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Trummer's on Main, Clifton - Chef Austin Fausett, who Replaced Cory Lambert, has Departed


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I just got an invitation from the folks who run Trummers on Main in Clifton to their soft opening this week. I plan to go there for dinner on Friday evening. The actual soft opening starts today with the real opening on Monday 7/13/09. The Web site is here: http://www.trummersonmain.com/ and there's a blog site by the owners here: http://www.stefantru.../blog-text.htm. With a chef from the French Laundry, maybe this will be a nice place.

I'll file a full report after I visit the place, unless someone else gets there first. The number for reservations is 703.266.1623.

One warning, neither Web site above is up to date. clearly the owners have been spending their time making the restaurant work.

Wayne Rash

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This place is going to be huge. Haven't dined there yet, but started working there, and the food is outstanding. It's somewhat similar to Citronelle and CityZen in terms of food pairings and presentation, but definitely enough of a difference to be able to distinguish it. Beautiful dining rooms, too.

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Despite the official word that Trummers on Main will open on Monday, the soft opening is indeed underway. My wife and I ate dinner there tonight. The restaurant replaces the not-very-lamented Hermitage. The new owners have clearly focused a great deal of attention to the decor. It's open, light and comfortable without being stuffy. The noise levels were a bit higher than I'd like, given that the tables were only about half full. Just putting table cloths on the tables would probably solve that issue.

The menu, at least during the soft opening is limited to eight appetizers and eight entrees. The appetizers are creative and well executed (at least what I tried). The entrees are heavy on fish, with one item each of pork, beef, lamb and chicken. The wine list is quite good with a broad selection of American and European wines as well as wine from everyplace else. They have the old standbys, but also a number of wine choices that I haven't seen elsewhere. It's a nice change. Wine by the bottle is reasonably priced, but wine by the glass is a little steeper than I think it should be.

Stefan Trummer, who owns the restaurant with his wife, is apparently a legendary bartender from New York. Unfortunately, I don't know how he does, because our pre-dinner cocktails never arrived. My wife ordered a brandy alexander, and that apparently caused consternation among the bar staff, one of whom came to the table to ask if we wanted our brandy on the rocks.

The appetizers arrived on time. I had the grilled romaine salad, which is served with pecerino cheese, anchovy dressing and a poached egg. I guess the idea was a grilled deconstructed Caesar salad. Quite honestly, I prefer this approach. It's the first time I've had a salad with a poached egg in quite this way, but the effect is quite nice. The anchovy dressing really delivers the Caesar feeling without being overbearing. My wife had the Mahi Mahi Pastrami which is served with melon balls and a refreshing and very light dressing that I'm at a loss to identify. But it was different from any Mahi Mahi that I've ever had. I'll have to have an entire appetizer next time and figure out the recipe. Unfortunately, my wife wouldn't allow me more than just one small bite.

We both ended up having the pan roasted skate wing for dinner. Unlike my recent misadventures in the name of seafood, this one was perfectly cooked. It's served with a tapenade-like olive side, red pepper sauce, porcini mushrooms and what the restaurant calls "corn puddin'." My only complaint is minor - I'd be happier if they could tone down the salt on the fish slightly. The regret I have is that there wasn't more of the "corn puddin'" on the plate. It's just a thin layer beneath one part of the skate wing (the red pepper sauce is underneath the other half). I'd also have liked it if there had been a little more to eat on the plate - perhaps a roasted fingerling potato or something. All that you get is the fish and the sauces. I felt like the plate needed completion.

Trummer's makes their own ice cream, so I kept it simple by ordering vanilla. This is made in-house and uses two different types of vanilla, but I couldn't find out what those types might be. The owner also sent over another dessert to make up for the cocktail problem. This was chocolate soup - a composed dish with chocolate cake, milk sorbet, meringue and chocolate sauce. Both desserts were well made, short on goo but long on flavor, and nicely presented.

As you might expect, the service was best described as variable. You already know about the missing cocktails. The bread guy clearly hadn't done that job before this week. He was pleasant, but oh-so-deliberate. The waitress on the other hand, despite being quite young, clearly knew what she was doing, she delivered the food on time, kept up with the progress at dinner, and didn't rush us or make us wait. She also wasn't intrusive, but offered what she knew of the menu when asked, and her opinions were apparently based on knowledge. So the service was better than I'd expected, and the execution of the food was much better.

My wife said that the atmosphere reminded her of Windows in Rosslyn (for those of you who have been around for a really long time). The room we ate in was light and airy, we had a nice view of downtown Clifton, and the whole tone was comfortable and unhurried without being slow.

I feel certain that the service will improve. The cooking is already up to standard, and I'll go back.

Prices are moderate. Both of us had dinner including appetizers and wine, for about a hundred dollars.

I think this restaurant deserves a serious look at a close-by spot worth the time and money. I'll be back there again.

Wayne Rash

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It will be interesting to see how they do. Downtown Clifton has added a few restaurants the last couple years and tends to be a little more crowded that it used to be. It used to just be Heart in Hand and Hermitage. Now, in addition to Heart in Hand and Trummers, there's Peterson's Ice Cream Depot (which also serves hot dogs and a couple other food items), a cafe next to Peterson's (looks like it's called the Clifton Coffee Mill online, but that's not what the sign says on the building), and a restaurant in the General Store (Main St. Grill or something like that).

