- The Washington Times - Monday, December 17, 2001

It is just the place if you like food prepared with creativity and style.
At 701 restaurant, one can get rainbow trout with Jerusalem artichokes, served in a cider reduction and an almond coulis. Or try a pork tenderloin, complemented with a red pepper tamala custard and poblano peppers.
Located downtown, the restaurant attracts a clientele as eclectic as its food, says Kevin Pulaski, the daytime manager of the restaurant.
"During the day, you get people working in the financial district and Capitol Hill. At night, you get theater-goers, tourists, and we also have a strong neighborhood clientele," Mr. Pulaski says.
The restaurant during lunchtime buzzes with activity with diners filling tables and servers sailing by with trays of colorful food. The room is sparsely decorated, yet airy and bright with art deco columns, large-paned windows and white walls.
Almost immediately after we sat down, our server came over and filled our glasses with ice water and set down an assortment of breads. He pleasantly chatted with us and made recommendations from the menu. He was neither pushy nor invisible, and gave us ample time to decide.
Both the focaccia and corn breads were wonderfully moist, with no need for butter. Finely chopped sweet peppers accented the naturally sweet cornbread, with a slight spicy aftertaste.
For appetizers, my companion was initially presented with a plate of tuna tartar that she had previously considered ordering, but then changed her mind to the butternut squash soup. As soon as the waiter realized his mistake, the plate was taken away immediately, and soon after her soup appeared.
The soup was well-spiced and the cilantro-lime cream garnish added an unusual tang to the flavor. But a full bowl seemed a little too rich for my companion's tastes. We later found out that the bowl should have only been filled halfway.
The Belgian endive salad was wonderful. The sweetness of the roasted pear that sat atop a bed of field greens nicely contrasted with the tanginess of the Maytag bleu cheese and the almond vinaigrette dressing. The slivered almonds added a welcome crunch.
The main courses were pleasing to the eye and to taste. My companion's main course of roast Chilean sea bass sat atop a leek and chanterelle mushroom ravioli, surrounded by a mushroom broth. The sea bass was moist and tender. Another item, the grilled yellowfin tuna, sat underneath rounds of yellow squash, fried tempura-style, which were then drizzled with a wasabi cream sauce. The wasabi sauce was not at all overpowering, yet still added a needed boost to the naturally bland vegetable. All of this sat in a pool of flavorful carrot-ginger sauce.
Though we were both pleasantly full from our meals, we both had to try 701's desserts, if only to see their presentation. My companion's lemon and raspberry sorbet arrived in a martini glass and was a refreshing way to end the meal. I ordered a pumpkin flan, which arrived adorned with raspberries and whipped cream. The custard wasn't heavy in texture, nor was it heavily spiced. It, too, was a wonderful way to end the meal.

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