The Tabard Inn, a hidden gem located near Dupont Circle, hosted the Virginia’s Finest Reception on July 9, to eager foodies who wanted a taste of what Virginia had to offer. The result? A charming setting and good food.
The appetizers consisted of vegetables platters and an array of dips. Among them, black bean, spinach, and basil. The dips were delicious. I was able to sense the freshness and quality of the vegetables used, as each different one had a different bite to it that really made me want more. The black bean dip, specifically, was a mild but tasty addition to the vegetable platter. The basil and spinach dips had an intense flavor to them (in a good way), and the garden-y taste perfectly complimented the vegetables.
For the main course, different samples were passed around, and I was able to try crab cakes as well as chicken kebob in a peanut sauce. The crab cakes were good: very crunchy and buttery, but unfortunately they did not hail in comparison to Maryland (sorry, Virginia!). The chicken was tender, juicy, and delicious. With a simple peanut sauce added, I thought it was a unique touch to the chicken.
Dessert was interesting. What I thought looked like Apple Cobbler turned out to be a peach and cherry cobbler-esque concoction. With some whipped cream on top, and warmed, the peaches and cherries were a good post-dinner sample. I would have done without the whipped cream, though. While it enhanced the peach and cherry cobbler, it also made it soupy because it melted quickly. However, I enjoyed the dessert immensely, as it certainly piqued my sweet tooth.
The night was an overall success. I was able to taste some delicious Virginia-native dips, while feasting on crab cakes and chicken in a peanut sauce. While I was skeptical about what foods Virginia had to offer prior to the tasting, I left convinced that the state is full of richness and deliciousness.
By: Eric Wilkens