Jump to content
DPop

The Dabney, Chef Jeremiah Langhorne in Blagden Alley near Mount Vernon Square

Recommended Posts

I don't know if this warrants a different thread but I recently had a very enjoyable meal at "The Dabney Cellar" which is a wine bar located under the normal Dabney Space.   The food menu however is completely different (I think the wine menu is largely different as well but can't confirm without it being posted online), and the cellar isn't even accessible from inside the main restaurant but rather from some semi-hidden stairs on an adjacent street.  Food here is simpler than upstairs but you can expect the same high quality ingredients.  Lot's of raw stuff (oysters, crudos), country hams, cheeses, and a few other things.

My meal consisted of splitting Oysters > Black Pepper Crackers > Tuna Tartare > Buttermilk Bacon Biscuits > Broadbent Country Ham, Foie Gras Parfait, and a full serving of buttery Lobster Toast made with brioche.  Hams and raw things where expectedly high-quality - the tuna was very citrus-y like a ceviche but pulled off very well, buttermilk bacon biscuits were insane (coming from someone who doesn't normally freak out for biscuits or things with bacon), and the Lobster toast was an awesome entree-ish course.  The obvious comparison on the last one is Kinship's lobster french toast but while that is more of an app with some nice subtitles to it (although by no means light), this is more of a kick in the teeth with a ton of lobster blasted with brown butter and herbs.  The only thing we didn't like was the foie which was disappointing as that's usually an easy home run for me - the foie itself didn't taste great, nor did I care for the preparation.  In this case it hardly mattered though given the many other great courses and the fact that it was only $10 for the dish.

I don't remember exactly what I drank but thought the wines were impressive - I was worried they'd be locally focused but it definitely leaned more Italy / France / Spain than anything else (no complaints here).  Our bartender / server was on point as well and even hooked us up with a delicious dessert drink on the house, which was greatly appreciated.  

This made me want to go back to the main Dabney restaurant, mainly because this was actually a bit better than my first meal there at maybe half the cost food-wise.

  • Like 3
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In celebration of Capital Pride, we went to the Dabney.  We asked for some recommendations and our waitress rattled off 3 vegetarian dishes.  So we ignored her recs.

The first two dishes trotted out were the Tuna Crudo and Asparagus & Crab.  The tuna, accompanied by radish, snap peas, chili, basil & benne turned out to be poke.  It's a nice poke, but not nearly as good as the warm lump crab served with garlic chive cream.  I'm guessing the crabs were very fresh.  Then we had a crispy softshell crab, and that was followed by some charred bok choy with hush puppies & bacon.  The last two dishes were crispy pork belly and fried sugar toads.  That pork tasted like it was confitted and then pan seared - very good.  The puffers were seasoned like Korean fried chicken.

Every dish is well executed and the service is top notch.

IMG_1858.JPG

IMG_1860.JPG

IMG_1861.JPG

IMG_1862.JPG

IMG_1863.JPG

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
19 minutes ago, Ericandblueboy said:

When did every dish come with greens on top (or on the side) start?  This is also the case at A Rake's Progress.  

Blame (or credit) Rene Redzepi and David Kinch. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, Kev29 said:

Blame (or credit) Rene Redzepi and David Kinch. 

This sounds like some scary, Russian conspiracy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We went to Dabney, and then the Dabney Celler for a nightcap.  Both were good but not the amazing I had though.  Now I admit some of this is likely due to the heat, eating at an open kitchen with a roaring fire when it is over 95% is probably not a great option. 

I started with the Sorghum and sage cocktail since I'm a huge fan of the barr Hill Tom-cat gin - it was quite nice.  I later had a Peach & Bay to keep on my gin trend - good but preferred the Sorghum and Sage.  

For Food we started with the Seven Sisters Cheese  - so good, Charred eggplant dip - nice to have an eggplant dip that is not baba ganoush .  Sunny side up farm egg with pigs ears was wonderful - can I get pigs ears strips next time someone wants to serve me fries?  The Bloody Butcher cornbread was good but not at all cornbread. Foie Gras parfait was wonderful and one of the few dishes we fought over.  Chesapeak sugar toads were to mild to hold up to the batter - nothing exciting there.  There was a special sliders that was quite good.  and we finished up with the Tartine.  Was nice to order a few small plates at a time. 

Dessert was Woodruff custard - quite good and the Chocolate basil & benne sundae - amazing.  

Over all I was pleased and if it was more convenient and easier to get reservations I might go back but many other places to try before we do.  I suggest going on a cool/cold night.

The Cellar - around the corner basement entrance is much more a wine and cheese / charcuterie bar then a cocktail bar (which is what we were expecting).  Go expecting wine and cheese and you will be pleased. 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Dabney continues to impress, with its lovely decor, roaring hearth, and delicious food.

We started with excellent but pricey half dozen oysters ($18). But these have to be some of the best oysters in DC,  plump and juicy, although for my taste they could be a bit more briny.

We also went with the off-menu fried catfish slider on a pumpkin roll ($5).  Split in half it was an excellent bite or two.  One of the highlight dishes.

The hearth roasted vegetables ($16) made for a nice opening salad course.  Although some of the root vegetables, being on the crunchy side of al dente, could have used a longer roast.

The milk poached egg ($16) came in a bowl with roasted squash and fall greens and a rich mushroom emulsion.  On the side were slices of brioche topped with a filmy layer of guanciale for dunking in the eggy broth.  Basically a very elevated riff on soft boiled eggs and "soldiers"

The pumpernickel tartine ($16) was another star dish, with lovely roasted pears and hen of the wood mushrooms, tied together with very rich chevre and feta. 

Fried Chesapeake sugar toads ($16) might be my new favorite fish.  Beautifully fried, these are like fish lollipops, with a spine of bone down the middle and two fat lobes of meat.  It was served almost Vietnamese style with a plate of lettuce, herbs and pickles.  The concept didn't really work very well, but that puffer fish was delicious. 

Grilled Swordfish with a Virginia peanut romesco ($26) was our entree dish.  The swordfish was perfectly cooked.  While the romesco sauce was nicely, I didn't really get much peanut.  I wouldn't call the sauce a flop, but perhaps not quite what we were expecting?

We finished with a very decadent apple cobbler with sorghum ice cream ($12).

I thought the flavor combinations for most of the dishes were excellent.  Last time, I distinctly remember a lot of sweet flavors from sorghum and molasses being used, but not this time, the dishes were much more balanced.  The staff is excellent, knowledgeable and enthusiastic about the food being produced.  The only  nit pick was a long delay between the hearth roasted vegetables and milk poached egg.

Finally, The Dabney is still one of the prettiest restaurants in DC.  It's certainly a joy to eat there.            

Grilled Swordfish

Dabney SwordfishDR.jpg

  • Like 3
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...