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The Dish: Lobster and white chocolate soup
Where to Get It: Cedar 822 E St. NW; (202) 637-0012; cedardc.com
What It Is: Heavy cream and milk are added to an aromatic lobster stock accented with thyme, bay leaf, and a Madeira wine reduction. At the last minute, high-quality Valrhona white chocolate is blended in. As if that weren’t decadent enough, the soup is topped off with a chunk of butter-poached lobster.
What It Tastes Like: Initially, it’s overwhelmingly sweet. Then the flavor mellows to reveal the taste of lobster and a kiss of vanilla from the white chocolate. It’s also incredibly rich, so you might want to jog home if you’re worried about the calories.
The Story: Three years ago, just before Valentine’s Day, executive chef Aaron McCloud was trying to figure out how to use some leftover white chocolate. Ultimately, he substituted it for butter in a cream of lobster soup recipe. “People think it’s is a wacky combination,” he says, “but vanilla and lobster are actually a classic combination.” The soup has become a customer favorite and a signature dish for the restaurant. “I haven’t been able to take it off the menu,” he says. “It’s a dish that continues to intrigue people.” The chef is leaving the restaurant at the end of the month, but the dish will remain on the menu.
How to Eat It: With a spoon, like civilized folk do.