Friday, October 31, 2014

The Source by Wolfgang Puck

The Source is the first fine dining restaurant in the nation’s capital headlined by Chef Wolfgang Puck. Designed by EDG, the three-level restaurant is the signature dining experience at the Newseum. The ground floor bar and lounge where guests enter offers approachable dining in a casual setting with a traditional Japanese Izakaya menu. Upstairs, guests can enjoy a menu with contemporary interpretations of Asian dishes. Closest Metro is Archives - Navy Memorial.

The modern aesthetic design boasts floor-to-ceiling windows that line the restaurant and a two-story glass wine wall that holds more than 2,000 bottles of the restaurant’s impressive collection.  Executive Chef Scott Drewno oversees both the ground floor lounge and upstairs fine dining menus.  We had late night reservation and were escorted upstairs. The lighting was very dark and moody, but the ambience was accentuated by the large windows.  We perused the extensive wine menu and decided on the Trimbach Riesling, Alsace, France, 2012.  I am big fan of Riesling, and often enjoy Alsatian wine, so I decided to splurge on this $55 bottle.  The wine had a delicate bouquet and was quite dry.  The distinguished  richness paired well with the seafood items I enjoyed throughout the night.

We first sampled our wine with a complimentary amuse bouche of Chinese Green Beans with Candied Walnuts.  This little salad was a nice start to our upcoming Asian-influence meal.

To start, we shared the beautifully plated Scallop & Shrimp Siu Mai served with a rich Shanghai curry lobster-uni emulsion.  The seafood filling were quite generous and tasted great with the slightly spicy curry sauce.  While I really enjoyed this starter, there was a hint of something missing that would have made it out of this world.

Keith also wanted to try the Crispy Suckling Pig that came on top pear puree, yuzu pickled cipollini, and a sweet bean sauce. I tried a piece, but found the pork to be too "porky" for my liking.  Keith, on the other had, loved this bite.

For his main dish, Keith ordered the Lacquered Chinese Duckling.  I thought it would be presented like Peking duck-style, however it was much more of the bird including a wing, breast, and thigh.  It was served with huckleberries and a star anise-plum wine reduction.  It had great flavor and unknowingly came with a side of lo mein and brown and white rice.

Since we didn't know additional sides came with our mains, we had also ordered a side of Drunken Noodles.  I actually preferred the lo mein (shown on the right) to the drunken noodles, as I found the drunken variety to be way too spicy to endure.

For my main dish, I chose a lighter plate of Wild Alaskan Halibut with a pineapple sambal and topped with Thai curry shrimp.  The fish portion was generous and cooked nicely.  The pineapple and Thai curry flavors were bright and tropical.  Overall, I really enjoyed this dish, and it paired perfectly with my dry Riesling.

Though we were both stuffed, I could not pass up their famous 15 – Layer Carrot Cake.  Eight layers of cake were sandwiched by seven layers of lovely sweetened cream cheese, and then topped with candied walnuts and a scoop of ginger ice cream.  Each bite was better than the next, and I absolutely adored this dessert.  

Overall, we had a nice romantic meal with attentive service and high quality food.  It would have been nice to know ahead of time that certain side dishes accompany the mains, then we would not have ordered extra.  Though the prices are a bit higher than average, the generous portion sizes made up for it.  

Total Rating: 4
Food: 4, Price: 3.5, Service: 4.5, Ambience: 4, Accessibility: 5

What I ate:
Scallop & Shrimp Siu Mai
Shanghai Curry Lobster-Uni Emulsion

Wild Alaskan Halibut
Pineapple Sambal, Thai Curry Shrimp

15 – Layer Carrot Cake
Cream Cheese, Candied Walnuts, Ginger Ice Cream
Plus Keith ate:
Crispy Suckling Pig
Pear Puree, Yuzu Pickled Cipollini, Sweet Bean Sauce

Lacquered Chinese Duckling
Huckleberries, Star Anise-Plum Wine Reduction

Drunken Noodles

The Source on Urbanspoon

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