entirely comfortable in jeans. (Feel free to disagree)

      Nevertheless, the food is good and the service was nothing short of satisfactory. I would recommend the veal cheeks, skate, and flat iron steak. But the appetizers and desserts I've tried have been forgettable.

      Would I go back? I wouldn't go out of my way to eat there, but If I happened to stumble on their doorstep with an appetite, I'd see if they had an open table.

      1. re: gatorfoodie

        I agree with this assessment on Bistro in terms of portion sizes. We went for my birthday and I wasn't really very impressed. I loved that the valet was ready with our car when we paid the check and the service was very good, but the food was lacking. My husband had the Chesapeake Stew amd the portion size was a bit small and not very intriguing. Just seafood lying in a small pool of broth, nothing that really stood out about the dish. The bread on the table was plain and not even warm. My appetizer was good - I had grilled octopus with arugula, fennel and mussels. My husband had raw oysters, nothing special there. My entree was the fish burger. The fries were lousy. At Central and Brasserie Beck, you can obtain fries that seem fresh out of the fryer. These were limp and looked they had been sitting for some time. The desserts were extremely uninspired. Blueberry cobbler and warm chocolate cake? Boring. There are countless places in town with much better options. All in all, it was not a great experience. I was really disappointed, given Mr. Ripert's reputation. I guess I need to go to New York to see what all the fuss is about.

        1. re: gatorfoodie

          I agree with everyone else. Except for portion size. I ordered the skate wing and it was massive. THe brown butter sauce was so good I probably would have eaten a shoe if it were covered in. That being said, our bill was a little out of control. I'd much rather go to Source nearby. I haven't eaten there, but I had drinks there and the smells were incredible.

          1. re: gatorfoodie

            The place is expensive, but the food was good. I have to say that the service was HORRIBLE though. They were quick to order our drinks, but took a while to take our order for appetizers and entrees. Even more insulting was the fact that they dropped off the check right after they served dessert. Its like we were at Denny's or Ruby Tuesdays. Actually I think that the servers would have been more cordial at either of those establishments. And while we were eating, the server even came up to our table and folded open the check folder too see if we had placed our money in it yet. So that really pissed us off and even though I was ready to leave we decided to meander a little while longer.

            But as soon as we put our card in the check fold, the hostess came to our table and began to take my dish from me as I was taking a bite! She "as-a-manner-of-factly" said that, "she was just trying to get things out of our way."

            So if anything eat at the bar.

          2. Le Bernardin is one of my favorite restaurants in the world, so maybe I had high expectations, but I left WEB thinking that Eric Ripert should be ashamed of himself. The food was overwhelmingly mediocre, and the service was utterly disastrous.

            2 Replies
            1. re: hungryinwdc

              My thoughts exactly. I assume he got his money up front.

              1. re: Pappy

                Haven't been but would like to try as it's highly rated by Washingtonian. Been to Le Bernadin in NYC a few times as I used to work in that building. I took interviewees to lunch there. I wasn't as adventurous of an eater then and I certainly wasn't able to appreciate Ripert's genius. But it doesn't seem like his genius would be manifest at WEB.