Last night we attended the Washington National Opera Ball and one of
the best parts of the ball is being invited to an ambassador's
residence for dinner. While this is not something everyone can do as
the cost is high, should you have the opportunity to dine here in DC
at the Portuguese Ambassador's home then GO!
Chef Davide Martins is truly a wonder in his mid-twenties and already
headed for sure fame when he returns to his country. Prior to working
here he was on the team at the two-Michelin starred SEA GRILL in
Last night he prepared a simple ASPARAGUS Salad with Poached Quail
Egg, Grapefruit Reduction and a divine Grapefruit Hollandaise Sauce
(yes, I know I am not supposed to eat grapefruit, but who could
resist). Will even asked for extra sauce as they served it. the white
wine was a delicious FOLLIES 2011from Minho made from Alvarino and
Loureiro grapes. It was special to enjoy these new wines and varietals
(well, we have had the former grape in its Spanish name Albarino) as
we will be in Portugal on a cruise this summer and are sure to
PORT WINE SORBET was creamy and tasty and easily one of the best
sorbets I have ever had!
The main course was BEEF WELLINGTON with Honey, Fried Sweet Potatoes
and Baby Carrots. While this is easily an English dish, Ambassador
Brito advised us that the Portuguese fought alongside the English
against Napoleon and hence can claim some part of the Wellington name.
The meat was superb and the cehf showed that he can use foie gras and
make a superb pastry crust to boot.
The DUAS QUINTAS 2008 from Douro was a superb pairing and it at its
drinking peak as well.
The trio of cheeses was uneventful, but the two accompanying homemade
preserves were fabulous.
The OFFLEY TAWNY PORT arrived and I could not get enough refills in
the tiny glass :-)).
Dessert was a wonderful "Pasteis de Nata" which is a traditional
Portuguese pastry with custard that was gobbled up by everyone within
It was indeed a fun night and the huge ball at Villa Firenze, the
Italian Ambassador's residence afterwards was just as fun with Vice
President Joe Biden in attendance--but all we did was gobble up the
Prosciutto, Salami, Bresaola, cheeses (Parmeggiano and blue) as he