Member Rating 4 out of 5 by Alicia Maria on August 3, 2005

In order to celebrate the anniversary of our first date, my boyfriend and I were seeking a romantic yet fun atmosphere with great food and a nice wine list. We were hoping to catch some local fare in the process, since it was my first time to the mid-Atlantic region. I’d read on Chowhound (http://www.chowhound.com) that TenPenh came highly recommended; served local seafood; and had a nice, romantic vibe, so I looked on the restaurant's website (http://www.tenpenh.com/about.htm ) and found that they recommended reservations. I was able to score an 8pm spot on Open Table (http://www.opentable.com), but one could easily have also done so by calling the restaurant directly. We were seated upon arrival, despite the fact that we arrived 15 minutes early, which surprised me, since it was supposedly such a popular place and it was a Saturday night. I quickly noticed that the tables around us begin to fill up almost as soon as we were seated, however, and any reservations I had about the reviews of the place I read earlier quickly vanished. Despite all the interesting cocktail options, we started with a bottle of Conundrum 2002 from Napa Valley ($62). It happens to be one of my favorites, and a wine I don't see on very many menus on the East Coast. Our server then supplied us with towels to clean our hands at the beginning of our first course, which was a complimentary gazpacho. We both thought it odd that the towels were cold, but thought maybe it was due to the fact that it was close to 100°F outside, as we were in the middle of a summer heat wave. After perusing the menu for a very long time I ordered Filipino lumpia ($9) to start, followed up by the smoked lobster (market price, which was $35 that day). My boyfriend chose the barbeque-glazed short ribs ($10) and five-spice duck breast ($25). Both of us enjoyed the first course, but felt the food was standard Asian-fare and nothing to boast about. The entrées, however, far surpassed any expectations we had. Both the lobster and the duck were some of the best either of us had ever tasted. To finish the meal, we shared a pineapple upside-down cake ($8) that was also amazing.

All in all, we both loved every minute of our experience at TenPenh and look forward to going back to sample more of their tasty menu. The atmosphere is hip and sophisticated, but not stuffy, and seems suitable for almost every occasion.

1001 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, District of Columbia, 20004
(202) 393-4500


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