Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Mosaic District: True Food Kitchen

2910 District Ave #170
Mosaic District
Fairfax, VA

After all of the hype surrounding True Food Kitchen I finally made it there the other night with my friends Teddy and Sam. True Food Kitchen is a health-focused restaurant that feature dishes that abide by Dr.Weil's Anti-Inflammatory Diet I've been hearing about ridiculous wait times, and Sunday night when I put our names down we were quotes 50-60 minutes but it only ended up being about 30.

Teddy ordered The Peacemaker $13 buffalo trace bourbon, averna, honey, lemon, heavy brewed black tea and I had the Ginger Margarita (shown below) $13 gran centenario, st. germain, ginger agave, flamed orange. Both drinks were original and fantastic.

Based off the reviews on yelp and the recommendation of one of the bartenders the Edamame Dumplings $9 were a must order. Filled with edamame in a broth with white truffle these were spectacular. A firm believer in (pan)fried dumplings I was able to get past the softer texture because of the complex flavors.

Last minute Sam decided to order the Albacore Tataki $12 – not knowing at all what it was. I figured it was some sort of rawish tuna (I was right, it is slightly seared), and yes, I ate it – a few bites in fact. I’m getting much more daring with trying things. This was good, but not stand out.
I ordered the Teriyaki Brown Rice Bowl with Steak $16 (can also come with tofu or chicken). This was good and exactly what you would expect of a brown rice and teriyaki bowl – absolutely no surprises. The steak was cooked perfectly and there were no weird bits (which is crucial) and the overall dish was very plentiful. While I ate the majority of it, my bottomless pit of a friend ended up polishing it off for me. 

Teddy ordered the Miso Glazed Black Cod $25 which he enjoyed but thought there should be a little more substance to the dish. I snuck a bit of the fish and it was cooked well, but agreed that if you are getting this for a meal you need a little starch or carbs. Sam ordered the Panang Curry with Shrimp $17. He thought this dish was just ok and the potatoes and rice were a little undercooked.
Everyone has been raving about the Squash Pie with Coconut Whipped Cream $7 so that was a must order for dessert. If you are a lover of pumpkin pie then you will love this. The boys loved it while I thought it was good, pumpkin pie isn’t my thing though. However the coconut whipped cream was fantastic. We also decided to try the Flourless Chocolate Cake (GF, VEG) $7 made with 72% Cocoa, Vanilla Cream, Almond Butter and Caramel. This was the cake of my dreams. A chocolate molton cake with caramel oozing out. Serious Perfection. Funny story, Sam decided to take a break when there were only a few bites of dessert left…he went for the chocolate and I had finished it off so he started to reach for the rest of the squash pie, which Teddy quick shoved the last very big bite (like 3 bites worth) into his mouth. If you snooze you lose, especially with dessert.
Our servers were nice, but actual service was a little spotty. They don’t bring you water unless you ask for it – and are quite bad at keeping it refilled. The food was good – there were a lot of Asian influences on the menu which was a little unexpected, but I guess originating from the West Coast it makes sense. If you are looking for a healthier night out where you can have drinks, appetizers, entrees and desserts without feeling like a blob this is the place for you. We all enjoyed everything, and agreed, while the food was good – there is no rush to come back, especially if there is an hour wait.

Would I come back? Probably (the food was good, but I am a pretty good cook and can make certain dishes that I enjoyed at home pretty easily), if I do, it will most likely be for drinks and appetizers/desserts. I would be more inclined to come back if they took reservations or there wasn’t such a long wait all the time. 

True Food Kitchen on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Ovvio Osteria : New Fall Menu

2727G Merrilee Drive
Merrifield, VA

Four appetizers + four salads + five pastas + three entrees + one pizza + three desserts + four glasses of wine = one fantastic new fall menu (and and even better thursday night!) at Ovvio Osteria. While everything was quite delicious, I've narrowed down a few favorites in each category for you. 

Starting off with the most important thing, drinks & happy hour. Ovvio Osteria has a pretty kick ass happy hour - even including $4 off their cocktails - which based off the one I tried and my dining companions tried is something that needs to be taken advantage of. It's very rare that restaurants offer a deal on any of their specialty cocktails
Out of the appetizers I really loved the White Bean Hummus $9 stewed white beans, roasted garlic, olive oil, balsamic drizzle served with grilled bread. This was incredibly smooth, flavorful and creamy. Pairing with the grilled bread intensified the flavor. Initially I was a little worried that this would be too beany like other versions I've had, but this wasn't the case at all. My other favorite that was the Mozzarella in Corrozza $10 house made mozzarella, brioche, roasted tomato salsa, salsa verde. Umm, hello - fancy grilled cheese as an appetizer. Sign me up. This was amazing and cheesy. Don't fear the salsa verde - it's an Italian verde, made with parsley and basil and other Italiany things. 
Ahh Pasta, how I love you so (excuse the photos, it was dark in the restaurant at this point in the night). Depending on your personal tastes you should be happy with any pasta here. My personal favorite was the Bucatini All'Amatriciana $18 (bottom left). It's a smokey and slightly spicy tomato sauce tossed with homemade pasta - perfection in a dish. Also, I deserve some bragging rights for trying the ravioli you see below - it was made with Veal Sweet Bread. If you can get past the sweet bread part, it really is quite a delicious dish. 
A self-proclaimed pizza expert I can vouch for Ovvio's dough and sauce. We tried a special of the night which was delicious (I also tried a breakfast pizza for brunch and the quality is consistent).  
If you are trying to cut carbs some, there are a couple of delicious options. My personal favorite was The Grilled Hanger Steak $25 carbonara onions, roasted new potato cake, rosemary sauce. The steak was cooked perfectly (which is quite clear looking at the photo below) and the sauce was the perfect accompaniment. The carbonara onions on top were a different, but very nice addition. If you are not a meat eater or looking for something a little lighter then the Grilled Wild Salmon $24 is the perfect option. Salmon is one of the few things from the sea that I will eat and Ovvio's version of salmon was delicious
Now, I normally don't go for dessert after having this complete of a meal but Ovvio offers sorbets and gelatos...and like my uncle says, you always have room for ice cream, it fits in between all the food in your stomach because it melts. There are usually 3 different sorbets and gelatos offered each night and are the perfect option for a little nightcap. 

Would I come back? I have actually been here for brunch 3 times in the past month or so since my original visit! I have not been back for dinner - but it will have to happen in the near future. 

Brunch Take 1
Brunch Take 2

Image Map
Ovvio Osteria on Urbanspoon