Since the purpose of Restaurant Week is to try new restaurants out for a fraction of the cost, every time that week rolls around I take full advantage. This go around my second restaurant choice proved to be much better than my first which was when I went to Vidalia. I decided to finally try out Sou'Wester which is located in the Mandarin Oriental Hotel located in Southwest quadrant of Washington, DC, hence the name.
It was a beautiful day so I jumped at the chance to sit outside. The patio area overlooked a grassy area where they were just dismantling from a wedding. It was very quiet and peaceful back there, so much so it was hard to tell you were still in the city.
The waiter came over introduced himself and welcomed us to the restaurant. They had an extensive wine list but I decided to stick with a glass of Riesling while I decided on what I wanted to eat. Honestly, practically everything looked good on the menu and it took me a little while to decide on my three courses. I love when places offer most, if not all, of their regular menu during Restaurant Week.
For my appetizer, I started off with a wedge salad but this wasn't your run of the mill wedge salad. It was drenched in a buttermilk ranch dressing and topped with lots of fresh bacon. I'm sure it had twice the calories of a salad that would have been good for me, but I settled on eating something that was good to me instead.
Next, I had the grilled North Carolina shrimp with Anson Mills Grits, Roasted Tomato, Pearl Onions, Felts Country Ham Sauces for the entree. It was just the right portion after having that hearty salad. From the first taste of the shrimp and grits, I knew it was a winner. Prior to having the shrimp and grits at Sou'Wester, Art & Soul was my hands down favorite. Now Sou'Wester has taken #1. The grits were incredibly creamy, the shrimp was fresh and I'm sure I tasted some andouille sausage in there which was a perfect complement to an already excellent dish.
By this time, I was full and didn't think I could eat another bite but that was until I saw what came out. The blackberry cornbread buckle (similar to a cobbler) was served with a side of sweet corn ice cream. I was a special place in my heart for blackberry cobbler and I'm glad to say this dish didn't disappoint. It was baked to perfection. I truly appreciated how they put the ice cream on the side so that it didn't melt into the dish and detract from its rich taste.
Overall, Sou'Wester impressed me from their very accommodating waiters to their superior food and atmosphere. Everything I had was an A+ and it will definitely be going on my list of places I must take guests who are visiting Washington, DC. If you haven't been there, it's a definite must!
1330 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20024