I don’t know whether I should blame the bitter cold night, Sunday, or The Delegate itself, but walking in here on the last day of Restaurant Week (!!!) was like entering some bizarre Walking Dead restaurant. I felt 100% ridiculous for having made a reservation for a place that was literally empty. It’s also–previously unbeknownst to me–on the first floor of the Marriott across the street from the convention center, so you might as well slap a tie-dye “I ❤ DC” sweatshirt on me, hand me a weathered Metro map, and paint the word “Tourist” across my forehead. My bad.
This place is so used to tourists that they didn’t even bring us the Restaurant Week menu until I asked. So without further ado, our beverages:
I had the Granny Smith Goes to Washington, a clever/touristy name if ever I’ve heard one. It was spicy and hit the spot, although I would have loved a hot version given both the weather and the key apple-cinnamon flavor. My husband had the Death and Taxes, which had the nice peaty heat from Scotch but tempered with the tasty sweetness of amaretto. It also has the distinct honor of being the pinkest, froo-froo-est cocktail I’ve ever seen my husband consume.
Due to aforementioned cold coldness, we both ordered soups for our first courses. I have to say, the French onion soup was actually fantastic, appropriately cheesy, and interestingly alcoholic and a deep black color due to the addition of stout. My husband’s crap soup was less impressive, more akin to Campbell’s alphabet soup with some crab meat thrown in. Mehhhhhh.
I ordered the blackened salmon. It was maybe a little underseasoned, maybe a little overcooked, but in general tasty, appropriately-sized, and with a basic but yummy (and healthy!) succotash. I give it a solid B+.
My husband got the short rib entree and I was pleasantly surprised by it. The meat was forkable with a really nice, spicy jus and maybe the best sweet potato puree of all time. Definitely the best part of the night.
They were out of the restaurant week desserts that they were advertising. That’s depressing because I was really looking forward to lemon-coconut cheesecake. I had to settle for a dulce de leche cake, while my husband got a Charlotte chocolate cake (whatever that means). Maybe I should thank The Delegate for the fact that, for the first time in my life, I didn’t demolish an entire dessert. It was okay. It wasn’t super sweet, which I liked. The chocolate cake was similarly alright. It had a creamy filling and a nice, moist cake but, you know, it was just chocolate cake, which I don’t even want to eat on my birthday.
Our server asked us where we were from (again, my bad for not knowing this restaurant was in the hotel lobby) and then proceeded to do a sweet card trick for us and tell us about his personal training business.
Price: $60 per person during RW (including drinks); probably similar during normal times for less food.
Bottom line: The Delegate was pretty okay tourist fodder. I can only imagine that out-of-towners were entirely responsible for their 4.4 yelp stars. Next Restaurant Week, I’ll tread a little more cautiously.