I will admit, I'm an addict. Or at least I was - everytime I'd see a Living Social deal or Groupon for a DC restaurant, any restaurant, I'd snatch it up like it was the last piece of sopressata on a charcuterie plate. Now that Mark and I will be leaving the District soon, I've had to hold my coupon-buying impulses in check and even more pressing, use up the coupons I've already purchased. I'd been carrying around a Living Social coupon for Cashion's Eat Place for several months now. After enjoying a very social night at a Tweetup at Eden, we headed to dinner at the Adams Morgan establishment with the charismatic and entertaining @BlaketheMega.
The inside of the restaurant is much more elegant than its almost diner-like exterior sign would lead you to believe, with a beautiful raised bar dominating the center of the room. The decor in the surrounding dining area is simple and relaxed, with nice, clean lines, and an upscale, neighborhood-y feel. Service-wise, we scored a home run - our server was incredibly friendly, helpful, and knowledgeable, and ready with suggestions upon our request.
The first dish we ordered was the seared Hudson Valley foie gras with peach gastrique (below). I don't often like fruit in savory dishes, but this was an exception - the sweetness and brightness of the peaches and the gastrique (fancy for "thick reduction/sauce") paired singingly with the rich and fatty foie gras.
The next appetizer was the lamb sweetbreads with Catalan spinach (below). The sweetbreads were very nicely cooked and seasoned, and the cornmeal crust gave way to a creamy interior - Mark deemed them his favorite sweetbreads this side of Zaytinya - although the accompanying spinach was slightly over-salty (a criticism we've actually heard from others regarding the food at Cashion's).
Our final appetizer was a Virginia field chucker (a small game bird) with bacon, frisse, grapes, walnuts and grilled halloumi (below). There were really great things about this dish - the meat was really juicy and tender, and the halloumi was delicious. It did seem a little scattered, concept-wise, though, and again, suffered just a tad from oversalting.
For his entree, Blake went with the stuffed leg of young rabbit with mushroom duxelle, lasagna with rabbit bolognese, broccoli rabe and tomato coulis (below). This was a very busy dish, but judging from the bite or two I had, all the components were really well-executed.
Mark had the EcoFriendly Foods pork shoulder with oregano, onions and chilies with a black-eyed pea salad, house-made flatbread and tzatsiki (below). The plating was kind of a mess, but we didn't mind, because the meat was tender and juicy. While the pork itself was a little heavy, it got a nice lift from the fresh-tasting and slightly spicy accompaniments.
I ordered the wild Pacific halibut with lemony breadcrumbs over a risotto of wild mushrooms and truffle oil (below). The halibut was flaky and well-seasoned, just as it should be, and rested on a bed of very lush, very thick, very heavy risotto. While I think the risotto might fit better on a cooler-weather menu, I thought it was really enjoyable.
The guys both opted for dessert, and Mark selected the chocolate almond chiffon tarte with Kahlua cream and fudge sauce (below). For a dish with the words "chocolate" and "fudge" in the title, it was not as heavy as I had feared, and I loved the velvety texture of the chiffon tarte.
Blake ordered the fig and goat cheese tarte with sugared pine nuts and lavender honey (below). This was a lovely dessert, with the flavors melding together perfectly - I generally don't love lavender in dishes, but here it was subtle and worked well.
On the whole, it was a very enjoyable meal - the food ranged from solid to very, very good, the service was fantastic, and given our coupon, the price was pretty darned good. While I am sad to be saying goodbye to D.C. and its Living Social and Groupon deals, here's some advice: next time you see a deal for Cashion's, follow my example and buy, buy, buy!