Chinatown -not and Teatro Goldoni -best restaurant

Trip Start May 29, 2011
Trip End Jun 05, 2011

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Where I stayed
Hotel Lombardy Washington DC
Read my review - 4/5 stars
What I did
teatro goldoni

Flag of United States  , District of Columbia
Saturday, June 4, 2011

Today I wake up to realize I am now 53 years old. It seems hard to imagine at times as I still feel like I am in my mid-thirties. Yes my bones aren't what they used to be and sometimes I'm a little slow getting started after sitting a bit, but I am at such a contented, happy place in my life I refuse to accept it could be half over.

This is our last full day here in DC.  I can’t make my mind up how I want to spend it so I let Marshall sleep in while I web surf for something else to go explore.  Finally about 10am, I wake up Marshall and we get ready to start our day.  We hop on the Metro and head over to Eastern Market. I’ve read they actually have a market every day but on Saturday and Sundays it is much larger.  We walk a block or so north of the Eastern Market Metro stop and find a few blocks long line of tents selling all the arts and crafts ( ) you'd expect as well as a few nice veggie sellers.  Off to one side is another section called the flea market, not like we have at home, mostly more arts and crafts.  I find a couple things I like here at very reasonable prices particularly some jewelry that caught my eye.

By now we are starving and haven’t spotted any interesting food offerings so we pull up to Tunnicliff Tavern on the main drag and have a delightful breakfast. I was particularly pleased with my fried egg whites, fresh tomatoes and whole wheat toast while Marshall settled for the standby eggs/bacon/potatoes artery clogger.  It was nice sitting on the covered patio watching all the different people go by.  Earlier today was the Susan Komen Race for the Cure and many are decked out in their breast cancer pink including a man in blue and pink leotards –gross.

We continue to wonder around this quaint area and then discover a whole indoor part of the market which is where you can find fresh meats and deli cuts, seafood, fresh breads, craft cheeses etc.  I am now disappointed as we could have thrown together a fresh from the market lunch picnic.  I still enjoy roaming around and checking out everything and marvel again that Jacksonville doesn’t have anything like this.  Yes, we now have many more farmers markets but not an outlet for the local offerings Jacksonville can consistently offer like those things above as we’ve seen in so many other parts of the country and other countries as well.

As we are walking around, we spot a diner sipping on a Belgian beer called Fleurs and decide we are now thirsty so we go inside 7th Hill Pizza to check out what else they might have.  For a tiny little pizza joint, they have 12 or so bottles of good craft beer and a few of your commercial standbys.  We order the Fleurs by Goose Island. This Belgian is brewed with hibiscus flowers and upon tasting it I realize I have had it before though I can’t recall where.  It has a distinctive taste though you don’t forget. Sitting at the counter we interact in friendly conversation with the Pizza baker, the owner, and watch the staff whip out delicious pizzas from scratch to finish in about 10 minutes while we sip our beer.  Since they are being placed right beside me and the aroma is so very enticing I can’t help but order a small pizza with tomato, mozzarella and basil.  Oh man was it good.  Perfectly pulled thin dough, with a light but fresh tasting tomato sauce, gooey light mozzarella with fresh basil leaves tossed on top just after it came out of the oven.  It was small enough we split it and light enough we weren’t miserable.  I was glad otherwise my mind would have been stuck on pizza and I’d have done something dumb like order a Domino’s pizza when we got home and been very disappointed because there is no way it can compare to what we had.

We hop back on the Metro for a ride over to Chinatown. There hasn’t been much said about it so I doubted it would compare to San Francisco or New York but had to see for myself.  There was one street with a dozen or so actual Chinese businesses.  Everything else in "Chinatown" was your big commercial businesses and shopping with their names written in Chinese below their logo.  Maybe they are thinking if they allude to it, it will morph on its own.  Anyhow unless you are dying for some Chinese food (there were Asian people dining in these restaurants, so it must be good but otherwise don’t bother.