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It will be interesting to see how they do. Downtown Clifton has added a few restaurants the last couple years and tends to be a little more crowded that it used to be. It used to just be Heart in Hand and Hermitage. Now, in addition to Heart in Hand and Trummers, there's Peterson's Ice Cream Depot (which also serves hot dogs and a couple other food items), a cafe next to Peterson's (looks like it's called the Clifton Coffee Mill online, but that's not what the sign says on the building), and a restaurant in the General Store (Main St. Grill or something like that).

Their PR company sent out an elaborate e-mail with the history of Clifton, the story of the rennovation, and a look at what the menu and wine list will be like. However, it still links to the old Web site, which is one page that contains a form for more e-mail information. Hope they get the site updated fairly soon. Meanwhile, I have a copy of the menu which I can scan and upload if anyone wants it, and if it's OK with Don. I won't want to fill up the storage with uninvited menus.

In addition to dgreen's description of food happenings in Clifton, the Heart in Hand people have added a bar of their own, apparently to compete with the Clifton Store pub across the street. Unfortunately, Heart in Hand's food has declined since the days when Nancy Reagan and George Will met there for their regular lunch dates, so it's not all that memorable. The Clifton Store pub serves the same things that they served before the pub part was in place, which means mainly sandwiches. The sandwiches are not bad, and are reasonably priced. They're cooked to order, and as long as you don't mind eating on patio furniture inside, it's OK for a quick lunch. There's also seating outside.

The Clifton Cafe (aka Clifton Coffee Mill) apparently serves food, but I haven't been inside. Maybe a few of us who live near Clifton should descend on it en masse and freak them out er.... um... see how their food is.

Peterson's is fun for ice cream. They also sell hot dogs. I don't know how those are, but without a baseball or football stadium, how can you really experience a hot dog? On the other hand, these are not, at least, Trade Show Hot Dogs, of which I have eaten far too many, and regretted far too much.

Now, if only Trummer's served lunch.

Wayne Rash

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We visited Trummers on Main in Clifton last evening and were quite pleased. While Trummers still has a few rough edges it is nice to have a respectable dining spot in western Fairfax that appears to have great potential. Clifton is a nice little town that is an oasis of calm sandwiched between Fairfax and PW counties offering an escape from the traditional "town center" restaurants or an abusive drive into DC. Trummers can seat 210 people.

The menu was well conceived and covered all the basic food groups with a leaning towards fish on the entree side. As for starters we had the grilled romaine with a poached egg that was very good as well as a tomato water risotto which was prepared perfectly. Entrees were suckling pig and roasted chicken... again both were very good. Serving sizes were respectable and the food presentation was on par with most upper end DC restaurants. The wine list was well thought out with a decent range of offering. Wine pricing by the bottle was reasonable with by the glass prices being a bit to the high side as was their bourbon pricing.

Service was attentive and friendly with the owners close at hand to make you feel welcome. Our bill for 2 including a bottle of wine ("Roaring Mel" NZ Pinot Noir), starters and entrees was $113 plus gratuity

Overall Trummers did a very nice job at a reasonable price point. Being new they have a few small kinks to work out but none that impacted our evening. While not in the league of Citronelle, Trummers appears capable of holding their own against most upper end dining spots in the metro DC area.

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We visited Trummers on Main in Clifton last evening and were quite pleased. While Trummers still has a few rough edges it is nice to have a respectable dining spot in western Fairfax that appears to have great potential. Clifton is a nice little town that is an oasis of calm sandwiched between Fairfax and PW counties offering an escape from the traditional "town center" restaurants or an abusive drive into DC. Trummers can seat 210 people.

The menu was well conceived and covered all the basic food groups with a leaning towards fish on the entree side. As for starters we had the grilled romaine with a poached egg that was very good as well as a tomato water risotto which was prepared perfectly. Entrees were suckling pig and roasted chicken... again both were very good. Serving sizes were respectable and the food presentation was on par with most upper end DC restaurants. The wine list was well thought out with a decent range of offering. Wine pricing by the bottle was reasonable with by the glass prices being a bit to the high side as was their bourbon pricing.

Service was attentive and friendly with the owners close at hand to make you feel welcome. Our bill for 2 including a bottle of wine ("Roaring Mel" NZ Pinot Noir), starters and entrees was $113 plus gratuity

Overall Trummers did a very nice job at a reasonable price point. Being new they have a few small kinks to work out but none that impacted our evening. While not in the league of Citronelle, Trummers appears capable of holding their own against most upper end dining spots in the metro DC area.

It's worth noting that Trummer's now has a functional Web site. Go to http://trummersonmain.com and you can look at the menu, photos, etc. I haven't found out if they're linked in to OpenTable or not. But at least you can check out the menu on the Web site.

Wayne Rash

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Thanks for the review. I made a reservation there on Thurs night for my husband's birthday. Chef Miller has worked at the French Laundry under Thomas Keller and for Daniel Boulud, so I have high expectations. Living in Woodbridge, we need some decent restaurants within a reasonable driving distance besides these awful chain restaurants (my husband refers to Woodbridge as a cultural black hole. I am really looking forward ti it.

We visited Trummers on Main in Clifton last evening and were quite pleased. While Trummers still has a few rough edges it is nice to have a respectable dining spot in western Fairfax that appears to have great potential. Clifton is a nice little town that is an oasis of calm sandwiched between Fairfax and PW counties offering an escape from the traditional "town center" restaurants or an abusive drive into DC. Trummers can seat 210 people.

