Some of you may recall one of my first reviews was of Red Apron in Penn Quarter here in DC, an excellent place to grab a quick deli sandwich or some cold cuts to go. Red Apron actually shares a space with its sister restaurant The Partisan, which is a narrow and buzzy sit-down establishment that sources its proteins through the Red Apron butchery. As you can imagine, this place is, uh, not very vegetarian friendly so look away now if that's your thing. (Though if you want, you can actually get a bunch of quite delicious veggie pasta, salads, and partake in the rather excellent wine list.)
The occasion was Graham's birthday which meant he'd gotten yet another year further into the dreaded late twenties period of one's life. The only solution was red meat and quite a lot of it.
Luckily, The Partisan didn't disappoint. From the sushi-style (!) menu of charcuterie to the spiral-bound entrees menu categorized by protein (Pig, Duck, Poultry, Beef, etc), fellow carnivores are going to be completely spoiled for choice and maybe even a little overwhelmed by the meaty options.
Some highlights from our meal, made even better by bottle(s) of red from the surprisingly diverse and affordable wine list:
We also did manage to squeeze in some seafood, which was either deep fried or carb-oriented:
The only minor let down of the night was when the rabbit pot pie came out with a distinctly fishy flavor but the waiter was more than happy to remove it and kindly had the dish taken off the total bill at the end. No harm done (and I guess I can probably learn to make a pot pie pretty easily at home. Squid ink pasta, not so much.)
So, the verdict:
Food: 4.5/5. For a meat eater, you can probably count on one hand the other restaurants in this city that will give you this much variety at such a high level.
Drinks: 4/5. Awesome wine selection but not much in the way of liquor selection in the bar in the back (but that's not why you came here, right?)
Ambiance: Narrow, cozy, tons of mood lighting. Try and get a table in the front section - tables in the rear of the restaurant next to the bar can get loud and crowded.
Jasmine says: Solid four chomps. Totally worth the meat sweats. Come with a date or a big group of friends - it's good for (pretty much) everyone.
The Partisan is located at:
709 D Street Northwest, Washington, DC 20004
Reservations available via OpenTable.
For most of us getting back to the daily grind of work and reality after the holidays, it's been rough. If you're located on the East Coast or pretty much anywhere that's not Southern California (not bitter or anything), the freezing cold weather certainly doesn't help. For me, what I always crave in the dead of winter, in that soulless terrible period of cold between January and April(ish), is a huge, massive hunk of roasted meat. Vegetarians, look away now.
Luckily, Bon Appetit magazine - as they always do - came to the rescue with this recipe for an easy weeknight porchetta. Normally, porchetta is a fairly complex and long-winded dish that takes a long time to make, involving big cuts of pork shoulder, a lot of tying, rolling and roasting time, all culminating in a deliciously moist cut of meat that's incredibly flavored and moist.
With this condensed version of the dish, which I adapted slightly from what BA suggests, we rely on bacon (REJOICE) to help keep the pork moist as it's roasting and a ton of fresh herbs to help cut through the heaviness of all that protein.
4 garlic cloves, plus 2 heads, halved crosswise (this means horizontally, not through the base)
2 sprigs of fresh rosemary, plus 4 sprigs, separated
1 tablespoon fennel seeds
1½ teaspoons kosher salt
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
Freshly ground black pepper
1 1½-lb. pork tenderloin
6 slices of thick-cut bacon (original recipe says 4 slices but you want enough to cover the whole loin)
And there you have it - a hearty, flavorful crowd-pleaser of a meal. We served ours with some sauteed veg and couscous but no judgement at all if you want to just straight up tear into some slices on the cutting board. Also, leftovers would be awesome in a sandwich #justsayin.
One woman's journey to eat all the food. Or at least, most of it.