And that’s when it happened, the end to a perfectly good vacation.  We are walking down a normal sidewalk (smooth no worries) when I stepped down and felt immense pain shooting from my left ankle.  I stand there a second a bit stunned and realize something bad just happened.  I try to limp along and make it across the street but am in immense pain.  I make it as far as I can and realize there is no way I am going to make it home like this so we hail a cab and go back to the hotel.  I elevate and put ice on it in attempts to undo the damage and just rest a bit while Marshall goes out in search of crutches.  We have dinner reservations I’ve been looking forward to all week and a plane to catch tomorrow. I don’t want to go to emergency and possibly botch everything up so crutches seem my only option.  It took him three CVS stops, on foot, but Marshall came through with crutches.

After a couple hours, I’m able to hobble around and get dressed for my birthday dinner at Teatro Goldoni. Though it is just a block and half away I’m not sure I can make it but my wonderful husband tells the Bell Man, "No we don’t need a taxi" and proceeds to lead the way. I was a bit stunned okay a bit miffed but follow his lead and off we go. It wasn’t easy.  Upper body strength is not my forte and I was just learning how to use crutches all dolled up for my birthday.  I finally collapsed on a bench about 3 doors down so I could compose myself before confronting the restaurant and yes my emotions got the best of me and I let Marshall know it.  Afterwards I pasted a smile on my face as I really was looking forward to this dinner.

We arrive at Teato Goldoni ( ) and are instantly seated with gentle care in a rounded booth perfect for intimate conversation and or a romantic evening and I instantly felt better just sitting down again and catching my breath. The restaurant has an elegant European feel to it.  We are here with a reservation for the Chef Tasting Menu with Wine Pairings. It will be the most expensive meal we have ever eaten ($300+ after tax and tip) and I have grand expectations.  I was not disappointed.

First some of the best tasting bread sticks and assorted breads are served with a Prosecco wine. This was followed by something they called Italian Sushi –goat cheese and asparagus wrapped in Italian proscuitto in a basil dipping sauce with aged balsamic reduction.  It was bite sized and delicious (even if a bit cheesy for me the non-cheese eater).

Next upper a fresh made buffalo mozzarella salad with oven roasted cherry tomatoes, basil sauce, baby arugula and served up with a refreshing Pinot Grigio wine.  Again the non-cheese eater ate every bite of it.  I may have to think of another way to describe myself.  I have eaten more cheese in the past 12 months than my entire life leading up to it combined. Hmm.

I’ll skip part of the surprise element of the next course and leave you wondering what raw fish served in a smoking cigar box with Chardonnay tastes like.  Okay I’ll tell you IT WAS THE BOMB both in presentation and taste but you must order it for yourself to experience the full effect.

Next up two spinach raviolis stuffed with butter nut squash and served with Rose. A lobster tomato risotto was the perfect Al Dente consistency and yet creamy and divine with a Sangiovese Chianti wine. We are given a little break at this point to digest and reflect on this wonderful, relaxing vacation, injuries aside.  The pace and proportions seem to be just right so far.

The meal picks back up with a Sangiovese –Cabernet Sauvignon wine blend served with a delicious quick seared pepper tuna served on baby potatoes and asparagus.

Fantastic charred rib eye that melts in your mouth with delicious fresh from the Barbie goodness and shitake mushrooms and pureed sweet potatoes are served with a Greek Cabernet Sauvignon. And then just when you think you just can’t eat or drink another thing (2.5 hours later) they bring out two plates of desserts.  The first dish contains frozen pistachio and vanilla bean gelatos and mango sorbet.  The second dish had a coconut pudding, vanilla panna cotte and dark chocolate cake with milk chocolate icing served with Limoncello shot.  After a nice cappuccino, we were in heaven.   

It was one of the best restaurant experiences ever in terms of service –outstanding, ambiance –perfectly quiet with great background music, and the food –I didn’t find a single thing to fault.

We end our evening with a short cab ride back to the hotel with big smiles on our faces.  Even Marshall was impressed.  We probably won’t even do anything like it again in the future as we don’t normally do a lot of things we did this week but we will cherish it all and chalk it up to the things done in our lifetime memories.
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