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Restaurant Eve - Old Town Alexandria (long)

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Restaurant Eve - Old Town Alexandria (long)

scooter | May 25, 2004 01:00 PM

Finally hit the finally open Restaurant Eve in Old Town this past Saturday. We had the 9-course tasting for $90...a reasonable expense given the return.

To drink, we started out with a $9 sparkling wine, very good.

First, even before our courses began, came atiny devilled quail's eggs with caviar and a deliciously buttery crouton. As beautiful to look at as it was to taste, they were followed by lobster consommee and a raw yellow-tuna amusee. All were amazing. The broth was much darker and richer than any other I'd had before, with a deliciously spicy radish shaving floating around in the bowl. The tuna had a simple treatment of cracked pepper and olive oil...it was amazing. Then the meal started...

We moved onto a nice Chardonnay from Qupe. More oak than we generally buy, so this was a nice departure.

First came Lobster Timbale. Neither my wife or I had ever had something like this before. Imagine a pinkish lobster custard turned over on the plate and served with chanterelle mushrooms, chopped asparagus, and a lemony-olive oil drizzle. The shrooms were wonderful but I think the timbale, while surely prepared perfectly, may be a bit of an acquired taste.

Next came fresh gnocchi with the best tomato I've had in a long, long time. This was one of our favorites. The gnocchi was tender and flavorful, but we agreed the tomato was the real star. We began to realize the care and attention to quality ingredients is going to set Eve apart. Nothing elaborately presented, just letting the ingredients speak for themselves.

Later came pan-fried soft-shell crab, which was amazing if you're into them. They were served with a light toss of a salad of basil and other tasty leaves. The briskness of the salad offset the heavier crab. Also terrific. The sommelier improved the dish by serving up a complimentary glass each of a wonderful white Burgundy. Nice.

Probably the best in the mix was the roasted Guinea Hen stuffed with foie gras. Tender breast meat was wrapped around a very generous serving of foie gras, roasted, and then thinly sliced. The sauce it was served on was simply amazing. Dark and rich, with just a hint of butter, it was the kind of dish that makes you depressed because you know you'll never be able to recreate at home. Sooo good.

By now we'd moved onto a bottle of Hendry Block Pinot Noir. The sommelier said it had a little more fruit than "I'd like to give you" but her suggestion was 90 bucks. No bargain at 60, the Hendry suited our needs just fine.

A delightful, oozing goats-milk cheese was followed by a chocolate torte with a towering stem of multi-colored chocolate. I'm not sure the creme center was necessary, but the dessert was as imposing to look at as it was to cap off 12 courses.

Total chow time: 3.5 hours.

The service was prompt, considerate, and totally unrushed. Maybe it was the wine, but by the end we felt like new friends. My wife thought the sommelier a bit pushy, but I found her knowledgable and appreciated the time she took to explain the wines.

We dropped close to 400 hundred bucks including tip, but you could do this for far less if you skipped or minimized the wine. As it was, the meal was a once-a-year extravagance. We'll be back, if at the bistro next time.

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