the restaurant of the gods

Beating me to the punch yet again, Jeff has blogged about our dinner Friday night at Nectar. This restaurant, in the spot near the Kennedy Center formerly occupied by another favorite of mine, Zuki Moon (home of the best homemade caramel and green tea ice creams), really was quite nice. It’s a little pricey (one appetizer, two entrees, one dessert, one ginger ale, and two coffees–and we had no wine or cocktails–ran us just shy of $100 before tip) for frequent visits, but definitely worth checking out for a special occasion.

In addition to the odd mix of over- and under-attentiveness (on the one hand, one server came over to pour more water every five minutes or so, but all failed to offer seconds on bread or to bring the check until we specifically asked, well after it was clear we were waiting), there was an interesting melange among the furnishings of the common–one server made a point of telling us that the candle holders were available at Target, when he thought I was admiring them–and unique–the beautiful glass plate on which Jeff’s salmon was served is part of the owner’s private collection, and is signed by the glassmaker.

I had the duck which, like several of their entrees, interestingly and appealingly is not a single item but a medley, consisting in this case of rare duck tenderloins in a wine sauce, a small salad on duck carpaccio, a duck leg on polenta, and foie gras with a delicate mint sauce. And the individual baked Alaska I had for dessert was spectacular, though the hazelnut praline ice cream within the absolutely perfect meringue was perhaps a touch still too hard to eat easily; the “invisible chocolate” sauce–a clear chocolate liquer–poured over it, though, added another interesting touch to the dessert.

In a bold but very successful move, Nectar doesn’t own a walk-in freezer, so the menu changes sometimes as frequently as daily according to whatever ingredients are available freshest that day. So use the menu on the web site only as a guide to possibilities rather than as a strict reference.