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With the inexorable contraction of the fine-dining market—both in the number of restaurants and in the people willing to drain their bank accounts to eat in one—I’m heartened that 2941 continues to fight the good fight in Falls Church, in essence arguing that any metro area that wants to be taken seriously must maintain its gastronomic temples. I fully support this idea, even though my last meal at 2941, over the long and snowy Valentine’s Day weekend, had a few missteps. Chief among them was chef Bertrand Chemel’s decision to entomb fresh burrata in pasta and then drown it in butter sauce and shavings of black truffles. The Italian government could have filed charges against the dish for crimes against native dairy products. Chemel recovered quickly with his course of veal, sweetbreads, roasted artichokes, potato gnocchi, and rosemary jus. The entree was low to the ground, almost earthy in its wintry savoriness, but it was comfortable there, never crying out for a golden burst of acid to lift its flavors. But the best dish of the night had to be pastry chef Anthony Chavez’s rose-water bavarois with chocolate-lychee ganache, raspberry jelly, and a quenelle of white-chocolate ice cream. The dessert was almost too pretty to eat—a short, balletic stack of jellied custard, ice cream, and garnish, as perfectly balanced on the plate as it was on the palate. Chavez’s visual sensibility reminded me, once again, that fine dining, more than any other culinary experience, must please all of the senses. 2941 does exactly that.
2941 Fairview Park Drive, Falls Church (703) 270-1500