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vengroff

Firefly

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... a Bourbon Slipp-- a concoction of Maker's Mark, simple syrup with ginger, and a drunken bing cherry garnish.

Is that an homage to anyone in particular?

I'm Jarad Slipp, and I approve this beverage.


Jarad C. Slipp, One third of ???

He was a sweet and tender hooligan and he swore that he'd never, never do it again. And of course he won't (not until the next time.) -Stephen Patrick Morrissey

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You boys and your chemistry sets...

So, what's in the Rockwell Mocktail?

Do you still have blue cocktails?

P. Diddy's Lemony Lick?

George W's Wagon-Wrecker?


...

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2 hours and ten minutes until an early V-Day dinner at Firefly.

I may have to walk there from Cap. Hill to earn enough points to enjoy myself but who cares? Fried Oysters and bittersweet chocolate panna cotta are beckoning...

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Hi, this is my first post ever to this forum. I've been reading it for quite some time but just got posting priveleges. I am very impressed by a lot of the content on this site.

I went to Firefly for the first time this past Friday. When I called to make the reservation I was impressed when the hostess asked me if this was a special occasion. Indeed, I said, we are celebrating an anniversary, plus early valentines day. So she said she would make sure we got a quiet table in a corner. When we got there, we were seated at a small table crammed between two others. Oh well.

The decor at Firefly is great, and I loved the lighting. Perhaps it's because my bf told me it made me look especially beautiful and glowing. Always a plus, so congrats to the lighting designer!! :)

For starters, I got the squash soup and he got the truffle parmesan frites. As delicious as my soup was (and it truly was-- I thought that the pickled onions added a really interesting and complementary texture and flavor to the soup), I could not keep my hands off the frites. I guess I will have to order my own next time!

For the entree, I had the creamy risotto with black truffle, while he got the steak diablo. I am vegetarian so I did not try it, but he said that the steak was excellent. Unfortunately, this was not the case with my risotto. The rice was still crunchy on the inside, but mushy on the outside and drowning in a sea of bland cream. I think they also used long grain rice in the risotto-- definitely not arborio or any other short grain that I could tell. The dab of black truffle sauce in the middle added only a hint of flavor, certainly not enough to save this dish. In my view, a good risotto should be al dente, but not crunchy or chewy. It should not be covered in sauce, rather, it should have a thin glaze as a result of absorbing the stock and flavorings that were gradually added as it cooked. Any cream added at the end should only enhance the existing flavors.

For dessert, we shared an espresso cake with an orange cream sauce and vanilla ice cream. I'm not sure I was crazy about the flavor combination, and the cake had a wierd crunchy hardness to it. I'm not sure if this sort of texture was intentional or not.

The service overall was quite attentive, although they did forget to bring the dipping sauce for the frites and it was hard to get anybody's attention for a few minutes.

I will definitely be back to Firefly, but probably just for the starters. Judging from others' posts on this restaurant, I'm wondering if they were having an off night with the risotto and the dessert.

Maria

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My wife and I braved "Valentine's Day Amateur Night" on Monday and had an All-Star meal at Firefly. We got to the restaurant about 30 minutes before our reservation and expected to wait in the bar area for a table. However, they were able to seat us right away.

The restaurant offered a special Valentine's Day menu. However, between the menu on the website as well as this eGullet thread, we had pretty much decided what we wanted, so we stuck with the regular menu. My wife had the Crisp Oyster with Chipotle Tarter Sauce, which was good, but it was difficult to taste the oysters. I had the legendary Spring Rolls, which were terrific. Delicately fried with not a speck of grease, they got better with each bite. Oh, and that pork filling. Wow, was that good. Both appetizers were washed down with a couple of glasses of bubbly from Domaine Carneros.

My wife's entree was the Grilled Mahi Mahi, which she really enjoyed. I ordered the Lamb Minute Steak, which I figured would be a good way to try the Mac & Cheese :smile:. The Mac & Cheese was good but that lamb rocked! I've never had lamb that was so flavorful, and it reminded me of the flat iron steak at RTS. This is the must-have dish at Firefly, and will certainly keep me coming back. Since there wasn't enough food already :wink: , we got an order of the Truffled Parmesan Frites, which were just as good as I have heard.

Desserts did not disappoint either. I had the Bittersweet Chocolate Panna Cotta with Mini Chocolate Chip Cookies while my wife had the Red Wine Poached Pear accompanied by a glass of St. Suprey Moscato.

Service throughout the evening was pleasant, courteous, and helpful. We left the restaurant extremely full and satisfied.


