Why We Came
Ardeo + Bardeo was introducing new chef Jonathan Dearden and their summer menu. Ardeo + Bardeo was named one of the top 100 restaurants in D.C. by the Washingtonian in 2013 and 2014. This intimate restaurant can be found in D.C. Cleveland Park, near the National Zoo and metro. Ardeo + Bardeo is known for their modern American cuisine with influences from Asia and the Mediterranean.
Who's in Charge
Ashok Bajaj of Knightsbridge Restaurant Group recently brought in chef Jonathan Dearden as the new executive chef of Ardeo + Bardeo. Chef Dearden comes with an impressive array of culinary experiences. One of his greatest highlights was being a “multi-unit executive chef” at Jade Mountain Resort and Anse Chastanent, which is considered to be one of the Top 3 Caribbean Resorts by Conde Nast Traveler.
With a dark and neutral interior, Ardeo + Bardeo quickly sets the feel of an American bistro with an intimate setting. Portions of the walls are covered with black and white photography murals, highlighted by the warm lighting.
Ardeo + Bardeo gives one the feeling of inviting luxury as you enter through a red velvet curtain to be quickly greeted on the other side by a smiling hostess. With a sizable bar, the restaurant has an impressive array of wine and novel cocktails. With an impressive menu, the Ardeo + Bardeo restaurant serves as a popular spot for both locals and tourists.
Ardeo + Bardeo is in D.C.’s Cleveland Park and a wide array of diners can be found from business to casual, and from locals to tourists. The price and look of Ardeo + Bardeo ensures a professional crowd of diners.
Service at Ardeo + Bardeo is extremely attentive. Drinks are rarely left empty and dishes are quickly collected when done. Ardeo + Bardeo servers are on their top game, ensuring as much as they can that diners receive their best experience.
What to Drink
With an impressive wine menu and novel cocktails, it may be hard not to try a variety of things. Ardeo + Bardeo serves a plethera of refreshing summer cocktails that would go perfectly with their dishes. Cucumber margarita with house basil oil that leaves a strong taste of cucumber that is perfect for cooling down on a humid D.C. summer day. Another popular drink is the Bleu Belle, which may remind someone as a version of adult lemonade made with gin. From Russia With Love is a very smooth drink with a slight hint of peach sweetness at the end. Amethyst Rock has a soft taste of lavender, is sweet, and makes for a great post-dinner drink.
What to Eat
The menu, showcased by chef Jonathan Dearden, featured a variety of American modern dishes. To start, chef Dearden presented two appetizers. First was an heirloom tomato salad with whipped goat cheese, pickled blackberries, and almond brittle. The tomatoes were sweet, and, fun fact: Ardeo + Bardeo grow their own tomatoes. Chef Dearden believes that if you come to a bistro, you obviously have to try the tartar. The second appetizer was a short rib tartar with a hint of hot sauce, served with crispy onions. It was important to note that chef Dearden used a fattier cut than what you may typically see at other restaurants. He considers this to be the right cut, as to him it has the perfect amount of fat to provide flavor to the tartar.
What's the Score
Ardeo + Bardeo offers diners an upscale dining experience as well as being a stable local favorite. With a wide range of wine and cocktails, it is recommended to go with any, but the Bleu Belle is Ardeo + Bardeo's most popular drink and is very refreshing. For novelty and a unique dining experience, start off with the heirloom tomato salad appetizer made with in-season home garden tomatoes. For the entrée, the wagyu steak and crispy bone marrow is a highlight. The steak is tender and the crispy bone marrow is full of flavor (and 200 calories a bite). To finish everything off, for dessert get the chocolate mousse made with 72 percent chocolate or the in-season blueberry tart.