I don't generally start my reviews this way, but I had a great meal at Farmers Fishers Bakers this past week.
The name was inspired by the ‘farm-fresh” menu, fresh caught seafood and a sizable on-premise bakery. Located in the Washington Harbour on the Georgetown Waterfront, the newly redesigned restaurant serves farm-fresh and regionally inspired comfort food. The DC-based GrizForm Design Architects handled the restaurants design, which is striking. Several micro-climates inhabit the space and represent different themes, such as nautical-booths designed to look like a ships cabins, a functioning open pantry Larder with jars upon jars of vegetables, and an alcove with rolling pins lining the walls. There is something interesting wherever you turn your gaze and I really got a kick out of the 5 or so dioramas depicting farm scenes.
Just like their sister restaurant Founding Farmers, the bar program at Farmers Fishers Bakers is something special. My hat’s off to their Chief Mixologist and Beverage Director Jon Arroyo. Through the “Dealer’s Choice” option his highly skilled bartenders are able to hand craft a well-balanced cocktail to perfectly suit your tastes after asking you a few questions about your preferences. They have a great selection of beer with over twenty drafts on an electronic board that change daily. Many of which are craft beers, such as the Epic Hopulent that is on a nitro tap (the type of tap is usually used to pour Guinness) which gives the beer an interesting texture. They even have some tiki styled cocktails and hop-tails (beer based cocktails). Farmers Fishers Bakers is a great spot to do some avant-garde drinking.
There is something for everyone on their expansive farm-fresh menu. Dishes range from shared plates to full entrees including such items as pizza, tacos, salads, open range meat, seafood, a vegetarian friendly “Meatless Menu”… and even an interesting concept called “Farmhouse Sushi”.
The Farmhouse Sushi is a fusion of Japanese and American cooking techniques, ingredients and recipes. My favorite dish of the night came from the Farmhouse Sushi menu. The dish is called Danny’s Happy Belly consisting of slices of honey ginger glazed pork belly that is placed over a bed of fried cabbage and roasted fennel bulb shavings. The belly was sous-vide for at least 12 hours to slow cook the meat in its own juices. There was a salad of kimchee apples on top of the meat and a dusting of bacon “soil” on the plate. The dish was sweet and salty, rich and addictive. It was a unique and delicious dish that was very American southern and Asian at the same time. I highly recommend you order it on your visit and at $8 it is a great value.
The second item we tried from the sushi menu was the Chesapeake Roll. The maki roll was filled with imperial crab and a hint of old bay. A generous slather of a citrusy lemon caper aioli complimented the flavor of the fresh crab and it was topped with fried leeks that gave it a nice, earthy crunch. Also, a must try.
Next we ordered mussels. There are eight flavors of mussel pots on the menu and we tried the Coconut Green Curry & Pickled Cucumber mussels. The green curry was well made and there was a hint of dill pickle in every bite. It was definitely different than your typical mussel dish, but I was pleasantly surprised. You should only venture into this dish if you are a pickle lover, if not there are plenty of other options if pickles aren't your bag.
We finished the meal with the Virginia Peanut Butter Mousse. It was amazing! It had chocolate ganache drizzled on a light cloud of peanut butter mousse that sat atop a chunky peanut brittle. It had the perfect amount of saltiness to balance out the sugar.
With its large bar area and 9,500 square feet of space Farmers Fishers Bakers is a great spot to hold an office happy hour or have a nice dinner with your friends and family. The dishes and drinks are interesting and delicious and I am looking forward to many future visits.