By Priya Konings
When I went to eat at Food Wine and Co. I thought I would be in for a good meal with classic American fare, a decent wine list, a pleasant dining experience. Well, I was in for a surprise: everything about Food Wine and Co far exceeded my expectations. The food was absolutely top of the line, or, as my sister and dining partner put it, “If I am ever on death row, I want this to be my last supper.”
Let me give you a blow-by-blow of the deliciousness that made this meal so good. First, fried potato tots: these bad boys are filled with an oozing gruyere stuffing, almost like an arancini but with potatoes instead of risotto. You don’t even need the spicy ketchup, these crispy nuggets are irresistible all on their own. The oven baked morbier is another must-have dish; puffed pastry is beautifully blanketed with melted cheese, served with arugula and honeycomb, and dotted with balsamic vinegar. It’s a sweet-acidic-nutty-buttery flavor profile all at once. The pomodoro flatbread bread is perfect for sharing; a crispy house made flatbread is smothered in sweet tomato sauce, fresh mozzarella, and whole cloves of roasted garlic. If you are looking to be healthy, try the roasted beet salad, a generous pile of sweet beets are adorned with a heap of arugula, sprinkled with pistachios, and served with a dollop of creamy goat cheese and drizzled in a delicate, floral dressing.
Now that you are as full as we were, you need to get the charred vegetable Bolognese pasta. A bowl of tender pappardelle noodles are coated with a rustic, chunky vegetable Bolognese sauce. It is sublime. All of the side dishes are worth a try as well: the rapini is wonderfully bitter, crispy Brussel sprouts come in a sweet and savory sauce, mac n cheese is a truly decadent affair, and spinach is garlicky and tart.
Historically in D.C. desserts were the least exciting part of the meal, with cliché fruit pies and dried out chocolate cakes. Now, many restaurants hire top of the line pastry chefs to create whimsical, new age desserts that add a modern edge on classical favorites. Pastry Chef Eva Stafford not only provides an example of this, but she may even set the bar. Her s’mores dessert features two toasted marshmallows on sticks, a scoop of the mintiest house made mint chocolate chip ice cream ever, and a mint molten chocolate cake with whipped burnt marshmallow on top. It is an exuberant, elegant trip back to the s’mores of your childhood. Even just the sight of it will make you drool. The sticky toffee pudding is its only rival: melt-in-your-mouth warm toffee cake is drenched in toffee sauce, with butterscotch ice cream. I wanted to bathe in it. I very nearly did.