It’s been a while since I’ve written a restaurant review, but Trummer’s on Main in Clifton, VA definitely deserves a special post. It was Restaurant Week here in the DC-Metro Area, and this time, my husband and I decided to go with Food and Wine’s pick for Top New Chef of 2010: Trummer’s on Main. Trummer’s on Main is located in Clifton, VA which is located right outside the Beltway, but boasts none of the noise, congestion, or traffic that the DC-Metro area does. It’s beautiful, rural setting is idyllic. Driving down a windy road with large houses on each side, you come to a clearing where there are just fields as far as your eyes can see. It reminded me of being home in Central NY. Clifton is a small, antiquated town; it was actually the first town in VA to have electricity. There’s even an old Texaco sign that is a remnant of the gas station that used to be located there, but is now home to a quaint coffee shop.
The restaurant sits on the side of the road, right near the railroad tracks, in a white house that has a porch on both levels. When you enter the restaurant, you’re immediately greeted by a huge, stone bar. Since Trummer’s is known for their unique cocktails, we decided to have a seat at the bar before dinner. I had a peach granita with Maker’s Mark bourbon. My husband had something similar to a rootbeer float except with Kettle One vodka and peanut foam. It took the bartender at least 10 minutes to create these drinks, but I’m not complaining; it was like watching an artist at work. I never knew there could be so many steps involved in making a single drink. The drinks were exceptional. The bourbon was not too overpowering, but there was enough there to give me that warm feeling in the back of my throat. My husband’s drink was bliss; it tasted exactly like a rootbeer float except with vodka (definitely dangerous!).
The upstairs dining room was beautifully decorated—elegant, but simple and intimate. Our table was a solid oak table with no table cloth, but a simple placemat and small vase of fresh flowers. It was the perfect table setting that blended well with the surrounding landscape. Our first course was a goat cheese agnolotti with pickled rhubarb, black pepper shortbread, and fried capers. Agnolotti are crescent-shaped stuffed pasta, similar to ravioli. The creaminess of the goat cheese as well as the saltiness of the capers was remarkable. The black pepper shortbread gave an extra crunchiness and texture while the rhubarb gave an added tartness to offset the richness of the goat cheese.
Our main course was a 12-hour, oven roasted and honey glazed pork shoulder with pineapple confit, bay leaf crumble, and sweet potato. The pork shoulder was extremely tender and juicy, and the pineapple and sweet potato were the perfect accompaniments. The bay leaf crumble added color to the plate as well as fresh flavor and texture. The dessert course was a berry and brown sugar crumble with vanilla and raspberry sherbet. I love dessert and baking, so I’m probably a bit more harsh on judging desserts; when I heard “crumble,” I instantly thought of an apple crisp-type dessert with warm fruit topped with brown sugar and oats. Instead, the berry part of the dessert was the raspberry sherbet and inside was the vanilla sherbet topped with the brown sugar crumble. It was not warm, and there was no real fruit. The flavors were all there, but I would’ve loved some fresh fruit topped with the crumble and sherbet.
Overall, Trummer’s on Main was an exceptional meal. The staff was extremely professional and friendly, while the food was fresh and exquisite—they constantly change their menu too. I would definitely recommend this restaurant to all my fellow Washingtonians and to anyone visiting the area.
I’ve been asked what my favorite restaurant is before, but it’s just too hard to answer this question—I have numerous restaurants inside and outside of DC and the US that are my favorites. I just can’t pick one. Sometimes, restaurants are so varying and unique that it’s hard to compare them against each other especially since each chef has his or her own style that makes their restaurant what it is.
Do you have an all-time favorite restaurant or are you like me and just can’t pick one?
PS. I never take pictures of the food at a restaurant I want to write a review on because the whole point of food writing is to be able to describe the meal in extreme detail using key words that invoke the 5 senses (6 including umami)!