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Felix
By Phyllis C. Richman
Washington Post Restaurant Critic
From The Washington Post Dining Guide, November 1996


| 2406 18th St. NW
(202) 483-3549

Hours of Operation and Prices
Dinner: T-Th 5:30-10, F-Sa 5-10:30; Entrees: $12-$18
Brunch: Sun 11-2:30; Entrees: $6.25-$8.75
Pre-Theater: T-Sun 5:30-7:30, $18
Closed: Mon.

Other Information
• All major credit cards
• Reservations recommended
• Dress: casual
• Valet parking (fee) on weekends
• Entertainment: Dancing Th-Sat 11 pm-2:30 am
• Handicapped accessible

Bright lights, big city and giant martinis - Felix strikes a midpoint between Manhattan and Miami's South Beach. Chef Richard Poye characterizes his style as influenced by American, French and Asian "but not a fusion of these cuisines." (Note: Chef Poye has since left Felix.)

For such a small and reasonably priced menu, Felix is studded with glamorous possibilities: peppered foie gras, quail, bison or Muscovy duck breast. The chef makes his own pasta - the likes of saffron-poppy seed linguine. Felix also offers homelier ingredients, from chicken (organic) to pork chops (double thick) to a vegetarian entree of quinoa and eggplant folded into a ruffled turnover.

Cured or smoked salmon on a potato pancake is a familiar appetizer that never grows tiresome. Here the pancake is lacy and crisp, the salmon house-cured and succulent; it's wonderful. Seafood ravioli, all too often dreary, is delicious in Poye's hands. Among the salads are trout and cress with spiced pecans, arugula with beets and quince and a Thai-spiced chicken with noodles that is barely spicy but makes a light and refreshing first course or entree.

Among the entrees, Poye times the charred peppered tuna "sashimi" perfectly. Lamb shank osso bucco is meltingly tender and richly browned, topped with chunks of braised root vegetables. The entree that exceeds expectations is the tender, juicy pork chop, moistened with a slightly creamy pan sauce excited by bits of bacon, olives and oregano. Poye ekes unexpected flavor from spaghetti squash, tames the cloying quality of beets and mellows bitter kale. Even if one dish or another doesn't quite work, nobody's going to go hungry at Felix. Not with the possibility of a moist, custardy chocolate and cherry bread pudding with mint anglaise for dessert. Or layered mango and coconut parfait, a creamy ooze with plenty of ripe fruit and shredded coconut.

© Copyright 1998 The Washington Post Company

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