We were invited to dinner last night by our dearest friends at the spanking new PENNSYLVANIA 6 (www.pennsylvania6dc.com) located on Franklin Square at 1350 I St, NW and we were mightily impressed.
Since it was a belated celebration of Will's birthday, we started with Franciacorta Brut Sparkling from Guido Berlucchi in Lombardy which is a delicate super dry sprakling which surpasses the mediocre Proseccos we see so much of these days.
It's a great wine to have with some of the fun starters such as the Olives marinated in Rosemary, Chili and Citrus Aromatics or the super Fresh Ricotta Spread with Olive Oil, Black Pepper & Thyme served on a large slate with Grilled Bread slices and a super yummy, yet mild, Orange-Fig Jam. This is a really great fun starter and in addition you should consider the Sardinian Flatbread. These days, I always avoid the starchy, even though tasty, flatbreads as I prefer to avoid the carbs. This is a very crunchy flatbread that is more like lavosh which is smothered with shaved Aged Goat Cheddar, Radish slices, Arugula, Truffle Oil and 'Nduja, which our ever so sweet server, Olesea, explained was a slightly spicy sausage paste, that I just could not get enough of.
We were thrilled to find an old friend at the helm of the wine program, Sommelier Mark Slater, who hails from Jean-Louis at the Watergate and Citronelle, if you go back some years. He brought out a divine Geroges Vernet 2009 "Les Terrasses de l'Empire" Condrieu which has to be one of my favorite varietals on earth. Condrieu is a very specific varietal of Viognier that comes from a very small region on the Rhone that I could easily visit over and over; I can't wait to go back again as it is so beautiful, and also has magnificent views of the river and the Alps beyond. The nose was to die for and the wine simply earthy and full of body. It was ideal with the Charred Spanish Ocotpus with Gigande Beans, Fennel, "Nduja(more of that!!) and Salsa Verde; this dish is one of the best starters around town. We also tried the superb trio of Crudos of which my favorite was the Black Kingfish (Cobia) with avocado, ginger, palm hearts, serrano chile and citrus ceviche sauce. It sounds busy, but works. The Yellowfin Tuna Crudo with yuzu-miso, mango, roasted peanut and spicy cress was nice, but you know I make the best Tuna tartare around, so the Kona Kampachi Crudo with gooseberries, cumin salt & salsa verde was the least exciting for me.
I noticed a great deal for Happy Hour (4-7pm) at the bar with $1/oysters and $5/oyster shooters....gonna have to return for that, and the bar is huge with a very large lounge area to relax with all those deals.
The raw bar is extensive, but we refrained.
It was hard to choose main courses, and I was torn between the Monkfish Osso Buco but went for the Berkshire Pork Chop with Sweet Potatoes, Candied Pecans, Fried Brussels Sprouts and an amazing Bourbon Lacquer. the meat was perfectly cooked and the portion HUGE, so it will be eaten later in the week for sure. Will chose the 14 ounce Bone-in Fillet with Chimichurri, but they brought extra sauces and the meat was divine, charred on the outside, rare in the middle. Steak is great here and the décor is that of a clubby leathery steak place for sure, but next time I'm headed for the large choice of seafood for sure.
Sides are amazing here from the Wild Mushrooms to Duck Fat Fries which come with a decent ketchup, but an awesome mustard sauce. The Fried Brussels Sprouts which were on my plate can also be ordered as a side and have to be the biggest on earth and the tastiest. FB pictures can be seen of the main courses and desserts.
Our main course wine was a 2008 Pommard "La Chaniere" from Domaine Mallard Pere et Fils which was so fruit forward and truly a revelation. Will got a glass of the much bigger and heartier The Prisoner Zin/Petit Sirah/Syrah
blend that is available by the glass.
Mark brought us amazing Sauternes with dessert, Petite Vedrine 2010 which we all loved and we split two desserts: Spiced Apple Cake with Butter Toffee Pecan Caramel Sauce & Bourbon-Vanilla Gelato and the delish Bread & Butter Pudding with Black Currants, Butterscotch Sauce and Mick Chocolate Gelato.
We all had a great time and there is something for everyone at this new spot in Downtown DC.