2 to the 9 to the 4 to the 1 – a restaurant review.

So, my fella and I celebrated our 7th wedding anniversary on monday by stuffing ourselves with food. What better way to say, “I wanna look at your mug for the next 100 years” than to pack it full like a chipmunk, I say. We decided to try 2941, a new little NoVA ditty brought to you by Jonathan Krinn. He’s done all kindsa cool stuff, which you can read ALL about in his bio.

Anyhoo, being a couple who A) LOVE food without limits, and B) rarely traverse past the boundaries of our fair D of C, we decided to hire a driver/car (cause we are fancy, but DUIs are not) and trek god-knows-how-many miles to Fairfachurchexandrialand to check it out. Yeah, that’s right – I’m from Maryland – what of it?!

First and foremost, 2941 is an incredibly beautiful and utterly unlikely space. It’s nestled off of Fairview Road in the (fake) woods by the (fake) Fairview Lake – dudes, there’s not even a HINT of underbrush in that bad boy. Seriously. Gotta love “natural” landscaping… Also there’s a lovely (fake) pond with HUGE, man-eating-looking koi and a waterfall and everything. In all seriousness, for a COMPLETELY man-made environment, it is very pretty and serene. Some day they might even import some bugs and woodland critters, if the neighborhood committee approves. I’m KIDDING… jeepers…

The restaurant itself is GORGEOUS. Vast high ceilings, tones of orange and brown throughout, a wall o’ windows – and simple clean lines that meet industrial flourishes. In a word, this place ooooozes swanky. There are some ridiculously cool glass sculptures hanging from the ceiling that seriously make you appreciate modern shipping techniques. The staff was wonderful, professional and unobtrusive – and they laugh politely at your jokes, even if you’re drunk off your ass. Yay! They were even willing (without question, might I add) to deal with our silly food requirements – but I’ll get to that.

Anyway, that brings me to the food. The menu is HUGE. Lots of choices, with a French-American flair. You can eat a la carte (with 1 app, 2 courses and dessert) for about $85 per person without wine. BUT, you can do a GI-NORMOUS tasting menu of around 7 courses (with 2 desserts to boot) for $75 per person – bonus! My fella and I always prefer the tasting menu whenever possible – what better way to get a sampling of absolutely everything?! They do a lite version (vegetarian) and a meaty version. We did one of each, but substituted the beef, chicken and game on the meaty one with fishes.

The following is a rundown of what we had (including wine parings) for each course. Overall, I thought the food was good, albeit a bit salty – that said, I could live with a salt lick strapped around my neck, so it didn’t bother me much. We are total restaurant junkies, so we’ve had some pretty amazing meals in our travels. Although I have to say this did not necessarily hit our top 10 (#1 of all time being the tasting menu at the French Laundry in Napa), in terms of overall atmosphere and aesthetic as well as pricing (both for food and wine – they had a nice, interesting list with a very reasonable markup overall) it was most certainly a good place to spend a special occasion. For the Falls Church area, this is a gem – reminds me of going to L’Auberge Chez Francois in Great Falls, Normandy Farms in Potomac, or the Inn at Glenn Echo on the DC/MD border. You can only tell there’s civilization around these restaurants until you turn into the driveway – after that moment, however, it’s pure charm.

So yeah, here’s what we each ate, course by course (and we traded plates 1/2 way through each, so I can vouch for any and all). Please keep in mind that I wrote out most of these descriptions in an “altered state” shall we say, so they might be a little off (and the wines are abbreviated cause my husband is a sommelier, and can tell me what we drank in a little Corsican restaurant in 1995, so I don’t need to know this stuff, k?):

Amuse: crostini topped with goat cheese/apple foam; 2nd crostini topped with olive tapenade

Pre-dinner whistle-wetter: watermelon soup with gelee and balsamic reduction
wine: Rugey Ramos Pinto

1A) Butternut squash soup topped with carmelized carrot
1B) Simple mixed greens with rustic vinaigrette
wine: Savinnieres

2A) Chilled artichoke soup topped with creme freche
2B) Tuna tartare with crab salad and caviar
wine: Condrieu

3A) Hamachi with ginger braised fennel
wine: Sake
3B) Acorn squash puree with curried carrots
wine: ’03 Kabinett Mosel

4A) Goat-cheese-stuffed pepper with creamed corn
4B) Scallop with beet burre blanc and [some creamy thing – forgive me…]
wine: Ruilly

5A) Clam Risotto
5B) Mushroom Risotto
wine: Manzanilla La Guitana

6A) Lobster Nicoise w/ sardines
wine: 2000 Muga
6B) Crisped tofu with balsamic vinegar and lentils
wine: ’03 Chateauneuf du Pape

7A) Miso Vegetables
7B) Halibut with crab raviol & fennel puree
wine: ’03 torbreck

– berry cotton candy
– plum tarts with black pepper ice cream
– chocolate torte
– little chocolate bites

OH, and because they don’t use preservatives in their bread, they give you their end-of-night loaves as a parting gift. Needless to say, we absolutely rolled out of there. Ugh – in a good way. So yeah, check it out – you will like.

1 Comment so far

  1. Tom Bridge (unregistered) on September 22nd, 2005 @ 11:12 am

    Sounds absolutely heavenly!!! Congrats you two :)

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