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2
Mon, 10/26
8:00 PM
About
Since 1999, Chef Wiedmaier infuses his Belgian heritage into Marcel's elegant haute French flagship restaurant. Regularly topping the best-of-lists in the nation's capital, in 2011 and 2012, it was rated the top restaurant for food by Zagat as well as one of the top five restaurants for service.
PRICE RANGE
$35 - $50
Special Diets
Vegetarian Friendly, Vegan Options, Gluten Free Options
Meals
Dinner, Late Night
CUISINES
French, European, International
FEATURES
Reservations, Private Dining, Seating, Valet Parking, Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol, Full Bar, Accepts Credit Cards, Table Service
Reviews (686)
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648 results
Traveler rating
487
92
37
18
14
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Time of year
LanguageEnglish
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Traveler rating
487
92
37
18
14
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All reviews boudin blanc tasting menu foie gras amuse bouche dover sole soft shell crab lamb sea bass halibut bread cake kennedy center special evening fine dining our waiter michelin star service was impeccable
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Reviewed March 2, 2020

We had a fabulous evening at Marcel's. The service from the front of the house was perfectly balanced between attentiveness and discretion. The food was beautifully prepared and presented and delicious in every way. Marcel's is elegant and we enjoyed the evening very much. What...is Musak everywhere else is a the gentle jazz piano in the bar at Marcel's. The perfect atmosphere for a special evening. Recommended. Two items that detracted somewhat, but never interfered. There appeared to be some tension between the wait staff and the support staff - maybe just the usual search for perfection but we overheard more than one impatient comment. Second, for a prix fixe menu offering we were surprised there was no option for wine pairings and when we asked if one could be provided received a frustrated response that sure, we could do that if you wanted. That said, the pairing were from the wine-by-the-glass menu and were splendid!More

Date of visit: February 2020
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Reviewed February 22, 2020

This review is for a reservation i made over a month ago for dinner on Saturday February 22nd. I have to say that I am supremely disappointed in not being able to eat at Marcel's. I've eaten at Brasserie Beck quite a few times and...was looking forward to eating at Robert Wiedmaier's fine dining restaurant. I had booked a table for 6:30pm for their advertised pre theater menu which says it goes until 6:30pm on both their website and also the tripadvisor site. I have ticket for a Kennedy Center show which starts at 9:30pm today. I received a confirmation email today that had a different time of ending at 6pm so I called up and asked about the inconsistency. I was told that 6pm was the ending time for the pre theater menu. The only other menu listed shows 4 courses and my wife and I just can't eat that much food. The pre theater menu is only 3 courses which would be a stretch for us anyway. I asked about an ala carte menu and was told we could order ala carte but the server would have to give us the price after we ordered which would be sort of a pain to work through. Please Robert Wiedmaier update your website with the correct information so this doesn't happen to someone else.More

Date of visit: February 2020
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Reviewed February 20, 2020

