It’s no secret that The Lafayette exudes old world charm. It’s located in the Hay-Adams, a D.C. institution, and is known for its elegant, white table-clothed tables, gorgeous chandeliers, and a piano player who has been there for years. The food happens to be as stunning as the venue, and I recently had the privilege of dining there and experiencing the wonderful cuisine of Chef Nicolas Legret and Senior Executive Sous Chef Jaime Montes de Oca.
Opening the meal was a bright, colorful garden salad, showcasing all of the summer’s best produce. Asparagus, radishes, and greens were tossed in a citrus dressing, and carefully plated to be a feast for the eyes as well as the palate. Served with a dry summer rosé, this course was the embodiment of spring and an illustration of the Chefs’ focus on seasonality.
Next up was some of the lightest, fluffiest gnocchi I have ever had the opportunity to sample. The little potato nuggets were golden and perfect, served with asparagus and onions and a mound of melt-in-your-mouth burrata. The dish simply oozes comfort and earthiness. A light pinot noir proved to be an ideal pairing.
Dessert was perhaps the most memorable. A luscious vanilla bean soufflé served with a glossy blueberry sorbet was sweet and tart and irresistible. There was also a lemon semifreddo, which was bright and summery, and finally a chocolate baked Alaska, a dish as decadent as it sounds.
The Lafayette is as fancy as they come, so dine there for a special occasion, or perhaps when your parents come to town, or when you’re feeling glamorous and you really want a glass of sparkling rosé paired with the best soufflé in town.