Report on eating at Eventide in Arlington, Virginia
I am surprised that there is no review of this restaurant here on CH.
Went to Eventide last night, having been there before, but never writing it up. This is a place that emphasizes ambiance as part of dining, and they do this well, with a spacious dining room, tables far apart, and wonderfully draped booths that give one a sense of privacy. The menu is smartly small, emphasis on designing and executing a few dishes, rather than indiscriminantly trying to do everything. My companion and I were both drawn to a difficult choice between sturgeon versus cobia, neither of which are found often in DC. We both settled on the cobia which we pared with a winter greens salad. (It is a shame that one cannot safely eat too much cobia)
The salad was a mix of greens festooned with a variety of small meats, croutons etc, held together by a proper salad dressing that mildly complemented the greens rather than dominating them. Eventide clearly aims to subtle mixes of flavors rather than beating one’s taste buds with a hammer. The cobia was served with a red pepper sabayon, laid out with rabe on a bed of risoni, along side, 4 steamed mussels. The cobia was grilled beautifully, moist, succulent, not flaking but firm and tender, The taste of cobia is such that one doesn’t want to obscure it, but enhance it, and the subtly of the seasons did precisely that. (There is not salt nor pepper on the tables). The deserts are fun recreations of traditional dishes, so a moose is served in an edible shell as a freestanding item, the tierra misou a play on bread pudding, coffee brewed fresh by press at your table.
The service is impeccable. Unobtrusive but attentive, no rushing. The waiter was friendly but knowledgeable, and knows how to wait. Every dish was properly served with fresh silverware. If the waiter had to reach, he apologized for reaching, he properly inquired about our preferences etc.
All in all a place that lives up to its aims of nouvelle cuisine highlighted as a total dining experience.