The Ritz-Carlton in Pentagon City has revamped its restaurant to a Mediterranean venue that serves modern meze, sips of glamorous Napa wines, and an espresso martini built with a chocolate rum brand owned by Bruno Mars.
Health opened on weekends at 1250 S. Hayes Street in Arlington, Virginia for breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea, and dinner. A large gold and blue sliding door opens into a lobby-level space that was most recently home to Fyve, the American bistro that opened under chef Amy Brandwein in 2008, long before it was a permanent nominee for the James Beard Awards at Centrolina.
Longtime Ritz-Carlton Executive Chef Phil Skerman is in charge of Health, which translates to “health” in French, alongside Chef Kevin Marshall-Broderick. The menu (full version below) is divided into sections for “bites”, “social” parts and more composed “plates”. The first serving consists of chunky chickpea fries served with a Greek yogurt dip. Other entrees include grilled Virginia oysters with citrus and harissa butter and pan-seared shrimp saganaki with black garlic and tomato fondue. Middle Eastern influences show up in an appetizer of kofta lamb, fattoush salad and charred Atlantic salmon with a dukkah vinaigrette. The fried steaks are served with a chermoula butter from North Africa.
The healthy version of an Italian osso bucco submarine in a braised lamb shank for veal. The meat is prominently placed on a bed of okra, pearl couscous, rosemary, mint, lamb gravy, and mashed vegetables with a little harissa paste for a kick.
The bar tweaks a traditional espresso martini by replacing the vodka with Panamanian chocolate Selvarey rum and naming it “Runaway Baby Espresso-Tini” for the pop star owner’s hit song.
Wine lovers can sample premium pours in 1, 3, and 6 ounce servings from a list that includes esteemed Napa grapes like a 2017 Opus One Red Blend ($ 20, $ 50, $ 95) and 2007 Caymus Cabernet Sauvignon ($ 10, $ 30, $ 55).
The bar serves draft beer for the first time and adopts the new coastal theme with soft blue cork seating. Blue is also a dominant tone throughout the updated, tableless restaurant that covers the booths in a reptile print. There are 64 seats in the dining room and 48 more in a private area.
Before Santé became Fyve, it housed the Grill and Lobby Lounge some 30 years ago. The hotel is the real setting for the stages of Ryan Murphy’s new season Impeachment: American Crime Story. Episode 6 takes place almost entirely in a room at the Ritz and in the adjacent Pentagon City mall in 1998, where Monica Lewinsky was questioned by the FBI about her alleged affair with then-President Bill Clinton. , based on recorded conversations with Linda Tripp.