Thursday, February 21, 2013

classy valentines

Though Steve and I have been together more than 2.25 years (!) we still get to learn all kinds of fun new things about each other. Like Steve is ticklish if you poke him under the ribs in just the right way, and other important things that will allow me to victimize him.

And there is still something very fun and exciting about going to a snazzy new place with someone, especially this glamorous locale.


True story: I am NOT a fan of Valentine’s Day. Like I hate other Hallmark holidays. While we’re on the subject, I’m disgusted by wedding expos and public proposals, and excessive quantities of Facebook posts using the word “husband” (no joke, I starting hiding all posts from a certain friend).

However, Steve is a true believer in love and destiny and all of those things, and is thus more tolerant of the ersatz expressions of love all around on Valentine’s Day because he still believes in celebrating the real thing.

Thus, our fancy fancy dinner!

You know you’ve got class when a restaurant is only named in numbers.


2941 is literally the classiest place you’ll get in the DC Metro area without actually going to DC. Well… okay, Beyonce and Jay Z stayed at the Four Seasons at Tysons (whaa? In a mall. Beyonce you are so above that. I would have let you stay at my house and renovated it in your honor and put in some kind of throne). But I still think 2941 is classier.

The outside is goooooooorgeous, on a lake (a fake lake, but cmon, it’s Northern Virginia, all the lakes are fake). There are koi ponds and enormous windows.

We were seated near an architecturally interesting and wonderfully warm fireplace, as well as a… geodey kind of thing.

DSC02482 DSC02483  

Because of class schedules, we actually went out for our classy Valentine’s Day meal on the 15th, which ended up being kind of brilliant. No paying absurd prices for food that in all likelihood is probably worse than a typical day, no awkwardly overhearing the lovey dovey conversation of the couple next to you because they shove in so many tables for V-Day.

The menu was classy…


… unlike Steve and I, who were snorting under our breaths at “fingered citron”.


Bread arrived and was stupid good. STELLAR crust, with lots of seeds and things. Wonderful lightness within, even in the whole wheat! I have a special place in my heart for restaurants who take a stab at whole wheat, and they succeeded.


So the reason we were able to swing this classy classy restaurant was because of a Google Offer. I would never in a hundred bazillion years allow my boyfriend to drop the kind of bank required to swing the regular menu items.

For that Google Offer, we got a small bite and an appetizer to share, and two entrees.

The “small bite” was both of our favorite item!

Per the menu, Mushroom Tartine ricotta, sauteed mushrooms, parsley and garlic.


Well menu, WELL, what you neglect to mention is the TRUFFLE OIL ALL WHIPPED UP IN THAT AWESOMENESS!

Super awesome toasty crusty bread, heaven-truffle-cheese-whip, mushroom heaven, herbs. We were happy, happy campers as we ate this.


Now, let me mention our waiter, in that he was awesome. All of the waiters were, like, grownups there. And our guy was the most hilarious, charming, amusing, attentive without being hovering guy. I suspect he makes MAD TIPS.

So we told him we were just soooo overwhelmed by the delicious sounding menu and wanted to order all of these things, and he gave us our expertise.

Which is how we ended up with a half order of the pasta for an appetizer.

Butternut Squash Agnolotti fried Brussels sprouts, Parmesan cheese, fingered citron


Our waiter said the pasta was good but a little one-note with the sweet, creamy filling, and it was better to get as an appetizer portion. That made sense to us, and I was shocked how large the portion was for an appetizer.

The highlight of this? The BRUSSELS SPROUTS. They had this rich, intense, meaty flavor that was just crazy good. Our waiter saw us salivating us and went, “Aren’t they good?!” and we were like, “Yes! Yes!” and so he starts telling us how they make them:

“… So they deflower the brussels sprouts…”

Chortle chortle chortle. Steve and I are just incredibly immature. We belong together.

Round about this time we decided that a special meal should involve a special drink. And, quite honestly, I am such a lightweight that one drink generally goes right to my head, and Steve finds me to be a charming and amusing drunk. Eesh.

Anyway, I got an exceedingly exciting cocktail. I can’t find it on the online menu, but it involved gin, a French liqueur that was sort of herb-y, lime, and a hint of cherry (I had assurances it was not excessively sweet, which it wasn’t).



Steve got a glass of Malbec, and I was glad to switch with him midway through the meal as I felt a bit wobbly.

As for the entrees, we got two to share.

Lobster Fettuccini Fideuá style, lobster ragú, saffron, pimento, chorizo


Grilled Rockfish squash, quinoa, salmoriglio sauce


And honestly? Not all that exciting. Good, well cooked, high quality ingredients, yadda yadda. Just nothing to write home about. Honestly, I find that to often be true at fancy restaurants. The chef uses up all of his or her creativity on the appetizers and the entrees were just, meh.

Both had their thumbs downs and thumbs up. The pasta tasted too distinct from the sauce it was in; my understanding is that it’s the common practice at restaurants to blanch the pasta before service but then finish cooking it in its sauce, and this didn’t taste like that had happened. However, the sauce, once the pasta was gone, was fab-u-lous and we sopped it up with a ton of bread. Meanwhile the rockfish was cooked well but didn’t have any particularly vibrant flavor; however the quinoa and vegetables it was on top of were peppy, flavorful, and texturally interesting.

Fortunately, we had to order dessert. Because it was Valentine’s Day! You HAVE TO!

Because our waiter was just generally so awesome, we told him we wanted a dessert to share and to bring us his favorite.

Ohhh, yes.


Chocolate Pecan Bar pecan shortbread, dark chocolate mousse, malted milk ice cream

Once it arrived, I actually remembered having read rave reviews of the fancy dessert that looked like a chocolate bar. HEAVENS this was good. Subtly salty cookie base, rich and wonderful dark chocolate mousse atop, intense shell that was still smooth (not hard like ganache gets). Heavenly. And then on the side, those little brioche bits that I swear tasted like classy french toast sticks. And that ice cream! Delightful.

A final adorable dessert note.


Cheap it isn’t, and the entrees weren’t earth-shattering like the rest of the food; still, for the sheer glamour of the experience- the gorgeous surroundings, the immensely likeable staff, and the dishes that DID wow us with their inventiveness- it was a wonderful, wonderful evening.


Happy V-Day kid.

(Final confession- all the giggling about double entendres in the menu? That was all me)

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