|The Tombs Decked Out for 1789 Christmas Eve Patrons|
Though we have called DC -- okay, technically, Arlington -- home, for five and a half years, this was the first Christmas that we have spent in the metro area. After a warm, delicious, and festive Christmas Eve dinner at 1789, this dining experience may become a new yearly tradition.
Given its proximity to Georgetown's Holy Trinity Church, 1789 is a tough reservation to be had for Christmas Eve, and we were lucky to secure a table at 8 about three weeks prior. We have dined at 1789 before, but never during the holidays. The festive decor, garlands, and greenery throughout its series of dining rooms exuded holiday comfort. Add to that the surprise of carolers and the space transformed into a Christmas scene right out of a Charles Dickens novel! And despite what sounds like an excess of holiday cheer, 1789 managed to be festive without being cheesy.
From start to finish the experience was exceptional. The restaurant was well prepared for the crowds and opened the cozy--yet normally filled with Georgetown students--basement bar, the Tombs, exclusively for 1789 patrons waiting for their reservation. The blazing fire, and gratis beer, wine, and champagne, was a wonderful start to the evening, and kept everyone in the holiday spirit!
The service upstairs was attentive, and with the exception of a slight delay in our entrees, spot on all night. It being a holiday, we we did not exercise restraint, so please do not be alarmed by the bevy of food photographs and descriptions that follow.
|1789: Beef Carpaccio with Hard Boiled Quail Egg, Garlic Chips, Capers,|
and Chili Oil
This split portion of the carpaccio was decadent with a silky, smooth texture and overall richness enhanced by the quail egg. The capers and the garlic chips were a nice salty contrast.
|1789 Mushroom Tart|
The amount of wild mushrooms crammed ever so carefully into the puff pastry was quite the feat. This earthy dish was my favorite of the night.
|1789: Raspberry Point Oyster Gratin|
The oysters were plump and juicy topped with house cured bacon and tangy gruyere cheese.
|1789: The Christmas Goose|
The carolers propelled me to go Dickinsonian and order the Christmas goose. I had actually never eaten goose before, but was quite impressed with this grass fed option atop a turnip puree. The meat was not overly gamey, but tender and almost like a cross between chicken and a fillet (for lack of a better comparison). The caramelized dark meat atop the breast melted in your mouth. Long live the Christmas goose!
|1789: Prime Rib|
B opted for the prime rib, a thin cut which he described as succulent and rich in its au jus.
|1789: Eggnog Bread Pudding|
We of course had to have dessert, but after all that food decided to share. The eggnog bread pudding was a delicious take on a holiday classic, amped up with housemade chocolate ice cream, butterscotch roasted pecans, and sour cherries. Even more rich!
|1789: Cocoa Dusted Hazlenuts|
And to make the evening and the following day a little bit sweeter, Christmas Eve diners left with a present of cocoa dusted hazlenuts.
1789 provided a delightful atmosphere and delicious food from start to finish. Entree prices hover in the mid to high 30s, and our dinner, with $20 corkage (we brought an amazing 2000 Margaux that was gifted to us), the myriad of food described above, tax, and tip came to $190.