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vengroff

Firefly

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We had a lovely anniversary celebration at Firefly last night. We started the meal with an unexpected complementary glass of wonderful bubbly. (thanks so much!) My husband immediately said "well you obviously picked the right place for dinner!" After that treat we sampled the perfectly fried oysters and virtually greaseless pork spring rolls. Both of us shared and enjoyed the appetizers but agreed that the spring rolls were our favorite.

I had the sauteed soft shell crabs over quinoa. I've only had quinoa a couple of times, but this was terrific with tomatoes and a sprinkling of cilantro under the "just right" soft shells. My husband cleaned his plate with the diablo ribeye w/ Maytag and potato puree. But the real highlight for him (ok, both of us) was the unbelievable truffled parmesan fries. We were fighting over the last few.

We finished off the evening with the peach cobbler and brownie confection. We also decided to give a whirl to one of the wines featured in the Rose festival. The waiter's gave us a terrific suggestion...which I've, of course, promptly forgotten. Maybe it was the Moulton???? Regardless, it was the perfect complement.

I know it was a tough night for the kitchen (there was a bit of a plumbing issue that forced them to abbreviate the night's service). However, we were treated with tremendous grace when they were obviously under quite a bit of pressure. Thank goodness we had the 7:00 reservation and were able to enjoy our meal in its entirety.


Edited by Free Wilma (log)

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A friend and I had brunch at Firefly today and got to sample John W.'s take on deviled eggs. They were done with chili and lime and topped with a perfectly fried oyster. :biggrin:

Thanks John for taking time to chat and whip up the eggs!


Wearing jeans to the best restaurants in town.

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Firefly - amazing. As I mentioned, I took my houseguest there on Saturday night. Not only was the food incredibly delicious, the atmosphere was fun too. I definitely enjoy the social aspect of eGullet.

On a deadline here at work so for now, all I have to say is PORK AND CABBAGE SPRING ROLLS. My favorite appetizer on the menu for the time being. Friends from work and I are discussing trying out the new happy hour on Thursday and you can be sure I will order more of the spring rolls.

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I ate at the bar with a friend at Firefly tonight, taking advantage of the happy hour wine special to enjoy a wonderful glass of Penley Estate Shiraz "Hyland" 2002, Coonawarra, Australia--yes, even on a humid August day! :raz: A beautifully balanced wine, it featured juicy & rich fruit with oaky tannins. But enough about the wine ...

It went splendidly with the amazingly tasty lamb minute steak, served on a bed of chard and a side of rich & cheesy mac & cheese. I also tasted the delicious pork & cabbage spring rolls that my friend ordered. I concur with the other eGulleteers. What do you put in them John? Pork--the other white meat, which I love--doesn't usually taste THAT good!

Thanks, John.


Liam

Eat it, eat it

If it's gettin' cold, reheat it

Have a big dinner, have a light snack

If you don't like it, you can't send it back

Just eat it -- Weird Al Yankovic

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Well, as you may have realized from our socializing thread, some of the less reputable DC eG'ers stopped by Firefly last night. In fact, we monopolized the bar seating for a solid 3 hours. However, I don't think bar sales suffered at all.

By now some of you know that I become obsessed with things that seem inconsequential, even imbecilically microscopic, to most people. So I want to tell you about a mustard dipping sauce. Beautiful in texture, perfect in color, and absolutely lovely in taste. Oh yeah, the pork and cabbage spring rolls that come with it are pretty gosh darn good too. This is a mustard sauce that tells you why you go to good restaurants. This is a mustard sauce that puts a yellowish-brown tinged huge smile on your face.

Followed by an absolutely perfect rib-eye. As several noted on his Q+A John's a nice guy -- check the menu description for the steak to see more evidence.

We were lucky enough to have John chat with us as he was performing barback duties (when's the last time you saw a chef washing glasses?)

I can't recall the happy hour wines (John could you PM me the particulars?), but the Italian white was a great juice to wash the taste of a hot DC afternoon out of my mouth, and the Sangiovese was an excellent accompaniment to everything we had.

Great food, great booze, a congenial host, excellent company, what more could one ask for?


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

Joe W

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My compliments to John for the wine happy hours. Last night they introduced me to Kelham Cellars sauvignon blanc. I usually prefer the grassier New Zealand SBs but this was a wonderfully refreshing for a summers eve. My dining companion typically heads straight for the red but a taste of this convinced him we needed to stick with this for our meal.

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We dropped in briefly on Friday and ate our way through the appetizer menu. I can definitely second the recommendation on the spring rolls, although the pureed filling tended to splort a lot. The gravlax is always good, but the Crenshaw melon it's served with in this iteration is a really nice touch (and seriously addictive!) Can't go wrong with the heirloom tomatoes, either.


