Jump to content




Photo

Suna, Eastern Market - Chef Johnny Spero comes from Komi and Town House - Closed

Capitol Hill Eastern Market Modern American Dinner Only Tue-Sat $48 and $78 Tasting Menus Mindful Restaurant Group Closed

  • Please log in to reply
169 replies to this topic

#1 johnnyspero

johnnyspero

    shrimp

  • Member
  • Pip
  • 9 posts

Posted 13 November 2012 - 03:52 PM

Tomorrow is the opening day for Suna, a restaurant located in the heart of Eastern Market. We offer two tastings, a 4 and an 8 course, priced at $48 and $78. Beverage pairings are also available. We are trying to create our own unique dining experience and would really like to have the support of DC, and everyone on DonRocks. If you want to make a reservation please call 202-450-4585. Our website is www.sunadc.com.



#2 Pat

Pat

    clownfish

  • Membership Director
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,029 posts

Posted 13 November 2012 - 06:55 PM

This is above Acqua Al 2, according to the Young and Hungry piece. I'm looking forward to it.

#3 Ericandblueboy

Ericandblueboy

    Boo Boo

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,194 posts

Posted 13 November 2012 - 10:46 PM

The menu is only slightly less abbreviated than 11 Madison Park. You're not quite at 11 Madison Park Level. I personally would appreciate a better understanding of what is being served before I order it. For example - is a dashi custard a form of chawamushi? Frankly I don't know how any of those dishes on the menu is prepared other than some hint as to ingredients. I know 11 Mad Park is a 3 star Michelin restaurant but I wasn't all that impressed. I suspect more people are impressed with the service than the food.

#4 DonRocks

DonRocks

    leviathan

  • Admin
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 14,432 posts

Posted 13 November 2012 - 11:20 PM

The menu is only slightly less abbreviated than 11 Madison Park. You're not quite at 11 Madison Park Level. I personally would appreciate a better understanding of what is being served before I order it. For example - is a dashi custard a form of chawamushi? Frankly I don't know how any of those dishes on the menu is prepared other than some hint as to ingredients. I know 11 Mad Park is a 3 star Michelin restaurant but I wasn't all that impressed. I suspect more people are impressed with the service than the food.


Come on, Eric, is there any reason for such a post before the restaurant even opens? You falsely introduced 11 Madison Park as a comparison. Johnny Spero is an excellent chef who is back in DC after stints at Noma ("ranked" by some as the best restaurant in the world) and Town House - cut him some slack, man. What if you were to open your own law firm and had a crooked sign on your door because you were struggling trying to get things in order for opening day? Same kind of thing, and this type of post is beneath you. *I* know you mean it as constructive criticism, but to a business that's just opening, posts such as this, especially given the tone in which it was written, can be emotionally devastating. You wrote a rant about Guy's American Kitchen & Bar here, but for some reason that doesn't bother me as much - Johnny Spero is one of the "good guys" on the DC cooking scene, and absolutely deserves the benefit of the doubt. The business model ($48 and $78 tasting menus) is very risky, and had they consulted with me, ahem, ahem, I probably could have steered them clear of such a thing, but in the long term, these guys are honest, back-busting, kick-ass chefs who can put out greatness on a plate, and keep it going throughout the evening.

dcdining.com - Restaurant Reviews - Facebook <--- LIKE Meeeeeeee! Twitter <--- FOLLOW Meeeeeeee!

If you're a member here, please Friend me personally on Facebook (send me a message with your screen name, please, so I know which member you are!)


#5 Chris Cunningham

Chris Cunningham

    ventworm

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 332 posts

Posted 14 November 2012 - 02:02 AM

The menu is only slightly less abbreviated than 11 Madison Park. You're not quite at 11 Madison Park Level. I personally would appreciate a better understanding of what is being served before I order it. For example - is a dashi custard a form of chawamushi? Frankly I don't know how any of those dishes on the menu is prepared other than some hint as to ingredients. I know 11 Mad Park is a 3 star Michelin restaurant but I wasn't all that impressed. I suspect more people are impressed with the service than the food.


Must be nice to be clairvoyant..........I'll reserve my comments until after I actually dine there, and knowing Spero's commitment and professionalism, I'm looking forward to it. Haven't been enough times to Madison Park to be able to call it "Mad" yet, but hopefully Ill get there :o

Chris Cunningham

Beverage Dispensing Agent

Eventide Restaurant


"The problem with the world is that the world is a few drinks behind"

Humphrey Bogart


#6 Ericandblueboy

Ericandblueboy

    Boo Boo

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,194 posts

Posted 14 November 2012 - 07:42 AM

You falsely introduced 11 Madison Park as a comparison.


