Sunday, January 23, 2011


Ok, last installment of our Restaurant Week January 2011 food adventures. :(   Last night we went to dinner at Vermillion, located right on King Street in the middle of Old Town Alexandria.  The night streets were lined with lighted trees dancing on the edges of the sidwalks and the nightlife traffic was bustling.  So bustling in fact that we had to circle the block several times and even call the restaurant to hold our table so we could find a place to park and not lose our reservation. Luckily we eventually found a spot not too far away from the restaurant, thankfully, because it was FREEZING outside last night!!

We finally made it inside the restaurant where it was warm and cozy.  Brick walls with a mixture of modern lamps and gas lanterns lined the cozy tables and the bar scene was bumpin!  We were seated upstairs where it was slightly quieter and we were greeted by a wall of wine bottles at the top of the stairs.
the nightlife

The food here was not particularly unique but it was very yummy!  To start, we were brought a complimentary tasting from the chef.  Miniature Greek Meatballs with a cauliflower puree.  So yumm! I wish these were bigger and more of them! They even made the cauliflower taste good! We practically licked the cute little bowls they were served in.

For the first course, I chose Rock Shrimp and Atlantic Squid.  You kinda expect squid to be a little chewy, even when cooked well.  Not this time! It was so soft and perfect! The shrimp and squid were served on top of a bed of 3 different kinds of beans mixed with salsa verde and thai chilies all piled on top of a slice of toasted focaccia drizzled with olive oil. It was nice and light and savory.

Hubby's first course was, of course, the Carpaccio of Wagyu Beef.  Its hard for him to pass up wagyu because you don't really see it very often. And it really is so succulent! This wagyu was served with tiny little pumpernickel croutons, baby watercress, a spicy mustard vinagrette, and a couple little pieces of parmesan cheese. Again, very light tasting for a beef dish.

For the second course, I chose the Wild Mushroom Ravioli. This was served with Swiss chard, fresh pomegranate seeds, chunks of roasted sweet potato, dollops of goat cheese, and a sage brown butter.  Oh sooo good!  The Swiss chard I found interesting because not long ago I had a bad experience with it and decided I didn't like or want to try it again.  But, I figured I would be brave.  Maybe I would like it in a different setting.  And surprisingly it wasn't too bad with the ravioli.  I mean, you'd be hard pressed to make mushroom ravioli with brown butter and goat cheese taste bad.  I'm a sucker for goat cheese and this did not disappoint.  It combined nicely with the other flavors and the pomegranate gave a nice sweet pop.

Hubby's second course was the Duroc Pork Loin.  It was cooked medium well so it was still slightly pink and served on top of caramelized 3 herb spatzle and pickled cabbage.  It took us a while to figure out what the spatzle was.  Hubby said it tasted like eggs and I thought it tasted like some kind of cheesy pasta.  Turns out we were both right.  Spatzle is a kind of egg noddle often served in German and Austrian cuisine.  Either way it was very tasty and worked well with the sourness of the cabbage and the sweet tender porkiness of the meat.

Then came dessert.  There were only 2 to choose from so I got one and hubby got the other.  Mine was the Bittersweet Chocolate Bombe.  Sounds decadent and amazing right? It was!  Bittersweet chocolate mousse combined with dulce de leche and topped with espresso ice cream and a couple cocoa tuilles (which we learned about from Masa 14) and the plate was shmeared with a sticky caramel sauce. I thought I might be too full already to finish such a decadent dessert but somehow my tummy found the room!

Hubby's dessert was no slouch either.  A Cider Roasted Bosc Pear.  It looked like a little steaming teepee of deliciousness when it arrived.  (There was literally steam coming out of the top!) It was served with caramelized maple ice cream, granola, cranberries, and a piece of sesame brittle for decoration.  The maple in the ice cream was pleasantly subtle and made the perfect companion to the hot juicy pear, the crunch of the granola and brittle, and the tartness of the cranberries.

Once again, an awesome meal at an awesome restaurant in the DC area.  I'm sad to see the week come to an end.  There were so many restaurants we still wanted to try! So much food and so little time. :(   I guess we'll just have to make plans for the next Restaurant Week!


  1. GOsh your post made me so hungry. Sadly we don't have such reasturant nearby. Thank you for taking us there through your post. Donna.