Restaurant Review: RIS

Sunday, March 28th, 2010 by val

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Apparently this restaurant has been in the works for a while.  There has been buzz around town that Chef Ris Lacoste would be opening her own place since 2005.  I would imagine it takes a while to find the right space, the right people, the right devoted following (kidding…just barely) and the right time to open a restaurant that hits perfection.  Chef Lacoste certainly aimed high and delivered with RIS.


The Washington Post did a critic’s review of the new neighborhood bistro last Sunday (3/21), but we had heard good things since the opening in December.  I received an email early last week letting me know that Adam had booked a reservation for Friday night, just before the peak dining hour of 7:00pm for Washingtonians.

We arrived and were promptly greeted by an extremely friendly host staff and seated in the “living room” portion of the restaurant.  The happy hour crowd was still at the bar, and it provided for a nice vibrant setting.   I hate places that are too quiet or that don’t have enough people in them.

Our waitress was excellent, even offering to let Adam try a beer he hadn’t had before.  While he was deciding, she moved to take care of the other tables assigned to her.  Out of nowhere, a second server swoops in, lets us know that our server was busy at the moment, and offered to take our drink order.  I asked what would go well with the steak, which I had chosen for my entree, and he recommended their porter instead of a glass of wine, because they cook the steak with the beer.  We’ll take two, please  :)

In addition to our beers, Adam and I both got the New England Clam Chowder for a starter.  Spring had become a little cooler that evening, and a nice bowl of soup was a great way to warm up.  It was exactly what a clam chowder should be – nice, rich (see the pad of butter in the picture below) and tasting of clams.


New England Clam Chowder

Our entrees consisted of mainstays for me and Adam – double cut pork chop for Adam and a grilled skirt steak for me.  The portions were excellent, and everything was cooked textbook perfect.  The only thing missing was a little salt on my dish.  Other than that, the flavors of all the components melded together nicely.


Cider Glazed Grilled Pork Chop


Grilled Portuguese Skirt Steak

One of the other dishes that I wanted to try was the chicken pot pie.  I’d heard great things, but I was in a steak mood that evening.  When I saw the dessert menu and found a pot pie on there, I figured that it had to be just as good.  The Apple and Pear pot pie with rum raisin ice cream was outstanding.  I recommend splitting it between two people.  It was just enough to share.  A perfect ending to a perfect dining experience.


Apple and Pear Pot Pie


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