I love throwing dinner parties. In my head, they always turn out like the cover of Bon Appetit and there’s always enough delicious food and the wine is perfect and everyone is happy. But in actuality, the food is pretty okay, it never is all ready at the same time, and I usually forget to put forks on the table. I always just assumed that the perfect dinner party was in the same category as unicorns and leprechauns, but Poste Roast proves that is not the case.
Poste Roast is a genius special event put on by the fine folks at Poste Moderne Brasserie in the Hotel Monaco. It’s part pig roast and part elegant dinner party. I admittedly didn’t really know what to expect when I forced seven of my closest friends to give over full control of their dinner and wallets to me that night, but I thought it was bound to be something memorable.
It’s important to talk about the level of service before even mentioning the food. Arranging your Roast does take some planning–careful emailing back and forth with the special events coordinator, picking out the menu, deciding on appetizers, and if you’re me, reminding your friends repeatedly what time they are supposed to be there. The day of our dinner was an especially hot one in D.C., and the restaurant was considerate enough to call me beforehand and ask if I wanted to sit outside in the garden as planned or if I thought it was too hot and needed to sit inside. Since I can’t make decisions, they were happy to set up both tables and let us decide once we got there.
You want me to get to the food, right? Well not yet, friends. We opted to stick it out and eat our meal outside, and now that all is said and done I can’t imagine having it in the dining room. Not to say the dining room isn’t lovely, but the garden area is just perfect. It’s the actual working herb garden for the restaurant, and nestled in between their rosemary and basil is a giant granite table. The only issue was the actual table. Since it was so hot that day and the table clearly isn’t moved, it had soaked up every bit of that 100 degree day. Needless to say, elbows on the table were not an issue.
Fine, fine. I’ll talk about the food now. It’s just wonderful. Everything is served family style (again, to point out the fact that my dinner parties are inferior) and is in huge portions. We chose the capretto, or baby goat, for the mere fact that it sounded interesting and figured we would never fix it for ourselves. The meat was so tender and flavorful that for a split second I considered buying a goat and giving roast goat a whirl. Once I got the visual of a goat in my refrigerator, I thought otherwise. The side dishes were just as satisfying as the meat. There was creamy cheese polenta and grilled mushrooms, onions and corn on the cob. The food is unfussy and confidently prepared, proving that great food does not have to always include foie gras and liquid nitrogen.
The meal is an all-around relaxing, enjoyable experience. By far the most stressful part of the whole deal was picking out which animal we wanted roasted. With choices like pig, brisket, poussin, salmon and lamb you really can’t go wrong, though that doesn’t take much of the stress out of it. I was quite worried that there wouldn’t be enough food for the group, so I went crazy and ordered two appetizers for the table – salmon cones and a charcuterie plate. Needless to say, they were delicious and completely unnecessary.
Though Poste Roast is a superb idea for a special occasion (paging whoever plans my next birthday party!) it is also a great casual meal on a Tuesday night with friends. For the meat and sides, the meal only runs you $38 per person. A great deal, right? Beware the add-ons though, as our meal ended up being around $90 per person. In my opinion though, it was a steal at twice the price.
Post Moderne Brasserie is located at 555 8th St. NW. Closest Metro stop: Gallery Place/Chinatown (Green, Yellow and Red lines). For more information, call (202) 783-6060.