Valentine’s day at Founding Farmers

February 15, 2010

Last year, my boyfriend and I celebrated V-day here on D.C. Capitol Hill. We were not fans. The food was underwhelming for the price. But, I’m not gonna dwell on meals past. This year, we tried a new restaurant that has been all the buzz in D.C. lately. The restaurant is called Founding Farmers, located at 19th and Pennsylvania NW. The theme is all natural, sustainable, local foods. The building itself even follows this theme by using refurbished materials, low energy lighting, etc.
The atmosphere was relaxed and inviting. A large display of canned carrots, beets, beans, etc greeted us. This was a nice touch that gave the place a somewhat southern feel.
The bar made some killer cocktails. I had the “winter caipiriniah” and my boyfriend had the “farmer john.” Both were delicious, unique and made to order.
For starters, we ordered the skillet corn bread. It was just enough for two people and I’m not exaggerating when I say it’s the best corn bread I’ve ever eaten. Think something between a moist yellow cake and cornbread. The bread was light and fluffy like cake, with kernels of corn inside and a warm, savory flavor. It was served up with a side of whipped butter and honey. Delicious.
For dinner, I ordered the handmade butternut squash ravioli with marscapone and he ordered the shrimp and grits (minus the sausage so I could try it). Both dishes were excellent. The butternut squash ravioli was light and creamy and buttery with just the right amount of sweetness. The salty parmesean on top helped balance the dish perfectly. Handmade pasta really is one of the best foods in the world.
My boyfriend ordered the shrimp and grits. Now, I’m a southerner and lived in Charleston for many years, so I know good shrimp and grits. And let me tell you, these were some of the best I’ve ever had. The shrimp were plump and juicy, served in a light sherry broth. The grits were stone ground and creamy, but light-not dense. The best part was the chopped green tomatoes served on top that were slightly tangy and kept the dish playful. Often, shrimp and grits can a heavy meal, but not at Founding Farmers. It was the perfect bowl.
For dessert, we ordered homemade red velvet cake to go. Unfortunately, we scarfed it down before I could even think about grabbing my camera. Like the rest of our meal, it was exceptional and had its own unique spin. The cake was moist, light and the cream cheese icing was fluffy without being too sweet. It was big enough for two, with plenty to share.

Over all, I highly recommend Founding Farmers. It’s the kind of restaurant that falls nicely into any price point you are comfortable with. If you don’t want to spend a lot, go for lunch or a lighter dinner. You can also really go all out on a date-night type meal if that’s what you are looking for. The total for our meal (after tax and tip) was around $95 (that’s $60 less than last year’s V-day date with the same amount of food and much more appetizing). That included 2 cocktails, an appetizer, 2 entrees and dessert. The best part was that everything we put into our mouths was worth every single penny. There’s nothing better than a good meal priced just right.

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Q. February 17, 2010 at 4:52 pm

I want that cornbread – STAT! I’m supposed to bring cornbread for a work potluck next week…wonder if I can figure this out by then? :) A friend of mine from the gym is always RAVING about FF. Still need to get in there and try it.

Jennifer February 15, 2010 at 11:29 pm

Hi Jennifer!

Thank you so much for the kind words about Founding Farmers – we’re so glad you and your Valentine enjoyed it and we appreciate you taking the time to write about your experience. I’ll be sure to share your comments with the Chef and with the staff – it will put a smile on their faces!

Jennifer / Founding Farmers and Farmers & Fishers

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