|Fried chicken at America Eats Tavern|
Oysters, a staple since the 1700s, are featured in numerous preparations. The pickled bi-valves use a time-honored method for preserving foods, before there was canning. It was a fine starter. The restaurant offers a fascinating list of historically sourced cocktails and punches, some going back to colonial times. We choose DC’s signature classic, the Rickey (bourbon, lime and soda).
Fried chicken with ketchup comes to the table with a Civil War back-story. It seems that women sold the foodstuff to soldiers at a railway station in Gordonsville, VA. Andres’ kitchen fries up a crispy, refined, boneless version. The accompanying ‘catsup’ is a delicious mix of fruity, sweet, sour and spicy.
We couldn’t resist ordering the shrimp étouffée as well. It's another refined dish - the shrimp were huge and fresh tasting, the classic roux-based sauce light and pleasantly piquant. Instead of the traditional rice to sop up the juices, there was a small side of crispy, Cajun-spiced popped rice. It was more like a cocktail tidbit, but tasty. While we had no room for dessert, the deconstructed key lime pie that we saw on another table looked appealing.
We were curious about the future of his six-seat, uber-mod Eclectic Minibar, previously located in the same building and not currently operating. Management tells us that it will begin taking reservation on September 1 (for dinner service on October 1). While there has been no official word about where Minibar will happen, the betting is that the building will be renovated to accommodate the concept in some new mode.