Mediterranee New Years prix fixe celebration
Had a wonderful dinner this evening in Great Falls, VA at Mediterranee, one of the two nice (and according to our French DC the only "real") French restaurants in Great Falls, so I thought I would traipse over here from my normal hangout on the Boston board to report...
The restaurant had a prix fixe menu for the evening, three courses for $62, not including taxes, tip, or wine.
The ambience at Mediterranee is pleasant. It is less formal than Auberge Chez Francois, with tables close together and a more rustic feel to the room. Despite the fact that every table was filled, it was possible to converse across the table without too much problem.
The food was wonderful at every course, and every place. Unfortunately, similar tastes in menu items means that among three diners, we only had two each of the choices for first and second course.
For appetizer, one of us had "Lobster bisque with fava bean, corn and aumoniere, a crepe stuffed with a ragout of porcini mushroom and crayfish." (I am lifting descriptions right from the menu, thus the quotes.) The soup was of the smooth bisque variety, no lumps of lobster but excellent flavor. I did not try the crepe - it was offered but I was paying too much attention to my app... suffice it to say that the DC who ordered the dish is a member of the clean plate club.
Two of us got "Foie gras terrine with Belgium endive, watercress, asparagus salad in a white truffle and lime sauce," which was absolutely incredible. The fois gras was by far the best I have had in the US, and very nearly as good as the best I had in France. Rich, buttery consistency, and flavorful. It matched with the salad well, allaying my fear that the strong flavor of endive would compete with the terrine. The dressing was redolent of truffle and finished the dish nicely.
For mains, one of us got "Wild Boar simmered with cranberry and orange sauce, sweet potato and chestnut puree in brick dough." I tasted the boar, which had been braised beautifully - the toughness that often accompanies wild boar was absent, and the sauce was only slightly sweet, not overpoweringly so. I did not taste the puree, but I understand that it was good.
Two of us got "Fresh duck roasted in a cherry sauce served with brick dough filled with duck confit, cabbage confit and quail egg; mesclun salad tossed in a dressing with 20 year old Xeres vinegar," which was phenomenal. The duck was perfectly medium rare, once again with a sauce that could have been cloying in the wrong hands, but was perfectly executed and not too sweet, even with large cherry bits in the sauce. The brick dough filling was wonderful, even though there was no palpable sign of cabbage. What was there was tender, tasty, and surprisingly harmonious. The salad was probably the weakest thing on the plate, mostly because it was comparatively pedestrian, but was pleasant.
The two deserts on the menu were "Chocolate Marquise; white chocolate ice cream with coffee hazelnut sauce and raspberries" and "Fresh berries in champagne aspic with passion mousse, soft meringue with almond and caramel, champagne strawberry sauce." Both were quite tasty; neither was particularly delicate or dainty, which means we left the restaurant feeling very full. In fact, my only complaint about the menu is that a third, lighter desert would have been nice. That being said, I finished every bit of my Marquise.
Dinner was accompanied by an excellent wine. I apologize for not knowing what it was - I forgot to jot it down for this review. The wine list appeared to be fairly broad in terms of varietals and price, but I did not get a good look at it.
All in all, this was a wonderful dining experience. I especially enjoyed having an excellent French meal served in a casual setting, and I would definitely return to Mediterranee.