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

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Unfortunately, this was not the case with my risotto. The rice was still crunchy on the inside, but mushy on the outside and drowning in a sea of bland cream. I think they also used long grain rice in the risotto-- definitely not arborio or any other short grain that I could tell. The dab of black truffle sauce in the middle added only a hint of flavor, certainly not enough to save this dish. In my view, a good risotto should be al dente, but not crunchy or chewy. It should not be covered in sauce, rather, it should have a thin glaze as a result of absorbing the stock and flavorings that were gradually added as it cooked. Any cream added at the end should only enhance the existing flavors.

The last time we were at Firefly, I had similar issues with the risotto. However, I have been in love with Firefly since before it opened -- we were even there the opening week -- and yet this is the first time the risotto has failed to please. Maybe they're just on a bad streak? Anybody else have a recent risotto experience (positive or negative) they can share?

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I've discussed this very issue with John W before, and John has told me that he has a strong personal preference for the creamy French-styled risotto, rather than the firm Italian-styled risotto (which I tend to prefer if only for calories alone!) - the creaminess is a deliberate choice and not a flaw in execution.

A great traditional risotto should always (always?) arrive al dente, and then continue cooking for a couple minutes as the first few bites are taken. It sounds like your orders might have escaped from the kitchen too undercooked (it's very hard to time risotto in a busy restaurant), but I'm certain that if you had told them about it, they would have happily replaced it for you although I understand it isn't always comfortable or convenient to do that when other entrees arrive at the same time.

Cheers,

Rocks.

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How does a restaurant prepare rissotto? Does it keep a tank of "just shy of done" rissotto handy and then finish it off serving by serving?

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How does a restaurant prepare rissotto?  Does it keep a tank of "just shy of done" rissotto handy and then finish it off serving by serving?

We cook it about 2/3 done, cool quickly on sheetpans.

Finish to order.

With a lot of cream and butter.

My personal goal is to have every kernel of rice seperate, using cream might be a crutch (less actual liquid per volume, assuming rice won't absorb the fat as quickly or at all). Using the amount of cream we do seems to do that. It seems as the two in question might have escaped without cream/butter/cheese and other caloric items fully emulsifying, hence the final, dissapointing product.

I yield to Joe H.'s vast knowledge on this subject though.


Firefly Restaurant

Washington, DC

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

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If it were my place, and this is just off the top of my head here, I'd have a battalion of cloistered Italian nuns (or French nuns for creamier risotto) hooked up like Matrix-style batteries to power a small stirring machine. This machine could also make sabayon, I suppose.


Matt Robinson

Prep for dinner service, prep for life! A Blog

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How does a restaurant prepare rissotto?  Does it keep a tank of "just shy of done" rissotto handy and then finish it off serving by serving?

Good question and one related to the issue of what to do with left-over rissotto -- I love to cook it at home, but always have extra. According to Marcella Hazan (I think) you ought not to try to reheat rissotto, but should add some additional warm whatever liquid you had used originally in the prep. May not be as good as when first served, but it works. I have also violated the principle and simply nuked leftover riss. -- it's not bad, but not anything like what fresh rissotto would be.


Oh, J[esus]. You may be omnipotent, but you are SO naive!

- From the South Park Mexican Starring Frog from South Sri Lanka episode

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Some restaurants do make their risotto entirely to order. Then they upsell you..."Our risotto is from scratch and takes 40 minutes. Would you like an appetizer while you wait?" (Yes, I have heard that question before.)

Shogun is so right about leftover risotto. Fritters! I add an egg to leftover risotto and chill until firm. Cut into squares, roll in breadcrumbs, pan-fry in olive oil. Snarf with spicy tomato sauce. You can also press little cubes of cheese or fresh mozz into the center and mold them into balls before coating in crumbs and deep-frying, if you want to snazz it up a little. I don't bother though--the plain fritters are excellent enough as is.

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Mmmm...rissoto fritters...

Thanks for the description of what might have gone awry with the risotto, John. One less than perfect dish certainly wouldn't keep me from eating at Firefly -- I'm not sure wild donkeys could do so! I love bringing people who haven't experienced the frites and then watching them as they try to slooooowly slide the frite holder closer to their plate...

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Mmmm...rissoto fritters...

Thanks for the description of what might have gone awry with the risotto, John. One less than perfect dish certainly wouldn't keep me from eating at Firefly -- I'm not sure wild donkeys could do so! I love bringing people who haven't experienced the frites and then watching them as they try to slooooowly slide the frite holder closer to their plate...

That's exactly what I tried to do with my companion's frites!

I'm wondering if it might be a good idea to say on the menu that is is a French-style risotto so that Italian-style risotto snobs like myself won't be disappointed. I also hope that it was just an off night for the kitchen. Just out of curiosity, what do they call risotto in France? Is there a French word for it or do they use the Italian? I was not even aware of the existence of French-style risotto.

