Sunday, August 24, 2008

Lunch at Vidalia, Probably the Best Meal EVER

So let's delve into my personal life for a moment. The Friday of restaurant week was kind of a bad day. Personal drama and a heavy work load left me staring at my computer screen by 11 am in misery. Thankfully, Erin and I had lunch reservations at Vidalia at noon. So I showed up a bit early to prevent any breakdown from occurring within the office. I perused their wine list while waiting for Erin, but I wasn't really in the mood for a nice (midday appropriate) glass of wine. By the time Erin showed up, I was already sipping on a gin martini.

Our waiter came by shortly after we were sat. Except he wasn't really a waiter. I think he was the manager who was just filling in because they may have been short staffed. But this worked out to our advantage because the service was fantastic!

The very nice waiter/manager brings us our appetizers: poached duck egg and calamari stuffed with oyster sausage. They looked uber weird and gross. Stuff you'd never put in your mouth even when you were 11 and in 5th grade and that bully friend you always had dared you to eat it or she'd mock you until you died for being a coward. Just look:

There's so many white sacks of stuff on our plate, and they were all uncomfortable squishy to the touch. Totally icky right? But no. The icky white sacks (ok I'm going to stop using that terminology) were actually frickin' amazing. Maybe is was the booze we had already ingested on empty stomachs talking, but I loooooooved my calamari stuffed with oyster goo. And Erin loved her duck egg goo. Honestly it was the most amazing goo, you'll ever have. The sauce on her dish and the tomatoes and guacamole on my dish just complimented everything so perfectly. You'll never bite into something so gross looking and love it so much.

So then the entrees came. I got the pork belly because nothing fixes a bad day like a cube of fat.

Please don't remind me how it is a heart attack on a plate. I know. Dammit. I know. I just don't want to think about it. It was soooo good. Plus the beans sort of balanced it out, right? No? Pure fat is pure fat and there's no way around that, you say? Well whatever. At least the beans made it taste balanced. They were a good crisp texture counterpoint. Erin, in the spirit of sticking with what you know you like, got the head-on shrimp again, and of course loved it.

All would have been good had I not finished my first martini by now and started on my second one while Erin was getting dangerously near to the end of her julip. We were getting the it's-only-12:45-we-both-have-to-go-back-to-work-and-maybe-can't-stand-up-straight giggles. Which our waiter/manager thought was hysterical. Then the chef came out to check on the dinning room (we were seated right nearest to the kitchen) and thought we were equally as amusing as we took pictures and drooled over all our food. So the chef asked if he could take a picture of us. What does Erin do? Put the shrimp heads on her fingers, of course!

Now I really can't stop giggling! We're being absolutely ridiculous and loving it, and what's best is that everyone around us is just amused and not at all annoyed! This is exactly what I needed to cheer myself up after such a terrible morning, and we haven't even gotten to the best part of the meal yet: dessert!

The dessert list was really fabulous. I wanted to try everything, but the chef convinced us that if we liked, chocolate we should get the peanut butter and jelly and the whooper, even though Erin was leaning toward the sorbet. He is the chef though. You've got to figure he knows what he is talking about. So as we are waiting for our selected desserts to come out, guess what arrives in the meantime? The sorbet we had seriously contemplated getting and a round of champagne!!!

It was so flavorful and (thankfully) light! Not too sweet, but the bed of sauce it came in balanced out the sweetness factor. Overall it was a great summer dessert. Or a great dessert "appetizer" before your other desserts arrive!

The peanut butter and jelly was a chocolate and peanut butter mouse topped with a berry gelee, and the whooper were chocolate meringues with a light chocolate mousse. They were both as delicious as they were adorable. At this point Erin and I are about roll out of Vidalia, but before we go, we take the chef up on his offer to show Erin the fish heads. We ended up getting a tour of the kitchen and got to see all the behind the scenes action!

Their kitchen was amazingly well organized. There was someone assigned to just about every task you could think of. It was fun to see them working on some of the same dishes we had chosen, and even more fun to see some of the dishes we didn't get. There are definitely a handful of things I want to come back and try. I know the next time we go back to Vidalia, we won't have an experience like that, but the overall quality of the food was so outstanding, that I would return over and over even if the service was only average. Although I'd obvi prefer if it was always as phenomenal as it was that day! I walked in feeling miserable and left wondering what I had been so upset about in the first place. Vidalia gave an all around experience that I have yet to find at any other restaurant in DC.

1 comment:

tech wiz said...

I'm DEF going there if theres scotch on the rocks at 8 am!