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mnebergall

Restaurant Eve

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Ah, thank you. It's amazing how a bit of misinformation can rattle around in my head for such a long time.


Rick Azzarano

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There is a lot of good writing in this thread already about Restaurant Eve and lots of high praise -- all deserved. I don't think there's much doubt but that it has vaulted right up near the top of the list of the area's best restaurants, the few that could look good in any company and in any city you care to name. I won't try and detail the menu; others have done a good job of that. But two things in particular struck me after enjoying a five course tasting there last night.

One was the flat out fantastic cooking -- the precision and delicacy evident in everything from a borderline incredible lobster creme brulee to gnocchi that melt away so suddenly on your tongue you almost expect an audible "pop." There's a sureness and a deftness of touch that, in my limited frame of reference, reminded me most of a dinner at Veritas in New York a while back with a friend who swore Scott Bryan's cooking there would be his clear choice for a final meal on Earth.

The second impression, and we're into the realm of metaphysics here, is of a real generosity of spirit associated with the enterprise. This manifests clearly in the service, which is correct while remaining friendly and unaffected. Sure, mnebergall is a regular and clearly had put in a good word for us. (Thank you again, Mark.) But the family at the next table over celebrating their excited daughter's sweet 16 were treated just as solicitously, as were the pharma guys denting their corporate credit cards on the other side of us. It also shows up in a $65 five-course menu that starts looking a lot more like a round ten courses after multiple amuses (oh, those deviled quail eggs with osetra caviar), petit fours, cookies and other treats. No nickel and diming here folks; who knows how far out the full nine course degustation would stretch itself?

I wasn't going to write much, so that's more than enough. Final assertions -- their mojito rocks, the Ken Forrester Petit Chenin is a steal and the Tokaji will make you high. As we wilfully flouted the speed limit back up the GW Parkway late last night, the lights of DC were shimmering on the Potomac, Earlimart were banging out "We Drink on the Job" on the car stereo and I felt a sense of profound and almost absolute contentment.


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

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Got back a short time ago from eating at the bar. This was my first trip to the restaurant and I could hardly believe that this was the space once occupied by Santa Fe East. They have done a wonderful job with the place. If you want to eat at the bar you really must get a seat at the bar becuse they have coffee tables (read low to the ground) with the chairs in the rest of the space. They look like thye are great for relaxing with a drink, but certainly would not make for easy dining.

Anyway, it has been discussed before, but I want to emphasize that the confit of pork belly is amazing. :wub: For dessert I had the chocolate mojito. This is a slice of chocolate genoise in the middle of 2 layers of chocolate mousee which is covered in a dark chocolate shell. It is garnished with a ribbon of dark chocolate and is served atop a drizzle of mint cream and small bits of mint gelee. If you enjoy chocolate this dessert is for you.

If you have not been, get thee to Restaurant Eve!


Wearing jeans to the best restaurants in town.

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Sage advice from the chef last night to the bacon boys at the bar. "Fat Equals Flavor!"

I must be getting jolly tasty.


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

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The dish sounds absolutely incredible.

But, (and this may be way off the topic) did you do this by pre-arrangement?  I thought it was against some sort of "rules" to bring wild game into a restaurant to be cooked.

Robert W. at Marcel's offered to do this for me once.

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I don't recall who had posted it, but I remember someone saying that if you can marry a cocktail, they'd like to be married to the tomato-water bloody mary at Eve. I popped in with the Mrs. a little over a week ago and I think we both would be fine with inviting home the bloody mary and the pickled martini and have a little foursome.

That's how we began an evening hitting a few Old Town places that Friday night and the bar at Eve was the absolute highlight. What was going to be a simple visit to check the place out for the first time and have a cocktail turned into a split order of seared scallops over heirloom tomatoes and basil with a 50-year old balsamic reduction. Each individual ingredient shined.

That was followed by ordering the cheese plate. Out came a generous selection of Roncal, Tomme de Savoie and Great Hill Blue. I can't recall exactly what the dried fruit mixture was that just barely touched the blue cheese....but it gave just the perfect amount of sweetness to contrast with the pungent cheese.

We visited on a whim, and didn't have reservations. If we did, we'd have stayed for dinner. Instead, we're going back in about an hour or so for our first sit down there. We're looking forward to it.

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I'm going this evening for the first time too. After all the talk here I feel like I've already been but I'm looking forward to actually getting there.


Bill Russell

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I'm going this evening for the first time too.  After all the talk here I feel like I've already been but I'm looking forward to actually getting there.

