I was pretty excited today when I read on Metrocurean that the folks from Neighborhood Restaurant Group are opening something up in D.C. Even though I'm not the biggest Rustico fan and I'm hot and cold with Tallula (also I can never remember how many L's there are and where they go, but that's not enough reason to hate, right?), I absolutely LOVE Evening Star and Vermilion, which is where we recently revisited.
Again, we had a great time. No problem getting seated right away with our reservation on a busy night (not always the case, even with a reservation), and we were surprised and delighted by a pretty, crunchy, AND juicy (is pretty most important?) amuse bouche of veggies, goat cheese, and pine nuts on a thick square cracker-y type apparatus.
Our starters were both really awesome in different ways. The chilled roasted red pepper soup was smooth as silk and had a smoky undertone, I wanted to lick the bowl it was so good. The heirloom tomato salad with goat cheese was colorful with both yellow and red sweet tomatoes. The table next to us got a complimentary one because the kitchen was busy, extending their wait time for their entrees. They liked it so much that they ordered another (to be put on their tab, of course).
For dinner I had the Scottish Salmon with peas, mushrooms, lemon zest, and pea-tendril pesto. Again, I love green, lemon, and anything to do with pesto, so this was a no-brainer. The salmon was fluffy and creamy, just the way I like it. Jeff's lamb kebab with artichokes two ways was surprising, there was traditional=seeming ground lamb shaped onto the kebab, and also lamb sausage. The Greek-inspired dish, while delicious, may not have been the best choice for J because he isn't super into artichokes. I was careful to eat most of them for him (I do what I can).
We (gasp!) didn't have dessert because we were meeting a friend for ice cream in town. Vermilion is a consistently beautiful, delicious, classy place to dine. I'll continue to go back, and you should too.
1120 King Street
Metro: Blue or Yellow Line to King Street