First Look at Mintwood Place: two forks up!
My first trip to Mintwood Place made me very happy. It's no wonder given that Mintwood's owners (the same as Perry's, next door) landed Cedric Maupillier as the executive chef. Maupillier's credentials are impressive and include stints working under Chef Fabio Trabocchi at Maestro and Chef Michel Richard at Central. Last summer, he finished out a contract as consulting chef for Medium Rare in Cleveland Park. I'm not sure how long he's planning to stay at Mintwood Place, but I plan to take full advantage of his culinary delights as long as I can.
Maupillier's preparations are simple but the flavor is well-developed. The escargot hushpuppies are some of the best hushpuppies I have ever had. I'll admit that I did not really taste the escargot. When we sliced a hushpuppy in half we could see it only contained a small amount of the French delicacy. So, for those that are already cringing at the thought of consuming escargot, trust me, you won't even notice it and the hushpuppies are just so good that they are worth a try.
The cast-iron chicken is amazing. I normally don't order chicken when I eat out because I eat enough of it at home. In this case, I'm so glad I listened to the waitress' recommendation. A quarter chicken (leg and thigh) is roasted on a cast-iron dish along with root vegetables, lots of rosemary, and then finished off with a sprinkling of sea salt. I can only guess that the chicken was brined before roasting because it was so tender and flavorful that I was speechless as I devoured it. It's a simple but beautifully executed dish.
The tagliatelle Bolognese was hearty and flavorful. I also loved the side dish (a la carte) of roasted brussels sprouts with bacon.
The ambience was casual and warm and the staff was welcoming and friendly. Overall, I'm happy to see Mintwood Place join the mere handful of quality restaurants in Adams Morgan.