Let’s get this out of the way: it’s Saturday night, it was my birthday dinner, I just had a wine pairing, and I’m like 7/10 drunk right now. But Plume!
We ordered the Classic Wine Pairing with the tasting menu, so I have a lot to talk about. Let me gush course by course:
- Choux pastry/cheese biscuits: YES. More of these please. Like Red Lobster’s Cheddar Bay Biscuits, but prepared by God.
- Bread plus a million butters: you can’t lose with this.
- Amuse Bouche: it was a tripartite dish consisting of an artichoke foam, a salmon crudo egg roll, and a kumquat stuffed with fois gras. We also had champagne with this course. Everything was great, but I was particularly blown away by the buttery, mild foie gras stuffed inside the citrusy kumquat. We had champagne with this and it was wonderful.
- Sweet corn gnocchi: everyone at the table ordered this and almost everybody agreed that it was the best course. Even the gnocchi was made with corn meal. The prosciutto, the truffles…everything complimented this dish. Whereas other restaurants are overzealous in their use of shaved truffle (cough…Masseria…cough), Plume was judicious.
- Poached pike/Jersusalem artichoke: the pike won 3 to 1 at our table; crispy, rich, melt-in-your-mouth deliciousness.
- Squab/goat cheese tartine: I went for the goat cheese, red onion, and fig tartine, mostly because anybody can rope me in with promises of figs. My mother-in-law was with me on this one. The men at the table ordered the squab and were not disappointed. It also had a delicious squab liver mousse, which I thought was the best part of that dish. But back to the tartine: rich, oniony, the figs were chocolatey and not overly sweet. In my opinion, this was the best course of the night. It was accompanied by a pinot noir.
- Three of us, including yours truly, ordered the venison. I have tried venison a few times at classy joints and never liked it. But I had a feeling that Plume could change my mind. It still had that distinctive, metallic flavor, but it was quite good, and accompanied again by kumquats, a pairing that I now believe is under-utilized. This course came with a shiraz.
- Pre-dessert: mini-macaron. I guess it was good for a mini-macaron.
- Dessert: apple pavlova, which was rich, apple-y, and full of texture and creaminess. The real winner of dessert was the wine, which the sommelier informed us was not a fortified wine, but a completely natural sweet French wine, which smelled overwhelmingly of passion fruit (no complaints here!)
General impressions: We had a great experience here, especially for a place I found while simply googling “best restaurants in DC.” The staff was thorough in its service and its explanations of our courses, the sommelier was incredibly knowledgeable, and the food was high quality and scrumptious. I would come back in a heartbeat. The wine pairings were definitely worth the extra expense, and the pours were generous. The entire experience was comparable to Komi.
Bonus: The sommelier overheard me and my husband badmouthing Minibar and joined in with us to make fun of its pretentious molecular gastronomy and sympathize with our love of actual food.
Price: Around $250 per person.
Bottom line: worthy of return, for special occasions only!