Friday, October 18, 2019

Emilie's

Emilie's is Chef Kevin Tien's newest endeavor in honor of his uncle's family name and features an ecclectic mix of food from the kitchen or ready-made and pushed around on rolling carts.  With a fusion feel and every dish offering a 'slap' of spice in some form or fashion, this restaurant will be a popular spot in Capitol Hill.  Closest Metro is Eastern Market.

Having been open nearly one week now, we went for dinner on this cold Fall evening.  I was impressed with how spacious the interior was with neutral gray tiles, leather, and marble counter tops. Communal eating is the big theme with various breads, spreads, pastas, and a few large proteins meant for at least two to share.


First, we ordered a bottle of wine, which Alaina the sommelier recommended she decant for us. The 2018 Chinon, Dom. Alliet, “Villes Vignes,” from Loire Valley, France was a dry and spicy Cabernet Franc that I thought would pair well with our meal and did not disappoint.


I especially liked the wine with the Chinese Five Spiced Chicken Liver Pate with fresh Sourdough Bread.  There are other spreads available from the cart for $3 each, but the trick is to order the fresh bread and your choice of spread comes with it.  The pate had lots of Fall spices and was velvety.


Next was the Scallop Crudo in a Tom Yum broth topped with crispy okra, curry leaves, and chili oil.  This dish had some kick from the Thai peppers!  But the sweet scallop helped balance it all out.


The Ricotta Cavatelli was a comforting dish with veg 'nduja, mustard greens, and breadcrumbs.  Surprisingly this dish had a lot of spice to it as well.  By now my mouth was a little blown out, but the wine paired well and the pasta was perfectly al dente.  Keith loved the sauce and dipped his leftover bread into the bowl to mop up every last drop.


From the cart we grabbed a small bowl of Fermented Mustard Greens to eat with our main dish.  This reminded me of kimchi in a way, with a nice mix of bitter and spice.



The main star was the Ranch Fried Chicken served with B&B pickles, Texas Toast, and Autumn's hot sauce.  Seasoned with salt and pepper and a sprinkle of fresh dill on top, the chicken had a lovely crispy texture and was tender and juicy inside.  An extra bowl of buttermilk ranch was served to drizzle on top. The hot sauce was not that spicy and heavy on the vinegar (which was good), but came in a small spouted bottle, that it was too hard to shake out.  The toast was a sinful pillow covered in butter.  We could not finish everything, so boxed up half this dish to take home.


We had also ordered a salad that never came out, so instead our server added a Delicata Squash Cake in our to-go bag.  This little treat also screamed Fall with its cream cheese frosting, five spice, and toasted pepitas.

All in all we had a great first meal at Emilie's.  They have a lot of staff on hand and include a 4% surcharge automatically on each check towards health insurance coverage for the staff.  There is still some choreography to be worked out between the rolling carts, food runners, water pourers, and table clearers but this will come in time.  The food itself was promising and I know we will return soon.

Total Rating: 4.18
Food: 4.5, Price: 3, Service: 4.5, Ambience: 4, Accessibility: 5

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