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About two weeks ago I had the pleasure of eating at one of D.C.’s newest restaurants, Founding Farmers. Marc and I were really excited about the concept and the menu. The restaurant is owned by a collective of American family farmers and exists to promote the products and services of family farms, ranches, and fisheries. 

In addition, the restaurant itself is designed to meet LEED Gold Standard design criteria, a first for a restaurant in the District of Columbia. LEED is a term used to describe architecture and interior design that has been constructed and created with very little impact on the environment.  Most “green” buildings are usually LEED certified buildings, as designated by the US Green Building Council.

Okay another organic, green, hippie restaurant you say, no way. This place is a cut above the rest. The food is amazing, but unfortunately the service is not up to par. I have sent two friends and they loved the food, but both said they had craptastic service, so go for the food, not the waiters. That said, our service was fine, the waitress did forget to bring over our flatbread (we had to remind her), but they were good with refreshing our drinks and bringing our food (minus the flatbread of course).

ATMOSPHERE: We had a booth next to the bar, so it was a little loud and crowded, but it didn’t bother us, though if I was here for a quiet romantic dinner I’d request a table in the back. The bar area is modern and done with light wood, while the rest of the place is done up in light colors with a relaxing vibe. Up front there are “clouds” hanging from the ceiling, almost like a farmers field. Original.

ff-atmosArchitects rendering, couldn’t find any real pictures yet!

DRINK: Our group started the evening with cocktails. Marc and Peter got a Farmer John, bourbon, fresh lemon and orange curcao, they proceeded to get two more as the night wore on. I got a house made ginger-ale, it was gingery and juicy, not as fizzy as a Schweppes. Also, for those of you Mad Men fans, they have an Old Fashioned on the cocktail menu, simple and full of booze. However, I was told the wine isn’t so good. One of my friends ordered a bottle, and it came in a box. Now we are not talking Franzia, but unfortunately for this organic wine, the box didn’t help with the taste. So foodie friends, stick to the cocktail menu when you go.

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FOOD: We started off with some prosciutto, fig and mascarpone flatbread and a Late Harvest Salad with bacon, pears, caramelized onions and a sherry vinaigrette.  The flatbread was delish, it was more like pieces of bread, that a big flat crispy thing, but the combination of the flavors really worked, salty, sweet and creamy. Plus it was easy to share, we each had our own personal pieces, no cutting. The salad was also amazing. It had just the right amount of dressing and the onions, bacon and pears worked together to create a good crunchy bite, though it probably wasn’t the most healthy salad.

For our entrees we got filet (amazing and classic said Peter), a Roast Turkey Sandwich with Gruyere (thanksgiving on bread with some yummy cheese) and a Fresh Ground Cheeseburger (meat is ground to order, Marc said it was good, but “just a burger”), then we got a side of Mac and Cheese. As some of you know, I am a mac and cheese expert. I bake the best Mac around (sorry, but I do, it’s a known fact) and am probably the toughest Mac judge besides the ones on that episode of Bobby Flay where he did a Mac and Cheese Throwdown. Their mac wasn’t baked, but it had home-made noodles, a sweet creamy cheesy sauce and just melted in your mouth. I give it a 10 for unique cheesy flavor and a 10 for noodles, but I still like mine better.

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Unfortunately we did not get dessert, but a friend there for a birthday dinner got the Carrot Cake and said it was perfectly seasoned and the frosting was creamy goodness. Another got the Dark Chocolate Pudding and said it was a must for chocoholics or anyone with a chocolate craving.

All in all it was a great meal. But, do remember that you might not have the best service. Hopefully they will work out the glitches soon, it would be a pity for farmers everywhere if they didn’t!

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