Jump to content
DonRocks

Inox, Chefs Jon Mathieson and Jonathan Krinn in Tysons Corner - Closed

Recommended Posts

I took my daughter and her SO for our first visit to Inox on Saturday evening. Had a wonderful meal. In answer to the portion size Qs above, it would be possible to have two starters and one of either the meat or seafood entrees and thereby have a kind of tasting menu experience. In the event, our party confined itself to just one starter each -- daughter had the endive, blood orange salad, SO had the Jerusalem Artichoke soup with the day boat scallop and I had the quail + fois gras duet. My daughter said her salad was very good, she enjoyed the pairing of the citrus with the blue cheese, the SO said his soup was good, and then with prodding "very good", and I found my quail and fois bits most excellent.

For our entrees, my daughter had the duck breast, I had the lamb rack and loin combo, and the SO had the red snapper, each of which was so tasty, no one shared. My daughter and I had dessert -- hers was some kind of chocolate combo and mine was an orange and cheese ball with tangerine sorbet which was very refreshing as well as innovative. The meal was accompanied by a bottle of 05 Scott Paul "La Paulee" pinot noir from Oregon which John Wabeck highly recommended and which was not a bum steer.

Rissa gave me a guided tour after the meal, and I met the two kitchen Johns. This is probably among the best if not THE best restaurant in the Tysons complex. It has several private rooms -- one of which has a drop down screen if you want to do a power point or show a movie while enjoying the food. I'm sure it will become a popular corporate watering hole at lunch time, and I hope a destination for lovers of fine dining from the DC metro area at other times.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Lovely meal...

Last night was a happy birthday celebration, so we decided to try INOX. Relatively last minute decision, but in the end a very good one.

First off, the location. I know others have complained about being in an office park. Well, other than 2941 (which is in an office park, just with one heck of a view), or Chez Francois, that's what you get in NoVA...and what happens outside their windows isn't that controllable. I care more about the mundane aspects of their location. Is it easy to get to? Good signage? Do I drive past, drop an F-bomb, and have to turn around? So it more than passed that test. Left the car with the valet and we headed inside.

The decor is modern. Elegant, refined, and not overly fussy. There were some decisions I found a bit odd...most notably the kitchen. But overall, I found the interior to be nice and comfortable and very conducive to relaxing. The stained glass across the front window was especially nice. Muted colors, nice lighting, and

About the kitchen. Its open, but sunken off on the side of the dining room, so not really possible to see unless you get up and walk over. And it has a glass wall in front of it. In my mind, the kitchen is the worst of both worlds. Its rather hidden, so the guests can see that its there, but really can't see what's going on. Its also open enough that on several occasions I heard someone in the kitchen shouting at/to a colleague. They probably figure the glass will dampen the sound...sorry guys, but you were VERY clear up in the dining room. Actually interrupted our conversation a couple of times. Not horrible, but annoying, and rather out of place with the overall ambiance.

But the food...the food made up for the bursts of voices.

We decided to forgo the tasting menu. Neither of us is a big fan of sweetbreads of fois gras, so Jonathan's obvious love for them meant we were going ala carte. Not that that was a big loss.

First up was the amuse...in this case, a nice one-bite lobster salad. The dressing was rather acidic, but I liked that. It was a rather bold way to start, and it definitely put me in the right frame of mind.

First course was the PUMPKIN PEIROGI (for me) and the BUTTER POACHED MAINE LOBSTER (for her). The Peirogi was a bit thick and chewy, but I liked that. It also seemed to be missing something...not sure if it was a herbal note, or a bit of spice, but it seemed a bit hollow tasting. Still very good, but I get the sense it was a work still a bit in progress. The lobster, simply put, was divine, cooked to perfection. That did not need any more work.

