Lunch at The Mandarin Oriental DC with Chef Matthew Petersen

From left to right, Leslie, Tina and myself.

Day two of our eating extravaganza started at the Mandarin Oriental hotel. The timing of our trip couldn’t have been better because we actually got to see a special access team scaling the Washington Monument looking for cracks. You can barely make it out in the photo above, but this close up below you can see them a little better…

Not something you get to see everyday!

We lunched at the Mandarin Oriental’s Sou’Wester, where the executive Pastry Chef and “chef’testant” on Bravo’s Top Chef Just Desserts, Season 2 personally demonstrated his winning dessert from episode 2 –  Lemon Curd with Almond Sable, Sweet Basil Sauce Topped with Creme Fresh.

Chef Petersen was really down to earth and was happy to answer any questions. He swears by his Vitamix blender which is now on my shopping list! I was also interested to hear that he favors King Arthur flours which confirms what I suspected; paying a little more for your flour will give you better results.

After we watched Chef Petersen prepare his dessert, we lunched at the Sou’Wester, one of the Mandarin’s two restaurants which has riverfront views and a contemporary American menu from Chef Eddie Moran.

Disclaimer: What you are about to see is not exactly skinny!

All breads are baked on premises…

We started with Fried Oysters in a Smoked Pepper Aioli and Grilled Oysters with a Bacon Vinaigrette…

The spinach salad with apples, pecans, blue cheese and crostini w/ red onion jam is something I could see myself recreating. It was fresh and seasonal, as we are right in the heart of apple season here in the North East.

Coming from the north, I’ve never had shrimp and grits so I knew I wanted to try that! The grits were cheesy, almost reminded me of creamy polenta which I adore. This is a dish I think I will try to re-create very soon!

The perfect ending to our meal was Chef Petersen’s Lemon Curd with Almond Sable, Sweet Basil Sauce, topped with Creme Fresh.

The portion was the perfect size to have just a taste and presentation was like a work of art on a plate.

We walked all over DC, so luckily we burned off most of the calories we consumed on this trip. Although it seems like a lot of food, we shared most of our dishes and walked some more!

Next up: DC’s farmer’s markets, dinner at Adour at the St. Regis, Little Ethiopia, a giveaway and yes, there will be recipes too, I promise!