Judging Restaurants – The Source

The Source is located in the Newseum building at 575 Pennsylvania Ave, NW. I figured since it’s Wed. house porn, I throw some restaurant porn up as well. Is this restaurant porn? I just assume so because the First Lady and President recently ate there. Their Web site says:

The Source is the first fine dining restaurant in the nation’s capital headlined by Chef Wolfgang Puck. Designed by EDG, the three-level restaurant is the signature dining experience at the Newseum, an interactive museum dedicated to the news. The Source offers two distinct dining experiences as well as a private room located on the lower level that seats up to 40 guests.

The ground floor bar and lounge where guests enter offers approachable dining in a casual setting with a traditional Japanese Izakaya menu featuring Asian-inspired delights. Upstairs, guests can enjoy a menu that features modern interpretations of Asian dishes. The modern aesthetic design boasts floor-to-ceiling windows that line the restaurant and a two-story, temperature-controlled glass wine wall linking the main floor with the upstairs that holds more than 2,000 bottles of the restaurant’s impressive collection.

You can see their menus here.

25 Comment

  • Had a nice dinner at Source once. Not the best meal I have ever had. I don’t think I would do it again, very pricey. I have always had consistently good food and an excellent selection of wine at Ping Pong in Chinatown. I am still looking for an amazing meal in DC; I consider myself a major foodie and have eaten in lots of restaurants in DC.

    • ah

      Yeah, my impression too. I really liked it and it was really good food, but even among pricey places it seemed particularly pricey. It is a great place for a splurge, but since I don’t splurge all the time I like to try out different expensive places rather than go back.

  • I was really disappointed in the dinner I had there, especially given the price (I think I paid almost $50 for some pork chop dish that wasn’t that great). I would go back to hang out in the downstairs area for drinks though. That was a cool space and they do have great appetizers.

  • I was also disappointe when I got to the source there was this old man in chair with a bunch of TV’s. Then I was like where the fuck is my food.

  • There are WAY better places for the price in DC. My wife and I were incredibly disappointed with their tasting menu, especially given the price. It was completely uninspired. Very corporate-feeling, like they had a committee come up with each course. Felt incredibly ripped off – PF Chang quality for Komi prices. Do not waste your time – this is strictly for expense accounts.

  • It’s been a couple of years but I remember thinking the food was very good, but not for the price.

    Now that I’m dwelling on it for a moment, nothing about the meal was memorable except the snooty, snotty kid who was our server. He took a palpable pride in his pretentiousness.

    I also remember a dissonant ambiance–extremely loud rock music from the 80s (The Police, ca. 1982) competing with the country club service. It was weird.

  • Can’t vouch for the dining area, but the bar area menu is delicious. It’s a combination of asian grill and street food mainly (banh mis, pork bellies, etc) but it is was one of the best meals I’ve ever had in DC. During the happy hour, it’s any 3 items (including glasses sake) for $20. A wonderful deal.

    • I agree! I still haven’t eaten in the formal dining area, but I love love love the food in the lounge. The schezuan style chicken wings are amazing. It helps that they’ve changed their drink menu to reflect more modern interpretations on classic cocktails, instead of the sweet cocktails they had before.

  • We eat there about once a month. It’s awesome. You get what you pay for. But then, our Iowa transplants wouldn’t know the difference between good food, and pancakes slathered with syrup and bacon.

    Excuse me while I vomit at the thought of what midwesterners find ” delicious”.

    I just threw up a little bit in my mouth at the thought of their local “food” passions.


    • which is why DC consistently outplaces Chicago as best restaurant city year after year? oh wait…

      excuse me while I vomit at the thought of well heeled east coasters that infer quality from price, but know absolutely nothing about the former.

  • Visited during a special event hosted by Wolfgang himself. Set menu. On the whole, certain items (usually smaller items requiring some finesse) hit very high notes while other more substantial components (a whole sea bass that was horribly overcooked comes to mind) fell completely flat. So, all in all, a disappointment.

    • We had the same problem with the sea bass. Two people ordered it at the table and both dishes were terrible. BUT, when we mentioned the problem, they were very quick to apologize, prepare replacements, and comp the plates and some drinks. For the money, I don’t expect to have to do that dance, but they handled the situation very well.

  • Went to dinner and ordered the 7 course vegetarian option. Apparently no one really asks for it so they were surprised and not really prepared. That said, the head chef came up with 7 dishes on the spot and I dont think I have ever had a better vegetarian meal. The service was fantastic too. Highly recommend it!

    • How much is the 7 course vegetarian? And what did they make for you? I’m always worried I wouldn’t be able to get my money’s worth at these palces, since vegetarian food is so cheap.

    • That’s what we got and it sucked in comparison to other places with similar offerings. For the same price try going to Restaurant Eve in Alexandria and get their vegetarian tasting – you will see what I mean. Source isn’t even in the same league (except for price).

  • Have not eaten there. But not terribly surprised to hear its not all that. What do you expect from a Celeb Chef that is whoring himself out selling table top grils (or whatever) on the TV Shop?

    • You do you know the Source has its own executive chef (Scott Drewno), right? And that he won the RAMMY for Chef of the Year last year, beating out the chefs at Proof, 2941, Rasika, and 1789?

  • I ate at Puck’s Dallas restaurant. It was just okay. Competent, nothing really special, but a great view. Unfortunately, the view was of downtown Dallas, but at least the restaurant rotated so you didn’t have to look at the same part of downtown Dallas. The pricetag was pretty ridiculous, but it was in a hotel, so I pretty much expected that. I can’t say I’m in a hurry to try this one out. It sounds like the upstairs cafe at the East Wing, except they stick you with a bill for the month’s rent.

  • eating at the bar at the source sounds like the right answer to me, unless you are expensing it.

  • Can someone please explain to me how the Newseum stays in business? They charge an admission fee that scares off all but the most hardcore news nerds, and they spent an ungodly fortune on an elaborate building on some of the most expensive real estate in the District. Surely they’re billions in debt.

  • The bar food is a great deal for what you get and is delicious. I don’t know how someone was comparing it to ping pong which is very mediocre as dim sum goes (not that there are many options in town anymore).

    I thought the main restaurant was a lot better than I was expecting from a Wolfgang place. The food was well prepared and seasoned unlike other Puck places I’ve been to in the past, but it is definitely pricey and best left for when the parents are in town. You could probably go to Marcel’s or Blue Duck for the same price or less.

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