Note: THIS VENUE CLOSED IN EARLY 2013
Visit this Washington D.C. restaurant’s website and the most-eye catching thing about its homepage is the presence of the words “Eclectic” and “Innovative” in a slightly larger font than the rest of the text appearing alongside them. If I were pressed to describe the establishment in two words, these are as apt as any that I might choose.
A menu that evolves organically and frequently is an attractive draw at this Washington, D.C. locale furnished with a sophisticated eye toward milk and dark chocolate wall and wood tones. While many eateries have gained much-deserved renown for having served the same fare in the same manner for generations, PS7’s selection turnover conveys that its kitchen is always thinking of new ways to engage its patrons, and will not make the mistake of resting on its laurels. This is but one menu aspect that seems calculated to incite curiosity and cultivate interest. In terms of engaging new diners as well as keeping established ones coming back for more, it seems the most direct, relevant, and honest.
The listings could likely do without the winking quotation marks strewn throughout the selection descriptions, as the likes of “cashew ‘butter’,” “‘bread pudding’,” and chestnut ‘toast'” display prominently among the ingredients and accoutrements of various dishes. Dinner menu items like the “Pork loin t.y.m.m.y.e.” or the cobia entrée accompanied, among other things, by the cryptic “bubbly gel” whose composition goes unexplained, could potentially irritate the average diner who might not know the meaning of these and other references and might be too embarrassed or put-off to inquire. This however, seems to be a risk that PS7 is willing to take. Judging by the myriad favorable reviews the restaurant has received from The Washington Times, Travel + Leisure, USA Today, and other noted publications, it is one that restaurant-goers apparently are as well.
PS7’s menus are not entirely fluid, however. There are several supremely enjoyable menu items that appear to be sticking around for a time. One is a warm spinach salad appearing on both its lunch and dinner menus. This plate of lightly wilted spinach arrives tableside flavored with mustard-thyme dressing and generously mixed with red onion rings, wild mushrooms, chewy bacon, and feta cheese. Another is a braised beef short ribs plate to whom red wine braising jus and potato puree offer perfect complement.
Enigmatic menu references notwithstanding, PS7’s Chef Peter Smith has some remarkable things coming out of his kitchen these days, not to mention the most affable greeters and waitstaff I have recently encountered. Words like “eclectic” and “innovative,” fitting though they may be, only begin to describe what’s at work there. I trust I’m not the only one looking forward to a seat at the table as its evolution continues.
777 I (Eye) Street
Washington, D.C. 20001