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The Source by Wolfgang Puck, Penn Quarter

575 Pennsylvania Avenue N.W.
Washington, D.C.
Tel: 202 637 6100
view web site ›'s insider take:

The D.C. outpost of the Puck empire is nominally affiliated with the Newseum (located inside the museum complex), but it's hard to imagine the fanny-packed masses stopping here for lunch. The only connection the upscale eatery has to its neighbor is its name, a clever double entendre referencing both the journalism term and the chef's focus on locally sourced ingredients. This is the place to see and be seen among those in Washington who value both style and substance. The space itself is splashy yet romantic, with tea candles, warm woods, modern leather upholstery, and a showstopper 2,000-bottle wine wall. The cuisine is described as "modern American with Asian influences." That's an accurate label for the ground-floor bar fare, but the main event upstairs definitely focuses squarely on Asia. "Tiny dumplings" are a jazzed-up version of the Chinatown classic, filled with tender pork belly and pan-fried with chile oil, while a delicate piece of arctic char comes gently seared and bathed in a mellow cardamom sauce, executive chef Scott Drewno's nod to the Subcontinent. As for main courses, perfectly grilled lamb chops are set in a cilantro-mint sauce and served alongside soft pieces of Japanese eggplant, and American Kobe beef short ribs are braised for an entire day in plum wine and whole-grain mustard before being spooned onto mashed lentils. For desserts, skip the run-of-the-mill "assorted cookies of good fortune," and opt for the bananas brûlée on puff pastry or passion fruit cheesecake.

Open Mondays through Thursdays 11:30 am to 2 pm and 5:30 to 10 pm, Fridays 11:30 am to 2 pm and 5:30 to 11 pm, and Saturdays 5:30 to 11 pm.

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