smith & wollensky.

A few weeks ago, we were invited to Smith & Wollensky by some friends for DC Restaurant Week.  We knew dinner would be a fun adventure, because a) Our friends are fun – of course, b) You never know what to expect with Restaurant Week menus, and c) We probably wouldn’t have have thought to pick Smith & Wollensky, so it was good to try something outside our normal sphere of interest!  Honestly, all I knew of Smith & Wollensky going into the dinner was that it appeared in the 2006 movie Devil Wears Prada.

If you don’t know how DC Restaurant Week works, you get to have a three-course meal (one appetizer, entrée, and dessert) from a fixed menu – all for $35.11.  (Lunch is $20.11.)  For my first course, I chose the Creamy 5-Onion Soup.  I honestly don’t think I’ve ever had an onion soup I didn’t like, and this one was no different!

Creamy 5-Onion Soup

The FIVE onion concept blows my mind, and I want to look into that more.  For entrées, I have pictures to share of Chris’ Steak & Fries, and my Crispy Organic Chicken Breast.  (The third choice was Pan Seared Grouper.)

Steak & Fries

Crispy Organic Chicken Breast

The entrees were fine… not incredibly memorable, but definitely satisfying.  The dessert choices were: Old School Tapioca Pudding (I don’t think I’m a tapioca fan!) or Orange Creamsicle Cheesecake (intriguing).  Kimberly ordered a “slice” of chocolate cake in addition, and that was heavenly.

Chocolate Cake

The highlight of the night for me was the wine a few of us shared!  A 2007 Chalone Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon from Monterey County.  It was so interesting and smooth, and we decided it tasted like black currant and raspberries.  It was delicious with all of our dishes, and really made the meal for me!

2007 Chalone Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon from Monterey County

I’m not sure if I have much else to say about Smith & Wollensky.  It was a fun night out in the city with friends!  I probably wouldn’t put it on a must-go-back-as-soon-as-possible list.  Thanks for a lovely evening though, S & W!

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brunch at mon ami gabi.

I am always on the hunt for good brunch spots, and so I was thrilled to recently experience the fantastic restaurant in Reston that is Mon Ami Gabi!  The name means “my friend Gabi” in French, after Chef (and Owner) Gabino Sotelino.  My dear friend Lauren got married two weekends ago, and her family hosted a bridal brunch at Mon Ami Gabi to kick off the festivities.  It was the perfect choice, and I still get distracted thinking about all of the delicious sweet and savory foods that made up the meal.

We were seated in a long side room, which offered us a good amount of privacy… but also enough space to really relax and celebrate!  Lauren planned out a 3-course brunch, and selected delicious options for each segment.

Lauren's Mon Ami Gabi Brunch Menu

I chose the Warm Brie (quaintly presented in a stainless steel pan), the Classic Quiche Lorraine (which was big enough to turn into my Sunday breakfast as well), and the Chocolate Mousse (so rich, I only had three bites!).

Warm Brie

Classic Quiche Lorraine

Chocolate Mousse

Who eats mousse for brunch?  I don’t know, but even from just those three bites, I find myself craving it sometimes during the mid-morning now!

I also have a picture of the Chicken, Cheese, & Broccoli Crepe option.  Crepes always take me back to sophomore year of college, when my roommate and I would throw crepe parties whenever we had a good excuse!  Crepe-makers can be such a valuable asset to any snazzy kitchen.

Chicken, Cheese, & Broccoli Crepe

Merci, Mon Ami Gabi!  I wish you weren’t so far from Arlington, but I’ll definitely be back to visit!