3 words: Pork belly confit! :wub:


Wearing jeans to the best restaurants in town.

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3 words:  Pork belly confit!  :wub:

Pretty sure that is on the agenda.


Bill Russell

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Bilrus, tiger tee with the bacon, egg and cheese salad, and then the corn chowder...

You won't regret it!


...

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First the (very) good. The appetizers were phenomenal. The house cured salmon, corn bisque and especially the bacon egg and cheese salad (especially that salad - thanks Morela) were all excellent. My pork belly entree was as advertised. Full of unctious, gelatenous flavor, although I would have liked more of the menu listed carrots and onions (maybe five slivers of carrots and four large dices of onion accompanied the pork).

On the other hand, my wife's salt-baked prawns with a tomato and garlic sauce was nearly inedibly salty. And it wasn't the shrimp that was so salty. My wife pretty much had to make an effort to scrape the sauce off of the admittedly good shrimp. I would have sent it back, but she ate the four medium sized shrimp and some of the accompanying salad. And at $26, four shrimp is not a great value.

And the pace of service was glacial. We were seated about 20 minutes after our reservation time of 9:30, which was totally understandable on a busy (and ear-splittingly noisy) Saturday evening. But there were too many long awkward pauses between courses. We had already finished our bottle of wine before our salad, which came between our appetizers and entrees, had been cleared and it was after 11:00 before we were finally served our entrees. My wife and I haven't seen each other much this week, but we ran out of things to talk about as there was so much down time between courses. We were so ready to go between the time and the noise we didn't even look at the dessert menu.

I really wanted to love this place (maybe that was part of the problem?) and it does try very hard to please. The staff nearly trips over each other trying to be pleasant and accomidating. But there are so many other places in town that I want to try (and I had forgotten just how far Old Town is from Ashburn) that I'm not sure it will make my regular rotation.


Edited by bilrus (log)

Bill Russell

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It was, indeed, a busy Saturday night at Eve. The Mrs. and I brought along her parents and aunt to our first sit-down there. We immediately ordered our new best friends, the bloody mary and the martini, but the family members were a little hesitant, opting instead for a familiar glass of red wine, a Southern Comfort and ginger ale, and a nice glass of water. But after tasting our cocktails, they realized these were not the drinks they were expecting. It would also be the last time we shared tastes of anything!

No one was getting a bite of my Bacon, Egg and Cheese salad. What a fun dish. I like how the individual flavors work separately when you begin that salad, but by the time the egg has managed to spread its shiny goodness throughout, there's much more of a team sport going on. Mrs. loved her corn chowder. I was seated too far away to steal a spoonful.

The pork confit was a winner. I agree that it could have used some more vegetables with it. Something to serve as a different flavor point to accompany the fat. We had the Ken Forrester Chenin Blanc as our wine selection for the table, and I thought it did well to cut through the smoothness of that confit.

For dessert, I opted first for a pint of Marstons. That really hit the spot. If it wasn't for those wonderful cocktails, I'd be downing pint after pint of this delicious ale.

It would be nice if they could serve both the wine and the Marstons slightly warmer. Both were too cold to be enjoyed until they had time to warm up in my hands. While this is better than having them served too warm, I'd rather have them delivered just right.

After the beer, the crepes. Perfectly crispy/chewy pancakes served alongside some powdered sugar, pear compote with cardamom, a small scoopful of DelRay Dreamery ice cream and another fruity selection....blackberry I think. About the only thing I would do to this dish is serve the sugar on the crepes and use the newly-opened plate space for a small ramekin of melted chocolate, or caramel or some other overly sweet thing that you could apply as much or as little as you like. The pears were quite good.

My companions all ordered coffee....and with my pint gone...and the coffee smelling so good, I asked for a cup. The coffee tasted as good as it smelled. Everyone was very pleased with their meals and the service, including the little touches like black napkins for the women in black pants. I thought the service worked just as fast as it should have. At first I was concerned because when I made the reservation, only 5:30 was available and I was told that we'd have to leave by 7:45 for another party. By 8:00 there was no indication that we had to be moving along and we were able to pleasantly and comfortable continue our conversation over coffee while the servers (all of whom were tremendously nice and friendly) would continue to bring whatever we needed.

Met Dustin Lara who was kind enough to share odds and ends about the restaurant with us, and encouraged us to try the tasting room next. We will.

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I like your analogy to team sports here. Even golf can be a team sport, right bilrus?!

The egg has always been a team player.

