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Ericandblueboy

Reverie, Chef Johnny Spero and GM Evan Zimmerman's Modern American in Georgetown

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When I moved to D.C., I rented a 2 bedroom condo located at 3222 Cherry Hill Lane, in Georgetown.  It’s a quiet alley with few disturbances.  I would’ve been mad as hell to have a restaurant in that alley, but since I don’t live there anymore, I’m gonna go raise hell.  

So has anyone been?  Recs?  To be honest, the menu looks weak/boring.  

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32 minutes ago, Ericandblueboy said:

So has anyone been?  Recs?  To be honest, the menu looks weak/boring.  

I haven't, but I did get to spend several hours with him at Minibar (while he was essentially running it) and I'd give anything he made a chance.  While he seemed a bit shy, he really came alive talking about how some of the dishes there were made - and that evening was a complete delight.  Definitely one of my top 5 meals in DC.

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For me, Reverie is the most exciting restaurant opening of late.

In my opinion, this quote from Charles Mingus best describes the genius of Johnny Spero.

"Making the simple complicated is commonplace; making the complicated simple, awesomely simple, that's creativity." 
- Charles Mingus

One day I hope to secure a reservation for the Chef Tasting Menu: “Friends of the House” by reservation only:  With Pay-What-You-Can Seats, Reverie Will Hand Diners a Blank Check

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I'm going on Saturday, I'm buying into the hype.  Agree that the menu does look startlingly simple/boring, but the Palena Cafe menu back in the day did as well, and you know how everyone felt about that place....

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The menu online is the menu we had.

Screenshot 2019-02-01 at 23.08.22.pngScreenshot 2019-02-01 at 23.08.31.pngScreenshot 2019-02-01 at 23.08.41.pngScreenshot 2019-02-01 at 23.08.50.pngScreenshot 2019-02-01 at 23.08.59.png

We started with scallop scudo - very acidic and dill - not the best qualify raw scallop I've had but a nice start

Hake was our second course.  The fish itself, steamed, was tender and absorbed the flavors of the broth.  The accompaniment of clam was tough and chewy.

The third course was Txuleta with an order of Mushrooms.  The mushrooms were bland and the steak came from an old diary cow.  Why is that $100 per order?  I dunno.  It was aged, fatty, well seared, medium rare, but ultimately nothing exciting.

We were at the counter and the couple next to us ordered the [Spanish] Tortilla, with sea urchin and fish roe.  They didn't finish the dish so I offered to swap some of our steak for their tortilla ($150 per order).  We were happy to be able to try the tortilla without paying for it.  We even finished the wine they brought ($50 corkage fee)! 

No tasting menu available except for the two people per night who set their own price.

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Why is the tortilla $150? How big is it? 

Was it busy? Did your neighbors enjoy their food?

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1 hour ago, Jonathan said:

Why is the tortilla $150? How big is it? 

Was it busy? Did your neighbors enjoy their food?

The tortilla isn't big (maybe 8 inches in diameter), but it has sea urchin mixed in, also sea urchin and caviar on the side that you put on top of the tortilla.  Our neighbors said they preferred the steak.  The place wasn't packed but our reservation was at 5:45.

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Fellow food friend, Beth Lang dined at Reverie last night (02.01.2019) as well. 

This is what she had to say about the Scallop Crudo, the Mushroom and Lovage.  She also enjoyed the Burger, which brilliantly pays homage to the Big Mac.  A personal favorite of mine.

 

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On 2/1/2019 at 9:20 PM, Ericandblueboy said:

The menu online is the menu we had.

Screenshot 2019-02-01 at 23.08.22.pngScreenshot 2019-02-01 at 23.08.31.pngScreenshot 2019-02-01 at 23.08.41.pngScreenshot 2019-02-01 at 23.08.50.pngScreenshot 2019-02-01 at 23.08.59.png

We even finished the wine they brought ($50 corkage fee)! 

