Restaurants & Bars 2

2941 Review

PoolBoy | May 19, 2003 06:14 PM

I finally had a chance to dine at 2941 in Falls Church, VA. Taking Joe H.'s advice, I made my reservation for after sunset (though the overcast weather would have eliminated the glare). We requested a table by the window and enjoyed what we could of the view of the lake and woods. It was a cool night, and they had the fireplace blazing. That might be a good place to sit, too.

The decor was, as Wife put it, "ungapatsch." I have no idea if I am spelling that correctly, but it means eclectic, in a bad way. The wall of windows is nice, as is the furniture, and we liked the jelly-fish style chandelier. But the exposed scaffolding and the classically styled oil painting? Doesn't work.

Enough with the decor already--how was the food? Great.

There were three of us. In the first round, appetizers, the winner was the Pernod-glazed smoked salmon (very good combination of flavors), followed by the chilled cucumber soup (lovely but needed a little kick, I thought), and the bay scallops in brown butter with herbs (simple, well-executed, tasty).

We enjoyed a variety of six different breads with our appetizers. Much has been said about these breads. They were very nice, I thought. But despite their differing flavors, the textures were all very similar. (I really miss the breads and spreads from Rupperts--but there is no point in living in the past. Wait--do they have Ruppert's bread at Perry's?)

Service was fine. There were no missteps. The hostess was warm and one of the managers (Pascal?) came by at the beginning and end of our meal to check on things. I got the sense that the staff was very seriously trained, but somewhat inexperienced. They were trying very hard to do exactly what they were supposed to do, in a deferential manner. But it seemed that perhaps they had never experienced such service themselves, so they weren't quite sure what they were trying to emulate. I don't want to make too much of this, as the service was good and usually unobtrusive, and I wouldn't want to deter anyone from visiting due to service concerns.

I loved my main course: roasted veal tenderloin with crispy sweetbreads, fresh morels, sweet peas, mashed potatoes, fontina, in a delicious sauce. The pieces of sweetbreads were lightly-fried, crispy on the outside and creamy on the inside. (If you have wanted to try sweetbreads and never have, this is a very friendly preparation.) The morels sopped up that beautiful sauce, and the peas were little bubbles of sweetness. The roasted monkfish was good, too. It was bathed in an ultralight lobster sauce with a hint of ginger. Wife was satisfied but not overly impressed with her chicken breast. Prepared in a new-Asian style, its flavors were too much like ordinary Thai food for her.

For dessert I enjoyed blueberry-vanilla shortcakes with toasted almond ice cream. Usually I order chocolate desserts, but I was tempted by this and I was not disappointed. Our companion ordered the chocolate cream pots--smooth. Wife passed on dessert, but didn't hesitate to partake of the house-made cotton candy (flavor: grape bubble yum), and the elegant "peep"-like sweet white marshmallow cubes they offered us at the end of our meal.

Some have complained about how far away it is. It is not far. It was easy for us to get there from downtown (it's off Route 50), and it was easy for us to get back to Montgomery County afterwards (it's near the Beltway).

Overall, 2941 is a very good restaurant experience. I would put it in the second tier of fine dining establishments in the DC area. That is no slight. The first tier is a very small group of three or four restaurants. The second tier is much, much larger.

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