Answers from Our Experts (1)
There are many delicious things to eat and drink at The Jefferson, Washington, D.C. Here are the five best:
1. The Mastermind cocktail. For a few dollars more than you'll pay for one of the house offerings at Quill, the bar at the Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star hotel, your bartender will quiz you on your flavor likes and dislikes and create a custom cocktail suited to your tastes. With just the knowledge that we liked ginger, our bartender concocted a tangy mixture of ginger liqueur, Cointreau, dark rum from Martinique, bitters and fresh-squeezed lemon juice that was subtle and just sweet enough with a kick.
2. Vintage Madeira. At both Quill and the bar at Plume, The Jefferson's fine-dining restaurant, you can try one of sommelier Michael Scaffidi's selections of Madeira, a fortified wine that was popular among Jefferson and his fellow revolutionaries. The restaurants have gathered vintages of this strong beverage from three centuries, including bottles that date back to Jefferson's time — the oldest on the list is from 1810, 16 years before his death. A taste is pricey ($175), but will offer a hands-on historical experience few American bars can match.
3. Tea at The Greenhouse. For a simpler, alcohol-free experience, make a reservation for afternoon tea at The Greenhouse, the Washington D.C. hotel’s dining option for breakfast, lunch and brunch. Tea service ($39) is available on Saturdays and Sundays with seatings from 2 to 2:30 p.m. by reservation only. You’ll get a choice of green, herbal or black teas from Kusmi Tea, a 140-year-old Russian teahouse, and a selection of tea sandwiches, pastries, warm scones and homemade fresh fruit preserves.
4. The raw and cooked vegetable salad. At dinner at Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star Plume, The Jefferson's fine-dining establishment, your eyes may glance past the raw and cooked vegetable salad listed on the menu. Don't miss it: It's one of the specialties of the house, recalling Jakubiec's previous work at a vegan restaurant, and is one of the Five-Star restaurant’s most recommended dishes.
5. The $1,776 chef’s tasting menu. For a once-in-a-lifetime splurge at Plume, there is the “1776 Food and Wine Experience” chef's tasting menu. Priced at — you guessed it — $1,776, it adds vintage Madeira and other selections from the hotel's more than 1,300 bottles to the menu, a seven-course splurge that changes seasonally (it included bacon-wrapped pork tenderloin, sautéed sturgeon fillet and venison loin when we visited). Without the wine service, this menu costs $115.