The menu was well conceived and covered all the basic food groups with a leaning towards fish on the entree side. As for starters we had the grilled romaine with a poached egg that was very good as well as a tomato water risotto which was prepared perfectly. Entrees were suckling pig and roasted chicken... again both were very good. Serving sizes were respectable and the food presentation was on par with most upper end DC restaurants. The wine list was well thought out with a decent range of offering. Wine pricing by the bottle was reasonable with by the glass prices being a bit to the high side as was their bourbon pricing.

Service was attentive and friendly with the owners close at hand to make you feel welcome. Our bill for 2 including a bottle of wine ("Roaring Mel" NZ Pinot Noir), starters and entrees was $113 plus gratuity

Overall Trummers did a very nice job at a reasonable price point. Being new they have a few small kinks to work out but none that impacted our evening. While not in the league of Citronelle, Trummers appears capable of holding their own against most upper end dining spots in the metro DC area.

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The menu was well conceived and covered all the basic food groups with a leaning towards fish on the entree side. As for starters we had the grilled romaine with a poached egg that was very good as well as a tomato water risotto which was prepared perfectly. Entrees were suckling pig and roasted chicken... again both were very good.

How does thr grilled romaine look and taste? Also, the website mentions the suckling pig is for 2, do they also do it just for one?

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How does thr grilled romaine look and taste? Also, the website mentions the suckling pig is for 2, do they also do it just for one?

No idea how this place does it, but I had a grilled Caesar salad recently that was rather tasty. The small head of romaine was halved lengthwise and grilled on each side then dressed normally. The grilling added a nice smokey quality to the dish, although it did wilt some of the outer leaves a bit.

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Ate here with the wife last night, and I have to say that it was excellent. I know my comments may be seen by some as biased, so take them for what you will.

The meal was, as stated before, superb. We started off with two cold appetizers- the summer vegetable salad, and the mahi pastrami, both beautifully executed. The pastrami is cured in-house and served with marinated melon balls and curry-water sorbet, introducing a great deal of sweetness and peppery/gingery spiciness to the dish. The salad is a combination of beets, saffron-poached potatoes, fingerling potatoes, beech mushrooms, and maybe another vegetable or two with three vinaigrettes- truffle, potato cream, and balsamic. It was one of the best salads of my life, with the truffle vin, you know, doing what truffles do and making it delicious, with the potato cream sauce and the balsamic interacting marvelously and adding acidity and body to the mix.

Second appetizers were uniformly standout- the tomato water risotto and vanilla pork belly were both nothing short of mindblowing. The risotto was exactly as it sounds- made with tomato water, with a hint of basil, and a beautifully made parmesan tuile. Normally not a fan of the tuiles at all due to the propensity to have a texture like freshly cooled plastic, this one was immensely surprising in that it was ridiculously delicate and very crispy, which complemented the risotto, well, as well as it should have. You really can't go wrong with mixing tomato and cheese in any form, but this dish was spectacular, as was the one that came with, the braised pork belly. The flavor of vanilla shone through, and the pickled rhubarb on top of the pork interacted very well with the fatty-vanilla combo of the belly. Outstanding.

Then the entrees came- the ribeye with king trumpet mushrooms, and the skate with maitakes. The ribeye was perfectly cooked and seasoned, the mushrooms scored like foie and covered with a very tight butter-stock glaze to accent the delicious rosemary-parsnip puree and the red wine jus that accompanied it. The skate had the misfortune of being one of the dishes that was off-the-mark. While still tasting delicious, the cornmeal crust on the outside wasn't exactly a crust. Either the pan that the skate went into was too cold or it sat too long after it was cooked because it was most definitely soggy. The skate itself was cooked perfectly, flaking apart without much effort using only a fork, but the maitakes were, I thought, a bit underseasoned (my wife disagreed). The smoked corn pudd'n that came with it was phenomenal, and the olives, capers, and red pepper jus provided excellent accents to a dish that, if it were crispy and had all elements seasoned properly, would be another in a line of solid ones.

We felt gluttonous and had three desserts (wife is a pastry cook), which were all very well done. The chocolate soup is very nice, lending a bittersweet chocolate flavor to the cake, meringue, and sorbet that accompanies it. The brown butter pudding is very refreshing and complex, being a gelatin-held pudding served with brown butter sauce, lemonade sorbet, blueberries, and pecans. The coconut ice cream was very well-done, even enjoyed by a wife that doesn't like coconut, coming in a clear glass cup balanced on a bowl of sugar and being topped with raspberry foam (whipped, held with gelatin).

We also had a chance to try Stefan's cocktails, and they were really good. She had the Titanic, with sorbet (I think verjus), champagne, and flavors of six grapes playing nicely with each other. I had the sage, which is exactly what it sounds like. It's got elements of sage and elderflower, as well as a good helping of vodka, and was a fantastic way to start the night.

All told, the place is highly recommended.

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How does thr grilled romaine look and taste? Also, the website mentions the suckling pig is for 2, do they also do it just for one?

They cut the head of romaine lengthwise, and grill the cut side, so it's browned slightly. It's served with a poached egg and some anchovy sauce, so it's sort of like a deconstructed caesar. I loved it.