For main course, I had the DUO OF HOUSE CURED BERKSHIRE PORK BELLY AND TENDERLOIN. For those of you who had the Pork belly at 2941, then you know what I ordered, and how good it is. Its fatty and a bit salty and flavorful and rich and has that amazing Pork flavor. The tenderloin was cooked medium rare, was rich in flavor, and perfectly prepared. But really, the heart of that dish is the Pork belly...its amazing. The accompaniments of Brussel sprouts were good...and the little pearl onions with it, I've never had them so sweet before. They were amazing.

My wife had the DAY SCALLOPS. They came on top of two kinds of beets, and that addition made all the difference. Now, a bit of a word about Scallops. I love them, and my typical view of Scallops is that I like them seared on the outside, and almost raw in the middle. I want a real gradation of doneness. My wife, on the other hand, prefers hers cooked through. Somehow, they managed to satisfy both our tastes with this preparation...they were cooked through, but the center was still noticeably softer and juicier. The outside was a little crisp, but not crunchy. It was, quite frankly, some of the best Scallops I've ever had in my life.

Finally, as is appropriate for a birthday, we had desert. My wife went with the BAVARIAN CREME with Earl Grey ice cream(!), and I had the Tangerine <something>, sorry, can't remember the exact name. They were excellent, and stood up well to the tone set by the previous course.

We had several folks stop by, include one of the managers (Matt), who stopped by right at the end of the meal. The staff was friendly and observant, without appearing to hover (a very difficult skill, especially in a place only open for 31 days so far).

I also wanted to highlight the wine. My wife and I lived in Germany for a few years, and we have a good appreciation for German style white wines. The Riesling selection was excellent, and a real testament to the person pulling together the cellar. They obviously know that wine is more than just who has the most big red's in their collection, and as someone who appreciates the less "in your face" varietals, I am totally thankful.

I enjoyed INOX a lot, and I'm sure we'll be back. It was an excellent meal, excellent service, and given how long they've been open, a remarkably refined experience. I'm sure it will only improve with time, and I have no doubt that I'll be back.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Left the car with the valet and we headed inside.

Do note that valet is the only option at both lunch and dinner, but that there is no charge.

Good post!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Inox tasting menu last night, as part of my farewell tour of restaurants/bars, new and old. The room was hopping by 7pm, but service never stuttered. The lineup:

Cremant de Bourgogne, J.M. Guillon

amuse 1: lightly cured fluke with blood-orange vinaigrette (a hit at the table, nice tangy light starter)

amuse 2: carrot-ginger soup shooter (concentrated awesome)

Macabo, Vinedos de Ithaca, "Akyles," Priorat, Spain, 2007

scallop wrapped in salmon, american caviar, potato confit on the bottom (the only dish I wasn't crazy about, but paired with my favorite white wine of the night: funky and dry, grassy)

Greco/Fiano, Fiagre, Campania IGT, Spain, 2007

east coast halibut, white asparagus, compote (tomato, iirc) (couldn't believe how juicy this fish was on the inside while staying so nice and crispy on the outside. perfectly cooked)

Gevrey Chambertin, J.M. Guillon, "Vieilles Vignes," 2005 (favorite red wine of the night. big, bold, spicy burgandy)

lamb, green asparagus, morels (second best dish of the night for me, excellent lamb and morel combination)

Priorat, Vinedos de Ithaca, "Odyseuss," Spain, 2003

venison, black truffles, black trumpet mushrooms, brussels sprouts (perfectly cooked venison, and the combination of black trumpet mushrooms and brussels sprouts was spot-on)

Bourgogne Blanc, Albert Grivault, France, 2006 (we ordered the sweetbreads halfway through the proceedings, a hiccup that the kitchen and FOH handled ably)

sweetbreads, parsnip puree, confit porcini mushrooms, broccoli rabe (stunningly good dish, the accompaniments were perfect flavor contrast/balances with the sweetbreads)

Cream Sherry, Lustau, "Capataz Andres"

pre-dessert: elderflower gelee, confit blueberries, buttermilk ice cream (very nice, especially the elderflower+buttermilk flavors)

dessert: flourless brownie, espresso tapioca, espresso foam, espresso jelly, pine nut ice cream (so delicious. i'm not a dessert person but this was incredible)

North Coast Old Rasputin (while everybody else was drinking coffee)

Full disclosure: I put together an initial rough draft (no pun intended) of the beer list here. That said, we didn't get any special treatment aside from Wabeck stopping by several times to talk shop. The entire experience was fantastic, marred only by having to cab to and from DC :rolleyes: If I wasn't leaving town so soon I would be going back here on the regular.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I'm afraid to ask, but how much was the cab ride?

