Is it a little weird to be eating in what used to be someone’s bedroom? Not unless you’re seated under the mirrored ceiling. That used be over his bed. The Beard House is full of lore, to say the least. After the jump, you’ll find a slideshow of all the photos from this year’s “The Best of DC” dinner that took place this past Monday evening, along with a little history lesson on the man behind the foundation.
Kudos to this year’s lineup at the “Best of DC” dinner, featuring Justin Bittner of Bar Pilar, Logan Cox and pastry chef Alison Reed of Ripple, Claudio Pirollo of Et Voila and Vikram Sunderam of Rasika. Also on hand were Todd Thrasher of Virtue Feed & Grain and Dan Searing from Room 11 for cocktails, along with Greg Engert, the beer connoisseur of Neighborhood Restaurant Group. Continue reading →
I checked out Ripple when they first opened back in 2010, before there had been much buzz about it, before the restaurant expanded and back when it was one of those restaurants that I just had a good feeling about. The restaurant has changed chefs and menus through its almost two-year history, but one thing has remained a constant: the food.
One thing that stands out right away when you go to Ripple is the presentation. There are thoughtful details on each plate, such as the rouge pumpkin soup that’s poured at the table for a little added effect. The thick, bright soup goes with a somewhat unusual combination of eggplant, pine nuts, cippolini and squid, and somehow it all works well together. If you want to go for something a little heavier, try the mushroom risotto with the poached egg nestled on top. The runny egg yolk and tender mushrooms over a bowl of hot risotto make for great comfort food on a chilly day. And whereas other restaurants have little bites or snacks that are tasteless throwaways, the bacon-roasted pecans are addictive and pleasantly salty and smoky. If you go and the pork rillette is back on the menu, don’t pass it up.
In the most recent chef news in DC, Logan Cox has taken the helm at Cleveland Park’s Ripple. Previously, Cox was the executive chef at New Heights and had also worked with Frank Ruta at Palena and Tarver King at Woodlands Resort and Inn in Charleston, SC. He started working at Ripple in May.
From the looks of it, the menu won’t be changing much. There’s a farm-to-table emphasis (which I’m pretty sure existed previously), and dishes like the crispy duck breast, gnocchi and baked-to-order chocolate chip cookies remain on the menu with slightly different twists. Cox studied for a year in Italy, so perhaps we can expect this influence to peek through on the menu. For example, there’s a smoked quail agnolotti with hazelnuts and English peas that is available, according to a press release.
As for the previous executive chef, Teddy Diggs, word on the internet indicates he has moved to Martha’s Vineyard where he is the current chef at Home Port Restaurant, an 80-year-old institution. Sad to see Diggs leave Ripple, but it should be interesting to see if and how Ripple’s menu will change under the new chef.