1314 1/2 9th street nw, 20001
tel: 202) 713-9866
what was consumed: the meal of the day
seasonal pantry? what is that?
i had heard murmurs about this place for some time. at what felt like the beginnings of the price fixe and "family dinner" popularity, i heard about seasonal pantry and wondered what their schtick was. specialty market by day, restaurant by night? i liked that they wanted to use ingredients that are "in season" when feeding their patrons and having a set and creative (and constantly changing) menu based on the culinary creativity of chefs is always intriguing.
so, when friend e wanted to go, i was happy to accompany her despite the high price tag of the meal (though, if you think about it, the meal includes the price fixe meal (we had probably 10 courses), wine, tax, and tip. so, yes, on the pricey side, but good for special occasions (or when on per diem - hahaha JUST KIDDING). we purchased our tickets for dinner in advance (from the seasonal pantry website) and patiently waited for our culinary adventure.
on the day of our meal, i arrived at seasonal pantry, though i wasn't really sure what i was supposed to do or where to go. the website implored patrons to be on time (i was a few minutes early) as they only have 1 seating. the market was closed and no one was there. turns out, i was early (for once! kdk, do you hear me? i can be on time!! hehehe). once the chef opened the doors, i selected our seats.
i can't even begin talking about how much i enjoyed the meal. from the fresh radishes that started the meal to the perfectly prepared steak medallion to the interesting combination of flavors in the salads, breads, spreads, and and and ... while i ended the meal stuffed, i was ready to start from the beginning. again. i appreciated that while the executive chef was in charge of creating the menu, he also had a small team of TWO that were learning the craft, sort of as his apprentices. he took great pride and responsibility to train and teach new chefs the craft.
the seating situation is also interesting. only 12 seats are available at the dinner table on any given night. you might be sitting with the other members of your party of 12 or, as was our case, you sit next to a couple celebrating a birthday, another couple celebrating a graduation, and a couple who just really enjoyed good food. what great dining partners! the great conversation as we got to know the people around us and as we chatted about what we were eating definitely turned out to be one of the great highlights of the meal.
i also watched the chef's "top chef" appearance (SPOILER ALERT if you haven't seen top chef season 10) and was devastated when he didn't make it. at all. i think he would've made a quality (and entertaining!) cast member. hehehe ...
i hear rumors that the seasonal pantry chef is going to close down this establishment. say it isn't so! i look forward to my next delicious meal there - CAN'T WAIT!!!