The menu reminded me for EMP's old 4x4 menu. Maybe that's a bad comparison but I'm being honest that the menu - while somewhat unique - isn't singing to me, and I would love to try this restaurant!

#7 Arcturus

Arcturus

    ventworm

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 164 posts

Posted 14 November 2012 - 08:43 AM

"It is not the critic who counts: not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming, but who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself for a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat." -Teddy Roosevelt

-Adam Litchfield

 


#8 Tweaked

Tweaked

    Hungry

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,867 posts

Posted 14 November 2012 - 12:06 PM

Washingtonian has a first look. Place looks fabulous (hope the food is fabulous as well!)

Meat is Murder...Tasty Tasty Murder


#9 lion

lion

    ventworm

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 488 posts

Posted 19 November 2012 - 04:39 PM

No one from the boards has gone yet...?

#10 Pat

Pat

    clownfish

  • Membership Director
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,029 posts

Posted 19 November 2012 - 06:36 PM

No one from the boards has gone yet...?


David Smelson posted this short comment about the meal he had Saturday.

#11 lion

lion

    ventworm

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 488 posts

Posted 20 November 2012 - 05:10 PM

David Smelson posted this short comment about the meal he had Saturday.


Thanks for the reply. WIll try and visit before the end of the year.

#12 Arcturus

Arcturus

    ventworm

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 164 posts

Posted 24 November 2012 - 03:32 AM

I went. It rocked my face off. Go asap.

-Adam Litchfield

 


#13 Choirgirl21

Choirgirl21

    leviathan

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,092 posts

Posted 24 November 2012 - 12:48 PM

Friends just moved into this neighborhood. I am going to mention it to them tonight and see if we can't get it on the calendar!

Jen, part time pourer at Black Ankle Vineyards

If not LOCALLY PRODUCED, then Organic.
If not ORGANIC, then Family farm.
If not FAMILY FARM, then Local business.
If not a LOCAL BUSINESS, then Fair Trade.


#14 Justin Bittner

Justin Bittner

    ventworm

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 132 posts

Posted 24 November 2012 - 06:04 PM

I have a reservation this coming Saturday, am pretty excited!

Justin Bittner

Chef,
8407 Kitchen Barwebsite - Facebook - @8407


#15 Choirgirl21

Choirgirl21

    leviathan

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,092 posts

Posted 29 November 2012 - 03:41 PM

Reservation made for the 15th with a friend for our annual Christmas dinner out. Excited!

Jen, part time pourer at Black Ankle Vineyards

If not LOCALLY PRODUCED, then Organic.
If not ORGANIC, then Family farm.
If not FAMILY FARM, then Local business.
If not a LOCAL BUSINESS, then Fair Trade.


#16 Justin Bittner

Justin Bittner

    ventworm

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 132 posts

Posted 02 December 2012 - 10:11 AM

So had my dinner last night, man it was awesome. First I'll say this; never ever have I been to a restaurant where the wines by the glass list was given so much love. My lady got a sav. Blanc and I'm thinking why would you ever order that wine? Turns out if was fantastic, from Uruguay. My Albariņo was yeasty and delicious. All the food was awesome, with the guinea hen being tops for me, crispy skin, perfect meat and all kinds of other goodies on the plate. Congrats guys and I hope the best for the future.

Justin Bittner

Chef,
8407 Kitchen Barwebsite - Facebook - @8407


#17 johnnyspero

johnnyspero

    shrimp

  • Member
  • Pip
  • 9 posts

Posted 04 December 2012 - 12:42 PM

Today begins our 4th week of service. Still very surreal, couldnt be happier with my staff for all of their hard work. And incredibly thankful for everyone who has shown support.
  • docsconz likes this

#18 puristdc

puristdc

    shrimp

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 14 posts

Posted 04 December 2012 - 06:06 PM

I also have reservations for the 15th -- super excited! Congrats, Chef!

#19 Banco

Banco

    leviathan

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,205 posts

Posted 05 December 2012 - 03:37 PM

Is there a bar or just tables?

#20 crackers

crackers

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,155 posts

Posted 05 December 2012 - 09:15 PM

Reservation made for the 15th

I also have reservations for the 15th


I'll be checking it out soon too.
Tequila, scorpion honey, harsh dew of the doglands, essence of Aztec, crema de cacti; tequila, oily and thermal like the sun in solution; tequila, liquid geometry of passion; Tequila, the buzzard god who copulates in midair with the ascending souls of dying virgins; tequila, firebug in the house of good taste; O tequila, savage water of sorcery, what confusion and mischief your sly, rebellious drops do generate!

