Ask most Washingtonians what words come to mind when they think of 1789 Restaurantand you hear things like, “Grande Dame,” “Power Dining,” and “THE place for Easter and Mother’s Day.” From the beginning, 1789 was meant to be a place revered for its traditions, the opulence of its food, the discretion of its waiters, and the romance of its dining room. The complex flavors and hearty dishes offer a gourmand mouthwatering choices, but we have a different approach to the menu. Revel in just three courses from the Second Course menu and you will experience chef Samuel Kim’s true genius. One test of the greatness of a chef is his or her ability to cook an egg correctly. Begin with the “Coddled Egg” and you will see greatness unfold before you. The sweetness of the golden yolk is complimented by the umami of the duxelles prepared with chanterelle, maitake, and oyster mushrooms, but it’s the spicy meatiness of the pork ‘Nduja sausage that is the dish’s star. Infused with the creamy flavor of the ink, the squid ink Tagliarini is laced with the sweetness of squid, calamari, and Maryland blue crab with a hint of jalapeño. Tossed with Meyer lemon confit and breadcrumbs, this is not your Nonna’s pasta: the spice of the chili and the tang of the lemon confit counterbalance the silky richness of the dish. The last dish is an homage to the beauty of rustic ingredients elevated by butter. The potato gnocchi are light and pillowy and soak up the aromas and savory flavors of the fried Burgundy snails, baby leeks, and smoked quail eggs. The beurre noisette is like the nightcap to a perfect meal and each dish is a vignette of the chef’s latest work of art.