The french fries at PosteModerne Brasserie are cooked crisp and drizzled with truffle oil
Many Washington chefs are pushing the limits of the common French fry—and succeeding.
“We chose a very unique potato that has flavor and depth, and they are hand-cut every day,” says Spike Mendelsohn of his fries at Good Stuff Eatery (303 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, 202-543-8222), where the side is fried crisp and then topped with sea salt, rosemary, thyme, and other additions from the restaurant’s popular Dip Bar.
For the all-important fat bath, most area chefs use vegetable oil, peanut oil, or duck drippings, but Red Apron (1309 Fifth St. NE, 202-524-6807)’s Nathan Anda extends his whole-beast philosophy to spuds. “We wanted to utilize all our scraps,” he says. “So we rendered leftover beef fat, cooked our fries in it, and thought it was pretty delicious.” The taste is punched up with roasted garlic, rosemary, and salt.
Toppings round out the equation. At PosteModerne Brasserie (555 Eighth St. NW, 202-783-6060), chef Dennis Marron fries his potatoes crisp and showers them in truffle oil. Bart Vandaele of BelgaCafé(514 Eighth St. SE, 202-544-0100) and B Too (1324 14th St. NW, 202-627-2800) puts his potatoes through the fryer twice and serves them with a trio of house-made mayonnaises.
“Our fries stand out because of flavorings like cheddar cheese powder and malt vinegar, parsley and roasted garlic oil, and pastrami spice,” adds John Critchley of the famous duck-fat fries trio at Bourbon Steak (1800 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, 202-944-2026), where condiments are also delicious. “Our barbecue sauce is spiked with ash made in-house with pulverized, wood-oven-dried vegetables, and we mix pickle juice into our ketchup.”
But even with all the new concoctions in DC, the old dilemma remains: Do you down your fries before digging into your burger... or not?