Monday, January 30, 2012

don't pass on POSTE! (1-28-12)

As I mentioned just over a week ago, POSTE Moderne Brasserie in the Hotel Monaco in the Penn Quarter was a real treat on Restaurant Week. We had such a good time we returned Saturday night with Samuel and friends after we all took in a matinee of the exhilarating Broadway musical, "Two Gentlemen of Verona" at the Shakespeare Theater.
We ordered a bottle of wine from the bar as we waited for our table (the show was over earlier than we expected) and they were out of the Chinon we chose and brought a better one for the same price. The Cabernet Franc based wine CHINON 'Les Petites Roches" '08 comes from Charles Joguet and is a nice sipping wine with not a lot of body or intensity. At the table, we moved on to a Spanish Granacha 2009 from Ribera del Jiloca called "Xiloca" which was light yet loaded with jam and pepper notes; it was so good, we had two bottles!
Samuel ordered the rib eye with truffle frites and loved it and gobbled down those buttered salted Parker House rolls as well.
Will and I enjoyed a 1/2 dozen tasty Old Salt Oysters with a superb vinaigrette while our friends tasted the Cheese plate.
Starters were a gooey (Comte) cheesy FRENCH ONION SOUP, BEET Mache with Orange Vinaigrette, Pecans and Goat Cheese and my excellent STEAK TARTARE with gaufrettes potato chips (Sam liked these too), black Garlic Aioli and a raw Quail egg atop. It only needed a dash of ground pepper.
Main courses were the tasty TROUT MARGEURY made with fresh N. Carolina trout, shrimp and served in a lemon oyster sauce. The VEAL BLANQUETTE didn't get raves, but I thought it tasted good with braised breast, crispy sweetbreads, creamy Anson Mills polenta, chanterelles, pearl onions and carrot salad. The sauce was heavy, but the chanterelles were a big hit.
My BANGERS were made with Coriander and Orange Roasted Morteau Sausage with a Pomme Puree, Spinach and a Sauce Charcuterie; everyone loved this tasty dish-perfect for a cold winter night (oh--it was in the 50's!).
Our most pleasant server Helene proffered the last wine choice to John (a manager?) who recommended the SAMSARA SYRAH from SANTA RITA Hills 2007 "Ampelos Vineyard" that was heavenly. Again we got a break as the Syrah we were looking at was sold out as well...this can be a good thing! The wine was a big velvety treat.

We knew that our friend Chef Dennis would be away, but the kitchen was in the excellent hands of his next in charge- Chef John- whom we had met years ago at the Morrison Grill in Alexandria and kept the great food coming then as well. He sent out a perfectly balanced small plate of MONOCACY ASH Cheese with sliced HoneyCrisp Apples and Apple Butter that was light and impressive.

Desserts were few as we were full:
CHOCOLATE SALTED CARAMEL TORTE with Coffee Ice Cream is intense, but the salt and caramel really take on the rich dark chocolate. FIGGY PUDDING with Steamed Walnuts, Guinness Ice Cram and Eggnog Sauce seemed to be enjoyed as well.

Don't ever pass on's worth a trip!