25 July 2012

Tasting menu at Equinox, DC

I’ve written about Equinox before. In fact, it’s the second restaurant I ever reviewed on Krik’s Picks. I’ve always been happy with the meals I’ve been served there. The dinner I had in mid-July was no exception.

I arrived in DC a little late on a Monday. It was beastly hot. I was tempted to just stay in the hotel and eat at their restaurant. But I took a minute to look through a restaurant guide in the hotel. It noted that Equinox had a new chef and had revamped its menu. So I hopped in a cab and went over there. DSC00018

There were several tempting items on the menu. But I decided to go with the ‘Ode to Summer’ tasting menu. It appeared to be a pretty reasonable deal. There were six items on the menu. You could have all six for $60, or you could have any four of the six for $40. I didn’t feel like I needed six courses. Besides that, there were two that didn’t really appeal to me. So I went with the four-course menu.

I’ll start with the two items I rejected. One was a pork loin – no thanks. The other was a milk chocolate almond bar with coconut sorbet. I’m not very fond of chocolate, so that also was an easy one to skip.

So here’s what I had:

Compressed heirloom summer melons – This was the most visually appealing dish of the meal. The compressed cubes of melon were like shimmering jewels in the bowl. Then the server poured a cucumber emulsion over them. It kinda spoiled the ‘shimmering jewel’ appearance. But the soup was very flavorful and refreshing on a hot summer night.

Next was cured king salmon. The tender, tasty salmon slices were served with apricots and a fennel cream. Like the melons, it was light and refreshing.

The next item was called corn flour tagliatelle. The pasta was fresh and tender. I did not detect any particular corn flavor. The pasta was served with some pieces of lobster meat and summer squash. The whole presentation and effect was a delicious pasta course, well balanced and unique.

My dessert item was Italian gorgonzola piccante, which is a style of gorgonzola cheese. It was served with roasted plums, pistachios, and a flakey toasted honey phyllo.

I think my combination of choices for the tasting menu might have confused the server. At one point he came back to verify that I did not order the pork loin. My guess is that most guests who ordered the four-course tasting menu got either the melons or the salmon for a starter, then got the pasta and the pork loin for their main meal, and finished with either the gorgonzola or the chocolate.

But I loved my choices. Each item was memorable and delicious. While the servings were small, it was enough for me to leave satisfied. And $40 is no bargain, but it also was a reasonable price for the meal.

Thank you Equinox for another great meal!

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