Capital Cooking was recently invited to test drive the new Buick Encore at Indigo Landing Restaurant in Alexandria. This sporty little five-passenger SUV crossover provides plenty of luxury and spice at a competitive price (starting at $24,200 MSRP) and makes driving fun!
Buick's focus of bringing in new members to the family seems to be working as they have been outselling Acura, Infinity, Audi and Lincoln in the luxury market. After driving their newest release, it's easy to see why. The Encore interior's attention to detail offers a touch-screen IntelliLink screen (a dual driver information system and music system), Bluetooth, dual-climate control, front bucket seats, rear 60/40 split-bench seats (you can fit an 8' surf board with the seats down) and rear vision camera all standard. As a commuter who virtually lives out of my car, comfort and quality reign supreme.
For the mechanically minded out there, under the hood is a 1.4L ECOTEC® 138-hp turbocharged engine with variable valve timing DOHC 4-cylinder sequential MFI engine (25 city/33 hwy MPG). If safety is your concern, there is a model that comes with all-wheel drive, but Buick's StabiliTrak with traction control keep this crossover moving and grooving safely in traffic's ebb and flow. Certain models also offer Forward Collision Alert and Lane Departure Warning systems.
One example of Buick's close attention to the driver's experience is their QuietTuning technology. Originally developed for their LaCrosse, Buick has worked to make this a standard feature in each of their cars. This engineering is an active noise cancellation system that minimizes road noise and vibration. It includes sound absorbing materials, laminated glass, specially tuned air intake and exhaust systems, underbody paneling and more - all of which combine to dampen road noise and exterior distractions so that you can focus on your driving, your tunes and the person next to you. Ah...the perfect driving bubble. Well, depending on your passengers.
For more information on the new Buick Encore, please visit Encore 2013 luxury crossover.
Indigo Landing was the perfect host for the event and featured such bite-sized favorites as crab cakes, bacon wrapped scallops, beef wellington, blue cheese tartlets with caramelized onions, sliders with cheddar cheese and tempura fried asparagus. The best pairing of the evening was the 2011 Mohua Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand with the crab cake and tempura fried asparagus.
My personal favorite were the bacon wrapped scallops. Often restaurants either under cook the bacon or overcook the scallop, but these were perfectly cooked. These treats were served with a honey Dijon sauce that was very delicate and not overly tangy nor too sweet. The only complaint was that the bacon was not very flavorful or specialized - i.e. it wasn't maple smoked or apple wood.
The beef wellington's were a nice touch for a cold winters night; especially, after standing outside in the wind waiting to test drive the Encore. The 2010 Merlot from 14 Hands Vineyards provided a nice spicy finish to the evening and paired well with the two red meat dishes.
To visit Indigo Landing and enjoy their amazing views of DC from the Potomac River, please visit their website at www.indigolanding.com.
Photos by Bryn Wallace