🙂 = High chairs available, but our host removed a chair so we could just park our stroller at the table. Changing tables in the bathroom (which are not located in the restaurant itself but just outside in the hotel lobby). The open kitchen is great eye candy for the little ones to see how their food is prepared.
🙁 = No kids menu but small plate options are equally suitable for the kiddos.
Notes: Open M-F 6:30A-10P, Sat 7A-10P, Sun 7A-9P. Brunch available on weekends from 7A-2:30P
Tips: Restaurant is located inside the Ritz Carlton. Valet parking is available for $4. They also validate if you choose to park in any adjacent garage yourself. You can also park at Tyson’s Galleria (there is an entrance to the Ritz on the 2nd floor) to get some ridiculously, high-end shopping in before or after dining.
Today was like an endless fountain of chocolate – AH-MAZING! After a handful of days that were “too hot…hot dang! Make a dragon wanna retire, man,” we finally got a well-deserved respite from the heat. So, the folks took us to Clemyjontri. That’s my spot, yo! It’s like the mutha of all playgrounds. Even cooler, their motto is “Where Every Child Can Play…” You see kids of all abilities playing here. It’s a beautiful thing!
After working up a sweat and hellacious appetite, mi padre dearest made a lunchtime, executive decision. America Eats. Just down the road. It was a pop-up restaurant at Penn Quarter a couple years back, serving as a side dish to a National Archives food exhibit. It centered around American comfort food, and the menu provided each dish with a write up of its origins. Pops always wanted to try it out. However, I was but a wee lad, who, dad said, served up righteous poops that did not pair well with upscale restaurant food. But now, with the emergence of the Silver Line Metro, Tysons Corner has seen a resurgence of upscale dining in the area, and America Eats found its home as the main entree here. Daddio finally had his chance. And neither me nor my baby bro’s gastrointestinal difficulties would deter him this time around.
OpenTable said the dress code was smart casual so dad called ahead just to double check. It is a Jose Andres joint, after all. He’s only DC’s culinary jewel. I don’t know what the dude looks like, but his name alone evokes images of some dapper, smooth-talking, Spanish cassanova. And we…we were not that. We were quite the opposite. We we’re a bunch of sun-kissed scrubs dressed in our Wednesday worst – shorts and flip flops. But the hostess on the phone was super cool, inviting us to come as we were.
It’s located in the lobby of the Ritz Carlton, which, as it happens, is also attached to Tysons Galleria. I say again. Ritz Carlton. Tysons Galleria. That’s “stinkin’ rich” to the power of two! We decided to walk through The Galleria to do some window shopping. Mom saw a winter jacket she liked for $2,000…ON SALE! I have no concept of cost, but judging from her reaction, I’m thinking that jacket was a comedian. Made mom laugh so hard after checking the price tag that she had to keep from spitting her water out. Dad, on the other hand, started speaking in a British accent because he thought it would make us appear more distinguished – trying to mask the fact that we looked like a bunch of hobos. No dad. Now, we just look like a bunch of English hobos on vacation. I swear, sometimes I think there’s something wrong with that man’s brain.
Anyways, once we found our way through the back lobby of the Ritz, we found America Eats to be a breath of fresh air – a stark contrast to the stuffy, old world, lobby. Navigating the hotel’s halls was like making our way through a jungle of dark mahogany walls screaming, “You don’t belong here!” while America Eats was like a warm hug waiting to comfort us at the end of our journey. It was urban and sleek yet warm and inviting. There were notes of patriotism everywhere from the oversized ceiling mural of the “Stars and Stripes” to the large “We the People” written in old English lettering above the open kitchen. Dad told me it was the preamble to the Constitution. I was like, “What do eggs have to do with the Constitution?” Dad seemed confused and asked what I meant. I said that’s how I liked my eggs – preambled. He sighed and shook his head, “You mean scre-ambled. You like your eggs scre-ambled, weirdo.” Whatever, pops. Let’s eat.
And eat we did….like…well, a family of starving, British hobos. The menu was super cool with the majority of dishes listing their state, creator, and origin date. Moms ordered me the hush puppies ‘cause they were bite-size like me! They were so good! And tasted just like dad’s jokes…corny. Dad wasn’t a fan because, like I mentioned in my Taylor Gourmet post, he likes his food juicy. He did say it tasted really good though but should have probably ordered it with the trout roe. Mama got the Foie Gras Burger, pops got the Oyster Po’ Boy, and they halved ’em down the middle and shared with each other (they’re so cute it makes me sick). Mom was ready to leave dad after one bite of her burger. After trying it for himself, dad could see why. He said he’d leave himself too in a DC minute for that juicy patty and creamy goose liver. Moms wasn’t big on the Po’ boy, but pops sure was. He said the tomato and remoulade dripped beautifully into his mouth and over his fingers (which he licked clean with reckless abandon) but didn’t overpower the “oceany” flavor of the oyster.
Bottom line, compared to other Jose Andres joints in the city, this one was “safe.” No really exotic flavors. And that’s fine by me and my band of toddler brothers and sisters. I mean, we’re talking classic comfort foods here. And my man, Jose Andres, had the sense enough to know that you shouldn’t take great liberties with the classics. He’s a smart man. A totally classic dude.