Housed in the glamorously chic and modern Melrose Hotel – a AAA four-star boutique hotel situated in the heart of DC’s Georgetown neighborhood – Jardenea Restaurant has earned an impressive reputation throughout the DC metropolitan area for its unique menu highlights and attentive and professional wait staff.
For the team at Jardenea Restaurant, educating diners of where the food on their plates originate from isn’t just important – it’s a necessity. As the farm-to-table trend continues to increase in popularity nationwide, Jaredena’s seasonal farm-to-fork menu has provided on the go traveling families and foodies alike with one of a kind dining adventures for years.
Illuminated by natural sunshine and the soft glow of ultramodern overhead lights, diners are surrounded by cool and calming pastel colors and clean and crisp designs as they feast on bountiful plates crafted by Executive Chef Nelson Erazo.
Chef Erazo has quickly earned widespread recognition for his distinct works of food art not only because of their visually stimulating nature but for their flavor: each dish is composed of only the freshest organic and local ingredients. Even the namesake “Jardenea” is French for “garden,” the ultimate symbol of refreshing cuisine.
To cleanse and prepare our pallets, our meal began with two champagne flutes overflowing with crisp, bubbling prosecco – a perfect offset to the hot and humid weather that plagued passer-by’s just outside the restaurant walls.
It is common courtesy for the Jardenea staff to serve a basket piled high with warm, crisp slices of assorted breads paired with a generous side of creamy house-whipped butter. The thinly whipped butter melted into each crevice of the warm, doughy bread, which created a heavenly combination when paired with a sip of the smooth and fruity undertones of the prosecco.
The chef then delivered a heaping stack of Jardenea’s infamous “Blue Crab Corn Fritters” that were generously stuffed with tender chunks of Maryland blue crab enveloped by pillows of sweet yellow corn bread and served with a side of creamy roasted red pepper remoulade for dipping. The remoulade sauce provided a mildly spicy kick to offset the sweetness of the fritters, which were each fried to a delectable golden-brown hue.
Partnered with the crab fritters was the “Grilled Margherita Flat Bread” that was comprised of a classic hand-tossed bread base topped with creamy, melted buffalo mozzarella, juicy vine ripened tomatoes, aromatic fresh basil leaves, and topped off with a lavish drizzle of a lightly sweetened balsamic reduction. With each bite, the scent of fresh basil permeated both the air and our senses, creating a truly mouthwatering experience.
In addition to the enticing started dishes mentioned above, guests can choose from gluten free and/or vegetarian appetizers on the current menu such as “White Asparagus Soup”, “Chesapeake Bay Crab Bisque”, and “Pulled Curd Mozzarella”.
For the main entrees, Chef first served up a generous bowl of his gluten-free “Preserved Lemon Chicken Risotto,” a unification of succulent all white-meat shredded chicken, softly boiled english peas, cubes of smoked bacon, melted mascarpone cheese, diced cipollini onions, and slivers of marcona almonds to add the perfect crunch component.
Next up was the “Coriander Dusted Salmon,” topped with flavorfully seasoned wilted spinach and grape tomatoes surrounded by mounds of lightly salted fingerling potato hash with preserved lemon, all situated over a shallow pool of melted savory dill butter.
As an added bonus, we were surprised with one of Jardenea’s seasonal cocktails that consisted of a serious twist: the “Bacon Old Fashion” with bacon infused Maker’s Mark, “B” grade maple syrup, chocolate bitters, and two heavenly slices of crisp, center cut bacon. An explosive liquid bomb of both sweet and sultry flavors, the savory cinnamon-sugar coated bacon paired with the stout zing of the bourbon created a delectable dessert in a glass.
At the urging of the wait staff, we ordered Jardenea’s popular “Toasted S’mores” dessert that is composed of a rich chocolate mousse base topped with a thick layer of toasted marshmallow and sandwiched by delicate panels of ginger graham crackers and a side of freshly sliced strawberries. The dish is an upgrade from the classic summer bonfire dessert, and is sure to satisfy the sweet tooth of adults and children alike.
In addition to weekend brunch, Jardenea also offers an impressive “5-5-5” happy hour special on Sundays, and Monday through Thursday that consists of $5 appetizers, $5 cocktails, and $5 valet parking (which is a steal for those familiar with the disaster known as DC parking).
To experience some of the freshest, most unique dishes that the Capitol City has to offer, head over to the historic and romantic Georgetown neighborhood to visit the kind and knowledgeable staff at Jardenea (they open as early as 6:30 am for breakfast and serve dinner as late as 10 pm seven days a week).
To make a reservation for Jardenea today visit Opentable.com. Don’t forget to tell them the East Coast Contessas sent you.