Last night we returned to NEW HEIGHTS where I have been going for over 20 years and always enjoying myself thoroughly. Owner UMBI SINGH has recently sold his 2nd venue, Butterfield9, and moved "back home where he belongs"(someone should have sung him a variation of "Hello Dolly") to the beautiful 2nd story location on Calvert Street (www.newheightsrestaurant.com) with gorgeous decor by his sister (who owns SANSAR in Bethesda) and great views over RockCreek Park's greenery.
It was even more special last night as Karen Shannon, who used to own Petito's which was around the corner) returned to the neighborhood as well to present OPERA & BROADWAY nights. The menu was a $60 plus tax and tip fixed price with over 2 hours of fantastic music performed by elegant and versatile soprano DIANE ABEL and the young up and coming tenor JOSEPH HAUGHTON. I am so happy that these nights will be repeated again in JULY and we are hoping to attend on AUGUST 22nd! CALL New Heights at 202-234-4110 to reserve now! It's well worth it!
We ordered an extra course off the ala carte menu as we so desperately wanted to try Chef JOHN WABECK's superb SAUTEED SOFT SHELL CRABS with Cucumber, Fingerling Potato Salad, Cilantro and Vindaloo Oil. This is a pure presentation of the shellfish with no batter, just sauteed to perfection and served atop the wonderful smokey infused oil with hints of curry floating about.
The actual fixed menu started with a cool welcome tasty and tart GAZPACHO. We chose a bottle of ELIZABETH SPENCER 2005 PINOT NOIR from the SONOMA COAST that was new and quite satisfying with slight hints of acidity and lots of fruit. Of course, one always forgets that Gazpacho does not work too well with wine...so I tried to refrain for this course. Will's BLACK BEAN "RILLETTES" is served in a flip-top Mason jar with Guacamole and Chipotle Crema making it quite a rich mixture. It is an excellent variation on the Black Bean Pate that started at New Heights 21 years ago and has been going all this long on the menu. I loved the LAMB CARPACCIO with Yellow Tomatoes and Cilantro Mint "Chutney" which was actually a Jalapeno infused cream (the mint was barely tasted) that packed a punch.
The entrees were no less impressive with Will going for the GRILLED NY STRIP STEACH with Potato Puree and Mushroom-Horseradish Crust while I enjoyed the MAPLE LEAF FARMS DUCK BREAST with Baby Bok Choy, Preserved Shitakes and Duck Sauce. A bottle of STAGS LEAP 2004 PETITE SIRAH got us through the entrees and kept us going during the remainder of the excellent performance as well. The wine is a treat and a great rare bargain these days as so few US Petite Sirahs are around!
The FRESH BERRIES were perfect for me for dessert and the CREME BRULE was indeed one of the best around!
A wonderful performance in the kitchen, on our plates and by the able singers!