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!|
|So good, it melts in your mouth|
|Toasted marshmallow without the fire hazard|
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!|