Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Lincoln

Lincoln's seasonal menu showcases simplistic market fresh dishes by Chef Demetrio Zavala crafted from fresh ingredients supplied by local farmers, daily seafood catches by local fishermen, and artisanal meat from ranchers around the region. The chef includes many nods to Abraham Lincoln’s favorite foods including oysters, gingerbread and chicken fricassee.  Closest Metro is McPherson Square.

Image via Lincoln website
Pennies in the floor.
The interior includes original paintings and works of art influenced by some of our most iconic American Pop artists. Challenging the boundaries of design, the restaurant's designer incorporated over one million pennies into the spectacular tiled floor that is the centerpiece of the restaurant’s design–a feat never before attempted at this grand of a scale in the United States. From the striking Jasper Johns-esque American flag mural on the wall, to the reconditioned antique wood floors from barns in New England to a custom oversized white leather chair inspired by Lincoln’s seat at his memorial, the interior ambience is stunning.


Keith and I dined at Lincoln for NYE and sampled a five course menu featuring some American classics.  We started off with a glass of champagne to celebrate, and then Keith switched to a gin & tonic, while I tried a Moscow Mule.  My drink was traditional and subtle with a hint of lime.


For my first course, I ate Lobster Chowder with purple potatoes and a foie gras foam on top.  The soup was a bit bland and not as luxurious as I was hoping with lobster in the title.


Keith enjoyed the NY Strip Carpaccio with smoked truffle oil and meyer lemon beurre monte.  While the truffle was a bit unnecessary, it's often a 'fancy' ingredient used to elevate dishes.


Next, I ate a fresh Pennsylvania Beet Salad with green oak lettuce, fennel, and horseradish dressing.  The combination of tart, sweet, and crunch all worked well in this salad.


Keith chose the Chopped Maryland Kale Salad with currants, parmesan, cranberries, and lemon vinaigrette.  The kale was truly chopped finely and piled high on the plate.  It was too much to finish, and maybe not the best idea for those that are teeth-clean-conscious.


For the third course, I originally eyed the grilled half lobster offering, but Keith talked me out of it with concern that I might have to crack open the shells, and he knows I don't like to get too messy when eating my food.  It should not be a struggle, I say.  Instead, I ordered the Goat Cheese Gnocchi served in a super green arugula water with sweet onions, pickled persimmons, toasted hazelnuts, and bottarga.  The gnocchi itself just tasted like bland dough, and there was a dollop of goat cheese on top, rather than mixed inside.  The pickled veg were too strong and overpowered the dish. I was very disappointed. 


Keith enjoyed his pasta dish of Pork Belly Ravioli with creamed parsnips and pickled cabbage.  He said it tasted like a pork brisket sandwich in one big raviolo.


For the main course, Keith ordered the Virginia Pork Osso Bucco with hand cracked smokey cheesy grits, cured turnips, and maple mustard crumble.  He found the pork to be tender and easily removed from the bone with his fork.  Also, his dish was a pretty large portion compared to others.


Unfortunately, there was a mix up with my course and I had to wait a while for them to bring out my dish.  We were a bit annoyed, but I insisted Keith eat his dish before it got cold.  Soon, my dish of Atlantic Sea Scallop arrived with celery root purée and an apple gastrique.  Though it looked colorful, the smell and taste did not agree with me.  I found the gastrique to be sour and almost pungent.  The glaze on the tiny scallops was sticky and sweet, and gave the whole dish a bad Chinese food appeal.  I was let down once again.


Finally, for the dessert course, I had the classic Meyer Lemon Tart with earl grey fluid gel and topped with toasted meringue.  The tart had a punch of lemon flavor and the tea gel was interesting.  


Keith had the Almond Panna Cotta with cranberry compote and an almond tuile.  I took a bite and found the almond extract to be way overpowering in the sweet cream.  The texture was decent though, and overall this sweet dessert completed my tart one.

Our celebratory NYE dinner at Lincoln was a bit lackluster in food, service, and ambience.  Our main server was overly attentive at first, but the dishes came out on robotic mode, and did give the impression of just turning over tables.  They handed out hats and noise-makers later in the evening once the DJ started, but it just seemed like an afterthought with bad music at a boring wedding.  Nevertheless, before the clock struck midnight, we reflected on our year together and listed out some goals for 2015.  Though we did not end the year dining out with a bang, we did have many other memorable moments together and only look forward to even better food experiences in 2015.

Total Rating: 3.48
Food: 3.5, Price: 3, Service: 3.5, Ambience: 3.5, Accessibility: 5

What I ate:
Lobster Chowder
purple potatoes, foie gras foam

Pennsylvania Beet Salad
green oak lettuce, fennel, horseradish dressing

Goat Cheese Gnocchi
sweet onions, pickled persimmons, arugula water, toasted hazelnuts, bottarga

Atlantic Sea Scallop
celery root purée, apple gastrique

Meyer Lemon Tart
earl grey fluid gel, toasted meringue

Plus Keith ate:
NY Strip Carpaccio
smoked truffle oil, meyer lemon beurre monte

Chopped Maryland Kale Salad
currants, parmesan, cranberries, lemon vinaigrette

Pork Belly Ravioli
creamed parsnips, pickled cabbage

Virginia Pork Osso Bucco
hand cracked smokey cheesy grits, cured turnips, maple mustard crumble

Almond Panna Cotta
cranberry compote, almond tuile

Lincoln Restaurant on Urbanspoon

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