Skip to main content

Well, that was better, way better....

The other day I wrote about a meal I had out that was disappointing. Last night I had a business dinner that more than made up for it. The restaurant is called Brabo and is located in Old Town Alexandria in Virginia. There were 24 in our party, so they prepared a limited menu offering especially for us. I understand why restaurants do this for large parties but it seems there is always something on the full menu that I want that isn't on the limited menu.

The executive chef/owner of Brabo is chef Robert Weidmaier who is originally from Belgium but has been in the Washington, DC food scene for quite some time. More about him here. Since I hadn't been there before, I of course checked out the menu online in advance. My first impression was that is was pretty basic, but that there was a broad enough selection to suit most tastes. Turns out, I grossly underestimated what I was looking at online.

The first hint that I got that I was in for a good night was the beer selections. Not a overly large number but,clearly someone spent some time building the list. I settled on what turned out to be a very good Belgian ale (why not, if the chef had roots there....) called Urthel Hop-it. It was very hoppy as the name should imply but with that distinctive back note of fruitiness so common in beers from Belgium. At 9.5% alcohol by volume, it was not meant to be messed with. One before dinner and one with thank you very much.

Our choices of appetizer were arugula & frissee salad with balsamic shallots, parmesan cheese and sherry vinaigrette, a veloute of roasted chestnuts served over a small duck confit ravioli and lardons of bacon or seared Maine scallops with squid ink polenta and broccoli rapini. In a moments of less than clear lucidity, I orderd the salad, which was actually wonderful. However, the person next to me had the veloute and raved about it. On the other side of me were the scallops, and although they are not my favorite seafood, he had everything he could do to not lick the plate clean. He did however, sop up every last morsel with the house made bread.

Our main offerings were roasted northern rockfish with potato gnocchi, oyster mushrooms and baby broccoli, roasted Amish chicken breast with cippolini onions and honey glazed carrots or a Fell's Point Bistro filet with Belgian frites and a green peppercorn sauce. I opted for the rockfish since it from local waters - and I wasn't disappointed. The fish itself was cut and cooked to perfection. The potato gnocchi were a nice surprise but didn't overwhelm the fish at all (I secretly wanted more) and the mushrooms and broccoli were cooked to just the right texture. Others had the chicken or the filet - everyone seemed happy, but I think the fish was the right choice.

Finally, there were three desserts offered but, since if you are following along you know that dessert isn't my thing, I didn't really pay a lot of attention. I had ordered one of them to be polite and took a few bites of something very chocolatey - it tasted very good. I can hear the dessert lovers screaming right now, sorry.

All in all a wonderful meal. I will go back sometime and look forward to having access to the full menu offering. There's a braised pork shank I have my eye on......

It should be noted that two doors down from Brabo is Brabo Tasting Room, a smaller and less formal bistro spot with what looks like a wonderful menu also.

Sorry there are no photos, it was a business dinner and I didn't know if others would like me flashing pictures while we ate.

Update: Thanks to my work colleague Shawn, I now have a picture of the rockfish. Guess she was less inhibited than me. Thanks Shawn!
Brabo by Robert Wiedmaier on Urbanspoon

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


P.S. To those of you that are following this blog - thank you very much. I hope you are enjoying my ramblings. To those of you that are reading but not yet following, I'd love to have you become an official follower. This is easily done by clicking on the "Join this Site" link near the top right of any of the blog pages and then following the instructions.

Finally, I'd really appreciate any comments you have to offer. At the bottom of each post is the word "comments". Just click on it and fire away! Thanks everyone.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------









Comments

  1. I agree, dinner was superb. Had the filet, but probably would have been just as satisfied with the bread and butter. (the butter had these salt crystals on top that made it particularly yummy!)

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Oven Roasting Fresh Tomatoes for Pasta Sauce

A while back I wrote a post about using the preserved tomato sauce from 2008 that we still had in our pantry. It was the last jar of what was the best tomato crop we have grown -- to date. This weekend we picked and roasted the first batch from this year's garden with high hopes that we could match the richness of flavor from that magical year.

I wanted to share the process, especially since it's so simple, at least up to the canning, which I won't cover here. Those of you that can know it's not really hard, just a little time consuming.

The first step is pretty obvious, get yourself some tomatoes. We like to grow our own, but you can also buy them from a farm or farm market. Here's a little tip if you decide to buy -- offer to buy the "seconds", you know, the less than perfect tomatoes that everyone else has passed on. They can have blemishes, partial spoilage and even the occasionally bug hole. Don't worry, you're going to cut away any bad par…

2008 was a very good year....

...for tomatoes in Newburgh, NY. That's where we lived then and where we grew, roasted and canned tomato sauce. We actually did that every year but there was something magical about the quart mason jars full of that 2008 vintage. Last night, as part of Meatless Monday dinner, we opened the last one.  Nearly 4 year old tomato sauce you say? Isn't that, um, dangerous? Not at all if the jars are initially prepared correctly, the canning process is carried out properly and the seal remains intact. It was both exciting and a little sad to crack open that seal, but the finished meal made it all worth it. Cynthia's original recipe was a perfect use for that special vintage.


Herbed Crepes with Ricotta, Spinach and Chard Filling
Ingredients (crepes) 1 cup AP flour1 cup + 2-4 tbsp liquid of your choice, could be stock, milk, beer, water or any combination thereof - I used 1 cup Better than Bouillon No Chicken and 3 tablespoons of Duck Rabbit Milk Stout beer3 large eggs2 tbsp unsalted q…

Authentic Unbeatable Swedish Meatballs!

Think Ikea, But 100 Times Better
A Guest Post by Anneli from Delicieux
I am delighted to be back here on A Reluctant Foodie doing another guest post for Al. Our last challenge (Stuffed Peppers) was such fun that we decided to do it again and this time I suggested 'Balls"!

'Balls' was a fun choice as it gives such a large scope for experimenting - meatballs, fish balls, rice balls, chocolate balls, ice cream balls...the possibilities are endless. Not to mention the childishness of repeatedly writing 'balls'!! (and yes, I'm 36, not 3!)

In fact, I had no trouble at all deciding which 'balls' I was going to make, it was inevitable. I am half Swedish and I was brought up in a house where certain Swedish foods were regulars at our table. I was aware of Ikea and their meatballs before the rest of the world began their love affair with them.

My Mormor (Grandma) used to make them fresh and serve them with dollops of sweet lingon berry sauce, boiled potatoes …