Nage Bistro — Washington, DC

On my recent trip to Washington, DC, I went to dinner at Nage Bistro (at the recommendation of a fellow blogger).  I was there on a weekend, but I was feeling pretty optimistic about the vegetarian options because they have a weekly all-vegetarian menu known as Meatless Mondays.  I figured that their rest-of-the-week vegetarian options were probably pretty good too, and they were.

The menu is pretty vegetarian-friendly.  Each course had at least one vegetarian option, and these weren’t the “same old” options you find everywhere.  It was clear that they had actually put some thought into creating interesting vegetarian dishes — in fact, the two things I had were dishes I’d never had before.

I started with the “wild mushroom baklava”.  It was basically a mushroom and chevre mixture served on phyllo dough.  I liked how it was designed to approximate baklava in appearance, but had a savory, rather than sweet, flavor profile.  The blueberry compote was a nice addition on top; it provided a contrast and kept the dish from getting overwhelmed by the mushroom.

My main course was the “mushroom pot pie” from the “Bistro Fare” section of the menu.  In retrospect, I maybe shouldn’t have gotten two mushroom-themed items in a row, but I was quite pleased with both.  As you probably know, pot pies are generally not vegetarian-friendly, so it was a treat to get the chance to try something that isn’t usually an option for me.

The crust on the pot pie was delicious and flaky, and the inside was filled with mushrooms (obviously).  There was a nice broth — the madera veloute — that ensured that the dish wasn’t too heavy, and carrots, potato, etc., to provide some balance to the mushrooms.  All in all, I thought this was a great dish:  it provided a vegetarian spin on a meat-heavy classic, it did it in an interesting way, and most important, it tasted good!

My friend had the butternut squash “farroto” — farro cooked in the risotto style.  He generally liked it (and I liked the bite of it that I had) although he found it to be a bit too much to finish.  We also had the fries (which I wanted to try because they were made with truffle oil); they were okay but nothing impressive.  I thought they were a little too thin cut and a bit on the greasy side.  I also didn’t think the truffle flavor came through all that well.  I can’t tell you anything about their desserts, though; after all of this food we were too full to try anything else.

Overall, I thought Nage Bistro was a great option for vegetarians.  You aren’t going to get the kind of luxury dining experience here that you might at some other restaurants, but if you’re looking for a good meal with lots of interesting vegetarian options, then Nage Bistro is a great choice.  Now to get back there sometime for a Meatless Monday…

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Nage Bistro’s menu is below. (Return to the body of the post.)

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