From U St to Tyson's, $36

From Tyson's to U St, $42

Split 4 ways it was only ~$20/head.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Inox was very much on tonight. Despite the stresses of a 40-person hors d'oeuvres reception and a certain food critic in the house, food was spot on (precisely oil-poached sable being a highlight) and Wabeck's wine selections were at his intriguing best. For my eye, the room at Inox looks much better at night than the room at 2941 (obviously the daytime vistas at 2941 are unparalleled).

And look soon for a reposado/Lillet blanc cocktail that is very, very fine indeed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, I am quite delayed in posting about our meal here. We ate at Inox on March 13 -- but the memories of the meal linger on :rolleyes: I wasn't sure what to expect, as the last time we were at 2941 we didn't really have a stellar meal, and we hadn't seen John Wabeck since his first days at New Heights, but we had a lovely, lovely meal here. First, the free valet? Rules. SO nice to be able to pull up, get out, and not worry. We were greeted immediately and whisked away to our table, so I got only a glimpse of the bar, but the loungey area looks quite cool, with funky white sofas. Our server was friendly and knowledgeable and took excellent care of us. I'll let Tripewriter post more about the food, but let me just say that the bread was divine, the lobster was amazing, the pairings were intriguing -- Arrowine is already on the job, getting us the sherry we had with dessert -- and it was just so nice to see Rissa and Wabeck looking so happy and engaged in what they were doing. You all deserve the best, and it looks like that's what Inox is offering.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Welcome Spring! Celebrate Easter Sunday at Inox.

EASTER MENU

Sunday, April 12, 2009

11:00 AM – 7:00 PM

FIRST COURSE

Beef Carpaccio

Rocket, Aged Balsamic, Olive Oil, Grilled Naan

Marinated Alaskan Sable Fish

Braised Yukon Potatoes, Spring Asparagus, Caviar

Crispy Duck Confit

Puy Lentils, Matignon of Vegetables, Foie Gras Emulsion

Spring Parsnip Soup

Parmesan Flan and Tarragon Oil

Butter Poached Maine Lobster

Chervil Risotto

SALAD

Poached Pear, Red and Green Endive

Maytag Blue Cheese, Spicy Pecans

MAIN COURSE

Seared Diver Scallops

Duo of Roasted Beets, Blood Orange, Pickled Mango, Celery

Berkshire Pork Loin

Fricassee of Morel Mushrooms, Young Peas, Pearl Onions

West Coast Halibut

Carrots, Spring Onions, Artichokes, Fines Herbes Vinaigrette

Roast Rack of Lamb

Eggplant Confit, Caramelized Fennel, Pickled Onion

Grilled Beef Tenderloin

Potato Pave, Fricassee of Green and White Asparagus, Red Wine Reduction

Pan Seared Scottish Salmon

Endive, Crispy Maitakes, Baby Turnips

DESSERT

Dark Chocolate Bread Pudding

Fleur de Sel, Kalamata Olives, Olive Oil Sherbert

Hazelnut and Milk Chocolate Bavarian Cream

Fresh Raspberries, Earl Grey Ice Cream

Tangerine Vacherin

Vanilla Custard Sphere, Granny Smith and Granité

Fromage Blanc Cheesecake

Hibiscus, Vanilla, Strawberries

$82.00++ per person

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I wanted to take Dad someplace he hadn't been yet for his 60th birthday. It fell on Easter Sunday so I was excited that Inox was actually open for dinner!

