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Birthday dinner at Taberna del Alabardero (long)

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Birthday dinner at Taberna del Alabardero (long)

dinwiddie | Apr 7, 2005 08:00 AM

We took our son to Taberna del Alabardero for his birthday dinner on Thursday. Took a 2002 Ramey Carnaros Chard and a 2002 Radio-Coteau Hellenthal PN with us so I didn't spend a lot of time looking at the wine list, but is is extensive (and expensive) with a lot of Spanish wine featured. The menu changes often, but they have both a regular and a vegetarian menu at both lunch and dinner.

We started with appetizers, Marinated Asparagus with Shaved Jamón Serrano and Garrotxa Cheese for my wife, Sautéed Snails with Grilled Royal Trumpet Mushrooms and a Garlic, Lemon and Parsley Emulsion Sauce for my son, and grilled octopus with sauted potatoes, carmalized onions and Garlic-Paprika Refrito for
me. All were delicious, perfectly cooked and beautifully presented. We opened the wines upon arrival, but the R-C still didn't get more than 45 minutes open before we started drinking it. They
put the Ramey on ice for us when they opened it. The Hellenthal went wonderfully with the entrees; Oven Braised Veal Cheeks with Creamy Potato Puree for the wife, a huge (perfectly cooked) 22oz. Grilled Certified Angus Beef Rib-Eye Steak with Potatoes,
Garlic Confit and Piquillo Peppers for the boy, and Braised Wild Boar Osso-Buco with Winter Root Vegetables for me.

For dessert my wife had the Black Mission Fig Parfait with Marinated Figs and Cocoa Sorbet, I had Cheese Flan with Raspberries, and Pedro Ximenez Reduction Sauce and my son had the Pineapple and Papaya in a Light Syrup with Coconut Mousse and Passion Fruit Granite. All were excellent.

When we sat down, David Bueno (the somm.) kept looking at my son but didn't say anything (even though he wasn't our server, he did stop by often to make sure we had everything ok and to pour the wine.) My wife and I figured that he was trying to figure out if he was old enough to share the wine (he isn't but of course he does) Then he brought three sets of glasses, a chardonnay and a burgandy glass each, and opened the wines.

When we ordered dessert, they brought out an extra dessert, Roasted Apple Filled with Vanilla Cream and Cinnamon Ice Cream, for my son on a plate with Happy Birthday written in chocolate on it. We hadn't said anything about it being his birthday, but David said he had overheard that we were celebrating his birthday
so the dessert on the house.

Service was everything one could ask for. Not obtrusive but always there at exactly the right time to refill water glasses, the bread basket, pour the wine, etc. The server was informative, helpful,
friendly and very efficient.

Sorry for all the wine references, but the main reason we dine in DC is because I can take wines from my cellar with us to enjoy with a great meal. Total cost of the meal, including tax, 20% tip, and $15 per bottle corkage fee was under $250.

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