Sitting a few blocks from the White House, with an all glass front facing a very busy side walk, the Oval Room (part of Ashok Bajaj’s DC empire) is bustling on a warm spring day for lunch. Almost every table is full, most men in jackets and ties, but not all, and certainly not required, the light pours in and we are happy to be here.
With his Indian flagship across the street famed restauranteur Ashok Bajaj has created a modern, light oasis with Oval Room that is clear from the clean, not cluttered interior, white table cloths, and white plates that allow your food – visually stunning already – to be marveled before devoured.
Mistakenly often overlooked on the list of “where should we eat today,” the Oval Room should certainly be included (or added back in) to your dinning rotation. The staff is as professional as they are friendly, yet they allow diners some breathing room – likely realizing they are a few blocks from the power center in DC – and a product of good training, you never feel rushed nor ignored.
The food: light, fresh, clean. No grilled cheese or burgers here (there are plenty of great spots in DC for that). Rather seasonal vegetables are highlighted with the pride of a main course featuring meat. Fish are presented beautifully and cooked with pride and care (aka crispy skin here actually backs itself up when delivered).
Pleasantly assured by a recent visit that The Oval Room is staying true to what it does best, and isn’t falling into the sad trap of many places in this busy downtown area by catering to trends, we can’t wait to return.
Below are a sampling of our favorite dishes from a recent visit.