Saturday, March 3, 2007

Dinner at Bobby Van's

Last night the dinner club I am part of dined at Bobby Van's on New York Avenue in downtown DC. I met a friend for a pre-dinner drink at Capitol City Brewing Company, which is right nearby, and when I arrived at Bobby Van's the bar area was packed with the usual and somewhat rowdy and festive happy hour crowd. We were a group of 30, and were seated at one long table in a relatively quiet part of the restaurant, which was conducive to relaxing a bit and to conversation. I already had a glass of the house red wine, which was a Malbec last night, and joined the group in trying to figure out how to navigate the fairly expensive but delicious-sounding menu. I already had checked it out online, but there are no prices offered in that format. Most folks ordered a martini or another cocktail, and served for the table was whipped butter with sliced baguette and raisin bread. I decided to just do one course, figuring I could sample a bite of what other folks ordered, and opted for the Harry's Salad, which is chopped shrimp, string beans, tomatoes, red onions, roasted red peppers all topped with bacon. It actually was delicious, and served in a somewhat small bowl it didn't seem like much, but it was enough for me. I also shared the sauteed mushrooms with Angela, which were well-seasoned, garlicky and fabulous. The strong savory flavors in each dish paired nicely with the Malbec as well. Each side comes in a portion for two, but at $8 a pop I sort of wished they offered individual portions as well. Sides include a choice of preparations of Spinach (Steamed, Creamed or Garlic), Asparagus, Crispy Fries, Home Fries, and Baked Potato. Yes, Virginia, this is a steakhouse, and so you will probably pay around $40 for a steak entree, and your side of greens will be an upcharge. Anyhow, Amy had the St. Louis Ribs, which came in a heaping pile with lots of sauce, and chipotle mashed potato, home made cole slaw and jalapeno corn bread. The sauce was a bit thick but had a nice vinegar flavor, but still was a bit sweet for me, but was tasty nonetheless. Most folks ordered one of the varieties of steak, which all came a little well-done for my taste, but still were very juicy and delicious. The Gorgonzola Sirloin was my favorite, ahhh so good, but I also tasted the Porterhouse, which had a nice char on the outside but was moist and flavorful, and the Filet was lovely too. Joe kindly gave me a nice portion of his Calamari, which was very crispy and had lots of seasoning, and was served with an absolutely delicious and pungent peanut sauce which also would have been a perfect pairing for a Sate of some sort. My end of the table was not offered dessert for some reason and just received our check after the mains, but I think everyone was more than sated anyhow. We lingered over our drinks and enjoyed the rest of a festive, Friday evening.

Bobby Van's
1201 New York Avenue in NW DC

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