A friend had sent me a link to a new restaurant in Washington DC. It sounded interesting and very much the type of place I would like to check out. When a last-minute trip to DC for work came up on my schedule, I went to their website to make a reservation. They have different seating/menu choices. If you want a place at the Chef’s counter or a table, then you have to reserve a tasting menu plus beverage pairing place. They will charge you half the cost up front and then charge the other half the day of the reservation. You can also select a seat at the bar, where you do not have to select the beverage pairings (but you can order the alcoholic or non-alcoholic pairings or individual beverages when seated). The split charge to your credit card works the same way.
The restaurant is located right across the street from the Marine Barracks. Upon arrival, while waiting to be seated, they offer you a beverage. One choice was Kir Royale, which is what I had.
The first presentation of the evening was a fennel and absinthe bonbon with a cucumber chaser (underneath). The bonbon shell is filled with house-made fennel yogurt, fermented fennel and orange zest and rehydrated raisins. Apple, sunchoke, cucumber. and celery juice spiked with the absinthe made up the chaser. This was a nice quick bite to start up the palate.
For the wine, I chose just to have a glass of wine. On the wine menu, they listed a 2000 Chablis from a magnum pour. However, they said they were out of it that evening and could substitute a 2003 Puligny-Montrachet. They let me taste it first, and I decided it would be fine, even though I tend not to favor Puligny-Montrachets over other white Burgundy choices.
The next bite was pineapple-glazed asparagus topped with Serrano ham, some chilies and pineapple aioli.
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