DC’s Coolest New Hotel Debuts An Inspired French Dining Experience

Washington D.C.’s trending NoMa neighborhood is now home The Morrow, a swanky new hotel from the Curio Collection, and its flagship restaurant, Le Clou. Indeed, the hotel’s debut brings four new food and beverage venues by Michelin-starred Executive Chef Nicholas Stefanelli, the culinary talent behind DC favorites Masseria, Philotimo and Officina.

Le Clou oozes classic French sophistication but with a very modern, sleek edge. The space, designed by INC Architecture & Design, is anchored by a wrap-around marble bar, and accented with glamorous chandeliers, leather banquettes and gilded finishes throughout. Stefanelli, who had been seeking a hotel culinary project, felt The Morrow was a natural fit. “After my initial meetings with The Morrow Hotel team,” he explains, “it became clear that our approach towards hospitality and creativity was aligned–and that we could have a really fun time creating something for both locals and visitors.”

Frog Legs and Parisian Gnocchi at Le Clou

The Morrow

At Le Clou, Stefanelli leans on classic French ingredients but with preparations that are focused on flavor rather than expectations. Hence, the traditional snails (escargot) arrive in a flaky mile-high puff pastry and are lacquered with a garlic-chartreuse butter–definitely not your French grandma’s escargot.

A dish of poached Holland Leeks comes with black truffle vinaigrette and crispy alliums. And, Frog Legs are reinvented with the addition of Parisian gnocchi in brown butter laced with preserved lemon, sherry and saffron.

His duck breast preparation is an exquisite slice of Orvia duck served with a beautiful arrangement of chanterelles, and turnips, topped with a savory griottes (Morello cherry) sauce. The whole experience is a march of classic French flavors and ingredients prepared in contemporary ways. If you are feeling less adventurous, a dry-aged bone in ribeye, steak frites or even the perfect Le Clou omelet with cr?me fraiche, caviar and chives are standing by. Seafood also plays a leading role here, with oysters (from Cape Cod to Puget Sound), King Crab Louis, clams, and ceviche–or just opt for an entire tower featuring shrimp, lobster, oysters and King Crab.

Libations feature a smart list of cocktails, wines, and of course, bubblies. The Bubble Cart-a roaming cart of happiness–offers roughly a dozen by-the-glass bubblies from Dom Perignon to English Brut, with interesting options such as a sparkler from France’s Jura region. The cocktail list has a few clever riffs, such as the “Fall of the Spritz,” with sage infused St. Germain, muscat, sparkling water and Rolland Champagne. House made Kombucha rounds out the non-alcoholic options.

The Morrow Hotel guestroom

Kris Tamburello

Finish your meal with a few selections from the restaurant’s cheese trolley, or, later this spring, retire to the hotel’s rooftop bar, Upstairs at The Morrow, where you’ll savor views of the Washington Monument along with a craft cocktail. For cocktail-only lounging, Vesper is where the action will be–that’s the hotel’s 11th floor intimate lounge which will also offer live music and caviar service.

Located on the last site of Central Armature Works, a 100-year-old electrical manufacturing and repair business, The Morrow nicely revives a bit of DC history. Each of the hotel’s 203 rooms and suites feature a soothing color palette and refined details such as Italian linens and Le Labo bath and body products–adding to the list of compelling reasons to book both a table and a room at this new DC hotspot.


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