When I am not traveling, I love to explore DC’s overrated, underrated, and vast food scene. So enjoy my DC bites between travel bites.
I appreciate that most folks in DC are into the shiny object phenomenon. It’s new, aptly located Near the White House, and has a steady buzz like the fly in your office hiding in the light. That being said, I came away with one impression from Mirabelle: bored. Not quite a sunken place but hovering somewhere above, “I got dressed up for this?”
Mirabelle has the elements of any fine dining restaurant: accommodating but stiff staff, white tablecloths, small and focused menu. But where it misses the mark is that its atmosphere and food lack any energy that is worth attempting to re-create. I knew that if I waited a week to write the review, I would forget everything I’d eaten because everything was lackluster. Sure enough, I had to go back and look at the photos. So after some reflection, we tried the Maine lobster appetizer, filet mignon, bouillabaisse, and french puff pastry for dessert. Most of these were misnomers. The lobster wasn’t bad, nothing amazing but pretty tasty. The filet mignon was also enjoyable. The texture and seasoning were pretty spot on. But the other items…well, let’s talk about it. When you hear bouillabaisse, you expect a soup with deep flavors, filled with generous seafood. I can always tell by the color. Like a drink, if the broth is too clear, you know it’s trouble. The bouillabaisse was flavorless. It tasted like diving deep into the ocean and forgetting to close your mouth. Do better.
Oh, and the puff pastry. Do not EVER promise me a puff pastry with no puff or pasty. This was some nouveau deconstructed brittle tower with strawberries and a scoop of ice cream. Full stop. At the risk of hyperbole, I have never been to a French restaurant where the dessert left me so unsatisfied.
And while it’s not Mirabelle’s fault, the crowd is mature, very mature, and we had the pleasure of sitting next to some Trumpers lamenting that “everyone wants a free meal ticket now.” Baby boomers ragging on people for free stuff? Stop, your house costs $1 in 1960. Actually, these folks may have been too old to be boomers, they were looming around 80. I looked up what these folks were called and the google told me “traditionalists” or the “the silent generation.” Don’t pretend you didn’t laugh like I did, those are some pitiful names.
I had plenty of time for such random musings because, well, I was bored. Unless this place transforms into, well, a new place, I doubt I’ll go back.