Last Saturday night, we celebrated my husband’s birthday at Garrison restaurant in DC. This restaurant features farm-fresh ingredients with a Scandinavian twist.
We ordered the tasting menu with 7 small courses. Strawberries and fresh peas are in season right now – several courses featured them prominently.
As the restaurant was really crowded and noisy, we opted to sit outside. Unfortunately some of the photos didn’t come out as the sun went down. But here’s a good peek at most of our meal.
The first course (pictured above) was fresh pea soup shooter with a radish topped with fresh butter. Humble the ingredients may be, this plate was beautiful and probably my favorite dish of the night. I also ordered a rum and tamarind cocktail, which I really enjoyed.
Next was this beautiful fava bean strawberry goat cheese salad. It looked so pretty, but as you can see, there wasn’t a lot of salad on the plate.
Fourth, there was pea pistou ravioli. I felt a little bit disappointed by this, as I suspect the green sauce was actually the pea soup we had above. Also, there were more radishes, and asparagus. This course felt a little bit like a repeat to be honest.
Then we had soft shell crab over the creamiest polenta ever. This was really tasty, though I’m not sure the crab was enough for me to even know what it tastes like.
Duck was the next course, and while my husband really liked this one, for me it was just okay. It had those large sea salt flakes on it, which seem to be so popular these days and I generally like, but in my opinion, they make dishes way too salty often.
Other courses included a cheese platter with three cheeses, an order of poppy seed gougeres, and strawberry camomile panna cotta.
Overall, this dining experience was just okay for us. While I liked the food generally and our server was nice, there were some issues with this restaurant and it was just way too expensive for what you got.
First off, the reception at the host station was a bit off when we arrived (they didn’t recognize our reservation even though I called and confirmed it).
The restaurant was super dark and noisy inside (as in you would have to raise your voice to have a conversation with the person across from you) and the seating was really tight (almost rubbing elbows with your neighbor on both sides)
The tasting menu was not anything special and there’s really no incentive to order it. They basically served a strong of the regular entrees but cut in half between two people, resulting in really small portions. In fact, the panna cotta dessert was literally cut in half, which felt cheap, in my opinion.
You could order all of it a la carte and get exactly what you wanted. What’s more the tasting menu didn’t even feature their signature poppy seed gougeres, which required you to order that extra. What? I thought tasting menus were supposed to be more exciting than the regular menu, but not here.
In any case, I would recommend not coming here if you’re hungry. If you do try it out, I’d just order a few dishes to share.