Thursday, June 22, 2017

Chef Peter Laufer Launches Summer Menu at Café du Parc

Baked Ratatouille at Café du Parc

From our friends at Café du Parc...

Pennsylvania Avenue’s Classic French Bistro & Sidewalk Café Celebrates the Season

Summer arrived on Tuesday (June 20) at Café du Parc, where Executive Chef Peter Laufer offers an innovative blend of classic French technique and contemporary seasonal flavors. He has revived the storied Willard Room lobster, popular for decades among guests of the historic Willard InterContinental, and introduces fresh pressed juices and modern, colorful preparations for lunch, dinner, breakfast and weekend brunch, all inspired by the regional cuisines of France. Whether dining inside or on the restaurant's popular Pennsylvania Avenue terrace, Café du Parc offers a delicious setting to enjoy summer in the nation’s capital.

Regular guests of the Willard InterContinental will be delighted that Chef Laufer has reintroduced the legendary Willard Room lobster in several forms. Enjoyed by guests for years in the hotel’s renowned dining room, the Willard Room lobster sandwich now appears on Café du Parc’s lunch menu, in its original form - stuffed with Maine lobster meat, avocado, tomato, lettuce and a touch of brandy. Find a similar open-faced version available during weekend brunch. At dinner, butter poached Maine lobster appears in the form of a tower – stacked high on brioche croutons and drizzled with a Cognac sauce.

The warm weather brings a multitude of refreshing lunch options, including blood orange cured Scottish salmon and a hearty serving of steak tartare marinated with capers and Pommery mustard. The new appetizers join a popular menu of salads available in large or small portions - among them, a blueberry kale blend mixed with baby spinach, farro, carrots, and beets, served with a light and aromatic honey mustard vinaigrette. Chef Laufer is bringing back one of the most popular summertime crepes he introduced last year - a folded version reminiscent of the Brittany coast stuffed with mussels, scallops and shrimp in Béchamel and topped with Hollandaise. The crepe joins a variety of fresh seafood entrees including a pan seared Mediterranean royal sea bass with fennel, endive, watercress, saffron and asparagus butter.

Additions at dinner also include a baked Provençale ratatouille with summer vegetables, escalope de veau - butter pan-fried milk-fed veal cutlet with lemon caper butter and artichoke risotto, and seven delectable new desserts from Pastry Chef Jason Jimenez. Among the sweets are a modern take on the retro-French baba au rhum, soaked throughout with a citrus syrup, stuffed with cherries and topped with cream; and a delicate chamomile tea and strawberry consommé served with almond cake and pistachio ice cream.

Speaking about his contemporary seasonal French fusions, Chef Jimenez says, “I always like to have a mix of traditional French desserts, as well as flavors that are popular to the local clientele. When creating this new menu, I utilized ingredients that are in season such as fresh berries and fruit. I use modern techniques to elevate the dessert experience."

Guests enjoying breakfast will be greeted by a new selection of cold pressed juices for summer, beginning with three unique blends. “Immunization” mixes kale, spinach, parsley, apple and ginger juices; “Refresh” combines coconut water, grapefruit, pineapple, apple and lemon juices; and “Awaken” is a bright combination of carrot, apple and lemon. Diners will also find an expanded a la carte selection available weekdays beginning at 6:30 AM. Vegetarian plates include a scrambled tofu with mixed seasonal vegetables, cinnamon raisin brioche French toast, and a fresh berry cocktail with farm-fresh cottage cheese. As always, guests can opt for the impressive daily Breakfast Buffet which includes a selection of traditional favorites including hot and cold items such as smoked salmon, scrambled eggs and European cold cuts, or the Country Deluxe Continental Buffet comprised of a variety of cold buffet items.

Weekend brunch at Café du Parc will offer a wide selection of sweet and savory options including berry pancakes, waffle fried chicken, shrimp and crab fettuccini, and Quiche Lorraine. "Brunch is an opportunity to think outside of the box,” Laufer said. “When designing a brunch menu, you want to have a balance of traditional offerings, such as eggs Benedict, waffles and omelets, and some that are unique and different. For so long I have been asked why the Cafe does not serve chicken and waffles, a staple of Southern cuisine, and a trendy brunch dish. This season I added it to the menu, but with a twist. With ours, the chicken is inside the waffle - breaded in waffle batter - resulting in a dish that is well-seasoned, crispy and moist. Innovation is key when designing a new menu, and this season our offerings whether for breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner are sure to satisfy any palate!"

About Café Du Parc:
Discover a truly authentic bistro experience where traditional French food fuses with a modern, casual atmosphere in the heart of the nation's capital. Café du Parc has a one-of-a-kind menu enhanced by the use of locally grown produce and culinary creativity. Known as one of the best al fresco restaurants in Washington, DC, Café du Parc is the perfect place to savor delicious French cuisine in an iconic Pennsylvania Avenue location, just steps from the White House and inside the acclaimed Willard InterContinental Hotel. Open daily from 6:30 AM - 10:00 PM. For more information or to make reservations, please call (202) 942-7000 or visit

• Open Table Diner’s Choice - Café du Parc (2017)
• Recipient of Trip Advisor’s Certificate of Excellence - Café du Parc (2016)
• Recipient of Trip Advisor’s Certificate of Excellence - Round Robin (2016)
• 2016 Top 10 French Restaurants in Washington, DC Area by Gayot (2016)
• Three Star Certified Green Restaurant® by the Green Restaurant Association - Café du Parc (2014)
• Open Table Diner's Choice - Café du Parc (2014)

About the Willard InterContinental Washington, D.C.:
A most celebrated historic Washington DC hotel, the Willard InterContinental Washington D.C., has been the focal point for elegant dinners, meetings, and social events for more than 150 years. An iconic institution, the Willard has hosted almost every U.S. president since Franklin Pierce in 1853. Located in the heart of our nation’s capital, two blocks from the White House, the Willard InterContinental, recently named one of the “Top 10 Best Hotels in Washington, DC 2017” by U.S. News & World Report, offers 335 spacious and elegantly appointed rooms that exude a unique blend of contemporary luxury and historic charm. For more information, please visit