Lutéce, Georgetown, Washington DC
I was back in Washington DC last weekend. Since 2015 I have visited this city at least six times for medical reasons. It’s a long story, but in 2014 I was bitten by a tick and contracted Lyme disease (*see note below). After several, desperate months of searching, without luck, for a ‘Lyme literate’ doctor in the UK, we decided to go to America, where the understanding of Lyme is far more advanced. My doctor in Washington DC is incredible, it is through his understanding of Lyme and his antibiotic protocols that my immune system has learnt to control the bacteria and I can live a full and healthy life. Consequently, I know Washington DC quite well, although I must admit in the earlier days, restaurants were the last thing on my mind! Our recent visit was purely a means to touch base with my doctor, who I hadn’t seen since the start of the pandemic; I’m happy to say it was a very positive trip, particularly as I discovered a new restaurant to pass on to you!
The neighbourhood of Georgetown is DC’s oldest, and a favourite of mine. I love to ogle at the houses off of the main high street, in fact, renowned American cookbook writer, Julia Child once lived in one of the beautiful wooden framed houses here. Child was recognized for bringing French cuisine to the American public, so it seems fitting that just around the corner is Lutéce, a French-inspired restaurant.
I often find the atmosphere of restaurants in DC a little soulless, as they tend to be large and over air-conditioned; although the food may be good they lack atmosphere. Lutéce breaks this mode, it’s very small and intimate, the atmosphere is relaxed – it’s the perfect backdrop for its modern French cuisine. On entering the restaurant on Sunday evening, glimpsing at the food on the neighbouring tables, I had a good feeling about Lutéce, particularly when I saw the waitress behind the tiny bar making up their signature cocktails. It was a good start!
We began with the ‘Steak Tartare, Fermented Chilli, Capers, Potato Chips’ – this was fantastic, seasoned to perfection, the best I’ve had in a long time, whilst ‘Broccolini, Burrata, Red Miso, Preserved Lemon’, was pieces of Burrata mixed with the broccolini and dressed with a hollandaise sauce, which was light and citrusy – it was deliciously fresh. Our main courses were no less thrilling, there was ‘Duck, Cauliflower, Fennel, Cherry’; the subtle sweetness of the cherry perfectly matched the breast of duck which was served with a rich, flavoursome confit. ‘Berkshire Pork, Spring Onions, Sauce Charcutiére’, was a tender pork chop which was well matched by the slightly tart sauce, I reminded myself that I must make this gherkin and mustard sauce at home! Often I find the size of the portions in America ridiculously big, and so I struggle to finish a meal but fortunately, at Lutéce the servings were generous but not overly – we were comfortably full and could still enjoy dessert…a delicious ‘Chocolate Ganache’, its rich sweetness was cut by a dash of salt, and equally good was ‘Cheese Tart, Rhubarb & Lemon Balm’.
As a tourist in a big city, Lutéce is the type of restaurant that makes you feel like a local, and I must admit that I felt rather smug about finding it! The food, atmosphere and service are exactly what you need after a long day trawling the countless museums and monuments of DC…but remember to book well in advance!
*To find out more about Lyme Disease visit Lyme Disease UK or feel free to contact me here.