One of the highlights of my east coast trip was visiting Washington DC and staying at the Fairfax at Embassy Row. The landmark hotel has a history that spans over 75 years and was once the home of Al Gore.
The luxury and opulence is highlighted in the service received from beginning to end. Each afternoon, after returning from a day of sightseeing, I was ready for a bath — which I eagerly took — and then it was time to leave for dinner. Upon return, the staff had come in and provided turn-down service with bathrobes and slippers laid out, some chocolate at the bedside, and wonderful sounds of classical music throughout the room. I felt like a princess!
The hotel’s The Fairfax Lounge was where Hillary Clinton announced her run for presidency, and the restaurant 2100 Prime was once The Jockey Club, the place to be seen for Washington’s A-listers.
We dined at 2100 Prime one of the evenings with a menu especially created by Chris Ferrier, executive chef, an advocate of the farm-to-table movement. On farmer market days, you will find chef roaming around sourcing the freshest possible produce to put on your plates.
**please note photos depict a tasting portion and prices are for full portion**
Chef Ferrier’s tasting menu that evening began with a cup of seasonally-inspired Butternut Squash/Apple ($6) soup. There is no cream added but the silky smoothness fools your palate into thinking otherwise. Sweet, delicious and a perfect taste of fall.
Roasted Beet Salad ($9) was accompanied by fried Maryland goat cheese and pecans. The red and golden beets were sugar sweet and free of the usual hints of soil so frequently found in root vegetables. I loved the crunch of the pecans with the rich smoothness of the goat cheese.
I’m normally not a big fan of gnocchi because I’ve not found a lot of gnocchi to have the right texture. Therefore, when I tasted the Japanese Pumpkin Gnocchi ($9) made from Kabocha squash, I was pleasantly surprised by the nice crispy exterior followed by the softer interior of these hand-made pillows of goodness. Seasoned with just a touch of brown butter and sage, the gnocchi was allowed to shine through without being masked by a heavier sauce.
When the Chatham Cod ($28) was put in front of me it looked like the fish we had at Le Bernardin a few days ago. However, the biggest difference was, this was perfectly seasoned, flaky, moist with a wonderfully crispy skin. The Savoy cabbage, bacon and clam cream sauce not only complemented, but the umami-filled smokiness made us crave more even after the last bite.
Still left to come was Venison ($30) chop, prepared to perfection with a blueberry-infused jus reduction enhancing the flavor-filled meat. The blueberry had just a hint of acidity and pairs perfectly with game. The house-made sausage was also incredibly flavorful. Accoutrements included a celery puree, squash and Romanesco cauliflower.
We didn’t have any room left, but how could we resist the lure of a Souffle ($12) topped with creme Anglaise. It was light as air and tasted like how I’d imagine clouds to be if I could put it in my mouth. Not too sweet, and absolutely delightful. It was the perfect ending to a perfect meal.
** another cool moment we had while staying at The Fairfax was being seated at “the Nancy Reagan table” for breakfast one morning. It was a table where the former First Lady was able to have the perfect vantage point to view the entire restaurant — and she was a frequent visitor here I’m told. The prime minister of Estonia was also breakfasting at a table nearby that morning — here’s a shot from my seat that morning**
at The Fairfax Embassy Row
2100 Massachusettes Avenue NW
Washington DC 20008