Girls trip in Washington DC

A couple of weekends ago, I had a splendid weekend away with my girlfriend Cat to visit Merissa!  The weather was glorious - perfect for driving in a convertible in shorts, tank tops and flip flops and it was March!!!
Just wanted to do a blog summary of our culninary adventures while there including a classic restaurant, a sunny brunch, a new hotspot, and crab shacking for the first time ever!!

Our first night - Merissa had organized dinner at this intimate restaurant called Proof- right next to the big stadium in downtown Washington.  There was a kids show on that night as crowds of kids with their parents kept walking by.
It was busy and dark and is known for it's wine cellar.  The reason it is called proof, is due to the quote by our dear politically savvy friend Ben Franklin said, that "Wine is proof that God loves us."  With the menu comes their bible of over 1,000 selections of wine!  Our server, though hard to understand from her thick accent, was very knowledgeable about her wine spread and while we picked something on the menu - she suggested we take a taste to see if we would like it as she claimed that it was an unusual taste.  I'm so glad we did b/c we didn't like it at all - it was too sweet for the table as we were in the mood for a bold and spicy wine.  She ended up coming back to the table with another suggestion and hit a home run.

The food was good.  Proof has a good spread of chachuterie and cheese boards but we opted to go for individual items based on our preference and pallets.  I chose a decadent foie gras which is the way all my meals should always start- rich with a touch of tartness from the apples and a gorgeous winey flavour.
My friends chose salads which the portions were huge but all the ingredients pared well for them.  I had the miso dressed sablefish which was light with a touch of sweetness from the miso and the fish was melt in your mouth tender.  Cat chose two appetizers as her mains- the ahi tuna tartare which you can never go 'vong' with!  I would choose this on any given day as my appetizer!  She also had a side of tempura chanterelles, shikate and hen of woods mushrooms- they were ok but served a little cold and not as crispy as they could be.  My girlfriend Merissa also had a fish special which she really enjoyed but I can't remember the specifics .. oopsies!  We did order dessert- for the sake of the blog which was a plate of home made cookies - we felt that the place when presented looked sad and sparse.  Also the merigue was chewy and felt stale, some cookies were harder to chew on then others and unfortunately we didn't enjoy the dessert!  Overall the wine tired us out and the dining experience was muted.  However I can understand why it's such a hot spot for wine-os and the like.

Our next day, we brunched on the patio/terrace of Leopold in lovely and quaint Georgetown.  The menu has a very European - Austrian/German/Dutch feel and it was really a perfect way for to begin our day by people watching, enjoying the sunshine, and our meal.  You can come to enjoy a buttery croissant, Belgium style waffle or a croque monseiur or madame.  We shared a trio of tea sandwiches to start off with from a smoked salmon mousse, to egg salad to a tuna salad sandwich.  They were so dainty but delicious!  I loved each bite size bite! After that- i had a smoked trout salad which was fresh and light and perfect for the summerlike weather we were having. My friends had brunch like options like the smoke salmon scramble which is a very euro dish and Cat loved it - finished it no problem.  Merissa had a healthy omlette which she ate with gusto as well.  We toasted the morning off with mimosas so we were all set for the day!
For our dinner- we went to a newly opened hotspot called Masa 14 - it was very busy and even though we had reservations - our table wasn't quite ready and we were asked to wait around the very crowded bar. It was loud and we were very rudely bumped into when we had drinks in hand and this didn't set the tone for the evening well.  Finally our buzzer beeped and we were whisked off to our table and drinks were delivered so we calmed down and our evening started again.  Masa 14 is an asian fusion tapas restaurant. 
Here are some examples of what we ate:
- Spicy Tuna Hand Roll - great but not super original
- Tuna ceviche with coconut milk and pineapple- tangy and punchy but smooth with the coconut milk, soft tuna that melted in your mouth
- Wagyu Beef and Pork Meatballs  - big
- Beef Tenderloin - melt off the bone beef- delish!
- pork belly carnitas- not what i was expecting and was very disappointed with the dish in terms of taste and presentation. 
 - flatbreads- crusty flatbread nicely complimented by acidic greens
. panko crusted calamari- not too chewy or greasy, crispy
- Fried tofu- delicious and soft
All's well that ended well.  Despite being off to a rough start at this restaurant, we had an incredible time with the food, music and the company we were with.

Our last day was spent on the road to Anapolis to the famous Cantlers Inn.  After taking a winding route that was off the beaten path and getting a bit lost, we were starving by the time we got to the Inn.  It was quaint and although it was very windy- we decided to eat outside overlooking the boats and lake versus inside in the dark dingy lodge.  It was so cold that Merissa opted to get long sleeve "Cantler" shirts for both Cat and herself as they were just in tank tops!  I braved the winds but it was a chilly day.  There are different sizes of hard shelled crab to choose from on the menu and you can definitely get that Maryland crab feast experience that you might be craving.  The medium and large sized crabs are local but they also had blue crabs and extra large crabs available and when we heard that there was a limited supply left, we snatched up the last 1/2 a dozen of the extra large ones.  We also ordered fries and beers and rockfish bites as an appetizer - did I mention we were starving?  Merissa ordered what her regular order was which was crab cakes.   The rockfish bites came first and were a bit well done for my taste, a bit tougher than usual and the coleslaw was a creamy mess and felt very heavy on the stomach. Merissa's dish came a bit late and it was a bit cold and tasted a bit too fishy.  However our crabs came and although we ordered extra large - they seemed quite small in size but no complaints.  The table was lined with butcher paper and we had mallets and knives ready for us to use.  Butter dipping sauce and apple vinegar was all we needed as well as the old bay spice that was already seasoned on the crabs.  YUMMY!  It was such an adventure to try and get the tender pieces of crabmeat out and super fun experience.  I would totally go back and just order more crab, fries (which were soo good/ crunchy and salty - exactly how i like) and beers!!! 

All in all - it was a splendid trip with the ladies and looking forward to seeing where our next adventure takes us.  Bisoux!! xx

*** stars
Proof -775 G Street NW  (between N 7th St & N 8th St) http://www.proofdc.com
Leopold- 3318 M St NW (between N 33rd St & N Bank St) www.kafeleopolds.com
Masa 14 1825 14th St NW (between N Swann St & N T St)  www.masa14.com

Cantler's Inn- 458 Forest Beach Rd, Anapolis, MD, www.cantlers.com

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