Vidalia, a Little Bit of the South in DC

This weekend I enjoyed a wonderful dinner at Vidalia in DC. The restaurant is in the Golden Triangle neighborhood near Dupont Circle and is located below street level. It’s a beautiful space filled clean lines and frosted glass with touches of dark wood. The cuisine is modern American with a heavy Southern influence.

Sunday was the end of DC’s restaurant week so we selected from a three course prix fixe menu. My first course was the Shenandoah Beef Tartare described by Vidalia as “garlic chips, sourdough croutons, black truffle ice cream, vidalia’s steak sauce.”

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It was heavenly. The beef was the perfect texture and practically melted in my mouth. I am an adventurous eater, but I was a little concerned I didn’t possess a palette bold enough to appreciate beef served with ice cream, but it was a great combination. The ice cream was a little sweet and it really completed the dish, adding a velvety texture to the beef. This was my favorite dish of the evening.

My second course was the Shenandoah Beef Short Rib. Here’s Vidalia’s description of the dish: “potato-fennel purée, roasted rapini, olive-onion relish, roasted garlic jus.”

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This was a hearty dish perfect for a chilly night. The short rib was cooked well and tender enough to cut with a fork. My favorite part were the bites with the olive-onion relish because of the bit of sweetness from the onions. The roasted garlic jus was great on everything, and towards the end, I wished there was more of it.

For the dessert course, I selected the Peanut Butter S’more. The menu described it as “chocolate cream, chocolate ganache cake, milk chocolate feuilletine.”

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I love the combination of chocolate and peanut butter so I was off to a good start. The bottom was a layer of chocolate cake, then a layer of crunch, thanks to the feuilletine, and on top was peanut butter layer. It was amazing.

My dining partner and other half enjoyed the Cinderella Pumpkin Soup, which Vidalia lists as, “deviled spiced crab, piquillo peppers, old bay gougères.” We didn’t get a picture, but he said he liked it because it really tasted like pumpkin instead of the spices and flavors typically associated with pumpkin dishes.

His second course was the Atlantic Salmon with “sweet potato purée, country ham, lentils, frisée, whiskey vinaigrette.”

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And for dessert he had the Hot Buttered Rum Cheesecake with “walnut praline, currants, rum glaze.”

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Overall, the dinner was wonderful and the service was very good and timed well. I can’t wait to go back. If you’re in the area and looking for a place to have an excellent dinner, I recommend Vidalia.

Vidalia has been on the DC food scene for over 20 years, has great reviews, and is consistently rated as one of the best restaurants in the area (2010, 2011, 2012 & 2013).

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