Monday, August 30, 2010

Washington D. C. - Day 1 Birch & Barley Restaurant

We just came back from vacationing with the kids in Washington D.C. and New York.  I promised my older daughter a trip to New York when she graduated high school.  We also wanted to take the kids to visit  D.C. since they have already taken U.S. history classes in school.   We also asked her to plan a trip to Washington D.C. and New York  with her sister, so that they can both learn how to go about planning a trip.  After we set the dates and booked the flights, she and her little sister split up the work by googling and researching online to get all the neccessary tickets for all the tourist attracions.  They did a good job keeping us posted on their progress and telling us where and how we would go.

When we arrived in D.C., it was already late afternoon.  After checking into the Westin Washington, D.C. City Center, we headed to the lobby to drink some cold water that had fresh honeydew and watermelon in it.  We later found out they had them at the lobby everyday in the afternoon for the guests to enjoy since the weather in D.C. was very warm.

We found out from the concierge that it was Restaurant Week and a lot of restaurants were offering a 3 course meal for $35 per person.  We went on Yelp and found a three and half stars restaurant in the area, and while waiting for our table, we walked around the neighborhood.  These houses were more commonly seen in the east coast but not in California.

The restuarant we went to called Birch and Barley.  There wasn't room to wait in the restaurant.  There's another bar restaurant on the second floor where you could wait, but my kids are underage so we couldn't wait there and decided to walk around the neighborhood instead.  We waited for about an hour before our pager lit up. 

Birch & Barley
1337 14th St. NW
Washington D.C. 20005

The food and the service were excellent at this restuarant.  To compensate for the long wait, we got this small complimentary snack. 

Fried potatoes and Basil topping on baguettes.

This is their 3 course resturant week menu.  (click to see their menu online)

Instead of regular house bread, they served 3 different kinds of freshly baked dinner rolls.

Corn bread, Olive roll, Pretzel roll

For our first course, we chose these:

Vialone Nano Risotto, green summer squash, squash blossoms, romanesco

Yellow Garden Gazpacho, maryland blue crab, celery, green apple, almonds

House Formed Sweet Corn Tortellini, broccoli rabe, pinenuts

This is not included in the meal   I was willing to pay for the extra $8 just to try their foie gras.  It came with a warm brioche. This was just done perfectly.
Foie Gras Terrine

For our second course, we had these:

Spice Rubbed Pork Tenderloin, spaetzle, mustard greens, haricot verts

Cioppino of Halibut, seafood sausage, mussels & clams

Pan Seared Poussin, cornbread stuffing, confit thighs, potato rosti, swiss chard

Next we received another complimentary dish:

Rasperry and prosciuto pizza
By the time we finished the pizza, we were full.  We didn't realize we would get so much complimentary food, and the dinner just kept getting better and better.

For our third course, we had these:

Buttermilk Panna Cotta, passion fruit cream, apricot sorbet, graham cracker

Hostess Cupcake, PB Brownie S’more, Mint Ice Cream, Oatmeal Cream Pie

Chef’s Selection of Artisanal Cheeses with accoutrements

The total bill for the entire dinner was $150 including tips.  We were very happy with the experience and the food was delicately done and service was just phenomenal.  It's definitely a place we will remember for a long time.

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