Thursday, January 20, 2011

Restaurant Week 2011

For the past three years MP and I have been going out to lunch during Restaurant Week in DC. Neither of us can remember the first place that we went to, but since then we have enjoyed sampling the three course prix fixe menus that would otherwise not be included in our budgets!

This year we went to La Taberna Del Alabardero with JQC as well. The Taberna is an authentic Spanish restaurant. Feeling adventurous, we decided this was the place, if there ever was a place, to try the exotic dishes on their menu--so we each chose a different item from each of the three courses available, and then passed them around so that we could all try them.

Crema Tibia de Lentejas Mollejas Y Curry
Warm Cream of Lentils with a Curry Emulsion topped with Sweetbread

Lasagna de Rabo de Toro, Bechamel de Comino y Queso Mahon
Braised Oxtail Lasagna with Cumin Bechamel Sauce and Mahon Cheese

Huevos Rellenos de Bacalao y Gambas, Hortalizas Tiernas y Cebolla Morada
Egg stuffed with Codfish Brandade and Shrimp served with Fresh Vegetables and Sweet Onion

Main Course
Pargo a la Bilbaina con dos Texturas de Setas al Ajillo y Pan Crujiente
Red Snapper served Bilbania style with Wild Mushrooms and Bread Crust

Manitas de Cerdo Estofadas sobre Cremoso de Cebollino y Ropa Vieja de Garbanzos
Braised Pig's Trotters with Vegetables over a Creamy Scallions topped with "Ropa Vieja"

Osobuco Asado en salsa se Pedro Ximenez, Chips de Patata y Alcachofas Estofadas
Braised Veal Shank in a PX Sauce, Homemade Potato Chips and Artichokes

Tarta de Queso Cremoso con Helado De Passas y Anis
Cheesecake with Raisins and Anise Ice Cream

Estofado de Frutos Rojos, Togue de Modena, Helado de Yogurt y Chocolate
Mixed Berries in a Light Syrup soup topped with Yogurt Ice cream and a Chocolate Cookie

Arroz con Leche Emperatriz con Helado de Mandarina
Homemade Rice Pudding with Clementine Ice Cream

A brief review. Trying sweetbreads and pig's trotters was an adventure--surely made nicer by trying it together with friends--but then again even war is better if you are not alone. The sweetbreads tasted great and the texture was fine, but just the thought of it, finally got the best of all of us. The trotters on the other hand were seriously foul from start to finish. All of the other dishes were delightful. Of particular note were the stuffed eggs--so light, and subtle and lovely, and the veal. The veal was amazing--if you took one bite with just the meat it tasted one way, and then a combination of veal and artichoke--it was altogether transformed, like wine changes with food. It was a real treat.

I will also mention that the service was impeccable. I did not even notice the water being filled, plates and silver being set down or replaced, and we were not pressured to leave as soon as we were finished eating. We were able to eat in the room which has windows into the kitchen, so that was an additional treat.

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