#21 Lori Gardner

Lori Gardner

    ventworm

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 216 posts

Posted 09 December 2012 - 11:31 AM

went to Suna last night and highly recommend it. The atmosphere is low-key- no bells and whistles, just rustic woodsy charm. The small space feels exclusive, and one could feel at home in jeans or dressed up (there was a group in tuxes and gowns). I like the concept of the four or eight course menu. It's easy on the kitchen and this way they can offer some very special dishes and keep the prices reasonable. (8 courses for $78 seems like a bargain these days).

My favorite is the first course: root vegetable raw, pickled and candied with arugula granita and brown butter. This is a wow dish, with flavors that become more complex with every bite as you delve deeper into the dish. I also loved the guinea hen cited above by jbittnerpilar. The hen is moist and there is a crispy piece of skin on top. and confit on the side with farro and bulgar wheat. Great flavors!
Dashi custard with scallop, sea bean, and pickled mushrooms is another innovative and very tasty dish. There is only one dish that I really didn't care for: the shellfish course with mussels, Peruvian purple potato dumplings, and a nori cracker. It's just too fishy for my taste and I thought the dumplings lacked flavor.

My son is a vegetarian and he was there a few nights ago and enjoyed the four-course tasting. He thought there was plenty of food.

What I like best about Suna is its lack of pretention. The emphasis is on showcasing great ingredients rather than putting on a show. The focus is on the plate, where it should be. (I stole this line from our server, but I was thinking the same thing). I would go back in a heartbeat when the menu changes (which I am told will be seasonally). What a great addition to the DC dining scene!

follow me on twitter: @foodobsessed6
follow my blog: Been There Eaten That


#22 Toogs

Toogs

    ventworm

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 461 posts

Posted 09 December 2012 - 08:40 PM

went to Suna last night and highly recommend it. The atmosphere is low-key- no bells and whistles, just rustic woodsy charm. The small space feels exclusive, and one could feel at home in jeans or dressed up (there was a group in tuxes and gowns). I like the concept of the four or eight course menu. It's easy on the kitchen and this way they can offer some very special dishes and keep the prices reasonable. (8 courses for $78 seems like a bargain these days).

My favorite is the first course: root vegetable raw, pickled and candied with arugula granita and brown butter. This is a wow dish, with flavors that become more complex with every bite as you delve deeper into the dish. I also loved the guinea hen cited above by jbittnerpilar. The hen is moist and there is a crispy piece of skin on top. and confit on the side with farro and bulgar wheat. Great flavors!
Dashi custard with scallop, sea bean, and pickled mushrooms is another innovative and very tasty dish. There is only one dish that I really didn't care for: the shellfish course with mussels, Peruvian purple potato dumplings, and a nori cracker. It's just too fishy for my taste and I thought the dumplings lacked flavor.

My son is a vegetarian and he was there a few nights ago and enjoyed the four-course tasting. He thought there was plenty of food.

What I like best about Suna is its lack of pretention. The emphasis is on showcasing great ingredients rather than putting on a show. The focus is on the plate, where it should be. (I stole this line from our server, but I was thinking the same thing). I would go back in a heartbeat when the menu changes (which I am told will be seasonally). What a great addition to the DC dining scene!


Thank you for permission to wear jeans!

#23 Justin Bittner

Justin Bittner

    ventworm

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 132 posts

Posted 09 December 2012 - 08:49 PM

The mussels dish is def for mussel lovers, I thought it awesome, the potato dumpling had sort of a Korean rice stick texture. Anyway I'm pretty sure they must make a broth out of mussels, reduce it and cook more mussels in it, I found it heady and rich. Only complaint, coulda have 2 more bites.

Justin Bittner

Chef,
8407 Kitchen Barwebsite - Facebook - @8407


#24 DonRocks

DonRocks

    leviathan

  • Admin
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 14,432 posts

Posted 09 December 2012 - 09:17 PM

The mussels dish is def for mussel lovers


As opposed to ... lovers ... of ... turnips?! :lol:

dcdining.com - Restaurant Reviews - Facebook <--- LIKE Meeeeeeee! Twitter <--- FOLLOW Meeeeeeee!

If you're a member here, please Friend me personally on Facebook (send me a message with your screen name, please, so I know which member you are!)


