Washington DC: Iron Gate

Pinch and a punch for the first of the month!
I have a restaurant to tell you about – but, it will definitely leave you with a growling tummy. Snack advisory** retrieve nourishment now!

Tucked away in downtown DC lies an evening of epicurean delight.
Iron Gate DC We entered Iron Gate through the glowing entrance of the bar, a long corridor with high ceilings, which was once a carriageway.

Iron Gate DC

This leads to an outdoor patio, with twinkling lights, roaring fires and a charming living wall, perfect for a summer’s eve under the stars.

Iron Gate DC This, however, was the dead of winter, so we continued on into the restaurant and happily took our seats next to a cosy fireplace.

Iron GateAfter defrosting slightly, we took in our surroundings of a reconverted classic, initially serving as stables in 1875. Having played host to a number of venues, purposes and people, the restaurant was most recently reopened by the Neighbourhood Restaurant Group in 2013. With Exec Chef Anthony Chittum behind the pass, a menu of mid-atlantic ingredients is prepared with influence from Southern Italian and Greek cuisine.Iron Gate

Here, the kitchen buzzes, topped with pickled treats and various, colourful ingredients. Iron GateThe ambiance was dark, but lively, with a happy murmur of friends catching up, dates getting to know one another and diners cutlery clinking away as they got stuck in. Iron Gate With a grumbling stomach, and one of my favourite dates (my Mama), we plumped for the tasting menu, each of us ordering a different dish so we could taste them all.
Iron GateThis began with a ‘taste’ of seasonal sharing plates.

Iron GateThis should really be referred to as ‘miniature feast’, as a collection of small plates arrived, decorating the table with pickled vegetables, fried Jerusalem artichokes, cheesy bread topped with fried onions, heritage carrots, roasted cauliflower and more.

Iron Gate DC

Iron GateIron Gate Iron Gate Iron Gate Iron Gate Iron Gate Iron Gate Iron Gate Iron Gate Iron GateThe plates were seemingly endless, a delicious introduction of the dishes to come.
The next section of the menu was inspired by the garden, starting with kuru squash tortellini with brown butter, almond cookies and vin cotton.
Iron GateThe other garden dish was a warm beet composition with sesame feta, roasted treviso and pistachio.
Iron GateWater was the next influence, with a seared tuna crudo served with pomegranate, baby fennel and horseradish providing a refreshing taste of the sea.
Iron Gate This was accompanied by a cauliflower soup, with Maine lobster and curry froth. This was a tasty, hearty dish – but, and you’ll probably never hear these words from my lips again, didn’t actually need the lobster. The soup was great on its own, and the tender chunks of shellfish were lost amongst the comforting cauliflower flavour.  Iron Gate For our mains, inspired by the pasture, we shared veal sweetbreads with local carrots, hazelnut and agro dolce. Iron Gate An incredibly heart portion, but great flavours! Iron GateFollowed by grilled Berkshire pork belly with charred onion, potato fritter and dippy egg. Iron GateThe pork belly was beautifully tender and dippy egg made a nice addition, both visually and flavour-wise.
Iron GateHaving stuffed ourselves to the brim, we relaxed by the frequently stoked fire, sipping tea and Irish coffee over conversation.
Iron GateEventually ready to further our gluttony, we enjoyed Tumbleweed 5 Spoke Creamery Cheese with semolina crostini, honey crispy apple topped with local honey.
Iron GateBefore finishing with dessert of apple strudel with kiln-dried cherries and pumpkin ice cream.
Iron Gate And chocolate wanna cotta with winter citrus and toasted pistachios. Iron Gate

Sweet, honey flavoured Greek donuts, known as loukomades, were a welcome, final temptation, finishing off the sweet ending to our meal. 
Iron Gate

Iron Gate boasts a cosy atmosphere, with phenomenal, friendly service, and a menu of interesting, well executed dishes. I highly recommend a visit if you’re in the area, but be sure to book, as we’re not the only ones that enjoyed it!

Advertisement

Volt

This Christmas, Santa definitely heard me loud and clear.
Dinner reservations at Volt for quite possibly, one of the best tasting menus I’ve ever had.

Volt, owned by Chef Bryan Voltaggio in Frederick, Maryland is housed in a spectacular 19th Century brownstone mansion. The Victorian exterior encases an elegant, modern dining room, lounge, and kitchen. The Voltaggio Brothers have steadily attempted to reinvent American cooking through their creations of farm-to-table cuisine.

But enough about that, are you ready for some food porn?

Fennel Pollen and Sea Salt Breadsticks

Celery Macaron Filled with Foie Gras with Apple Butter and Celery Foam

With mom’s house cocktail came the most amazing Candied Cherries.
They were so good, we had the waiter bring us some to nibble on. 

Every few courses, the waiter would appear with a basket of freshly baked, hot rolls, each completely different to the next. I began with a Black Truffle Biscuit and a Bacon and Rosemary Roll, but must admit I tried at least a bite of each of the seven different rolls offered.
What was I supposed to do, say no?

There were three of us, and we each shared our courses so I thought I’d give you a little taste of each. The more food porn the better, right?

Starters:
Kampachi Sashimi with Fennel, Blood Orange, and Candied Ginger

Salsify with Quince, Country Ham, and Hazelnuts 

Venison Tartare with Horseradish, Apple, and Green Soy PasteSecond Course:
Goat Cheese Ravioli with Yellow Foot Mushroom, Chanterelle, Vegetable Ash, and Parsley Root

Foie Gras with Shredded Coconut, Coconut and Coriander Puree, and Ground Cocoa and CoffeeSquab, with Roasted Parsnips, Dates and GroatsThird Course:
Butter Poached Lobster Tail, Cauliflower, Smoked Raisins, and Vadouvan 

Pork Shoulder, Sunchoke, Onion, and Cabbage

Beef Calotte with Endive, Fennel, and Vanilla Flavoured Potatoes Before the cheese course, we ordered teas and coffee.
I had my favourite, pure Matcha Green Tea. Not only is it delicious, it helps with digestion, which was much needed after the three courses and mountain of bread I nibbled my way through. 

Then came a decadent plate of local cheeses served with little toasts to smear them on.
Cheddar, Midnight Moon, Goats Cheese, Grayson, and Blue
Dessert:
Red Velvet Cake, Cheesecake Ice Cream, Crushed Pecans, and a Lime and Vanilla DrizzleBanana, Black Sesame Cake, Nitrous Frozen Coconut Ice Cream, and PineappleChocolate Rocks, Toasted Marshmallow, Caramel Pieces, and Peanut Butter Ice Cream

After Dinner treats:
Chocolate Macaron with Espresso Ganache, Passionfruit Mango Gummy, Hazelnut Truffle, and a Homemade Fennel and Lemon Marshmallow Before leaving, we were given a little coffee cake for the morning after.
A naughty reminder of the evening before’s indulgence.
Then, like a true chef groupie, I took a picture with Chef and Owner Bryan Voltaggio. It’s quite awkward, but it gets the job done.

An incredible combination of flavour and texture in each dish whilst keeping the number of ingredients to a simple minimum.For reservations, book here.
This is a weeks in advance reservation kind of restaurant, but if you’re going to be in the area and have the chance to go, I’d definitely recommend it.