We received a very warm greeting at the door from the always wonderful Rissa. Inox is so lucky to have her! Between the three of us we ordered the beef carpaccio, butter-poached maine lobster and sablefish for first courses. I'm not sure if my sablefish was supposed to be lukewarm but it was. The fish itself was great though- the caviar was a nice contrast. My mom was very happy with her lobster. Very rich and tender. For entrees we had the lamb, salmon and grouper. The eggplant caponata that came with the lamb had a lot of unique spices and flavors and really complemented the meat nicely. The salmon was cooked as close to rare as possible just as I had ordered it (don't usually order salmon out but it was my attempt at being healthy).

Desserts there are very interesting. Definitely a lot of creative elements, like matching a chocolate bread pudding with olive oil sorbet. One particular petit four stood out...it was the pastry chef's take on an oreo and it had bacon/lard in it! Sounds kinda weird but I'm a fan of the Vosges chocolate bar with bacon so I loved this.

Went for a tour of the private rooms and kitchen after dinner. People who do corporate events/dinners in the Tysons area should take note of this- nice space and cool amenities. One room had a TV and an iPod dock. (JLK :rolleyes: - I'm looking at you and your clients!)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Went for a tour of the private rooms and kitchen after dinner. People who do corporate events/dinners in the Tysons area should take note of this- nice space and cool amenities. One room had a TV and an iPod dock. (JLK :rolleyes: - I'm looking at you and your clients!)

I just got around to reading this! Thanks for the tip, but you know my guys: easily freaked out by "interesting" menus. <_<

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hm. No mention of the excellent lunch. No mention of the cocktail program. Mocking the customers (or at least one customer's car). "By chance, I open the wine list to the page where some triple-digit pinot noirs are listed. " (Um, how about the page with the eight frickin' delicious gamays for just about no money?).

Engh.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hm. No mention of the excellent lunch. No mention of the cocktail program. Mocking the customers (or at least one customer's car). "By chance, I open the wine list to the page where some triple-digit pinot noirs are listed. " (Um, how about the page with the eight frickin' delicious gamays for just about no money?).

Engh.

Agenda.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hm. No mention of the excellent lunch. No mention of the cocktail program. Mocking the customers (or at least one customer's car). "By chance, I open the wine list to the page where some triple-digit pinot noirs are listed. " (Um, how about the page with the eight frickin' delicious gamays for just about no money?).

Engh.

Ironically, I opened the wine list of BourbonSteak the other night, and found EIGHT consecutive "pinot noirs" that were quadruple-digits (yes, that's TEN TIMES as expensive as the "triple-digit" pinot noirs mentioned in the Inox review). I didn't see fit to say anything, because I had the knowledge to order a $35 Chinon. Nor did I say anything about the Bentley in front of the Four Seasons, because that had nothing whatsoever to do with my experience in the restaurant.

In case anyone hasn't noticed, I have quietly recused myself from writing about Inox - due to personal friendships with the sommelier and the service director - because I didn't want to be perceived as trying to bias the print publications. However, just as I called them out on their incompetent, unfair reviews of both Proof and Adour after the fact, I reserve the right to follow suit on their amateurish, content-starved, agenda-driven pieces about Inox.

Or maybe someone wants to do it for me? Just for point of reference, Inox now has the same "star rating" in The Washington Post as Al Tiramisu (!), Amici Miei, Artie's (!), Breadline (!), Ceiba, Co Co Sala (!), Delhi Club, Et Voila!, Jackie's (!), Le Mannequin Pis, Lewnes' Steak House, Locanda, Majestic, Marvin, Me Jana, Nava Thai, Oya, Pesce, Ruan Thai (!), Samantha's (!), Sei, Sunflower (!), Surfside (!), Tabaq Bistro (!), Taste of Morocco (!), and The Occidental.

It has a LOWER "star rating" than Bangkok 54 (!), Foti's (!), Four Sisters (!), Jaleo Bethesda (!), Jaleo Crystal City (!), Notti Bianche (!), Sakoontra (!), Thai Square, Zaytinya, and Zola (!).

