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curiouskitkatt

Vedge, Husband-Wife Chef-Owners Rich Landau and Kate Jacoby's Paean to Vegan Cooking - 1221 South Locust Street

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On 8/15/2019 at 1:13 PM, DonRocks said:

Any tips for Vedge's signature dishes? I don't need to have something just because it's a signature dish; I'd only want it if it was a signature dish *and* great.

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I started to write this up; never did finish it, but here's what I have so far:

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Chef-owners Rich Landau and Kate Jacoby have opened Fancy Radish at 6th and H Street NE, Washington, DC, and there are some distinct similarities on the menus:

The welcoming entrance:

VedgeSign.jpeg

I made (or, I thought I'd made) a reservation on Resy, but when we got to the host stand at Vedge, there was no record of it (almost certainly, I had forgotten to click the final "Confirm," because I had no email confirmation). It was very, very fortunate to have gotten a table for two at 6:30 on a Thursday evening - they had probably been holding one back in case of a situation like this. The hosts could not have been more welcoming, and they turned what could have been an awkward situation into an exceptional show of hospitality. There was a single two-top available near the front wall, and because of our proximity to our neighbors, there was no way I was going to use flash photography.

We started off with cocktails: a Cava Cake ($14) with Cava, St. Germain, and carrot; and the Arrogant Pupil ($13), with Gin, Campari, Sweet Vermouth, and tomato. The predominant flavors in these two drinks were St. Germain and Campari, respectively, and although the carrot and tomato infusions were present, they stayed very much in the background, and the cocktails were not at all reflective of the wonders Vedge achieves with vegetables.

The wine list is quite expensive, and in an exception to my usual rule, I'd advise diners here to stick with wines by the glass (hovering in the $14-16 range), which tended to be about 20% of the corresponding bottle prices. After nurturing our cocktails, we started the meal with two glasses of Bibiana Monje Rosé of Listan Negro ($14) from the Canary Islands, Listan Negro being a red-wine grape widely planted in this region of Spain.

"Here the Maestro laid down his pen."
-- TuranDon

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1. Menu
2. Rutabaga Fondue
3. Applewood Smoked Tofu
4. Charred Corn "Elote"
---------------------------------------> The greatness of this meal (*) ended here, as the entrees began: Vedge did better with small plates, not trying to coax out flavors of meat.
5. Eggplant Braciole
6. Seared Maitake Mushroom

Screenshot 2019-08-25 at 20.40.47.pngFondue.jpgTofu.jpgCorn.jpgEntree1.jpgEntree2.jpg

(*) And it was a great meal; the entrees transitioned from "great" to "very good" which is hardly a fault. It's fascinating to compare this meal with the ridiculously great vegan "diner meal" served up this summer at Komi - I can't choose a favorite; yet they were utterly different in style. The most interesting thing, to me, is that I felt Komi's transition into "entrees" (i.e., the cheesesteak and the gyro) also dropped off a bit, relative to the first courses (these comments about the larger dishes at both Vedge and Komi are like saying the recording of Gould's 1982 Goldberg Variations wasn't as peppy as the 1955 rendition (which was launched into outer space (really))).

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