Ana at District Winery

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8/5/2018

This was our second brunch at Ana. Our first experience was much better. The food quality has gone down and our waiter was very unfriendly. The reason I decided to go there again was an Instagram picture of their peach toast. I asked our waiter about it. At first he seemed confused and then mentioned that it was on their dinner menu.


Crab Scrapple poached egg, charred scallions, imperial sauce, side salad
The crab was not the freshest but at least it was enough so you won’t feel cheated. The side salad was good.

Chilaquiles chorizo refried beans, tortilla terrine, eggs, cotija, sour cream
My husband’s dish was more empty carbs than anything else. Basically they fried tortillas with a little bit of chorizo and refried beans. My husband likes to profit the restaurants more than me!

Lebanese Taverna

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8/2/2018

Every time I see one of my relatives in the Tysons Galleria mall she talks about us having lunch at the Lebanese Taverna. I finally gave in. The few mezzes we had were good for the mall but that does not say much! Service was pushy and annoying. Prices were a little high considering the portions.


Baba Ghanoush puréed eggplant, tahini, garlic, lemon, pomegranate
It was smoky but way too salty.

Tabouleh parsley, tomatoes, onions, mint, bulgur, lemon dressing
In the height of tomato season, what is up with the pale tomatoes? Where is the bulgur? It was mostly parsley and pale tomatoes and probably 1% bulgur.

Kibbeh stuffed beef/lamb fritters, bulgur, pine nuts, almonds, lebneh
It was a little over fried but tasted fine. The lebneh was better than the kibbeh.

Hommus Special ground beef/lamb, pine nuts
Once again this dish suffered from over salting. It was good otherwise.

Succotash

7/29/2018


Pimento amuse
It tasted pretty good.

White Asparagus and Endive Salad pecans, blue cheese, grapefruit, black pepper vinaigrette, miso powder
A nice salad. Plenty of crisp bitter endive, salty blue cheese and sweet pecans. A classic paring!

Biscuits & Gravy buttermilk biscuits, black pepper-sausage gravy
Never ordered biscuits and gravy before but since we were at the Southern restaurant, I said, why not?! The biscuits were fine but it needed more gravy to make it more palatable.

Pimento Cheese Burger sesame bun, slab bacon jam, house pickles, French fries
The highlight of our brunch. As we took our first bite, we were blown away by the smokiness. I asked the waiter and he mentioned that the bacon goes through a long process, hence the smokiness. Beef quality was very good and we enjoyed the pimento.

Strawberry-Cucumber Salad with Lemon Cream

I have saved this recipe from Bon Appétit for three years now!! I finally decided to make it. It was very flavorful and refreshing. Too bad strawberries are not my friend anymore.

1 pound strawberries, hulled, quartered
3 Persian cucumbers, sliced
½ teaspoon ground cardamom
Salt
3 teaspoons sugar, divided (I used Monk fruit)
½ cup crème fraîche
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
¼ cup unsalted, roasted pistachios

Toss strawberries, cucumbers, cardamom, a pinch of salt, and 1 tsp. sugar in a medium bowl and let sit 10 minutes to allow sugar to dissolve and flavors to meld.

Meanwhile, mix crème fraîche, lemon juice, remaining 2 tsp. sugar, and a pinch of salt in a small bowl; set lemon cream aside.

Divide fruit salad among plates and spoon reserved lemon cream over; sprinkle with  pistachios.

Gravitas

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7/21/2018

I have been waiting for Gravitas to open up ever since I read about it last year. As the case is with many restaurants, they had to overcome a lot of challenges and finally opened up in July, the month of my birthday. Universe was on my side but unfortunately the day we dined there was a miserable rainy day. Even though we had a big umbrella and I had a hat on, I still got wet. The space was airy and large enough so you have some privacy. We were going to be seated by the front corner side of the restaurant but I requested to be seated on the opposite side with a good view of the kitchen and a much better lighting. Service was friendly and helpful. Their menu was divided to four categories: light beginning, Indulgence, Hearty and Sweet. You had a choice of four to seven course varying in price from $78 to $110. Since we don’t like to eat heavy at night, four courses were enough for us.



