|Fairmont Hotels go to great lengths to distinguish themselves as luxury properties, and the Fairmont Washington, DC Georgetown upholds that tradition of providing extra luxurious details in their restaurant Juniper by keeping bee hives on their rooftop and using the honey they gather in a few of their recipes. Executive Chef Jordi R. Gallardo and Chef Mitchell Eldridge are the talent in the kitchen where the restaurant's focus is on local, sustainable ingredients used in classic recipes with modern elements and beautiful presentations.
Juniper at the Fairmont Washington, DC, Georgetown
Located on the first floor of the Fairmont Washington, DC, Georgetown in the Foggy Bottom district, Juniper has its own entrance, and can also be accessed from within the hotel. The restaurant is stunning, columns evoke the historic past, blended with modern, contemporary elements to give it a fresh feel. Cut flowers grace the tables, recessed lighting and sconces softly illuminate, as well as the two walls of windows, one overlooking the attractive rose lined courtyard with a water feature and trees that sparkle with fairy lights, and one overlooking the street where diners can enjoy the ambience of the city. The courtyard is perfect for enjoying cocktails or dining al fresco for guests who prefer a more casual dining experience than the fine dining experience inside the restaurant.
We had dinner at the restaurant on Friday, July 20, 2018, and as we are honey lovers and to celebrate Juniper's uniqueness of beekeeping, we indulged in a few of the items on the menu that incorporated their special rooftop honey.
We began our evening with their delectable signature cocktail called the BeeTini made with their rooftop honey syrup mixed with Tito's Vodka, St. Germain, Fresh Lemon, Angostura Bitters, served in a chilled martini glass and garnished with Fresh Honey Comb and Citrus Blossom Harvest Aroma. The cocktail was refreshing, well-balanced, and perfect with the honey comb finish.
Honey Walnut Bread
Next, we had their Honey Walnut Bread that was studded with dates and walnuts, topped with oats, served warm and accompanied by a small bowl of butter drizzled with honey and garnished with black sea salt that was absolutely delicious. (Executive Chef Jordi R. Gallardo graciously shares the Honey Walnut Bread recipe, as well as his recipes for Chicken Croquetas with Romesco Dressing, and Gazpacho in the Chefs' Recipes section, so readers can share in an indulgent taste of Juniper.)
Juniper Signature Crab Cakes
From the Small Plates section of the menu, we had the Juniper Signature Crab Cakes on a bed of sautéed spinach, sultanas, and pine nuts, and the Grilled Spanish Octopus with Patatas Bravas and Paprika Aioli. Both appetizers were well presented, tasty, and visually appealing, and provided us with a nice introduction to the style of the restaurant's culinary team, Executive Chef Jordi R. Gallardo and Sous Chef Mitchell Eldridge.
Grilled Spanish Octopus
The crabcakes arrived as two generous mounds of golden crusted crabmeat jauntily topped with a dollop of sauce, that were extremely moist and flavorful. The grilled octopus was a heavenly mélange of seafood and potatoes sprinkled with chopped parsley and garnished with a roasted tomato on top. Paired with a glass of Veuve Clicquot Rosé Champagne, we were off to a wonderful dining experience.
We continued with two salads From The Farm section of the menu, the House Pickled Beet with Chive & Tarragon Goat Cheese, Marcona Almonds, and Rooftop Honey, and the Local Tomato & Burrata Cheese with Pesto Marinade, Baby Lettuce Blend, and Blood Orange Vinaigrette.
House Pickled Beet
The pickled beet salad was a pretty mixture of orange and red pickled beets on a bed of mache and mixed greens interspersed with herbed goat cheese, Marcona almonds to add texture, arranged on a piece of slate. Drizzled with their rooftop honey, this course was a delight of flavors from the pickled beets, creamy and savory goat cheese, slightly bitter mixed greens, and the toasted almonds.
Local Tomato & Burrata Cheese
The Local Tomato & Burrata Cheese with Pesto Marinade, Baby Lettuce Blend, and Blood Orange Vinaigrette was another well-presented and appreciated course, with a generous mound of soft and lovely burrata. Our wine pairing for the salads was Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc 2016, from Marlborough, New Zealand, 13.3% alcohol. Crisp enough with nice mineral notes to hold its own, yet not overpower the delicateness of the salads.
For our final course, we had selections From the Sea, the Seafood Paella with Chistorra Sausage, Mussels, Lobster, Calamari, Shrimp, Peas and Fresh Lemon, and the Cioppino with Smoked Tomato Broth, Rock Fish, Bay Scallops, Clams, and Grilled Focaccia.
The paella was a plentiful mound of seafood studded rice with peas and topped with steamed clams in their shells and presented with a lemon wedge, and the aromas of the Cioppino wafted temptingly in the air with bay scallops, rock fish, and clams presented in their shells in a rich smoked tomato broth accompanied with grilled bread to soak up the heady broth. For this course, we paired glasses of pinot noir from The Four Graces, Willamette Valley, Oregon, 14.5%, which had a ripe red fruit and berry aromatic nose that continued on the palate, that was a nice complement to the seafood.
Although we experienced the restaurant "by sea" there was a nice selection of "From The Land" selections consisting of Applewood Smoked Hanger Steak, 18-ounce Angus Beef T-Bone Steak, Organic Bone-In Chicken Breast, Grilled Lamb Chops, and Pappardelle Pasta & Braised Short Rib.
Service, as expected, was professional, attentive and non-intrusion, with perfect timing between courses. From start to finish, our dining experience at Juniper at the Fairmont Washington, DC Georgetown was outstanding.
Chef Mitchell Eldridge
Juniper is open for breakfast Monday through Friday from 7:00 am until 10:00 am, Saturday and Sunday from 7:00 am until 11:00 am, A La Carte Brunch is served Saturday and Sunday from 11:30 am until 2:30 pm, Lunch is served Monday through Friday from 11:00 am until 2:00 pm, and Dinner is served Tuesday through Saturday from5:00 pm until 10:00 pm.
Read more about the Fairmont Washington, DC, Georgetown in the Hotels and Resorts section.
Read the interview with Sous Chef Mitchell Eldridge of Juniper and get the recipes for Honey Walnut Bread, Chicken Croquetas with Romesco Dressing, and Gazpacho in the Chefs' Recipes section.
Read more about Postcards from Washington, DC in the Destinations section.
Fairmont Washington, DC, Georgetown
2401 M Street, NW
Washington, District of Columbia 20037
Toll-Free: +1-800-257-7544 (USA and Canada)
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