Yet another fantastic meal today…my opinion of the DC food scene is definitely starting to pick up!
Agraria is a fun place on the Georgetown waterfront; its outdoor seating patio is dog friendly, but it doesn’t actually face the river; instead, it’s right next to that big gorgeous fountain, which adds a lovely soundtrack of rushing water to the background of the meal. Both times I’ve visited the place, I’ve been seated outside, so I can’t speak to the indoor dining experience – though the inside does look great, chic but with fun blues and greens that reflect the restaurant’s “Farmers and Fishers” theme. Also, the bathrooms have super-cool hand dryers! It is the sister restaurant to Founding Farmers, another favorite of mine in the city. There are some similarities and parallels between the two menus, but Agraria’s menu has more options and is my favorite between the two.
We started with the Maryland Crab dip and Chicken Pops appetizers. Both were AMAZING. The crab dip was very different from the average MD dip; it had thick slices of sweet onion, huge lumps of crab, and a combination of cheese that was pretty much to die for. I’m usually not huge on crab dips, especially not on warm summer days, but this stuff was really exceptional.
The Chicken Pops are basically mini pieces of fried chicken, tossed in your choice of sauce, and served w/ blue cheese dressing on the side. The chicken was amazingly moist and tender, and the breading was perfectly crispy and crunchy. There was a thin layer of buffalo sauce under the breading that added a nice little kick to the chicken. I really enjoyed dipping it in a combination of the citrus and blue cheese sauces – yum!
My entree was the BBQ Beef rib. The meat was deliciously tender and really did melt off the bone; the sauce it came with complemented it perfectly. My one complaint was that it tasted more like a roasted/braised rib than a BBQ rib – it just didn’t have the flavor or texture that grilling imparts to meat. It was very tasty though, just not quite what I was expecting. The mashed potatoes it was served with were exceptionally buttery and delicious, and I polished them off without sharing. I’ll admit it. The veggie medley, a mixture of diced squashes and whatnot, was forgettable. But perhaps that’s just my anti-vegetable leanings speaking out…
I sampled my friend’s crab ravioli – the pasta was a little underdone, but the creamy lemony sauce that it was served with was wonderful! Another friend got the chicken carnitas navajo sandwich, which I actually didn’t like. There was goat cheese involved, which a.) I can’t stand and b.) I thought was an odd choice for a mexican-influenced sandwich. Also, the navajo bread tasted more like a thin naan than a puffy fry-bread; I wouldn’t recommend it.
And then…DESSERT. We split two between the table: vanilla cake w/ chocolate frosting, and peach shortcake. The vanilla cake was actually a yellow butter cake, and was really really delicious. Very moist, fantastic buttery flavor. The chocolate frosting was glossy and almost pudding-like in texture (I’m pretty sure some sour cream must have been involved); it added a delicious chocolatey touch to the dessert without being overpowering or cloying. The peach shortcake was also wonderful. The cake had sort of a crunchy crust on the outside, but was soft inside – my guess is that they use a recipe that resembles a traditional biscuit-like shortcake, but just shape it to resemble a slice of poundcake. It’s topped with sweet grilled peaches, super creamy vanilla ice cream, whipped cream, white chocolate shavings, and a generous dusting of cinnamon. When all of those elements were combined into a single bite, the dessert was fantastic. Without the ice cream, however, I thought the shortcake alone was a little lacking.
Overall, a wonderful meal…we’re all still recovering from our food comas. 🙂