Saturday, July 19, 2014

Ripple

In a comfortable setting, just across the street from the historic Uptown Theater in Cleveland Park, Ripple offers a complete dining experience, with a focus on sustainability, organic and locally-acquired produce. Proud to support local farmers and co-ops in an effort to bring the best products to the table, Ripple also has an award-winning wine program.  Closest Metro is Cleveland Park.

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.


We saved room for dessert, and each decided to order a glass of dessert wine to accompany our sweet endings.  I chose a glass of dessert Sauvignon Blanc to go with the Blueberry Hand Pie.  The wine was not overly sweet and I enjoyed the extreme chilled temperature.  The hand pie was a small bite served with a tangy lemon curd, crumbled spice cookies, and cardamon ice cream.  The sweet, tart, and spices married unexpectedly well on the palate.


Keith ordered a glass of dessert Port to go with Chocolate-Hazelnut Tart. His wine was very boozy to the nose, but mellowed out with the chocolate.  The tart was rich and delightful, drizzled with dulce de leche, chopped hazelnuts, and fresh cherries, served with a scoop of buttermilk sherbet.  Keith really loved his dessert, and found it to be the best thing he ate all night.

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:
Scallop Crudo
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

Plus Keith ate:
Chilled Cauliflower Soup
saffron, blue crab, cucumber, radish

Roasted Rockfish
charred octopus, English pea hummus, snow pea tabouli

Chocolate-Hazelnut Tart
hazelnuts, dulce de leche, cherries, buttermilk sherbet

Ripple on Urbanspoon

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