José Andrés has a new restaurant to go with his new U.S. citizenship. American Eats Tavern—formerly a year-long pop-up in Penn Quarter—has been reborn at the Ritz-Carlton in Tysons Corner. The restaurant is Andrés’ ode to the history of American cuisine and initially grew out of a collaboration with the National Archives about the country’s culinary roots. It’s currently open for breakfast and lunch, with dinner coming shortly.
Like the original America Eats, this one also includes footnotes about the history and origin of most dishes on the menu. Breakfast includes the Hangtown Fry, named after a California mining town. When a 49er struck gold, he would celebrate with this dish of expensive ingredients at the time, including oysters, eggs, and bacon, at the Carey House Restaurant.
For lunch and dinner, look out for a take on vermicelli mac and cheese—“the grandfather of today’s mac ’n’ cheese” that comes from a French Revolution refugee and one of of America’s first commercial pasta makers. There’s also chicken and “dumplings” from 17th century Pennsylvania Dutch settlers and mutton with oysters, inspired by an 1847 recipe in The New England Economic Housekeeper. (Keep in mind this is an Andrés restaurant, so traditional dishes take on an avant-garde flare.)
Flavored “catsups” are also back. Former Young & Hungry columnist Chris Shott wrote of the catsups at original America Eats Tavern: “Lined up in a row, the thin syrups look like watercolor paints, and don’t taste much better.” But this time around, the restaurant is sourcing plum, peach, and blueberry condiments from local fruit ketchup artisans ‘Chups. (There are also “modern tomato,” oyster, and Jack Daniel’s catsups.)
Think Food Group’s “cocktail innovator” Juan Coronado has created a cocktail menu that includes American classics from the late 1880s through Prohibition to the 1960s plus more current avant-garde concoctions. Beers and wines are likewise all American. And if you don’t want booze, try a classic egg cream or housemade soda.
America Eats Tavern, 1700 Tysons Blvd., McLean; (703) 744-3999; americaeatstavern.com
Photo courtesy America Eats Tavern