After receiving lots of great recommendations from the DC/Balt Chowhounds, I chose to go to Tosca for a special thank-you dinner for a very good friend. We had a marvelous meal.
My friend order the special pumpkin soup to start. I did not taste it but she said it was classic and delicious. I had the goat cheese terrine with roasted beets, marinated eggplant and carmelized onions. The terrine came as a stacked cylinder of the ingredients, a very pretty presentation. The flavors were clean and each vegetable cooked perfectly. The parsley sauce on the plate was a bit bland.
For the main course, my friend ordered the grilled rack of veal with a salsify gratin, sauteed spinach and Barolo sauce. It wasn't really a rack but a deconstructed veal chop. She said it was delicious, perfectly cooked. I had the pork tenderloin special, seared tenderloin slices served on a bed of sauteed broccoli rabe and onions and a wild mushroom sauce. The sauteed veggies were fanatastic with a little bit of spice from some hot pepper flakes. The mushroom sauce was pureed, so no pieces of mushroom were evident, but the flavor was intensely mushroomy and delicious. The pork was tender and juicy. There were also small dollops of pureed squash on the plate that complimented everything nicely.
We had a bottle of Sangiovese with the meal that the waiter suggested, the Rosso di Montalcino Romitorio. It had nice depth and fruit without being heavy or overly fruity, a very nice wine ($48).
For dessert my friend ordered the homemade vanilla ice cream served with fresh berries. I had the lime & meyer lemon tart. It was good but not outstanding. The lime flavor was somewhat missing, except in the garnish of candied lime. But it was tasty.
Many of you recommended Corduroy but also thought it wasn't fancy enough for a special dinner. During my trip I had dinner there twice. The meals were not quite as interesting or fancy as Tosca but the food was very good. In particular the snapper bisque was stunning. It had rich layers of flavors of fish, lobster, and tomato. I also thoroughly enjoyed the pork belly. Again a very rich presentation, but not as fatty as I might have expected. The pork was very tendor and flavorful with interesting spice undertones. The sauteed cabbage served under the pork was delicious and complimented the pork well. I also had the pistacio bread pudding on the waiter's recommendation. It was luscious and not like any bread pudding I have had before. The pistacio flavor was great and the bread was more like a soaked pound cake.
Thanks again to all who gave me recommendations...much appreciated.