This fairly new Adams Morgan located bistro was crowded and noisy when we went on a Sunday night. The decor is all rustic farmhouse and the tables are crammed in to fill up all available space like some kind of massive game of tetris. So I was a little nervous when we sat down, despite great reviews, but the attentive service and stellar food soon made me forget the crowd. Here, plates and utensils are cleared and replaced after each dish - service I would expect from a much more upscale joint. A well-stocked and well-priced wine list and unique cocktails (hello, "Farewell to the 20's") are icing on the cake. As usual, I was more excited by/impressed with the small plates, but the mains were very good as well. Some of the dishes are reminiscent of the style of DC star Michel Richard, which makes sense because Executive Chef Cedric Maupillier apprenticed under him.
First up - the beet and goat cheese "mountain pie". This was so delicious - thinly sliced beets layered with buttery lettuce gained depth from shallots and chives, while toasted bread served as the crust for a warm goat cheese and beet tart. I eat beet and goat cheese salads all the time, but this one is truly special.
Bacon and Onion Flammekeuche - an Alsatian style flatbread that seems simple, but is just awesome. Crisp, smoky, creamy - I could have eaten 5 of these.
Lamb tongue moussaka - this was good, but not as good as the other 2 small plates. Part of that may be that it didn't actually taste like moussaka to me. Chickpeas and heavy cumin (as opposed to cinnamon) made it seem more Middle Eastern than Mediterranean. That being said, it was still tasty and interesting; the tongue was very tender and it had a nice subtle heat.
Tagliatelle Bolognese - signature dish, gorgeous presentation. Unfortunately, I was not a big fan of this - heavy fennel made the ragu taste like Italian sausage, which I am just not that into. Sausage lovers - this is for you.
Shad filet topped with shad roe and lardo, over a potato and broccolini hash, with brown butter and lemon demi-glace. The roe topping was not my favorite, but the fish was well cooked and the hash and sauce were excellent. I seriously want more of that hash right now.
Pine nut tart with vanilla bean ice cream. I hate pecan pie, but I love this tart - the buttery pine nuts were so soft and just melted into the sugary base. There was also a creme brulee that I didn't photograph because everybody knows what creme brulee looks like, right?
All-in-all this place was great. I would love to come here for drinks and apps before hitting up Adams Morgan, but I don't know that I would go out of my way for dinner. I would love to try brunch, though.
Mintwood Place Website - for more information
I have been dying to try out the lobster rolls from this famous DC food truck from the moment I first heard about them. Red Hook serves two different styles of lobster rolls: the Connecticut (shown on top) is poached in butter and served warm; the Maine (shown on bottom) is served cold in a light lemon mayonnaise sauce (so light that you can barely even see/taste the mayo). They are both really, really good. The Maine allows the more subtle flavors of lobster to show through but the bread becomes extraneous, whereas on the Connecticut the butter soaked bread is incredibly delicious. I recommend getting one of each, but if you can only get one - I would go with the Connecticut.
The rolls cost $15 each - which may seem like a lot, but the thing is all lobster. I mean - just look at that chunk of claw meat there! This is definitely a food truck worth stalking.
Other stars on the menu include Maine Root Sodas and locally made whoopie pies. They also offer mail-order kits to make your own lobster rolls and you can hire the truck to cater parties!
Set at a six-person bar on the upper level of America Eats Tavern, Minibar is a restaurant within a restaurant. It is also consistently one of the highest rated restaurants in DC - usually within the top 5! It is just as much theater as it is dining while you interact with the chefs and watch them prepare a parade of tiny, one-bite dishes that are clever, whimsical, and above all - delicious.
For anyone who has read Pt 1 or Pt 2, you will know that my Vegan friend challenged me to try the top 25 Vegan-friendly restaurants in the area. This time we decided to two different spots in the same trip. Cafe Green (an all vegan restaurant) and Agora (a Greek spot with a number of vegetarian options and a few vegan ones) are right next door to each other near Dupont Circle.
The menu at Cafe Green is a little eccentric - part Asian, part Southern comfort food; all Vegan, with a large portion of Raw food. I ordered the macaroni and cheese platter based on good reviews, and the fact that I love mac-n-cheese. The macaroni is made from quinoa (which is a super grain) and the sauce had almost a bit of curry flavor too it. Great texture, great flavor - this is a winner. The platter came with a side of lemony kale that was alright and some spiced, candied yams that were AWESOME. I also added on a piece of cornbread that had good flavor but was super dry and crumbly.