Friday, November 13, 2015

The Dabney

Chef Jeremiah Langhorne serves Mid-Atlantic cuisine at The Dabney - a rustic spot set in a former row house in Shaw's Blagden Alley. "Dedicated to the flora, fauna and fermented products of the Mid-Atlantic" the restaurant showcases locally foraged and farmed ingredients from across the region with design elements from the chef's hometown of Charleston, SC. Closest Metro is Mt. Vernon Square.

Immediately, I fell in love with the charming atmosphere of the restaurant. I don't know if it was the warm and inviting interior, the rustic wooden tables, the lit candles, or the flannel wearing staff, but I liked it all.  Many of the dishes are prepared in an open-fire hearth, the centerpiece of the 60-seat restaurant.  We had a table with a prime view of the action.

We decided to start with a bottle of Huber, Grüner Veltliner "Terrassen" 2014 from Traisental, Austria.  This dry white wine paired well with all the items we chose from the progressively organized menu.  Dishes are presented as they are ready, and in a shareable way.  We started with Root Vegetable Chowder seasoned with fennel and bacon, topped with sunburst trout roe and toast.  The flavors were bright with crunchy textures from the vegetables, providing an overall enjoyable dish.

Next, we shared a stand out dish in the Cape May Day Boat Scallops with cauliflower, citrus, bay leaf, and pickled ramps.  The foam and creams on the dish were sweet and citrusy that beautifully complemented the scallops.  The nasturtium greens came from their own roof garden.

A dish that stood out on the menu from its description that Keith insisted we order is the Whole Fried Porgy.  Topped with Blenheim farm greens, cherry peppers, red onion, lime, and cilantro this whole flaky white fish had lovely sweet and sour Asian flavors.  It came with a squirt of kimchi kethcup to add another tangy element.  Since it was cooked whole, I had to be careful though of all the pin bones in the fish, but I really enjoyed this light entree.

We shared another fish item - the Grilled Swordfish with sweet potatoes, crispy brussels sprouts, and benne.  The fish was cut in medallions and ended up being very tender and light.  

Lastly, for dessert we ordered the Toasted Peanut Butter Cake that came with celery ice cream and buttermilk.  This fun play of celery sticks dipped in peanut butter was an elegant and sophisticated interpretation of the healthy snack.  The cake itself had a soft poundcake type texture.  The celery flavor really popped in the ice cream.  With it, I ordered a glass of Baboursville Rosé 2013 from Virginia and Keith tried a dessert cider called Foggy Ridge Pippin Gold Port.  This apple port from Dusgspur, VA was quite strong at 18% alcohol content.

Overall, we had a wonderful dinner at The Dabney, and it was one of the top restaurants we've dined at this year.  The service was spot on, and the local ingredients shined in each dish.  I really appreciated the Mid-Atlantic highlights from the appetizers to desserts to wine choices.  The plating was pretty yet approachable.  We were very impressed with this new edition and look forward to dining at The Dabney again.

UPDATE: This restaurant was awarded one Michelin star in October 2016.

Total Rating: 4.65
Food: 5, Price: 3.5, Service: 5, Ambience: 4.5, Accessibility: 5
What Micky Eats...

The Dabney Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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