a tour of Italy
Washington DC might be the nation’s Capital, or even the ” planet’s Capital” as we Greeks like to call it but it has not been by far, a culinary capital for many years. New York and San Fransisco hold the first and second places in this area, and all the other cities are making a serious effort the last few years to become somewhat decent.
I think the urge to have good food in Washington (and the suburbs) has mainly risen from the need to feed all these senators who come and go and work here during the week. Twenty years ago, there was no decent place to eat in my neighborhood (even within a radius of fifteen miles). During the last ten years, there has been a serious effort, in DC, Maryland and Virginia to improve the culinary scene. Renowned chefs are opening restaurants in the city, and many individuals with a “dream” are trying to establish themselves in the business. This is not easy, and several of those open and close beat by economic crisis.
So today, when I see my neighborhood restaurant Ranazul featuring events like A tour of Italy even on a week night, this not only makes me feel good but hopeful for a chance to see more coming.
Ranazul is your basic tapas restaurant. They feature a large selection of cold and hot tapas which I have tried several times. Some I like ans some again (the fried variety) not. Very often however they organize a long dinner event with wine tasting which I really like. The combined effort of the chef Jamie Ayala and their sommelier Julie Dalton is always a feast for the senses. Last Thursday we went there tired to eat something nice fast and as we entered the place we found out that a feast was about to start. We decided to join and did not regret at all.
I am presenting you here today the five course dinner with Julie’s wine recommendations.
Creamy gratin endive, radicchio, prosciutto and Parmesan.
Stiftskellerei Neustift Abbazia di Novacella, Kerner ’09 – Alto Adige
despinarion’s note: The combination of the tastes in the gratin dish was excellent, but the binding cream a little to the watery side.
Pan sauteed halibut on a bed of pumpkin risotto and artichoke puree, topped with quenelle of tomato and olive tapenade.
Ceretto Arneis ’07 – Langhe, Piemonte
Note: I tried a sip before the food arrived, and I thought, I would never be able to drink this pungy wine. However a sip after tasting the halibut made a world of difference. The wine became very pleasant.
The halibut was the best I had in years and the use of seasonal ingredients, like the pumpkin, discrete.
Sauteed scallops resting on a bed of a slice of pumpkin with oyster mushrooms, pearl onions and gnocchi in brown butter.
Galea, Schiava ’08 ALte Adige
Seared beef tenderloin on a broccoli rabe bed with portabella mushroom ravioli, in a Chianti Classico reduction.
Banfi Cum Laude ’07 - Toscana
Note: Don’t cry for this Argentina, but the tenderloin was above and beyond!
Espresso soaked ladyfingers dusted in cocoa powder with mascarpone cheese, drizzled with espresso cream.
Felsina Berardenga Vin Santo ’01 – Chianti Classico
Note: Very tasty but too many words for a tiramisu.
Once again, my compliments to the team.
8171 Maple Lawn Blvd. Suite 170
Fulton, MD 20759
Σας φιλω γλυκα!