Éric Ripert was once part-owner of a Restaurant in DC? Who knew?
I did not know that Éric Ripert had a place in D.C. Did you know know Éric Ripert.
Chef is the force behind Le Bernardin, a three Michelin Star restaurant in New York City that serves some of the best seafood on the planet. And apparently, during my five year absence from my home town, he opened up West End in the Ritz Carlton Hotel in the…(you guessed it) West End section of Washington D.C.
After about five years of operation, Chef Ripert pulled up stakes and left the organization. According to the one story I read, it was all on good terms. Still, this is the closest I’ve come to dining in one of his restaurants.
Walking in, I have to admit we were a little intimidated by the space and setting. We were just a family out for a spot of lunch in between events. The restaurant we thought was there…is now an Equinox Gym, so we turned here.
So from a casual healthy joint, to a high end Seafood place.
But the A.C. was working inside, and with D.C. being D.C. in the Summer, we were in no position to argue.
Either way, best meal of our trip to D.C.
We went to a back table, sat and were prepared for them to overdo it, but the Lunch Menu was nice. Yes, there were a share of very fancy items, but things like the Fishburger were going to hit the spot, so that’s where I aimed.
The preparation and taste on these items were both outstanding. We throw around worlds like cooked to perfection a bit too casually at times, but this stuff we were served it was…cooked…too…perfections. I have never seen anything like it. Lord knows I haven’t tasted anything like it.
Chef always said “the Fish is the star of the plate” at Le Bernardin, some of that philosophy must have come over here will he was still part of the ownership. Wonderful fish. Wonderful dishes.
WHAT SHOULD I GET?: If you’ve read this site for any time, you know I’ve got Seafood allergies.
So what am I doing at a Seafood place?
Hell, what am I doing being born in a Seafood State?
Okay. Okay. We’re here now. My family wants to have this. I would like to avoid breathing difficulties. So, I had the Spinach Marbled Potato Gnocchi.
Perfectly vegetarian, Spinach, Mushrooms, Potato Gnocchi in a mustard sauce. Lovely. Gorgeous. Great taste. Great flavor. It the Mustard sauce was creamy, smooth with just a touch of mustard flavor. (Yes, that was a complement). I’d have this again in a New York minute.
But…what about the stuff I couldn’t eat?
This is the Salmon.
Look at this.
This is just…
I’m allergic to this dish, and I want this dish. Look at that caramelization. Perfection. Per-fection.
And this, this Fishburger.
Okay, not so much passion as the Salmon, but the salad, the Mustard, even the burger all looked fantastic.
IMPORTANT SAFETY TIP, PEOPLE: Nothing really too difficult to crack about West End. It’s just a really good restaurant inside a really expensive Hotel. So let expensive be your guiding principle as you peruse the menu.
Trust me, you will get every dollars worth of flavor, preparation and taste out of your dollar.
Just be prepared to use a lot of them, that’s all.
Also, just so you know…when I was last there, there was a mess of construction going on in front of the Hotel. Hopefully this has gone away by now.
PARKING: It looks like the best thing is to use the Ritz Carlton’s Parking or Valet. Otherwise, I sincerely hope you took the Metro to get here. That or Uber.
1190 22nd St N.W.
Washington, DC 20037
Monday-Friday: 11:30 am – 2:30 pm, 5:30 – 10:00 pm
Saturday: 5:30 – 11:00 pm
Sunday: 5:30 – 10:00 pm