Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Imagine Mie N Yu

Last week, O. and I were invited to sample the Blind Tiger Chef's Tasting Menu at Mie N Yu. I used to work (and still live) a few blocks away from Mie N Yu, and have always found myself appreciating the ambition of its concept rather than its actually culinary prowess. Much like Yo Yo Ma's Silk Road Ensemble, the attempt to represent so many traditions and approaches makes for an interesting combination.

At $25 per per person, Blind Tiger (named after Prohibition-Era speakeasies, as you need to know about it through various digital platforms, including various blogs) is a good way to sample the wide array of dishes available at Mie N Yu, many with ingredients that are locally sourced. The menu also offers 50% off listed prices on select bottles of wine, which include a few surprises (I was very much inclined toward the Idaho wine for sheer novelty). I've normally gone to the bar at Mie N Yu only, and was pleasantly surprised to see such an expansive wine list (with a helpful pairing guide). O. and I started the meal with some cocktails. O. went for Buddha's Blues, a mix of fresh juices with acai liquor and Absolut Berri Acai Vodka. I have no opinion on the Acai berry debate, but she did declare it a fun alternative to her usual cranberry/vodka. I had the Pied Piper, a champagne cocktail with Perrier-Jouet Brut, grapefuit, pineapple and peychaud's Bitters. While the bubbles were definitively there, the strong acidity overpowered the champagne, and the bitters kept it from the realm of the mimosa.

As anyone who's ever peeked through the window, the best part of this restaurant is it's décor. There is much to look at, but the multi-level approach keeps you from becoming overwhelmed. Blind Tiger is only offered Sunday through Thursday. Our server, who was attentive and relaxed, made sure that we took the time to enjoy our dishes - which is a nice departure from the mid-week grind. That being said, it is best to go when you have ample time to dine in order to make the best of the experience.

For a first course, I had the Zaatar Hummus with Ful. I've had these separately but never together (though this is a common combination in the Middle East). The olives were perfect - plump and briny. For such a big portion of hummus, I would have like more bread, as the only way to finish it all was with a fork. Though the level of spice was very good, my main issue with this dish was the temperature - it was ice cold. While the temperature did not affect the flavor, the texture was off. It also reminded me of eating hummus straight out of the container (something I do more often than I care to admit). However, given the chance to adjust to room temperature, I am sure the dish would work. O. had the Sumonomo Blue Crab Salad, which she enjoyed.

As a second course, I had the Beijing Style Lacquered Duck. Duck is one of my favorite proteins, and I order it more often than not. The duck's local (from PA), and the portion size was not overwhelming. The Hoisin sauce had a very pleasant tang, which complimented the glaze very well. O. had the Char Masala Lamb Kabobs, also locally sourced. As an arbiter of lamb entrées everywhere, she liked this one.

My favorite dish on the menu was the last course. I was completely surprised by the Pakistani Cinnamon and Ginger Stripped Bass. The yogurt casserole concentrated all the flavors and aromas wonderfully, a treat for nose and tongue alike. In line with its commitment to sustainable food, the sea bass is sustainably raised. I would have never expected such a wonderful fish dish at this restaurant, and it was a great way to finish the tasting menu.

Sit back, relax, and enjoy the journey.

Mie N Yu on Urbanspoon
Mie N Yu
3125 M St NW
Washington, DC 20007


FrenchTwistDC said...

Yum. I actually love the food at Mie N Yu and they always have good deals like this!

FrenchTwistDC said...

Yum! I loved Mie N Yu and they always have great deals like this!