Saturday, August 28, 2010
Cafe Juanita on Capital Hill!!
Last night Cindy and I had an early dinner, following her botanical painting class, at Cascina Spinasse on Capital Hill. Chef Jason Stratton was selected by Food and Wine magazine as one of the Best New Chefs of 2010 - well deserved based on our dinner. We were also lucky enough to have a good view of the kitchen and I spotted a "newcomer" in the kitchen Chef Stuart Lane - who along with Jason were mainstays of the great Cafe Juanita kitchen. Those two together again in the kitchen in Spinasse will be magic.
We were greeted with complimentary glasses of bubbly as Spinasse is celebrating their anniversary. We ordered their Anniversary Tasting Menu, for $65, began with several extra mini courses of toasted bread with anchovies, prosciutto, a salami with citrus peel and some very nice Columbia Bakery rustic bread. We also order a carafe of a nice 2007 Nebbiolo Roso.
Next we were served a stewed dish of eggplant, roasted peppers, anchovies that was very rustic and nice - not our favorite course but interesting none the less. The next dish was a beautifully prepared plate of 3 house made, stuffed fresh egg pasta that were rolled and filled to look like tootsie roll shaped candy. The filling was a lemon ricotta, and the pasta were served on a bed of walnut sauce. YUM!
Were were then served the house specialty which is a fresh house made angel hair pasta tossed with butter and marjoram and served with sauteed chantrelles and lots of finely shaved parmigiana. WOW! The courses kept getting better.
We then moved on to 2 large Rabbit Sausages shaped like meatballs served over a bed of fabulous Polenta which included fresh corn in the finish with a little broth and a sauteed green on top. This was the top course of the night for us - Beautiful in every way and assertively spiced which as great.
We then had dessert and Italian Espresso. Cindy had a Chocolate Semifreddo, and I enjoyed a Peach/Goat Cheese Mousse . All top notch.
Everything about the evening was great . I really recommend this place - not cheap though for 2 including tax, tip it was $225.