With three locations in the D.C. area, Chef Geoff has experienced tremendous success. His first restaurant, simply named “Chef Geoff’s” and located in Wesley Heights, opened in 2000. From there he expanded to “Chef Geoff's Downtown” in 2002 and more recently to “LIA” in Friendship Heights, I recently sat down for dinner at Chef Geoff’s Downtown. Here’s the verdict.
Going in for dinner about 8 p.m., the bar was still packed from the 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. happy hour. Being centrally located to several businesses, "Chef Geoff’s" has an ideal location and caters to the happy hour crowd, having several drink and “lil snacks” specials to choose from. The wine list is extensive and they offer half-price bottles of wine on Monday. "Chef Geoff’s" also offers quite a few beers on tap and by the bottle. Most popular is their “super mug,” which will run you $11.95 but couldn’t be more worth your buck. "Chef Geoff’s" is also staying on top of the election by offering customers a Democratic or Republican cocktail. You can choose from "Ciroc O’Poma" which is a refreshing blend of ciroc vodka, fresh pomegranate and pineapple juices, or the "McCane Mojito," which is an enticing blend of fresh mint, simple syrup, lime and a 23-year-old Zacapa rum.
I started the meal off with asparagus risotto balls with mozzarella and then indulged in a jumbo lump crab cake sandwich with green tartar sauce. The risotto balls took a twist on the average rice balls filled with meat, peas and a marinara sauce. Creamy mozzarella risotto and bite-sized asparagus were rolled into a ball, lightly fried and served with a light green sprout cream sauce. The crab cake surely lived up to its title of being lumpy. It wasn't too heavily packed with bread, seasoned just right with spices and complimented by crunchy french fries. Finishing off the meal, I ordered the tres leches cake served with crème anglaise and strawberry coulis. The cake was the correct combination of moist, sweet and rewarding. It may possibly have been the perfect finale to a terrific meal. The service was prompt and friendly despite the heavy attendance of customers. Joking and creating conversation the whole meal, the waiter wasn't overbearing but also not under attentive.
The menu has a colossal array of items (burgers, salads, pizza, meats, fish, etc.) making it difficult to make a decision. Classified as New-American cuisine, Chef Geoff’s has something for everyone. If you want to check out the menu before heading over to one of the restaurants, go to Chef Geoff’s website for a sneak peek. Chef Geoff describes his downtown restaurant as his “theatrical diva,” and there’s no doubt this is true. Conveniently located extremely close to Metro Centro, this restaurant is accessible to all riders of the Red, Blue and Orange lines. Great food, great service and a great crowd make this restaurant an excellent choice for lunch, dinner or happy hour.
Chef Geoff’s Downtown 1301 Pennsylvania Avenue NW (T) 202-464-4461