The Fat Canary is connected and owned by the same family that owns and runs The Cheese Shop. In the basement of the building is the wine shop. On this day as we perused the wine offerings, we chatted with the salesperson and mentioned that we would be eating at restaurant that evening. She proceeded to let us know that we could choose any wine in the shop and have it served upstairs for a $10 corkage fee. Heaven to our ears.
We returned for dinner quite early despite our Open Table reservations due to the impending snow storm. We were please that they could accomodate us (I'm sure an early seating meant they could squeeze another table in later).
We splurged on the wine for dinner and selected a 2005 Harris Vineyard Merlot, Oakville, Napa Valley from Nickel and Nickel. It was decanted and we enjoyed it tremendously. Our waiter continued to fill our glasses without prompting. He was professional and efficient and took care of our needs without being chatty or over-friendly. We both appreciated his service.
For the food we began with Crispy Rappahannock Oysters with Roasted Chile Butter Sauce and House-made Mozzarella with Virginia Ham, Roasted Tomato, Fennel, Olives, and Fresh Pesto. The oysters reminded my husband of eating Virginia oysters when he was growing up, except these were much smaller in size. He also liked the batter.
The mozzarella and Virginia ham was a stellar pairing. Both flavors melted into one another superbly.
For the entree we both ordered Grilled Piedmontese Beef Tenderloin with Potato and Leek Gratin, Grilled Asparagus, and Tarragon Butter. The beef had a good charring on the outside and was medium rare and tender on the inside. And paired well with the wine. The tarragon butter was served in a little dish on the side, so I could have as much or as little as I wanted. I liked the butter with the charred bits of beef and left it off of the non-charred bites. The potato and leek gratin was not overly cheesy (a good thing) and turned out to be a great accompaiment to the beef. The grilled asparagus left a lot to be desired in both presentation and taste.
For dessert we shared little ice cream sandwich cookies - spearmint ice cream nestled between chocolate cookies.
While dining it had started to snow and we could see the beginnings of a winter wonderland.