While Phyllis was off schmoozing in NYC, I took a dear friend whom I hadn't seen in quite some time to dine at Dahlia, which is a relatively new restaurant in the Spring Valley area of DC, (4849 Massachusetts Ave. Washington, DC 20016. 202-364-1004). The chef and owner of the restaurant is David Scribner the owner of Jetties on Foxhall Rd (the best sandwiches in town) and Smith Point in Georgetown.
The dining area is a big square with tables around the edge and a few larger tables in the middle. The seating booths and tables were a dark wood (almost a deep cherry) and the walls were a light lime color (a very odd combo if you ask me). A lot of the art work on the wall made me feel like I needed glasses because it was very blurry and almost uncomfortable to look at. As we walked into the dining room I heard a woman say " well that's when I had my hysterectomy" (an odd thing to hear as you are walking into the dining room). I noticed that the woman who had said it was sitting on the other side of the room and the level of her voice was pretty normal, but for some reason this room carried every conversation. We were given our table (next to the hysterectomy lady) and the waiter came over. We ordered a bottle of the Fitz Sauvignon Blanc (2003) to start. It had a slight fizz (which was pleasant rather than bothersome) on the tip of the tongue and (as my friend Linda described it) had a woody grapefruit taste to it. It was lovely and refreshing. For our app's I ordered "grilled bruschetta with brie, smoked salmon, farm tomatoes and chives" and Linda ordered "mixed lettuces with pear, walnut and blue cheese, shaved fennel and endive". They had the smallest appetizer fork I had ever seen. They looked like baby cutlery. After we had finished ordering I heard "well tell him that she is your mother for pity sake" loud and clear from someone about 5 tables away, mmmm, ok! When the app's arrived Linda said that her salad was delicious and that the combination of different tastes was great. Unfortunately not such high praise for my bruschetta. The brie was WAY too over powering and the salmon and yummy looking tomatoes were lost. All I could taste was brie (a heavy brie).
I had explained to our water at the beginning of the meal that this was a kind of reunion and that we would appreciate not being rushed. He kindly said that he would wait for me to tell him when to fire up the main courses. Well, about ten minutes after our app's were taken the main courses arrived (I had not asked). I decided not to make a fuss as I didn't want to spoil a good night out. What I didn't like (and this is a pet peeve), is that even though Linda was NOT at the table (bathroom break) he left her food there. I explained that my friend would be back shortly but could he please take her food back to the kitchen and keep it warm for a couple of minutes until she returns (as she was also popping outside for a cigarette break). He did this with no if's, and's or but's. I had ordered the "parmesan crusted baby lamb chops with Yukon gold whipped potatoes and grilled ratatouille" and Linda ordered "pan fried trout stuffed with lemon, herbs and capers with sauteed flat leaf spinach and green herb aioli". With our food we ordered a glass of Rodney Strong Merlot 2003 (BORING). As we tucked into our food we heard "Sonny's coming home tomorrow" (yet another conversation from a number of tables away). I thought it sounded like a good name for a TV series. Linda was very happy with her food again (although not as hot as she would have liked). She said the trout was wonderful. Her favorite part was the crunchy salt on the skin. She was making all the right decisions. My lamb chops were yummy (the only person who makes them better is Phyllis), but the presentation had no love in it at all. The potato and very dry ratatouille where just piled on top of each other in a lump in the middle of the plate and the chops were just thrown around it. It needed some love ! After our dinner plates were removed the hysterectomy lady and her friend left. As the lady squeezed by our table she passed GAS !!!!! For pity sake folks when you get to a point in life when you can no longer control your gas, please don't let the rest of us suffer. AAAARGH !!! She didn't even notice. We then heard "birthdays, baby showers, I don't feel like I need to give gifts to any of them" (yes, another conversation). It wasn't like Linda and I were not talking, but these conversations kept piping through. The waiter asked us about dessert and we said "sure". He listed "chocolate cake, banana cake and lime chiffon cake". Somebody wake me up from this boring selection !!!! I ordered the lime chiffon and Linda ordered a fork and coffee (which she said was very good). The lime chiffon was a bit dry but had a nice tartness to it. It was screaming out for berries or a coulis, but was only accompanied by the tiniest scoop of vanilla ice cream you have ever seen.
We left feeling full, but not all together satisfied. It was wonderful to see my friend again which made everything worthwhile. I wouldn't run to Dahlia again, but who know's next time might be a whole new adventure with new conversations and NO GAS !! Phyllis's hubby