#25 Lori Gardner

Lori Gardner

    ventworm

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 216 posts

Posted 09 December 2012 - 11:53 PM

As opposed to ... lovers ... of ... turnips?! :lol:

Actually, I've had mussels where the favor is masked and I can tolerate them. Not so much, if there isn't something to distract me from the true flavor. I do love turnips though.

follow me on twitter: @foodobsessed6
follow my blog: Been There Eaten That


#26 crackers

crackers

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,155 posts

Posted 15 December 2012 - 03:44 PM

We were fortunate to dine at Suna last evening, for what turned out to be an exceptional meal and experience, start to finish. Chef Spero is creating in ways distinctly his own, and reminiscent of Chef Enzo Fargione’s chef’s table at Teatro Goldoni. His years of experience at Town House and time spent at Noma shine through.

If you have the opportunity and the inclination, request to be seated at the best seats in the house - the four stools at the kitchen counter. Honest. You will be perched with a direct view of the intricate and well-coordinated preparations of the entire kitchen. And you will be able to interact with the energetic young chefs and staff as they work their magic.

We both opted for the full eight-course meal, with wine pairings. Designated driver (moi) had demi-pours, (it was nice to be given a choice between fewer pairings with full pours, or all pairings with smaller pours) while birthday boy got the full treatment.

All eight courses (and a delightful little amuse) were wonderful, creative, complex, expertly prepared, beautifully plated, perfectly paired and well-paced. No misses.

I would urge folks to find time to put Suna on their short list of new places to try.
Tequila, scorpion honey, harsh dew of the doglands, essence of Aztec, crema de cacti; tequila, oily and thermal like the sun in solution; tequila, liquid geometry of passion; Tequila, the buzzard god who copulates in midair with the ascending souls of dying virgins; tequila, firebug in the house of good taste; O tequila, savage water of sorcery, what confusion and mischief your sly, rebellious drops do generate!

#27 Toogs

Toogs

    ventworm

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 461 posts

Posted 16 December 2012 - 01:16 AM

I'm processing this meal mentally and may have more to say later. It was quite unique and thought provoking and I am not sure even how to classify it. We discussed comparisons to other restaurants and couldn't come up with one that was really true. My internal conversation sounded a bit like a 13 year old me, with "WTF" and "Dude!" and "COOL" echoing around my brain. I don't know what 13 year old me would have thought of cilantro on ice cream though. At triple that age, wtf, dude, and cool still covered it.

I will note that the mussel dish noted as subpar above has been changed to a crab dish, no dumplings. Still "fishy" with the nori cracker. But it being a cracker let you have control over how much of that got into your bite.

The dashi custard with scallops and multiple mushroom preparations was probably the star in my book. I hope I am not giving away too much and ruining the surprise for Ericandblueboy. So many flavors and textures and the mouth coating from the custard changed the wine dramatically from first to last sip.

Guinea hen with sunchokes, different parts of broccoli, crispy skin, and faro with I don't know, granola? on top was the most straightforward dish, by which I mean my brain immediately understood what I was eating. Delicious, especially that crispy skin.

Regarding attire, I did wear jeans. I saw other jeans there as well as some suits and dresses, and a pair of non-ironic cargo pants. Jeans and a jacket seemed the standard, including the general manager.

Service was outstanding from start to finish, and pacing was exemplary. I sometimes felt we were eating at light speed but the next course was still promptly served.

OK I said more than I thought I would, thinking about it and typing helped. This was a fun adventure. Rock on.

#28 lotus125

lotus125

    clam

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 38 posts

Posted 16 December 2012 - 04:08 PM

I went with a group of 6 and had a very interesting meal. The short version is that the food was very high variance, but the restaurant has a tremendous amount of potential.

The restaurant has a lovely vibe. Warm, but not cluttered. Gracious service. Casual dress code. Absolutely terrific. We started off with two bottles of wine. The sommelier has assembled a nice, reasonably-priced list, and was very helpful. He directed us to a white rioja that everyone at the table loved. The amuse was a carraway seed cracker with a creme that I cannot recall. Everyone thought it was solid, but it didn't stick out.

The first course was the much discussed course of vegetables (including celery root and beet) with brown butter and arugula granita. I really enjoyed this course, but there was disagreement around the table. Several people thought that it was too sweet (some of the vegetables were candied). One thought that the arugula granita was too much -- cold and bitter. But I thought it was balanced and an interesting and hearty take on a winter salad.

Next up was a raw fish dish (I'll explain in a moment why I'm not naming the fish), with an eggplant paste and husk cherries. The menu said it was kampachi, but I believe the server said it was mackerel, and the strong fishy taste suggests that it was mackerel. The table was unanimous in not liking the dish. The fishy taste was too overpowering; the eggplant didn't add much. The use of husk cherries was very clever and shows the talent in the kitchen: wonderful bursts of acid and sweetness. But there was not enough acid elsewhere in the dish. Several people didn't finish theirs.

