Ardeo Bardeo, a National Treasure
A review of Cleveland Park’s newest restaurant
Nestled off of busy Connecticut Ave. lies a restaurant that most passersby won’t spot at first glance. Ardeo + Bardeo, located in D.C.’s Cleveland Park neighborhood away from the hustle and bustle of downtown, delivers superior service and has a perfect mix of a both casual and elegant feel.
It is an evening restaurant, with seatings from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. on weekdays except for Fridays when it is open later until 11:30 p.m. However, the weekend is when the real magic happens. Ardeo converts to a lovely brunch spot open from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the weekend. It then transitions to serving dinner at 5 p.m.
Outside of D.C.’s recent Restaurant Week, I would not say Ardeo + Bardeo is the best choice for a college kid on a “budget”. In terms of brunch, French toast, omelets and eggs benedict all go for $15. A step up from that is the three item Grand Menu consisting of shrimp and grits, chicken and waffles and steak and eggs, which go for $23, $21 and $23 dollars respectively. When it comes to dinner, the most expensive item is the blackened NY strip for $30. Salmon and Icelandic cod both go for $26. It is a great place to go when family members come to visit or when you feel like splurging for a celebration.
Brunch at Ardeo+Bardeo will never disappoint. A reservation is highly recommended because the secret is out on this place and the locals come in droves. For guests 21 and older, there is a deal for bottomless champagne or mimosas with a purchase of a $29 small plate and a large plate. For myself, it was just coffee, which by no means was unsatisfactory.
For my main course, I ordered the shrimp and grits off the Grand Section of the menu for a price of $23. There was a beautiful mix of savory and sweet in every bite. The shrimp and grits had a thickness that contrasted with the light and refreshing cilantro.
The only thing that could have been better addressed was the warmth of the grits. It was noticeable that they had cooled down significantly from when they were cooked, which took away from their flavor. It is possible they sat out a little too long before being delivered to my table, which is hard to criticize the staff for due to the sheer number of people at the restaurant.
The service was not impeccable which is the only thing holding this place back from a five-star rating. Overall, I left Ardeo + Bardeo neither hungry nor unhappy.
It is a worthwhile place to checkout at some point when you’ve got some extra cash and are in the mood for a great brunch. Dinner is also worth checking out. When I get the chance to go I’m hoping to try the Persian spiced lamb shank for $24. In terms of brunch however, my message to other restaurants is simple; be aware, Ardeo + Bardeo is a force to be reckoned with.
Rating: 4/5 Stars