Butterfield 9
Kirsten and I had a great evening this past Saturday. We had dinner at Butterfield 9 in Washington D.C., before walking a block to see David Russell perform classical guitar at the Church of the Epiphany.

The dinner was great. The restaurant has a nice ambiance – quite elegant. Kirsten started her meal with the Longneck Squash Soup (goat cheese, roasted pancetta, and apple compote) – “Delicious”. She then had a 1/2 plate of the Carnaroli Risotto (glazed butternut squash, swiss chard, and black truffle) – “Delicious.

I had the “Chocolate Steak” (New England Elk, creamed parsnips, bitter chocolate, fleur de sel). The waiter said that elk tastes a bit like venison. That would be a good comparison, except that I have never had venison (that I remember). I figured I’d give it a try. Cooked medium-rare, the elk was melt-in-your-mouth delicious. It was coated with cocoa, making for a slightly crispy crust, while the bitter chocolate sauce under the steak was a neat complement; it definitely enhanced the flavors. My only issue was the size of the portions (small). Also, I was glad I ordered “Truffle potato puree” on the side, because what came with the steak was basically a garnish, and not a real side dish(es). The puree was delicious as well, though I would have preferred a more firm “mashed” potato side.

Neither Kirsten or I cared much for the “creme brulee” desert, as it was not a “classic” version; we would not have recognized it as creme brulee if not stated on the menu. It had a sort of “cookie” crust rather than caramelized sugar. The raspberry sorbet on the side with it was good.

David Russell Small

Butterfield 9 is only a block from the church where the concert was held, so we used valet parking at the restaurant and picked up the car after the concert.
Church of the Epiphany

The concert was very enjoyable; just Mr. Russell on a slightly raised platform at the front of the church with no amplification. I could hear the guitar just fine, but I had difficulty hearing his intros clearly (also partly due to his Scottish brogue :) ). The pews were hard to sit on for 2 hours (we were glad for intermission). The music however was great. We had been listening to his Bach and Baroque cd’s – but he didn’t play any of those pieces. I greatly enjoyed most of his pieces with the exception being the one that was actually written for him by a contemporary. Oh well.