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Feb 13, 2009 03:21 AM

2941 -- An Update

We hadn't been to 2941 in approximately a year, since shortly after the newest chef came on board. Last night, we went again to celebrate my husband's birthday. Here are some thoughts from our delicious birthday meal.

This is the N. Virginia restaurant to go to if you want excellent food that doesn't break any new culinary ground. The menu includes most of "the usual suspects" -- the roster of foods currently popular. Each of our dishes was masterfully executed; a talented kitchen using impeccable quality ingredients was clearly doing its thing. However, 2941 is not the place to dine if you want to dazzle your palate with new combinations and techniques. This is the restaurant to choose when you want to be treated to the best version of modern
Last night's tasting menu, which we ordered, illustrates my point:

Seafood salad OR Tuna Tartare
Ravioli filled with ricotta cheese in a truffle emulsion
Butter poached lobster OR Halibut
Beef duo of rib eye wrapped around a nuggest of braised short ribs OR
Rack of lamb
Baked chocolate mousse OR Passion Fruit cremeux

We really enjoyed each course, and there was something about each dish that lifted it above other versions of the same dish. Consider the ravioli. The pasta dough was thin and perfectly cooked. The truffle emulsion was liberally studded with black truffles and was so delicious that my husband and I could have eaten a cup of the broth alone.

Perhaps the foods on the current menu represent the chef's effort to comfort diners in the middle of February doldrums. I say this because both the chestnut soup and the hamachi sashimi with a sliver of orange zest, part of our triple amuse, demonstrate that the kitchen is capable of being more innovative. Furthermore, the January 22 tasting menu posted on restaurant's web site seems to offer somewhat more innovation than we experienced. Of course, even my winter-doldrum explanation doesn't really make sense since the weather has been anything but wintry lately so comfort food isn't as needed. At any rate, all I can do is report on our meal.

We'll happily dine again at 2941, but I suspect there will be another long interval between visits since we tend to prefer food with more innovation.

Since I was confused by the name of the chocolate dessert on the menu, I did some follow-up research for my own information. I've shared that below.

The chocolate dessert was actually called Chocolate Molyneux. I'm reasonably good about recipe names, but all I could come up with for Molyneux was the interior designer Juan Pablo Molyneux or fashion designer Edward Molyneux. These two men certainly might have been good cooks and the chef at 2941 certainly could be using their recipe. However, the name did nothing to illuminate the prep when we read the menu. The waiter explained the dessert saying it was lighter and closer to a mousse than the usual dense warm chocolate cake (which was on the regular dessert menu but not on the tasting menu). This morning, I checked and for what it's worth, Joyce Molyneux was a famous chef in Dartmouth, English.

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  1. I was there two weeks ago and had a great tasting menu -- but every dish was different from what you've described above. That's a great thing too.

    Plus, don't forget the bread...

    3 Replies
    1. re: mnadel

      Do you remember any specifics about the menu other than the fact that the dishes were different? Did the tend to being innovative or did they tend to being modern "classics"?

      Ah yes! The bread. Lovely as ever. The heaping plate that was placed on our table last night included slices of chocolate-cherry white bread, baguette, whole wheat, and olive rolls. The olive rolls were my favorite as they were heavily studded with olives. The baguette reminded me of how good this bread can taste in the hands of a talented baker.

      We were served the usual after-dessert dessert: a tiny cookie, a tiny fruit gelee square, and glazed doughnut holes. Surpisingly, we were also served a pre-dessert dessert consisting of a small mound of ice cream or sorbet (I can't remember which) topped by a miniscule cookie.

      The tasting menu on the web site offers the option of a four-course or a six-course tasting menu for two different prices. Last night, only one option appeared on the menu -- a five-course tasting menu.

      1. re: Indy 67

        I was at 2941 back in August while visiting D.C. and also had a wonderful meal. I didn't do the tasting menu, but I enjoyed the three-course option (for me it was the foie gras with an apricot reduction, a wonderful swordfish with bacon vinaigrette and green lentils, and the chocolate quartet).

        1. re: ries27

          Your meal sounds delicious, but I'd put those dishes in the list of modern classics, too. Foie gras, bacon, lentils, and chocolate duos/trios/quartets have appeared in food magazines as "it" foods recently.

          Since our meal was so delicious... Since the service was so warm yet professional... Since we had the opportunity to dine in that wonderful setting and see the amazing art... Since we were celebrating a happy occasion, I feel a little churlish saying anything negative about 2941. However, when the meal was over I also wished I could have pointed to one dish and said, "That was a fantastic new taste."

    2. Wow, great report. Thanks!