In March, we dined at Marcel’s by Robert Wiedmaier, and had a lovely dinner. We had just flown into DC from New Orleans, where we had been dining wonderfully, so Marcel’s was a great extension of what was shaping up as a “food tour,” though...it was about my wife’s business meetings. Marcel’s is in the Foggy Bottom neighborhood, so we took a cab from The Jefferson, and arrived a bit early for our reservation. However, as we had a table for an early dining spot, were promptly seated at a very comfortable 4-top, just as one enters the lovely dining room. Service began quickly (but at no time, during the entire evening, was anything rushed), with the wine list, and the menus. While we contemplated our choices, we had a glass each of the Ruinart Blanc de Blanc and the Veuve Clicquot Rosé, both NV. We decided on the Seven-course Chef’s Tasting Menu, plus the Sommelier’s Wine Pairing, and the Chef’s Reserve Pairing, which started with the Dom Pérignon 2006 - a great way to start! The menu consisted of: Scallop Carpaccio w/ blood orange, uni and citrus emulsion (Sea Bass substituted for my wife) - an excellent starter course, and the uni tasted very fresh, with a nice hint of brine Butter-poached Lobster w/ fennel purée, and lobster Cognac sauce - this dish was a hit for both of us, with succulent lobster, and just a hint of fennel, and a taste of Cognac Arctic Char w/ garlic, onions Niçoise olives and extra-virgin olive oil - beautifully done Char, and my wife did not complain about having had Sea Bass, two courses before Foie Gras Terrine w/ plum marmalade and Port gelée - while not our favorite prep for Foie Gras, this dish was excellent Braised Veal Cheeks w/ mirepoix and veal jus - this was a stellar dish, and received a round of applause from both of us New Zealand Venison Chop w/ baby leeks, Maitake mushrooms, parsnip purée and blackberry venison gastric - another winner Cake & Ice Cream: chocolate coconut Battenburg w/ praline ice cream and lime toffee - though I am not a dessert person, this was very good, and not overly sweet. My wife appreciated it a bit more than I did, as I would have likely gone with a Cheese Course The wines were all interesting, and remember, we did one each of the two wine pairing options: The Dom Pérignon 2006 Domaine de La Galopière Les Chavalières Meursault ‘17 Bertrand Ambroise Lettre d’Eloïse Prémeaux-Prissey Chardonnay ‘17 Cambria Julia’s Vineyard Santa Maria Valley Rosé of Pinot Noir ‘17 Domaine d’Alzipratu Pumonte by Pierre Acquaviva, Corse Calvi ‘17 Orenga de Gaffory Rappo Vin de Liqueur ‘15 Orenga de Gaffory Impassitu Muscat du Cap Corse Blanc ‘13 Armelle et Bernard Rion La Croix Vosne Romanée Blanche ‘15 Joseph Wagner Elouan Oregon Pinot Noir ‘17 Bodega Numanthia Termes Tinta de Toro España ‘15 Barboursville Vineyard Virginia Cabernet Franc Reserve ‘16 C. da Silva Presidential Port - their Ruby and their 40 Year Tawny Service was excellent throughout the meal, and the pacing was perfect. We waited for nothing, but then nothing was rushed in any way. The room is understated in décor, but elegant. Our table was comfortably large, and well-spaced. The lighting in the room is adequate, but I would have loved to have a pin-spot on each dish, to appreciate the visual artistry even better. Though this front dining room filled up, the noise level was quite low - just the way that I like it. Conversation was easy. In all, this was a perfect meal, in a perfect venue, and we will return, as we now have 5 times.More

Date of visit: March 2019
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Reviewed February 6, 2020 via mobile

For the last 42 years, my husband and I have been celebrating my birthday by going to a top-rated French restaurant. As New Yorkers, we had a choice of restaurants with ”reasonable” prix fixe lunch menus. Our first, in 1978, was Lutèce. We paid $26...for an amazing experience: service, decor and most importantly, cuisine at its finest. This year, we find ourselves in the DC area. The top-rated French restaurants are not opened during the day, so we found ourselves making dinner reservations at Marcel’s, a restaurant that was highly recommended. We threw caution to the wind and decided to splurge: it was, after all, my birthday. First the good things: the food was delicious, especially the fois gras, venison chop and duck. All three were beautifully presented, flavorful and perfectly done. The 4-course dinner was more than enough food. Now, unfortunately, the negative. When we arrived, there were only two other occupied tables, and yet, after getting water and bread, we waited almost 15 minutes for someone to come over to discuss the menu. And speaking of bread, our butter plates were removed without being asked; as it happened, my husband had just asked for more bread! We had let our server know that we were celebrating my birthday. My dessert arrived with a candle and birthday wishes. I was also given a glass of tawny port — a lovely gesture, but my husband was ignored. I just didn’t know what to say, but I thought that having spent over $300 for dinner, not pouring a glass for my husband was awfully tacky. Lastly, while the decor was fine, the lighting against the wall was faulty and dimmed periodically, which was annoying—not enough for me to ask to move although most tables were still empty, but spoke of a carelessness or neglect that was unfortunate. Marcel’s is a fine restaurant but does deserve the highest ratings it receives.More

Date of visit: January 2020
Helpful?1  
Reviewed January 17, 2020

I've been to Marcel's a few times over the last 10 years. The food and service are quite good. All four at our table agreed the scallops were the best we'd had. I thought the foie gras was superb. Recommended.

Date of visit: January 2020
Helpful?1  
Reviewed December 30, 2019

We hosted a wonderful birthday dinner at Marcel's for 12 guests and everyone raved, including veteran foodies and world travelers. The service was excellent, welcoming and helpful without interrupting conversation. The menu changes frequently, and one stand outs were the La Belle Farm Duck Breast...with smoked figs, baby beets, soubise and duck jus. Another was venison, in a reduction sauce of huckleberries served over a sweet potato puree. It was incredible! For dessert, the coconut rice pudding is unlike anything I've ever had. It is complex and delicious, cooked in coconut and vanilla, and served with homemade ice cream and sesame sponge cake. I've dined at many of the best restaurants and this rivals any for food, service and value (though not inexpensive). Recommended for a special night out or celebration.More

