Debbie and I went to Siren with Rita and Bob two days after the announcement was made that the restaurant had been awarded a Michelin Star.
Siren is one of nine restaurants in the D.C. area with a Michelin Star. Two restaurants have two Michelin Stars and The Inn at Little Washington was just awarded its third Michelin Star.
Rita made the reservation.
Siren has been open for about a year and a half. It was started by two prominent DC chefs, Robert Wiedmaier and Brian McBride.
There are four stairs required to access the restaurant proper. (When I asked I was assured that there is an accessibility path to the restaurant.)
Immediately to the right as you enter the restaurant is very long bar with 16 high, well padded, chairs. The first part of the bar is a regular beverage bar. After an angular move to the left, the bar fronts on a seafood prep area with cooks preparing a variety of raw dishes. One can also select from the regular menu while sitting at the bar.
At the end of the bar is a table for eight. The balance of the restaurant is primarily a series of 2 and 4-person booths and tables. One thing I did notice is that all of the seating, whether booths or individual chairs, is quite comfortable.
According to one of the hosts, the restaurant seats 100 people. There are also six areas for private parties of many sizes including one that will seat up to 80 people. An outdoor seating area is available weather permitting.
Live music is provided by a piano player, a bass player and on some evenings, a drummer.
Prior to the meal we were served tiny cones filled with lobster mousse.
A plate of house made flat breads with coriander and fennel along with soft butter were provided for the table and refreshed several times during the evening.
Rita ordered Grilled Little Gem Lettuce – baby vegetables, papalo mousse, cumin vinaigrette.
Debbie selected Roasted Path Valley Asparagus – garlic, cured egg, ash.
Rita and Debbie both ordered Fisherman’s Stew – lobster + shrimp dumpling, bass, scallops, clams, sea urchin, squid ink brittle.
Bob went with Path Valley Cherry Tomatoes – seaweed, elderflower, lemon balm and Halibut – smoked lamb cream, bok choy, lima beans, roe, “things served in their shells”.
I started with Wala Wala Onion Brulee – kale, country ham, pecans, shishito, nori followed by Duck – wild rice, rhubarb, plum, mustard see, Szechuan.
For desserts Rita and Bob shared Spice & Figs – five spice cake, mascarpone, fig jam salted oatmeal crunch, vanilla ice cream.
Debbie and I shared the Chocolate Tart – cocoa petit beurre, dark chocolate ganache, toasted walnuts, brown butter whipped cremeux.
Toward the end of dinner chef owner Brian McBride stopped by the table to ask how we enjoyed dinner. Rita said the salad that she had received “was the best salad she had ever eaten.” He chatted for a while, talking about some of the other restaurants in Washington in which he and Wiedmaier were involved. We told him that we looked forward to our next visit.
The restrooms are part of the hotel not the restaurant. They are on a lower floor.
The following restroom review was done by Rita. This is only the second time in WW history that the restroom written about was the woman’s restroom. The previous time was in London many years ago. That review was also designed by a Rita.
“A very nice waiter (not ours) insisted on taking me to the elevator that leads to the restroom, on a lower level. He pointed out that it is not actually part of the restaurant, but belongs to the Darcy Hotel, which houses Siren by RW. So the restroom has a different design sensibility than the restaurant, but was comfortable, clean and looked like care had gone into designing it.
“The walls are covered in a deep, purple-mauve, textured wallpaper. Floors are planked oak (or maybe faux), and the sink area is a deep grey/black marble with modern chrome faucets. There are 5 stalls, encased in wood enclosures. As one enters there is a half-circle, marble table with ample supply of tampons and sanitary napkins, which will make many women grateful.”
There is valet parking at the main entrance of the hotel.
The restaurant is open for dinner every night starting at 4:00 p.m. It is also open for Sunday brunch beginning at 11:00 a.m. It is not open for lunch. When we asked why the restaurant did not serve lunch the answer given is that its location does not allow for a natural lunch crowd.
Located in the Darcy Hotel
1515 Rhode Island Ave, NW
Washington DC 20005