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

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Thanks for the superlative deviled eggs, Wabeck. And sorry I missed the rest of ye...

Long live the truffled fry, and morela too.


...

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Had dinner with a friend at Firefly the other night and after the addictive pork spring rolls I had the halibut with grits and okra and she had the risotto. This was my first time not getting either the rib eye or lamb and I was not disappointed.

The highlight, besides the Gewürztraminer (John help me with the name), was the bread pudding special for dessert. A wonderfully light and creamy muffin shaped pillow of bread pudding atop of some caramelized apple slices served with a black pepper caramel sauce with a bit of creme fraiche on the side. Simply wonderful! :biggrin:

BTW, I think he mentioned that the new menu would be out in the next week or so. I for one cannot wait to see what is on it.


Wearing jeans to the best restaurants in town.

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I have never been to Firefly and will probably go for lunch tomorrow. Any recommendations? And is the new menu out yet? And John if you are around what wines are you featuring nowadays? I probably shouldn't drink at lunch but hey I can always take the metro halfway home! True suburbia!


Paris is a mood...a longing you didn't know you had, until it was answered.

-An American in Paris

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I received the following special event notice via e-mail...

FIREFLY EXECUTIVE CHEF JOHN WABECK

PLATES UP A THREE-COURSE WINE DINNER

INSPIRED BY CALDER AND MIRÓ

TO BENEFIT THE PHILLIPS COLLECTION

To toast Firefly's second birthday, Chef John Wabeck and Firefly's management have planned a special evening that will feature a three-course wine dinner inspired by The Phillips Collection's upcoming exhibition of Alexander Calder's mobile sculptures and Joan Miró's poem paintings.

On Monday, October 18, 2004, at 6:30 p.m., Chef Wabeck will prepare a three-course menu ($55 per person, inclusive) , where "the food is the art." Using artistic license for a fundraiser for The Phillips Collection, America's first museum of modern art, the culinary evening at Firefly, coincides with the launch of The Phillips Collection's stellar exhibition, which will be the only United States venue for Calder Miró , running from October 9, 2004 to January 23, 2005.

Researching the works of Calder and Miró, Wabeck designed each course around one work by each artist. Renowned for his wine palate, Wabeck pairs each dish with a vintage from the region in which the artist lived. During the evening, Dr. Elizabeth Hutton Turner, senior curator for the exhibit, will share lively anecdotes about the two artists.

Firefly will donate 25 percent of the $55.00 per person dinner to The Phillips Collection for the museum's education and community programs. Reservations are required for this artful evening by dialing Firefly at 202-861-1310.

CALDER MIRÓ MENU

Monday, October 18, 2004

6:30 p.m.

$55 per person, inclusive

"The tilled field"

(Miró inspired...think Spain with squid ink and saffron)

Roasted beets, braised Belgian endive, goat cheese, saffron, squid ink

Sherry, palo cortado, peninsula, NV

"Duck"

(Duck was Calder's first piece, created when he was a child)

Crisp duck confit with smoked duck risotto, cranberry relish

Pinot noir, Lincourt, Santa Barbara County, CA, 2001

Calder/ Miró

(a combination of the influences of Calder and Miró)

Vanilla panna cotta with "application" of sauces, cow tuile

Moscato, St. Supery, Napa, CA, 2001

###

Firefly is located at 1310 New Hampshire Avenue, NW, just a short walk from The Phillips Collection, and serves lunch Monday through Friday, dinner nightly, and Saturday and Sunday brunch. For reservations dial 202-861-1310 or log onto opentable.com. Valet Parking is available for $5.00. The web site is firefly-dc.com.

Firefly - DC is located at:

1310 New Hampshire Ave. NW

Washington, DC 20036

Phone: 202-861-1310

Fax: 202-659-3597

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Now THIS sounds fun (from Firefly's web site):

Firefly Turns Two - November 6th

Come celebrate our second birthday with us. On Saturday, November 6th, from 1 to 4 p.m., spend the afternoon mingling and mixing while indulging in Chef Wabeck's complimentary BBQ-style menu. Call us at 202.861.1310 for more information.

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Son of a Motherless Goat!

My brother in law is getting married that weekend! Sounds like a fun event.

By the way John. Site looks nice. A vast improvement over that thing that you had before.

If I'm not mistaken, that's the summer menu. When's the fall menu rolling out/going to be put on the site?


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

Joe W

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Looks like the beginning of next week now.

Son of a Motherless Goat!

My brother in law is getting married that weekend! Sounds like a fun event.

By the way John. Site looks nice. A vast improvement over that thing that you had before.

If I'm not mistaken, that's the summer menu. When's the fall menu rolling out/going to be put on the site?


