Monday, April 2, 2012

My DC bucket list

Like a parade of hope, Spring marches into view, awakening our senses and redirecting us with her steady determination.   Revealing herself slowly at first, the white and pink Magnolias open on bare branches, floating their perfume on the still chilly breeze.  She picks up speed when the Forsythia and the Quince pop, Daffodils bob, Tulips stand tall, and then the Redbuds emerge, revealing their heart-shaped leaves--the sweethearts of spring. One by one Cherry Blossoms burst, clinging to their branches like snow before they flutter to the earth. The Crab Apples flash their vibrant pink petals, Dogwoods unfurl and soon the fragrance of lilacs and viburnum fill the air.
Leaf by leaf, blossom by blossom, Spring allures us outdoors and back on the town.  Stiff from winter's monochrome, the rainbow of flowering trees has us refreshed and ready for a new adventure. 

My Spring Adventure is a DC bucket list of sorts:

1. Eat at as many DC restaurants as possible and rate the food  

2. Sit at the National Gallery's Jazz in the Garden on a Friday evening
3. Go to a Screen on the Green event
4.  Go to the Portrait Gallery
5. See a show at Arena stage and at the National Theater
6.  Visit the LBJ memorial
7. Go to a Nats Game
8. Go to a Wizards Game

It's no surprise that I've gone right to work on Item 1.   I found the perfect partner in crime to enjoy this city wide taste test with me. I'm thinking we should don aliases like Victor and Veronica or Margaret and Norman--when we are in food critic mode.

First stop:  
The Madison Hotel Restaurant (The Federalist)

We started at the Hotel bar, both of us chose a drink called Pimm's Cobbler.  Gin, I usually avoid, but this was delicious, not too sweet, not too strong, perfect really.
The decor is true to Madison--elegant modern Americana, layers of chrome and gray with flashes of color.  The restaurant honors our heritage of farmers and fresh vegetables with its creativity and penchant for collaborative, homegrown good tastes.
We started with the Roasted Rainbow Beets and the Potato Leek Flatbread (with goat cheese...yyuuuuumm) Perfectly roasted, and seasoned --through the meal's entirety I never thought to check whether salt and pepper were on the table.
For entrees I ordered the special: Milk Poached Cod with fresh garden peas.  My cohort ordered Amish Chicken Roulade* with Black Truffle Mousse, Baby Carrots, Potato Puree and
Madeira Jus
(The asterick indicates the fact that this meal can be prepared gluten free, a bonus for my gluten intolerant friends)
The savory flavors of the truffle mousse and the jus melded perfectly with the tender chicken.  The cod was so fluffy. The peas, cooked so they still had a green garden crunch.  The entire dish was creamy, light and refreshing.  Besides tasting just right, each dish looked beautiful.
We chatted the evening away and sadly didn't order dessert. Next time!

Nuts and bolts:  Server was friendly, knowledgeable and attentive. Didn't need a reservation. We tried to find something mediocre about the experience-- to no avail.  The only complaint we could muster up was that the bathrooms weren't as innovative as the rest of the place.

Cheers for spring!

1 comment:

  1. You really should be a restaurant reviewer. What a great review. I want to go eat there. I loved reading your description of the way the flowers and trees are waking us up. It sounds so inviting you can almost see and smell it just reading your post!! Love it