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21 for 41

It’s Art’s birthday today!  How did we celebrate Art turning 41?  Well with a 21 course meal at Volt!  Not that we don’t love our local DC restaurants — goodness knows we do — but we’d been talking about heading out to Frederick to try out Volt for a while, and Art’s birthday seemed like a good reason.  (woah — long sentence)

I started the process of trying to book reservations almost two months out, because I knew I was looking at a popular place.  Turns out, I don’t have a clue about how far out you have to make reservations when a a celebrity chef is involved.   Table 21, the 21 course tasting extravaganza, was booked through the end of the year.  I decided the chef’s table would have to do, and  I still couldn’t get anything for Saturday night, so I booked for Friday and planned to combine it with a tour of Flying Dog Brewery in the afternoon.

On Thursday my phone rang and I got the awesome notice that there had been a cancellation at Table 21, and would I like that instead of my chef’s table seats?  Heck, yeah!!!

What I can say is that it was a total experience.  We were a few minutes late, and missed the “flavors of sazerac” course, but made everything else.  I expected the food to be killer, which it was.  But I was also totally impressed with the service, especially my “no shellfish, no pork, no rabbit” requirements.  The staff was fabulous and gracious about it.   The few dishes that had one of the above in it, were made without and the staff would let me know each time they announced the course that mine had been made without it.

Out of the 21 courses we tried, only one was lack luster and it came at the very end (the “wedge salad,” which was something like lettuce granita with frozen blue cheese powder.  Can’t really speak highly for frozen lettuce…).  At that point I was so full, I was almost grateful that I didn’t to eat something.

What’s not listed on the menu below are the Hot Buttered Rum (NOM!!) and the take home treats.  Art ate the take home treats in the car right after the meal.  I couldn’t even look at them….

For those into the celebrity chef thing, yes we did see Bryan Voltaggio.  No he didn’t come over and say hello or anything.  We did get to see Sous Chef, Graeme Ritchie, and the entire Volt team in action all night.  Table 21 is literally in the kitchen, so you get to see the amazingly well choreographed chaos that is a restaurant kitchen.

Table 21 Menu for 10.21.2011

Table 21 Menu for 10-21-2011

Table 21 Menu for 10-21-2011

 

Happy Birthday to Me!

My birthday was last week and Art surprised me taking me to the bar we go to just about every week.  Needless to say, that wasn’t really surprising.  What was surprising was that he had not only arranged for them to get me birthday cake, in the form of cupcakes from Buzz Bakery, but also got the bartenders to sing me happy birthday.

Apparently a perk of tithing my income to Churchkey is that the bartenders will take odd requests.  *Note to self….(dirty thoughts).   It was seriously awesome of them to do this, and the cupcakes were amazing!

I took a few pictures with the “Retro Camera” app on my phone using the polaroid like filter, which I love but for some reason turned CKDC into a Blade Runner-esque looking place.

Birthday Cupcakes

Eric at Churchkey

Paul at Churchkey

Churchkey - Distopian version

House Renovations

We’re working on the house.   “We” being mostly the royal we, since Art is doing all the work.  I picked the paint color, though…

If you make the slideshow full screen, you can also see the descriptions for each shot.

Back to the Gibson

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The Gibson

The Gibson - It's a speakeasy style bar. No sign on the door, no info on the website. Do make a reservation if you can.

In our efforts to spread the love around DC a bit more, I headed to The Gibson with a couple of girlfriends for happy hour Friday night.  Of course, Art and I go into withdrawal if we don’t hit ChurchKey on an incredibly frequency — so he headed over there while I was off with the girls.  We didn’t have a reservation, but thankfully they had space in the outside area.

I’ve been to The Gibson once before.  It always seems like a place that I should be spending more time at, but Art’s not really into cocktails — which is why we don’t go there much.

I have to say the cocktails didn’t disappoint on my return visit.  They are still incredibly expensive, but totally worth it.  I will never understand why a bar can charge $15 for a vodka martini, which takes no effort to make.  At the Gibson, you know why your cocktail is costing $15.  They are complicated, use amazing ingredients, and flawless.  The favorite drink of the night was the Tidal Basin Picnic, which featured Creme de Violette and lemonade (and a bunch of other liquors).  I’ve been wanting to try Creme de Violette for a while, but haven’t a chance to.  I totally jumped at this one.

It was so good, that for our third, and final round — we all ordered it.

The only flaw with The Gibson, which I was hoping they’d remedied was the food — or lack there of.  We were there for 3 hours, drinking very, very, very strong drinks.  There’s just not enough food.  The menu said they had “small plates” and to ask the waitress for the plates o’the day, and I was happy to see that.  Sadly the waitress said the 3 things on the menu were it, and they mostly involved meats that I really don’t eat.  We did have the gnocchi, which was brilliant (I picked around the salami).

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