Mrs. Robot will be celebrating a birthday this week and for her birthday she wanted to go to DC and eat at the America Eats pop-up restaurant that Jose Andres created. So, um, that is what we did.
I thought about taking the Amtrak down to DC. I also thought about springing for the fancy tickets and taking the Acela down as it was a birthday weekend and that would be fun.
Crikey. How does Amtrak stay in business? If we wanted to take any sort of train, it would cost more and take longer than flying down. How does that make sense?
If in DC and needing a place to sleep, we really enjoyed the Hotel Monaco. The hotel is in the old post office building and it’s pretty mammoth. Through some sort of frequent-flyer/credit card/sleeping with the general manager deal I was able to upgrade to their suite (and sweet) rooms for a big $35 per night. I’d recommend that.
Our room was lovely. Nice living room area. Big bedroom. Both rooms had like 1000ft tall ceilings. The bathroom had a tub that could fit all of us. Deep. Mood lighting. Yow.
If you stay at the Monaco, you are near both the Portrait Gallery (across the street) and the Spy Museum (a block away). We wandered through the Portrait Gallery while it rained outside. Good stuff - especially the president section.
Also, the Spy Museum. Totally fun and interactive and includes lots of gadgets. Spies!
Dinner #1: Oyamel Mexican food. Small plates.
Oysters. Scallops. Duck confit on masa. Cochinita pibil tacos. Beef tongue tacos. Squash salad. Tres leches rum cake.
Mrs. Robot was excited about the margaritas with the salt foam - they were awesome. Very handsome restaurant with great staff although pretty crowded and popular. Good for them.
Dinner #2: America Eats “José Andrés announced this morning a groundbreaking partnership with the Foundation for the National Archives in support of the National Archives’ exhibit, What’s Cooking, Uncle Sam? The Government’s Effect on the American Diet, opening June 10th, 2011, in Washington, DC. José Andrés’ ThinkFoodGroup will create a temporary American restaurant as a culinary extension of the National Archives’ exhibit.” (more)
Pretty cool concept. Real American food. Old recipes but done with some modern techniques. The wine list had footnotes and there was a lot of text to read on the menus. Lovely dinner. We did the tasting menu because that would allow us to not decide and give us a large variety of things for the meal.
Glenmorangie and a Moscow Mule (in fun Moscow Mule cup) and a bottle of Chateau Montelena Chardonnay (as they don't have a white burgundy).
1. Hushpuppies with bourbon butter.
2. Butter oysters with a pinch of mace (mace! Like grandma’s pound cake!)
3. Oddly amazing Walfdorf Salad.
4. Buttermilk fried chicken with blackberry catsup. And gooseberry catsup. Um. That was the bomb.
5. Shrimp and (Anson, SC) grits.
6. Eisenhower stew
7. New York cheesecake. Deconstructed.
Really wonderful meal. If we weren’t married, it would have been a good night to propose marriage. The butter oysters: holy cow. They take the oyster and put it on the grill and get it generally heated up and then a very hot few drops of butter (and a pinch of mace) are put on the oyster. I think that is how they did that - but damn. I’m still thinking about it.
The catsup with the fried chicken. Oh my. Hard to decribe apart from saying that it was nothing like what know of catsup/ketchup. The stew was deconstructed and had some of the most tender beef brisket I’ve ever had.
Damn. Great meal and I think we actually learned a lot.