Mie N Yu: Restaurant Review

Mie N Yu
3125 M Street NW
Washington, DC, 20007
http://www.mienyu.com/

My friend Meredith told me about Mie N Yu after she went on a date here last Friday. After having a fabulous dinner at Famoso the night before, Jay and I originally thought that we would walk down to Bourbon for a burger, or maybe head over to Bistrot du Coin for some steak. It was one of those nights, however, where I just couldn’t decide on anything; every time I suggested a restaurant, I was immediately uninterested in it. After batting around a couple of ideas, Jay and I decided to just head down to Georgetown and walk around for a bit.

When we reached Mie N Yu, the exterior of the restaurant was so appealing that we just went right in. I don’t even think I was all that hungry yet, but something about the place just pulled us inside. The atmosphere is very romantic and sensual, with dark lighting and lavish, Indian accents. The wait for the dining room was 1.5 hours, so we got a small (and I mean small!) table in the Venetian room upstairs. Next time we eat at Mie N Yu, I’ll be sure to make a reservation for the dining room, which houses spacious tables and booths hidden away by tapestries. It was all very exotic and almost felt like some forbidden pleasure awaited us there.

The service upstairs was a little slow and it took a long time for us to get our first dishes, but I got to sip on an excellent white meritage while I waited, so it wasn’t too terrible. Unfortunately, our small, high table was right next to the stairs, so we got to watch and be watched by everyone parading by. For some reason, multiple parties of 2 were seated close to us but then decided to leave. Maybe because of the cramped quarters?

Jay and I started off our meal with a few appetizers: (1) fried eggplant and (2) duck tacos.

The eggplant was good and had a nice texture, firm without being tough or chewy, but other than that it was unremarkable. (What the eggplant DID do was remind me of the best eggplant paremesian sub I’ve ever had, courtesy of the College Inn in Charlottesville, VA). The duck tacos, on the other hand, were exquisite. The ducks were juicy and greasy and had a wonderful depth of flavor that paired perfectly with the serious crunch of the taco. This is the kind of dish that makes you roll your eyes with pleasure and forces you to slow down to relish every different flavor and texture. It was unfortunate that the dish itself only came with two tiny tacos, as I could have eaten a whole platter of these things easily.

Since Jay and I were both in the mood for steak, we decided to split the Kobe steak for 2, which came with potato gratin and a kind of bean salad.

When our waiter asked us how we would like our steak prepared, I blurted out “Rare!” before Jay got a chance to order a different temperature. I reassured Jay that it owuld probably come out closer to medium rare than rare, but to my pleasant surprise (could have been Jay’s unpleasant surprise), the steak was definitely rare. My first bite, and end piece, left a little bit lacking, but every piece of steak after that was superb. Wonderfully tender and juicy on the inside with a nice seasoning and crispiness on the outside.

The potato gratin is possibly the best potato dish I’ve ever had. Served in a cast iron pot, the potatoes themselves were very thinly sliced, very crispy on top with a luscious creaminess from the cheese on the inside. I wish I knew how to make these potatoes and had a method of doing so. Each bite was better than the one before, and I found myself scraping the pot for every last spoonfull of cheesy goodness. If you get nothing else at Mie N Yu, I highly recommend these potatoes.

I forgot to mention one thing: given the fact that our appetizers took FOREVER to finally get to our table, I ordered some banana hummus after we ordered the steak, thinking that it would arrive before the steak. This was the unpleasant surprise of the evening, in that it arrived after we were done with our steak. It served as a sort of dessert and came presented with some very crunchy flat bread, almost paper thin, some fried plantains, and a foccacia like bread. It would have been better to have had the hummus before the steak, granted, but what if I had been too full for all that potato goodness?

Overall, this was a very nice meal, with only a few service hiccups in between. Next time I’m definitely making a reservation for the dining room, so I can actually spread out and have a little privacy during my meal. There are lots of specialty cocktails for those of you looking for something exciting and exotic, with all sorts of alluring names, and the wine list is pretty decent. We didn’t actually have a dessert per se, so I can’t report to you on that, but maybe next time I’ll try one. The bar is very dark and romantic and would also be a good spot for a date.

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