An anniversary Eve-ning

Last night was our third anniversary. To celebrate, we headed over to Restaurant Eve in Alexandria. The place had been on my short list of places to try for a while, even before the chef was awarded chef of the year. In addition to the plaudits it was winning for its food, my newfound interest in cocktails led me to seek out Todd Thrasher, their mixologist/sommelier.

We had reserved a table in the Tasting Room, which gave us a choice of a five or nine course tasting menu. The nine course had a couple things Jill wasn’t interested in, and I was still a little under the weather, so we went with the five course. That turned out to be a good decision, as we were stuffed to the gills by the time we were through. Jill’s only alcoholic drink was a plum cocktail while I wanted to try something with Todd’s homemade bitters and ended up with a cherry Manhattan – the finest one I’ve ever had.

Already looking like a good night, some tastings arrived – a deviled quail egg, duck confit, and a croquette, all exquisite. A second one came with a small bit of mushroom soup Jill enjoyed, and shockingly I didn’t mind it too much – it was rich. The courses had their own names – the first was Creation (palate teasers). Jill had a corn custard with avocado and habanero sauce (that was both spicy and sweet) while I tried the blood sausage. Both were good, but my favorite dish of the night came with the Ocean (seafood) course: lobster poached with Kerrygold butter, and Jill really enjoyed her deconstructed/reconstructed scallop sausage.

My second Edenesque Cocktail happened after a discussion with Todd himself about what to mix with an Irish Whiskey. They had one cocktail on the menu, but when I asked him if it was better to get that or the gin and tonic, he recommended the gin and tonic. A good choice, as it’s prepared with his house-made “tonic” and Citadelle gin and was also the best of its kind I’ve had (almost convinced Jill she might be cured of her distaste for gin).

For the Earth & Sky (meats and game) course, I could not avoid the lamb, and it was scrumptious; Jill had a chantrelle pot pie she devoured. We were slowing down but there was still time for more cocktails. Luckily they make virgin versions of most, so Jill tried a version of the “Reunited”, made with peaches and rosemary (most cocktails there featured some kind of herb) and I had the Eamonn’s Cocktail, which mixes Powers whiskey, yuzu juice and red lemonade. It was very good, and now I’m curious to try Todd’s advice on using blackcurrant juice as a mixer.

Jill had a Stilton tart and I had Pleasant Ridge Reserve cheese on peaches for the Age (cheese) course – both very good, but neither of us could finish the last little bit. For our finale in Eden (desserts), I had a sesame mousse that was coated in chocolate with a slive of date ice cream, while Jill could not pass up the pistachio ice cream that came with the crème brûlée and figs. We barely made a dent in the cookies that came with Jill’s coffee, but we made a valiant effort. A fine meal, but not cheap, but if you’re a foodie, you’ve got to try it at least once (just like The Inn at Little Washington). Personally I’m looking forward to a visit to their fish and chips place and their speakeasy nearby.

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