Openings: Adour @ St. Regis, Washington DC

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imageIt’s debatable how the ambition-averse French (for the record, that’s a compliment) view Ducasse, Inc. — and the global “branding” of what was once a sacred and strictly indigenous vocation. But as Americans, we’ll gladly latch on to the symbolism of a revered French chef settling in two blocks from a xenophobic White House, “audaciously hoping” it is a significant harbinger of change to soon come. And despite Monsieur Ducasse’s spotty stateside success, praise for his Adour NYC has been as lavish as its gilded interior. His new DC outpost, opening this September and sporting elegantly modern interiors by the Rockwell Group, completes the transition of the St. Regis from gloriously stuffy old-money citadel to the city’s most formidable modern luxury hotel.

The contemporary French-American menu will concentrate on fresh, seasonal ingredients and is designed for specific red and white wine pairings (sorry patriots, no such thing as blue wine). If all goes as hoped, expect regular non-Francophobe Presidential sightings.