Friday, August 16, 2013

Equinox, DC #3

With the array of great vegan options at restaurants around town, one has to wonder why there are a lack of options in the downtown business district of DC. And because of this, I always dread business lunches. So when I had the opportunity to suggest a restaurant, I suggested my go-to staple -- Equinox.

It had been a long time since I'd had lunch at Equinox. As with any fine restaurant, I typically prefer to dine here for dinner. Chef Todd Gray is one of my favorite chefs in the city as not only is he a great chef, but he is always aiming to please vegan diners. This lunch was no different.

I ordered a pomegranate lemonade while I perused the menu.

The menu at Equinox changes quite often so I never know quite what to expect. Sometimes I'll find vegan items on the menu and sometimes I won't, but they are always willing to alter a menu item to make it vegan or just whip up something on the fly and I've never been disappointed. On this occasion, I requested a salad be modified to be made vegan as my first course.  So I started with the Baby Arugula and Ruby Red Grapefruit Salad sans the cheese and with a vegan vinaigrette. It was perfect -- a peppery arugula salad with thinly sliced red onions, and grapefruit slices in a light vinaigrette topped with pepitas. I honestly could have stopped there.

For my main course, I decided to try the Michael Berman's Favorite Vegetable Arrangement. Michael Berman is apparently a long-time diner at the Equinox and this is his favorite dish. That's pretty cool. It was a nice mix of spinach, wild mushrooms, asparagus, and little golden potatoes -- a great lunch dish.

I don't usually eat dessert for lunch, but when I saw a vegan brownie on the menu, I had to try it! How often do you see a vegan chocolate dessert on a fine restaurant's menu? Almost never!  This was a huge crusty dark chocolate brownie made with cherries and served with slivered almonds, vegan Mt. Gay rum caramel sauce, and coconut sorbet.  Delish! 

All of the individuals who dined with me remarked that they were very pleased with their meals as well. And service, as always, was great.  Equinox is a great place to go for a nice business lunch in the downtown area.

Since this lunch just a few months ago, I dined at Equinox again, but for dinner this time. Chef Todd Gray was there and said he had some great farm fresh veggies he had just received from local farms in Virginia. We told him to just go to town and make us whatever he wanted.

So for the first course, we had a panzanella with arugula, asparagus, and croutons. Absolutely delicious!  How often do I get fresh croutons baked with olive oil? Not often enough.

For the second course, we were served local sweet corn with chantarelles, shiitakes, steamed white, olive, and orange cauliflower (green cauliflower!), red peppers, and arugula pesto. This dish was so good -- everything was just so fresh and the pesto was so rich.

For the third course, we had a farro risotto with beets, fava beans, and salsa verde. Chef Gray came out to explain to us what he did with this course and we absolutely loved it.

Lastly, for dessert, we were served a lemon poppyseed cake with coconut carmel, berry compote, and raspberry citrus sorbet. I devoured this entire dish in minutes without even realizing it and looked up and was like "um, I just ate all of that," and Zach was like, "yeah, you did." Whoops.

Again, the service was great, the food was awesome, and the prices were lower than one would expect for this type of meal. Equinox remains one of my favorite restaurants in DC.

Previous reviews
December 9, 2011
October 17, 2012

818 Connecticut Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20006
(202) 331-8118

Equinox on Urbanspoon

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