Next was a dashi custard with scallop and sea bream. Creamy, and savory, with bursts of other flavors. Most of the table loved the dish. My only nit -- and it's a small one -- is that the texture was a bit firmer than I'd expected. I assumed it would be soft, like a chawan mushi. It was creamy but surprisingly firm -- reminding me of a panna cotta made with too much gelatin. I don't know if that was intentional or not. And I really enjoyed the dish regardless. But perhaps a small point to play with. One or two people at the table thought that the dish was too heavy. Perhaps a textural change would help. But one suggestion may be to adjust the ratio of topping to custard -- more scallop and vegetable, a bit less custard.

The next dish was the mussel dish people have discussed here. Mussels and purple potato gnocchi. This was the other very disappointing course. The table was unanimous. I love mussels, but the whole thing tasted a bit fishy and just flat. Some people's mussels had grit. I don't think anyone finished it.

One of us has a shellfish allergy and received, instead of the mussels, the pumpkin and blood pudding dish on the 4 course menu. She thought it was awful. Several people tasted her dish and described it as actually "disgusting." (One friend's facial expression when he tasted it was like a child eating a lemon).

Next up was "fowl" -- guinea hen with oats (which had some kind of a nut butter in it, I think), sunchokes, and broccoli powder and slices. The entire table liked this dish a lot. The savory oats, in particular, were amazing. There were two minor nits. First, the sunchokes were rather cold. I don't know if that was intentional, but several people found it jarring. Second, for the two pescatarians at the table, the dish was simply served without the hen (possibly with an extra sunchoke). Perfectly fine at a dinner party, but not a good accommodation at a restaurant, especially when the restaurant had a week's notice of a common dietary restriction. An obvious fix would have been to use fish instead of hen. Or, the ingredients on the plate could easily have been transformed by adjusting proportions, e.g. a bowl of savory oats with sunchokes on it. But the mostly-empty plate was disappointing (especially as the hen eaters raved about the bird).

The next dish was pork with tahini, kale, and daikon. (For the pescatarians, the pork was replaced with a few baby leeks). People really liked the dish, and raved about the pork. Several thought that the daikon was served too cold. (Again, I'm not sure if the kitchen likes having a cold item on each plate or if that was just a glitch). As with the hen, the pescatarians wished that there had been a fish or something more substantial than a few leeks.

The desserts were both terrific. One was apple-based, but I can't remember the details. (It's been a few weeks). The other was based on hazelnut, and included a great, cold, foamy cake, which reminded me of the cakes made in a microwaive with an isi whipper. I'm sorry that I'm short on the dessert details. But I want to say that everyone loved both desserts.

All and all, a lot of potential. Were it not for the mackeral/eggplant and mussels/gnochhi dishes (and the pumpkin/blood pudding substitute), we would have left dazzled. I hope that the restaurant is listening to feedback, because I'm really excited about the place, and I think it could become one of DC's best.

  • lion likes this

#29 puristdc

puristdc

    shrimp

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 14 posts

Posted 16 December 2012 - 08:55 PM

I was really pleased with my dinner at Suna last night. This is the sort of restaurant that I've found and enjoyed in other cities like SF and NYC and it's always bothered me that DC could not, apparently, sustain a similar concept. The food is far more innovative and daring than what we can generally find around town. Yes, that means that some of the dishes are polarizing. My wife doesn't think that she'd want to return, but I think that Suna could become one of my favorites. Kudos to Chef Spero for not playing it safe! I do share others' concern that the tasting-only format and the non-mainstream menu will make the business side of things tough. I hope that there's no eventual need to "dumb things down" to make the restaurant more accessible.

Since I largely agree with what's already been written by other reviewers, I won't go into detail about the dishes. But I'd like to share some photos and some thoughts where I had a different take than my fellow diners.

Root Vegetables

Posted Image


Mackerel

Posted Image


I don't remember what the menu said, but like lotus125, I am pretty sure it was mackerel. I like mackerel sushi, so I found the dish OK. My wife disliked it (but she generally doesn't like mackerel).

Dashi Custard

Posted Image

This was great. I actually liked the firmer texture as I sometimes find chawanmushi too watery (particularly when it's steamed with watery ingredients like mushrooms).


Peekytoe Crab

Posted Image

This was an "ehhh..." dish. Fine, but I could've done without it. Can't put my finger on any flaws; maybe it was just a very mild crab flavor and I wanted more richness.

Guinea Hen

Posted Image

Great dish, with perfectly-cooked and seasoned meat, crispy skin. I did find the unadorned sunchoke ribbons to be a bit bland.


