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Nectar


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"It was designed, from the ground up, by the Rockwell Group, whose local work includes Stephen Starr's Striped Bass, Alma de Cuba, Pod and Washington Square. (The design "wow" happens to be a huge silk-screened Buddha.)"

Hot Damn! Another design by Don's brother, Dave (and the Rockwell Group).

I think I'll go to Nectar tonight.

...

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My wife and I ate at Nectar on Saturday night. One word described our meal:

Wow.

For my appetizer, I ordered the Raw Tuna with Sun Dried Tomato, Pine nuts & Basil. The Sun Dried Tomatoes complemented the tuna and did not overpower it as I thought it might. With each bite of the tuna, I kept repeating, “This is awesome. This is awesome.” in a Rain Man-like fashion. My wife had the Cucumber Soup, which was full of bold, bright, and fresh flavors. We have tried making cucumber soup at home, and my wife has ordered it at other restaurants before, and it has generally been fairly bland. This soup, however, had some punch.

My wife ordered scallops with chorizo, pistachio, and curry spices, which were cooked perfectly (especially compared to the over-cooked ones she had at M&S Grill the week before). Just like with the tuna, our concern that the chorizo or the curry would overpower the delicate sweetness of the scallops was unfounded. I normally do not like scallops, however the couple of bites that I had has turned me around. My choice for an entrée was already made for me when I saw the Hangar steak on the menu. Cooked to a perfect medium-rare and served with polenta, I cleaned my plate just like I was told to as a kid, using the rest of my bread to mop up the au jus.

For dessert, I ordered the pound cake with gold leaf (!?), roasted fruit, and chantilly cream. Had the meal ended right here, it would have been terrific. However, when my wife took her first bite of the Baked Alaska, she a had a half-stunned, half-grin look on her face, which lead to this exchange:

Me: “Is everything ok?”

Her: “This is the best dessert that I have ever had in my life.”

With each bite, she kept laughing and smiling. 3 days later we are both still talking about it, trying to figure out if we could even attempt to re-create it at home. Jared’s wine selections were outstanding, and the service was courteous and unobtrusive. Jared and Jamie truly have something special going on at Nectar.

"My cat's breath smells like cat food."

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I had another great dinner at Nectar last night. I went with two friends, one is really down on DC (not just restaurants, the whole area even though I keep trying to tell him he lives in the suburbs and doesn't take advantage of what DC offers). Anyway, that is just a bit of background as to why I wanted to bring them to Nectar to be dazzled. They were.

First, the food. I ordered the hangar steak. I love this steak. It makes you wonder why so many others mess up hangar steaks and serve tough or overcooked meat. This was medium rare and fabulously tender. No steak knife needed. One friend ordered a salad, the other the crab appetizer (sorry I just didn't pay enough attention to the descriptions) and they both had the scallops for main. Now, both are big guys and started making cracks about the portion size which I think are normal portions, just not the ridiculous double or triple sized portions you get at so many places. But, like I said, they are a lot bigger then I am and that is more of an issue for them. They quickly stopped talking about the amount and kept repeating damn that's good or some variation for most of the rest of the meal. We had a wonderful wine that I have completely forgotten the name of.

They ordered scotch instead of dessert. Now, I like a good drink but there was no way I was going to skip one of the great desserts at Nectar for a drink I could have wherever. I ordered the baked Alaska and 3 spoons. Turns out one of my friends has fond memories of baked Alaska from childhood and the other had never had one before. It was gone very quickly. We discussed whether it would be rude to tilt the plate to our mouths to enjoy the last of the invisible hot chocolate.

A word about the service. I like the mix of very attentive (the water and wine glasses were never empty) and leisurely pace of the meal. I enjoy having some time to enjoy my drink before ordering and being able to chat after dessert without being rushed with the check. And as one friend mentioned, he doesn't like the setting (referring to the bar and its not being conducive to a pre or post dinner drink) but liked the atmosphere (referring to the seemless service where everyone had a hand in taking care of us).

Score one for DC. And they are going to let me pick the restaurant again next time.

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  • 1 month later...

Sometimes getting schooled is a good thing.

Went last week, was one of those 4 hour jaunts that feels like 15 minutes.

Jamison cooked for us and Jarad poured for us. Top notch, all.

One example of how this place kicks ass...Todd the bartender saw the reservation and held the last bottle of Becherelle. He knows I'm a chenin addict and did not want to have me go without.

This thread should never be on the 7th page again.

Firefly Restaurant

Washington, DC

Not the body of a man from earth, not the face of the one you love

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  • 2 weeks later...

At the last minute last night, I was able to go to Nectar for a (supposed to be) light, late-night dinner...

words can't describe....

First, the pumpkin soup with crispy sweetbreads and greek yogurt - and they've added an apple chutney this time around. A delicious inclusion - the apples added a crisp texture contrast, and a delightful burst of sour and sweetness. This dish tastes like autumn and makes me giddy like a little girl - sous-chef Alex Lo makes absolutely exquisite soups. Drank the Schumann-Nagler Dry sparkling wine. This is always one of my favorites - a great dry sparkling wine with the right balance of fruit.

