48/52 – The Source

11/22/16—The Source, an Asian restaurant by Wolfgang Puck, has received many accolades in the DC dining scene over the past several years. It is ranked highly among DC’s best restaurants and has received several RAMMY awards. I was perusing the 1000-point tables on OpenTable one evening, and noticed that there were some available at The Source for this particular Tuesday evening. I arranged for my friend James to join me to check the place out.

The first thing we did upon being seated was glance over the handcrafted cocktail menu. James ordered the “Pandora’s Box”, a cocktail with Hendrick’s gin, St. Germain liqueur, and D’Arbo Elderflower. I ordered the “Fragrant Pear” cocktail, with Absolut Pears Vodka, Canton Ginger liqueur, pear puree, and lemongrass ginger syrup. Both of these cocktails were tasty.

As we looked over the food menu, the waiter brought us these little scallion rolls to munch on. They were soft in texture and oniony in flavor. James and I both gave them a thumbs up.

We decided to order several items from the appetizer menu and share them, tapas style. The first item on the list was the “Selection of Dim Sum,” which included Scallop Siu Mai, pork potsticker, lobster springroll, and chicken dumplings. All of these were good, but the pork and chicken items stood out more than the seafood. The outside of the lobster springroll was nice and crispy, but the texture inside was a bit tougher than I was expecting. The restaurant is most known for its dumplings, and the chicken dumplings certainly did not disappoint.

Next came the Wok Fired Thai Drunken Noodles, with curried duck, Thai chili, wild mushrooms, and peanuts. This dish tasted great, but there wasn’t anything to set it apart from any other really good drunken noodle dish. The noodles were pretty filling, so this one sort of became an afterthought for after we were done enjoying the other offerings.

Our favorite dish was the Lobster & Shrimp Dumplings, with XO sauce, Sichuan bacon, and wok roasted fall squash. Not sure why the dumplings were black, but they were beautifully presented and tasted AMAZING—so much flavor packed into these little guys!

The last food item we ordered was the Crispy Suckling Pig, which came atop a pear puree and sweet bean sauce, and was topped with a pickled Cipollini onion. The texture was great on the pig—the top was nice and crispy. This dish was also pretty amazing, but not enough so to pull ahead of the Lobster & Shrimp Dumplings.

We decided we should bring things full circle with another cocktail, so James picked the “Hello Kitty” and I chose the “Show Me Love.” James tried to make me order the Hello Kitty for him, but I insisted that he should be comfortable enough with his manhood to order it for himself (but mostly, I just wanted to see him struggle with the embarrassment). When the waiter came around, he told the waiter that I was going to have the Hello Kitty cocktail and he would have the Show Me Love…so sneaky! As it turned out, we ended up switching drinks after trying them anyway. The Show Me Love was made with Ultimat Vodka, St. Germain Liqueur, lychee juice, and lime juice. The Hello Kitty cocktail was made with passion fruit rum, Bacardi 151 rum, ginger, passion fruit, cranberry & orange juices. Both of these were quite delicious.

The overall assessment is that this place is pretty solid—especially the cocktails. I plan to come back at some point to try the hot pot experience or the chef’s tasting menu. If you’re looking for something a little more upscale with good cocktails and appetizers for a first date type of deal, this place definitely fits the bill.

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