We can point at New York City and San Francisco all we want, but D.C. is expensive and it’s not getting any better. Rent is obviously the biggest culprit, but I’ve even started to notice price increases at my favorite low key bars and D.C.’s fancier dining establishments alike (cough Pineapple & Pearls cough). It’s almost like you can watch the menu prices rise right before your eyes like a demented countdown clock going in the wrong direction. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to hit up Michelin level restaurants once a week (or even once a month), but once or twice a year, it’s nice to really go out. To get dressed up, splurge on that regular Lyft (because Lyft Line owns my soul) and make a night of it.
And that’s where The Source’s new dinner comes in to play. Nice enough to scratch any “fancy night out” itches (it is The Source after all), but without the insane prices you’ll find at other places around town, the new lamb dinner includes, a snack / bite / whatever you want to call it, a full lamb meal (with sides), dessert and wine for $95. Including tax and gratuity. I wouldn’t quite call it a steal (imagine how many Ledo’s pizzas you could order with $95! Probably a lot!), but it’s certainly a good deal when you look at other local restaurants of the same caliber.
Dinner kicks off with a crisp glass of wine and a basket pillowy, scallion flower rolls. Incredibly light and fluffy, the rolls have a touch of that savory onion flavor, but not enough to make your breath stink for the rest of the night (which gives it another plus in the date night column). It’s a good way to kick off the rest of the meal, which takes traditional dining elements and injects them with The Source’s asian flair. These certainly aren’t your traditional dinner rolls.
For the main course, there’s a plate piled with lamb, fried rice and a sweet and sour eggplant. The soy lacquered lamb shank is decadent to say the least, but the cilantro mint vinaigrette (which comes on the side for all your dipping and drizzling needs) adds just the right amount of brightness to break up the heavier aspects of the lamb. It’s sounds silly to say, but the fried rice is the real winner here because 1. You can never go wrong with fried rice and 2. it’s filled with lamb sausage and spring peas, so you’re still getting all of that meaty goodness. The only sour note here (I’m so sorry) is the sweet and sour eggplant, which was… Fine. Not bad, not incredible, just fine.
After eating all that meat, the Shaoxing wine infused ice cream is a breath of fresh air. Combining the rice wine with vanilla ice cream gives it an almost savory depth (I mean that in a good way) that pairs great with fresh strawberries. It’s a palate cleanser with a twist.
Not bad for $95. Not bad at all.