The 18th annual Taste of Georgetown, held on Saturday, October 15th, helped to bring in the fall season with culinary specials at participating restaurants and promote National Dessert Month. Twenty-eight dining establishments lined up on M Street to serve food samplings to passersby. In addition to food, beer, wine and spirits were served.
This year’s event for the first time featured a “Pumpkin Food Fight”, a competition among restaurants using the fall ingredient pumpkin. Five restaurants competed and only two won. And it introduced restaurants that are newly established or new to the event.
The recently opened New York-based Serendipity has firmly established itself in Georgetown. The restaurant is most famous for the frozen hot chocolate. It’s almost like drinking a frappuccino but it is rich in chocolate and much more delightful than a frappuccino. The frozen hot chocolate is a treat for all seasons.
Asian-influenced restaurant Mie N Yu served a delicious and warm appetizing spicy pumpkin-coconut soup with 48-hour duck confit and pepitas (shelled pumpkin seeds). The duck confit is at the bottom of the soup. The coconut really brings out the flavor of this soup. Executive chef RL Boyd said that the duck leg and thigh meat was slow-roasted in its own fat and a whole pumpkin was pureed and mixed with the coconut. It was a Taste of Georgetown Winner and for me as well.
Dean and Deluca served pumpkin tamales with sage pecan pesto sitting atop black and white bean ragu. This is an excellent dish for vegetarians and the pesto is wonderful on top of the tamale adding some extra flavor. Although this didn’t win the competition, it did win me over.
It is the first time that Georgetown Catering Company has participated in the Taste of Georgetown. They impressed the public with their lobster roll—which is not on their catering menu but should be because it’s really this good. They use fresh Maine lobster and mix it with mayonnaise, chives, onions, salt, and pepper. This might seem simple but one taste and you’ll think twice! Everything else on their set of choices was just secondary.
At the lower lot of the Grace Church, Mie N Yu bartenders Dawn Daly and Mike Healy mixed and served delicious fruity cocktails Moroccan Delight and Lounge Lizard. They are so fruity that one wouldn’t think they were having a cocktail. But it does have alcohol and after two to three drinks, you may get tipsy.
There was nothing bland about the lamb sausage with lentils and salsa verde served by 1789 Restaurant. I would definitely order this dish if I dropped into the restaurant. The lentils were cooked in chicken broth, cherry vinaigrette, and shallots. The salsa verde complimented the dish.
Georgetown Cupcake has its fare share of critics and from me, they get praise for their pumpkin spice and chocolate hazelnut cupcakes. They are very scrumptious. The pumpkin spice has a delicious, warm maple flavor and the chocolate hazelnut is toasty and decadent.
I am not much of a beef eater, except for the occasional cheeseburger at McDonald’s but the beef brisket tortellini with pine, nut, sage and crimini mushroom sauce served by Filomena Ristorante was fantastic. This dish is great for the fall evening out on the town. I sure hope to drop in and request for it. Just to add, Filomena’s pumpkin cheesecake won for best ingredient.
I was impressed with the food delivered by participating restaurants at a Taste of Georgetown. Much of what was served at the festival won me over. With the vast number of restaurants in the Georgetown area, more restaurants should partake in this event.