Holy mackerel, it's been a while. Well, a few weeks ago I went up to DC with my sister for a mini-vacation. We lived up there for a few years and I was back up there for a stint as a congressional intern after college. It was fun revisiting our old haunts and discovering some fabulous eateries.
Our first night we had dinner at Michel Richard's Citronelle. This was an amazing dining experience. You have the option of ordering a 10 course or 3 course menu, or ala carte. We opted for the 4 course, which actually was more like 6. It came with an amuse bouche and pre-dessert, plus we added a cheese course. The food was creative in design and scrumptious to taste. For instance, my first course was a mosaic of tartar, which meant each of the thinly sliced meats were arranged on the plate to form a mosaic design. The artistry in these dishes went far beyond taste... truly one of the best dining experiences I've ever had.
One other amazing item to note, Chef Richard was in the kitchen when we were there. The kitchen is completely open to the dining room (and there is a chef table as well that some lucky souls were dining at) so we could see in. So many 'celebrity' chefs have restaurants that they never seem to actually be at, not here.
Chef Richard was expediting food throughout the night, it was such a treat to look in and watch the magic happen. If you're in DC, make sure this spot is on your hit list.
Another spot on our food tour was Old Ebbit Grill, one of the oldest restaurants in the city. If there was such a thing as an operational restaurant museum, this would be it. Maybe it's because we had spent the day museum hopping, but you could really feel the history here. The mural's on the walls are favorites of many of our Presidents, the dark wood gives the place a special feel, and the food.... The crabcakes were amazing!! Having spent some of my formative years in Maryland, I am picky about my crabcakes. It pisses me off when I order them and I am served a fried blob of cornmeal or stuffing with some meat mixed in. At Old Ebbits you get a patty of lump crab meat that is so fresh, you'd think it had just been cracked.
Save room for dessert because the butterscotch blondie sundae will knock your socks off. Definitely it is one to share, my sister and I couldn't finish it. It was total butterscotch heaven.
For lunch on our museum hopping day we went to the Mitsitam Cafe in the National Museum of the American Indian. This is not your average museum cafeteria. There are 4 or 5 different menus all offering items from the native peoples of the different regions of the US. It's a 'small plates' kind of place, but prices add up quickly. I had 3 different items, that plus a drink was over $20. The food was really good though, I particularly liked the cucumber soup from the South American menu and the squash and bean tamale pie from the Meso America menu. There is plenty for meat eaters to choose from, but vegetarians will really enjoy all the different options.
My last DC shout out is going to the Lincoln's Waffle Shop. It's just across the street from Ford's theater, right on the corner of 10th and E. They are a few spots down from their old location, so some people might think they are closed. They are very much open, 7 days a week serving breakfast (on the cheap!) all day. Of course I had the waffle, and it was good. Pretty standard stuff really, but they are freshly made and the batter is tasty. The true standout for me was the salmon cake. My boyfriend makes them for brunch every so often, and these were as good as his, but bigger and flatter. It could easily be a side instead of sausage, which is what I was going for. Again, it's mostly meat, not alot of filler which I dig. I didn't try it, but something worth mentioning... Scrapple is on the menu here. I was not brave enough to try it, but I wish I had been.
As soon as my computer is back from the shop, I'll edit this post and add some pics.