Sou’Wester by Eric Ziebold. Will it blow DC diners away?

Executive Chef Eric Ziebold

Sou’Wester, the new casual Southern restaurant by CityZen’s Executive Chef Eric Ziebold set sail on DC’s Southwest waterfront Monday, September 14, 2009. Located in the Mandarin Oriental at 1330 Maryland Ave on the Southwest waterfront, the restaurants’ namesake which means strong winds hailing from the southwest, captures the spirit of the restaurant, according to Chef Ziebold, winner of the 2008 James Beard Award for Best Chef Mid-Atlantic. “The connotations of a sou’wester – the quick change in direction and the burst of new energy – these undertones resonate with me. We wanted to do something completely different, a concept that would be new for the city, for our local community and for our hotel guests; I believe Sou’Wester will fit the bill on all fronts.”

Executed by Chef de Cuisine Rachael Harriman, the new Southern-inspired menu will feature American comfort food, inspired by products of the mid-Atlantic region. For example, chicken and dumplings will focus on fowl sourced from Linden, Virginia and blackened bluefish prepared in order to take advantage of its texture, density and fat content with big bold flavors. Other traditional yet interpretive takes on classics will include Braised Rabbit Leg with Creamed Grits and Sautéed Perch with Old Bay Chowder. This is not a maiden voyage for Rachael, as she has served as first mate to Chef Zeibold at CityZen for several years. In addition, Chef Harriman was part of the crew having worked together at the French Laundry in Yountville, California, and Per Se in New York City.

Happy hour at Sou’Wester will run from 3 to 5 p.m. seven days a week. Tentatively called “Country Time,” the daily event will feature $7 cocktails and snacks — including tater tots fashioned from cured, aged, smoked, braised and minced ham hocks.
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For more info:

Sou’wester will open for breakfast, lunch and dinner daily from 6:30 AM to 11:00 AM, 11:30 AM to 5:00 PM and 5:30 PM to 10:00 PM, respectively. Sou’Wester is located in the Mandarin Oriental hotel at 1330 Maryland Ave, SW, Washington D.C. For reservations or more information, please call 202-787-6868.

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