Best of Arlington 2017
5 Outstanding Drinks and Dishes
Dining critic David Hagedorn maps out a perfect progressive meal.
1. Hendrick’s Gibson at William Jeffrey’s Tavern. It’s hard to find a place that even stocks cocktail onions anymore, let alone one that makes its own. So this Gibson boy is thrilled that William Jeffrey’s painstakingly peels pearl onions and pickles them with cloves, allspice and chili flakes, which adds just the right zing to a perfectly shaken and strained quaff. williamjeffreystavern.com
2. Dry-fried chicken wings at Yona. I can think of no better way to start a meal than with an order (or two) of these crunchy delectables. They measure a 10 on the flavor scale, thanks to gochujang (Korean fermented red-chili paste), sesame, garlic and rice-vinegar barbecue sauce. And another 10 on the napkin scale. Pure delightful messiness. yonava.com
3. Revuelto (scrambled eggs) at SER. To compose this decadent dish tableside, the server ceremoniously shaves duck foie gras over sautéed enoki and shiitake mushrooms topped with cured egg yolk, then gently tosses everything together. The aroma suggests you may have died and gone to heaven. The first bite confirms it. www.ser-restaurant.com
4. Bouillabaisse at Requin. Lots of toques in the D.C. area make bouillabaisse, but chef Jen Carroll has them all beat. Her broth, emboldened with tomatoes, fennel, garlic and saffron, is good enough to be a beverage. Once it’s teeming with seafood (prawns, lobster, mussels, clams, bay scallops, fried calamari), leeks and potatoes, it becomes full-on nirvana. Beg for more grilled garlic bread for sopping. requinbymic.com
5. Salted Caramel Chocolate Chess Pie at Livin’ the Pie Life. Heather Sheire and Wendy MacCallum make a mean pie, having perfected their technique for an ultra-buttery and flaky crust. This one in particular, rife with a dark chocolate, fudgy, brownie-like filling and lavishly drizzled with homemade salted caramel, really takes the cake. www.livinthepielife.com