Thally: Roasted Duck Breast

Thally Roasted Duck Breast

If Thally is a sample of what the unfolding Shaw restaurant boom will bring, we’re in for a fun ride. The new restaurant by Chef Ron Tanaka and his partners in crime is impossibly creative and simple at the same time.

The drink prices ($7 and $8 wine!) and entree portion sizes (not guilt-inducing, nor small plates!) weren’t the only things refreshing at Thally. The restaurant doesn’t feel the need to spell out every detail of how its dishes will be presented on the menu. Rather, they keep it simple and allow guests to be wowed with whimsy when dishes arrive at the table. The compressed watermelon and heirloom tomato salad for example, doesn’t let on that it will come out shaped like sushi with acompanying ginger and wasabi. They trust their customers will pick up on, and enjoy, the surprise.

The Best Thing on the Menu: Roasted Duck Breast with Sunchoke, Kale and Taggiasca Olive Sauce wins out on the merits of flawless execution. The perfect medium rare sear and criss-crossed rendered duck fat are executed to such a high level that we wonder whether Chef Tanaka learned these tricks during his time at Citronelle. Other standouts include the Crab Roulette, Carnitas Sope and Pan Seared Rockfish. For photos of these dishes plus the watermelon salad sushi click here.

Though modern in decor, the restaurant’s name is, in part, a throw back tribute to the Tally-Ho stables built in the neighborhood in 1883. The restaurant seats about 70 and takes reservations through OpenTable. Our post comes on the heels of a positive Tom Sietsema review. See what he had to say.

Roasted Duck Breast not your BTM? Post your favorites in the comments section.

Bourbon Steak: Big Eye Tuna with Slow Cooked Pork

Bourbon Steak's Surf and Turf

Surf and turf has been a staple on steakhouse menus from London to Paris, Miami to LA ever since the 1960s when it first became a popular combo platter in the then fab “continental cuisine” style.

One of DC’s sexiest steakhouses, Bourbon Steak, has its own take on surf and turf that bends the traditional steak and shrimp or steak and lobster definition into something a lot more fun: seared ahi tuna and the ever-popular pork belly.

The Best Thing on the Menu: Big Eye Tuna with Slow Cooked Pork, Mango Ravioli, Young Coconut and Hijiki may come as a surprise to those expecting sirloin or one of Bourbon Steak’s specialties, beautifully marbled A5 Miyazaki Japanese Wagyu beef, to star as the BTM.

The top dish is a tropical storm to be reckoned with, laden with notes of coconut, lemongrass and mango. A foamy sea of white clouds cover the pork and tuna treasures hiding below. Surrounding the surf and turf proteins are perfect parcels of must-try mango ravioli.

Everything we tried was top notch. However, healthy eaters beware, you may intend to survive dinner at Bourbon Steak without destroying your diet, but out comes an amuse-bouche of three different kinds of fries with accompanying sinful sauces, followed by a skillet of adorable, swirly-knotted black truffle butter rolls. Sins were committed. Rules were broken.

Since we oddly opted for fish dishes (we also savored the rockfish) we’ll have to come back for some steaks, or at least the lobster pot pie.  As one final quick tip, Bourbon Steak is a great pre-theatre pick for those headed to the Kennedy Center to see Book of Mormon or other shows. If you’re going to have the “Spooky Mormon Hell Dream” song stuck in your head all night, you might as well have it with a belly full of free fries.

Big Eye Tuna with Slow Cooked Pork not your BTM? Post your favorites in the comments section.