Restaurants in The InTowner
The InTowner
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Restaurant Review ~ Mintwood Place / 1813 Columbia Rd., NW

Well Minted. Several years ago, Mintwood Place in Adams Morgan got some pretty exciting recognition: Its then chef, Cedric Maupillier was a finalist at the RAMMYS as Chef of the Year. Why? His food was amazing. But since then, he has moved to another restaurant, his Convivial in the Shaw neighborhood. (Maupillier still retains a position as Mintwood’s Executive Chef.)

But the new chef at Mintwood Place, chef de cuisine Matt Cockrell, also presents American cuisine with some very unusual twists and turns. A native of Vienna, Virginia, chef Cockrell has been fascinated by food and cooking since his teen years. After earning three culinary degrees from Stratford University and working in several local kitchens, he was hired by La Chaumiere as a sous chef. Later, he worked at Le Diplomate as its executive sous chef before accepting the position as chef de cuisine at Mintwood Place.

photo–Scott Suchman.

Of course, the restaurant’s location and interior draws crowds. But since the Adams Morgan area is jammed with eateries, it is obviously the food that pulls folks in.

Take, for example, the special “family meal”  dinner on the menu every evening. At a recent dinner, the kitchen poured two cocktails, the “20th Century Vermont” based on gin, and the “Biltmore Sangaree,” a combo of fortified wines and fresh juices.

The three-course, prix-fixe dinner ($160, excluding tax and gratuity) includes “nibbles” with a country pâté, based on a 50-year-old menu; a sparkling greens salad with spiced walnuts and blue cheese; burrata with beet carpaccio and hazelnuts; smoked salmon rillettes. Afterwards, out comes the main-main course!! Layers of tagliatelle with beef and pork filling; trout with sauce amandine; duck breast with ramps soubise; wood-roasted chicken (only one large section); sautéed mushrooms; and thick and delicious wood-grilled asparagus. For the desert there is house-made ice cream and sorbet plus a section of a Key Lime “Speculoos” pie.

photo–Scott Suchman.

But if you come for any other dinner or brunch you will find a lengthy dinner menu and a tempting brunch menu. So many dinner choices, but what looks so appealing are the deviled pickled eggs “nibbles,” the French onion soup with Gruyère cheese appetizer; and the wood-grilled dry-aged bacon cheeseburger entrée — but so many temptations that returning often is the only choice.

Dinnertime not possible?? Consider their brunch with its splendid array of goodies and the happy hour offerings with drink specials and a few salads and meaty dishes.

Whether you skip dessert or plunge into the sweets, you will walk away understanding why Mintwood Place continues to get such high-end recognition. Washingtonian magazine honored Cockrell by naming Mintwood Place as one of “100 Very Best Restaurants” in January, 2018.

Mintwood Place / dinner, Tue.-Thu. 5:30pm-10pm, Fri. & Sat. to 10:30pm, Sun. to 9pm; brunch, Sat. & Sun. 10:30am-2:30pm. (202) 234-6732.

Copyright © 2019 InTowner Publishing Corp. & Alexandra Greeley. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without per-mission is prohibited, except as provided by 17 U.S.C. §107 “fair use”)

Alexandra Greeley is a food writer, editor, and restaurant reviewer. She has authored books on Asian and Mexican cuisines published by Simon & Schuster, Doubleday, and Macmillan. Other credits include restaurant reviews and food articles for national and regional publications, as well as former editor of the Vegetarian Times and former food editor/writer for the South China Morning Post in Hong Kong