The old Three Pigs BBQ space in Langley Shopping Center has been so transformed that it’s no longer recognizable, and its replacement, McLean 1910, seems like it’s off to a good start. How good?
McLean 1910 is owned by the same folks who own McLean Family Restaurant (incidentally, relatives of Pete Sampras!), and taking place of the spartan Three Pigs is a quiet, well-decorated dining room which will be quite popular with senior citizens. (This is, after all, downtown McLean, with an older, well-heeled clientele.)
The chef is Gregory Webb, and our server on this evening was named Eddie – I wouldn’t normally call out a server by name except he was so friendly and helpful that he deserves a bit of recognition.
The wine list is small but workable, and I started with a glass of 2008 Cantemerle Chablis ($9 on list, $8 on bill) while my young dining companion enjoyed his usual Diet Coke ($2.50, refilled without asking).
Chablis went well with our split appetizer of Grilled Shrimp ($9) with polenta, queso cotija, and chimichurri. Eddie, who hails from Chile, was pretty stoked that I recognized the chimichurri as Argentinian, and the three of us ended up having a good rapport. I knew something was right with this cooking as soon as the plate hit the table – three jumbo shrimp doesn’t sound like much, but this dish was very thoughtfully cooked and plated.
I moved on to a 2009 Les Chailloux Sancerre ($10) with our entrees which we shared. Matt got Blackened Sea Scallops ($25) with herbed goat cheese polenta and sauteed spinach in a lemon beurre blanc sauce while I ordered Pasta with Baby Clams (a bargain at $16) steamed in white wine, lemon, garlic, and herbs, ordered “white” instead of “red.”
The only flaw in the meal was the blackening rub on the scallops which was simply too harsh (I’d warned Matt about the possibility of this) – the extreme saltiness permeated the scallops to the core, and really overwhelmed an otherwise good scallop preparation (cut the rub by half, and you have a winner).
But my pasta was remarkable even though it was dried. Not only were there four whole clams in shell (definitely not babies), there was also a ridiculous amount of clam meat throughout the dish – so much so that we couldn’t even finish it. Get this dish.
So how good was McLean 1910? From this one dinner, if you take away the harsh rub on the scallops, you just might have the best restaurant in downtown McLean. Granted, that’s not saying much, but it’s saying something.