Chef Geoff’s in Downtown DC is the place to go for high quality dining. I had been there before and I loved it so I was excited to go back there. It’s in a super convenient location surrounded by parking garages, perfectly situated across from the Warner Theater. Quick backstory on Chef Geoff himself, he is a graduate of Georgetown University and he finished first in his class at the Culinary Institute of America. He opened his Chef Geoff’s Downtown DC location before he was 30 in 2002, since then he has opened numerous other restaurants, written a best selling cookbook, and was awarded the Albert Uster “Chef of the Year” Award in 2009. So basically, he’s got this whole “cooking” thing down pat.
We just so happened to be in town Friday night to see John Mulaney at the Warner Theater. So why not make it dinner and a show? (You can scroll down if you just want to read about the show)
Well it just so happened that dinner also became the show, because it really was incredible. From start to finish, the entire staff put on a memorable performance with everything tasting amazing.
We were greeted at our table with a warm and gregarious waiter who guided us through the menu. The service overall at Chef Geoff’s is very consistent, they are warm, friendly, and accommodating.
But let’s get down to brass tacks here, the food.
You are given delicious mini pieces of what seemed to be ciabatta rolls that were warm and they were definitely welcome after driving an hour and a half in DC traffic that night. Ciabatta is a great dinner roll as it’s light and fluffy but still satisfying as a dinner roll. But don’t fill up on the bread.
We ordered the “Gouda Stuffed Risotto Balls”, these are pictured above, and they are like tiny balls of heaven. They’re so good, the richness of the Gouda counter balances perfectly with the light airy allepo pepper cream dipping sauce. There was a great light crunch to the risotto balls, but not so crunchy where you couldn’t break into the balls, the ratio was just right. They were perfectly delicate, while still allowing to hold the gooey cheese which oozes out when you break them open. Well done.
For the main course, we went with the “Braised Boneless Short Rib” and the “Big Shrimp and Very Gouda Grits.”
Let’s start with the short rib. I really will run out of adjectives to describe this dish. The short rib itself is an English Cut (meaning instead of cutting across the rib, they cut the rib individually). This allows for more meat per rib, and it was a great idea for this meal. The meat was braised to perfection, and then it seemed that they seared it on each side as well to hold the entire thing together. The meat literally could be pulled apart which served the entire dish well. Why? Because honestly each bite of this dish needs to be eaten with a little bit of the sides as well to fully appreciate what they were trying to accomplish here.
The dish was accompanied with bacon & blue cheese brussels sprouts and a parsnip puree. Any one of these sides by themselves might be slightly too rich, but together they do a tawdry dance with one another that makes for culinary paradise in your mouth. The parsnips provide a great balance to the richness of the meat, while the delicate meat and fresh parsnip puree in turn work perfectly with the rich brussels sprouts. The large chunks of crispy bacon worked well with brussels sprouts which were cooked just right. I cannot recommend this dish enough.
Now onto the cinnamon donuts, again words do not do it justice. I would describe them as what you want a churro to actually taste like. The granulated cinnamon sugar on the outside of these fluffy yet crunch doughnut balls works perfectly. They are served warm and each bite is just a nice bite of fluffy goodness. You are provided with three subtle dipping flavors, but the flavor that really takes the cake is the lemon cream dipping sauce. It works wonders with the donuts, the citrus of the sauce creates some sort of delicious unholy alliance with the donuts. Basically I could eat this everyday. Order this.
I wanted to order more of the dessert menu, but sadly I couldn’t. If I could order the whole thing, I would.
Overall Chef Geoff’s in downtown D.C. is a hit, actually, it’s a home-run. You can’t go wrong, and the prices were very reasonable. For a nice night on the town, it cost less than $100.00 for two desserts, an appetizer, and two entrees, which for a fancy restaurant in DC that’s fairly reasonable. Do yourself a favor and try this place out, I recommend making a reservation ahead of time.
Now a quick review of the show part of the evening. We went to see John Mulaney live at the Warner Theater. If you’ve never been to a comedy show at the Warner Theater in D.C. you are missing out. I’ve seen numerous comedy acts there, and it has the majesty of a huge venue but the quaintness of a small comedy club. It’s the perfect balance and they always have great acts performing there.
John Mulaney is one of America’s hottest comics and he’s been on Fox, Comedy Central, and SNL. He is from my generation and he seems to have his thumb on the pulse of what my generation thinks is funny. His jokes are smart, witty, and most importantly hilarious. At the Warner, he unveiled mostly new material which hit on such topics of being newly married, Back to the Future, and Bill Clinton. More importantly, he called out two hecklers and got them pretty good.
So let me set the mood for you. The entire night these two guys were being rather vocal throughout the show, which can be very annoying to the comic. Think about it, he’s working and you are just shouting during his performance. Not Nice.
So at one point, they both got up to leave in the middle of his show to go get more alcohol. So he immediately notices, calls them out, then Mulaney asks the crowd to give him their jackets, while they are gone. He takes them, and then some hilarity ensued. The end result was this. Click here for the instagram video which luckily someone took of the end result.
Overall, Mulaney brought the house down and he really lived up to the hype. I would definitely go to see him again.