Monday, November 19, 2012

Elizabeth's Gone Raw #4

Elizabeth's Gone Raw has outdone itself once again. Just when I thought that DC's only upscale raw restaurant couldn't possibly improve on its already impressive repertoire of dishes, they did. Executive Chef Jonathan Seningen, formerly of Sax and Hook, joined Elizabeth's earlier this year to replace former chef, Thomas Berry. Seningen, having had no formal raw foods training, went to Oklahoma to train with famed raw foods chef, Matthew Kenney. Since then, he has raised the bar for upscale raw food in the nation's capital.

In addition to the new chef, Elizabeth also made aesthetic improvements to her restaurant by adding a back-lit bar on the first floor made of a gorgeous green onyx. Zach and I arrived early to try the special drink of the night at the new bar while we awaited the rest of our party. The drink special that night was the ginger pumpkin snap, which was made with Snap Gingersnap Liquer, Crusoe Organic Rum, Wolaver's Organic Pumpkin Beer, Fever Tree Organic Ginger Beer and garnished with flamed orange zest. Any drink that involves fire is a-okay in my book.

As soon as our friends arrived, we took a seat in the main dining room. With a prix fixe menu, the only choice to make is whether to go with the drink pairing or with individual selections. I opted to order the same Lemelson Pinot Noir I enjoyed the last time, while my friends went with the drink pairing.  In addition to the bar, I noticed Elizabeth made a few aesthetic changes to the main dining room as well including some new, classic artwork.

Soon thereafter, the fun began. We were served an amuse of baby bella mushrooms filled with cashew cheese and sprouted quinoa and garnished with parsley.  The mushroom had been marinated with a hint of lemon and provided a great foundation for the nutty quinoa and creamy cashew cheese. We couldn't wait to see what was up next.

As we waited we noshed on Elizabeth's famous spicy kale chips prepared with jalapeno. I don't think anyone can ever get enough of them.

Next, we were served a warm red pepper soup that had a subtle hint of olive oil along with saffron and fennel cappuccino, which formed the froth on top. Savory and sophisticated.

But, the sophistication did not stop there. The next dish was a gnocchi made of parsnip and sprouted red lentils in a cashew cream with black cardamom paper, chervil, and shaved carrots to garnish. I kid you not.

The intermezzo was a light, refreshing cucumber sorbet, that was a bit sour, but was tempered with sel gris, which helped balance the flavors.

We all could have stopped there and been completely satisfied, but thank goodness we didn't because the next two courses were the best of all. The main dish was a linguini made of celeriac root, which looked amazingly like linguini, with a sun-dried tomato and basil pesto. To top it off was some black truffle creme and sunflower shoots. I thought I had died and gone to heaven by the point. I mean, really, the chef had really outdone himself on this one.

But, wait there's more. The dessert was unbelievable. We are talking a rich, raw chocolate ganache tart with espresso gelato made of cashews, coconut, and cold-pressed espresso in a thyme sauce. This dessert was the epitome of perfection. The pairing was a sake, which was delightful.

This was an impressive menu put together by a chef who had only recently been trained in raw food preparation, making it even more impressive. Not only is he preparing raw food, he is preparing upscale creations that could stand up to the best. Zach and I were blown away by these flavorful combinations as were our friends. We will be back for more. And if you haven't yet experienced these culinary delights, I suggest you make a reservation. Remember, Elizabeth's Gone Raw is only open Friday nights and I really can't think of a better way to start a weekend.

Previous reviews
July 8, 2011
September 28, 2011
March 5, 2012

Elizabeth's Gone Raw
1341 L Street NW
Washington, DC 20005
(202) 347-8349

Elizabeth's Gone Raw on Urbanspoon

No comments:

Post a Comment