One of the things I love about dining in the DC area is the trend of chefs and restaurants that are focusing their menu on sustainable local ingredients. One of the leaders of this movement is Chef Barton Seaver who previously lead the kitchens at sustainable seafood stars Hook and Tackle Box. As a lover of Southern tinged comfort food (especially on a cold winter weekend), I really wanted to try his new restaurant in Glover Park, Blue Ridge.
I met my friend Caroline there for a holiday catch up. As the first to arrive, I had the chance to check out the bar menu... as well as the bartenders. I loved the seasonal cocktails that seemed designed to warm you up... lots of ciders and bourbon based concoctions. At the urging of a Twitter-pal, I went with the Mississippi Punch (really, when is rum punch NOT in season...) It was potent and punchy, a perfect kick off to the meal that was about to unfold. I should also mention that in addition to the seasoned paper bags of popcorn at the bar, they also served fried black-eyed peas as a treat for the New Year. The black-eyed peas were addictive and would be the first sign that each visit to Blue Ridge would have surprises in order.
The menu has a lot of hits if you like Southern food - fried fish, cheese grits, fritters, hush puppies. I liked that our server not only guided us to our choices, but let us know they were using the freshest ingredients available. We decided to start with a bottle of wine and the sweet potato fritters, which were sweet & spicy.
For dinner I had the Fried Cod over Greens & Black-Eyed Pea Hummus. It was perfectly cooked - crispy outside, moist inside... and I loved the nod to New Years -- and want the recipe for black-eyed pea hummus.
Caroline had the Fried Green Tomato BLT. Now, in my mind, nothing can be bad about this order... and there wasn't. It was perfectly done and I loved the deconstructed presentation.
If there was one slight disappointment in our meal it was the hush puppies. They were seasoned well with a jalapeno kick, but ours came out perhaps a little overdone and dry.
Overall, Blue Ridge was my favorite new restaurant in months. This blogger plans on trying it out on a regular basis since the menu promises seasonal surprises for each visit. And if you don't want a whole meal, the bar was a comfortable and cozy spot to meet for drinks and small bites. Check it out!