It’s no secret that Vann Ness/UDC lacks in the restaurant department. With neighboring ‘hoods, Woodley Park and Cleveland Park, the lackluster restaurant scene is kind of surprising for this neck of the woods. That’s one reason I was glad to see Schlotzsky’s move out and Acacia Bistro move into the upper Connecticut Avenue retail space. With high hopes, I set out for yet another food adventure with a girlfriend to catch up on old times. Unlucky for me, the restaurant menu that I had salivated over the past few months had changed and the gnocchi I looked forward to was no longer apart of the menu. For some odd reason, I thought the menu would take on a Italian/Mediterranean fare which was actually far from the truth with only one (*no make that two with the special of the evening…) pasta entrées on the menu.
Not to disappoint my pasta yearning palate, I ordered the Farfalle with Crabmeat Sauce. This dish does not disappoint and might actually be some of the best pasta I have tasted on this side of town. Fresh bow tie pasta in a creamy sauce of fresh crabmeat, parsley, garlic, olive oil, a touch of diced fresh tomato, white wine and a dab of cream finished with a touch of vodka. Stuffed and pleasantly surprised by the bold chunks of fresh crab meat, it came as a surprise that my guest was not so happy with the grilled veal rib chop.
Beauty on a plate but lacking in flavor on all sides. To jazz the dish up, she requested some simple potatoes to round out the meat lovers meal. Again, little to no seasoning.
Having started our meal with such high hopes, I encouraged her to order dessert. She went for it with the Chocolate Mousse cake which did not disappoint. Simple, rich creamy layers of all things chocolate…exactly what we expected and received. The key components missing from this experience were seasoning. Simple as that.
The fried artichoke hearts we started with were simply breaded without even a hint of salt, pepper or garlic to say the least. Please note, I am not an overly obsessive salt user but I really wanted to go in the kitchen and whip up a breading that at least acknowledged the presence of the underused mineral.
Would I return? Yup. The vast wine and selection and outdoor seating make for a routine spot to catch up with old friends while people watching. Additionally, as you know I’m a sucker for good service and Acacia gets an A+ in this department.