// SCENE. STYLE. SPACE.

A FOR­MER WHITE HOUSE CHEF STEPS INTO A NEW MILIEU.

Capitol File - - CONTENTS -

Your es­sen­tial guide to fab din­ing, shop­ping, and liv­ing in DC.

The buzzy new down­town res­tau­rant Mirabelle has a lot go­ing for it, start­ing with the James Beard Award–win­ning bona fides of its chef, Frank Ruta. Pre­sid­ing over a clas­sic French res­tau­rant that re­flects a modern Amer­i­can sen­si­bil­ity, Ruta ex­plains that, while re­spect­ing tra­di­tion is a com­mit­ted part of his cook­ing phi­los­o­phy, he is “ex­cited to present those tra­di­tions through my own lens in a way that feels fresh and invit­ing.”

With its or­nate style and gilded fin­ish­ings, the space harks back to a time when fine-din­ing ser­vice was an ex­trav­a­gant show, with an amuse­bouche as the cur­tain-raiser and dessert as the fi­nal act. And when it comes to a show­stop­ping fi­nale, it’s hard to beat the dessert cart, a main­stay of many old-school and French-style restau­rants, says Ag­gie Chin, Mirabelle’s pas­try chef. Re­cently, th­ese carts have made a come­back be­cause of their nov­elty and sales power. “The cart def­i­nitely helps to boost sales. Maybe you’re not in the mood for dessert, but when you see it in front of you, you splurge,” Chin says. Top treats on her stately, two-tier gold-andma­hogany cart in­clude a mixand-match of caramels, mac­a­roons, and crêpes, plus her play on a clas­sic Basque gâteau. 900 16th St. NW, 202-506-3833; mirabelledc.com

The dessert cart at Mirabelle is one of many gilded touches that turn din­ing at the res­tau­rant into an event.

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