Pork Shoulder
Posted Image

Another great meat dish


Apple

Posted Image

Loved the texture and the malty taste.

Hazelnut

Posted Image

I think these were some of my favorite desserts of all time. Really knocked it out of the park.

In terms of food, if I drop the mackerel and crab dishes, I'd give this a "great" rating, particularly for the price. The beverage pairings were spot-on and I think the pours were quite generous for the split pairing option that we chose. Any more and I wouldn't have wanted to drive home!

As others have mentioned, service was exceptional. Each and every front-of-the-house person was knowledgeable, responsive, and acted like he/she was pleased to be there and pleased to have us as guests. The only other place where I've felt such genuine service was Eleven Madison Park.

The GM(?) is a rockstar -- anyone who spent 3 months doing a ramen tour of Japan is OK by me!

I didn't like seeing empty tables on a Saturday night. Sure, the place is pretty new, but other restaurants in town have been packed since opening night just because they were opened by a TV chef. The cooking at Suna isn't perfect, and not everyone is going to love every dish. But in a market seemingly built around a consensus on inoffensive, money-making dishes, shouldn't we reward a talented risk-taker who's clearly cooking what he wants to cook? There've got to be enough people who like to challenge their palates, appreciate beautiful plating, and admire the guts behind the concept enough to pack Suna every weekend, right?

Thanks to everyone who cooked for us and took care of us at Suna last night! I know I'll be back soon!

-Charles

#30 johnnyspero

johnnyspero

    shrimp

  • Member
  • Pip
  • 9 posts

Posted 22 December 2012 - 12:22 PM

Thank you for all the reviews, comments, critiques over the past several weeks. The entire staff and myself have been listening and making changes to help create a better dining experience. Have a great holiday and hope to see more of you in when we get back on the 26th!

#31 Gadarene

Gadarene

    ventworm

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 131 posts

Posted 22 December 2012 - 06:59 PM

Had 6:45 reservations last night, and it was a fantastic experience overall. The service was impeccable, and the food was stellar. The guinea fowl is sooo well-seasoned, and it makes a perfect bite with the sunchoke and the grains. The dashi broth was also pretty spectacular -- surprisingly firm and yogurty, with a clean flavor that shone through. My friends and I did the four-course last night because one of us had to be somewhere later that night, but we'll definitely be coming back for the eight-course.

Another point of note: there's now cocktail service from the just-opened bar next door! Delicious.

#32 lindzjax

lindzjax

    clam

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 48 posts

Posted 27 December 2012 - 11:33 AM

We had a wonderful meal last night, on a bit of a whim after a lot of family time and heavy holiday food, it was the perfect contrast. We did the four course with pairings, which was more than enough food. Atmosphere was warm and interesting, service was nearly perfect and the food was inventive, unique and very very good. My husband commented that this was one of the few tasting menus we've experienced where the "main" course was the star (I had the fowl, he had the pork). We ended the night with a cocktail at the new speakeasy next door - very cozy. There were a number of empty tables at Suna. It is obviously a holiday week so I am hoping that is why. Great new add to the Hill. Go!

#33 discojing

discojing

    ventworm

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 104 posts

Posted 28 December 2012 - 01:05 PM

I went here for a birthday dinner and could not have felt more special. Everyone wished me a happy birthday and the staff signed a card for me too.
The decor is very low-key and natural. I wanted to take the cute little center piece of wood and mini plants home with me, but resisted. We had a pretty early seating, which I like doing. I like seeing the restaurant calmer, but staying to see the busy vibe later in the night when we're getting our last course.

We had the 4 course, but it turned into more courses because we ended up getting all the desserts by accident (I mean, awesome??) and there was an amuse of a carraway seed cracker.
I agree with the above poster that I wish I knew more of what I was getting on the menu instead of categories, but I appreciate the mystery and surprise.

From what I heard, the larger course menu has the same dishes as the 4 course menu but in smaller sizes. I could definitely see how these 4 dishes could be made smaller.

The best thing about suna was the focus on ingredients. Root vegetables? Okay, I'll give you one course just of beets and in three different ways. Pickled, roasted, and candied.
Dashi course? This custard will taste like the ocean in your mouth.merc340 got the pumpkin dish and it was like a pumpkin steak (with blood pudding). The protein dishes were great as well -- pork & guinea hen, but the dishes were balanced well with a good amount of grain as well. This is where we discovered that we loved sunchokes. We got all 3 desserts - the charred apple & cilantro as a bonus birthday gift, the hazelnut rice krispie-ish awesomeness that is now our favorite dessert in DC, and the thai basil hibiscus dessert that comes with the 4 course.

