Butterfield 9 Food and Wine

First, some general comments about the restaurant. It was a little tough to find as the signs sort of fade into the windows! There was a nice bar area to wait in until your tabel is ready with plenty of places to sit. I liked where we were seated in the restaurant, at a comfy corner table in an off the main path room. I would not have liked to be seated at some of the tables as they were so close to the enterance. Overall, the wine list was fairly impressive. They had well over a hundred wines to choose from, all arranged by country of origin. Also, I noticed a selection of about 30 different wines by the glass plus about 10 half bottles of wine. However, the least expensive bottle was $30. Two final observations before we get to the food and wine. The servers did not bring the wine promptly. We ordered the wine pairing and we had our first course easily five or more minutes before we got the first wine, same with the following courses. And, they fed us too fast. We had barely had our first course dishes removed and we certainly hadn’t finished the first wine before the next course was on the table (without the next wine). It felt really rushed.

Both of us chose the soup of the day, a clam and lobster bisque for our first course. It came nicely presented, with 2 clames in the center and lighter color soup swirling out from them. Excellent texture and flavor, this was very thin bisque with a hint of chili pepper. The wine pairing was a 2005 Brancott Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand. It’s available online for $9.99 and is 13% alcohol by volume. I was struck by the tropical fruits on the nose, especially pineapple. In the mouth there was pineapple and I think guava. I wrote that it had a perfect structure and acidity. It was an okay match with the soup, but was a little overpowering. I really liked the wine though.

For the second course, Matt had the roasted pork tenderloin with creamed barley and mustard greens. I had the boneless braised beef short ribs with cheese grits, mixed veggies and truffle oil. Both entrees were excellent, though I didn’t try Matt’s. My beef was a little fattier than I normally like it but worked well with the bbq sauce. With this course the wine was a 2005 Shoo Fly Aussie Salute Grenache Shiraz from Australia. I got chocolate, spices ad raisins on the nose of this one. In the mouth, I got pepper to start. I could tell this wine hadn’t been opened in advance. It was thin in the mouth to start, but opened up over the course of dinner opened up with a nice spice, cedar and berry mix. This really would have benefitted from being decanted and will probably get better with age. A decent pairing, Matt really liked this one.

Finally, dessert. I had the Vanilla Creme Brulee and Matt had the Chocolate Almond Mocha Cheesecake. The brulee was fabulous. Easily the lightest, fluffiest brulee I have every had (usually I’m not a fan because it’s too much of a thick custard for me, the texture weirds me out) so I was pleasantly surprised by this. Paired with dessert was a Michele Chiarlo Nivole Moscato D’Asti from Italy. This was the smallest pour of wine I have every seen, ever. It came in a cordial glass and wasn’t even a mouthful of wine! However, I thought this was the best wine of the night and the best pairing. But correct me if I’m wrong, Moscato D’Asti is supposed to be frizzante, right? This had no bubbles. It had a very aromatic bouquet. Floral and light on the nose. In the mouth I got mandarin orange and apricots. Overall, a delicious little wine and very afforable, online for $11.99! It had good structure and great acidity and was served at a perfect temperature.

Restaurant Week!

It’s restaurant week here in the DC area. Which is excellent since many of the area’s best restaurants offer a 3 course meal for only $30.07 (or lunch for $20.07 but I tend to think dinner is a better deal since I rarely go out ot lunch and $20 strikes me as a lot for lunch even if it is fabulous). Tonight we have chosen to go to Butterfield 9, a restaurant I haven’t been to before but have heard very good things about. The menu for the evening sounds excellent (one of the dishes even has cheese grits (no, I’m not Southern and I never actually had grits until I moved to the South, but well made cheese grits are such a great homey comfort food), one of my favorite things, as a side dish). Menu. They are also offering a wine pairing with dinner for $19.07. I will look into it to see what the offerings are, there’s a good chance we could get better wines for our money this way than if we ordered one $38ish bottle of wine for the two of us. We shall see, as I will definetly want to know what the pairings are before I leap into that one!

Look for a wine and restaurant review tomorrow! I love checking out new places to see what kind of a wine list they have (not to mention the fact that it means I don’t actually have to cook today, which has made me very happy all day!). We are also heading out to the Melting Pot this week to take advantage of the special there. Look for that wine review this weekend.

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