Saturday, May 12, 2007

Modern Dance and Martin's Tavern

We went to see my dance instructor, Maurice Johnson, perform with El Teatro de Danza Contemporanea (a modern dance company) at the Gonda Theater on the Georgetown University campus last night. Though I'm a dancer, I'm not a dance critic, so I won't give up any judgments. But it was great watching him and the other talent run, spin, pose, and girate in all their powerful athleticism.

Before the show, we had a drink at Paolo's. I'm not a big fan of the food there. It's typically uninspiring. So we held off and had dinner after the show at the great Washington landmark, Martin's Tavern. I say "great" not for the food, but for the tradition and legacy of the place. It's a Georgetown institution. Since 1933, the tavern has served every President from Truman to GWB. Parents and children come to celebrate their alma mater and the spirit of olde G-town. The menu has remained consistent through many culinary trends and fads. People continue to return to the classic American fare of great steaks, chops, seafood, fresh pasta and the good old-fashioned comfort food that is the hallmark of the Tavern.

The menu is extensive and is mainly comprised of pub and tavern mainstays such the Hot Brown and Welsh rarebit. We started with oyster stew (which was good, heavy with cream and large, fresh oysters) and the crab-stuffed mushrooms. I didn't love the mushrooms. They were bland. This time of year they offer soft shell crabs. So delicious. I had two, pan-sauteed and topped with a lemon caper sauce. The sauce was a little bit awful, but the crabs themselves were extremely fresh and of great quality. They were served simply with steamed spinach and white rice. I also had a half bottle of Elk Cove Pinot Noir '05 from Oregon. Not bad. I like that they have half bottles. The one highlight was the bread pudding we had for dessert. According to the menu it was voted the best DC dessert in 2005! I guess I'd say it's up there. A large cube of cinnamon and raisins packed goodness was drenched in their house-made bourbon and butterscotch sauce. Yummy. So, aside from this one dessert, the food is not terribly amazing, but the outdoor seating is great for people watching. And you have to go at least once to experience the history.

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