After living on Connecticut Avenue for several years, Cleveland Park became a second home for me. With my stomping grounds mainly in the Vann Ness neighborhood, it is no surprise that I ventured out to find good food. The day Ripple opened and I had the opportunity to nibble on their risotto was the day that I realized this restaurant would stay in the Cleveland Park neighborhood for years to come. Joining a block of veterans that never seem to shake or leave, Ripple stood its ground from day one with fresh, original combinations. Needless to say, I jumped at the opportunity to return and get a taste of their Fall of Rhone flavors.
The Rhône appellation is defined by the banks of the Rhône River valley and vines there have been harvested for wine since the times of ancient Greece. Today the area contains over 6,000 wine growing properties. Ripple features many of these wines along with some American labels created with traditional Rhône Valley varietals such as Grenache, Syrah, & Mourvèdre. Chef Marjorie Meek-Bradley took special care in preparing seasonal offerings that include fish, game and earthy vegetables to complement the Rhone wines. My personal favorite combo included Donkey & Goat “stone crusher”, an orange roussanne that was bottled in 2012, which complements house made parsley fettuccine topped with succulent & slightly sweet, seared escargot. I feel the comforts of fall settling in at Ripple.
I could go on and on about the rest of the selections but that is the thing about Ripple: they have a legit staff here. From Chef Marjorie, who stays on top of the areas top seasonal selections, to General Manager and Sommelier Danny Fisher, who did some pretty extensive research on a complete list of Rhone wines, Ripple remains one of the top restaurants on this side of town. Casual in décor and accepted attire, Ripple’s flavors offer the flare of white linen service without the stuffy maitre d’.
If you have not made your way over and need an excuse, the Fall of Rhone at Ripple is the ticket. The menu and wine pairings will be available until the last day of autumn, December 20, and bottles are priced between $21-$75. Just the way to stay warm in these chilling temps: wine & comfort food. Cheers.