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Firefly


vengroff
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I received the following e-mail newsletter from Firefly last night and wanted to share:

Greetings and Warm Spring Wishes!

The Firefly family is happy to announce its' spring menu thanks to the culinary genious of Chef John Wabeck. With the first installation already in place, the finishing touches should be capped over the next few weeks. We encourage your calls so that we may either fax or email our new lunch, brunch, and dinner menu to you. With an uncompromising wine list to match, our exciting new menu items are sure to make this our most savory season yet.

We have also bid good luck to our most adored Restaurant Manager, Tricia Cominsky, who has accepted the position of General Manager at Poste Moderne Brasserie. Her departure restructured the management team at Firefly, as we strongly push forward with Chef Wabeck at the helm as both Executive Chef and General Manager, Samantha Bartz and Ryan Vigeant, Restaurant Managers.

We look forward to your next visit, whether passing through town looking for friendly and familiar faces, or rounding the corner to your home away from home!

Best Wishes!

Firefly - DC is located at:

1310 New Hampshire Ave. NW

Washington DC 20036

Phone: 202.861.1310 Fax: 202.659.3597

Visit us on the web at www.firefly-dc.com

Modest bunch, those Fireflies.

Mark

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John,

You're not a genius.

According to the e-mail, you're a "genious".

Not quite sure what that means.

:wink:

If someone writes a book about restaurants and nobody reads it, will it produce a 10 page thread?

Joe W

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John,

You're not a genius.

According to the e-mail, you're a "genious".

Not quite sure what that means.

:wink:

Good. I get off on a technicality.

Firefly Restaurant

Washington, DC

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

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John, Looking forward to checking out your culinary genius stylingz in that new spring menu at dinner w/ Mazman next week!

Food is a convenient way for ordinary people to experience extraordinary pleasure, to live it up a bit.

-- William Grimes

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Last night Mazman and I were treated to what was perhaps, in John W's estimation, the first time he's done a tasting menu at Firefly. We were celebrating the recent completion of my dissertation and the acquisition of my first job by opening a bottle of 2000 Archery Summit Renegade Ridge Pinot Noir that I had been saving.

So, we had (I apologize in advance, I'm going to get some of this wrong or incomplete--the wine just kept flowing last night :biggrin: )

1. Crispy oyster on a bed of shredded carrots

2. Miso soup with asparagus and shitake mushrooms (this was a great great dish)

3. Roasted beets with goat cheese dressing and market greens (fabulously creamy cheese, forgot the name tho)

The above were served with a bone-dry Riesling--2002 Schloss Gobel Burg Langenlois--this went especially well with the salad.

4. Sauteed spiced cod with potato puree, braised Belgian endive and parsley oil (great colors in this dish, lots of bright green and white, lovely cod)

5. Roasted chicken with bacon, cabbage and prunes.

We had the Archery Summit with those two--it opened up a great deal and its fruitiness was an especially good match for the chicken.

6. Reblochon, served with a California Cabernet (name escapes me)

We then opted to drink our dessert (my favorite way to end things!):

7. Late Harvest Vidal Pearmound

8. Broadbent Colheita, 1995

YUM YUM YUM to those last two!!

It was a very busy night at Firefly last night, but John still managed to find his way over to us quite often, even fitting in a glass of wine. Our server was very tall, and thus a little hard to hear (does anyone else ever have the distant server problem??), but other than that he was very good.

All in all, a great evening--thanks John!

Food is a convenient way for ordinary people to experience extraordinary pleasure, to live it up a bit.

-- William Grimes

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Had an excellent first dinner at Firefly tonight. Won't be the last. In fact, it was a positively Jack Sprat experience. I've never had any use for oysters, but now accept that they can be fried to a tempura crisp and be spicy and delicious. My wife has never had anything but contempt for beets until she had a few roasted with goat cheese. Full credit, too, for grace under pressure. The place was slammed, with every table full, from the time we sat down to the time we left but the service stayed gracious and the food showed up on cue and on the money. Man, I've got to learn to do that with my own roast chickens.

"Mine goes off like a rocket." -- Tom Sietsema, Washington Post, Feb. 16.

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  • 1 month later...

After following various threads on eGullet about Firefly, my husband & I decided to try it out for an anniversary dinner. The restaurant was crowded with graduation celebrants when we arrived, so we had to wait some time for our reserved table. However the staff was so pleasant and accommodating and handled this situation so nicely that we were not at all unhappy. To top it off, our meal was lovely. My husband loved his succulent fried oyster appetizer and our main courses: scallops sauted with a light sauce, root vegetables, spinach and puff pastry, and a steak cooked absolutely perfectly, were truly delicious. And nice Loire Valley wines to accompany it all. Thanks, Firefly, for a delightful dining experience!

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Went back last night with my esteemed spouse and enjoyed the salmon carpaccio and an excellent roast chicken. The chicken came with soft, comforting cabbage interwoven with bacon and a couple of prunes. I hoarded the skin but otherwise generously (and reluctantly) shared with E. I love the cured salmon at this place and have been known to completely clean my plate...lemons and all.

