This is one of several posts from my three trips to the US during the months of June and July 2016. For the rest, follow this link.
It was a typical hot humid Washington DC summer day when we went into town to see my sister. Having been out of the area for a while, I noticed even more changes. Where there were once run-down houses or worse, there are now big box stores and chic restaurants with terraces. Downtown DC has changed. While I won’t speak to the demographic trends at work (or whether they’re good for the region in the long run), let’s just say that the hipster trend still lives on. We took advantage of that and spent the afternoon at Room 11 in the Columbia Heights neighborhood to for drinks and snacks and good company.
Room 11 has a small plate menu, but what caught my eye were the meats and cheeses. We ordered a plate of three each. While I’ve been spoiled with better, the Pont L’Évêque from Graindorge (the pasteurized AOC version made for export) is good product that represents French cheeses pretty well. The Brinata, a dense young sheep’s cheese with soft blooming rind, had a pleasant milky flavor with just a hint of salt. The Federal Hill Blue was toward the stronger side of the blues I’ve eaten recently. Its rind smelled a little of farm and the finish on the cheese was a bit sour, but a touch of the honey on the plate took the edge off.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the charcuterie as well. We ordered the saucisson sec, the bresaola, and a homemade smoked duck pastrami. These were nice meats, each with its appropriate flavor. The latter of was our favorite though. The cured duck was flavorful and soft with a light peppery taste.
While I enjoyed my afternoon in the sun at Room 11, the small portions and large bill were off-putting. Good cheese, especially that which is imported, is more expensive than bad. But at $5 for four thin slices of salami or an ounce of cheese, Room 11 will remain nothing more than an indulgence.