Friday, August 19, 2016

Hazel

Hazel, located in DC's Shaw Neighborhood, provides a thoughtful dining experience that is of high quality and sophisticated, yet without the stuffiness as noted by the acclaimed food critic, Tom Sietsema. The menu is a collection of distinctive and satisfying medium size plates featuring global influences, each with a story that is meant to be shared. Closest Metro is U Street.

Upon arrival, we noticed the vibrant patio with outdoor seating.  Though large sun umbrellas were provided, it was still too steamy so we headed inside to check out the large wooden bar area.  I liked the decor with artwork, contemporary tile floors, and an interesting partition made from wooden post banisters.  We ordered a glass of wine at the bar while waiting for our table to be ready.  As soon as our drinks were poured, the server came over with a silver tray to carry our drinks to our table -- a nice touch.  Our server was energetic and attentive all night.  She explained that based on what we ordered, the chef would send out each dish in the progression he felt was appropriate.


We started with the Hamachi Crudo served with crispy rice, black lime, radish, hibiscus, and smoked yogurt.  The combination of smoky and pickled flavors gave a more Scandinavian feel to the dish than Asian, which I enjoyed.  It paired well with the glass of 2014 Hild, Elbling Trocken, from Mosel, Germany that I ended up having multiple glasses of.


Next, a light dish of Octopus a la plancha served with roof top basil, shaved carrot & fennel salad, tossed in Vietnamese nuoc cham.  The flavors were bright and refreshing.  This actually paired interestingly with a glass of orange wine that Keith tried from the Republic of Georgia - 2014 Vinoterra, Mtsvane, Kakheti.


An indulgent dish that stood out to me was Grandma's Zucchini Bread.  Sliced, and toasted, the thick Fall-spiced bread was served with a delicate foie gras mousse, topped with chamomile gelee and bee pollen.  This was very satisfying to me, and with my third glass of wine -- I was left quite full.


Keith, however, wanted more and opted for the Sticky-Crunchy Ribs that were covered in a citrus glaze and topped with roasted peanuts and cilantro.  The Asian flavors of this dish actually paired nicely with a light Italian red - 2011 Poderi Foglia, Aglianico/Roccamonfina, from Campania, Italy.

We were too full the try dessert, but were very pleased with our meal and the service at Hazel.  Conveniently located directly across the street from the 9:30 Club and Landmark Movie Theaters, we will definitely look forward to returning again while in the area to catch a show.

Total Rating: 4.15
Food: 4, Price: 4, Service: 5, Ambience: 4, Accessibility: 5

Hazel Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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