Adour's Vegetarian Tasting Menus

The St. Regis in Downtown DC highlights vegetables

Tasting menus are much like dinner pageantry, with chefs trotting out their most indulgent ingredients, each sauced and buttered into a richer version of itself.

Adour's new tasting menu ($65), though, moves pristine vegetables to the center of the plate.

Chef Julien Jouhannaud serves five courses of garden-sourced grandeur, letting the vegetables of early spring guide each part of the current menu.

A sprinkle of Espelette pepper hints at heat in a bowl of crisp cucumber gazpacho. The otherwise cooling soup is swirled with ricotta cheese and wisps of preserved lemon.

Risotto arrives under a heap of morels. The rice simmers in white wine and mushroom stock to echo the topping's earthiness.

A thatch of poached asparagus perches up a slow-cooked egg on a thin Parmesan tuile for a simple, elegant, creamy complement to the crisp spears. Jewel-toned beets also present a colorful course, the roots shaved to translucence and served with endive and candied walnuts in goat-cheese cream.

Even desserts come from the garden. Rhubarb poaches in strawberry juice to soften its bitter edge as the finale to a fleeting feast of spring's early all-stars.

Adour, 923 16th St. NW (at K St.); 202-509-8000 or adour-washingtondc.com

Editor's note: Adour has closed.