Virginia is becoming a dining destination for many foodies and chefs looking for life out of the “big city” where they can show off their skills in the kitchen and do big things. 2941 is a restaurant in Virginia where the food is spectacular, the service is above and beyond, and the Sommelier’s are the stars when it comes to pairing wines with your meal.
As you pull up to 2941 you are taken back by stunning architecture, giant windows, and gorgeous interior. You are instantly greeted with intricate lighting fixtures, welcoming staff, and aromas that will have you salivating on the way to your table.
The cocktail list is extremely inventive, but I of course started with some Champagne. Jonathan Schuyler, the Wine Director and Sommelier at 2941 started my evening off with Ayala, Brut Majeur, Champagne, France (N.V.). This Champagne was paired with the Crispy Calamari accompanied by Citrus Aioli and Spicy Tomato Sauce. Fried food and champagne (or any other sparkling wine) are a perfect pairing, and to be honest this was the best calamari I have ever had. Not only was it hand cut and perfectly fried, but also, I would absolutely drive from NYC to Virginia just to have this appetizer and pairing again.
Next came a German wine, which I was very happy to see paired with the Tuna Tartare. The 2012 Strub, Thal-Niersteiner Hipping, Riesling, from Rheinhessen, Germany instantly transported me back to my Sommelier training days in Koblenz, Germany which is where I fell madly in love with German wines. The Tuna Tartare with Avocados and Fried Shallots beautifully paired with this gorgeous Riesling, making this a perfect second course.
The beauty of Burgundy, a wine region in France, is that these wines are mineral driven and pair well with many types of cuisine. Jonathan chose a 2010 Domaine Larue, En Remilly, St. Aubin 1er Cru, from Burgundy, France. This wine was stunning, mineral driven, crisp, and when paired with the Brioche Crusted Halibut, Roasted Black Mission Figs, Shiitake Mushrooms, and Pee Wee Potatoes, it was sinfully delectable.
“I have never seen a Brioche crusted Halibut until my dining experience here. This was one of the prettiest and most flavorful fish dishes I have ever had. The brioche was golden brown, and flawlessly crusted the flaky fish. Pairing this dish with the St. Aubin 1er Cru was another perfect pairing”!
At 2941 there’s a burger so delicious, that with one bite all your wildest food dreams will come true. The Duck Burger with sliced Foie Gras on a house made bun is exciting, adventurous, and one of a kind.
Next stop: three sensational reds. Lebanese and Israeli wines are rare to find on many wine lists, and when Jonathan brought them both out I started to really “wine geek” out. To me, being able to try interesting, quality driven wines, that I may or may not get to try often or ever is an experience that I never forget. Having them presented by a very knowledgeable Sommelier who went above and beyond to make sure there were plenty of perfect pairings to showcase was priceless.
The 2005 Chateau Musar, Cabernet Blend, from Bekaa Valley, Lebanon was one of the first reds I tried. When Jonathan said, “prepare”, I was not expecting three spectacular reds, where I myself had to keep questioning whether or not I was dreaming. Alongside was an Israeli wine, Margalit, Enigma, Cabernet Blend, Galilee, Israel: 2010. This wine is uniqueand won my heart with the Rib Eye, Corn Dauphine, Wild Mushrooms, Bibb Lettuce Heart, and Bearnaise sauce. The Bordeaux: Chateau Lalande-Borie, Cabernet Blend, St. Julien, Bordeaux, France: 2005, was vivacious and gave the wild mushrooms some “play” with the Rib Eye, where the Corn Dauphine paired perfectly with all three of these wines.
Almost in a food coma, there was one final course to come. The grand finale: dessert and another unbelievable wine. The Alvear, Solera 1927, Pedro Ximenez, Jerez, Spain (N.V.) was one of a kind and extraordinary. Deep colors, rich aromas, and paired with Dark Chocolate Bostock, Chocolate Brioche, Almond Cream, Roasted Cherries, Creme Anglaise, and Toasted Almond Ice Cream.
Here it’s almost impossible not to devour every single bite of food on your plate due to the impeccable presentation, superb service staff, and of course the right pairings.
Executive Chef Bertrand Chemel, and his award winning culinary team, including Caitlin Dysart: Pastry Chef, make 2941 a memorable dining destination. The Virginia food scene is hot right now, and the best of the best are making their mark and showcasing their unbelievable talent. Meeting, pairing, and tasting my way through incredible wines with Jonathan Schuyler was just one of the many spectacular experiences you will have at 2941.
Want to read about these wines in detail? See the Wine 101 section where I take you through each wine I tasted and their perfection with the pairings.