Friday, July 06, 2007

Restaurant 2941 always a number 1 for me

We returned to 2941 (Falls Church, VA) after more than a year and realized how much we had missed under the toque of Chef Jonathan Krinn at this beautiful establishment, which now boasts a huge new Salvador Dali sculpture in the gardens (I asked why the couldn't afford to fill all the holes in it :-)).

We were in the excellent hand of server DAVID VORHEES, who won Outstanding Restaurant Employee of the year at this year's Rammys and every second was sheer enjoyment from the first sip of PHILIPPE GONET BRUT ROSE Champagne poured by Sommelieuse Kathy to our last bite when we were the last folks to clear out of the place (as it so often seems to be when we go there)!

Indeed, the ONLY thing that went wrong was that our first bottle of sparkling San Benedetto water was flat. How often does one get to send the WATER back? Quickly rectified, we laughed a lot about it.

The first amuse was a SEARED YELLOWFIN TUNA with ROASTED YELLOW PEPPER, SCALLION and a SHERRY-GINGER Sauce that got us excited, but not a much as what followed with the DUO OF SONOMA FOIE GRAS with a seared FOIE GRAS with CARAMELIZED BLACK MISSION FIGS on one side, a slash of 25 year old Balsamic dividing the plate and a TORCHON of FOIE GRAS with Fleur de Sel and a dab of APRICOT was genius on a plate and so decadent we gobbled up every last drop.

The main tasting menu began with HAWAIIAN KAMPACHI TARTARE with Lychee, Kaffir Lime, Market Radish, Habanero Pepper and Basil Seeds. I loved hint of heat and all the exotic fruits and flavors that combined to perfection especially with the perfectly paired RIESLING KABINETT-Weingut JJ CHRISTOFFEL ERBEN, Urziger Wurtzgarten 2005 from the Mosel-Saar-Ruwer Region of Germany.

The CARAMELIZED SEA SCALLOP was smothered with OSETRA CAVIAR (I know we got more than average), MAINE LOBSTER and a WHITE ASPARAGUS NAGE and served over a :macaire" or Potato Pancake with Frizzled Leeks. It was another heavenly dish with a rich butteriness to every bite with magnificent shellfish and a magnificent SAINT JOSEPH BLANC 2005 from Domaine Coursodon in the Rhone that e just had to ask for more of between courses.

GENTLY SAUTEED Atlantic TRUBOT was a firm fish with a SWEET ONION FONDUE, those long awaited CHANTERELLE MUSHROOMS, Capers and a Brown Butter Emulsion. The acidity of the accompanying PULIGNY MONTRACHET 2004 from Domaine BZIKOT in Burgundy eventually mellowed as the wine opened up.

The TOURNEDO of ELYSIAN FIELDS LAMB had a distinct Mediterranean feel with Capiscum (Red pepper), Summer Squash, Nicoise Olives and Lamb Jus. It was delicately paired with a VINO NOBILE di MONTEPULCIANO 2003 from Caterina Dei, a winemaker I would love to taste more from.

The main entree was an amazing combination and even moreso with genius double pairing of wines (Kathy insisted we try a second wine along with that from the menu). The SPICED MILLBROOK VENISON LOIN had a peppery spicy topping and the preparation was of WHITE PEACHES, GARDEN PEAS, LONG SQUASH and MAPLE SMOKED BACON with Oyster Mushrooms. The slightly sweet peachiness of the sauce was amazing with the PAX "Cuvee Christine" 2005 Sonoma Syrah while the ZINFANDEL(with big fruit and pepper) from PELLEGRINI FAMILY VINEYARDS "Eight Cousins Vineyard" 2005 in Russian River really paired to perfection with the spice of the meat.

AMARETTO FRENCH BRIOCHE TOAST with Vintage Port Reduction and Black Cherry Frappe (in a shot glass on the side) was dessert number one and paired with a glass of BANYULS 2004 from Domaine du Mas Blanc in Roussillon. We persevered to conquer the amazing dessert number two of CARAMEL CROUSTILLANT GLAZED BANANA with Vanilla Creme Brulee, but the rest is a bit hazy. The magnificent BRUNDLMAIER RIESLING BEERENAUSLESE Zobinger 2000 from Heiligenstein in Austria may just be a new favorite for me with its intense richness and that always loving apricot flavor.

The Blackberry Shortbread and Cream Candied Pistachios followed with the requisite COTTON CANDY and we hauled ourselves home with extra cotton candy for Samuel and a couple of loaves of bread. One can never forget Chef Jonathan's dad's (Mal) bread which consisted of Chocolate Cherry, Olive, French, Pumpernickel, Jalapeno Garlic, and a new super APRICOT PISTACHIO which I am going to munch on right now!

I can only say that I won't wait a year before heading back to 2941!