This picture perfectly represents our first year of marriage: a year full of joy and laughter (mostly brought on by sarcastic and/or completely corny jokes).
Thank you, Kate, for the photo of us.
We spent our first anniversary celebrating the marriage of two good friends, at their beautiful wedding in downtown Washington, DC. Even though we live just across the river in Virginia, we decided to spoil ourselves a little by staying at the very cool- probably too cool for us, actually- Hotel Rouge.
Just a stroll from DuPont Circle. . .
But the final hurrah of the weekend took place in our proper hometown on our actual anniversary, yesterday, August 18th. For a year and a half I have been begging John to take me to Restaurant Eve. (And probably for a year prior to that, John kept the restaurant a secret from me knowing that I would only covet regular meals there.) After so much anticipation, I finally got to sink my teeth into an excellent meal there last night.
Entryway to Restaurant Eve in Old Town, Alexandria, Virginia
Restaurant Eve is not only the Number 4 restaurant in the entire Washington, DC area, according to the Washingtonian, but it is the perfect place for a farmer's market foodie like myself. Owner and Chef Cathal Armstrong is dedicated to sourcing ingredients locally. Upon walking into the restaurant's lobby, a flier urged patrons to support farmer's markets, and listed the markets supported by the restaurant itself. Every meal was described to us with its geographic origin. One of the specials of the evening was roasted chicken from Polyface Farms, the "beyond organic" farm featured in the book Omnivore's Dilemma. In addition to supporting area farms, Restaurant Eve has their own garden where many of the herbs and seasonal vegetables are grown. I was offered a tour, but the sun had already set. (John- this is my passive aggressive second-year wife way of telling you that we will have to return for another meal during daylight hours.)
The Restaurant has two dining options: the Bistro and a tasting room offering 5 or 9 (!) courses. Though we had heard wonderful reviews of the tasting room, we opted for the more casual and cozy Bistro.
So, what did we eat? Given our love of salted meats, we had to start with a platter featuring ten different house-made charcuterie. Our favorites were one cured in red wine, and another one with garlic. The rich and airy chicken liver mousse was also enjoyed by myself.
And, can I digress for a moment to talk about the bread? House-made ciabatta bread, with a perfectly crispy crust, yet wonderfully soft and airy inside was served warm. We each ate three pieces, which did nothing to spoil our appetites.
This was followed by our main courses. John ordered the Chesapeake Rockfish, which perched atop a mustard sauce with carrots, pearl onions, spinach leaves, and Maine lobster. The mustard imparted a nice punch to the sauce, which nicely complemented the buttery lobster bits and the earthy Rockfish.
Being on a total carnivore kick, I ordered a steak with fried onions. The grass-fed steak hailed from our home state of Virginia, and was recommended medium-rare for peak flavor. It was a delicious and flavorful steak, one of the best I have eaten. Here it is about halfway through the meal, minus the large onion rings:
And, it was our anniversary, so we had to eat dessert. So, a delicious Virginia peach and blackberry cobbler with ice cream was the perfect conclusion to a memorable meal and a special first year together.
Today began year two of our marriage, something we're totally old pros at now.
I'll be back to my normal, much less glamorous- but wonderful- life, shopping at the farmer's market, tomorrow.