Adour's Vegetarian Tasting Menus | Downtown, Washington D.C.

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

Editor's note: Adour has closed.