Tuesday, August 14, 2012

DC Restaurant Week - Jackson 20

For all of you who aren't aware, this week is DC Restaurant Week.  It's a lovely week in August (which comes again in January) where local area restaurants offer a special lunch and/or dinner menu for a set price ($20.12 for lunch, $35.12 for dinner).  For the businesses, it's a good way to bring in customers at an otherwise 'slow time of year' (because Congress is out and DC folks are generally out of town on vacation) and for price conscious diners, it's a great way to go to some fancy DC restaurants at half the cost.  Everybody wins!  

For Restaurant Week this year, I made plans to go out with my girlfriends to dinner at Jackson 20 in Old Town Alexandria.   Jackson 20 is part of the Hotel Monaco, a trendy little boutique hotel that is right on King Street and I'm sure has the coolest little chocolates on your pillow which I can only dream about.  We chose Jackson 20 because of its Southern style menu and to be perfectly honest, it looked swanky and fun.  Goes to show, a good restaurant style can go a long way.  

We arrived at the restaurant on time for our reservation and were promptly seated (which I was relieved about because I read reviews about people waiting a long time for a table they had reserved).  True to form, the layout and design of the restaurant was fantastic - great lighting, bold colors, and velvet benches with sparkly pillows.  My friend was in love with the napkin rings and used this inspiration to serve as the resident photo stylist for the evening. 

Oink, oink!  Pig-themed Jackson 20

For their Restaurant Week menu, Jackson 20 offered three choices for appetizers, main course, and dessert which were items off their standard menu.  For the first course, I ordered the American Farm Cheese Selection.  It came with three cheeses (which I am guessing were a goat cheese, a soft creamy cheese (like brie), and a cheddar) a fruit jam (raspberry/strawberry), a caramelized onion spread, and grilled country bread (like Texas toast).  It was a good cheese plate and was very filling but I was not a huge fan of the bread.  It was hard to break apart to use with the cheese and jams.  Given that it is a Southern restaurant, I might recommend serving the cheese plate with some spiced pecans.  To even out the flavor mix - that would give the plate something sweet with the jam and spicy with the pecans.  Just my suggestion but you know, I don't run restaurants so I could be off...

Cheese me up!
We also got a bread basket with biscuits and corn bread.  It was awesome... totally Southern, and the butter was honey-flavored.  I love flavored butter and the honey butter with the corn bread was the perfect pairing.  Well played, Jackson 20, well played.

So good, it melts in your mouth
The main course I ordered was the Charcoal Roasted Slow Cooked Goat.  I picked this for my dinner because I have never had goat before and I was intrigued.  The goat was delicious - it was shredded and tender with a light salt seasoning.  Yum.  It was served with pureed sweet potatoes and creamed corn which were good accompaniments.  The goat was also served along side pimento cheese stuffed ravioli.  I could have done without the ravioli.  The dish was filling enough with just the goat, creamed corn and sweet potato puree.  The ravioli, in my opinion, didn't really add anything to the dish (and I forgot that was not much of a pimento cheese lover).  I did not eat the ravioli on my plate.

Meaty good....
For dessert I ordered the Grasshopper Pie made of Oreo crust, marshmallow and mint and it sounded awesome.  It was very good, but very sweet.  So sweet that I could only eat a quarter of the dessert.  A great concept but they could probably stand to serve half of what they put out on the plate.  And I loved the toasted marshmallow smear on the plate, it reminded me of making s'mores by a campfire - it was a very artistic touch.

Toasted marshmallow without the fire hazard
Overall, it was a solid dinner from Jackson 20.  And a fun time with my girlfriends!  I would recommend going once just for the experience but I probably wouldn't make it my first choice of places to go to dinner in Old Town.  It's a good runner up (like say, if you can't get reservations at your top choice in Old Town and need a Plan B).  

Oh wait, I totally forgot to mention - gazpacho!  They had gazpacho on the menu for the first course.  My friend got it and IT WAS SO GOOD!!!  It was very different than the gazpacho I made - it was a completely pureed soup and they added cream to the base.  The best part was the salt ice cream dollop that you could mix in according to taste.  Very clever on the part of the chef.  I love that kind of stuff.  Check it out.

Gazpacho... everybody's doing it!
 I knew gazpacho and tomatoes would come back to haunt me.  This time it was in a good way!

1 comment:

  1. Great food, lots of laughs and Jackson 20 = "effing" good time!! ;) ha