Really Good Deal: Trummer's on Main
I just had dinner here on Sunday night and found out they have a three course special for $38 and many of the wines by the glass are $5.
The dishes are amazingly composed, and the food here is really well thought out and balanced. I enjoyed all the dishes I had. It is a real steal for the price. So if you can make it out I would highly recommend it. It's better than 4/5 of the restaurants on the Restaurant Week list and the price is about the same.
My review from DonRockwell:
Started at the bar- really nice bartender. Hubby had a Main Street with bourbon and cinnamon that was really good, I had a glass of sparkling wine from Barboursville. We tried some of the popcorn at the bar with truffle oil and Parmesan cheese and it was really good. The burgers down there look fantastic will have to go back for that. But they normally don't serve their bar menu on Sunday night. I had $5 glasses of Norton from Clifton that was fruity, but nice with all the rich flavors I had.
I started with the mussels and curried quinoa that was nicely balanced and very refreshing as it had a nice hint of lemon and a balsamic reduction. I tried Hubby's Mulligatawny soup and really enjoyed it as well, lots of celery and lime flavor in the broth. For an entree I had the lamb brisket which also was really good. The cut is fatty, so if you don't like fat you wouldn't like this dish, but it tasted delicious and was served with simple vegetables, sauteed in some butter. I ended with a cheese course as I wasn't feeling it for sweets, and that was nicely presented with some nuts, honey and fig bread. There were three samplings a wisonsin cows milk gouda, wisconsin cows milk cheese similar to a brie, but a little more flavor then a soft sheeps cheese that I forget the origin of. I also have to note that I love their breads here. Hubby woofed down all of his dessert and didn't even offer me a taste so it must have been good. Then they brought out 4 lemongrass truffles to end the meal.
The Sunday deal is a really good deal for some really nicely made and presented food. And stellar service. And the drive from Arlington on a Sunday night isn't bad at all, completely worth it for this gem.
We ate here Saturday night, and felt that while it was a lovely restaurant, with perfectly nice employees, the portions were small. In particular, I had the tortellini (an appetizer), garnished with a piece of pork shoulder. Both tasty, but laughably small- there were two (!) one-inch tortellini on the plate. My husband enjoyed his mussel soup and fish. The rolls were wonderfully light, and replenished often. All in all, a poor value because of ridiculous portion size.
Very sorry to hear that they have taken a turn for the worse. I worried with the remote location if they would be able to keep staff and food quality high and it sounds like as a way to cut costs that they have degraded both. It is a shame because it held such great promise and was close to my house, but I guess the fact that I haven't been there in nearly a year probably means that they aren't getting a lot of repeat business.
The Sunday WBTG are a clean-up of what is open from the weekend so it is always changing, but there are always some good ones. They also do a $38 prix fixe dinner Tue-Thurs until 6:30. All of May and June they also offered 50% off all bottles of wine Tue-Thurs nights so you could have a fantastic meal and a great bottle of wine and get of there for under $150 for two. Expect they will probably do that again later in the year, just check their website or sign up for the mailing list.
I've eaten at Trummer's on Main twice. The first time was several months ago, and while the prices were high (especially given they're located in Clifton, VA), the food was delicious. Nothing overwhelmingly inventive, but well prepared dishes, many of which feature economy cuts of meat braised to tenderness with flavorful sauces. They're in a beautiful building that's really nicely decorated, with plenty of room between the tables.
So on Valentine's Day weekend, we booked a table, as we had planned to spend the day out in the country, and Clifton was en route back into the city. This second experience is why I'll never return.
The problem with putting a fine dining restaurant in the middle of nowhere is that you are going to have a hard time attracting wait staff with adequate experience. This wasn't a problem the first time we ate there, but this time, it was a problem at every step of the way. Our waiter obviously entered the seating positions incorrectly when he created our ticket, and as a result, every course was delivered to the wrong seat, which made for awkward exchanges with the food runners as they auctioned off the plates.
Secondly, they featured a prix fixe menu, but didn't tell us about that when we made our reservation. At $78 a pop for a three course meal, it wasn't Palena or Komi, but it was considerably higher than their usual menu. The menu was unimaginative - my wife's beet salad featured three or four small baby beets, a few nickel-sized slivers of goat cheese, and my "love mussel soup" featured three shelled mussels in a cream broth. My wife's entree was risotto, which came out cool, and while I ordered a ribeye medium rare, what came out was two slices (approximately 8 oz. total) of a medium well roast which were placed haphazardly on a plate with one, steamed, pealed and trimmed baby yukon gold potato and two, roasted cipollini onions. Desserts were small and lacked creativity.
So, let's break it down. $78 for three courses. That means that I paid $20 for a bowl of soup, $40 for two slices of overcooked beef, and $18 for a dessert. Based on my first experience here, I would guess that standard pricing for these courses would have been 10/30/10, at a total of $50, which means that I got a Valentine's Day surcharge of $28.
My wife and I were thoroughly disappointed with what turned out to be a $200 meal (two prix fixe plus one glass of wine for her and two coffees), whose quality was not in line with that price point.
We will not return.
3529 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington, DC 20008
1509 17th St NW Ste 1, Washington, DC 20036