Then the scallops with haricots verts, yellow wax beans, sugar snap peas (?), chorizo, pistachios and a sauce of curry spices. I've had this dish a thousand times - even once, drunk, at 4 am :blink:- but this time might have been the best ever. Seared perfectly crispy on one side, the inside tender and succulent. (Still drinking Schumann Nagler - what can I say, I'm a lightweight.)

Then a (massive) cheese plate - I don't remember all the names - an aged goat, the Pierre Roberts triple cream, a blue that I didn't taste, and a stinky cheese (help me out eatdrinkummm, what was it?)

Switched to the Brundlmayer Gruner Veltliner. MMMMMMMM. (Didn't make notes, so that's all I remember :grin:)

Finally, for dessert, the vanilla spiced creme brulee served with armanac-soaked prunes. I don't care for armanac and I don't care for prunes but I decidedly care for these. Drank the Banfi Regale red sparkling dessert wine, with hints of raspberries, and not cloying at all.

And two little things, that make everything that much better - 1) Every wine being available by the glass allows one to try a wine without making a larger committment ,and enables me to drink interesting wine (considering a lot of restaruants typically offer only the Usual Suspects by the glass - chardonnay, merlot, cab - and the more interesting options are typically only offered by the bottle); and 2) the butter for our bread was softened. such a little thing, but the little things often make a subtle difference.

Only one request - please bring back the Marcel Deiss Gewurtztraminer!

Everything was fantastic and I wish I got to dine there more often.

Thanks to all of the Nectar boys for making the place what it is - heavenly.

Edited by LittleWing (log)

Eat.Drink.DC.

...dining in the district...

Ask not what you can do for your country. Ask what's for lunch.

- Orson Welles

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  • 2 weeks later...
:biggrin: I get to go to Nectar tonight to celebrate a friend's birthday. My first visit! Looking at the board I'm already leaning towards the pumpkin soup for a first course and the scallops for my entree. What else is can't miss- so I can not-so-subtly steer my dining companions?
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:biggrin: I get to go to Nectar tonight to celebrate a friend's birthday.  My first visit!  Looking at the board I'm already leaning towards the pumpkin soup for a first course and the scallops for my entree.  What else is can't miss- so I can not-so-subtly steer my dining companions?

I had that soup last week, and you should not miss it. Also, if it's on the menu, the cabbage-wrapped halibut topped with crisp speck ham is one of the great dishes being served in Washington right now. Jamison or Alex, if you read this, would you mind sharing with us how, exactly, you can pull this dish off?

Cheers,

Rocks.

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pumpkin soup

Yes!
cabbage-wrapped halibut topped with crisp speck ham

Yes!
get the cheese plate also

Yes!

We also ate at Nectar last night and everything was wonderful. Great food, great ambience, great service, great wine and, oh-so-important to me, great bread!!! (If they have it, be sure to get the Asiago bread.)

Especially notable was the tuna appetizer. My husband said the tuna was comparable to the just that minute pulled from the ocean, filleted and eaten on the boat tuna he had while stationed in Palau. Also, the pumpkin soup was fantastically delicious & complex and had a fun & surprising (at least to us!) presentation.

We put ourselves into Mr. Slipp's hands for the choosing of the wines and were not disappointed. And, in addition to being perfectly matched to our dishes, Mr. Slipp regaled us with the interesting histories of each of his selections (including one that involved international smuggling!).

My sis almost did not order the halibut because she has had so many over-cooked versions at other restuarants, but it was done to perfection last night at Nectar. Actually, everything was cooked (or not cooked) perfectly and served at the appropriate temperature (including the cheeses -- I especially enjoyed the Bleu d'Auvergne). And the desserts were just as stellar as the appetizers and entrees.

Truly a great evening!

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Did this remind anyone of Meg Ryan in When Harry('s Tap Room) Met Sally? :laugh:

The food was so good that I did not need to fake it! :cool:

(Coincidentally, we discussed that exact scene while at Nectar. Also, nice on-topic food tie-in Mr. Rocks!)

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Dropped in last night for a bowl of pumpkin soup, and got an impromptu history lesson for free. :laugh: The soup is just as fantastic as everyone's said, and the asiago bread is perfect for getting those last few soup molecules out of the bowl.

"Tea and cake or death! Tea and cake or death! Little Red Cookbook! Little Red Cookbook!" --Eddie Izzard
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Hello all!

I've been (mostly) lurking on eGullet for a while now, but didn't have a lot to post about. Until now.

Based on the recommendations of this thread, I convinced my husband and a friend of ours to go to Nectar last night. What a great experience. While we all LOVE food (perhaps a bit too much), none of us have done a lot of fine dining. The little we have done has, on occasion, made us feel out of place and uncomfortable because of an overly-formal or pretentious service. Not at Nectar. The service was very attentive, friendly and accommodating. I'd say they made us feel at home, but home isn't that nice... :biggrin:

While all of the food was lovely, the real stand-outs for us have been mentioned here before. The pumpkin soup, the asiago bread and the cheese plate were way beyond our expectations. I am something of a cheese addict (my husband would probably say that this is an under-statement). When I have gone to other places offering cheese plates, I have often been disappointed to find that I have already tried all of their selections. At Nectar, I had only previously tried one of the five cheeses, and had only heard of one other. Very special for a cheese-head like me.

We'll definitely be going back. We also plan to visit a number of the other places you all have recommended. Thanks eGullet members, and thanks to the Nectar crew for a great night!

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