Wayne Rash

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We went last night and sat at the bar and had a cocktail before dinner. Hubby had a whiskey sour and I had the Titanic (I think the bartender said elderflower sorbet, juice, grapes and champagne). It was really refreshing and wonderful. I probably could of had another, but at $13 a glass decided to hold off. The tab came to $22.58 without tip. I did notice that the bar menu seemed to have a lot of things that appealed to me.

The restaurant itself is gorgeous and has a wonderful atmosphere. We met many of the locals dining there, and everyone was friendly and seemed to be having a good time. There is also an outside dining area that is beautiful, but because of the storms that blew through were not in use.

For dinner we decided on the tomato water risotto and vanilla pork belly. Both were awesome. I could have eaten more of the risotto. Not sure if the bread is made there, but it is really good and served very warm. There were two young men who wandered around the room serving the bread and water and seemed to keep our bread plates and glasses full.

For the main course I picked the tempranillo braised lamb shoulder and shank served with a tomatillo salsa, olive oil bread and chimichuri verde. The lamb was cooked perfectly and the salsa with the oven roasted tomatoes and tomatillos was outstanding. My husband had the filet. He ordered it medium. It came I would say between rare and meduim rare. Also it was stone cold. We tried to get the attention of our server, but she was no where to be found. The owner, Stephan, noticed me looking around and he immediately came to the table and asked us what the problem was. I give him kudos for being so observant. I think the server should have stopped by our table when we received the entrees to make sure things were ok, but she did seem to have a lot of tables. The dish was returned to the kitchen and I little choice but to eat my dish alone while hubby waited for his. By the time he got a new order, I was finished with mine. I really am at odds what to do in this situation, as it's very awkward to be eating when your partner has nothing in front of him, but I didn't want my entree to get cold. The rib eye was perfect the second time around. For dessert we ordered the strawberry terrine and the two vanilla ice cream (yummy). We were also served a complimentary brown butter pudding (it was so smooth and very tasty), complimentary glass of dessert wine and a taste of one of the bartender's new cocktail, a margaritini (I think he called it) which is blended with agave and watermelon. Oh, and we also had a sample of the coconut sorbet wih blueberry sauce. 3753271253Other than we both thought the entrees were slightly over seasoned, we enjoyed the meal immensely. I think Trummer's will really bring something special to Fairfax and we're glad we don't have to drive into DC anymore to experience some fine dining. I can see that it is going to be quite a busy place in the future. We will definitely return.

Our tab for dinner, which in addition to the above, included a glass of wine ($9) and 2 coffees was $108.15 without tip. I was really surprised and delighted. We normally spend twice that or more when we go into DC. I can't wait to go back and try something different. I'll have posted some pictures on flickr since I can't figure out how to add them here. Search and use Trummers as the tag.

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Trummer's on Main. Phenomenal! Beautiful! Historical landmark.

A memorable dinning experience overall. Offered dinner at the bar, nice! Try. Trummer's Cocktails a learned craft: The Titanic Trummer's the signature drink and The Sage. Yum! The whole team, Stefan, Victoria amazing team, exceed expectations, anticipate your needs are all very charming and hospitable. Clayton, Chris and Tyler remarkable talented team. Elevated enhanced by the fun and friendly team. Note: The restaurant was crowded. Go check it out. Worth the drive.

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Went to a wedding reception at Trummers last Saturday; the food was served family style. So everyone got a taste of everything (plus the host saved a few bucks by going family style). I was amazed how good the salad was (salad is not a fav but I had 2 helpings), the fresh baked bread, creamed white beans nicely seasoned, baked mac&cheese remarkably good, beef tips full flavored, baked chicken a little dry and unremarkable, and a full flavored mushroom dish. The restaurant provided wine recommendations to the host that she went with and were all very flavorful choices indeed. My husband and I discussed it and decided that we would like to go back there and try out the regular menu.

Note: if you are thinking of going to Trummers especially on a weekend, you should call and make sure they are open to guests; they were closed to the public last Sat because of the wedding party and were steadily turning away outside guests throughout the evening.

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The food I had at Trummer's last night elevates it up near the top of all area restaurants.

On the menu:

Chicken Confit ($10) with bacalao, quail egg, and frisee

Oxtail Ravioli ($12) with calabaza pumpkin, black olive, and manchego cheese froth

Vermouth-Braised Veal ($30) with pears, rutabaga, turnips, pecans, and vermouth cream

Dorsey Farm Suckling Pig ($32) with sweet potato, cippolini onions, and whole grain mustard jus

Herb-Glazed Noodles ($6)

All four of these dishes not only met, but exceeded my expectations. This was the best, most refined, and most satisfying cuisine I've had in months, and I urge pork lovers everywhere to unite around this remarkable presentation of suckling pig.

In the vast majority of cases, it weakens criticism to bring other peoples opinions into the writing, but in this case I'm going to make an exception. My extremely knowledgeable dining companion felt that the style here is to slightly undercook things, pretty much across the board - citing the confit, the ravioli (the pasta itself), the veal cheeks, and the pork belly as examples from all four dishes. I have to say that I think the observation has merit, although this "on the threshold" style didn't bother me so much.

