Saturday, June 11, 2011

Todd Gray's Watershed, DC - grand opening reception

Last night, we attended the official grand opening of Todd Gray's Watershed, his newest restaurant.  He describes this restaurant as a neighborhood gathering place giving homage to the regions of the Eastern Seaboard.  The menu is very "coastal" -- it consists mainly of seafood.  This night was a special night for which there was a reception to celebrate the new restaurant. The restaurant is located in NE Washington, DC in the Hilton Garden Inn.

There were three stations of food and while two of them were mostly seafood, I was pleasantly surprised to find that the station in the middle was completely vegan.  Immediately, Todd showed me around and showed me what was vegan and told me he had two special soups for me as well. On the vegan station, there was this wonderful kalamata olive tapenade, Israeli hummus with pita chips, and bruschetta. Although all of these items are quite common at a reception, they were especially good here. Todd also prepared a wonderful corn bisque with scallions and roasted tomatoes that was incredibly delightful. It was deliciously creamy, yet there was no cream! This dish is on his regular menu, but with some type of seafood so I'm sure you can just order it without the meat. The other soup he brought out was a tomato gazpacho that was loaded with flavor.  But, I wouldn't have expected anything less from Todd.

Ellen, Todd, and me
Todd Gray is, in my opinion, the best chef in DC. Although he serves mainly meat-based dishes at both of his restaurants, Equinox and Watershed, he is an incredibly versatile chef who truly enjoys cooking vegan. In fact, his wife, Ellen Kassoff Gray, is vegetarian and is the co-owner and mastermind behind the marketing for both restaurants. Together, they are a power couple in the restaurant scene in DC. Although I haven't enjoyed a formal sit-down dinner at the Watershed, based upon this experience, I would say that the food is very good. I highly recommend visiting one of his restaurants if you are in the DC area. Just let them know when you are making the reservation that you are vegan and they'll take it from there.

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