Plaudits: Washingtonian 2010 #65, Washingtonian 2009 #66, Washingtonian 2008 #86,
Neighborhood: Friendship Heights
DCWD isn't just limited to the downtown area; sometimes, especially for good food, we find ourselves out in the suburbs, even (gasp!) Maryland and Virginia. In this case, Official Co-Writer of DCWD CC and I were out on the fringes of DC in Friendship Heights, jonesing for a light dinner before we went back into the city. We opted for some Indique Heights.
Indique Heights is nestled away in an office building above the Friendship Heights Metro, and despite the multiple signs around the building, you kind of have to know it's there. The restaurant saddles the interesting space between trendy and full ethnic. The decor embodied that split; what's normally booth seating at other restaurants was flat backless cushions with those large cylindrical pillows in bright colors, and there were of Indian-motif paintings on the walls. On the other hand, all the four-top tables in the middle of the dining area were all modern, and the place seemed equipped for similarly bright-colored mood lighting, the kind you find in upscale lounges. The service, for its part, was a little slow, considering we were the only people really in the restaurant. So take that for what you will.
Unfortunately for us, CC and I arrived right in the middle of the lunch and dinner shiftover, so the only place we could eat was at the bar. Which was fine, but I think the bartender was a little wary of us when we didn't order drinks. Like any good bar menu dinner, CC and I settled on three appetizers to split between the two of us.
For its part, the bar food was actually pretty good, but exactly what I was expecting coming in. One of the courses neither of us can recall without a menu, so I guess that says something (though we certainly didn't have a bad dish there). The chicken samosa chaat we got was light and crispy, though the only really unexpected part about it was the presentation (CC said, "this doesn't really look like a samosa"). The mini oothapam, a savory pancake with chicken, lentils, and assorted vegetables was probably the best course for us, but only because they gave us 5 different chutneys to try on it (which of course, CC and I were split on). So the variety of things to dip it in was nice. I wish I had more to say on the place, but we were in a rush, so we only noshed on these three things. Overall, I would say that it was on the better side of Indian food I've had in DC, but not the best.
What can I say? The restaurant was exactly what I was expecting; the food was nice but not spectacular. The vibe was decent, but nothing to write home about. Overall, I guess it made no impression on me whatsover, which might not exactly be the best thing for a date. Everything about the experience just came across pretty average; take that whatever way you will.
Food Rating: *** (out of 5)
Date Rating: 2.5 Hearts (out of 5)
Dress Code: Casual
Bar Rating: Quiet Drinks
Vibe: Calm to chatty
Cost: $$ (out of 5) ($25-$50 for two)
Pairing: The reason we were up there in the first place was for a dance practice, so I'm almost obliged to pair this with a dance lesson up at our favorite dance studio, Chevy Chase Ballroom. It's located just up the block on Wisconsin Avenue, and there are plenty of group classes for all dances and levels.