On Saturday night, I was treated to a special dinner at Adour in The St. Regis in Washington, DC. My boyfriend and I have been once before, and we were looking for an excuse to return. Realizing that we hadn’t been on a proper “date” in over a month seemed like a good enough excuse. Adour was ranked #5 best restaurant in the Washington, DC metro area by The Washingtonian Magazine last year, and I can see why. I’ve been dreaming about that first meal for months… And Saturday’s experience solidified Adour’s place in my heart.
Now this is an ice cream blog and, thus, my reviews focus on desserts. In this special case, however, I think it’s worth at least mentioning the prior courses. My boyfriend (i.e. funder of this extravagance) suggested that we go with the 4-course Tasting Menu. I agreed whole-heartedly after our waiter confirmed that the chef could accommodate my gluten intolerance (Please note: I do not have Celiac Disease). For our first course, the chef prepared Marinated Japanese Hamachi – a delicate, mild fish served raw on a fresh niçoise salad. The second course was my second-favorite (after the dessert, of course!)… Roasted Maine Lobster served on caponata (a traditional Italian dish of diced eggplant cooked with onions, garlic, tomato, capers and parsley). I appreciated that the chef did de-shelled the meat for us. Now I love using a lobster cracker, but not when I’m wearing a fancy dress and eating on a white carpet. After “oohing” and “aahing” over the lobster, I was surprised to enjoy the third course as much as I did – Roasted Rack of Colorado Lamb served in natural jus and with a side of sauteed spinach. I don’t particularly like lamb, but this meat was tender and flavorful.
Now comes the best course of all – the grand finale. Having remembered how amazing dessert was at Adour, we inquired about the fourth course before deciding on the tasting menu. Now, the scheduled dessert was their version of baba – a cake traditionally made with rum (Adour uses brandy). My boyfriend’s face fell when he heard this, as he was hoping for the Hazelnut Soufflé we had last time. When he expressed this disappointment, the waiter kindly offered to substitute the baba for the signature soufflé. For my gluten-free option, I asked for anything with ice cream 😉
Ask and you shall receive.
The chef chose the Exotic Vacherin for my final course. The beauty to your right is a dainty tower of creamy, frozen, fruity heaven! The center was filled with homemade coconut and banana ice cream, topped with passion fruit sorbet. Delicate coconut meringue cookies surrounded the ice cream, and real whipped cream provided a cushion for slivers of fresh mango (lightly dusted with mint). Swirls of passion fruit purée spruced up the plate. The variety of textures won me over. The crunchy, airy meringues contrasted the cool, creamy ice cream/sorbet and the soft, pulpy mango. This dessert proves that, sometimes, “the sum is greater than its parts.”
The boyfriend was happy to report that his Hazelnut Soufflé was as amazing as he remembered. Made with hazelnut flour, this soufflé was naturally gluten-free. After sneaking a bite, I remembered why this dessert is worth coming back for. Adour has mastered the fine art of soufflé-making, which was cooked evenly throughout and melted on the tongue. The flavors of hazelnuts and brown sugar gave me that “cozy” feeling – the perfect comfort on a rainy DC night.
I was already on Cloud Nine with these fabulous desserts, but Adour had more up their sleeve. Turns out that after every meal, Adour serves a complimentary selection of homemade sweets. This sweet surprise included (from left to right) homemade Almond Madelines (gluten-free with almond flour), heavenly Almond Macaroons, and an assortment of Dark Chocolate Truffles. The truffles filled with dark chocolate ganache and cherry were excellent, but it was the last truffle that had my attention. A peanut butter and jelly truffle? After taking a nibble, I could barely believe it when I saw the distinct layer of peanut butter topped with strawberry gel. This peanut butter-loving gal was officially beyond Cloud Nine.