Tuesday, February 8, 2011

lunch at the fourth estate

So a billion years ago (well okay like a week and a half but seriously Leels? With the blog slacking?) I went out for a LOVERLY lunch!

My boyfriend’s sister was visiting from out of town and I was very excited to get to meet her. Also, and I don’t know if other people who live near but not in big cities, it was an excuse to actually see some of the sights in DC, which I ignore for all too much of the year.

As an added bonus, I had a Groupon to eat at The Fourth Estate, the restaurant in the National Press Club, a building I’ve always wanted to visit. It’s always a site for important speakers and press conferences, and the walls are decked out with the various VIP’s who’ve visited.

Like this shot of two of my favorite boys!


I could admire the scenery with no awkwardness whatsoever, since a combination of sleeping late, romantic walks in the snow, and public transportation meant we strolled in for lunch around.. 2:45.

The space was lovely, elegant, and more or less empty.


We were all sort of dazedly hungry, so we were jazzed when they brought out bread. Then super jazzed that they had two kinds of butter! Regular and a wonderful compound one with garlic and cheese (!). Then, oh then, we were SUPER DUPER MEGA JAZZED to taste the Asiago baked into the bread. It was magnificent.


This is really the first time I’ve had a boy I’ve liked enough and dated long enough to do the introduction of family members, and I was excited and a tad nervous to meet his sister, to whom he is very close. And she is awesome! And very easy to talk to!

And as a testament to our budding friendship (and mutual desire to taste as much of the menu as we could), we did the ultimate bonding: went halfsies on ordering lunch!


The exquisite creation which you see there had several components, all fantastic: moist and buttery spiced shrimp; sauteed Swiss chard, and very very best of all, red pepper polenta that I’m sure was made with cream and all sorts of wonderful artery-clogging things that made my heart so happy.

Our other order was a salad; but what a salad.


Frisee, itty bitty chopped up bits of what I think was shallot (?) that was maybe pickled or something (?) and wonderfully flavored (their online menu is woefully out of date so I’m going on memory here!)

And, lest the salad be too healthy, fried oysters (! I live for fried oysters! I love fried oysters SO SO SO SO MUCH GUYS THEY ARE SO WONDERFUL!) and bacon (my portion of which I fed to the man- the restaurant claims at their website to source locally and organically and Steve is an ethical guy who loves on the bacon when he gets a chance)


Though Steve was also occupied with the entree that was definitely the most beauteous: just LOOK!


Let me try to break this thing down. I know that the stuff on the bottom was quinoa with dried cranberries. I know there was an outside crust (as I recall on the menu they adorably called it a “Wellington”), and the filling involved yummy root vegetables and cheese.

Basically it was incredible.

And then we did an obligatory/awkward photoshoot in the restaurant. I include this one of Jordin, Steve, and I mostly just because I am amused by the dude across the atrium unaware he is in the picture… talking on a cell phone. Very DC.


1 comment:

Steven Alexander Heathcliff Basil Bert said...

I'm just going to put it out there that the Wellington, made me feel "well a ton."

The mushrooms, goat, cheese, spices,and the crust a top the cranberry quinoa were 8-million splendor.

Thank you so much Ileana for divulging your Groupon for our indulging. So delicious and fun to be in a place of such prestige. Plus, you earn mega bonus points for treating my sister well.