Ok, I get it. Before you say anything or read anything or think about anything, I know it’s been a while since I’ve updated this. If it makes you feel better, I feel a little shameful. I actually felt a legitimate pang of shame crackle in my heart. But I’m back now, dry your tears, dears. Also, I’m here to tell you about my birthday dinner Convivial. On a scale from 1-10, it ranked a clear and obvious “stoopid”.
So, here’s what’s up with Convivial. It’s French food, but it’s also American food. It’s a casual bistro, but it’s a little upscale. It’s a perfect, hodgepodge conglomerate of wonderful things, and it works.
Before you even order, you are graced with this lovely bag of beauty. It’s essentially the sexiest breadstick that you ever will eat. They are warm, closely toeing the line of piping hot, and they are accompanied by a fruity, sweet olive oil.
I really had a deep, spiritual moment over this.
I elected to start with a hot salad, which was a mixture of fava beans, turnips, spring onions and quinoa. It honestly sounds like it shouldn’t make sense. Fava beans and spring onions are, well, springy. Turnips are wintry, and quinoa is the grain that brings it all together. But it’s good, oh it’s good. I live for fava beans, and am honestly a little gutted that they are only available for a short period of time, because fava beans are the freshest little bean there is. This salad was refreshing and clean, and tasted like Spring. Plus, it’s healthy. Whoever complained about something that is delicious AND healthy? But really, it’s like a double whammy of perfection.
Next stop? Fish shop. I’ll eat pretty much anything that’s plucked out of the sea, and today’s choice was my good friend, daurade. It was served atop a pile of grilled ratatouille, which was smoky, smooth and wonderful. There was also a fantastic, fried slice of zucchini on top. Because really. It’s ok to eat something fried when it’s in vegetable form, amiright? That came topped with a briny, olive tapenade. It was a little bit of flavor overload.
Get ready for the definition of “winner, winner, chicken dinner”. Get ready for the greatest chicken dish you ever will eat. In your life. Get ready to come prepared with your smelling salts, because this chicken will actually make you pass out. And you may need someone to revive you, scoop you up from the ground, and place you back in your seat to enjoy your plate of loveliness.
So this is what I mean when I say that Convivial is a French/American conglomerate. This chicken dish is a strangely perfect mixture of fried chicken and coq au vin. It has the crisp texture of fried chicken, combined with the richness of coq au vin. I don’t get it, and maybe it isn’t made to be understood. It’s just made to be enjoyed and loved. And you will, oh you will surely love this.
Ok, so the only thing that I was like halfway annoyed about was the fact that I didn’t get a free dessert. It’s probably because I’m cheap. It’s a good thing my parents insisted on getting a birthday dessert that was aptly named “Celebration Cake”. It was probably the richest, most dense (yet spongy and light), delicious thing I’ve stabbed my fork into. Just pretend it’s your birthday and order it.
So, final thoughts: Convivial is the my newest home skillet biscuit of a restaurant. It’s new, but it’s old. It’s traditional, it’s unique, it’s beautiful. You need it.
801 O St. NW
Washington, DC 20001