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Late Nite Adobo

Typing out thoughts on a website… when the cravings hit you in the late nite…

by Tondagossa


Restaurant 3 Bar & Grill
2950 Clarendon Blvd
Arlington, VA 22201

We all know and love it: bacon.  Just a mention of it can make our mouths water. The smell of it can remind us of our youth.  The taste and texture – just some of the many reasons why bacon stands in a class of its own.

I recently had a chance to revisit that notion at Restaurant 3, located in Arlington, VA.   For a limited time between October 21st and the 27th, they offered a special Bacon Menu and a three course bacon dinner in what they called the “Week of Bacon”.  For $30, you are presented with a three-part bacon-themed mini saga of salad with bacon and egg, bacon crusted mahi mahi served with potatoes, and the real kicker – dessert.  I’ll get to that in a moment.

As we walked in, my friends and I were greeted by a friendly hostess, who seemed highly knowledgeable about the menu items, and notably very personable.  Moving towards our table, we noticed how nice the interior looked.  Candlelit mood lighting was surrounded with wood decorative walls, pretty furnishings and a beautiful bar, creating a warm, somewhat posh atmosphere.  We found plenty of selection in the drink menu – domestic and imported beer, divided by region/country, as well as various wines.

I, of course, made a b-line for the bacon trio.  The first part of the course was the salad.  Sure, it didn’t seem too special to have a salad for starters.  But this particular one didn’t just have lettuce and tomatoes.  It was composed of some nice bitter frisée, arugula, a slightly soft poached egg (how I happen to like it), and not just broken up bits of bacon – big honkin’ country-cut chunks o’ bacon.  All this was drizzled with a light vinaigrette.  I finished all of it, so not a bad start at all.

The second part was a large chunk of mahi mahi topped with crunchy bits of smokey bacon.  The fish was surrounded by baby potatoes, quartered and topped with parsley.  This dish was meaty and satisfying, with the texture of the bacon on the fish creating a wonderful, interesting contrast.  The fish was cooked well and definitely enhanced, not overpowered, by the flavors of the bacon.  I did notice that though the dish was described in the menu as “bacon crusted”, and I imagined it would have more bacon on it, there was just enough to keep it from taking over the dish.  Delicious.

Now for the third course – the dessert.  What is it?  Well, they cooked a waffle with some bacon in it.  Then… ready for this?… they topped that with maple ice cream… with bits of bacon in it! Is your mind blown yet?  Because I know mine was.  The best part?  My friends and I loved it.  Everything works together so surprisingly well.  Logically, I suppose it should.  But the way they did it is definitely new to me.  Taking a bite, I tasted the familiar mellow sweetness of the maple ice cream, but then I chewed into a bit of smokey salty bacon and… aha, the salty-sweet combo that I love with milkshake and fries.  With the bacon, the waffles tasted and felt like they were corn-based, which I liked.

So was it a success?  The hostess mentioned they were considering making these items part of their regular menu.  Do I think they should?  Answer to both questions: yes.  I thoroughly enjoyed revisiting a personal favorite, seeing it through different goggles.  I thought it was wonderful how the bacon enhanced each dish.  Granted, on the whole it wasn’t groundbreaking.  But the potential of creating something like that dessert is there and that’s the kind of thing I definitely encourage.  Also, the restaurant was a great experience altogether – friendly people and handsome surroundings.  I recommend it and suggest you check it out if you get a chance.

How do you like your bacon?  Not just for breakfast anymore?


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