Paige and I took Gail out for dinner tonight at Formoli's Bistro (33rd & J Street). It is right down the street. It opened probably 2.5 years ago, but we had never gone. Needless to say, we shall be going there more often.
The place was a little cramped. We got there by 7:30 PM and by 8 PM it was packed. This, in turn, resulted in it being a little hot by the end of the night.
The water was unique in that it had a hint of cucumber (of all things). It actually added a bit.
We got a single loaf of foccacia bread with oil and balsamic. Pretty standard fare so far.
We ordered a bottle of Rioja wine. It was very light and delicious. Not as powerful as a cabernet. It was good and refreshing.
Our appetizer was outstanding: a lightly breaded eggplant with mozzarella, arugula, and tomatoes. Superbly crafted. They actually stacked the eggplant slices up with the arugula/tomatoes/mozzarella in between. Just a great way to start the meal.
We followed with a champagne vinagrette, mixed green salad. A little too bitter for me -- needed currants or sliced apples. But, still, pretty good.
Finally, for our main courses, Paige got a pan-seared cod. It was probably the weakest of the three main courses. It was a little over-salted. Also, it was just cod. No rice or pasta, or any side. But, still, it was good.
I got a lentil crusted scallop over penne pasta and an asiago cream sauce. It was divine. The scallops were perfected - large lumps. The lentil crust added a little earthy flavor to the scallop. The pasta was cooked perfectly and the sauce was not too heavy. I would definitely order this again.
Gail got a roasted duck over wild race and a blackberry sauce. It was good - I stole a piece. I didn't get to taste the rice or sauce, but Gail seemed pleased. And she knows her duck, so that is a good sign.
For dessert, we shared a creme brulee, with a blackberry bottom sauce. The flavors were all excellent, however, we were lacking some execution on the brulee. "It either didn't have enough time to set, was not in the fridge long enough, or the egg-cream combo was off, because it came out like Jello pudding... kinda," said Paige. The picture is of the brulee, where they swirled an "S" in it for the occassion.
I would give it 3.5 out of 5 stars.