Mandarin Oriental’s Muze


The affable Chef Mark McDonnell has created something very special in the new East meets West restaurant at the Mandarin Oriental’s Muze, in Washington D.C. Muze, the more casual of the two restaurants in the hotel, is a perfect spot for a business dinner or weekend date night. My unforgettable edible journey at Muze was an amazing and beautiful six-course tasting menu with three distinctly different, yet equally delectable desserts to follow.

Mandarin Oriental, Washington, DC

photo courtesy of Mandarin Oriental Washington D.C.


Rosé champagne was paired with a smooth amuse bouche of duck confit with mushroom soup topped with a bit of crunchy bits.

Cauliflower is usually overcooked or dripping in sauces killing what little flavor there is, but Chef McDonnell nailed it with the second course of grilled cauliflower with cilantro, red coconut curry, togarashi and cucumber.

Dashi is all the rage now in Asian fusion cuisine so it was looking forward to taste the MO’s version with green beans, tofu, soybean, quail egg and brown beech mushrooms. The egg was cooked perfectly and the mushrooms were delightful.

Dashi dish at the Mandarin Oriental, Washington, DC

Dashi via Priscilla Pilon

The pork shoulder with pearl onions, beets, spinach, sunchoke and sage was simply sublime, but my favorite dish was the last course – juicy scallops with lotus root, sea beans, celery root and wasabi. Not only was the shellfish seared perfectly, it was plated stunningly.

Scallop dish  at the Mandarin Oriental, Washington, DC

Scallop dish via Priscilla Pilon

The finale was a trio of pleasures – coconut Tapioca with pineapple, cucumber meringue and coconut sorbet, dark chocolate pudding with crunchy chocolate mousse and Yuzu lemon tart with yuzu lemon curd, sable crust and raspberry gel.

Coconut Tapioca at the Mandarin Oriental, Washington, DC

Coconut Tapioca via Priscilla Pilon

The French say, first you eat with your eyes and then you taste with your mouth. I definitely fell in love at first sight and then first bite! Oh, and in case you are wondering, the service was Michelin-worthy without the Michelin price tag.

Muze at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel Washington D.C.
1330 Maryland Avenue, SW, Washington, DC 20024, USA
+1 (202) 554 8588

The fact that I fell in love with the food was in no way influenced by the complimentary experience.