On the way back from the bathroom at the end of the night, I stopped by the kitchen to let them know everything tasted amazing.

The attention to focus on different realms (earth, ocean, land) and the quality of the ingredients is great. I think this will be the closest I can ever get to Noma-style food.
I also really liked the plates, which were very natural yet beautiful (think wabi sabi).

One note: they don't have their liquor license yet, though that didn't stop a neighboring table from ordering "vodka on the rocks" *raises eyebrow*. But, no need! go next door to Harold Black for a night cap (or maybe some more suna snacks).

566873_10100722649815786_1622329476_o.jpg 567063_10100722649641136_1518874482_o.jpg
Edible Adventures & Cultural Explorations - http://hapatite.com

#34 mstevens

mstevens

    clam

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 26 posts

Posted 31 December 2012 - 12:23 PM

To echo most of the prior comments, Suna is a great addition to the otherwise unremarkable menus in the neighborhood. We dined here the weekend before last and were overall impressed with the service, quality and thought put into the preparation, and the impeccable beverage pairings. My only critique would be that the tableware didn't do the food justice. Call me old fashioned, but the heavy, colored, glazed plates didn't contrast enough to highlight the presentation of the food. A simple white plate would have remedied this.

Also, we came away with one big question: given the format, how often will the menu change, especially during the winter when produce availability won't vary much until spring? I loved our meal but think it unlikely that we'll go back for the exact same dinner...

#35 Lori Gardner

Lori Gardner

    ventworm

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 216 posts

Posted 31 December 2012 - 04:03 PM

Also, we came away with one big question: given the format, how often will the menu change, especially during the winter when produce availability won't vary much until spring? I loved our meal but think it unlikely that we'll go back for the exact same dinner...


I asked about how often the menu will change and was told seasonally, so I will definitely go back in the spring. I agree about not wanting to return for the same meal.

follow me on twitter: @foodobsessed6
follow my blog: Been There Eaten That


#36 johnnyspero

johnnyspero

    shrimp

  • Member
  • Pip
  • 9 posts

Posted 02 January 2013 - 10:09 AM

Suna is very happy to announce that on Wednesday January 16th 2013 we
will be hosting some of our favorite chefs for a collaborative dinner
featuring John Shields from Townhouse, Bryan Voltaggio from Volt,
Range & Family Meal, Michael Voltaggio from Ink, Alex Talbot from
Ideas in Food and our executive chef, Johnny Spero. The 10 course
dinner will include both alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverage pairings
for $175 per person. To make a reservation please email
Events@sunadc.com.
  • ol_ironstomach and docsconz like this

#37 Gadarene

Gadarene

    ventworm

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 131 posts

Posted 02 January 2013 - 04:30 PM

Suna is very happy to announce that on Wednesday January 16th 2013 we
will be hosting some of our favorite chefs for a collaborative dinner
featuring John Shields from Townhouse, Bryan Voltaggio from Volt,
Range & Family Meal, Michael Voltaggio from Ink, Alex Talbot from
Ideas in Food and our executive chef, Johnny Spero. The 10 course
dinner will include both alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverage pairings
for $175 per person. To make a reservation please email
Events@sunadc.com.


Sounds amazing! I sent in my email earlier today for a reservation for two and am looking forward to hearing back. With any luck, I'll see other board denizens there on the night.

#38 puristdc

puristdc

    shrimp

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 14 posts

Posted 02 January 2013 - 07:54 PM

Sounds amazing! I sent in my email earlier today for a reservation for two and am looking forward to hearing back. With any luck, I'll see other board denizens there on the night.


Ditto--waiting to get confirmation of my reservation request. I don't usually drive into DC for dinner on a weekday, but this sounds like an event I'd regret missing!

#39 Joe H

Joe H

    leviathan

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,719 posts

Posted 02 January 2013 - 09:40 PM

In November of 2003 there was a James Beard dinner at Maestro which featured seven chefs who had won or would eventually win a James Beard award: Roberto Donna ('96), Fabio Trabocchi ('06), Michel Richard (national winner), Jose Andres (national winner), Patrick O'Connell(national winner), Bob Kinkead ('95) and Jeff Buben ('99). It was $300 a person (in 2003!) and to date the most heralded dinner yet presented to the public in the D. C. area: http://jamesbeard.st...al_mclean.shtml

I believe this will be its equal. Several of the chefs at Suna this evening may win their own Beard awards.

For anyone attending this you will have a memory of an event that will be written about for years to come.