A half-bottle of NV Gatinois Aÿ Grand Cru Champagne ($42) and a bottle of 2006 Nicole Charion Domaine de la Voûte des Crozes Beaujolais ($42) were both outstanding bottles of wine, and complemented the food perfectly. Sommelier Tyler Packwood (formerly of Foti's and Inn at Little Washington) has assembled an excellent wine list, and you can drink very well at Trummer's, with plenty of bottles in the $40s, $30s, and even $20s that are worth ordering.

Although I'd have done some things differently (the ceiling fans are just plain wrong), there's no doubting the charm of approaching this lovely inn, seeing the beautiful bar and wine cellar upon entering, and taking a deep breath and unwinding once you're led upstairs to the vaulted dining room.

Cuisine, wine, surroundings - what more could one possibly ask for?

Competent service. I'm not going to rip Trummer's apart as much as I should here, because it was a cold, rainy Tuesday, and I'm willing to believe that people can have an off night (you never know if someone's not feeling well, or if there's an external crisis going on, etc.). But from what I observed, there was no excuse, none, for me having to wait 25 minutes before I had a drink in my hand (I didn't mean to be clock-watching, but after a point I couldn't help looking at the watch). Right after I ordered the Champagne (perhaps 10-15 minutes after being seated), our server asked if we were ready to order our food also. My response: "I haven't even opened the menu yet."

And I'm sorry to say that only three tables (a party of 2, 3, and 4) were in the dining room at the time, and that Tyler was working the floor, completely dropping the ball. When our runner brought out the appetizers, he plopped them down in front of us, and then turned and walked away without saying a word. No amuse-bouche was served.

I'll stop now, but could continue in great detail for several paragraphs. I cannot remember a restaurant having such a disparity between the front of the house, and everything else. This could have been a magical dining experience, and instead it was merely a great meal.

I've said this before, and I'll say it again: In my next life, I'm going to be a restaurant consultant.

Cheers,

Rocks.

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:(

Dude, when the consultant shows up, the death watch starts..

The consultant needs to show up before a restaurant ever opens its doors!

Don't worry, I'm not pimping myself (yet), but after almost every major restaurant opening, I walk out from my first visit thinking I could have saved the owners six figures if only ...

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Apparently I took my wife there the day after Don visited. I'd made the reservation using Open Table, and had mentioned that the 25th was our 37th anniversary. I also asked for a romantic table. The staff at Trummers delivered on all counts, plus some that I hadn't expected. For example, if you read my initial write-up on the restaurant, I mentioned that things were so chaotic that we never got our drinks. Apparently they keep track of such things. This time the waiter showed up and asked my wife if she wanted the brandy alexander that she didn't get the last time. Yes, I know that restaurants have databases, but still, this surprised me. Also apparently somebody at Trummers read Don's review and decided corrective action was in order. Service was exceptional. Everything was well paced, perfectly timed, and delivered to the table in exactly the right way. The service was excellent.

I guess Don actually is a restaurant consultant, but just isn't being paid for it.

The lineup for the menu was similar to what Don listed from the day before. I had the oxtail ravioli. The pasta was al dente, which is not the same thing as being not quite done. The oxtail filling in the single, but quite large, pie was wonderul. My wife had frisee lettuce salad which had a remarkable curry vinaigrette. For our main courses I had the Costa Rican Mahi Mahi and my wife had the pan roasted scallops. Now, I've been to Hawaii at least 50 times, and I've had a lot of very good mahi mahi there where it's served the same day it's caught. But this was the best mahi mahi I've ever had. The bed of risotto was a perfect complement to the fish. My wife's scallops were also done perfectly, soft and velvety as they are when they're just barely cooked enough. Another 15 seconds would have been too much, but these were exactly right.

The only quibble is that I wish there were a choice for dessert that didn't include ice cream or sorbet. On a cold damp November night, something warm would have been nice.

We had a white wine from the Loire but I can't remember what it was. I can'f find my notes. Such is the penalty for age.

But the improvement from July until now is remarkable, and it was good to start with. The only concern is that as in the case of Don's dinner, only three other tables were occupied. The bar was full, however, and one of the occupied tables was quite large. But still, I'm worried about such an empty space. On the other hand, you can be certain you'll find a seat, something that's well worth doing.

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Apparently somebody at Trummers read Don's review and decided corrective action was in order. Service was exceptional. Everything was well paced, perfectly timed, and delivered to the table in exactly the right way. The service was excellent.

*waves*

Thank you so much for the review and kind words. We're always striving to do better.

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Some friends treated Hubby and I to a meal here about a month ago now. We started out with a Cakebread Chardonnay and some very good bread, warm and crusty, but tender. I started with the Vanilla Belly. A vanilla pork brisket with rhubarb, spinach and grenadine. This was luscious, but not overwhelmingly rich, the rhubarb really balanced the vanilla. I am normally not a huge fan of vanilla, it was balanced will, next time though something different. I also stole a taste of the oxtail ravioli, which was really rich, but the pasta was really well made and the meat was tender as can be, this definitely won as a starter. Based on the multiple entrees I got to sample the best thing to order is fish, although everyone's entrees tasted good my favorite was my Cobia really tasted wonderful.

But dessert really stole the show. I ordered the sweet potato, which was sweet potato ice cream over a gingerbread poundcake, maple and fluff, which really tasted like fall to me and was really comforting. But the concord grape stole the show. The soft cake with the tangy grape sorbet and cognac cream was so refreshing I was a little jealous I didn't order it myself.

