The Equinox is just around the corner on the same block as the Club Quarters where a number of us were staying for business meetings. Our hosts fixed the Equinox. First the location is excellent, just a block or two from the White House and very close to the International Monetary Fund and other similar global agencies. About fifteen of us ate together entertaining two visiting speakers. I was the first to arrive and so sat at the bar and ordered a beer.The barman was initially fine allowing me to taste one of the two draught beers before I ordered - but then he quite spoilt my good humour insisting I pay for the beer before moving to the table. Suspicious mind that I might run off, I suppose. i was not amused. As all of us gathered we were ushered to a long table. The waiters were efficient but unsmiling. They were professional but without a human touch. Being the oldest at the table, i was prevailed upon to choose the wine. I was lectured to by the wine waiter who did not even give me any credit for knowing just a bit about wine. The arrogance of some Americans who fail to ascertain that some of us Europeans have been growing grapes for wine rather longer than they have inhabited the North American continent. Oh well - I was in a really bad mood by then. I chose what I saw to be the most reasonable in price of wines - it was still USD54 bottle, a Californian I could have picked up at Trader Joes for a fifth of the price. But then I was not paying the bill. As for the food, it was quite good.My prawns and salad was quite edible, if somewhat uninteresting in flavour. My thinly sliced main course beef was cooked excellently but again was nothing special in presentation and taste. The dessert of cheese was so long in coming that most of my companions had drifted off to bed. This type of restaurant seems to thrive on pretension and reputation, failing to provide that little personal touch that turns a reasonable meal into a memorable occasion. Sorry - I was not impressed and shall not return when I am next in Washington DC. .I will leave the Equinox to people who get a kick out of being seen at "the right place". I shall go back to the Food Hall in Pennsylvania Avenue - good food served unpretentiously at a reasonable price along with students and business people who appreciate quality at the right price.
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