If nothing else, I will definitely be back for the frites-- I have been dreaming about them.

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I'll be back in town this weekend for a conference and dining at Firefly on Sunday evening to try John's latest and to sample Derek's latest concoctions. One Bourbon Slipp please! :biggrin:


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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I'll be back in town this weekend for a conference and dining at Firefly on Sunday evening to try John's latest and to sample Derek's latest concoctions. One Bourbon Slipp please!  :biggrin:

On two recent visits, I've sampled the Bourbon Slipp. Perhaps the single greatest cocktail I've ever had. The problem with encountering the single greatest cocktail you've ever had is that you can't just keep it to a single one!

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The cocktails at Firefly are mentioned in today's Weekend section in the Washington Post:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/artic...-2005Feb24.html

We sampled Derek's excellent version of the Bellini last week, followed by the roasted squash soup, the roasted chicken and the lamb minute steak with macaroni and cheese - a great way to start off a weekend. :smile:

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For some reason, I thought Firefly was closed on Sundays.  Am I wrong?

Yes.

Cliquez-moi!


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

Joe W

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I'll be back in town this weekend for a conference and dining at Firefly on Sunday evening to try John's latest and to sample Derek's latest concoctions. One Bourbon Slipp please!  :biggrin:

Derek, when might that royalties check be coming?


Jarad C. Slipp, One third of ???

He was a sweet and tender hooligan and he swore that he'd never, never do it again. And of course he won't (not until the next time.) -Stephen Patrick Morrissey

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I'll be back in town this weekend for a conference and dining at Firefly on Sunday evening to try John's latest and to sample Derek's latest concoctions. One Bourbon Slipp please!  :biggrin:

Sorry I missed both John & Derek on Sunday night, but a fabulous meal was had despite their absences. Three in our party of four, including myself, partook of the lamb minute steak: Lean, cooked perfectly medium rare, and flavorful. (The other person ordered the chicken.) I confess I ordered the steak in part for the side of mac & cheese. :biggrin: We also ordered the spring rolls and the oysters for the table. I'd had both items before, but the oysters were definitely my favorite this time 'round--plump & juicy with the spicy chipotle tartar sauce!

Oh, yes, I tremendously enjoyed the Bourbon Slipp. I dare say it's the perfect drink. And I shared a lovely half bottle of the Chateauneuf-du-Pape with a colleague. John--can you help me out with its name? :huh:

Hope to see you guys before too long. Nice new web site by the way: http://www.firefly-dc.com


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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I had a great dinner at Firefly last night with some out of town business associates. John W came over and made some great suggestions on the wine. We had the usual appetizers, spring rolls and fried oysters. I had the pork ragu with polenta and the others had the Michael's Ribeye diablo.

The wines were an Elyse Vinyards petite syrah. Very extracted, inky black almost. Wonderful, full bodied flavor. That was gone before the entrees arrived. Rather than do another bottle of the Elyse, we went with a barolo that John W recommended. The contrast with the Elyse was startling. Two totally different wines. The barolo was more refined and lighter in body. It went great with the ragu and the steaks.

The big news though is that a new menu arrives today. I have half a mind to wonder down there for lunch this afternoon just to check it out.

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On Wednesday I had an Old Thyme Martini at Firefly ...and a Bourbon Slipp, for that matter. The Bourbon took me 90 minutes ( a full table turn at Ray's, by golly) to fully consume. I liked it, though.

The Old Thyme Martini is 75% Bombay Safire, 25% Vermouth, a bit of Derek's homemade orange bitters and a sprig of thyme. It tasted like the spa. Clean and mentholy. It's stirred, not shaken. I don't love gin, but I admit, I found it to be a pretty classy little drink.


Edited by morela (log)

...

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I had a great dinner at Firefly last night with some out of town business associates.  John W came over and made some great suggestions on the wine.  We had the usual appetizers, spring rolls and fried oysters.  I had the pork ragu with polenta and the others had the Michael's Ribeye diablo.

The wines were an Elyse Vinyards petite syrah.  Very extracted, inky black almost.  Wonderful, full bodied flavor.  That was gone before the entrees arrived.  Rather than do another bottle of the Elyse, we went with a barolo that John W recommended.  The contrast with the Elyse was startling.  Two totally different wines.  The barolo was more refined and lighter in body.  It went great with the ragu and the steaks.

The big news though is that a new menu arrives today.  I have half a mind to wonder down there for lunch this afternoon just to check it out.

Monday for new menu - not a plug, just a customer service advisory.


Firefly Restaurant

Washington, DC

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

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