As the first colony settled by the English in the ‘New World,’ Virginia’s cuisine has changed over the course of its quadricentennial history. From the indigenous people originally present to the wave of colonists and slaves that came afterward, together they built the foundation of recipes that we’ve come to love and utilize. When internationally acclaimed Chef José Andrés opened America Eats Tavern, its concept differed from his other restaurants here in the District. Mexican, Mediterranean, and Spanish were present but American cuisine, could it be done?
That’s never a question to ask when it comes to the ThinkFoodGroup, Andres’s restaurant conglomerate. Highlighting classic dishes with fresh ingredients, Head Chef Nate Waugaman pays homage to American history while challenging the diner to experience something familiar in a completely new light while showcasing the bounty of flora and fauna Virginia has to offer.
From the slightly sweet elderflower mignonette perched next to raw Rappahannock, Tom’s Cove, and War Shore oysters, all located along the inlets of Virginia’s coast; or the soft, fluffy biscuits lightly smothered with pepper jelly that had shaved pieces of ham stuffed generously inside. More of a cocktail drinker? That’s not an issue either as some of America’s most quintessential drinks are present. Perhaps a New York Sour made with cognac, lemon, orange, and José Cuvée or the Painkiller, handsomely garnished in a mule tumbler with pineapple leaves.
Regardless of what your palate fancies, America Eats Tavern tastefully highlights what ‘Old Dominion’ has to offer. As you sip on your cocktail and take a bite of something from a tweaked rendition created hundreds of years ago, remember that it is Virginia’s diverse culture and rich history that makes it possible to enjoy this very moment.
To find out more about America Eats Tavern including the menu go here.
Jai Williams is editor of Girl Meets Food, a DC food blogger and photographer and a contributor to Edible DC. Follow her on Twitter @januarijai or Instagram @januarijaimedia.