Nage is a restaurant located in the Courtyard by Marriott on Rhode Island Avenue in DC. It is not a well-known restaurant as I've never heard anything about it, but since they started promoting Meatless Mondays, I thought I'd give them a try.
When we walked in, we were immediately seated at a booth. The small restaurant was pretty empty when we arrived. We were handed the regular menus and I immediately inquired as to which vegan items were available that night. The waitress said they could modify certain dishes on their menu and that I could just let her know which one I am interested in. I glanced down and saw nothing but meat and seafood and asked if there was a special menu for Meatless Mondays. She seemed confused and went to check on that. When she returned, she said that there were some vegetarian specials, but only one was vegan. Alternatively, the chef, Glenn Babcock, could prepare something to my liking. I was disappointed and excited at the same time. On one hand, I found it disappointing that they were advertising Meatless Mondays, but only offered a few specials of which only one is vegan. On the other hand, I thought it would be nice to get something off-menu. I told her I was in the mood for something with mushrooms and she went back to check with the chef to see what he had in mind. As you can see, there was a lot of back and forth. We finally decided on the dish and I also ordered an appetizer and a glass of wine.
I ordered the most expensive wine by-the-glass off the menu -- a Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley for $14. That said, they served it in a generic wine glass so although it was probably pretty good, I couldn't tell because the aromas just weren't hitting my nose in the right way.
For my appetizer, I chose the gazpacho. This gazpacho was a tomato base with cilantro, onions, and fresh avocado chunks. I liked the spiciness of the soup, but felt the avocado was really out of place. It just didn't mesh with the flavors of the soup.
For my entree, the chef created a dish with crispy tofu. It was tofu with a crisp outer shell served over chantarelle mushrooms, corn, and Brussels sprouts with a tangy tarragon mustard vinaigrette. I liked the tofu and the mushrooms especially, but the dish was really missing something. For $17, I also thought it was a bit overpriced.
All in all, I was pretty disappointed with the service as the waitress did not know the menu nor did she check on us often. The food was pricey and not well thought out. And the bread that was served was absolutely horrendous. It has to have been the worst bread I've ever had. So if you are in DC for a few days, I wouldn't recommend putting Nage on your list of restaurants to visit, but if you live here, you may want to try them out. I appreciate them trying to do something for Meatless Mondays and just wonder if many people actually go on Mondays for that menu. Perhaps I was the first one to ask about this in a while, which is why they weren't prepared or informed. Either way, I'd give them one more shot.
1600 Rhode Island Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20036