Washington, D.C. Part II

Last weekend I had a networking dinner in Washington, D.C. The planner/host was very creative in planning the themed event. I have never watched House of Cards or Scandal, but these would be the themes of the evening. The host chose the restaurant Equinox, a restaurant where the President and the First Lady dined before the inauguration.

As I walked in the enclosed outdoor patio, I was given a playing card. If you picked a red card, you would receive a red cocktail. If you picked a blue card, you would receive a blue cocktail. I got a blue card. I’m not sure what was in the blue cocktail, but it was delicious and had a ginger flavor. We were to write our name on the playing card and turn it in.
The Chef/owner of Equinox is Todd Gray who prides himself in using locally sourced ingredients. Our event was for forty people, so my expectation is that we are getting a “catered” meal. Our first course was a salad made of baby arugula, roasted hearts of palm, sun dried apricots, toasted almonds, and crumbled blue cheese. It was unique to include the sun dried apricots. Overall, it was a nice salad.
We had a choice of one of three options for our main course. Being that I was still getting to know the people at dinner, I couldn’t really share plates with anyone. I chose the beef option which was a New York strip which came with fingerling potatoes, spinach, wild mushrooms, and a Cabernet wine jus. I enjoyed my plate, but felt the beef was missing some juicy fat. The potatoes, however, were outstanding.
Another option was the pan roasted diver scallops which came with spring asparagus and haricot verts. I would never personally order scallops because I am not a fan of them. However, I can tell by eye if they would be any good. These were plump and perfectly golden brown. One of my neighbors had the scallops and thoroughly enjoyed them.
After seeing the cider glazed shrimp which were presented on a bed of creamy polenta, baby spinach, and a green onion butter, I wish I had ordered these. My eyes were telling me these would be delicious.
For dessert, we had a choice of two items. I ordered the strawberry rhubarb crisp, which came with a pecan oat crumble and a vanilla ginger ice cream. The dessert had a nice combination of sweet and tart and was done well. The presentation was great with the spoon shaped cookie.
The other dessert was a slice of Black Forest cake with brandied cherry ice cream and a warm morello cherry compote. By dessert time, I did warm up to people at my table and asked to try the cake. I thought the cake was a bit dry.
At the end of dinner, a card was selected. The persons name on the card would win Chef Grays cookbook titled “The New Jewish Table.” My name was selected. But wait…Chef Gray came to talk to our group and sign my new book. It was an awesome event.