Firefly Restaurant

Washington, DC

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

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I am heading to Firefly with some girlfriends tonight. Can't wait!

Has the fall menu been implemented? The lovely new web site has the summer menu. I'd be happy to eat from that - "just feed me" is my present philosophy.

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I am heading to Firefly with some girlfriends tonight.  Can't wait!

Has the fall menu been implemented?  The lovely new web site has the summer menu.  I'd be happy to eat from that - "just feed me" is my present philosophy.

If the new fall menu is available I expect a full report! :raz:


Wearing jeans to the best restaurants in town.

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I realize I should expand my horizons and order something besides the lamb steak when I go to Firefly. But inevitably, while I’m perusing the menu, one of the servers whisks by, carrying to another table the lamb entrée, with the side of mac-n-cheese in its own little dish - and I find myself gazing longingly at it.

Last night was no exception.

At least I mix it up when ordering starters. In seven or eight visits to Firefly over the past year, I’ve enjoyed the sublime English pea soup with yogurt and curry oil, the always-crisp-never-greasy oysters with chipotle tartar sauce, perfect spice-cured salmon gravlax, PEI mussles with combinations such as cream, sweet curry and celery, and, last winter, the eggdrop soup with butternut squash, and the eggplant curry with firm polenta and slivered almonds - which sounds odd but is one of those dishes that makes your eyes widen in wonder after the first bite, and every bite thereafter. (Mr. DonRocks did a much better job of describing this dish earlier in this thread)

(I didn’t take notes, but I’m pretty sure all of these starters were on the menu last night, with the exception of the eggdrop soup and the eggplant curry.)

For our starters last night, my husband and I shared the addictive pork and cabbage spring rolls with the sesame-mustard-dipping-sauce-that-you-want-to-eat-with-a-spoon and the baby spinach salad with spicy walnuts, creamy sherry dressing and hard cooked egg. He had a glass of sauvignon blanc and I had chardonnay, both of which our very helpful waitress recommended. Both dishes were excellent and the wines were very good choices.

For entrees, I succumbed to my craving and ordered the grilled lamb minute steak with Tillamook chedder mac-n-cheese and chard. My husband ordered rib eye with potato puree and Maytag blue cheese. Both were perfectly cooked to medium rare. The lamb, as always, was outstanding, tender and juicy, with the the chard and the mac-n-cheese sending the dish over the top.

I must say, though, the ribeye may tempt me to cheat on the lamb. The combination of the tender flavorful steak with the blue cheese and potatoes was enough to lure a girl out of her lamb reverie, at least temporarily.

With our entrees, we both had the excellent Syrah from the wines-by-the-glass list.

We decided we were too full for dessert…until we looked at the dessert menu. We were immediately intrigued by the vanilla ice cream with prunes soaked in bourbon. For those of you who see the word ‘prunes’ and quickly avert your eyes, I urge you: cast your doubts aside and order this dish. The prunes in their sauce provide a delicious just-sweet-enough complement to the rich, creamy ice cream studded with bits of vanilla bean.

Now that I think about it, there may be simple way to expand my horizons beyond the lamb steak. I just need to go to Firefly more often :rolleyes:

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I had dinner on Friday night at Firefly with my father, who was visiting from California for the weekend. This was my first trip to Firefly, and after reading so many great things about it here, I was very excited. The food did not disappoint--I loved the pea soup and lamb minute steak and dad was very happy with the roast chicken--but my one complaint was the noise level. We were seated in the front room not far from the bar, which was packed, and we could hardly hear each other. Is this the usual scene at Firefly? I would happily go back with friends to start an evening out, but I would probably think twice about choosing Firefly for dinner with someone I wanted to catch up with. Perhaps I need to try it again mid-week or request a table in the back room.

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I can neither confirm nor deny the following rumor:

---

Check out the new Razor magazine (a soft-core men's mag). Someone you know made the What's Next list for 2005 along with heroin-chic actors and hippy-ass musicians. There before the grace of God, stands Wabeck.

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Confirmed.


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

Joe W

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And it's just the forum for our man:

"Razor Magazine is brashly confident and smoothly self-assured, and is edited for those who like to go faster, farther and higher, Razor is for men who live their lives in the extreme. Whether it's technology, sports, fashion, health, culture or celebrity profiles, Razor shreds through the artifice to hone in on what's different, alternative or (sic) the shock of the new."

Smoothly self assured. Check. Lives life in extreme. Check. Shreds through artifice. Check.

Notice it doesn't say anything about food? Probably falls under "celebrity profile" then.


Edited by iamthestretch (log)

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

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On the website, the location of the Click Here to Enter is rather interesting.

Congrats, John!


peak performance is predicated on proper pan preparation...

-- A.B.

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