A glass of cava washed it down nicely.

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At the risk of adding another "me too!" to this thread, I'll add that the grilled asparagus is pretty darned good (or it was on 27 March). Based on this thread, I hit Firefly for a late dinner while I was in a nearby hotel. I just asked the waiter, Michael, for his recommendations and ended up with a grilled asparagus appetizer that included four plump but tender tasty spears with a sauce that was serious lemon, but with neither pucker nor cloying sweetness. The spears were crossed over a potato salad that had its own complimentary lemon sauce. Finally, there were a few crunchy cornichon pieces strewn around that added a third version of sweet/tangy. The pork tenderloin was likewise delish - my only quibble would be that I'd expected it to be a bit less well done, based on the original description. (It looked just like the piece at the table next to mine, ordered well-cooked.) However, it was still juicy and tasty. By the time I finished off the accompanying side of mac and cheese, I realized that I really appreciated the comfort food elements as much as the sauces. The service was excellent unobtrusive attention, but willing to take calculated risks: a fellow solo diner was seated at the table next to me, and turned out to be an interesting conversationalist (at least after a couple glasses of wine on my side (well-paired by Michael) and Basil Hayden on his). This is a good place to go after a tough day of meetings and you're away from home (especially if home has a dearth of decent restaurants).

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Lunch at Firefly.

Appetizer: "Cream of turnip soup with bacon-n-egg crust." Delicious soup. The bits of bacon and hard-boiled egg definitely added, but it fitted no definition of the word "crust" that I've ever heard.

Appetizer: "Crisp oysters and parsley with chipolte tartar sauce." Delicious battered and fried oysters. The sauce was too much for them, but thankfully it was on the side. And there was only a smidgen of fried parsley; not nearly enough to qualify for a place on the dish name.

Main: "Portobello mushroom cacciatore with housemade taglaitelle and spinach." Very good; nothing to complain about, not even the way it was listed on the menu.

My biggest complaint about Firefly was the noise. Sure is crowded in there, and loud too. There was a room in the back that looked quieter; probably best to ask for it.

And my guess is that it's way better for dinner.

Bruce

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  • 2 weeks later...

My sister is here from out of town and my wife and I are taking her to Firefly for her birthday on Friday. Anyone know what the menu looks like right now. We haven't been for over a year. Thanks.

"See these? American donuts. Glazed, powered, and raspberry-filled. Now, how's that for freedom of choice."

-Homer Simpson

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I took a recent San Francisco transplant friend of mine to Firefly last week. I need to convince him that he hasn't left behind all signs of civilization. Firefly did the trick. He cleaned his plate of salmon carpaccio and Artic char. I'm not a seafood kind of girl so I didn't pay much attention to the preparation of his dishes -- just how quickly they disappeared and how big the smile on his face was. I really enjoyed my hangar steak. Just the right blend of seasoning to let the meat shine. The grean beans that accompanied it were great too -- nice and crisp. I hate soft veggies. We both enjoyed the berry sorbet -- it was so creamy it could have passed for ice cream.

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As of Friday the menu had: Fried Osters with a chipotle aioli (very good), hanger steak with green beans french fries wine reduction, a roast cod, and a scallop pot pie, all tasted and good. There was also a pork tenderloin with gruyere mac and cheese...I guess you can call it modern riffs on comfort food...cute waitresses too :biggrin:

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  • 1 month later...

I had asked for restaurant suggestions in another thread, but want to post here so that Firefly can receive it's due! :smile:

First, my fault in not realizing how easy Firefly is to get to, as I've been wanting to eat there for some time. My anniversary at work (15 yrs) was just the occasion for my coworker and I to stop by...and all I can say is I wish I'd gone sooner! We went for lunch yesterday.

***(PLEASE NOTE--No need to wait for RW to go there--they have a lunch special 3 courses for $22, which was well worth the extra <$2. )

Forgive my poor memory on not recalling all the ingredients, but what I can recall is that it has been many years since I have experienced such a wonderful marriage of flavors, so simply and beautifully prepared. Not to mention the generosity of Chef John W. and his willingness to spend time to make sure my food allergies would not be a problem. I had a wonderful tomato appetizer, dressed with some kind of shaved cheese that I should have inquired about, a balsamic vinegar that I have never experienced the likes of before, and purple basil that parlayed on my tounge alternating sweet and salty, as my coworker had a beautiful cucumber soup with watercress. Converstion halted, as the only thing heard coming from either mouth was "mmmmm."

Second course, scallops (so sweet!) with grilled radicchio, inoki mushroom, dressed with a red wine sauce and I know there was sage in there only because the chef told me. I'm sure I'm missing other ingredients, but suffice it to say that everything "worked" together beautifully--Oh I forgot, there were oranges in there too! My coworker had a soft shell "sandwich" that sat atop a lighty toasted brioche, I believe. She said it was the best soft shell she had ever had, and that is saying alot from someone who has eaten many crabs in her lifetime, and lives on the western shore of the bay.