Southern Butterfly vida mezcal, Altos Reposado, Strawberry, Rhuburb, Walnut Orgeat, Lime, Magnolia Vinegar
My brother has been raving about mezcal for a long time now, so when I spotted it on the cocktail menu, I picked it up for my husband. It was potent and refreshing with a great smoky, sweet and sour flavor.

Garden Party Pineapple, Beet, Turmeric, Gingerbeer
I was afraid this mocktail was going to be too sweet, but our waiter assured me it wasn’t. It was a good drink right up my brother’s alley even though he was not in town celebrating with us.

Amuse

Focaccia and Baguette with Seaweed Butter
Breads were good but the butter was the highlight.

Sunchoke Velouté Poached lobster, Fennel Marmalade, Green Apple, Brown Butter Powder
Ever since I saw this dish on the menu, I was sold. It was very smooth and the lobster pieces were cooked perfectly. When was the last time you had brown butter powder? Creative.

Tasting of Summer Mushrooms Glazed Chanterelles, Crispy Polenta, Parmesan Emulsion, Garlic Aioli, Lavender
My husband’s Pick. Tasty earthy mushrooms and polenta.

Gruyère Agnolotti Melted Leeks, Chives, Crispy Ash
This was a very small dish compared to my second course. I only got one agnolotti and not much else, so I don’t know how it tasted as a whole. My husband founded it fine but nothing special.

Yellowfin Tuna Sashimi Soy Vinaigrette, Shaved Jalapeño, Black Vinegar Aioli, Dehydrated Shallot and Garlic, Nori
I on the other hand, hit the jackpot with a very fresh sashimi grade tuna. I did not want the experience to end! Loved the crunch on the top from onion, garlic and nori.

Lemongrass Poached Halibut Asparagus, Shimegi Mushroom, Summer Herbs, ‘Pho’Gelée, Mushroom Consommé
The Consommé was so good and the veggies were as good as the fish. It was cooked perfectly and I am not even a big halibut fan!

Roasted Spring Lamb Lion Braised Farro, Confit Baby Onions, Garlic puree, Swiss Chard, Lamb Jus
This must have been one of the best lambs we have ever had. Not gamey at all and a joy to eat. The earthy farro was a good match and the chard added vegetal element to the dish. The jus was very good.


Saffron ‘Cheesecake’ Cheesecake Foam, Graham Cracker Crust, Blueberry Textures
I love saffron and naturally I had to order this. A very good deconstructed cheesecake full of high quality saffron flavor.

Strawberry ‘Shortcake’ White Chocolate Cake, Roasted Strawberries, compressed Rhubarb, Basil, Yuzu Sorbet
I am not a white chocolate fan but I am glad that did not stop me from ordering this dessert. It must be on the top ten best desserts we have ever had. Sweet strawberries, creamy cake and amazing yuzu sorbet. We savored every bite.

Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams


Rainbow BFY, Watermelon Buttermilk Frozen Yogurt, Peach Buttermilk 
The rainbow and the watermelon are the two favorites I usually get because I love their sweet and tart flavors. Peach buttermilk was not that peachy.

frosé Sorbet, Rainbow BFY, Watermelon Buttermilk Frozen Yogurt
frosé a combination of rosé, berries and lemon was very refreshing. The other two satisfied as usual.

Seylou Bakery and Mill


Strawberry Whole Grain Tart
The first fruit tart of the season. It was really good. Sweet strawberries.

Rhubarb Pastry
It was a good rhubarb pastry.

White Strawberry Tart
As soon as I saw it on Instagram, I knew I had to go there and get one. Visually beautiful and tasty.

Raspberry Buckwheat Tart
Very comforting and tasty.

Blueberry & Peach Einkorn Tart
A nice summery tart or a cake? I can’t remember!

Blackberry Einkorn Tart
I am not sure what the creamy topping was?  It tasted like a ricotta. It was pretty good.

Buckwheat Chiffon Cake
Another Instagram photo that made me stop by Seylou. It was a moist buckwheat cake with flavorful plum slices and blackberries.