Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Dining Out: Sofitel DC Summer Menu

Although summer in D.C. can be sweltering, the summer menus are worth going out in the heat. The seasonal drinks and dishes at the signature Ici Urban Bistro restaurant and the modern Le Bar at the Sofitel hotel quenched my thirst and filled my appetite!

The sophisticated bistro is French inspired, although the executive chef Gyo Santa loves to add American and Asian flavors to the mix as well. Originally from Japan and fluent in three languages, chef Santa brings more than nine years of professional culinary experience from Michelin Star restaurants in France. 

Before ordering food, we wanted to check out Bar Mixologist Jamie Macgloan's seven new summer drinks. My favorite was the Tango St Tropez, with Tequila, orange juice, pineapple juice, and real coconut cream. Truly heavenly on a hot day! We also tried the Carte Blanche, made with sweet lemon and peach juice mixed with Gin and Triple Sec and the Liason, made with Martell Blue Swift Cognac, lemon juice, ginger beer, and natural honey produced from the hotel's rooftop beehive. (How cool is that?!)

After sipping on probably too many cocktails, we headed to the dining room. The new dinner menu features five savory summer options. Before ordering anything the chef brought out a quick tasting of ceviche. Although small, the bite was the perfect start to our dinner! We then ordered two cold dishes--the Salmon Gravlax dish and the Yellow Fin Tuna Tartare. Both dishes came out on beautiful round plates with the raw seafood delicately organized to perfection. 

The Salmon Gravlax is a homemade appetizer made with celery root rémoulade, spianata flat bread, and lemon oil. However, the Yellow Fin Tuna Tartare stole the show with beautiful colors displayed on the plate and mouthwatering flavors with each bite. The dish included a cauliflower puree, pickled Amish vegetables, and grilled almond oil with a fantastic sauce.  

After licking the appetizer plates clean, we couldn't help but order the Classic Bouillabaisse made with the fish of the day, mussel, scallop, shrimp, marble potatoes, and saffron broth. We soaked up all the broth we could get! 

Before calling it quits, we decided to try one summer dish that wasn't from the sea. The Roasted Moulard Duck Breast immediately caught my eye. I am not normally a duck fan, but the flavors of the sliced brussels sprouts, rainbow carrots, poached pears, and sweet wine glaze with the perfectly cooked duck made for one of the best bites I had had all night!

We sadly didn't have time to try the fun new summer desserts because we had a musical at the Kennedy Center to attend--but I promise you we will be back to try something from the ice cream bar--like the macaron and raspberry sorbet or the Tropical Pavlova with meringue cookie, Chantilly, mango and strawberry, tropical sorbet, and mango gel! Le Bar and The Ici Urban Bistro are both great places to kick back, relax, drink, and dine. I couldn't have asked for better service or conversation from the hosts, servers, chefs, bartenders, or staff. Next happy hours, please? 

For more information on Sofitel DC, the signature restaurant, or the bar, go to: Sofitel DC

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