Cashion’s Eat Place, Adams Morgan

Cashion’s isn’t quite what it used to be when Ann Cashion owned the restaurant and was toiling away in the kitchen, but her old sous chef, John Manolatos (who purchased the restaurant along with GM Justin Abad) still runs the best restaurant in Adams Morgan, by far.

For a $20 corkage fee, you can bring your own bottle of wine at Cashion’s (isn’t it ironic that restaurants with good wine programs allow you to do this?), and it was Pinot Noir night with a Littorai and a 1999 Roumier Chambolle-Musigny.

Do get the Mezzethakia ($7), three traditional Greek spreads (Manolatos is Greek) of hummus, baba ghanoush, and taramosalata, all three of which are among the very best of their types in the entire DC area. With a basket of warm pita bread, it’s a perfect way to start your meal, and well-worth the $7 charge.

I dined with two special friends, making plans for a very special occasion (which is one of the two greatest honors ever bestowed upon me, the other being asked to speak at a slain child’s funeral in Seat Pleasant). Unlike the funereal speech, this was a joyous occasion and a cause for celebration.

My friends ordered, and then it was my turn. I closed the menu, and said to our server, “whatever the chef thinks is good.” I do this fairly often with restaurants I trust, and I’ve come to the belief that chefs always appreciate it as the gesture of respect that it is.

Housemade Charcuterie ($16) was a fine plate (the charcuterie here is made by the sous chef) consisting of finocchino, chorizo, speck (purchased), pork rillettes, rabbit liver mousse, and traditional garnishes. Add Cashion’s to the growing list of restaurants doing a crackerjack job of curing their own meats. Charcuterie is a fickle mistress, but when it’s done well, it’s a thing of beauty for the diner, and a decent profit center for the restaurant.

I was surprised that Justin picked the Korean-Style Pork Belly ($26) for my main course, served with a salad of cabbage, mangos, peanuts, fresh chilies, cilantro, mint, fish sauce, lime, and carrots. It was a complex dish that worked very well together, and surprisingly didn’t clash with the Roumier in any way (who would have thought this?)

I also tried my friends’ dishes (wild mushrooms and grilled baby octopus as appetizers, organic chicken and black Angus ribeye as mains), but didn’t play close enough attention to be writing about them – they were all very good, although my friend did say her octopus was a bit on the tough side. Actually, now that I think about it, my other friend completely Bogarted his wild mushroom appetizer, and I didn’t get so much as a single bite of it!

For dessert, a Chocolate Macadamia Nut Tarte ($8) with fudge sauce and Kahlua cream. An extremely well-made flourless (I believe) dessert, there was nothing at all here not to like.

A fine meal at Cashion’s that only reinforced its stature, and a special mention to the elegant GM and host, Justin Abad.

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