Restaurants & Bars Washington DC & Baltimore

Obelisk Review--Long

James G | | Dec 22, 2001 08:26 PM

Just returned from a lovely dinner at Obelisk on P Street NW in Dupont Circle. Definitely worth a review! The occasion was my parents' 55th anniversary, so very appropriate given the restaurant's $55 prix fixe dinner. As it turns out, they were not interested in a full meal each (having had a very filling dimsum lunch at Maxim's earlier in the day), but the restaurant was very accommodating and let them split a meal between the two of them (bringing a spare plate with each course to facilitate sharing--a nice touch).

The prix fixe dinner has about 3-4 selections for each of the three courses, all very interesting and none of them the sort of thing you'd find in a run-of-the-mill Italian restaurant. For example, the starters included a blood orange salad with fennel and slices of botarga (a sort of sliced, dried, tuna roe that works out like prosciutto) that was absolutely delicious, and a roast squab breast with squab liver pate on toast. Very interesting.

The second course is sort of soup-y and pasta-y. The eggplant ravioli were scrumtious, with a very powerful topping of black walnuts (I think) and cheese. Another choice was a sort of giant matzoh ball (called canederli here--reminiscent of knoedlen) in broth. Also very tasty--though the ravioli were better.

Third course is meat-y and fish-y. We had veal tenderloin and a sort of wild chicken at our table, though other choices included shrimp and some sort of fish (memory fails me). As with the other courses, excellent, though perhaps not as interesting as the previous courses.

After the meal a plate of cheese is presented--today we had a lovely parmigiano reggiano, very fresh and nutty and a wonderful interlude before the exquisite desserts, which for us were a chocolate hazelnut torte, a moscato pudding (wonderful) and an amazing scoop of caramel ice cream with caramelized bits of apples and pears worked into it. That was surprisingly the winning dessert.

The wine list is quite long, if pricey, and we made do with a 1/2 bottle of a Grattamacco 1997 split among the two of us drinking wine. Very dry, but with a wonderful variety of fruity flavors. Yum.

Service incidentally was flawless, and our waiter went through the menu to explain the less familiar items (and some that were more familiar, too) and was very patient with our dry sense of humor.

Definitely a place to visit again.

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