Tuesday, August 22, 2006

bravo to BUTTERFIELD9 -Restaurant Week extended

Last night we were invited to dinner at BUTTERFIELD9 (www.butterfield9.com) and were surprised to see that they have extended the 3course Restaurant Week $30.06 menu through this week. Apparently, MANY restaurants in the DC area are doing this, so if you plan on dining out in the next several days, check websites, ask around, and you may find more discounts available!

We started the evening at the cozy bar with some "Champagne Cocktails" made from Italian Prosecco and fresh fruit soaked in a sugar and cognac syrup and I had the B9 Martini which was a delicious and not cloyingly sweet combination of Stoli Peach Vodka, Peach Schnapps and Champagne.

We were seated upstairs for the first time ever, and my only complaint is that the room is a bit low, and the a/c vents are right above you, so it did get quite chilly. Otherwise, we had a wonderful evening and excellent food, despite the fact that Chef Michael Harr was out on vacation. The CHASSAGNE MONTRACHET 1er Cru "Morgeot" 2003 from Bernard Morey was a perfect example of the superb French chardonnay with intense mineral flavors and only the slightest hint of oak. This varied greatly from the FLOWERS ANDREON-GALE Cuvee 2003 from Napa which followed and had huge vanilla and oak flavors full of butter with an intense nose of apricot (if I were blindfolded, I would have guessed it was a dessert wine before tasting it!). These were perfect with the SEARED SCALLOPS, Red Onion Preserve, Cauliflower Puree, Garlic & Parsley Salad that three of us chose. The flat Italian Parsley was a bit bitter and could have easily been left out, the garlic was thin-sliced and flash-fried making it wonderfully crunchy and the Onion Preserve was heavenly. The CREAM of SWEET CORN SOUP with Conch & Saffron was also superb.

Our choice for wine was out (ZD Pinot Noir) so a substitute of ARCHERY SUMMIT 2003 RED HILLS ESTATE from Oregon was a blissful surprise. It went well with everything from the GRILLED RAINBOW TROUT with Creamed Spinach, Sage, Maple Glazed Bacon and Crispy Shallots to the FLAT IRON STEAK with Pommes Puree, Glazed Root Vegetables, Beef Jus and Grilled Shrimp. The trout had so many wonderful additions that exploded in the mouth such as the shallots and bacon, making it a great combination. I chose the superb ROASTED PORK TENDERLOIN with Caramelized Peach, Charred Red Onions & Country Cheese Grits. It was quite a large portions (indeed, the entree sizes were extremely generous for a Restaurant Week Menu), and perfectly cooked as requested; a delicious and tender piece of meat.

Desserts were a choice of Sorbets (nobody chose this), TAHITIAN VANILLA CREME BRULEE with Ginger Cookie that I thought ranked quite high on the Creme Brulee Quality Meter, and CHOCOLATE ALMOND CHEESECAKE with Morello Cherry Sauce & Marcona Almonds which was nice, but a bit too rich for me. An excellent 1/2 bottle of CASTA DIVA 2004 from Bodegas Gutierrez de la Vega accompanied perfectly. We haven't had this yummy Alicante Muscat in some time, and it's really a wonderful wine, lying between a light Muscat and a heavier dessert icewine or viscous wine, so it pairs well with the dishes and satisfies the sweet tooth as well.

Small glasses of port came as we waddled home, knowing we have two more dinners out this week!