Of course two of the tenets of a CP meal is seasonal an local, being that it is still March the rules afforded me the opportunity to visit a few new establishments other than the local farm market - not open until May, boo...
First, a trip to The Tasting Room Wine Bar at Reston Town Center. I walked in and was a bit worried at first about the collection, which I thought was a bit small, until I realized that this is not a wine shop, but a tasting bar. It helped that the nice girl behind the counter was able to find the perfect wine to go with with one of our first courses and the best part was being able to taste them! My next stop was to the Maple Avenue Market in Vienna. This is a really great shop, all local and seasonal. It's like a farm market every day of the year! They had some beautiful greens and great cheeses, beets, mushroooms, and even some dry goods and meat.
So dinner naturally started off with an aperitif of a champagne cocktail made with bitters, sugar, and a lovely Varitas Scintilla.
This was followed by Parmigiana Crisps Filled with Garlic Mash Potatoes. A wonderful idea in theory, but the end result was a bit of a let down. The crisps were not quite crispy enough, but tasty none the less.
Off to the first course of a Roasted Beet Napoleon by Wolfgang Puck. This was quite tasty, better than the other beet and goat cheese napoleons we tested. I think that this was because you candied the beets a bit and added fresh herbs to the cheese. It's the little touches like these that can really push a dish to the next level.
The Tasting Room Wine Bar for. It was a Kung Fu Girl Riesling. The flavor profiles of the salad and the wine worked so well together, and I am not a Riesling kinda girl.
The next course also was a nice thought but could use some refining as well: a Ragu of Mushrooms with Homemade Tagliatelle topped with Goat Cheese and Sun Dried Tomatoes. Let's just say we still need to work on our pasta making skillz... and salt seasoning skillz.
The main course was a delectable Chilean Sea Bass on a Bed of Wilted Spinach with Bacon and a Roasted Date, Bacon, and Sherry Broth. Not to worry! The fish came from a small, sustainable Chilean sea bass fishery around South Georgia Island and that the fishery's sustainability credentials are certified by the Marine Stewardship Council. This was a great dish! a Tasty fish, great flavor from the bacon and tomatoes, fresh spinach. We even broke the no bread rule, just so the dressing could be sopped up:) The vinaigrette recipe can be found here: Seared Sea Bass with Roasted Date, Bacon, Almond and Sherry Broth. There are probably lots of applications for this dressing, but add the bacon. Don't forget the bacon... mmmmm... bacon...
This was followed by my fave part of the meal: the CHEESE course, of course!! Provided by the Wild Card Couple, the stand out was the Raw Milk Mochego from Spain paired with Marcona almonds and quince paste - I love a good cheese theme.
Finally came the dessert, a vanilla rice pudding with fresh raspberry whip cream. Some thought the dessert was a bit sweet, I thought it was just right. The addition of the raspberries to the cream not only gave it a beautiful light pink color, but also a loverly subtle berry taste.
Sooooo... Copper Pot, Copper Pot, who's it gonna be?? Dinners in May, you'll have to wait and see:)