Sunday, March 18, 2007

reasonable RED GINGER in Georgetown

Last night we grabbed a quick meal on our way home from the theater at RED GINGER (1564 Wisconsin Ave, NW @ Q Street) in Georgetown where we had not been for many years since its takeover by new owners. The basics remain the same with orangey tones and a comfy setting (that can suffer from drafts if it's cold out when the front door gets opened) and the Caribbean-leaning menu, although we understand the chef/owner is from Gambia.

The wine list is short and simple and works well; we opted for a nice full-bodied VALDELANA CRIANZA Tempranillo from JUDIT in Rioja 2002 for about $35, which works pretty well with many of the spicy dishes. Oddly, the wine tasted spicy at first, but the fruit opened up as we ate spicy food!

Speaking of spicy, don't miss the superb appetizer of JAMAICAN JERK CHICKEN LOLLIPOPS which are two chicken legs smothered in yummy jerk seasoning and sauce and placed on top of a superb warm FRIED CABBAGE HASH which includes dice golden potatoes, vidalia onions and scallions. The FRIED GREEN TOMATOES are decent and come with a fruit avocado, corn, tomato salsa salad on the side and an Old Bay Rouille drizzled on top.

Don't skip the yummy brioche-like rolls that come with an amazing tapenade of white beans, artichoke and olive that is simply to die for!

Entrees fare from good to superb with the WALNUT CRUSTED DUCK BREAST coming out juicy (with BLOOD ORANGE CHIPOTLE Sauce) and tasty, but the tasty crunchy skin/crust seemed to lack walnuts. The accompanying QUINOA PUMPKIN Salad seemed to have some pieces of grit in it, which really turned me off. We fared much better with the MOJO CHICKEN CURRY which is actually 1/2 a roasted Game Hen in a tasty currry served with DATE-SPIKED RICE, Peas & Spinach Salad. Again, the side dish totally lacked the dates, and the peas were replaced with beans. Chalk it up to a Sunday night at 930pm with almost nobody there, but the chef was a bit upset when he heard one of his staff missed some ingredients!

Otherwise, the prices are low (especially for G'town) and the service extremely friendly. A thought for those who like Caribbean style food and it is not ALL spicy!