A Happy Birthday at Notting Hill

Restaurants come and go in my neighborhood but recently a new restaurant, Notting Hill has open in the location of an Old Town staple, the old Le Gaulois restaurant. Peter and I decided to try it out for my birthday. Great choice!

Notting Hill-1_AIE, Art Is Everywhere

It was an unusually slow night but to our benefit, because we literally had a private dining experience. This is a panoramic shot from Peter’s iPhone camera. Behind us was a roaring fire adding to the inviting interior. They did a great job with color blocking – using different complementary paint colors on perpendicular and parallel walls, as well as the ceiling.

Notting hill-birthday girl_AIE, Art Is Everhwhere

Here’s a better view from the restaurant’s website.

Notting Hill_3_AIE, Art Is Everywhere

Everything on their dinner menu sounded excellent and worth trying. I will definitely go back to do so. However, here’s what we had:

Composed Beets

Firefly goat cheese mousse, rocket and orange marmalade vinaigrette, pistachio butter

Corn Crusted Rappahannock River Oysters

Pickled horseradish, celery root with an apple cider-ranch dressing

The Chef was so kind to give us complementary cups of his:

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

Crystallized ginger creme fraiche

which was probably the best butternut squash soup I’ve had. The trick, add honey!

butternut squash soup_AIE, Art is Everywhere

Maine Lobster Fondue

Sweet potato, apple wood smoked bacon creamy rainbow chard, verjus butter

Cast Iron Seared Rib Eye

Roasted salsify, kabocha squash and red wine sauce

I think I won out on both the beet appetizer and lobster main meal.  The flavors were so deliciously paired and different from your typical gourmet style — either too bland or too weird and wacky and overkill, like I remember seeing sea urchin on the menu once from a competing destination restaurant.

We both shared their:

Vanilla Bean Panna Cotta

with braised pineapple

— just the right amount for dessert because the meal was rich.

Next time, we’ll have to check out the upstairs bar, which used to be Bar Baudelaire and preserves the same French style.

Notting Hill-bar_AIE, Art Is Everywhere

We’re excited to go back, especially knowing they have:

Live Entertainment

Thursday thru Saturday 10.00pm – 1.00am
+ when spring comes, their patio, (my favorite part about Le Gaulois), will finally be open again and worth visiting under a new proprietorship.

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