Puttin’ on the Ritz: Westend Bistro by Eric Ripert has a new spring menu

March 31, 2010

My taste buds have gotten used to the good stuff.  As I grow more accustomed to the Washington restuarant landscape, I realize how big of a food town Washington is.  My favorite chef in the world, besides my mom of course, is Michelin rated chef Eric Ripert of Le Bernadin in New York City. 

The French culinary master is a genius when it comes to cooking amazing dishes, not just seafood, for his restaurant. I became of fan of Eric when as a viewer of his PBS cooking show Avec Eric. Aside from his cooking talent, he’s very easy on the eyes.  In Washington, DC Eric has a restaurant at the Ritz-Carlton in the Westend called Westend Bistro by Eric Ripert, a French bistro and contemporary American cuisine that mixes flavors of the Chesapeake, Provence and the French Riviera.

I was invited by my friend Audrey, the public relations gal for the Ritz-Carlton Georgetown and Westend to check out the Westend Bistro’s new spring menu.  I’m not a food critic but I do love good food, which is what I had at the Westend Bistro. The new menu is a fresh take on what the restaurant does best, contemporary American with a Chesapeake, Provence and French Riviera swag mixed in.  

Make sure you bring your appetite when you sit at the bar or the restaurant because the menu will have you salivating and begging for more.  The first thing I tried was the buffalo duck wings Bayley Hazen blue cheese dressing.  A modern twist on the traditional buffalo wings, the duck substitution is perfectly balanced with spicy and saltiness and it’s finger licking good.

The duck wings just melts in your mouth even before sinking my teeth into it. It was the grown up version of the chicken wing. The cocktail paired with the duck wings was the Celery Crush made with Grey Goose vodka, Pimms, celerey,cucumber, mint, lemon juice and simple syrup. Us Southern gals know about crushes. Those yummy concoctions that are worth investing in a grapefruit and orange crusher. They are the perfect cocktails to quench the summer thirst and the perfect drink to put out the heat of the wings.

Chef Joe Palma, a Southern boy and alum of the College of Charleston is a delight.  He has so much passion for the food he creates that I enjoyed my meal even more after talking to him.

Pan Roasted Oysters with clams, leeks and tomatoes. Chef Palma told me that this dish was inspired by the oyster bakes he used to make back in college.

Yummy Profiterole drizzled with a warm chocolate glaze.

Chef Palma drizzled my plate with chocolate in slow motion so that I could capture this beautiful picture.

I loved the Cotton Candy Mojito that compliments the Profiterole. Wish I could have just eaten the cotton candy before pouring the liquor on top.

I snuck back to the kitchen to check out Chef Palma in action.  The staff looked like they were having so much fun. The food looked so good. I really couldn’t work in a kitchen because I would eat every single thing and probably end up as big as a house.

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