This being sommertime in our fair city, we have interns. Thursday was one of our intern's last day which coincides with restaurant week so we decided to take her out to DC Coast. It being Restaurant Week, DC Coast was crazy crowded, and our reservation was for 1:45pm! Luckily we were seated promptly and given the "chef's" table next ot the kitchen. Our drink orders were quickly taken and we all indicated we wanted to get the Restaurant Week options. It took a while for the server to come back to explain Restaurant Week and tell us what was available. Their restaurant week menu gave us choices of mixed green salad, Ceasar salad, mushroom soup or gazspacho for a starter and the full list of entrees (with the exception of their lobster roll that you had to pay $3 more for) and a choice of their panna cotta, chocolate icebox cake, or creme brulee for dessert. A wonderful deal for $20. I had the mushroom soup, tuna on top of a soba noodle cake with an Asian slaw, and the panna cotta. Other members of my party had the penne, pecan crusted trout and steak bruschetta.
I'm only going to talk about what I ate since, I don't want to put words into the mouths of my co-workers. The mushroom soup was a dark broth with shitake, cremini, and other fancy mushrooms. It seemed to be served a little warmer than room temperature, but I thought it might be deliberate given the extreme heat of last week. I appreciated not having a piping hot soup that day. I liked the woodsy flavor of both the mushrooms and broth but somehow there was a spiciness that just seemed to linger in my mouth. I don't think it enhanced the flavor of the broth.
The entree came and the tuna that I ordered rare came about medium rare. I was hoping for that seared on the outside, quiveringly raw on the inside texture I so love aobut good tuna. But then I tasted it and it was wonderfully moist, more like a mahi mahi and the flavor was wonderful. The whole plate had the wonderful flavor of salty, sweet and spicy. My only complaint was the the udon noodles seemed hard to pry apart and eat since it came as a cake.
For dessert I had the panna cotta. I usually try and order things from a restaurant I can't make at home. And other than jello, I do not try and mess with gelatin. So panna cotta it was. The panna cotta was lovely, there was a sharp sourness that cut through the sweet creaminess to make this a memorable dessert.
Here's the kicker for the meal. Both the manager and waitress noticed (without me pointing it out) that my tuna was definitely not rare and apologized profusely. For me, it was no problem, but they were kind enough to comp my meal nevertheless. and for those restaurants out there (Belga Cafe I am looking at you), a sincere apology goes a long way. My enjoyment of the meal wasn't compromised by the mistake but I was gratified that the management of DC Coast and waitstaff cared. Running a restaurant is a crazy business. I would never want to do it. And for me, the only unforgivable thing in dining is snottiness on both the restaurant's side and the diner's side.