That is (in my view) nuts from a corkage perspective...that said - I was pretty surprised that they didn't have anything even resembling a wine list online.  I assume they had bottle / by the glass selections?  I likely wouldn't have pulled a bottle from the cellar for this dinner - given for this type of cooking I'd rather let the restaurant guide me a bit - but I find it a little odd that the only thing they reference in their menu's is their small cocktail list.

I'm going next week with my wife and would be curious to know what the deal is on the wine front.

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8 hours ago, Rovers2000 said:

I'm going next week with my wife and would be curious to know what the deal is on the wine front.

There is a wine list, and wines by the glass.  I had something sparkling to start, and then we had a bottle of red for $100.  I didn't order the bottle, and was a little sticker shocked when the bill came out.

From today’s chat with Tom-meister

Quote

The price climb is real. Last week, I was surprised to find $17 drinks at a neighborhood Indian restaurant (they were good, but still!) and you won't believe what I paid last night, at a place I have yet to formally review, for a "tortilla" that featured sea urchin and caviar as garnishes.

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11 minutes ago, Ericandblueboy said:

Checking my credit card charges today....the tip we added was not included.  I wonder if the price reflects tip?

This happened to me last year at Siren - the tip wasn't included when I checked my online records; then a couple days later it was.

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The tortilla price at $150 seems pretty insane to me - I guess partially because Uni is not something I'd wanna pay extra for even though I really like it in certain specific contexts.  I'd get it more if it came with a bunch of caviar but the online menu says paddlefish roe which is still tasty but hard to justify the price to me *as someone who tends to not overly care about most DC restaurant prices.

I do really wanna go and get the duck though as that's one of my favorite things to order.   Would like to see how it compares to Bresca's amazing Duck a la presse.

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My wife and I enjoyed ourselves at Reverie last night.  Its a funny little space - but I liked the quirkiness of the location and the informality of the place in general.  I also would say that you can get the entire menu sitting at their bar which was relatively empty at about 8pm last night (we had reservations - and sat looking into the kitchen which was fun).

We ordered:

- Scallop crudo - this was a very good dish - though the "sauce" could overwhelm the scallop if you weren't careful in terms of loading up a spoon / fork.  Refreshing and light.

- Beef Tartare - I really like beef tartare and this rendition, while not mind blowing, was solid.  The oyster sauce was interesting as were the black garlic chips.

- Mushroom - pictured in the post above, its a beautifully constructed dish and the mushrooms were really tasty - that said, I feel like 26 dollars was a bit excessive for what you get on this front.  Additionally, I think "yolk fudge" isn't totally the way I'd frame that component of the dish.  While delicious - I thought it a bit of a curious classification.

- Duck - Order this.  I thought it one of the better renditions of duck that I've ever enjoyed.  Its also a LOT of duck - my wife and I were pretty stuffed after making our way through it.  

- Bay Ice Cream - for whatever reason, I seem to like Bay leaf in cream components (I've enjoyed Bay whipped cream as well) - who knew.  This was fine - but I probably didn't need more food at this point since I was relatively stuffed.

We paired the meal with a really nice "winter" rose that was balanced with the food we ordered and rang up for about 60 bucks.  I had a glass of a nice italian orange wine at the bar (which had some nice funk to it) - and their by the glass list ranged from 14-20 a glass which seems to be the norm these days.  

All in all - I'd recommend going here.  Reservations were easy to come by, the staff was gracious (though our waiter seemed to be on the greener side?  There was a pretty long gap from when we received menus and when he returned to get us drinks - but serve was fine from there on out) and as I said above - I liked the refined food in a casual setting vibe.

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I was about to write up a post but I realized I got the exact same order as Rovers ^ and had mostly the same opinion of everything.  I'd note that I thought the beef tartare with the oyster sauce was great but if you got too much of the black garlic sauce in a bite it overwhelmed everything else.  