(I just liked the warmed up in hands part :blush:. Sorry.)

No one was getting a bite of my Bacon, Egg and Cheese salad.  What a fun dish.  I like how the individual flavors work separately when you begin that salad, but by the time the egg has managed to spread its shiny goodness throughout, there's much more of a team sport going on.  Mrs. loved her corn chowder.  I was seated too far away to steal a spoonful.

The pork confit was a winner.  I agree that it could have used some more vegetables with it.  Something to serve as a different flavor point to accompany the fat.  We had the Ken Forrester Chenin Blanc as our wine selection for the table, and I thought it did well to cut through the smoothness of that confit. 

For dessert, I opted first for a pint of Marstons.  That really hit the spot.  If it wasn't for those wonderful cocktails, I'd be downing pint after pint of this delicious ale. 

It would be nice if they could serve both the wine and the Marstons slightly warmer.  Both were too cold to be enjoyed until they had time to warm up in my hands.  While this is better than having them served too warm, I'd rather have them delivered just right.

After the beer, the crepes.  Perfectly crispy/chewy pancakes served alongside some powdered sugar, pear compote with cardamom, a small scoopful of DelRay Dreamery ice cream and another fruity selection....blackberry I think.  About the only thing I would do to this dish is serve the sugar on the crepes and use the newly-opened plate space for a small ramekin of melted chocolate, or caramel or some other overly sweet thing that you could apply as much or as little as you

:blush::blush::blush:


...

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That post reminded me, the yolk of my egg was not really runny or piping hot, so it didn't mix in with the rest of the salad quite the way it should have. Although they were good enough to split our salad between two plates, which was very nice, so the egg came in a bowl for us to split. But the woman at the table next to ours had steam pouring off the egg in her salad.


Bill Russell

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My wife and I ate in the bistro at Eve on Friday night. Not even a tornado was going to stop us from making our reservation! My wife was really looking forward to the house-cured salmon appetizer, but they were out of it. :angry: Highlights of our meal included the ribeye, which was cooked perfectly, and the sweetbreads. Desserts were great – the chocolate mojito rocks (note: if you do not like heavy, chocolate desserts do NOT order this dish)! My wife ordered the crepes….awesome…I wanted an extra order to take home for breakfast. Despite the poor weather, the place was packed….and loud. By the end of the meal, my wife and I could barely hear each other. The atmosphere in the bistro is definitely different from the Tasting Room. Fortunately, both benefit from great work in the kitchen.


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

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Five of us had dinner in the Tasting Room Saturday night. We ate early (1800) since we all had babysitters waiting for us at home. I still can't find anyone willing to do the nine course with me. Very sad. I need larger or more gluttonous friends. The menu for the Tasting Room is below. I'll forego most of the adjectives; this is our favorite restaurant and our regular hangout, so it would probably sound like fawning. I just really love the way Chef Armstrong cooks and the way the front of the house is run.

Dinner opened with a deviled quail's egg with osetra caviar on a brioche toast. Then two amuses: a venison and pistachio terrine followed by a tomato bisque. We spread ourselves out over the five course, though my wife did not play nice for the fish course, ordering the gnocci instead of the coral cod with billi bi. (The "soup" essentially became the sauce. I've had something similar here in the bistro -- a cod with "clam chowder.")

Lasting impressions: the lobster creme brulee was excellent as was the scallop with pear tart. Both were compositions that didn't immediately come to mind, but both worked and were very good. Opah was good, but those that tried both were more impressed with the billi bi. I was stuck trading for gnocci during this course, which was good, but....The short rib and duck were good, but I was the clear winner this round with a lamb special. It involved three separate preparations: saddle, shank, and loin I think, all in a row on one of those long rectangular plates. Excellent. It came with a $20 supplement, but I thought it was worth it.

Pear dessert had a pear soup, pear upside down cake, etc. I went with the oranges and nougat, which unfortunately contained saffron. I'm not a big fan of saffron, so I was casting envious glances at the pear trio. The others went with either the chocolate bombe or the warm chocolate cake (spiced pinapple garnish rocks -- cardamom, vanilla...other things I can't place) and all seemed happy. With wine and drinks we were about $200 a couple. Service was wonderful, but we eat in the bistro quite a bit so we know everyone. Though honestly I'm not sure that would matter; the waitstaff seems nice to all.

In line with bilrus's take on the prawns, that is the one dish I've had at Eve that I wasn't crazy about. My problem wasn't the salt; I just found them to be a bitch to peel without resorting to shrimp boil form (which is actually what I did after butchering the first one).

