Well, I have taken it upon myself to make my Wednesday night the night to go out and have a good meal before I make the trek back to Jersey (assuming I am not teleworking from Jersey that week). Tonight I decided to hit Vermillion in Alexandria, as it is just a few steps from "The Bistro South."
I sat down at the bar and was greeted by Alex, who has been my bartender before. I ordered a glass of pinot noir, and he gave me 2 different options to "try before I buy." Needless to say, I went the Burgundy route (2009 Jean-Michel Guillon), and was plenty happy with this.
I decided to try the tasting menu tonight, and I was very impressed. First out was a canapé, with a pureed carrot of sorts I think. Needless to say, this was a nice starter to wet my whistle.
Next course was a Softshell Crab BLT, that I thought was nice and creative. The soft shells were fresh with nice flavors, though a bit on the watery side, but this happens. This was served with a crisp smoked bacon, curly endive, 2 slices of delicious fried green tomato, and a whipped avocado. The flavors were succulent, and the preparation was very nice. I would order this as an appetizer again in the future.
From here we went to today's Atlantic Fish selection, which was grouper, and this was by far my favorite item on the tasting menu. This came with a perfect sized piece of crusted grouper, served over a bed of fresh market vegetables and bacon. There were some other ingredients here as well, but I can't remember them off the top of my head. Even so, this was very fresh, very light, and extremely delicious. I could eat this a few times a week and never get bored!
For the steak course, I ordered a glass of cabernet (2009 Pellegrini “Cloverdale Ranch”). This was a decent cabernet for a by the glass wine. It was more new world and fruit forward, which is sometimes how I like them. Tonight it hit the spot.
From here the next course was a Flat iron steak and this too was delicious. Nice tender strips of flank steak with baked crespelle, spinach, Maitake mushrooms, and a truffle jus. Aside from the steak, the highlight here for me was the Maitake shrooms. The flavors were amazing, and they were cooked absolutely perfectly.
Finally for dessert was a piece of cheesecake with a pecan granola, fresh local rhubarb, and a sherry gastrique. Though I am not a huge cheesecake fan, the flavors here were delicious, and it was a great way to close out the meal.
At the end of the day, this was a great meal, and a good value. There were a lot of fresh flavors and ingredients, and it made for a nice meal. As always, the service behind the bar was great, and this was Alex's 2nd to last night behind the bar before he heads to ChurchKey in DC. I wish him the best, and will be sure to check the place out in the future.
Vermillion will be on the list for another glass of wine in the future, and as always I look forward to it. Cheers! -F. Scott
1120 King Street
Alexandria, VA 22314