Are you looking for the best celebrity chef-owned restaurants in Northern Virginia? Look no further! From innovative creations to traditional dishes prepared to perfection, these are the favorites of our critics this year. Using a points system, taking into account food, service and ambience scores, I've named the 10 best places to eat in Northern Virginia right now. The first step towards a culinary adventure is to read the menu, with its creative proposals that only allude to the art that is yet to come. What exactly is the “bulgogi” sea bream from the Canary Islands? You're wondering.
The fish dish, also available made with maitake mushrooms for vegetarians, is a flaky fillet with crispy skin that, in fact, tastes like Korean barbecue, but is served on a foam of matsutake, mushrooms and shoyu with crispy black rice punctures. During blueberry season, the dessert can be a purple lacquered dome that seals the flavor of white chocolate mousse and blueberry jam. Cranberry sauce is sprinkled onto the plate like a monochromatic Jackson Pollock, a study on the freshest fruits of the season. An example of a dish that will leave you wanting more is a pork loin from Shenandoah Valley's fall olive farms.
It is prepared with a sweet and spicy strawberry gochujang, Perron's version of the famous Korean hot sauce. Served with cracklings from the same pig, it takes on a healthy appeal thanks to the purple sweet potato from Okinawa, the spicy Japanese-style yuzu kosho and the bok choy. Another highlight are the ribs braised in a Korean barbecue sauce with doubles, served on a creamy polenta di riso. A fried pork terrine is Perron's own; a fritter served in smoked broth and sweetened with lingonberries is a subtle nod to owner Stefan Trummer's European heritage.
But there's no doubt that the kitchen is all Perron's. Or maybe it's winter, safe inside the circa 1829 building that was once home to blacksmith Manley Pierce. Either way, you're sitting to the beat of Frank Sinatra singing “Old Devil Moon”. The Ashby Inn doesn't stand out for its koi ponds and imposing roofs.
Its discreet elegance comes from the waiters you'd like to spend more time with, from the beautiful tableware and from the gardens that supply the kitchen in the warm months. It would all seem anachronistic if it weren't for chef Johnathan Leonard's modern skills.But meat a la carte may not be the main attraction at Ada's: the side dishes are just as appealing, if not more so. Broccoli is lightly cooked on hot coals, leaving it crispy and smoky, but light and spicy, thanks to its aioli dressing with sherry vinegar. Cauliflower is charred, but it's still al dente enough to withstand a bath in lemon vinaigrette and a living burial with dates and pine nuts, which add a nutty sweetness to its strong paprika aioli.
Matthews' creativity seems to have no limits, and typical courses can't restrict it.The foie gras donut topped with cherries, for example, is sweet and savory enough to qualify as an appetizer (which is how it appears on the list) or as a delicious dessert, depending on the whim of the diner. But don't sleep with the more traditional finalists. Whether it's balloon-shaped fritters filled with caramel and apple or an amazingly rich jar of marshmallow cake, it's worth leaving room for something sweet after the steak.It's a challenge not to get your fill of bread at Clarity. Once you demolish the first one, which is both airy and chewy, it lets you know that the second one has sausage.
You won't eat dessert - you can't skip caramelized scallop tartar on a Maine day boat! The finely chopped seafood is surrounded by puddles of hot sauce and sweet charred peach. Matthews' creativity seems to have no limits, and typical courses can't restrict it.You can order a hamburger or a fish dish or, best of all, half-cooked slices of local lamb. Or you can leave caution in the hands of the wind and bust your guts with Nick Rib, a true hymn to excesses. It's a cult hit that combines house brioche with tender fried pork in what may be the most delicious barbecue sauce you'll ever try.
Or will you eat dessert after all? There is a creamy tahini-flavored cream with coconut slush and pineapple sorbet - a kind of version of the pina colada in the Middle East.But it's not too heavy either. Maybe that's because chef Jon Krinn knows that you won't be able to resist the call from his list. Forget about pasta? It's not a task I give you often. And that's it - order a plate! Don't miss out on Thompsons' hyperseasonal specialties in their account.
In their main dining room brightly colored paintings represent a carnival.
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