Saturday, September 2, 2017

Ana at District Winery

Ana at District Winery is a seasonal American restaurant offering refined fare inspired by worldwide cuisine from Executive Chef Michael Gordon and Chef de Cuisine Ben Lambert. The menu showcases fresh, seasonal ingredients presented in thoughtful, approachable dishes. Ana's juxtaposition of warm and cool finishes is peppered with mid-century modern elements. Floor to ceiling windows create a bright, airy, urban-industrial gathering space in Ana's dining room and bar. The outdoor patio offers views of the Anacostia River (the restaurant's namesake) with a mix of tables and soft seating around fire pits.  Closest Metro is Navy Yard.

The restaurant is attached to the new boutique urban winery set in the heart of The Yards, a bustling community in DC's Navy Yard along the Anacostia River. From the co-founders of Brooklyn Winery, located in the vibrant and creative Williamsburg neighborhood, the duo has brought their winery concept to DC.  Winemaker Conor McCormack produces premium small batch wines, combining the quality of tradition with the freedom of innovation.

Before dinner, we took a quick tour of the operational commercial winery to learn about how the wines are produced. While they import all the grapes from across the country, they do process everything on site with the first white and rosé set to be ready in Spring of 2018 and the first red - a Pinot Noir - to be ready in 2019.  We saw the first fermenting batch of pinot noir grapes during our tour.  Until then, all the wine currently sold was manufactured at the Brooklyn site and shipped down to DC.  During our tour, I sampled the 2016 Sauvignon Blanc from Suisun Valley, CA that had hints of melon, tropical fruits, and was crisp and lively. Keith had the 2014 Pinot Noir from Columbia Gorge, WA that had bright acidity with hints of light cherry cola.

After the tour, we sat for dinner in the bright wall-to-ceiling windowed dining room, with a great view of the river.  We decided to order a bottle of the Cuvee Noir to accompany our meal.  This medium-bodied red had dark cherry notes and was velvety.

We started with Crab Beignets made with Maryland crab, roasted corn on top of Indian romesco.  The little fried balls were light and airy, with just enough crab flavor.

We also shared a ½ dozen Oysters topped with kiwi and ginger-pink peppercorn mignonette.  These oysters were plump and not overly briny.  They mignonette was non-traditional, and overall was a great way to start off the meal.

For my main course, I ordered the Pan Roasted Atlantic Cod served with chanterelle ravioli in a chanterelle dashi with sliced celeriac.  The fish was cooked perfectly, and a nice portion.  I was expecting a bit more earthy mushroom flavor from the ravioli, but they were a bit more tart with vinegar that still married well with the fish.  Overall, I was very pleased with this item.

Keith enjoyed the Pastrami Spiced Monkfish served with sesame potatoes, charred cabbage, and carrot-mustard jus. He found the flavors to be exciting and the fish to be quite meaty.  Both of our seafood dishes complimented with the red wine we chose.

We also shared a side of the Fried Brussels Sprouts.  Topped with honey and pumpkin seed brittle, this vegetable is normally not one of my favorites, but the sweetness was addictive and I liked it very much.

We looked at the dessert menu, however nothing sweet was catching my eye. Instead I simply wanted more red wine... and cheese.  I recall there was a cheese plate starter on the menu, which the server was happy to bring us as dessert.  We had a seasonal selection of three cheeses - a cheddar, soft cow, and soft goat, paired with honeycomb, apricot-fennel chutney, and toasted baguette.  Keith paired this with a glass of 2015 Malbec from Suisun Valley, CA.  This full bodied red wine was powerful yet elegant, much like our meal.

I was very impressed with Ana at District Winery and kept remarking how we must return to try the other menu items, and moreover to sample more of the wine offerings.  I am so thrilled to have a local winery so close by.  Even though there are no vineyards to stroll through, one can still enjoy quite a few exquisite varietals with a lovely view of the river.  Tours and tastings are available on the weekends at a first come, first-served basis; the restaurant and bar are open daily starting at 5pm.

Total Rating: 4.38
Food: 4.5, Price: 3.5, Service: 4.5, Ambience: 5, Accessibility: 5
What Micky Eats...

Ana at District Winery Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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