Friday, March 22, 2013

Find yourself at FIREFLY at Dupont Circle for fine food (3-17-13)

After our whirlwind tour to Chicago we headed home and took Samuel to
fun matinee of XANADU one of his favorite musicals. Afterwards, we
headed up to Dupont Circle and the MADERA Hotel where I was for the
hotel opening as well as many wonderful events including the opening
of FIREFLY Restaurant ( where we have had so many
wonderful meals. Well, the hotel has undergone a wonderful renovation
and so has the restaurant with a new lounge/bar, yet still retaining
is rustic feel with the huge "tree" in the middle.
Chef Todd Wiss has taken over and keeps many of the traditional
dishes, but there are new ones for fun to be sure.
Drinks are more fun now as well as Will tried the GIMLET with Stoli
vodka, housemade lime cordial while I marveled at the frothy Byrrh
Cassis Fizz with Bryrrh Quinquinoes, Cassis, lemon, egg white and club
soda. It's a  tasty fun drink, especially in the spring as we almost
had for a while last week. Samuel enjoyed an alcoholic-free COSMO with
Fee Bros. Cranberry bitters, orange flower water and lime....I think
he may grow to like the alcoholic version eventually. Who doesn't?
They yummy hot parker house rolls arrived with big grains of salt and
we tried to refrain as we sipped some US sparkling wine sent out for
our arrival....I think it was Kenwood Brut "Yulupa"--a nice change.
Deviled Eggs arrived creamy and divine with smoked paprika, caper
powder and garlic chips...OMG
A big treat for Sam was the PIMENTO CHEESE FRITTERS (he was upset
there were only three!) with Green Tomato Jam and Bacon
Marmalade...both condiments added great flavor to these decadent
SHRIMP & GRITS were treated with great care with medium size sweet
Texas shrimp, little tomatoes, rosemary and Anson Mill Grits....any
southerner would love these...I guess, as I'm a die-hard northerner.
We moved on to a bottle of Murietta's Well "Spur" a superb blend of
48% Cab, 24% Petit Verdot, 23% Malbec and 5%Petit Sirah from
Livermore, California that our very handsome server Matt double
checked on with the bartender before he suggested it. It was a
wonderful blend only marred a tiny bit as it arrived slightly chilly.

Next came a plate of BEEF TARTARE with Quail egg, black pepper and sea
salt potato chips. Sam tried this and while he did not want more, he
did disdain the superb and pure preparation. Grilled RED WINE OCTOPUS
is poached in Clam Juice and served with avocado, olive aioli and
roasted olive gremolata and is another superb starter.....was there
room for more?
Samuel ordered the Corned PORK TENDERLOIN without the Caramelized
Brussels sprouts, but loved the Butternut Squash Dumplings and the
Rutabaga Puree that he just could not get enough of. He asked for
extra for his fries and completely left all the ketchup! Roasted
ROMANESCO CAULIFLOWER was a superb side with lots of flavor and simply
done as well.
Will had the exact same as Samuel but WITH the sprouts and I opted for
the ever-since-opening standard MINI POT ROAST with Yukon Gold Potato
Puree,  and Roasted Shallot's a super winter Sunday night
dish for anyone seeking to be in "family style." Well, you can do it
any night for sure.

Desserts were superb with Honey Crisp APPLE COBBLER, Oatmeal Streusel
and Cranberry Ice Cream almost making you wish for winter not to
end...ALMOST, I said!
I went for the cheese plate and loves the diagram with cheese
descriptions that arrived with it so I knew exactly which each was--
but one was backwards and I noticed. OOPS! Apple Cardamom puree went
great with the King's Creamery Morning Frost from Penna which was the
least exciting. Cabot Clothbound Cheddar from VT. was sharp and tasty,
but the winners were the Cherry Glen Goat Farm Monocacy Ash from MD, a
goat that anyone would die for and the superb rich ROGUE Creamery
SMOKEY BLUE from Oregon.
We had a certificate we had purchased at a charity auction for dinner
for two which really made is head back in to Firefly, and I must admit
that sometimes I need to force myself to return as these are places we
don't visit often enough!