I thought I knew about all of the best date night options in DC, but there’s one spot that’s been flying under my radar. Morrison-Clark Historic Inn & Restaurant recently finished up a massive renovation, and they invited us in for a tour of the beautiful property and a meal in their romantic restaurant.
Morrison-Clark Historic Inn
Back when we lived downtown, we walked past the Morrison-Clark all the time, but had never seen what was inside. Finally stepping inside, I was immediately in awe of the beautiful space. They’ve done an incredible job of melding the old side of the building, built in the 1800s, with the new side. It all comes together flawlessly in the expansive lobby, which leads out to a peaceful courtyard.
We got a peak inside the stunning carriage house, dating back to 1864, and then walked through rooms from both the old side and the new side. Everything was lovely and luxurious and I could definitely picture having romantic getaway or staycation in one of the ornate rooms.
The Perfect Date Night at Morrison-Clark
The restaurant is just as beautiful as the rest of the property. We admired the spacious outdoor patio, but it was unfortunately too hot for al fresco dining.
The indoor dining room is incredibly elegant. It’s been a while since we’ve done a white table cloth dinner, which made the experience feel all the more special. Morrison-Clark pays incredible attention to detail, as was apparent with our personalized menu and the attentive service we received throughout the night.
Summer Chef’s Tasting Menu
We were treated to the beautiful Summer Chef’s Tasting Menu with wine pairings. After reading the enticing menu, we couldn’t have been more excited to get started.
First Course: Vietnamese Shrimp & Mango Summer Roll
We started out light and fresh with Vietnamese shrimp and a mango summer roll with a cantaloupe-soy dipping sauce and micro greens, which set a perfect, tropical summer tone for the meal. The first wine pairing was a fruit-forward Spanish Trepat-Garnacha sparkling rosé that perfectly complemented the dish.
Second Course: Pan Roasted Golden Tilefish
Up next, a pan roasted golden tilefish with a freekeh and black chickpea pilaf, baby heirloom tomato and Castelvetrano olive salad, and a sunchoke-saffron puree. This dish was paired with the famous Whispering Angel rosé, a perfect complement to the delicate tilefish.
I really appreciated how healthy and nutritious these first two dishes were. Chef Braitsch does wonderful things with produce. The salads on both of the first two dishes were vibrant, fresh and perfectly dressed. The wonderfully aromatic sunchoke-saffron puree took things to another level. As I’ve stated several times, I am a picky seafood eater but the tilefish was cooked perfectly. The crispy skin added a beautiful contrast of textures. I did feel it could have used a just a touch more salt.
Third Course: Crisped Leg of Duck Confit
This crisped leg of duck confit with sweet and sour nectarines and Yukon gold fondant was a thing of beauty. If all duck tasted like this, it would be my favorite food. Underneath a crispy exterior perfectly seasoned, tender dark meat fell cleanly off the bone. Continuing with his produce genius, Chef Braitsch’s sweet and sour nectarines were truly addicting. I want to put them on every protein I eat for the rest of my days. The duck was paired with a beautiful Sangiovese-Syrah blend, which had a nice level of acidity to cut through the fat and offset the sweetness of the nectarines. We noted that each wine pairing was better than the last.
Fourth Course: Roasted Rack of Australian Lamb
For our final savory course, a roasted rack of Australian lamb with Brussels sprouts, house-made tots, lamb bacon and an apricot-soy compote paired with a classic Chianti. Maybe it was just that we were getting full, but this dish didn’t have quite the wow factor that the first three did. There was just a bit too much going on, and the heavy components were less appealing than the lighter options we’d had earlier in the meal. The technical execution of the lamb was exquisite and there were a lot of nice flavors. Meat lovers would be incredibly happy with this plate. We just didn’t feel it quite held up to the first three exquisite dishes.
Course Five: Lemon Yogurt Cake, Lavender Creme Brulee and Tiramisu
Oh, goodness. Good thing we started off healthy, because this indulgent finale was too good to pass up. All three desserts were lovely, but our favorites were the lemon yogurt cake with vanilla-mint berries and limoncello sorbet and the tiramisu with clotted blackberry cream. The yogurt cake, a lighter play on cheesecake, took the meal full circle by picking back up on the light and tropical notes I enjoyed so much in the first date. The tiramisu was a fun mix of classic flavors with the summery blackberry clotted cream.
The desserts were paired with a Donnafugata Ben Rye sweet wine delicious enough to serve as a dessert itself. Wine lovers should definitely partake in the Chef’s Tasting menu with pairings. Each food and wine pairing was exquisite and thoughtful and truly took the meal to the next level.
I am so glad to have had the opportunity to acquaint myself with the beautiful Morrison-Clark Historic Inn. If you’re visiting DC, I would highly recommend booking one of the luxurious rooms. The downtown location is incredibly convenient to many of the district’s best sights and dining hot spots. But first be sure to reserve a table at the property’s first-class restaurant.
If you live in DC, don’t overlook Morrison-Clark for your next special occasion meal. The elegant dining room is perfect for a romantic date night or a celebration with family and friends.