Photo: Hummus with Mushrooms at Chloe
Last Updated: 5/30/2020
Current Status: Chloe’s patio is open for dine-in service. They also continue their take-out and delivery options. Wines, beer and cocktails are available to-go. When making reservations note: Outdoor seating has no protection from sun or weather. All reservations are booked in 2 hour intervals. Valet has been discontinued, the best place to park is Lot Q one block away at the south end of 4th Street.
Before Times Review:
Last Visited: December 2019
At Chloe, a range of small, medium and large plates traverses multiple cuisines and returns you to a happy place. Over the last few years, we have gotten used to the proliferation of new restaurants on the ground floor of multi-use glass and steel buildings. With Chloe, all the other elements come together to wipe away the generic. The food, the team, even the design all contribute to make it something special.
It starts with the chef and the man behind the whole effort, Haidar Karoum. He established his bona fides as the opening chef at Proof. He went on to create the opening menus for the then-related restaurants of Doi Moi and Estadio. Chloe’s menu reflects each of the culinary stops (including a stint at Asia Nora back in the day). His signature cauliflower from Proof is here (and mandatory). The whole fish from Doi Moi might be there too. But the menu is anchored in local and seasonal products. Karoum finds ways to layer the flavors so that each contributes, and each is clear on its own. One example on the last visit was the harissa-spiced mushrooms spooned on top of hummus.
On the short end of the L-shaped room is the bar, that seems to capture a more adult crowd than some neighboring places. The long dining room has touches of blonde wood and green plants that soften the post-industrial frame. The kitchen is open, with counter seating to watch if you want. Equally warm is the staff, who convey enthusiasm for the menu without being cloying.
The wine list includes representative whites and reds from the U.S, France and Italy, as well as from some off-beat spots. As expected for a new place, it is not deep in vintages, but it is not cliché. The beverage program reflects the same thoughtfulness as the rest of enterprise.
Michelin gave it a Bib Gourmand, which is misleading as to the typical bill but reflective of the quality. Chloe settled its opening jitters and is now doing well across the board. It is a great addition to the growing waterfront neighborhoods, for the rest of us it is worth making the trip to Navy Yard.
Other Guidance: There are lots of vegetable options. Vegetarians and GF can build a pretty decent meal here. It is slightly upscale, so ties or nice dresses are not out of place but not the norm, and jeans more common.
Rating: Worth the Cab Fare
Cuisine: New and Old American
Neighborhood: SE/Navy Yard
Address: 1331 4th St SE, Washington, DC 20003
Washington Post: Tom upgraded to 3.0 stars in the 2019 Fall Dining Guide. He started at 2.5 stars but made it #7 in his Spring 2018 Dining Guide of new restaurants. An example of his underrating early when new restaurants need it most.
Washingtonian: #20 in 2019; 2018 Review.
Michelin: Bib Gourmand 2019.