Sunday, November 06, 2011

DISTRICT COMMONS for delightful new cuisine (11-5-11)

Yesterday we headed to the newest dining spot in Foggy Bottom, which is a real close hop from the Kennedy Center (pre or post theater!). DISTRICT COMMONS is Passion Foods newest entry, and you know that means good food when it comes from the team that created DC Coast, Acadiana, Ceiba and more...
DISTRICT COMMONS ( at 2200 Pennsylvania Avenue faces out onto Washington Circle with floor to ceiling windows which are loads of fun for crowd watching. There are lacquered blond/dark wood tables along the windows (booths) and also some quiet hidden ones in the rear if you seek solitude. A huge bar near the entrance and open kitchen make this a fun spot that was not too noisy on a 7pm on Saturday (when we left). It was nice and quiet at 5pm when we arrived after the matinee.
The kids menu is varied , but Samuel felt simple with the Pasta, Butter and Parmesan.
We all ADORED to soft buttery HOT PRETZEL BAGUETTE which is $2.00 and comes with a tasty Beer Mustard Butter (but you don't need it!).
A bottle of 2009 DARCIE KENT "Black Jack Vineyard" Gruner Veltliner is a creamy, yet apply-tart white that goes with many dishes. The wine list is excellent and varied and the punch line here is that they serve "99 bottles of beer on the wall...."
Our server Ping guided us away from the White Bean Soup with Cheddar Cheese Beignets (next time) to the spectacular SEAFOOD CHOWDER chock full of fish, scallops and more and served with a tiny bag of Hidden Ranch Crackers. It has a splash of cayenne for flavor and will warm anyone on a chilly night. The oysters here are varied and tasty as well.

Our main courses were a Roasted VEGETABLE POT PIE with Butternut Squash, Parsnip, Celery Root and Porcini Mushroom Gravy that would make any vegetarian happy with a crust that a pastry chef could win awards for. The Brick PRESSED CHICKEN is a tasty juicy delight and comes with Mashed Potatoes, Rainbow Chard, Preserved Lemon and Parsley Jus. YUM YUM. My North Carolina Mountain TROUT was a perfectly cooked fish with Broccolini, Pine Nuts and a Citrus Burnt Butter that was delish. I just needed a tad more sauce to really enjoy the fish.

We had to take a friend back to the Kennedy Center to perform and Will asked for the bill, but our charming and all-smiles server Ping, said that a treat was coming. Three desserts arrived and we were dumbstruck:
CHERRY MASH is an American treat with Cherry Ice Cream, Chocolate Sauce , Whipped Cream and Peanuts
BOSTON CREAM PIE is a modern take with discs of sponge cake with chocolate sauce and cream
but the winner is the FUNNEL CAKE, a dish that I have always detested at the beach and fairs for its messy sugary gloppy taste. This FUNNEL CAKE was light, airy tasty with a Butterscotch Sauce and some whipped cream resembling a beignet more than anything else....DELICIOUS! Even Samuel agreed.

Before we left a plate came laden with Coconut Macaroons, Shortbread Cookies, Blood Orange pate de Fruit, Fig Newtons and Everything Bars.....a pastry chef somewhere was having a ball, and so did we.

We can't wait to return to District Commons because I saw the pork chop and the duck main courses arrive at the next table. Next time.