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Maestro: Rave Review In This Sunday's Post

j
Joe Dec 7, 2001 04:01 AM

It's on www.washingtonpost.com now, go to entertainment and then to Tom Sietsema's reviews. Tysons Corner is becoming D. C.'s new hotbed it would seem with Kinkead's Colvin Run Tavern and Maestro at the Ritz Carlton.

  1. j
    James G Dec 10, 2001 04:36 PM

    I have a dinner engagement there on Tuesday evening, meant to showcase their show-stopper cuisine and Italian wine list, so I'll leave a Chowhound-worthy review on Wednesday.

    3 Replies
    1. re: James G
      n
      NancyDC Dec 10, 2001 05:51 PM

      Hope your meal at Maestro is as fabulous as the dinner I had there in October. If you're a lover of foie gras, be sure to sample theirs. It's one of the finest renditions I've had--lightly caramelized, buttery rich, meltingly tender. The evening I was there, the foie gras was paired with Gewurztraminer sorbet, which provided a wonderful contrast in temperature, texture, and flavor. The pigeon, lobster, and scallops also were outstanding. Enjoy your meal. I'll look forward to reading your review later this week.

      1. re: NancyDC
        j
        Joe Dec 10, 2001 06:04 PM

        They also have what is, arguably, the best chianti classico in the '97 Castello di Ama on their wine list. It is superb. It is rare to find this in the D. C. area whether in a store or in a restaurant.

        1. re: Joe
          j
          James G Dec 11, 2001 04:35 AM

          This is an organized dinner, with all the dishes and wines pre-selected. But since it's a "Legends of Wine" dinner, I suspect the wines ought to be pretty spectacular. Unfortunately (?!) I don't see foie gras on the menu, though there is lobster, caviar, carpaccio, etc. Should be good. Report to follow!

    2. j
      James G Dec 12, 2001 09:56 AM

      Dinner last night was sublime. It was a special "Legends of Italian Wine" event, with the menu preselected, so we could not pick and choose off the menu, though we were told that with only one exception all the dishes were available on their standard menu (and as noted below, that one dish was the only one that no one liked).

      We were seated in a separate room with a large window looking in on the kitchen (right over the pastry station). Thus we had a wonderful show in addition to the outstanding meal. In all there were eight courses, and 13 (!) wines, with almost all courses served with two comparable wines, however, since the wines were brought in with us, I won't go into them (but they included Ornellaia and Tignanello).

      As noted, all but one dish was from off the menu. Here's the run down:

      --Canape of tuiles filled with mozzarella di buffala and caviar served with our prosecco as we waited for everyone to arrive.

      --An amuse bouche of a single scallop served with a lobster consomme, which was really lovely.

      --A trio of tartars (tuna, seabass and salmon) with various toppings; only the seabass did not work for me, as it was topped with a too-strong sundried tomato, while the others were more complimentary.

      --Rolled beef carpaccio 'Maestro' served around a piece of tofu served with cinnamon-cap mushrooms; this was surprisingly nice, and went well with the chardonnays that were served along with it.

      --Grilled spiny lobster in red wine sauce with mushrooms; this was the star dish up to this point, really luscious and the sauce was a real compliment to the lobster (though I normally don't care for warm-water lobster, here I make an exception). Served interestingly with two chiantis, which also went very well.

      --Risotto with grappa pears and taleggio; this was really awful. The cheese was way too 'aromatic' for a dinner that was meant to celebrate fine wines, and besides the flavor was far too strong. Also, the grappa pears were just plain weird. This was the one dish that no one finished. Too bad that they served the Tignanello with this, since its subtleties were lost on us.

      --Venison sausage in Sauternes sauce with celeriac ravioli; another great dish, vies with the lobster for winner of the evening. Very succulent meat, meltingly tender, with a wonderfully complimentary sauce. Went beautifully with the Ornellaia and Olmaia wines that were served with it. Yum.

      --Cheese selection. Nothing to write home about.

      --"Cassata" with ragout of citrus fruits. A very creamy, light dessert, sort of mousse-like with what I think were pistachios and dried fruit inside, served with fruit on the side and a tuile cookie with coffee (I think) mousse and a caramel straw forming a sail shape on top. Really beautifully presented.

      Overall this was a truly outstanding meal, and was enticing enough to prompt all of us to contemplate returning individually for another chance to sample this interesting and inventive restaurant's output.

      2 Replies
      1. re: James G
        s
        stray gator Dec 12, 2001 11:38 AM

        James, I really enjoyed reading your post. It's almost as though I was there dining with you.

        1. re: James G
          j
          Joe Dec 14, 2001 10:11 AM

          I really enjoyed your review. Thank you. The Ornellaia-if it was the '98-is the Wine Spectator's wine of the year at a current retail of about $140 a bottle. Not bad to be included in a meal like this. The '97 is superb also.
          I'll try Maestro within the next month or two. Thanks again.

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