Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Menu MBK

Located in the Penn Quarter neighborhood, Frederik De Pue's Menu MBK is a local market, casual bistro and six-seat chef's table, offering three ways to enjoy the best seasonal ingredients and cooking that the Mid-Atlantic has to offer. The third and fourth floor BistroBar is a casual gathering place boasting thoughtful bistro fare and a diverse menu of beer, wine and cocktails, and where I recently went to lunch for DC Restaurant Week.  Closest Metro is Archives.

Menu MBK’s design features recycled wood, exposed brick accents and hanging plants. The loft-like space is simultaneously warm, homey and energetic.  We were seated on the fourth floor at a round table made of recycled wood.

I came with 5 other coworkers to check out the 3 course RW menu.  There was a decent amount of options that appealed to most everyone, making this spot a great choice for larger groups.  To start, I ate the Tomato & Beet Salad with goat cheese and drizzled with a  balsamic - kalamata olive dressing.  The dish was very bright and made with farm-fresh ingredients.  It was a great starter.  Others in my group started with a green gazpacho, which got approval nods, or the pork pâté, which seemed a little mediocre.

For my main course, I chose the salmon with an artichoke barigoule with diced carrots and onions.  The fish was cooked perfectly with a very crispy skin that added a nice crunch.  The vegetables and broth underneath were very mild in flavor.  Others in the group enjoyed a summer pasta dish made with green peas and sweet corn or the house burger with fries.  The house burger is made with 50% veal and 50% pork, but was a larger portion size compared to the other dishes and seemed to be the best deal.

Lastly, for dessert I chose the Beignet served with a thick jam of strawberries and a small dollop of mint chocolate chip ice cream.  The donut was warm, the jam was tart, and the ice cream was packed with mint flavor.  Everything tasted fine - I just wished it was bigger.  But, I was satisfied with my lunch and happy to not leave feeling too stuffed.  Others in the group ordered the pot de crème, which looked lovely in a large mason jar topped with a madelaine cookie and raspberry sorbet. 

All in all, we enjoyed our lunch at Menu's BistroBar.  Service was on par to what I'd expected for a busy restaurant week offering.  There were a few glitches here and there - such as my reservation being cancelled at random by the restaurant the day before (I was able to call immediately and re-reserve our table), a mix up of burger temps, one missing dessert, and a sour remark about splitting checks, but that did not spoil our experience.  Our server was very friendly and answered all our questions about the menu items.  The chef was in house and greeted us when we arrived and said goodbye as we left, which showed warm hospitality.  Everyone in my group commented that they would return again to either the restaurant and/or the market area.

Total Rating: 4.05
Food: 4, Price: 4, Service: 4, Ambience: 4, Accessibility: 5

What I ate:
Tomato & Beet Salad
goat cheese, balsamic - kalamata olive dressing

artichoke barigoule

strawberries, mint chocolate chip ice cream

Menu MBK on Urbanspoon

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