Saturday, February 10, 2007

Matchbox, Again

I realize I recently went to and wrote about Matchbox, but I have been asking the organizers of the dinner group I am in to do an event there for months now, so I was very excited to learn we were finally going to dine there. We actually had to do three reservations, as the group last night was about 30 in size, and any night at Matchbox, certainly a Friday night, is certain to be super busy. My group was the last to be seated, which was fine by me as I yet again somehow managed to score my favorite seats at the bar - those at the far end which are somewhat cozy and provide a perfect view of the pizza making. I opted for my favorite wine on Matchbox's list - the Stump Jump (how can you not love the name alone?) - for pre-dinner libations. The bar was quite crowded, and it actually worked out nicely that our tables were seated in a somewhat staggered manner. I got to catch up with folks even if I would not be dining with them. Once seated, my tablemates and I immediately decided to get nine mini burgers, which are a fabulous appetizer for the table. I think the restaurant must get the meat mixed specifically for them, because it is really especially juicy, delicious and rich in flavor. They also always manage to get that nice char-grilled quality without over-drying the meat out. I don't really do carbs, and so I had about half a burger with a sliced pickle and several fried onion straws - fabulous. Mer and Trish and I decided we should do a bottle of Stump Jump to pair with our mains, so we enjoyed that as well. I also ordered my usual Simple Salad, which was good, but I thought the Parmesan crisps tasted overly salty and were baked a few minutes too long. Mer and Matt enjoyed the Spinach Salad, which comes with fresh basil, roasted pear tomatoes, candied walnuts and warm apple smoked bacon vinaigrette. The salad looked beautiful with all of the varied and bright colors, and apparently the nut mixture had perhaps some Jalapenos? Mer and Matt both said the nuts had quite a kick. We were six at our table, which provides a nice opportunity to try several pizzas and other dishes. The Spicy Meatball pizza is my favorite, so I convinced Chris to share one with me. Mer does not eat red meat but loves chicken, so she ordered the Q Special, which comes with grilled herb marinated chicken, portabella mushrooms, roasted red peppers, zesty tomato sauce and gooey mozzarella. It was delicious. Trish likes spicy food, and she ordered the Fire & Smoke, which is described as very spicy, and comes with fire roasted red peppers, sweet onions, chipotle pepper tomato sauce, smoked gouda and fresh basil. It was very tasty and certainly quite spicy, but not one of my favorites. I only eat the cheese and other toppings (the no bread thing - just think it's sort of a waste of calories), so was able to sample a slice of each variety, so it was a pizza smorgasbord of sorts. So fabulous. We collectively finished our wine and decided to join friends at IndeBleu for after dinner drinks, to continue the lovely evening and hopefully work off a bit of our delicious dinner as well.

713 H Street in NW DC

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