Monday, April 5, 2010

Down the Rabbit Hole

Since I started working in Bethesda, it has become increasingly more difficult to pick central locations to meet up with friends on weeknights. Last night, a good friend of mine who works at the Dept. of Justice suggested that we meet in Dupont. Sure. Why not? It's close to the metro and the little blue bus that takes her back to her apartment in Rosslyn.

A week or so ago, Tom Sietsema of the Washington Post did a brief review of the new location of Madhatter. Previously, Madhatter was a bit of a dive bar close to Georgetown, but it had recently reopened in a new location right near the Dupont metro. I had previously been to Madhatter for a friend's birthday, but only for drinks on a Saturday night. I hadn't had the chance to sit down and enjoy myself when the place is a true restaurant and not just a bar.

My friend and I decided to be adventurous and try it. Why not? If you don't try you will never know. Thank goodness we did. For the amount of money the two of us spent, the food was fantastic. For about $15 a person, we were able to order more than enough food for us to leave comfortably full.

Upon sitting down, our waiter came and poured tea in to adorable little teacups, going right along with the Alice in Wonderland theme that is visible from the moment you walk in the front door. At the time, I didn't know what they put into the tea that made it so yummy. I later found out they use apricot simple syrup in the tea. I will have to keep that trick in mind if I am ever hosting a Lewis Carroll themed party of my own. We were also given cornbread that was warm enough to make me believe that it had come right out of the oven. Did they even have cornbread in Wonderland?

We decided that the appetizers (or as they are called there, "Taps and Apps") sounded really good. Our extremely helpful waiter aided our selection on two of them and suggested that we also choose a "Mad Dog" to round out our meal. To start, the two of us chose to have the skirt steak tidbits and the spinach and artichoke dip. Both of the dishes went above and beyond my expectations. The artichoke dip was served with this amazing hot flatbread that could have been served on its own. And, oh, those steak tips... swoon. The steak was basted in a dijonaise sauce and served with crispy onion straws. I could have had two orders of this appetizer and eaten it as my full meal.

For our final course, we both chose to embrace our inner Alices and try the Wonderland Dog. Growing up, my father always used to serve me hotdogs and mac & cheese. This was, essentially, the grown up counterpart to my childhood meal. The hotdog was all plump and all-beef; it was no Vienna Beef hotdog, but I may have to go out on a limb and say it was better. It was also covered with homemade mac & cheese that absolutely was not out of a blue box.

I left impressed; this place is a far cry from the original waterhole I visited. And, to be certain, I will return to Madhatter, even if I have to follow the White Rabbit or fight the Red Queen in order to do so.

1 comment:

  1. I've only been for drinks, but this made me want to go again! Nice.