Ripple, Cleveland Park

On a frigid Sunday evening, I ducked into Ripple and immediately asked for a glass of Bourbon (that cold snap we recently had switched me from beer and wine to Bourbon and Rye very quickly). A Van Winkle 12 was $14 which was a bit pricy, so I went with the less expensive Buffalo Trace ($8) – it’s not as good, but it did the trick anyway.

I’m not vegetarian, but have great empathy for those who are, and I sometimes force myself to dine that way (vegan, too) – it puts me in their place, and also makes me see things about restaurants that I’d normally miss.

It’s very easy to dine vegetarian at Ripple, but it helps to like dairy (butter, cream, and cheese) and nuts – they’re all over the place.

Sunchoke Velouté ($7) was exactly, exactly what I needed on this cold winter night, and went perfectly with the Buffalo Trace. It was a piping hot, thick bowl of heavy soup, chock full of brown butter hazelnuts.

Sweet Potato Agnolotti ($14) was equally satisfying, even for a meat eater, the homemade pasta stuffed with sweet potato, and coated with a heavy celeriac cream with pistachios.

I had fully intended on getting a cheese course afterwards, but after just these two vegetarian courses I was very full, and wanted no more dairy.

My bartender, Josh Berner, whom I first met at Bistro Bis years ago, recommended the baked-to-order chocolate chip cookies & milk for dessert, and as tempted as I was, I decided to call it a night, leaving pleasantly full rather than stuffed.

Josh also mentioned that he’s becoming Head Bartender at the new Church and State in the Atlas district which is owned by the same folks who run Wisdom in Near Southeast, and had its official opening last week – congratulations to you, Josh.

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