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Farrah Olivia+ The Next Iron Chef

April 9, 2008
We first visited Farrah Olivia in Old Town Alexandria with my dad. We didn't know anything about the place, but it was late, we were hungry, and it looked open. So we walked in around 9 at night and were seated immediately. I can say that such an occurrence is no longer a possibility since after we had been there, the owner and chef, Chef Morou, appeared on the Food Network show: The Next Iron Chef. It has been impossible to get reservations there ever since it aired, though I must admit, we were strangely excited when we saw that he was a contestant because we could actually say we had been to his restaurant. Though ultimately he did not win, his restaurant is still top notch in our book!

We started the evening with one of the cheese course, this time the Vermont Cheese selection which came with bread crisps, several blue cheeses, honey, and popcorn. Our first wine for the night was a 2006 Stellenbosch Sauvignon Blanc from South Africa that had a screw cap, clocked in at 13.5% alcohol by volume, and was on the wine list for $30. It was light and crisp with lemons, green apples, and apricot. The cheese course really enhanced the tart lemon in the Sauvignon Blanc. I was impressed the wine list had a bottle on it for $30.

Next we were served the amuse bouche for the evening which was a carrot flan with a fig balsamic vinegar reduction. Now, I'm not a carrot person, not am I a balsamic vinegar person, but this was excellent! Also served before our meal was a selection of breads accompanied by a quartet of spreads: an olive tapendade, honey butter, sundried tomato, and bok choy. The bread was excellent and the honey butter was fabulous.

For my entree I chose the domestic pork loin with orange sauce, my dad had the grilled halibut, and Matt had the duck breast. Everyone was thrilled with their entrees, and highly recommended them. The presentation was excellent, and the pork loin was perfectly cooked. I loved the orange sauce.

Finally, we finished with another cheese course for dessert, the semi soft cow's milk cheese, Thomasville Tomme from Georgia. My dad, being a Port man, chose a Tawny Port from the dessert wine menu, while both Matt and I went with Ice Wein. We chose the 2003 Meinklang Soleil Pinot Blanc from Austria. It was priced at $7 a glass (cordial size). The wine smelled of candied honey and apricots, will in the mouth it tasted like honeyed nectar. It was viscous in the glass, and sweet, but still balanced.

I would highly recommend Farrah Olivia, but be prepared to drop $25+ per entree for dinner. Though I will say, the wine list was really quite reasonable. This is definitely a restaurant I would (and have tried!) to return to.


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