Keith and I went to see a movie at the Uptown Theater, and walked over to Ripple for dinner afterwards. Having recently won the Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington's (RAMW) Best Upscale Casual Restaurant 2014 and Best Wine Program 2014, I was looking forward to a great meal. We were seated in the far back dining room. I was surprised by how long the restaurant was, and the server explained they recently expanded taking over an old shoe store next door.
The small menu was organized into three courses, but one could order a la carte. On the other hand, the wine menu was very extensive with both old and new world varieties featuring wines by the glass to bottles over $200. We chose a bottle of Anne Pichon, Viognier, Vin de Pays du Vaucuse, France, 2012. This light and refreshing white wine was perfect for the summer season and went well with each dish we ordered.
I started with the Scallop Crudo with sweet corn pudding, blueberry mostarda, and baby corn. The dish looked like a painting. The scallop was cut in large chunks, but tasted delicate. I liked the crunchy baby corn and the bit of heat from the blueberry mostarda.
Keith started with the Chilled Cauliflower Soup with saffron, blue crab, cucumber, radish. Though he was not that impressed with the flavors, I had a few spoonfuls and found this soup to be quite lovely. I almost preferred it to my starter. The broth was very creamy and the small diced pieces of cucumber and radish provided a nice bite.
For my main dish, I chose the vegetarian option of Crispy Squash Blossoms. Stuffed with ricotta cheese, the blossoms were served on a bed of farro and wild rice, with beets and Greek yogurt. The dish was overall tasty and full of fresh seasonal ingredients. Though there was no meat, I still found the dish to be quite satisfying.
Keith ate the Roasted Rockfish with charred octopus, English pea hummus, and snow pea tabouli. The fish was cooked perfectly, yet the octopus was a bit too charred and dried out. The tabouli was cold, which contrasted with the hot fish to keep the meal light and refreshing.
Overall, I was impressed with the meal at Ripple. The upscale food was presented in a casual way with sustainable and organic ingredients that are appreciated, yet were perhaps the main reason for slightly inflated prices of each dish. The atmosphere was calming with dim lighting and warm tones of reds and browns. Oenophiles will admire the vast selection of wines.
Total Rating: 4.18
Food: 4.5, Price: 3.5, Service: 4, Ambience: 3.5, Accessibility: 5
What I ate:
sweet corn pudding, blueberry mostarda, baby corn
Crispy Squash Blossoms
farro, wild rice, beets, Greek yogurt
Blueberry Hand Pie
lemon curd, spice cookie, cardamon ice cream
Chilled Cauliflower Soup
saffron, blue crab, cucumber, radish
charred octopus, English pea hummus, snow pea tabouli
hazelnuts, dulce de leche, cherries, buttermilk sherbet