Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Opening: Azur

Azur, Chef Frederick De Pue's newest restaurant, officially opened for business at the end of last week, and we were able to attend a grand opening party the Wednesday before the official opening.

Azur is a beautiful use of the space that Cafe Atlantico used to occupy. My guest was quick to judge this new restaurant by its cover, quickly stating she couldn't wait to come back here only minutes after entering the space for the first time. Thankfully all the bites we sampled from the "raw bar," "first course" and "bar food" sections of the menu tasted just as great as the restaurant looked.

Spanish Octopus, made with crispy braised pork belly, spiced coconut and black curry gastrique. 

I had not previously tried anchovies before, and based on their reputation, I don't think I would have minded if I not had the chance to try them. However, these marinated white anchovies, made with pickled celery and orange, had a wonderful citrus flavor. I surprised myself by taking more than one throughout the evening. 

The house cured salmon, made with gravlax, candy and old bay spices was my friend Alana's favorite dish of the night.

The Uni toast made with sea urchin butter, scallions and togarashi tasted like the equivalent of gourmet Handi-Snacks. Sitting at the bar eating platefuls of these while enjoying a few drinks would make me very happy. 

Aparagus salad was made with lemon labne, toasted filberts and mizuna green.  The dense yogurt covering the asparagus gave me the illusion that I was eating a wonderfully healthy mac n' cheese.

 After enjoying a selection of wonderful bites from Azur's menu, guests were treated to an amazing live performance by French pop artist  Franck Bouroullec, who painted 95% of the portrait of Chef Frederik de Pue upside down before the canvas rotated right side up so he could add the finishing touches.

Azur is located at 405 8th St. NW and is open Sunday, Tuesday and Wednesday from 5pm-12am and Thursday through Saturday 5pm-2am. Azur is closed on Mondays.
Azur on Urbanspoon

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