Where I've Been + What Was Good

A look at where I've been eating and what was good ...

Vegetables have been getting the royal treatment from DC's top chefs. Numerous times in the past few weeks, I've been faced with an artistic presentation of delicately arranged veggies, almost too pretty to eat. (I said almost.) There was Adam Sobel's architectural curl of radish ribbons, standing upright alongside scallop sashimi at Bourbon Steak, and then a pretty plate of radishes and fennel cream at Bibiana. The most recent iteration was a gorgeous "spring garden" dish served at Volt on Friday night. Chef Bryan Voltaggio's arrangement of beets, the tiniest carrots I've ever seen, shaved radish, a coffee "soil" and kohlrabi was as pleasing to the palate as it was to the eye. The remaining trip through the chef's tasting menu built beautifully on that stunning first course.

Speaking of meatless show-stoppers, restaurateur (and Metrocurean friend) Mark Kuller claims his restaurant Proof has the best tofu in town. Sure, he's biased, but I got to see how chef Haidar Karoum treats his soy last week at a dinner hosted by Kuller. The slab of creamy but firm tofu is crisped on the outside and jazzed up with sweet chili garlic sauce. Served with bok choy and wild mushrooms, it's a main course vegetarians, or even just those part-timers, will want to seek out.

Tabard Inn
I'm so looking forward to a warm spring night on the patio at Tabard Inn, but on a rainy day last week, a few stolen bites of a dining companion's cup of buttermilk blue cheese and potato soup with crunchy croutons hit the spot.

Hill Country
I finally made it to the new and massive Hill Country in Penn Quarter, and after stuffing ourselves silly on ribs, brisket and a very good corn pudding, it was the slice of fluffy chocolate cake as big as my head that stole the show. Or was it red velvet? Down in the basement where the live music scene is quite hopping (so that's what live karoke is!), it was too dark to tell. And it didn't really matter. It was damn good.

More of where I've been eating: Et Voila, Bibiana, Fiola, Eve, Estadio, Pitango

A look at where I've been eating and what was good ...