Short ribs and baby octopus may dominate many menus in the city, but that doesn’t mean local chefs can’t find love in an acorn squash. In our ongoing series, Chefs Veg Out, we’ll prove D.C.’s chefs can play with more than just meat.
Name: Matthew Carroll Title: Wine Director, (Sommelier Advanced, CSW) Restaurant: 2941 Restaurant Twitter: @matthewmcarroll Drinking Wine Professionally Since: Five years ago. Random Fact: “I was a crisis counselor at a special education school in Baltimore for almost 10 years before I was in wine.” Favorite Vegetable: “I’m a big fan of Brussels sprouts. I think I’m the only guy in the world that would claim that. It was one of those vegetables, more than most, that home cooks used to butcher and boiled the heck out of it. The first time I was really blown away by them was when I made it, but it was with panchetta and apple cider reduction.”
Least Favorite Vegetable: White mushrooms. “If you even want to count that as a vegetable… It’s a fungus, but we can lump it in. They’re just boring and don’t bring anything to the table.” Memorable Meatless Dish: Jersey Tomatoes. “Growing up in South Jersey, I remember how incredible the tomatoes were. We’d get them from a farm stand and my mom would just slice a beefsteak tomato and put them on a plate with a little sea salt. That’s all.” Best Vegetable Dish at 2941: Shiitake ravioli with little smoked cinnamon caps [mushrooms] (from the new Vegetarian Tasting Menu). “Those mushrooms are the closest things a real vegetarian will get to bacon and a real meat flavor. It has that barbecued, bacon-y, peppery, and smoky thing going on.” Quick and Dirty Meatless Idea: Grilled corn. “Just grill it and wipe it down with butter, Old Bay, Parmesan cheese and lime juice.” (And a wine pairing? “Typically I’d just be drinking a beer. But if I was going to be picking a wine, it’d be Domaine Romaneaux-Destezet. It brings floral aromatics. It’s not a sweet wine, but brings a sweet smell and provides a really lovely foundation.”)
Photo courtesy Adam Fazackerley