Dessert was a very refreshing lemon sorbet. Just the ticket on a hot, humid, DC- typical July day. We were both impressed with the service--attuned to our needs, yet unobtusive. As both of us eyed a neighboring diner's dessert, we noted that a return visit will most definitely be needed to sample more items from the menu!

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  • 4 weeks later...

Add another 4 members to the Firefly fan club...

We went out for dinner last Friday with our favorite dining companions, Mr. & Mrs. S. It was Mr. S’s birthday and, after reading all the recommendations here on eG, we decided to try Firefly. And I am happy to write that Firefly lived up to all our very high expectations.

First of all, others have written it already, but it really is true—Firefly is extremely simple to get to and locate. Even for us easily confused, northern VA folk. :wink: Plus, the very reasonably priced valet made parking totally stress-free.

We arrived about 15 minutes early (the traffic gods were smiling on us) and sat at the bar for a bit. The bartenders were both very nice and made us feel quite welcome even though the bar was pretty busy with a flock of twenty-somethings who were all ordering Lemon Drops. After we got our drinks, Mr. mktye amused himself with determining exactly how the thick wood bar was constructed and speculated on the type of wood (engineers are easily entertained). And I spent far too much time trying to decide if there was a back dining room or if it was a mirror reflecting the front dining room. Hmmm…. finally one of the waitstaff walked through the “mirror” and answered that question once and for all.

Mr. & Mrs. S arrived and we were promptly seated at a table by the front window. The ambiance of Firefly is comfortable while still being fashionable and elegant. Also, the tables are just far enough apart that you don’t feel like you are dining with the people at the next table. We were treated (thank you John W.!) to a very nice Spanish sparkling wine in honor of Mr. S’s birthday and then got down to the serious business of deciding on the food.

Our wonderful waiter (not too hovering, but there when we needed him) brought a cute little copper bucket of bread and some butter. The baguette slices were excellent—holey and chewy with a nice yeasty flavor. The other bread (they looked like rolls sliced in half) was okay. Not bad, as good or better than in most other restaurants, just nothing special and out-classed by the baguette slices.

For starters, Mr. mktye had the pork and cabbage spring rolls with sesame mustard dipping sauce and he had no choice but to share. The greaseless & crisp wrapper contrasted with the soft interior almost as well as the dipping sauce set off the five-spice laced pork and cabbage. Perfection.

I ordered the chilled pea soup that was also extraordinary. The curry oil was the just strong enough to perk things up, but not overpower the taste of the peas.

Mr. & Mrs. S decided to split an order of the fries for a starter. Wow. Those fries are fantastic! Mr. S would eat one, get a dreamy look on his face (and Mr. S. is not a man given to dreamy looks) and say “these are the best fries I’ve ever had”, then he’d eat another one and say “these are the best fries I’ve ever had”. He said this after every fry until Mrs. S gave him a look that basically said shut up already, we’ve gotten the point.

For mains, the gentlemen both ordered the grilled lamb minute steak with Tillamook cheddar mac-n-cheese and chard. Mr. mktye loves lamb, but after spending seven months in Spain eating exceptional lamb, he is very, very picky about the quality. So I anxiously waited while he took the first bite, and, yes, we had a winner! As to the accompaniments, I think the DC BBQ club folks should head over to Firefly if they are looking for the area's best mac & cheese and chard.

Mrs. S. ordered the rib eye with potato puree & Maytag blue cheese and also a side of spinach. Between her and Mr. S, there was nothing left on the plate by the end of the meal. I also tasted the spinach—nice and garlicky, but still outshone by the stellar chard that came with the lamb.

I had the tomato risotto with pancetta and mushrooms. Another great, perfectly executed dish. Once again, just the right amount of crispy pancetta to give flavor, but not overpower the other components. And the bite-sized whole mushrooms and tomatoes really kept the very generous portion from wearing on the palate. In fact, I was still eating it after I was full just because it tasted so good.

With the very little room we had left, we all split a couple of the peach cobblers. The little bit I tasted was very nice (Mr. mktye hogged most of ours, including all but a tiny crumb of the crispy topping). The staff put a candle in Mr. S’s cobbler and sang him “Happy Birthday” which embarrassed him to no end and thoroughly pleased Mrs. S.

All in all, it was a very enjoyable dinner. I usually go to restaurants and find myself thinking: ”well, this is good, but it would be even better if it had more/if it had less/if you add ____”, but not at Firefly. Everything I tasted was perfectly cooked and could not easily be improved upon. We will most definitely be back!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Does anyone know if Firefly has a website that shows the full menu? I've found the hotel's website telling bits and pieces of the menu. I'm trying to get my husband to give it a try tonight for our anniversary. For some crazy reason, he won't just take my word about the glowing egullet reviews and agree to go!

TIA for the assistance.

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For some crazy reason, he won't just take my word about the glowing egullet reviews and agree to go!

:shock:

The gospel according to eGullet is infinitely more valuable and informative than just looking at a menu.

Tell him he must go. Period. :biggrin:

peak performance is predicated on proper pan preparation...

-- A.B.

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