John B. where are you?
  • docsconz likes this

#40 lion

lion

    ventworm

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 488 posts

Posted 02 January 2013 - 11:20 PM

Suna is very happy to announce that on Wednesday January 16th 2013 we
will be hosting some of our favorite chefs for a collaborative dinner
featuring John Shields from Townhouse, Bryan Voltaggio from Volt,
Range & Family Meal, Michael Voltaggio from Ink, Alex Talbot from
Ideas in Food and our executive chef, Johnny Spero. The 10 course
dinner will include both alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverage pairings
for $175 per person. To make a reservation please email
Events@sunadc.com.


That sounds great! We have a previous event that night otherwise would go.

If there is another night booked please let us know.

#41 Lori Gardner

Lori Gardner

    ventworm

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 216 posts

Posted 02 January 2013 - 11:43 PM

I am hoping to go to this as well. I loved Suna! I just ate at Michael Voltaggio's Ink in LA. He wasn't there, but the food was fantastic. I would be thrilled to have an opportunity to enjoy food from this illustrious group!

follow me on twitter: @foodobsessed6
follow my blog: Been There Eaten That


#42 Gadarene

Gadarene

    ventworm

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 131 posts

Posted 03 January 2013 - 10:52 AM

Ditto--waiting to get confirmation of my reservation request. I don't usually drive into DC for dinner on a weekday, but this sounds like an event I'd regret missing!


Have you gotten any confirmation yet? I still haven't heard anything, and am wondering whether I should call later in the day to confirm.

#43 puristdc

puristdc

    shrimp

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 14 posts

Posted 03 January 2013 - 11:21 AM

Have you gotten any confirmation yet? I still haven't heard anything, and am wondering whether I should call later in the day to confirm.


No, haven't heard back from anyone yet.

#44 johnnyspero

johnnyspero

    shrimp

  • Member
  • Pip
  • 9 posts

Posted 03 January 2013 - 12:29 PM

I apologize for the delayed response. We were overwhelmed with requests. I cant thank everyone on donrocks for all there continued support. Sent out an email to everyone that reached out and will get back to you by the end of the day. Thanks again! Cant wait for this dinner.

#45 turbogrrl

turbogrrl

    ventworm

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 245 posts

Posted 03 January 2013 - 05:50 PM

Woo-hoo! We will be dining early, at 6:15. But we will be there! Any other DR folks in the early crowd?

i don't cook. why should i?
(the stove is broken; the city is at my doorstep)


#46 Mark Dedrick

Mark Dedrick

    ventworm

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 464 posts

Posted 03 January 2013 - 06:02 PM

My wife and I are on at 6:30. Very much looking forward to this.

Formerly DCDuck

@markdedrick on Twitter

 

 


#47 Lori Gardner

Lori Gardner

    ventworm

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 216 posts

Posted 03 January 2013 - 06:05 PM

I have not heard back and am distraught! have been checking email throughout the day.

follow me on twitter: @foodobsessed6
follow my blog: Been There Eaten That


#48 turbogrrl

turbogrrl

    ventworm

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 245 posts

Posted 03 January 2013 - 06:13 PM

No email; they are calling the contact # provided, and will need a credit card to hold the table. They will ask about and make note of any food allergies. Reservations must be cancelled, if necessary, at least 48 hours in advance. (I didn't enquire about transferring the table to someone else either inside or outside of the 48-hour window, but that might useful to know if necessary.)

i don't cook. why should i?
(the stove is broken; the city is at my doorstep)


#49 Choirgirl21

Choirgirl21

    leviathan

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,092 posts

Posted 03 January 2013 - 07:51 PM

Does this mean the event is booked? I didn't think I could spend that much money so soon after having just eaten there, but rethought and decided I'd like to go.

To the restaurant, will the chefs mentioned all be present for the duration of the evening?

Jen, part time pourer at Black Ankle Vineyards

If not LOCALLY PRODUCED, then Organic.
If not ORGANIC, then Family farm.
If not FAMILY FARM, then Local business.
If not a LOCAL BUSINESS, then Fair Trade.


#50 turbogrrl

turbogrrl

    ventworm

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 245 posts

Posted 03 January 2013 - 08:11 PM

I am going to guess that it is booked, but you might as well go ahead and send email to events just in case. You never know if they have a table at an awkward time, or if someone cancels. i guess it will depend on how they choose to handle waitlists...

i don't cook. why should i?
(the stove is broken; the city is at my doorstep)






Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: Capitol Hill, Eastern Market, Modern American, Dinner Only Tue-Sat, $48 and $78 Tasting Menus, Mindful Restaurant Group, Closed

0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users