Thursday, August 14, 2008

When the Lights Go Out...

Wait, wait, the title here is thinking of 5ive, the nineties boy band not quite as good as N*Sync, instead of fyve, the similarly spelling- and punctuation-challenged restaurant in the Ritz Carlton in Pentagon City. It's called "fyve" because it's near the Pentagon, and, as you know, the federal government's largest Platonic solid has five sides.

We went for Restaurant Week. The Sherbs picked the restaurant; I asked that it be in Arlington County if possible, worrying that if we stayed in DC proper, we'd be surrounded by people our age who work on/with the Hill or nonprofits trying to impress each other, and I'd have to beat our neighbors to death with a chair in frustration. Who really wants to hear some guy from the Brookings Institution try to impress the gal he's with by talking about all the fancy foreign conferences he's gone to?

This was not a problem at fyve; we were easily the youngest people there by ten years.

There were some minor discontents with my meal, which I chalk up mostly to restaurant week: the bread was not particularly fresh and the service was slower than desired. Also, the coffee was fantastically expensive, although it was brewed just how the Sherbs likes - stronger than a locomotive - so maybe we're paying for the premium.

The dishes I ordered, though, were quite tasty. The appetizer was a salad of diced red potatoes, parsley, and lightly cooked tomatoes in a vinaigrette, topped with grilled tiny octopus. The octopus itself wasn't dressed, just sprinkled with salt, which I think was the right road to go down with this dish. The acidity of the salad and the sweetness of the octopus made a good counterpoint.

The entree was roast of rabbit with mustard, served over a bed of fennel, asparagus, and white beans. Rabbit stayed tender, and the mustard made it tasty. The asparagus were peeled and cooked in butter; no complaints there. I would have liked more fennel (I only seemed to get the outside parts of the bulb), but otherwise I enjoyed the dish.

Dessert was lemon meringue, cooked to the consistency of a mousse, on a shortbread crust, topped with a huge flake of caramelized sugar and with blueberry jam on the sides. The pastry chef knows how to please the Restaurant Week customer.

Given the prices, we may not come back often after Restaurant Week (although we might hit the bar just to seem awesome), but it was a good taste experience.

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