Friday, July 6, 2007

On second thought...

There are times that I’ll eat somewhere and think it’s simply magical. A day later I’ll think it’s really good. The next day, it’ll be downgraded to decent.

When I finished my dinner at Vermillion in Old Town Alexandria a couple weeks ago I placed it in the realm of some of the best food I’ve had; upon further reflection, I’ve come to the conclusion that the food was good, the wine was superb, and the service was solid – not quite my initial impression of excellence, but quality nonetheless.

The meal started off with bread – and I’ll reemphasize the fact that to me bread is one of the most important parts of the meal. It’s your first step forward, and if it hits right, it sets the tone for the rest of the meal; if it doesn’t work, it could ruin the entire meal. This bread was incredible. Small homemade rolls and cornbread, it was warm and perfectly cooked – served with apple jelly and butter, I couldn’t have asked for anything more.

Next came the first course; a really good soft-shelled BLT that was well flavored and incredibly well cooked. It was my second go around with soft-shelled crab (after my trip to Annapolis last year), and I finally understand what all the fuss is about.

The entrée however was what has changed my mind over the past couple of weeks since I’ve eaten there. I got the bison, served with cauliflower “mashed potatoes” and morels. The bison was honestly pretty boring, and almost cold. Perhaps it was intended to be almost like a fancier roast beef, but the accompanying elements didn’t lead itself to go with a haute deli meat. The meat was decent, but it could have been warmer, more flavorful, and a bit tenderer.

The meal ended with a wonderful Nutella Panna Cotta, served with hazelnut crepes and strawberries. The panna cotta was like a tastier, firmer version of jell-o pudding, and it went incredibly well with the strawberries. I found the crepes a little dry, and pretty useless, but they were relatively tasty nonetheless.

So after thinking about the meal again, was it worth the $100+ dollars that I (Jill) paid for it? Well when you figure that Jill and I each got a glass of wine, and split three appetizers, two entrees, and two desserts, it’s not that bad, and certainly worth doing again.

It might not have been the incredible meal I thought at the time, but still one I’d have again.

1120 King Street
Alexandria, VA 22314
703 684 9669

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