New Capitol Hill Restaurant - Art and Soul
Tried this new restaurant on Friday night after a very long week at work. It's in the brand new Liason hotel on New Jersey Ave. on the Senate side.For those who remember, the bar/restaurant there used to be the sports bar "Senators." The restaurant has a southern-tilt, think Acadiana but a little less obvious.
The hotel looks very nice - it's been completely redone. The bar/restaruant has a modern, comfortable feel and is tastefully decorated in a sort of Jazz-Meets-California-Cool sort of way.
Anyway, started w/ drinks. I had a their "put-up" martini and DC had their house manhattan. Both were fine, nothing extraordinary. However, the house made pickles in my martini were fabulous. Little bites of sweet pearl onion, yellow beet, a blue cheese stuffed olive, and I think ribbon of carrot.
Next I had the smoked salmon hoecake "pizza." It was delicious - a long, thin, rectangular corn cake with a crisp exterior topped with thin slices of salmon, diced shallot, dollops of creme fraise and bits of caviar. DC had a fanstic she-crab soup with small, tempora-like corn fritters. I would definitely got back even just for appetizers.
Next I had a thick, juicy pork chop with "red-eye" gravy. Again, it was very good. Perfectly cooked, with a topping of shoe-string fried onions. Although I'm not very familiar w/ red-eye gravy , I wasn't sure this hit the mark. It had a little too much vinager for my taste, and tasted a little too much like BBQ sauce. However, it was saved by chunks of bacon that were delicions.
DC had beef tenderlon that was also perfectly cooked and seasoned. He liked it a lot, but I can't remember what else came with it.
For sides we tried the macoroni casorole and creamed spinich. Both were just ok. In my opinion, the macoroni needed more of a sauce to bind it together... it was a little dry and underseasoned. The creamed spinich was not near the decadent dish it is at high-end steakhouses around DC. Again, it was a little short on sauce/binder - wasn't creamy-cheesy enought for my taste.
Dessert was a miss. We had the caramel apple crisp with vanilla ice cream. It sounded great, turned out to be a cassorle dish with dried out apples on the bottom, and dried out, under-seasoned crumble on top. The ice cream was fine, but there wasn't even a hint of caramel sauce on top or within.
Anyway, besides dessert, we really enjoed the meal. We'll definitely go back. ALso, it's nice to have another option on the hill.