The following review appears in The Washington Post’s 2017 Spring Dining Guide.
There’s a new face at Mintwood: chef de cuisine Jordan Lloyd, who comes to this breezy, sepia-toned restaurant in Adams Morgan from the Eastern Shore, where he and his wife still own the Bartlett Pear Inn in Easton, Md. Lloyd is following the lead of opening chef Cedric Maupillier, now at Convivial but still a boss here, by offering diners a number of twists on classic dishes. For his Caesar salad, Lloyd presents curled anchovies on a slender bar of brioche, an elegant way of adding crunch to tradition (and a reminder Lloyd worked for several years under the late Michel Richard, a texture fanatic, at the late Citronelle). Lamb replaces beef in a fine Wellington, a thin cover of pastry enclosing ruddy meat in a sheath of mashed sun-dried tomatoes and olives. Lloyd has fun with salads, evinced by tender baby sepia, refreshing hearts of palm and a bright chimichurri dressing on a hillock of Bibb lettuce. The chef also adores meat. This is the place for Wiener schnitzel, flanked with mustardy potatoes, but also for crisp-skinned striped bass, hooked up with chicken sausage as well as frisee graced with a sesame-seed tuile. If some of the plates could use more finesse, they have flavor in their favor. To escape the noise, sit in the back or on the sidewalk patio. And stick around for something sweet. Desserts starting with a B get an A in my book, another way of saying the beignets, bread pudding and brownie sundae all shine.
2 1/2 stars
1813 Columbia Rd. NW. 202-234-6732. mintwoodplace.com.
Open: Dinner Tuesday through Sunday, brunch weekends.
Prices: Dinner mains $18 to $48, brunch mains $13 to $22.
Sound check: 79 decibels / Must speak with raised voice.
The following review was originally published in The Washington Post’s 2015 Fall Dining Guide.
Mintwood Place review: A pedigreed new chef keeps things steady
Have you heard? Cedric Maupillier has left the building. Relax, already. He’s still the executive chef and remains a partner, but Eric McKamey has replaced him at the stove, bringing years of experience at two regrettably shuttered restaurants (CityZen, Palena) and the good sense to know not to change what works at the American draw with a Gallic tilt in Adams Morgan. Escargot hush puppies haven’t gone anywhere, and they’re as fluffy and meaty as ever. The creativity continues to flow freely, too. A piquillo pepper stuffed with avocado and ringed in cucumber gazpacho made for a cooler summer. Tempura-light catfish with julienned fennel and baba ghanouj is a bit of a head-scratcher, though: The fried fish and the smoky eggplant puree are good on their own but smack of a forced marriage. Cheers all around, on the other hand, for the crisp golden pork schnitzel, bedded on buttery polenta and balanced with a sparkling parsley salad. One of the few neighborhood restaurants that treats desserts like first-class citizens, Mintwood Place tempts diners with baked Alaska flambé and Key lime pie, a deluxe bar based on the spiced biscuit speculoos. The clamor can be uncomfortable. The solution is to dine early in a booth near the big windows, which a companion summed up thusly: “Like sitting outside with the A/C on!” Maupillier’s departure should make your mouth water: He’s focusing on Convivial, expected to open in November in Shaw.