Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Washington DC & Baltimore >
May 15, 2008 04:33 AM

Ultimate Spring Meal

Good morning fellow hounds,
quick recommendation needed. I LOVE (who doesn't) spring and early summer produce and want to eat it as fresh as possible all the time. I am going to go to Penn Quarter Farmers Market tonight to get some fresh produce to eat fresh.
However, I want to celebrate a work accomplishment tomorrow night somewhere in the District. My rules are that I want it to be one of the restaurants that really focuses on fresh, seasonal ingredients, it must have room for a dinner (6-7 pm) tomorrow night, and it must be no more than about $30 for an entree. Any ideas?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. 2 places come to mind: Butterfield 9 and Equinox. Butterfield 9 uses a lot of fresh ingrediants and changes around their menu seasonally. You might be able to find the latest menu on their website. (Just so you know some of that menu changes depending on whats fresh that week). You can also try to get in for their pre and post theater menu which is multi-coursed and a good deal.

    Equinox is probably out of your price range but they always do the fresh seasonal thing very well. The last time I went was last Spring and it was delicious.

    If you are looking for one delicious dish with fresh produce, the gnocchi at Proof last weekend had ramps and asaparagus in it (as well as hen of the woods). It's out of this world. They also had some spring fish (halibut and something else I believe).

    Cashion's use to be very seasonal but I haven't been since the new chef and ownership took place so I can't speak to their current menus.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Elyssa

      Is butterfield 9 the best pre-theater deal around? that is, most representative and most generously of their full menu.

      Equinox is also a place I have always wanted to go so I am going to hit that up sometime, regardless of it being above my price range.

      1. re: daves_32

        I've enjoyed Butterfield 9's pre-theater meal in the past. It usually has a lot of good items on the I believe they always have vegeterian options which is nice. They also have a great tasting menu which is pretty affordable (although over your price point).

    2. If you're willing to wait for a table in the cafe, Palena is doing some great things with spring produce right now and fits your price point if you order a la carte.

      2 Replies
      1. re: chickenlover

        Concur: The spring produce will shine brightest at the cafe at Palena.

        I do need to get to Proof, however -- asparagus and ramps, ummm

        1. re: chickenlover

          I 2nd this recommendation. I had an incredible dinner at the cafe bar on Friday night. Their Spring Broth soup was like spring sunshine in a bowl. Filled with morels, quail eggs, green onions, asparagus, and lots of other delicious seasonal morsels. The brother was lightly flavored with star anise...which wasn't over powering at all. I tend to either love star anise or hate it and this was handled perfectly.

          There were lots of other seasonal options, but I didn't try them out. I had to go with the cheese burger. :)

        2. I would say Nora's but the entrees might be a couple more buck than what you want to spend.

          1. I know it is too late for your meal...but I just have to mention that Spring was in full flavor at Palena on Saturday night. Morels, artichokes, rhubarb, nettle...just fantastic. The veloute' and consommé' were standouts.

            Spring has never tasted so good. Go, if you can.

            3 Replies
            1. re: debit

              I imagine Palena will have at least another week or so of that nice produce. How about my above question about pre-theater at butterfield 9?

              1. re: daves_32

                Sorry...never been to Butterfield 9. :-(

                1. re: daves_32

                  although i haven;t been there in a couple of months, I think Dino deserves much more credit and laudatory comments about the Golds' commitment to source quality ingredients. they have a monday and tuesday night deal for $30.08 (Restaurant week still extended) for 3 courses.
                  in writing about their produce, they really are working the ingredients excellently! Any reports from a spring meal at Dino?
                  "What's New on the Menu?"
                  The Majestic also is making pastas with seasonal veggies. I had a wild mushroom ravioli a few weeks ago that was really great