Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Equinox, DC #5

Okay, okay, I know I've reviewed Equinox a lot, but I just can't get enough of this place. I was intrigued by the Vegan Smackdown Challenge Chef Todd Gray has been doing this year where he invites one chef a month to provide him with one of their signature meaty dishes, then he veganizes it! What a grand idea. This month was Mary Sue Milliken's Summer Sweet Corn Tamales.

My friends were intrigued too, so I met them there on a Thursday night. The dining room looked as nice as it always has with its classy white tablecloths and tall black comfy chairs. We were seated in the large glass dining room.  Chef Gray came out to greet us as two out of three of us know him. He's always so pleasant. He started us off with some Black Bean Beignets that were absolutely scrumptious. They were not on the menu, but they really should be!

What really surprised us was that not only do they have a Vegan Tasting Menu, but they also have a bunch of items on the regular menu that are vegan that are different from the tasting menu so options at Equinox are aplenty! We still decided to go with the Tasting Menu though.

But, wait, before that starts, let's get an order of the Artichokes Alla Romana! These fried artichokes were served with Italian parsley and red pepper aioli. This wasn't my favorite dish of the night as I felt the aioli needed something else, but one of my friends liked it a lot.

For the first official course of the tasting, we started off with Chilled Avocado-Cucumber Soup made with almond milk. Sesame eggplant, cilantro leaves, and pistachio crumble was quickly covered with the avocado-cucumber soup. This soup was excellent. The eggplant really was an unusual twist to this soup and the crunchiness of the pistachios was a great addition. So much flavor, so little time.

The second course was the Sweet Corn Tamale with Garbanzo Beans. I loved this dish. The tamales were really good and served with a corn, black-eye pea, and red pepper succotash and tomatillo sauce. This was a hit at the table. It's a shame this is off the menu because I feel like this could be a staple.

The third course was the Housemade Bucatini pasta made with red beets and mixed with garlic-almond cream. On top was caramelized artichokes and chanterelle mushrooms with shaved "parmesan." Pretty good and very creative.

The fourth course was the Crispy Heirloom Cauliflower with Maple Sherry Glaze. This dish was good, but a bit too sweet for me. I'm not much of a sweet and sour girl. I loved the spinach and scallions and thought there should have been more of them. The ratatouille underneath was excellent and the toasted coconut was a nice touch.

Finally, we were served the Golden Peach Cobbler with lemon-almond streusel and vanilla bean gelato. This dessert was to die for. I could just come here and have this cobbler with a glass of wine and die a happy girl.

Afterwards, as a parting gift, we got little brownie bites and salty almond chocolates.

That was a lot of food for a weeknight. The vegan tasting menu is only $65 so it is hard to pass up, but afterwards I just felt guilty. Guilty pleasures! I do think the courses should be slightly smaller on this tasting menu though, but on the flip side, the value is quite good given the good price and plentiful food. The service is always great here and the ambiance romantic. As always, I'm leaving here satisfied and excited at the thought of returning in the near future.

Previous reviews
July 1, 2015
August 16, 2013
December 9, 2011
October 17, 2012

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

Equinox on Urbanspoon

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