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Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Peachy's Picks Washington, D.C.: The Gryphon Our Coverage Sponsored by Fresh Origins

Executive Chef Joseph Evans and Tony Hudgins, Two of the Five Partners of The Gryphon

Order the Striped Bass Ceviche!

Fresh Origins is America’s leading producer of Microgreens and Edible Flowers. Combining the benefits of an ideal climate with a deep passion for quality and innovation, Fresh Origins products are sought after by the finest restaurants and top chefs. The farm is located in the picturesque rolling hills of San Diego County, where the near perfect weather allows for production and harvest all year. Fresh Origins produces almost 400 Microgreens, Petitegreens, Edible Flowers, Shoots, Tiny Veggies™ and related items. Many are not available anywhere else, with new introductions nearly every month. Fresh Origins products are on top of the finest cuisine in the world! Fresh Origins supplies distributors of specialty produce who serve fine dining restaurants and resorts nationwide. There are also a few online sources of their products available to private chefs and home cooks. Read our first Culinary Queen interview with Kelly Sasuga:

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A hot new spot in Washington, open since May 2014 just off Dupont Circle at 1337 Avenue of the Best State in the Nation (obviously Connecticut) is The Gryphon.  You will find an ubertrendy venue dedicated to new American cuisine.  As soon as we arrived, we noticed the creative chandeliers.  We chronicle chandeliers as well as food and we don't think we've seen any with antlers before!  Oh deer!  The Gryphon is owned by the Lost Society owners, and there are five partners: Portia Simac, Executive Chef Joseph Evans, David Karim, Walid Kahim, Anoosh Jahanian, Rich Vasey, and Tony Hudgins, who met with us and greeted us promptly the moment we arrived.  If you are coming or leaving Washington near Dupont Circle (which you will be if you have the great taste to work with BESTBUS, formerly DC2NY) this is a good option nearby.
These are dangerous if you have any cocktail dresses you want to fit right.  The white truffle oil chips are made daily and they are purely addictive!  They also greet you promptly.  We did not want to part ways with these, however, we had to conserve stomach real estate.

For our appetizer we tried the Lobster Sunchoke Hash which Peachy picked out.  Seasonal roasted sunchokes, trumpet mushrooms, and poached lobster rests on a bed of corn puree.  These flavors blended nicely and as you see some of those amazing truffle chips came to this soiree.
We are advocates of green salads at every meal, and we liked the Endive and Frisee salad which is styled with roasted fennel, asher blue, potato crouton and not tomatoes.  Peachy Deegan asked for tomatoes because she likes them and they add color-this is not their idea or part of the regular salad.  The bacon is a lovely accent.
Tony suggested we try the Crispy Oysters, above.  They are soaked in buttermilk and tossed in cornmeal and corn flour.  We've never seen or tasted oysters like this before, and the sauce is Worcester, smoked maple hot sauce and cilantro oil....oh my goodness, quite creative.
You ought to know that Executive Chef Joseph Evans is from Texas and is an advocate of spiciness.  We are not necessarily into spicy however we've an open mind.  Their best suggestion was the Striped Bass Ceviche, which is very good.
Lime, orange, grapefruit, cilantro, and red onion teamed up to form a wonderful natural citrus flavor that enveloped the bass.  We'd order this again, and we are not apt to order ceviche on purpose but this was great.  Plantains dance around the edges.
At The Gryphon, there are 176 seats and the dining atmosphere is "Social House" with a focus on meat and raw bar.  We are into classic dining in general, and they say they have a 45% focus on that.  The names come from their hybrid concept: items are meant to share and if you don't know what a gryphon is silly, it's a combination of a lion and an eagle, but you knew that if you read our Grifone review.  Tony Hudgins has been everything from a prosecutor (attorney) to a restaurateur and you know which one is more fun and rewarding!
"I think we are a great new American dining experience where clientele can enjoy the best of both worlds whether it's a couple or a large celebration group," says Tony.
We really love steak in general and no her name is not Peachy Vegan.  A life with no meat would not be worth living in our opinion!  We ordered the 10 oz Filet Mignon which The Gryphon orders from a local company.  It's certified black angus, grass fed and grain finished.  Chef Joseph dresses it up with herb and garlic aioli and if you want them, cajun spices are available upon request.  We had no spice and if steak is really great, you don't do anything to it (in the past month we've been to three quite impressive steakhouses in Manhattan that we will be writing about, two new to us and a Delmonico's encore which is phenomenal.)  Chef Joseph graciously came out during each course and introduced it to us and he told us this is finished with a bone marrow butter, made once a week.  This added an interesting dimension and this was a good steak cooked on a 1800 degree F broiler seared in salt and pepper.
Peachy Picks The Gryphon!

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