Image: Tarte Flambée
Last Updated: January 2022
Current Status: Open for dine-in service. They also added take-out. Open Wednesday to Sunday currently. Though that might change if life gets closer to normal.
The food at Michele’s is rooted in the French tradition with other influences (primarily Louisiana, and Vietnam by way of Houston) interwoven. It is delicious and can be decadent. Among the smaller dishes is a potato and black truffle tarte flambée with amounts of gruyère and butter sufficient to make you blurt out something in French after the first bite. The kitchen’s tweaks to standards can be found in the trout dish with chorizo and a pimento hollandaise. There is a whole section for caviar choices. Bread is offered three different ways, none of them free but based on our one sample worth it. It took discipline to stretch a scallion brioche with hoisin butter across more than one course. The menu is designed to go as big as you want with apps, small plates, fish and meat entrees. In addition to the caviar and bread choices there are cheese and charcuterie.
Michele’s is Matt Baker’s third restaurant in D.C. The first was the impressive and still overlooked Gravitas in Ivy City. He then worked with the Gravitas pastry chef Aisha Momaney to open Baker’s Daughter, a day café with three locations. Momaney is also responsible for the impressive dessert options at Michele’s that include a chocolate souffle. The bar area is sizable with an attention on cocktails. The wine list is well-rounded and the result of thoughtful deliberations, though the by-the-glass prices are not inexpensive.
Michele’s takes over the space in the Eaton Hotel previously occupied by American Son (where Hamilton Johnson briefly cooked before moving on to Gravitas – get that man his own restaurant again!). For the second time, Eaton has gone with a local chef of note rather than bringing in someone from out of town or plucking a rising star. Baker was able to rely on in-house talent and other locals of note to fill out the staff. Andrew Cleverdon, who worked at Siren and Bourbon Steak is Chef de Cuisine. As a result, for the second time in a row, Eaton is blessed with an excellent restaurant that deserves attention right out of the gate.
Baker told Eater that he resists pigeon-holing the food that draws on so many inspirations. “At the end of the day, I would love to be able to say this is an upscale restaurant by Chef Matt Baker that has really fucking good food and that’s it.” To which we say, Michele’s is a fine dining spot from the Baker and his talented team. It serves really fucking good food. We suggest it is worth a trip to try for yourself.
Washington Post: No coverage yet
DonRockwell.com – no thread yet
DCist: Nevin Martell’s First Look.