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The Oval Room Restaurant Gets A Presidential Makeover

The Oval Room reopens on August 4th.
The Oval Room reopens on August 4th.
Courtesy of The Oval Room

The Oval Room has gotten a makeover! Ashok Bajaj is pleased announce that his landmark restaurant, the Oval Room, will reopen on Monday, August 4th after a complete million dollar renovation changing both the menu direction and the design scheme. James Beard Foundation’s award-nominated restaurant designer Martin Vahtra of Projects Design Associates of New York is responsible for creating its design scheme. Located on 800 Connecticut Avenue NW, The Oval Room first opened its doors in October 1994.

The restaurant’s light-filled interior will take on a sleeker ambiance. Vahtra is incorporating a white Carrera marble bar and flooring, with striking darker mahogany wood accents throughout. One will find bold art pieces, theatrical lighting, faux leather and plush fabrics with rich, deep accent colors of burgundy and deep brown contrasting soft gray, beige and touches of lilac. The large eye-catcher installation in the main dining room is a painting created by nationally recognized American artist Jennifer Bartlett. Her work combines abstract and representational styles.

In addition to a new a la carte menu, Executive Chef Tony Conte will be introducing a four-course, fixed price offering at $60 (excluding tax and gratuity) or $90 with complementing wine pairings, selected by Oval Room’s new sommelier Alek Milford. The restaurant will also introduce a $20 lunch at the bar special including one beverage (wine or a non-alcoholic choice), an entrée selection and a dessert sorbet. Those in the neighborhood will also want to drop by for Happy Hour, Monday-Friday from 5 PM to 6:30 PM, for a 20 percent savings on all libations at the bar or on the 35-seat patio, which also has new furnishing. Finally, a familiar face for many, Simon Stilwell is moving from Rasika to be the opening general manager of the new Oval Room.

Tony Conte joined Knightsbridge in July 2006, to take over the kitchen of the elegant 100-seat located one block from the White House. Under his culinary direction, the restaurant has consistently earned high praise from local critics and national media outlets for the exceptional cuisine and service. Conte’s new dishes will range in price from $10 to $36, and the menu is organized differently, with selections from the Raw Bar, Appetizers, Entrees and Sides. Raw Bar choices include Fluke with Coconut, Lime, Togarashi and Breakfast Radish, and Tuna, Bonito Ranch with Ginger Dressing and Spicy Crispy Tapioca. Appetizers such as Burrata with Shaved Summer Vegetable Salad, Jalapeno Vinaigrette, and Gently Smoked Sweetbreads with Brown Butter, Licorice, Fennel-Green Mango Salad follow, and entrees include Duck, Kazu Marinated, Hazelnut-Nastruim Crumbs, Carrots, Turnips, Duck Jus, Lamb, Spice Rubbed Rack, with Blackened Eggplant, Arugula, Millet, and Lobster with Saffron Ginger Broth, Market Beans, Potato Gnocchi. Sides on Conte’s summer menu include Fried Chinese Eggplant and Glazed Squashes.

“Oval Room is the boutique, fine dining experience within Knightsbridge Restaurant Group and this modern American restaurant is also celebrating its 20th birthday this October so it great timing for a fresh new direction,” says Ashok Bajaj. “Guests will enjoy an inventive menu that Tony has been working on for the last six months. The cooking technique is the same but his dishes will be simpler and lighter.”

Here’s to new(er) beginnings and delicious dining experiences. The Oval Room is definitely putting their money where their mouth is!

*The Oval Room is located at 800 Connecticut Avenue, N.W. in Washington, DC, one block from The White House and one block from Farragut West Metro station. Serving modern American cuisine, the restaurant is open Monday-Thursday 11:30 am-10 pm, Friday 11:30 am-10:30 pm, and Saturday 5:30 pm - 10:30 pm. For reservations please call 202-463-8700; Twitter hashtag @TheOvalRoomDC and Facebook.com/theovalroom. Visit our website at www.ovalroom.com.