9 Course ($95 I think?)

1. Roasted porcinis with 50 yr old balsamic or Terrine of foie gras with fig jam ($+20 supplement) 2. lobster creme brulee with baby fennel and tarragon vinaigrette 3. onions and oysters with osetra 4. roasted coral cod billi bi 5. veal sweet breads with caramelized apples and calvados 6. braised beef shortribs with pickled red onions 7. everona with glazed figs 8. bartlett pear soup with oatmeal crunch 9. coconut and mango

5 course (1 from each group) ($65)

course 1

terrine of duck

lobster creme brulee

softshell crab with arugala and serrano aioli

scallop with spiced pear tartlett

crab bisque

tuna carpaccio

course 2

seared opah with chanterelle risotto and leak cream

coral cod billi bi

gnocchi with roasted acorn squash

course 3

muscovy duck with swiss chard, foie gras and huckleberries short ribs roast beets with goat cheese souffle and walnuts

course 4

cheese course

course 5

passion fruit and chocolate mousse bombe

sampling of pears

oranges and nougat

warm chocolate cake with spiced pinapple

oil bollen


Tony

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I had diner at Eve Friday evening with my daughter; we were celebrating her 16th birthday. What a memorable experience. It started with the table; they installed a special little round table next to the fireplace and put in a couple of candles to provide some ambiance. My daughter started with the game bird terrine and I had the rillets of porks. Both outstanding. My daughter said it was the first time she was confused by food; she couldn't figure out how to attack the terrine. We had agreed to trade appetizers half way through and after the trade, she wanted to trade back, she like the terrine better than the rillets. Chef Cathal sent us an order of the scallops with pear tart from the tasting room. What an achievement. Maine diver scallops with their roe atop a small pear tart. When I cut into it the aroma transported me to the Penobscot Bay; they were so fresh.

My daughter and I both had the lamb special described by SanFran above. to supplement the description, the three separate pieces of lamb all had their own accompaniments: sliced roasted potatoes under one, a black olive mixture under another, and sautéed swiss chard under the last. Excellent presentation; and wonderful, especially with the glass of '95 Domaine de Pegau CDP provided from the chef's personal collection. My daughter soaked up the remaining juices with her bread.

The chocolate mojito came with the obligatory candle. I had the cheese course, superb.

Thanks to Chef Cathal and the staff at Eve for making the evening so memorable.

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Mark we're gonna have to set up a tagteam wrestling match: you and Cathal versus Joe H and Fabio :laugh:

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Mark we're gonna have to set up a tagteam wrestling match:  you and Cathal versus Joe H and Fabio  :laugh:

Wait 'till you hear about my upcoming dinner for 30 with 15 on the waiting list.

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I had contacted Todd Thrasher yesterday about an unrelated issue, and these were the last four PMs of our exchange (reprinted with his permission):

Todd: P.S. New Cocktail Foie Gras and Pears!
Me: eeeeeeeeeee-YUCK!
Todd: Ok how about this Pears poached in grappa and star anise, Pears poached in Sauturnes, Blended and hung over night. Also a fermented gingersimple syrup that has been in my basement for 3 months. Then add liquor 43 and a touch of citron, then top with a Torchon of foie gras.

So 2 oz of the pear mix

1oz of the ginger

1 oz of liquor 43

1/2 of citron

top with the torchon that sits on Puff pastry.

Me: eeeeeeeeeee-YUM!

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I had contacted Todd Thrasher yesterday about an unrelated issue, and these were the last four PMs of our exchange (reprinted with his permission):

Todd: P.S. New Cocktail Foie Gras and Pears!

Me: eeeeeeeeeee-YUCK!

Todd: Ok how about this Pears poached in grappa and star anise, Pears poached in Sauturnes, Blended and hung over night. Also a fermented gingersimple syrup that has been in my basement for 3 months. Then add liquor 43 and a touch of citron, then top with a Torchon of foie gras.

So 2 oz of the pear mix

1oz of the ginger

1 oz of liquor 43

1/2 of citron

top with the torchon that sits on Puff pastry.

Me: eeeeeeeeeee-YUM!

It's been officially christened Pear of Desire, and we got a taste with lunch today. Wild. The unctiousness of the foie gras and the prickle of the ginger are a contrast you won't forget. Todd says they're selling like hotcakes even at $12 a pop. He's also got some more cool stuff cooking in his basement right now. Not to be unveiled until the time is right, but he did consent to let me take a picture of the creative process.


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

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