Much of the improvement in the DC dining scene can be attributed to the opening of branches of restaurants from elsewhere. And while I try to avoid places that I can find at home, in this case having a Momofuku only a short walk from the convention center was pretty fantastic.
Once again Bon Appetit’s best new restaurants list has not lead me astray. The influence of Chef Langhorne’s time at McCrady’s is definitely apparent. Such a cozy vibe just perfect for a place with only a wood fire. Everything was wonderful and a repeat visit will certainly be made my next time in DC.
18 month broadbent’s country ham, biscuit & house condiments
Pork rillette, grilled ciabatta, mustard seed, ramps, fennel & herbs
Maryland blue crab, sunchokes, bearnaise & aleppo
Winter squash cooked in the fire, goat feta, walnuts, mustard greens & fresh horseradish
Confit potato salad, broadbent’s bacon, parsley, pickled mustard seed & cured egg yolk
Whistle pig farm pork cabbage wraps – pork loin and shoulder, roasted cauliflower, fermented chili, apple, peanuts, pickles, herbs
Xiao Bao Biscuit
After several hours of very warm biking around Charleston we made our way to Xiao Bao Biscuit for lunch. The Okonomiyaki lives up to the hype and is completely fantastic. But the pork candy takes it to another level entirely. This stuff is absolutely addicting. I have no idea how it is made, but why is nobody else doing this? Brilliant. Our other dishes were delicious but admittedly overshadowed through no fault of their own.
Okonomiyaki – Japanese cabbage pancake with pork candy
Pad Kra Pow – minced beef, beans, thai chili and basil over rice with farm egg
Bo Bo Ji – Sichuan style chicken, cilantro, scallion & peanut salad over rice with a roasted sesame flavored sauce
Bar at the Spectator
We stayed at the Spectator hotel which I cannot say enough good things about. The rooms were absolutely lovely and the service top notch. Addressing guests by name always makes one feel special and was done in such a warm manner that you immediately felt that you were friends with the entire staff. Room service breakfast was included in the room rate which I thought was a great touch especially as the rates did not seem inflated to compensate and the choices were perfect. Butler service was also provided to all rooms and upon arrival our first butler David took my dress to be steamed and returned not only with my dress, but with a bottle of sparkling wine to celebrate my birthday. I would have been quite happy to move in and cannot imagine staying anywhere else in Charleston.
The bar is beautifully decorated and I had read glowing reviews prior to the trip. The cocktails were indeed quite good And as Bravo’s Southern Charm is one of my many guilty pleasures, I was excited to see that Gentry bourbon actually exists and was on the menu.
I’m still kicking myself for not choosing this for my actual birthday dinner. The Ordinary is housed in an old bank building and it makes me so happy when these structures are re-used. It was my mission to overdose on shrimp this weekend and so it makes an appearance here. An all seafood dinner which at the end of day 2 of Charleston summer temperatures was exactly what I wanted to eat. And a first for me with wahoo crudo which was a lovely dish. Unfortunately I have forgotten the ingredients in our desert but that seems bound to happen to me at least a few times per trip.
Ordinary Hawaiian Rolls, Sea Salt Butter
Peel & Eat Shrimp
Jumbo Lump Blue Crab, Grapefruit, Avocado
Wahoo Crudo, Corn, Summer Truffle
Black Bass Ceviche, Avocado, Cucumber
Steamed Snowy Grouper, Porcini Ragout
A perfect nightcap at the Belmont. Despite the bouncer outside we only had to wait a few minutes to get inside with seats at the bar.