Date of visit: December 2019
Helpful?3  
Reviewed December 23, 2019

We went to Marcel's after seeing My Fair Lady. We arrived at 5:00 for a 5:30 reservation (the play was over earlier than expected) and we were seated promptly. Service was great and we liked what was on the Pre-Theater menu so that is what...we all had. Dinner was wonderful and the scallop appetizer was one of the best scallop dishes I've ever had. Great and food and service and it was a lovely evening.More

Date of visit: December 2019
Helpful?1  
Reviewed December 22, 2019

Fantastic dining experience. Got the 4 courses and every single bit was noteworthy! Two couples all enjoyed it w/ many comments like "Can you believe how good this is?" "Or OMG I haven't had food this good in I can't remember." Truly an amazing meal!...Recommend the scallops, Dover sole, Boudon Blanc (best I've ever had) and the cheese course was a perfect end. Cocktails were terrific and our waiter Vinny (a consummate professional) was the MC of the evening making it fun.More

Date of visit: December 2019
Helpful?1  
Reviewed December 9, 2019

Visited on a quiet Sunday evening in December. Service was outstanding as described by several other reviewers.... perfectly timed and unobtrusive. Well spaced tables. No up selling on wine. Our waiter recommended the 4 course dinner which was more than enough food for my wife...and I. Everything was delicious. Our dinner was an elegant, first class experience.More

Date of visit: December 2019
Helpful?4  
Reviewed December 1, 2019

Over the holiday weekend we were looking for something interesting to experience and landed at Marcel’s restaurant. Great food and oustanding service were aligned well. Our server was extremely engaged and used the term “flexibility” throughout. This is always welcomed. We selected the five-course tasting...menu. My first comment is to reinforce this welcomed approach to flexibility. While you do have to select your courses (generally we just like the chef to do the selecting), you have flexibility to mix and match courses. Also, the staff did a wonderful job of working around our lactose allergy by making changes and recreating dishes, as much as possible, instead of just taking things away or saying you can't have it. Regarding actual choices, I believe these were the standouts: We both received a caviar amuse bouche, which definitely tickled our mouths to crave more. The dover sole was extremely delicate and decadent at the same time. Note, this was not a lactose free option and butter is essential to its success. However, I enjoyed it immensely even though [or maybe because ; - ) ] I didn’t have to share it. Also, the prawns were wonderfully spicy and perfect for one of the earlier courses to further stimulate your appetite. We also had the foie gras. Once again VERY decadent and well worth the surcharge. For our main course, we had the venison and the lamb. I believed the lamb was the stronger of two. The lamb was very flavorful, tender and moist and well accompanied with the ratatouille. My only minor criticism is that the sauce overpowered the gaminess of the venison that I sought. However, I noted no concerns with ANY of the other courses. After so much food, we each closed with sorbet. However, even that was a great balance of flavors (lychee, passion fruit, and grapefruit). I found the grapefruit the perfect palate cleanser with the lychee and passion fruit balancing each other fantastically in degree of sweetness. Wine was a bargain. We had four glasses and told our waiter to select whatever he thinks best. While none of the wines were lifechanging, they were solid accompaniments to our meal. Since we no longer have the constitution to drink a glass with each course, I give our waiter credit for straddling courses and finding the right wine choices to cover a couple of courses at a stretch. No single glass cost more than $16. At this price point, I must repeat: Wine was a bargain. Service and food created an exceptionally solid foundation to a great experience. Some may find the culture dated (jackets are still required for gentlemen guests), but my best words to define the environment are civilized and calm. This is sometimes a welcomed, and even needed, change in Washington now. I believe this is the overall appeal to us. We came for a quiet, high-quality dinner in a sophisticated, but not obnoxious, setting. Marcel’s restaurant delivered by creating a wonderful experience. Finally, we have to look at the price to see how this all fits. Granted, Marcel’s restaurant will never be on the cheap eats list ;- ) However, we had two-five course tasting menus, a foie gras supplement, and four glasses of wine. Given the outstanding service, we were generous with the tip, total price was $488. Considering the three legs of our dining experiences (food quality, service, and price), we believed this a good overall value and question where is the Michelin star? We look forward to returning.More

Date of visit: November 2019
Helpful?5  
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Questions & Answers
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evamichel
September 27, 2019|
AnswerShow all 3 answers
Response from Flip1228 | Reviewed this property |
No patio
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megyard
March 29, 2019|
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Response from mlippman | Reviewed this property |
yes
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brynnw2018
February 9, 2019|
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Response from DRDC621 | Reviewed this property |
Sorry for the delay in responding. I'd go with elegantly casual to dressy. It is definitely a special occasion place but a tie is not necessary.
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