The only difference was we got a burger to split after the amazing duck - we were starving going into dinner and both have big appetites so this was somehow feasible fullness wise.  This was the best burger I've had in a while - the beef patty is made from trimmings from the aged dairy cow ribeye used in their large format steak course so it had a ton of flavor on it's own, and it was really well balanced with the quality cheddar, miso brined pickles and whatever the special sauce was (was a little tipsy at this point).  The duck would be my most recommended item but I enjoyed everything I tasted minus the mushrooms which weren't bad but underwhelming.  Will add my Instagram post pictures once I have that ready.

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The Duck really is very good, but about $30 more than it should be given what you get. 

I really liked this place overall, especially the free corkage on the first bottle of wine.  Definitely rooting for Johnny here, I think this place will do well.

Btw I saw the Tortilla come out and someone would have to explain to me why it was $150.  Same with the $100 steak. 

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On 2/20/2019 at 8:36 PM, DPop said:

The Duck really is very good, but about $30 more than it should be given what you get. 

We had the duck and were very much blown away by it. Our whole meal was impressive--the rugbrod perhaps a less showy dish but nonetheless so flavorful and with great mouthfeel. The mushrooms dish was really well put together, and we loved it. But the duck was splendid--the fennel pollen seasoning adding a perfect compliment to a roasted duck that I would eat monthly if I could (and I guess I could); it's almost too rich and decadent to think about eating it more regularly.

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41 minutes ago, Ericandblueboy said:

One thing I found interesting was that he didn't order the duck based on the licorice aspect.  I actually almost didn't either (I despise black licorice) but unlike Tom apparently - I asked one of the bartenders what they thought about that and received the "its fresh licorice dust" and it is "very subtle".  To be honest, I didn't get a ton of licorice flavor and as I said above, I thought the dish was a home run.

Its a shame that Tom missed out.

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48 minutes ago, Rovers2000 said:

One thing I found interesting was that he didn't order the duck based on the licorice aspect.  I actually almost didn't either (I despise black licorice) but unlike Tom apparently - I asked one of the bartenders what they thought about that and received the "its fresh licorice dust" and it is "very subtle".  To be honest, I didn't get a ton of licorice flavor and as I said above, I thought the dish was a home run.

Its a shame that Tom missed out.

It's a shame that Spero writes his menus in a way where you really can't tell what you'll be getting...

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2 minutes ago, mtureck said:

It's a shame that Spero writes his menus in a way where you really can't tell what you'll be getting...

Agree, for those prices it should not be a matter of entering the Circle of Trust.

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4 minutes ago, Bob Wells said:

Agree, for those prices it should not be a matter of entering the Circle of Trust.

Hmm, I've seen this quite often (everytime you order an omakase, for example).

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18 minutes ago, mtureck said:

It's a shame that Spero writes his menus in a way where you really can't tell what you'll be getting...

10 minutes ago, DonRocks said:

Hmm, I've seen this quite often (everytime you order an omakase, for example).

I think both of these are fair.  The point I was trying to make I guess is that Tom missed out on a dish that I thought was excellent b/c he had a similar judgement to my initial one.  I simply asked a bartender and got an answer that allayed my fear.

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6 minutes ago, DonRocks said:

Hmm, I've seen this quite often (everytime you order an omakase, for example).

Apples and oranges. 

If you're ordering omakase, or any kind of tasting menu where you're accepting that you don't know what you're getting, or you won't be deciding what you'll be eating, that's one thing. 

If you're ordering off a menu with multiple options, it's a different game. 

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5 minutes ago, mtureck said:

Apples and oranges. 

If you're ordering omakase, or any kind of tasting menu where you're accepting that you don't know what you're getting, or you won't be deciding what you'll be eating, that's one thing. 

If you're ordering off a menu with multiple options, it's a different game. 

Kinship (and hundreds of others).

In other breaking news, Robert Parker has proclaimed the 1993 Red Burgundies a disaster.

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