Flight Wine Bar: Pulled Duck Sandwich

Flight Pulled Duck Sandwich

The humble French fry—so often relegated to the role of a caloric afterthought cowering on the side of the plate. Not so at Flight Wine Bar, where the fries are fermented. Based on the classic combo of salt and vinegar, Chef Bradley Curtis takes the mess out of it by fermenting potatoes with a simple solution before they hit the fryer.

You’ll find these zippy spuds next to The Best Thing on the Menu: Pulled Duck Sandwich with Spiced Berry Reduction and Napa Cabbage Slaw. Duck is auditioning in this dish to take the pulled pork world by storm. It holds moisture really well, and lends a little bit of gaminess.

Flight Beet Salad

The pulled duck sandwich is actually a little bit of an anomaly at Flight. Much of the menu has notes of Mediterranean and North African influences. Standouts include the sumac bronzino, squash dolmades and roasted beet salad featuring a perfect soft-boiled egg. Italian, Japanese, Korean, Spanish, Mediterranean, Whatever…all menus should have at least one bursting egg. In the case of this salad, the egg yolk replaces any need for dressing.

Flight is a wine bar after all, so if you see either of the husband/wife owners, be sure to ask their opinions on what to drink. Swati Bose and Kabir Amir can help with pairings, or challenge you to try something from a lesser-known wine region.

Pulled duck sandwich not your BTM? Share your favorites in the comments section.

You might also like Cork or Proof.

2941: Smoked Burrata Ravioli

Ravioli at 2941

If you’re married, you’ll face immediate regret upon dining at 2941. The high ceilings scream special occasion and the naturescape (albeit man-made) on the other side of the widows is picturesque enough for your big day. Even Frida Kahlo would envy tying the knot there, given the funky art punctuating the walls.  The decor isn’t the only thing that changed for the better after the recent renovation, so did the food.

Classically trained, adorably accented French Chef Bertrand Chemel has a habit he can’t kick. He spends every day trying to make his customers happy, which can be a challenge given the eclectic mix likely to wander into a restaurant accessible only by traversing a ganglion of highway intersections in Virginia. What he settled on thematically is Upscale Casual Modern American French Mediterranean Cuisine, which takes a full breath to say. But only one bite to enjoy.

The Best Thing on the Menu is a prime example: Smoked Burrata Ravioli with Escarole, Spicy Duck and Arbequina Olive Oil. France and Italy share a border. They also share secrets. When Chef Chemel was working for Daniel Boulud (yes THAT Boulud) he had chance to learn pasta making from Andrew Carmellini. That is why an uber-talented French chef can pull off pasta. The ravioli dish is smoky because of the burrata, bitter from the escarole and gamey due to the spicy duck sausage. Try this along with the pillow-top mattress gnocchi and minty lamb orcchiette.

2941 Lamb

Another stunner is the Elysian Fields Farm roasted lamb loin with gnocchi alla greca, semi dry tomato, feta cheese and garlic-mustard jus. Further evidence that lamb > beef. We also can’t stop ourselves from mentioning that the 2941 dessert menu is an (unintended?) hat-tip to Justin Bieber. Don’t skip the Never Say Never selection.

2941 Table

Despite our fawning over the space, there is one bad seat in the house. According to sommelier Jonathan Schuyler, it’s next to the big, beautiful amethyst because it’s a sobriety stone. In Greek, amethyst means not drunk or a remedy for intoxication. So, if you want your wine to work its magic, sit elsewhere.

Ravioli not your BTM? Share your favorites in the comments section.

Urbana Reloaded: Monkfish

Urbana Monkfish

Urbana’s has a shiny new chef, Ethan McKee. That means a brand new Mediterranean menu and it’s safe to say that the fish dishes steal the show.

The Best Thing on the Menu: Monkfish with Merguez, Roasted Peppers and Fennel comes in Le Creuset-like serveware. This firm fish won’t win a beauty contest any time soon but it sure goes well with smokey meat. Typically monkfish is served with bacon or prosciutto, but at Urbana, Chef McKee uses gamey, sweet and spicy merguez sausage.

Pair the monkfish with an herbalicious house-bottled fernet cocktail to cut the jammy tomatoes and salty sausage. Fernet is having a real renaissance. Del Campo is also bottling its own fernet and cola. Fernet’s an awesome aromatic flavored with the likes of chamomile, cardamom, saffron, and myrrh. The booze? It’s typically made from grape distilled spirits.

Urbana Cod Fritters

Other top fish dishes on the new Urbana menu include the Salt Cod Brandade Fritters with Celeriac Remoulade, which are nice and fluffy thanks to being soaked in milk, as well as the Spanish Dorade which comes will kale that rocked our world.

Save room for dessert and pick whatever they’re serving with their exquisite honey-thyme ice cream.

Monkfish not your BTM? Share your favorites in the comments section.