Saturday night Gabe and I had a very enjoyable experience at Restaurant Eve in Old Town Alexandria. Eve is the crown jewel of the restaurant group owner Cathal Armstrong and his wife Meshelle have built in Alexandria over the past three years. http://www.restauranteve.com/home/index.html
We’ve eaten there once before, and originally intended to just have a drink in the bar prior to dinner elsewhere. The bar at Eve is small but has a very nice atmosphere, and talented bartenders who go the extra mile to put out some impressive cocktails. A sudden summer storm made leaving inconvenient, and we were already having a good time so we stayed and ate at the bar.
It’s a sure sign of a quality place when you can eat at the bar and the service doesn’t suffer. We had a wonderful steak tartare as an appetizer, and then red snapper and veal specials for dinner. The entrees took a while to arrive, but we were told that was due partly to a brief loss of power. And supposedly, the editor of Bon Appetit magazine was there with a large party, backing up the kitchen.
With dinner we had an enjoyable Oregon Pinot Noir, a 2006 Jezebel. Jezebel is a second label of Daedalus Cellars, and was highly drinkable with lots of fruit without being simplistic. It had just enough spiciness and complexity to stand up to the tartare and veal, and still be good with the snapper. But the fun new experience came after dinner.
Gabe likes dessert wine more than I do, and she wanted something to go with the banana creme brulee we were sharing. The bartender immediately suggested a “Tokaji”, which neither of us were familiar with. It was Oremus Tokaji 2004, a Hungarian late harvest dessert wine. It was a great combination. The Tokaji was obviously sweet, but with more acidity than most dessert wines we’ve had. So the wine didn’t add sweet on top of sweet, but in a way cleansed the palate and provided good flavor very distinct from the dessert. An inspired pairing and great suggestion.
Next time you’re in the mood for a dessert wine, I recommend you give it a try. We were happy to discovery that Total Wine carries 375ml bottles for $24.
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