The Hot Plate: Organic Pub Grub?

Posted February 4, 2004 at 2:50pm

Capitol Hill’s newest pub is many things you’d expect and several you wouldn’t.

For starters, it’s not Irish, but Scottish (a first in D.C.). It has all the trappings of a typical pub — the dark wood, brass accents, mirrored walls and pints of Guinness — but instead of greasy pub fare, the Flying Scotsman’s organic menu was thoughtfully crafted by folks who know a thing or two about good food.

With combined experience at Cashion’s Eat Place, Johnny’s Half Shell, Politiki and Tunnicliff’s Tavern, the group of friends who opened the Flying Scotsman on Dec. 19 wanted to create a welcoming pub that happened to have great food, too.

“There’s only so many places on Capitol Hill where you can get a pint and enjoy a decent meal,” said restaurant partner Scott Fournier.

The pub’s Scottish-accented menu uses all organic ingredients, letting the freshness of the food speak for itself,

Fournier said.

Entrees include fish and chips, lamb shank, hanger steak with shallots and Scottish chips, and chicken breast with spinach risotto.

The sandwich selection includes chicken salad on fresh baked bread, grilled vegetables with swiss cheese and basil mayonnaise on foccacia, burgers and reubens.

Fournier’s mother’s Boston fish chowder recipe also makes an appearance on the menu.

Desserts are made in-house, including the Highland “banoffee” pie, a combination of toffee and bananas in a graham cracker crust topped with Bailey’s whipped cream.

The pub’s main level, which is nonsmoking, houses the “wee” bar along with seating for dining. The more loungey upstairs offers a pool table, jukebox and video games.

A single-malt scotch bar is planned for the restaurant’s lower level, and a brunch menu is in the works for the spring.

The Flying Scotsman is located at 233 Second St. NW, next door to My Brother’s Place.

Eat Your Heart Out. Valentine’s Day is around the corner, and love is in the air, along with the smell of sauerkraut and sausages.

February is choucroute month at Brasserie Les Halles, and the restaurant is honoring the Alsatian dish consisting of sauerkraut, pork and various types of sausage.

Choucroute is a traditional favorite in brasseries, and this month, the restaurant is offering four kinds of choucroute, including a seafood choucroute with seafood sausage and smoked salmon, and a choucroute royale with smoked pork loin, blood pudding and pork belly.

Pork products and sauerkraut won’t float your sweetie’s boat? Maybe something a little more romantic will do the trick.

A six-course meal overlooking the Capitol and ending in a chocolate smorgasbord is an enticing option. The Capitol View Restaurant and Lounge is offering a special menu Feb. 13 and 14 for $80 a person. The decadent meal includes caviar, oysters, champagne sorbet and Hudson Valley foie gras and ends with a trip to the restaurant’s chocoholic’s bar, where diners can indulge in a buffet of chocolate cakes, truffles and fondue.

Taberna del Alabardero is offering a five-course lunch ($55) and seven-course dinner ($75) on Valentine’s Day. Highlights include salmon with bacon lentil vinaigrette, orange herb salad with shaved duck breast and passion fruit sorbet.

Picnics can be romantic … when it’s not freezing outside. But there’s still hope. A special package at the Hotel George moves the picnic inside to the bedroom. For $199, you’ll get an overnight stay in a king room, where you’ll find a bottle of Taittinger NV Champagne and a selection of artisanal and farmhouse cheeses chosen by Bistro Bis’ cheese expert.

For more information on the picnic package, call the Hotel George at (202) 347-4200.

Valentine Schmalentine. If the sight of cuddling couples and cheap chocolates in heart-shaped boxes makes you lose your appetite, head to David Greggory on Feb. 13 for an anti-Valentine’s Day celebration.

The restaurant, known for its sense of humor on the menu, will offer a chef’s tasting menu of all things bitter. The $75 meal includes bitter greens, a sour mache slaw, a shortbread broken heart and a chocolate “dump” cake.

Diners can toast to boycotting the lovers’ holiday with a “bittertini,” a cocktail made of campari, vodka, lime juice, cointreau, cranberry juice and a bitter cherry.

David Greggory is located at 2030 M St. NW. Call (202) 872-8700 for reservations.

Shake It Up. If you want to test your margarita mixing skills, or better yet, if you have no skills, Andale is hosting margarita lessons and tequila tasting at 3 p.m. Feb. 28 and again March 20.

Andale beverage manager Chris Cunningham will teach participants about the nuances of tequila and how to mix a perfect margarita.

Tickets are $30. Call (202) 783-3133 to reserve a spot in the class. Andale is located at 401 Seventh St. NW.