Monday, September 29, 2008

Dining in D.C., part 1

Mark and I went to Washington D.C for a long weekend, to see the National Book Festival, and to celebrate his birthday.

We had a number of memorable experiences, dining and otherwise, so I'll tell you about one of them now.

For Mark's birthday dinner, we went to Restaurant Nora, "America's First Certified Organic Restaurant, High-end American organic cuisine in Dupont Circle", founded by chef Nora Poullion. In business for close to 30 years, and certified organic since 1999 - maybe the first, but also one of the only certified organic (at least to federal standards) restaurants in the country - one article I looked at said there are only 2, Nora's, in Washington, and the Ukiah Brewing Company, in Ukiah, Calif.

Chef Nora Poullion was in Madison last spring for an Earth Day, green living event, so maybe I heard of her then, but I also have something in the back of my mind that she had a line of packaged organics, soups, maybe. I think I've been reading about her for years - she has been active in the organic & local food movement, making opportunities for women chefs, and she has at least one cookbook out.

So what'd we eat? First, we split a tomato and fresh mozzarella salad, with balsamic vinegar, pumpkin seed oil, and toasted pumpkin seeds. It came in a long, narrow, blue glass dish, that was perfect for dipping bread into to get the last of the balsamic. (I made a copycat salad last night, with heirloom tomatoes & Crave fresh mozzarella from the co-op, walnut oil, balsamic - nowhere near as fancy a balsamic as Nora's - and candied pecans. I think my walnut oil is going a little off - I should have refrigerated it.) And I just looked back at the online menu, and the salad's crossed out, tomatoes must be done, so good thing we got it when we did. (They obviously change the menu daily.)

Mark had crab cakes, I am not sure all the acoutrements they came with, but corn was one of them - the food must have been good, because aside from the salad and dessert, we did not pass our plates around for tastes, we pretty much each hogged all our own. I had flank steak; today's menu entry is: Grilled Grassfed Flank Steak with Corn Black Bean Stuffed Poblano Pepper, Corn Bread, Green Beans, Guacamole, Ancho Chili Jus -- last week, my version had the corn and black beans but not stuffed into the pepper, and while I did get a little corn hush puppy atop the meat and beans and corn, no green beans or guac on my plate. Beth ate the Amish chicken breast; I think it had potatoes and fennel with it.

We indulged in desserts: Peach pie with homemade vanilla ice cream and a few raspberries tossed on the plate, and a lemon tart with a raspberry sauce. They were out of the dessert wine recommended to go with the pie; Kurt Darting Rieslaner, so I had an Eiswein instead, Nigl.

Wow and yum.

1 comment:

nichole said...

Oh deliciousness! And mentioning the walnut oil reminds me - I'm out - I ought to restock...