Located two blocks from the White House, in the newly renovated St. Regis Washington, D.C., Adour (202.509.8000, www.adour-washingtondc.com) fast became a favorite among the capital’s power elite when it opened last September. The modern decor—which features sleek furnishings in bold shades of black, silver, brown, and gold—creates an elegant yet lush ambience; but the main draw is wine director Ramon Narvaez, whose singularly insightful suggestions of wines to pair with each course of the restaurant’s French-American contemporary cuisine have earned him a devoted following. In fact, Narvaez works side by side with executive chef Julien Jouhannaud to develop the restaurant’s seasonal à la carte and tasting menus.
“It’s a unique and time-consuming concept,” says the 30-year-old Jouhannaud, who presents a variety of sauces and dishes to Narvaez; the wine director then selects from Adour’s 650-label cellar the wines that best enhance these flavors and textures. For the John Dory served on the winter menu with artichokes prepared three ways (sautéed, fried, and in a pureed sauce), Narvaez chose the Domaine Lamy Pillot Chassagne Montrachet Pot Bois, 2006—truly sublime.