Originally ran this in 2009. I’ve been back since and the food is just as wonderful however the great waiter is no longer there.
I can’t believe Poste, an upscale moderne brasserie, is ranked # 27 out of the top 100 restaurants in Washington, DC through the Washingtonian Magazine. I would put this in the top 10, maybe top 5 of the restaurants in the city. We had the best meal I have had in years and it was gluten free and dairy free. This meal rivaled my meal at Citronelle in my pre-gluten free days. Chef Robert Weland has created a wonderful menu. He is committed to organic and sustainable food and boy can you taste the difference that makes. He is also committed to your entire experience.
The restaurant is located in the Hotel Monaco. You enter the restaurant through a historic carriageway portal. The restaurant is actually located in the original sorting room of the 1841 General Post Office. They have 16 foot cast-iron ceilings and skylights that were restored from the original post office. It’s very beautiful and the virtual tour shows you a glimpse of your surroundings. I apologize for my iphone photos. They do not do this restaurant or the food justice, so please look at their website, or better yet make yourself a reservation.
It was raining the evening we dined at Poste, so I didn’t get a chance to view the gardens. They hold special lunches and events in the gardens like Poste Roasts and Market to Market. The Poste Roast is served family style for 6-12 people with your choice of duck, goat, pig, brisket, lamb, squab, salmon or poussin- all sourced from local farmers and served with fresh seasonal sides. They offer this daily except on Thursday evenings. I would love to experience that one evening.
Market to Market sounds like a lot of fun. It’s a walk through the Eighth Street Farmers Market with Chef Robert Weland and then a five course tasting menu in the Chef’s garden. This is what takes place on Thursday evenings during the Spring, Summer, and Fall.
The evening started with our server, Javier, sharing his incredible knowledge on the wines they carried. This extensive knowledge went right down to how the vineyards choose the grapes for one particular bottle of wine. He was not reciting something he just memorized, he was sharing knowledge. We couldn’t make up our minds so he gaves a taste of 3 different wines. We settled on a bottle of Claret. It was nice to have that option to taste before buying the whole bottle.
He also guided us through the menu around the gluten free and dairy free options. He not only knew what was on the menu, he knew the ingredients and how it was prepared. I’ve never had a server who was more aware of food and the diners experience before. Poste is doing an amazing job, not of training their staff but educating their staff. They are seen as an extension of the kitchen. Bravo Chef Weland.
I started with the Tête De Veau and Scott had the Charcuterie. I can still taste it as I am writing this now. The Tête De Veau had intense flavors. This is a dish that takes four to seven hours to make and contains ingredients that are not easily found. I’m guessing you would be hard pressed to find it anywhere else in the city. The terrine of veal cheeks were served with a sunny side up quail egg, frisee and fresh black truffles. It is usually served with slices of french bread but I of course did not have any bread. I wish my photos could show you the layers of amazing flavors but you’ll just have to try it for yourself to find out.
Scott’s Charcuterie Board was all house made and included rabbit terrine, fennel salami, bresaola beef, and a coppa with pistachios. He said it was delicious and the rabbit terrine was his favorite.
For the main course I had Beef Bourguignon and Scott had Sea Scallops. If you’ve read my recipe blog, The W.H.O.L.E. Gang, you’ll find I like to take traditional recipes and make them gluten and dairy free. I’ve made this dish but in no way shape or form was it anywhere as amazing as what I ate at Poste. I’ll keep working on that. The meat was cooked for 72 hours. The sauce was delicious, the vegetables and lardons tasty and the meat just fell apart. No need for a knife. The beef was ribs and cheek with the roasted fingerling potatoes, carrots and mushrooms. The placement of the food in the bowl was artistic and at the same time very practical. Using organic farm fresh carrots makes for a wonderful flavor. I could have licked the bowl.
Scott had the Sea Scallops with a rutabaga puree, smoked cremini mushrooms, cipollini onions, and sage. They left off the crispy pigs tail because of the gluten. Javier at the table said right away that they would leave that off and in it’s place add another Sea Scallop. I love when offering gluten free options they add instead of taking things away.
We both finished the meal with Concord Grape Sorbet. It was sweet but not extremely sweet. It was wonderful. The whole experience was wonderful. Javier did a nice job recommending a wine that would go with both of our meals and then corked it for us to bring home. Drinking the rest of the wine was a nice way to remember our meal.
I can’t wait to Go Back and try some other items on the menu. I’m sure they will be changing with the seasons and I can’t wait to work my way through all four seasons.
Disclaimer: The reviews I post are my opinion and based on my experience. Just because I have a certain experience does not insure you will have the same experience. I cannot guarantee any meal anywhere, except in my own kitchen. Please eat out at your own risk.