One of my favourite parts about travelling is getting to try new restaurants and local cuisine. A little pre-travel research pointed us toward Mintwood Place, an affordable bistro that's drummed up some significant buzz in the press.
Mintwood Place is a bit outside of Washington's main tourist areas in Adams Morgan, a neighbourhood that dubs itself "the real Washington DC." You definitely get the feeling that this is where the locals live, eat, work, and play. It's a brightly coloured neighbourhood full of live music venues, boutique shops, and trendy new restaurants. Adams Morgan is likely where I would hangout most if I ever moved to DC.
After exploring the neighbourhood, we settled in to our patio table at Mintwood Place for a long, leisurely dinner.
All good meals start with warm french bread and a sparkling cocktail. We both sipped the "Woodrow Wilson": a mix of gin, elderflower, hum liquor, and cava.
Deviled Pickled Eggs were a zingy and creamy starter to wake up our tastebuds.
Steak Tartare! Regular blog readers know I'm always ordering steak tartare and are probably wondering if I ever eat my steak cooked at all. I do, but I just can't resist it when it's raw... it must be the French side of me...
This particular tartare tasted a lot like others I've had before, but I appreciated the added crispness of the fresh garnish: Jicama root, micro-greens, and edible flowers.
Goat Cheese & Beet Mountain Pie. It may not look like much as first, but slice it open...
... and you'll find warm beets and melted goat cheese baked between toasty brioche. An awesome twist on the usual goat cheese & beet salad, and one of my favourite dishes of the evening.
Wood-grilled octopus mixed with carrot, olive, and pine nut antipasto. Garnished with capers, frisée lettuce, edible flowers, and black ink crunch. This was a very unique dish and a combination of flavours that I've never tasted with octopus. I'm glad I ordered it for its originality alone, but I would have liked a few more pieces of octopus mixed in. I think the seafood should really be the main feature in this dish and it got a bit overwhelmed by the other flavours.
We relaxed on the patio in the spring weather and watched the sun go down over a glass of wine. As dusk settled in, we decided to go for one more round and share a cheese plate. Mintwood Place has about seven different cheeses for you to chose from so you can customize your plate, and they're all served with raisin toast, candied nuts, and fruit jelly.
I chose a mix of semi-strong American and French cheeses from both cow's and sheep's milk...
... and forgot to photograph them before we started eating! Bad Blogger. I promise I'll do better next time! (I'll take any excuse to eat more cheese.)
If you're in Washington DC, I definitely recommend a trip to Mintwood Place. The service is excellent and very friendly, the food is delicious, and the bistro-setting is a lovely place to spend an evening.