Eating DC: The Source

I finally tried out Wolfgang Puck’s DC restaurant, The Source that shares a block with the infamous Newseum.  The Source has been on my list for a while now, admittedly because it has a Dim Sum brunch and is famous for its hot pot dinner.  

Let’s start with the actual restaurant- the words I would use to describe this place are swanky, classy, and hotel restaurant-y.  It is gorgeous and has a lot of windows but it is very hotel-y.

The brunch menu has three options, (1) a la cart, anything for $9, (2) $40 for 5 items on the menu and (3) $56 for 8 items.  Since this is small plate style, we decided to go with the third option so that we could try as much as possible.

To start off the meal we both couldn’t resist the Passion Fruit Bellini which tasted more like mimosa to me but I loved the extra tang the passion fruit brought to the drink.

First up we got the Short Rib & Brisket Won tons.  The dumplings and meat were absolutely delicious; flavorful and surprisingly delicate.  The broth was nice, reminiscent of a Taiwanese beef noodle soup.  My only critique was that it was sort of hard to share the broth, especially since it only came with one spoon, and there were two of us… but we made it work.

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Next up were my personal favorites of the meal, the Duck Bao Buns.  Combine the sweet fluffy bao bun with a sweet and crunchy peking style duck- it wasjust amazing, delicate and delicious.  The cooling cucumber with the kick of the scallions combined with the sticky and crunchy duck, which wasn’t gamey at all was a real winner for me

After the duck, we got the Pork Belly Pot Stickers.  These were also really good and clean tasting.  Not too oily and had a nice crunch on the outside.

Then came my second favorite dumpling of the meal, the Crystal Chive Dumplings.  These were the closest thing they had to Har Gow, or shrimp dumplings, and while they were not shrimp, they were pretty amazing.  The pork and crab went super well together, reminding me of the inside of Siu Mai more than har gow.  The dumpling was pan seared and crispy on the outside and was just overall mouth watering.

Next we got the Shrimp & Sea Scallop Siu Mai.  I loved the dumpling part of this but the curry sauce I could do without.  The curry and lobster broth combo wasn’t my favorite because it made the curry taste a bit funky but I just ate the dumpling without dipping it in a whole lot of sauce.
Keeping up with the seafood theme, the next thing we got was the Lobster & Shrimp Spring Rolls.  These were good too, pretty classic tasting and the filling tasted very similar to the Siu Mai from above. I especially liked the chili and vinegar sauce that came along with it and just look at the presentation- pretty beautiful.

Then came our last two items, sadly neither I loved.  We got the Scallion Pancakes, which I thought we a bit dry and not super flavorful.  I also wished they had come earlier in the meal line up.  Normally the scallion pancakes I get are a bit dough and super savory and these were just okay.  With this course, we also got the Turnip Cakes, which I was overly excited for, but sadly they were not what I was expecting at all.  They were bitter and super soft, like unappealingly soft.  We actually ended up sending them back because we couldn’t eat them and our beyond lovey waiter brought us out some complimentary Duck Bao and some more pot stickers.

Scallion Pancake- Smoked Chili Shallot Sauce

Overall, the service and concept were really great.  Would I go back?  Yes, for a special occasion and maybe to try the hot pot dinner instead.  Was it the best dim sum I’ve ever had, no, but I like what they are doing.

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