Overall it was a great meal in a beautiful setting and I can't wait until I can go back. It truly is worth the drive for the city and if you are looking for a romantic special occasion dinner this place is a wower. I love the Onyx bar and will be back for that burger now that it has been promised to be so good. The remodel is really beautiful.

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Had a nice dinner here on Saturday night. The bar and restaurant was packed to the gills, but the dining room was still quiet and calm.

We started with the goat cheese ravioli and warm pork terrine. I don't remember the details and the online menu is not totally current. Anyway the terrine was served with a softly poached egg and some dressed greens. The somewhat dry terrine was overpowered by the smoky bacon that surrounded it, although I can hardly complain with a bacon and egg salad.

Mains were the Costa Rican Mahi Mahi (pan roasted arborio risotto, matsutaki mushroom, apple cider reduction) and Baked Sea Bream (mushrooms (forgot the type), pickled watermelon, bok choi). Both fish dishes were excellently prepared and quite delicious.

We had a small cheese plate before dessert as I was tempted when looking at the menu. They have a list of available cheeses and you can create your own, which I like. The cheeses were served with some stewed plums (IIRC) and some bacon fat fried pistachios.

Desserts were the Malted Chocolate (valhrona ganache, malted milk sherbet, devil's food) and the Peanut Tart (banana sorbet, molasses caramel, burnt fluff) which, while flavorful, come in the 'deconstructed' style. Am I the only one tired of this?

To drink we had a bottle of Anton Bauer, Grande Reserve, Wagram 2006. Makes me want to try some other Grí¼ners.

Looking forward to a return trip. The bar looks like a nice place to grab a bottle of wine and small plates.

Tab for 2 firsts, 2 mains, a plate of 3 cheeses, 2 desserts, a bottle of wine and 2 coffees was about $190 before tip.

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Had a nice dinner here on Saturday night. The bar and restaurant was packed to the gills, but the dining room was still quiet and calm.

We started with the goat cheese ravioli and warm pork terrine. I don't remember the details and the online menu is not totally current. Anyway the terrine was served with a softly poached egg and some dressed greens. The somewhat dry terrine was overpowered by the smoky bacon that surrounded it, although I can hardly complain with a bacon and egg salad.

Mains were the Costa Rican Mahi Mahi (pan roasted arborio risotto, matsutaki mushroom, apple cider reduction) and Baked Sea Bream (mushrooms (forgot the type), pickled watermelon, bok choi). Both fish dishes were excellently prepared and quite delicious.

We had a small cheese plate before dessert as I was tempted when looking at the menu. They have a list of available cheeses and you can create your own, which I like. The cheeses were served with some stewed plums (IIRC) and some bacon fat fried pistachios.

Desserts were the Malted Chocolate (valhrona ganache, malted milk sherbet, devil’s food) and the Peanut Tart (banana sorbet, molasses caramel, burnt fluff) which, while flavorful, come in the 'deconstructed' style. Am I the only one tired of this?

To drink we had a bottle of Anton Bauer, Grande Reserve, Wagram 2006. Makes me want to try some other Grüners.

Looking forward to a return trip. The bar looks like a nice place to grab a bottle of wine and small plates.

Tab for 2 firsts, 2 mains, a plate of 3 cheeses, 2 desserts, a bottle of wine and 2 coffees was about $190 before tip.

Glad you enjoyed your meal!

The appetizers that you had (both prepared by me, incidentally) were as follows:

Goat Cheese ravioli with house cured and smoked salmon and lemon oil, beet/bonito froth, beet powder, and paddlefish caviar.

Warm pork terrine with panca paste, escabeche onion and frisee salad, and poached egg in buerre monte.

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Does anyone have any recent reviews on this place? I plan on taking my wife there for her birthday next week. The recent reviews on Washingtonpost.com have been decidedly negative.

I've never had dinner, but the wife and I have been to the bar several times, last time a few weeks ago. The bar food and drinks are uniformly excellent.

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Does anyone have any recent reviews on this place? I plan on taking my wife there for her birthday next week. The recent reviews on Washingtonpost.com have been decidedly negative.

My trip in January (scroll back) was pleasant and think you should have no reservations about dining there. As a side note I would suggest you take comments on wapo.com with a mine full of salt.

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My wife and I stopped in at the bar on Saturday night for a few libations.

The Rhubarb Cooler was a delightful and refreshing cocktail, perfect for a muggy July May evening. I could drink a half-dozen of the Cubano cocktails if my wife would let me. The drinks here are uniformly excellent.

The highlight of the evening, however, was the Fried Butter Pickle appetizer. I have never had a fried pickle, and this was a masters course of frying technique. The crust was a golden brown, thick and rich but not too "cakey". The pickle itself was piping hot, firm, and delicious really good. The lemony mayo that accompannied it lacked the advertised lemony zing, but it didn't really matter. Those fried pickles were about the tastiest things I'd eaten in a long time.

My wife, however, pronounced them to be the most vile food she had ever been served. When I reminded her of the organ meat Hot Pot we got at China Boy, she said, "OK, second most vile thing."

Although I love her dearly, my wife doesn't know what she is talking about. The pickles alone are worth the trip to Clifton.

***Edited to help Rocks control his puerile impulses

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...The pickle itself was piping hot, firm, and delicious ... My wife, however, pronounced them to be the most vile ...she had ever been served. When I reminded her of the organ meat ... China Boy, she said, "OK, second most vile thing."

