Written by Anita
October 19, 2008
Sure, it’s a little bit country—cattle ear tags adorn a post, a repurposed barn door spans a wall, and a dining table nestles into a faux silo. But the Founding Farmers restaurant near the World Bank also has some striking modern touches—whimsical bird-shaped lights flock against puffy white clouds suspended from the ceiling. This playful blend of old and new sets the tone for this newcomer to the DC dining scene.
Homestyle cooking with farm-fresh ingredients is the focus here. The butternut squash ravioli (large pockets of delicate pasta stuffed with a sweet mixture of pureed butternut squash and mascarpone cheese, topped with crispy sage) is the perfect comfort food. Rich, mile-high carrot, chocolate, and red velvet cakes (baked at the restaurant’s open bakery bar) are served with tasty extras like a generous dollop of icing, a scoop of housemade vanilla bean ice cream, or a thick butterscotch sauce. And we can’t wait to try the restaurant’s hearty breakfast fare, including fresh-baked biscuits, pancakes, and omelettes.
One of the main attractions here is the restaurant’s sweeping speakeasy-style bar. Manned by executive bar chef Jon Arroyo (soon to be DC’s Todd Thrasher), this is a place where cocktails are taken very seriously. You won’t find soda guns or bottled juices here—the bar staff handcrafts their mixers, juices, and sodas daily. An array of specialty flavored bitters and house-made ice (made to prohibition-era speakeasy standards!) showcase the bar’s passion for authenticity.
October can be warm one day, chilly the next. On a warm day, try the Organic Cucumber Delight—a light, fragrant drink of fresh cantaloupe and cucumber muddled with lemon juice, simple syrup, French ginger liqueur, all-organic vodka, and sparkling water. On a chilly day, sample the Martinez—a historic cocktail (some consider it the “first martini”) that stirs together a variety of strong spirits but results in a surprisingly complex flavored drink that is perhaps best likened to a mulled wine. Feeling adventurous? Order the absinthe and watch as the silver fountain slowly drips water through sugar, creating the nefarious (and once banned) drink.
Founding Farmers brings true food and drink to the people of DC. Our Fathers would be proud.