The Source: Anyone been there?
We're coming to Washington the first weekend of May and are considering going to The Source to celebrate my daugher's 21st. There's not much written on this board about it, though. Has anyone been? How are the prices? How would you describe the atmosphere? We would be eating in the restaurant, not the lounge. Thanks!
Thought I'd add a recent review. Went for the first time this weekend -- hadn't heard much about this restaurant prior to going. As mentioned by others - definitely on the pricy end but the service and atmosphere were quite nice. Our table of 6 started with 3 appetizers to share -- the scallop/shrimp siu mai, the crispy suckling pig, and the "tiny dumplings" with pork belly. The best of the 3 were the siu mai - essentially Cantonese style but with chunkier pieces of seafood in the filling than you'd typically find at dim sum. The suckling pig and "tiny dumplings" (essentially, small potstickers) were tasty as well. While the suckling pig meat was extremely tender, the skin wasn't quite as crispy as Cantonese style (and Spanish-style, for that matter) suckling pig usually is. These three apps were in the $15-16 range each for relatively small portions. (6 potstickers and siu mai to an order, only 3 small cubes of suckling pork).
For my entree I had the chinese lacquered duck, served with lo mein and blood oranges. Overall it was pretty good, though as a previous poster had commented - Asian fusion often doesn't compare to straight up Asian, and I constantly found myself comparing to the Hong Kony style equivalents that I'm very familiar with, especially since this lacquered duck was basically Cantonese roast duck. And while this is perhaps unfair to the fusion offerings, it's hard to separate when the Asian influences are so strongly manifested. The meat was very tender -- as though the meat had been steamed prior to roasting. Portion was huge -- half a duck! BF had the roast pork chops -- also a large portion, and though the chef prepared it to order as medium rare (I don't often see restaurants offer to prepare pork to temperature), the outside (done) parts of the meat were surprisingly a little tough. Both duck and pork chops were $31 or $32 each, I think.
Others at our table had the whole fried sea bass (beautiful presentation) ($44?), the short ribs, and the shrimp curry. The short ribs and shrimp curry were surprisingly small portions when compared to the sea bass, pork chop, and half duckling but our dining companions said it was "just enough food to be full".
We shared one dessert -- the 15 layer carrot cake, which was beautifully presented and served under a scoop of vanilla ice cream. The taste wasn't anything extraordinary, but at least it was pretty!
Overall - nice service and atmosphere, and the food was pretty good, but it was an expensive evening and I'm still not sure it was a particular value at the price points. Would consider going back for a special occasion, but I'm not running out there to meet friends for dinner again like this time around.
I've been there numerous times for dinner and it is always great. Each time I've had the Pan Roasted Organic Chicken. Everyone I have gone with has always loved it as well. I'm actually 21 now and whenever any girls go along with us, it instantly becomes one of their favorite places in DC to dine.
The prices are going to be those of an upscale restaurant. Entrees ranging 20s to low 40s. The service is usually pretty good and it has a great ambiance. If you have any more questions, feel free to ask and I'll try to answer them.
My husband and I went there for lunch about a month or two ago and really enjoyed our experience. For lunch, we took advantage of the 3-course prix-fixe menu for $35. It is a higher-end restaurant and I believe the entrees range from the 20s-40s but I would double-check their website to make sure.
For our appetizers, we both ordered the pork dumplings which could easily be the best dumpling I've ever had. They were fantastic.
For our entrees, I had the salmon served with bok choy and my husband had the roasted chicken (can't remember exactly what accompanied it). Both entrees were prepared very well. They didn't blow us over, but they were very good.
For dessert, we both absolutely loved the chocolate molten cake served with (I think) hazelnut ice cream. It was absolutely decadent and delicious! We had some very nice wines by the glass, as well; something your daughter may want to take advantage of now!! :-)
The decor is very modern, clean, and sleek.
I would definitely recommend the Source, particularly if you enjoy Asian-influenced cuisine, for a special occasion. Also, you could head to the Newseum before or after your meal (same building). IMO, it's one of the best museums in the city.
Happy Birthday to your daughter!