:lol:

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Even though this probably should be posted under News and Media, this is a pretty big F-ing deal. Congrats chef. I think Johnny Monis was the last DC area chef to earn this honor. Hopefully he sees the same career propulsion for it.

Pax,

Brian

This is a signifcant restaurant that doesn't receive nearly as much attention as it should on here.

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This is a signifcant restaurant that doesn't receive nearly as much attention as it should on here.

I should have posted after we went here for my wife's birthday a few months ago. I took the advice of the board and ignored the Washington post reviews. As we had a toddler in tow we took the first seating and a table in the back near the door to the garden. As other posters mention, the adult libations are uniformly good. I recall having a pan fried skate filet which was excellent. Someone else had some kind of pork roast which I recall being the highlight of the table.

Actually, the highlight of the table was the server whose job it is to dole out rolls. My toddler was in love with him because he kept providing him bread. In fact, on the way out of the restaurant he gave him a high five for a job well done.

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Took some friends to dinner here last night. We started at the bar- really nice bartender. Hubby had a Main Street with bourbon and cinnamon that was really good, I had a glass of sparkling wine from Barboursville. We tried some of the popcorn at the bar with truffle oil and parmasean cheese and it was really good. The burgers did look fantastic will have to go back for that. But they normally don't serve their bar menu on Sunday night. Instead they have a three course menu for $38 dollars and many of their wines by the glass are just $5 on Sunday nights. I had $5 glasses of Norton from Clifton that was fruity, but nice with all the rich flavors I had.

I started with the mussels and curried quinoa that was nicely balanced and very refreshing as it had a nice hint of lemon and a balsamic reduction. I tried Hubby's Mulligatawny soup and really enjoyed it as well, lots of celery and lime flavor in the broth. For an entree I had the lamb brisket which also was really good. The cut is fatty, so if you don't like fat you wouldn't like this dish, but it tasted delicious and was served with simple vegetables, sauteed in some butter. I ended with a cheese course as I wasn't feeling it for sweets, and that was nicely presented with some nuts, honey and fig bread. There were three samplings a wisonsin cows milk gouda, wisconsin cows milk cheese similar to a brie, but a little more flavor then a soft sheeps cheese that I forget the origin of. I also have to note that I love their breads here.

The Sunday deal is a really good deal for some really nicely made and presented food. And stellar service.

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We need to save Trummer's on Main. This is a formidable and impressive restaurant, deserving of more exposure and praise. I've been there, maybe, 1/2 dozen times over the past six months, and it has been uniformly excellent. I won't discuss the fried pickle, lesson learned. :) .

I went with my wife on a Sunday two weeks ago, and the $38 meal is a steal. The dinner equivalent of the Lickety Split at Eve. We had the chilled mulligatawny soup, beet salad, roast pork shoulder, and soft shell crab. All were excellent, particularly the mulligatawny, garnished with shrimp that were absolutely bursting with flavor. I was a bit put off by the chicken consomme with the soft shell, as the initial taste was somehwat overpowering. However, once I mixed all of the individual components accompanying the dish into the broth, it transformed into a heavenly elixir.

The cocktail menu constantly changes, and the Bunny Man concoction was a bit of a miss, IMHO, but everything else was delicious. I cannot remember my wifes dessert, but mine was astoundingly good banana ice cream with shredded wheat and white chocolate pearls. A great, simple blend of flavors and textures. In all, two cocktails, two glasses of wine, and two three- course meal was $120.00. And it was a steal.

If Trummer's would have opened 5-years ago, it would be the talk of DC. But the culinary landscape is far more robust now, and I fear that they might be having a hard time carving out their niche. There was a ton of money poured into the design and renovation of this place. There is clearly a lot of talent running the kitchen, service, & beverage program.

So why does it need to be saved? I have never been to the restaurant when it was what I would consider busy. I'm not talking Zaytinya-on-a-Friday-night busy, just "normal" fine dining restaurant busy. When we pulled up on Sunday, I thought they were closed, because there were so few cars in the parking lot. I know they are closed Mondays. My wife went to the Front and we were pleasantly surprised. Over the next two hours, as we perched by the door in the corner of the bar, no more than 10 other patrons came in and out of the place. With this quality, at that price, there should have been a line out the door.

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So why does it need to be saved? I have never been to the restaurant when it was what I would consider busy. I'm not talking Zaytinya-on-a-Friday-night busy, just "normal" fine dining restaurant busy. When we pulled up on Sunday, I thought they were closed, because there were so few cars in the parking lot. I know they are closed Mondays. My wife went to the Front and we were pleasantly surprised. Over the next two hours, as we perched by the door in the corner of the bar, no more than 10 other patrons came in and out of the place. With this quality, at that price, there should have been a line out the door.

A number of people in the DC area haven't even heard of Clifton. My address is Clifton, but I live on the edge of Centreville. When I tell people where I live, I have to say Centreville for them to have any idea. I just get blank stares when I say Clifton. (Then again, for those who do know about Clifton, they don't really consider me to be in Clifton. Heck, I don't even consider myself to be in Clifton. I just happen to be in the zip code, but it's definitely more of a Centreville feel.)

