Tuesday, November 16, 2010

J&G Fishhouse (?)

Eating Around DC is back from the west coast and has a back(b)log of DC food experiences to share.  First up: J and G Steakhouse.  After a hectic week, B and I chose J and G not for the obvious, but for the fish options.  As any DC'ite can attest, it seems we have more steakhouses per capita than we have Starbucks outlets!  And B and I are steaked out

Having loved our experience at Jean Georges' Kauai Grill last spring, and given the rave J and G reviews, our expectations were high.  But the modern, club vibe (house music pumps throughout the lobby bar) of the W DC upon walking in gave us abit of leeriness about the relaxation factor, if not the crowds.

I am happy to report that our fears were assuaged and expectations exceeded.  The whole J and G experience is one that I hope to repeat.  The ambiance was modern but unfussy; soaring windows and larger-than life suede banquet seats.  Both our server and the sommelier were attentive, friendly and exceedingly knowledgeable.  The pacing was spot-on, allowing time for us to savor each dish.  And every element from the cocktails through to the dessert was thoughtfully prepared, inventive, and full of flavor.

J and G Steakhouse: Grapefruit Gimlit
Made from grapefruit vodka produced in small batches in Napa Valley (wish I knew about this a few weeks earlier), this was a tart, refreshing apertif.

J and G Steakhouse: Calamari with Yuzu Dip
The calamari appetizer was fried so delicately that it almost melted in your mouth.  The CO2-infused dipping sauce added to the levity with its airy texture and citrus notes.

J and G Steakhouse: Seared Atlantic Cod Scallion-Chili Sauce
I challenge any steak to stand up to the rich flavor of this cod fillet, which was meaty without the meat and enhanced with a wonderfully pungent spicy sauce.

J and G Steakhouse: Glazed Short Ribs with Crunchy Cheddar Grits
And for the record, we did not completely forsake meat. The short ribs were oh-so fork tender. The playful package of phyllo-wrapped grits was not only creative, but the crunch yielded to both sweet and savory goodness. 

Our evening also included bacon-wrapped shrimp and the ubiquitous half-baked chocolate cake.  Both of which were spot-on flavor-wise, if a bit less inventive.

J and G is another one of those places that is not inexpensive, but it is not unreasonable and delivers a wonderful experience from start to finish.  On this particular trip we brought our own wine, but the sommelier had us sample a fabulous Napa Cabernet, Faust, that we hope perhaps to enjoy a full bottle of next visit.  Dinner with two cocktails, two appetizers, two entrees, dessert, corkage ($25), tax, and tip was $200.

J&G Steakhouse on Urbanspoon

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