We went to see Cirque du Soleil's OVO Sunday night at the National Harbor. The show was great (as usual) and afterwards we headed to the waterfront to have dinner. We went into the Gaylord National Resort to eat at their steakhouse - Old Hickory. The inside of the Gaylord is amazing - a huge glass atrium with a fountain light show. Old Hickory looks out onto the atrium and, more importantly, onto the Potomac river. The decor is GORGEOUS - room after room of clean, white, square architectural details on dark blue paint. I loved the bar area especially with it's white marble bartop and modern glass doors. We were sat with a view out to the river, it was dark already but the view was still lovely.
For my first course, I had the beef tartare. It came with crunchy potato strings, a gorgeous fried egg coated in a crispy batter, and a sprinkling of fluer de sel. Cutting into the egg and having the warm yolk drip all over the beef was wonderful. The meat was bright red and very tender - just right. Jasper ordered the warm Maryland blue crab on recommendation of our waiter. It was a large portion of lump crab meat mixed with a mustard aioli and topped with crunchy cauliflower. I managed to steal a bite and it was very good. For our entree, we both ordered the grass-fed tenderloin (medium rare, of course). Oh my goodness - tender, tender, tender, and packed with flavor. It didn't need the sauces we ordered, but I am glad we ordered them. Jasper said his peppercorn sauce was the best he's ever had (and he has had a lot), and I could have eaten my Bearnaise with a spoon - creamy, lemony perfection. We opted out on dessert in favor of a cheese course, for which the Old Hickory is famous. They have a special case calibrated to keep the cheeses at the perfect temperature. The Maitre D'Fromage wheels out a case filled with cheeses and explains each one. We opted for six cheese selections, since we like different kinds of cheeses. Jasper picked a cheddar, a pecorino, and another sharp hard cheese. I selected a smokey blue from Oregon, a fragrant triple creme, and a gorgeous taleggio. The cheeses were served with pickled raisins, dried apricots (of which I wished there were more), and Marcona almonds.
The restaurant also has a cigar terrace with a cedar humidor, should you be a fan of after dinner cigars.