Every new year people begin by making resolutions such as; to lose weight, eat healthier, travel more, save more money. All worthy aspirations! For me, this year my resolution is to enjoy diverse culinary opportunities locally! I find many restaurants are just average. The food is just ok and many times I think I could have made this better or for a lot cheaper!
I have set a goal for myself that I would try some restaurants I have heard about, not only to take off from the kitchen duty, but to broaden my horizons and hopefully be inspired to create new menus for my students. These restaurants are in no particular order and I have selected a variety - some expensive special occasion places, to a bakery and beer hall. I hope some are new to you and that you will decide to share in this journey with me! Hopefully we will find some winners that exceed at delighting us with their food and inspire us to try some new things.
This week is RESTAURANT WEEK in Virginia and DC! My son is home from college for a few more days so I decided we needed to go try this place, especially since their lunch menu was three courses for $22!
So my first place on the list is done!
This place looks like more than a restaurant, it will be an experience! Surrounded by a farm where they procure their ingredients, the chef selects what is fresh and in season and creates the menu from there. They offer a prix fixe menu Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights and a monthly Brunch on Sunday. Reservations are a must!
With a multi-course tasting menu starting at $118 per person, this place will be reserved for a special occasion! Similar to The Restaurant at Patowmack Farm, the chef sets the menu and serves it to diners by reservation only Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 7pm.
Having lived in France for three years I am always on the lookout for an authentic experience and cuisine that is reminiscent of my favorite country outside of the USA. It is rare that I eat at a French restaurant where the food has not be compromised or adapted to the American palette. I have high hopes for this establishment!
Our family also had the privilege to live in Japan for two years. This restaurant is on my list because they have a walk-in Ramen Shop on the first floor and an Izakaya on the second floor. These epitomize the culinary offerings from Japan. It was not uncommon for us to make a stop for gas on the road in Japan and get Ramen. I also took a Ramen class to learn how to make it myself. Izakaya is a type of bar where small plates are served. It is their version of a "gastropub" so to speak!
Speaking of gastropubs...this is one I would like to try! I appreciate a menu that is not too broad. When I open a four page menu I am skeptical that every item is of equal quality! I prefer a restaurant to do a few items WELL, don't you?!
This restaurant just opened in December. It is a partnership with the chef Sasha Felikson and CAVA (which is one of my favorite "nice" fast food places). It describes it's food as "timeless French classics inspired and infused with Levantine spices and ingredients".
I am intrigued!
This bakery is owned by a James Beard award winning baker, the 77 year old Mark Furstenburg. In 2017 he was named the Outstanding Baker in the USA! They offer a wide variety of European style bread and have a small cafe serving "break furst" and lunch.
Driving all the way to DC to get bagels is a commitment, but this wood fired bagel shop I think may be worth the effort! The name screams "I'm fun!".
Inspired by German street food, this is a very reasonably priced restaurant in Georgetown offering a German Beer Hall vibe and a simple menu. Can't wait to try the bratwurst and pretzels.
That is the list I am starting with and I may add to it as I hear of more places I want to try!