Falls Church, Va.
There's a fair amount of griping in the blogosphere about DC's annual Restaurant Week: the menus are uninspired, the crowds are annoying, the service is poor, the prices aren't that great. But I don't think anyone left 2941 dissatisfied last week, judging from the meal I enjoyed and the full house at a weekday lunch.
The chestnut velouté was the perfect starter on a bitterly cold day. Rich and slightly sweet, it could have been dessert, but for its garnish of savory sauteed mushrooms. Hidden beneath the mushrooms was "Armagnac custard," another sweetish note, a spoon-sized flan.
The other appetizer on the three-course set menu ($20.11 during Restaurant Week) was a colorful paté de compagne studded with chopped pistachios. My dining companion left no trace of it behind.
I wavered between the three entree choices. I rarely turn down scallops, and I almost ordered the lemon risotto just to see how it incorporated the bizarre citrus fruit called Buddha's hand. But in the end I chose a quintessential winter dish: quail wrapped in bacon, served with kale and white beans. It was a rich and comforting delight.
If I could have asked for seconds, I would have done so for the dessert. I nearly headed straight for the chocolate dacquoise, thinking that an Earl Grey pot de cremé might be too much of that distinctive bergamot flavor. But this dessert was sublime. I alternated bites of the perfectly smooth custard with the delicious walnut brioche bostock, like an airy madeleine.
The service was leisurely -- OK, it was slow. But I was savoring the last of my dessert, lingering with good friends over coffee, so you won't hear any complaints from me.