This holiday weekend started out awful for us all as we lost power at 3PM on Friday. We had originally decided to venture into Georgetown tonight (Saturday) thinking that the crowds would be minimal, so we had made a reservation to take SAMUEL to MIE N YU (www.mienyu.com) thinking he would enjoy the Silk Road decor with Buddhas, tents, cages and booths with pillows and fabrics. In a scurry yesterday evening, we canceled our small dinner party at home and changed our reservation to one night earlier. We braved the remnants of Hurricane Ernesto and drove the couple of miles into Georgetown to get a parking place right in from of the M Street multi-tiered MIE N YU.
Well, it was the smartest thing we did, since SAMUEL adored the roomy pillowed booth in which he could frolic, yet still make no noise jumping around (we liked this!). The getaway from the lack of electricity brought our spirits up as we started with a bottle of SEIFRIED 2004 New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc from the Nelson region (I had never heard of this before). It was a citrusy and pungent wine with lots of acid and flavor, but it was a bit weak against some of the intense food spices (we should have gone with a Riesling). We ordered Samuel one of the "starters to share" which was BANANA PESTO HUMMUS with papadam, fried plantains and tons of tasty hummus for him to shmear on the bread. He ate THREE huge pieces and we still had plenty left to take home after tasting it ourselves.
An amuse came in a large porcelain spoon of WAKABE (Seaweed) and Crab that was superb. Not realizing how large these $10-12 starters are we ordered the VIETNAMESE LETTUCE WRAPS with shredded veal, stir-fry vegetables and sweet & spicy dipping sauce, where the emphasis is on SPICY. It was a revelation, a gorgeous dish if a bit messy trying to wrap the orange, yellow and green peppers and onion along with the yummy veal in the huge Romaine leaves! I had to ask for a fresh napkin after running to the washroom to clean my hands because they were so sticky.
Speaking of the washroom, this is a must visit room at MIE N YU since it consists of a large room with numerous basins (think of the washbasin lineup outside a mosque) and many private stalls located off either side of the beautifully decorated room. Indeed, MIE N YU may be eclectic, but it is one of the more intriguing places to see and be seen in town (so there, Cafe Milano!).
Our breads arrived with many choices being offered along with three toppings: butter, olive oil with 25-year old balsamic and the yummiest EDAMAME-WASABI PUREE. We tried not to fill up and ordered our second bottle of wine, this time a GYPSY DANCER ESTATE Pinot Gris "Christine Lorraine Vineyard" 2003 from Oregon. I had never heard of this vineyard, but I will easily remember it as the maker of the best Pinot Gris ever. The wine was very different from the metallic/acidic norm in that it was extremely creamy with a hint of French oak since it is turned on the lees repeatedly, or so our excellent sommelier SAID told us.
Our entrees were also superb with Will opting for the MISA MARINATED HALIBUT seared with Coconut Milk, Spinach, Black Sticky Rice and Carrot-Ginger Sauce. All of the ingredients were wonderfully mixed with none too powerful (the coconut was not sweet or creamy and the ginger just right), and I loved the sticky rice. My THAI RED SNAPPER with Thai Citrus Basil Sauce, Wasabi Mashed Potatoes, Snow Pea Sesame Stir Fry was also wonderful, although it could have stood up to a bit more spice in the sauce and more wasabi in the potatoes.
The big disappointment of the night was the sad sorbet, Will and Sam shared a huge portion of Lemon & Lime, both of which were more akin to shaved ice with flavoring rather than a creamy fruity sorbet. My ASIAN PEAR STRUDEL with POMEGRANATE CREME ANGLAISE, on the other hand, was scrumptious with two small strudel illows sitting on the yummy sauce.
After a glass of VEUVE CLIQUOT demi-sec, we left the world of the Casbah, re-entered the soaking real world (we had truly forgotten the storm!) and headed home praying the power would be on when we arrived. Luckily, it was.
Thanks for your prayers and have a great holiday weekend!