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December 28, 2009

Mrs. K's Toll House

The weekend before Christmas we took my father for a birthday dinner at Mrs. K's Toll House in Silver Spring. I had been there a few times before- for a happy hour in the wine cellar downstairs (very cozy and charming) and for brunch and lunch (both delicious).

When you walk in, it looks like a quaint cottage in the countryside. It is charming, old, and makes you feel as though you are someplace 3 hours outside of DC. The entry area is decorated with antiques and you can see the character in the old faded wallpaper. The dining room had a fire going in the fireplace and ornaments hanging from the ceiling. It is a very beautiful restaurant.

I wasn't sure what to make of our server at first- he was a little stand-offish. He redeemed himself however when he brought our cocktails and shared a laugh at his french-martini making skills (and again later by bringing my dad birthday cake without me even asking).

For appetizers, we started with caesar salads and some chorizo and potato fritters. One of the salads was forgotten, but did eventually come out late. They were very good caesars- I will give them that. The dressing was creamy and flavorful with that little lemony bite. The fritters were delicious. They were delicately crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. The texture of the interior reminded me of applesauce which was off-putting to my husband, but it didn't bother me. I thought they were delicious. They had just enough spicy kick without being overpowering.

For entrees, my father and I ordered the seafood pasta in champagne sauce. The flavor was rich and not overpowered by the seafood. My only beef with it is that it was extremely heavy and my first bite had crab shell in it. That's not a big deal I guess since I know how difficult it is to pick apart crab meat, it's just a pet peeve of mine. I have the same problem with eggs- if there is even the tiniest bit of egg white uncooked I am turned off and can't finish it. I did continue eating the pasta, however. The scallops were some of the best I have had in awhile. They were large, tender and not at all fishy.

My husband got the lamb chops which did look beautiful. It was cooked perfectly and plated well. He noted to me that he didn't think it tasted like anything though. I grabbed my fork and took a taste and had to agree. It was odd that it wouldn't taste like much of anything- especially since it was lamb. Don't get me wrong, it wasn't bad by any means. It just didn't have a lot of flavor. That could be just the cut of meat in general.

We continued the meal by stuffing ourselves with some birthday desserts. My father insisted on ordering two- a chocolate cake and bread pudding with whisky sauce. The waiter also brought a slice of birthday cake which had an incredible frosting on it with coconut. The chocolate cake was dark, rich and dense with a berry sauce. Who doesn't like that? My favorite was the bread pudding with whisky sauce and vanilla bean ice cream. It was the embodiment of comfort food. I wanted to lick the plate.

My father had a wonderful birthday and loved Mrs. K's Toll House. I was pleased, although I admit mildly disappointed in the overall experience. I will certainly go back again, though. I recommend if you go for dinner, go early and have a drink in the downstairs wine bar. It's really charming!


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