This fall, Chef Robert Weland at Poste introduced his 20 bites, a unique tasting menu experience for up to four dinners that are seated at the bar of the expedition kitchen.
It truly is an experience that is seldom matched and one of the most memorable nights that anyone could have. The 20 bites almost seem like what Chef Weland would choose as his final meal. It soon becomes the guests choice for what they would eat as a final meal as well! The only item that was truly missing from the experience was a spatula to scrape up every last bit of flavor. The meal is so fresh and decadent that it begs the dinner to question whether licking the plate truly is in bad taste.
The menu alone is comprised of rare favorites that make the mouth water, each skillfully presented in its own artistic way make it a euphoria of food! The plating, something which most dinners don’t think about, became almost an art in and of itself with the variety of dishware ranging from a block of pink Himalayan salt that served as the dinnerware for the Kusshi oysters, to the miniature cutting board that rustically presented the Bresoala and parmesan. There were even individually sized saute pans and stock pots for the guest to dig into.
Sitting at the bar, looking at the sous chefs that are preparing the delectable food for the rest of the restaurant, makes the guest feel privileged to behold such a marvel and the service is not to be matched.
The menu changes based on when you go and what’s fresh, organic and in season. On New Year’s eve, the menu was as follows with comments italicized:
- Hot and Cold Oysters – this duo of Kusshi oysters was elegantly served on a pink Himalayan salt block and topped with caviar. An excellent start to the meal!
- Smoked Mackerel Salad – a tartare of mackerel caviar, beets and horseradish
- Crudites – pickled vegetables like radish and carrots, made in house and served with three different types of salt, skewered vertically on the plate
- Mi Cuit Hamachi – served with mushrooms, sunchokes and mache
- Bresola – parmesan, extra virgin olive oil,
- Hot and Cold Foie Gras – the best of both worlds!
- Wild Mushroom Consommé – foie gras and sweetbread dumplings
- Pineland Farm’s Steak Tartare – sunny-side up quail egg and black truffles; a delicate, earthy treat
- Tête de veau – terrine of veal cheeks and trotters
- Wild Shrimp – parsely root, brussels sprouts, chanterelles, the shrimp are served with the heads on, it’s worth eating this dish with your fingers.
- Sea Scallops – rutabaga, smoke cremini, cipollini onions, sage, crispy pig’s tail; one of the best dishes of the evening
- Pineapple sage Granite – a refreshing sorbet to cleanse the pallet
- Tortellini of Rabbit Confit – burgundy snails, noilly prat, manouri cheese, an excellent start as the dinner moves into the parade of meats
- Crispy Envelope of Pig’s Trotter – quail egg, frisee, whole grain mustard sauce, this is about the point where the dinner hits a food euphoria!
- Randall Meatball – fennel three ways, poppy seed tagliatelle
- Randall Lineback Stuffed Veal Breast – anson mills polenta
- Elysian Fields Farm Braised Lamb – garden lettuce, dill, eggplant, black quinoa, pinenuts, the lamb cut is from the neck, which is the most tender piece of lamb in existence and is earthy without being overpowering.
- Buffalo popover – glazed cipollini
- Tête de Moine – sauerkraut, caraway, this amazing earthy Monk’s cheese on its scraper sits in front of the guests the entire evening and does not disappoint once you have a bite.
- Gingerbread Cake – poached seckel pears, eggnog ice cream, the spice and sweet makes this desert one of the ‘must haves’
- Warm Chocolate Bread Pudding – milk chocolate ice cream, toffee, hot chocolate, you can never have too much chocolate.
Petit Fours – elegantly presented in a smaller version of a fish bowl on a bed of sugar, the petit fours are the perfect bits of taste at the end of the best meal you’ll ever have.
After a feast for the stomach and the eyes, the guests are given a copy of the menu served to them that evening along with a small jar of preserves made in house. This added touch truly makes the experience. There’s nothing better than remembering the amazing meal you’ve had while spreading the preserves on your toast the next morning.
Poste 20 bites is one of the best meals you’ll ever have, but you have to make reservations in advance. Contact Stacy Isabella to reserve your space at 202-449-7062 or [email protected]