The Jockey Club
Written by Debra C. Argen   

The Jockey Club Duck a l'orange - Fairfax at Embassy Row, Washington, DC, USAThe Jockey Club at The Fairfax at Embassy Row in Washington, DC is back! Once "the" restaurant for Presidents, celebrities, and powerful Washington, DC insiders, The Jockey Club reopened in November 2008 and looks and tastes better than ever.

Some restaurants like fine wine, improve with age; after having dined in December 2008 at The Jockey Club at The Fairfax at Embassy Row a few weeks after its' reopening, I am happy to announce that the legendary restaurant is well on its way to its grand return. The restaurant pairs the excellent international team of Scottish Executive Chef Richard McCreadie, French Sommelier Pierre-Yves Robin, and French Maître d'hôtel Martin Garbisou, with an intimate and elegant ambience and a menu with a modern and classic French culinary focus.

Martin Gasrbisou French Maitre d'Hotel adn Chef Richard McCreadie of The Jockey Club
Maître d'hôtel Martin Garbisou and
Executive Chef Richard McCreadie

We began our evening with pre-dinner cocktails in The Fairfax Lounge where we sat by one of the two roaring fireplaces festively dressed for the holidays, while enjoying two of their signature cocktails, a Classic Manhattan (Kentucky Rye, Sweet Vermouth, Cherry Garnish) for Edward, and a Champagne Violette (Champagne, Crème de Violette, Candied Violette garnish) for me. Piano music from the Steinway piano wafted in the clubby ambience that was both masculine and comfortable with wood paneling and plaid walls and leather and plaid upholstered chairs. It is the type of place where you can almost feel the power of the meetings that have taken place here over the years.

The Fairfax Lounge, Fairfax at Embassy Row, Washington, DC
The Fairfax Lounge

Moving on to The Jockey Club, we were warmly greeted by Maître Martin Garbisou as if we were longtime Washington insiders, seating us at a prime table where we had an excellent view of the room. The restaurant is visually attractive with an ornately carved walnut wood bar, red banquettes and equestrienne themed paintings in gold frames line the dark wood and wallpapered walls, wood floors glisten, red and white patterned Roman shades accentuate the windows, wall sconces, and onyx and amber lights hanging from the coffered ceiling illuminated the room. Dark wood chairs with gold and red upholstery flank the well-dressed tables with red and white linens accessorized with red roses in white bud vases, white orchids in a silver pot add interest to the room, and low background music adds to the overall ambience.

The Jockey Club at The Fairfax at Embassy Row, Washington, DC
The Jockey Club

Sommelier Pierre-Yves Robin of The Jockey Club at The Fairfax at Embassy Row, Washington, DCExecutive Chef Richard McCreadie began our dining experience by sending us a lovely amuse bouche of a small cup of white asparagus soup with truffle oil that was smooth, rich, flavorful, and perfect on a cold December night.

Edward continued with a first course of Yellowfin Tuna Tartar with Wasabi Aioli and Sesame Wafer beautifully presented on an artsy triangular plate with the tuna tartar garnished with herbs, a sesame wafer, and dots of wasabi aioli that had just the right amount of kick to it, that was well-paired by Sommelier Pierre-Yves Robin with a Domaine Le Pas de l'Escalette, Le Grand Pas 2004, 13.5% alcohol.

Yellowfin Tuna Tartar -  The Jockey Club at The Fairfax at Embassy Row, Washington, DC
Yellowfin Tuna Tartar

For my first course, I selected Caramelized Sea Scallops with Macomber Turnip Mash and Cider Butter, which arrived as perfectly seared and caramelized scallops placed around a cylinder of mashed turnips that were layered on a bed of spinach, with thin and crispy sliced turnips as a garnish, and a light enhancement of cider butter, presented on a round white plate rimmed in red. This course was a study in perfection of both presentation and taste.

Scallops -  The Jockey Club at The Fairfax at Embassy Row, Washington, DC
Caramelized Sea Scallops

The menu had a lovely selection of entrees under The Jockey Club Classics section, including Long Island Duck Breast a l'Orange served with Wild Rice and Fennel Confit, which won Edward's heart. The duck was presented as five succulent medallions of duck with crispy skin, and accompanied by wild rice, haricot verts, baby carrot, and fennel confit, with a rich orange sauce redolent with julienne orange peels.

Duck a l'Orange-  The Jockey Club at The Fairfax at Embassy Row, Washington, DC
Duck a l'Orange

I had the Steamed Maine Lobster Tail served with Crabmeat Bisque and Snap Peas, which was a colorful dish with a fresh taste of the sea, that consisted of lobster that was cut and presented in its shell and placed in a semi-circle that was topped with mache, cut snap peas, a tiny pansy garnish, and surrounded with a flavorful pool of crabmeat bisque.

Maine Lobster -  The Jockey Club at The Fairfax at Embassy Row, Washington, DC
Main Lobster Tail

Chocolate Souffle -  The Jockey Club at The Fairfax at Embassy Row, Washington, DCWe ended our splendid dining experience with light and airy soufflés for dessert; a sinfully rich chocolate soufflé for Edward, and a delightfully decadent Grand Marnier soufflé for me, which arrived tableside perfectly puffed with a pitcher of crème anglais to pour over the soufflés to enhance their flavors. We sighed with pleasure with each delectable bite, and left The Jockey Club with a warm farewell from Maître Martin Garbisou.

The Jockey Club is open for lunch and dinner. Read other articles on The Fairfax at Embassy Row in the Hotels and Resorts section and on The Jockey Club in the Chefs' Recipes section where Executive Chef Richard McCreadie shares delectable recipes.

The Jockey Club at The Fairfax at Embassy Row, Washington, DC
The Jockey Club
2100 Massachusetts Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20008, United States
Telephone:      +1-202-835-2100

The Fairfax at Embassy Row, Washington, DC
The Fairfax at Embassy Row
Telephone:      +1-202-293-2100
Fax:                 +1-202-293-0641

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© January 2009. Luxury Experience. All rights reserved.