The town obviously doesn't want to blow up into anything huge (the quaintness is important), but it could be much more than it is. Outside of the restaurants, there really isn't much reason to go to Clifton. It could probably use some more shopping and maybe something else to bring people to town. The town is packed on their annual Clifton Day and I think their Wine Festival does ok. They also have annual home tours. If you attend one of those, you can quickly see that this nice little town really doesn't have much to do. There's now a winery nearby, so maybe that will help some.

Who knows, maybe the town residents don't even want big weekend crowds walking around their town. My wife and I have taken our kids to the town park/playground. Kids like to go there since we usually get ice cream while we're there. Once, one lady asked if we lived there and we told her where we lived. She responded, "Oh, you don't have playgrounds over there?" OK, so that's just one story and maybe that lady was an outlier. I believe the owner of Peterson's is also the mayor, so I'd think he'd want to really market the town.

Anyway, it would be great if Trummer's could flourish. We haven't gone yet, but we probably will soon.

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We need to save Trummer's on Main. This is a formidable and impressive restaurant, deserving of more exposure and praise. I've been there, maybe, 1/2 dozen times over the past six months, and it has been uniformly excellent. I won't discuss the fried pickle, lesson learned. :) .

I went with my wife on a Sunday two weeks ago, and the $38 meal is a steal. The dinner equivalent of the Lickety Split at Eve. We had the chilled mulligatawny soup, beet salad, roast pork shoulder, and soft shell crab. All were excellent, particularly the mulligatawny, garnished with shrimp that were absolutely bursting with flavor. I was a bit put off by the chicken consomme with the soft shell, as the initial taste was somehwat overpowering. However, once I mixed all of the individual components accompanying the dish into the broth, it transformed into a heavenly elixir.

The cocktail menu constantly changes, and the Bunny Man concoction was a bit of a miss, IMHO, but everything else was delicious. I cannot remember my wifes dessert, but mine was astoundingly good banana ice cream with shredded wheat and white chocolate pearls. A great, simple blend of flavors and textures. In all, two cocktails, two glasses of wine, and two three- course meal was $120.00. And it was a steal.

If Trummer's would have opened 5-years ago, it would be the talk of DC. But the culinary landscape is far more robust now, and I fear that they might be having a hard time carving out their niche. There was a ton of money poured into the design and renovation of this place. There is clearly a lot of talent running the kitchen, service, & beverage program.

So why does it need to be saved? I have never been to the restaurant when it was what I would consider busy. I'm not talking Zaytinya-on-a-Friday-night busy, just "normal" fine dining restaurant busy. When we pulled up on Sunday, I thought they were closed, because there were so few cars in the parking lot. I know they are closed Mondays. My wife went to the Front and we were pleasantly surprised. Over the next two hours, as we perched by the door in the corner of the bar, no more than 10 other patrons came in and out of the place. With this quality, at that price, there should have been a line out the door.

Hmmm maybe a DR group would be interested in going for the Sunday night special or a happy hour there? I would go. Thoughts?

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I just went to Trummers on Saturday night and got the tasting menu. I am incredibly impressed at how well this restaurant is doing after only being in business for a year. The food was excellent. It is an absolutely gorgeous restaurant. I like they have an inexpensive and creative bar menu, regular menu and a tasting menu, something for all price points.

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There is clearly a lot of talent running the kitchen, service, & beverage program.

I feel like I should interject here and elaborate on this. Not only is there a lot of talent, there are some genuinely good people in charge of the operations of this place that deserve patronage. Restaurant people abound in and around DC, but neither the Trummers nor Chef Miller display any of the arrogance or apathy that is all too common among people in this industry.

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I headed over to the Best of Washingtonian Event last week and Trummers on Main was there serving Lightly seared Wahoo, served with compressed cucumbers, mini-cucumbers, blueberries covered in extra virgin olive oil, sea beans, tapioca pearl caviar, soy caviar

This dish is on their tasting menu, clearly they were pulling out all the stops. This was definitely one of the most labor intensive and refined dishes at the event. I really hope this restaurant does well, it is certainly worth a trip from DC to the 'burbs.

I wish I could take the metro there, because I would not mind spending an evening at their bar with all of those delicious cocktails.

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I headed over to the Best of Washingtonian Event last week and Trummers on Main was there serving Lightly seared Wahoo, served with compressed cucumbers, mini-cucumbers, blueberries covered in extra virgin olive oil, sea beans, tapioca pearl caviar, soy caviar

This dish is on their tasting menu, clearly they were pulling out all the stops. This was definitely one of the most labor intensive and refined dishes at the event. I really hope this restaurant does well, it is certainly worth a trip from DC to the 'burbs.

I wish I could take the metro there, because I would not mind spending an evening at their bar with all of those delicious cocktails.

From the Virginia Happy Hour Thread:

Hey Folks,

So after some discussion in the Trummer's on Main thread I wanted to plan a happy hour there. I can't do it next week, but was wondering if there was interest for the following week perhaps Aug 5th or 6th????? If no one is up for that then I would have to skip a week and go for the third week in August which is totally open for me at this point. The bar menu there looks fantastic and smelled really good. I really want to try some stuff there, and the cocktails were really good when we went. If there is interest I will contact them to set something up.

I could drive people to and from the orange line metro, as well. Two open seats in my backseat.

(I just went to the Sunday Supper, but someone might consider doing a $38 Sunday there, it would be a great event I just can't plan it anytime soon, too many weddings in my upcoming schedule.)

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