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This upcoming week is Restaurant Week in DC and, as I’ve missed out on the past two because I was broke, I’m really excited about my upcoming dinner plans. I wanted to pick the pricier places that are suppose to be amazing, and see what the kitchens could do. This week I’ve made two reservations: Tallula and Vermilion.

Vermilion is my first stop of the week–I snagged a last-minute later reservation for Wednesday night. It’s a place I’ve never been, but should go to at least once. Reviews have been hit or miss lately, so it might not a crap shoot–but I’m hoping the  Here’s the menu:

  • Dinner appetizers: Gazpacho with peaches, ricotta salata, and kalamata tapenade; squid two ways with shelling beans, celery, focaccia, and saffron vinaigrette; stuffed roma tomatoes
    spiced luganega sausage, farro, vin cotto & brad’s goat cheese
  • Dinner entrées: Goat-cheese raviolo with roasted beets and walnut froth; bistro filet with potato confit, shallots two ways, and salsa verde; pan-roasted Arctic char with parker-house panzanella and pickled red onion.
  • What I’ll Get:  Slightly disappointed in this selection, but I’m sure it’ll still be delicious. Maybe the squid and then the filet?

Tallula is definitely the dinner I’m most excited about (Review here). I grabbed this when RW was first announced, and then heard they are offering up their entire menu. SCORE!

  • Dinner appetizers: Tomato-and-cantaloupe soup with blue crab; ahi-tuna tartare; pan-seared scallops; soft-shell crab; bison carpaccio; frisée salad; bibb-lettuce salad; mixed baby greens; corn-and-smoked-potato agnolotti; saffron fettuccine with rock shrimp, calamari, and chorizo; cavatelli with veal sausage, escarole, and chili flakes.
  • Dinner entrées: Pan-roasted duck breast with roasted peaches, turnips, and vin cotto; olive-oil-poached salmon with mizuna, beets, and pickled trumpet mushrooms; roasted whole branzino with zucchini tian, pickled green garlic, and preserved-lemon vinaigrette; hangar steak with potato galette and salsa verde; halibut with mussels, clams, and bouillabaise broth; duo of pork with black-eyed peas, collards, and okra stew.
  • What I’ll Get: Definitely the duck for my entree, the saffron fettuccine seems really cool–I wonder if it’s homemade? Appetizer will most likely depend on my mood that day.

My thoughts on the Restaurant Week idea have always been that the menu should show off the best a place has to offer and sell me on coming back for a full-priced meal another time. It doesn’t always happen (I had a mediocre meal at Art and Soul in January) which is why I try to be very selective. A lot of time the service isn’t the best when waiters know you are there for RW, and that can also effect my opinion about returning—a true fine-dining experience should be open to all dinners, even ones who can’t afford a tasting menu or $100 bottle of wine.

I’ll be back at the end of the week with pictures and my thoughts on the meals!

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