Cheers,

Rocks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Guess this means I have lower my opinion of good and expensive food and $100 to $999 bottles of wine, because the economy's in trouble. Thanks economy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guess this means I have lower my opinion of good and expensive food and $100 to $999 bottles of wine, because the economy's in trouble. Thanks economy.

That's what I said! Did you know truffles, foie gras, caviar all taste horrible when the dow jones is under 10k? And on a related note, the taste of Petrus is directly tied to the Nasdaq's performance.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Ironically, I opened the wine list of BourbonSteak the other night, and found EIGHT consecutive "pinot noirs" that were quadruple-digits (yes, that's TEN TIMES as expensive as the "triple-digit" pinot noirs mentioned in the Inox review). I didn't see fit to say anything, because I had the knowledge to order a $35 Chinon. Nor did I say anything about the Bentley in front of the Four Seasons, because that had nothing whatsoever to do with my experience in the restaurant.

In case anyone hasn't noticed, I have quietly recused myself from writing about Inox - due to personal friendships with the sommelier and the service director - because I didn't want to be perceived as trying to bias the print publications. However, just as I called them out on their incompetent, unfair reviews of both Proof and Adour after the fact, I reserve the right to follow suit on their amateurish, content-starved, agenda-driven pieces about Inox.

Or maybe someone wants to do it for me? Just for point of reference, Inox now has the same "star rating" in The Washington Post as Al Tiramisu (!), Amici Miei, Artie's (!), Breadline (!), Ceiba, Co Co Sala (!), Delhi Club, Et Voila!, Jackie's (!), Le Mannequin Pis, Lewnes' Steak House, Locanda, Majestic, Marvin, Me Jana, Nava Thai, Oya, Pesce, Ruan Thai (!), Samantha's (!), Sei, Sunflower (!), Surfside (!), Tabaq Bistro (!), Taste of Morocco (!), and The Occidental.

It has a LOWER "star rating" than Bangkok 54 (!), Foti's (!), Four Sisters (!), Jaleo Bethesda (!), Jaleo Crystal City (!), Notti Bianche (!), Sakoontra (!), Thai Square, Zaytinya, and Zola (!).

Cheers,

Rocks.

Word!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Either the star of Ratatouille should avoid Inox or the Washington Post Editors took the day off.

A warm dome of pineapple mouse atop a delicate pistachio cake has everyone fighting for the last bite.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If Tom wants to write about the economy he should ask Katharine for a slot in the Business section. I want to know about the restaurant.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The entire point of the star system is to provide a way to differentiate the restaurants from one another - when every other restaurant gets two and a half stars, they might as well go back to not having stars anymore.

That being said, the review, yet again, doesn't read like two and a half stars - he likes the food, he likes the service, everything is great and fab and groovy except for the one pasta dish he didn't care for and the stuff the restaurant can't help (the economy and the fact that someone didn't want the valet to park their Aston). He either needs to get better at reading his own reviews, his editor needs to talk to him about syncing the star ratings with what's actually in the review, or a bunch of people need to start writing letters to point this crap out every time it happens.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, I see a lot of the tics we fault TS for as a failure of editing, mostly for the reasons Hannah says.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I actually thought the review read pretty well and that the point about the economy -- given the death of Il Fiamma and transfiguration of Citronelle -- was a valid one. And, as irked as some people are about the three-figure Burgundy crack, Tom also pointed out that Monsieur Le Sommelier reccommended a wine less expensive than he had initially considered.

I wonder if the 2.5 stars is kind of a baseline on account of it being new, with an eye to a steady rise. I seem to recall Eve, Komi and CityZen coming in relatively low and climbing. Or maybe stars just fell in late trading on rumors that the Chrysler-Fiat merger was off.

At any rate, the review was to me a tasty reminder that Inox needs to be the next big night out.

(Washingtonian review seems not to be on line)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...