Menu Sins: Restaurant Eve

A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of dinner with a group of D.C. food writers. I was excited to test out my theories and hopefully learn about some good food experiences in the District… I’ll cut to the chase: No one was willing to step up and say the D.C. food scene was anything more than ho-hum. “It’s improving,” was the most positive thing I could get out of them. So I moved on to something more concrete. How’s Rouge 24 garnered shrugs, as did Komi. Okay, best D.C. restaurant experiences in the past 6 months? We all agreed that a good meal could be had at Mike Isabella’s new Chinatown Italian Graffiato.

There was also a pitch for Restaurant Eve in Alexandria which was convincing enough to get me looking at reservations–that and I heard the Obama’s were going there for their anniversary. But I don’t think I’ll ever make it: I absolutely hate the sample menu on their website. Is it just me or is it really hard to get excited about food purely because it is “hand-fed, farm-raised, organically grown”? This menu has many sins.

1. It’s expensive. The tasting menu offers 5-9 courses for $120-$150. I’m willing to splurge, but it better be worth it; 2. Certain items on the menu make that price go up, like a caviar appetizer which adds $45; 3. Farms of origin are name-checked throughout; 4. Maybe it’s a great menu for a baby: custard, gelee, yogurt, mousse, purees galore (pea tendril, fennel, carrot, arugula).

This fussy menu made me think, wistfully, of the one for an upcoming wine dinner (October 22) at Cafe Sabarsky at the Neue Gallerie in NYC.

Wine Dinner Menu
Apertif
Assorted Canapés

Zweigelt · Rosé · Kracher · Neusiedlersee, 2009
+++
Foie Gras “Gugelhupf” with Port Wine Gelée and Grapes
Auslese · Kracher ·Neusiedlersee, 2009
Grüner Veltliner · M. Smaragd ·F. X. Pilcher · 2010
+++
Pan Seared Sea Scallops with Bacon and Mache Sauce
Grüner Veltliner · Urgestein Smaragd ·F. X. Pilcher · 2010
Riesling · Oberhauser Smaragd ·F. X. Pilcher · 2010
+++
Sautéed Squab with Black Winter Truffles and Salsifies
Grüner Veltliner · Loibnerberg Smaragd ·F. X. Pilcher ·       2010
Riesling ·Loibnerberg Smaragd ·F. X. Pilcher ·2010
+++
Semolina Dumpling with Plum Ragout and Vanilla Ice Cream
TBA ·Scheurebe No. 12 ·Kracher ·Neusiedlersee, 2006
TBA ·Traminer No. 8 ·Kracher ·Neusiedlersee, 2006

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