An Early Birthday Dinner at The Source

13 May

Rachel and I have dined at The Source several times for their incredible Dim Sum Brunch on Saturdays, but we have still never been for dinner. That is until Rachel surprised me with an early birthday meal at Wolfgang Puck’s Washington outpost a few weeks ago…

With our friends Keith and Casey, we ventured to the upstairs dining room where we were treated to an amuse bouche of chef Scott Drewno’s Chinese dough knot soup, which featured two crispy duck wontons swimming in a broth of duck stock, fava beans, and water chestnuts. I’m not one for hyperbole, but this was arguably one of the best wonton soups we have come across. The broth had a very robust flavor, and I wished that there were about 20 more wontons swimming in the broth after devouring the two that were in there.

Chinese dough knot soup

After some deliberation, the four of us decided to split four appetizers so we could share some of The Source’s “First Flavors” amongst the table. Up first was their Border Springs lamb lettuce cups. Blended with toasted pine nuts and rice sticks, these were not your typical P.F. Chang’s lettuce wraps. The lamb, locally sourced from the nearby Virginia farm, was wonderfully cooked while biting into the cool, crisp lettuce.

Border Springs lamb lettuce cups

Up next was one of Chef Drewno’s classics, the crystal garlic chive dumplings. If there’s one dumplings dish at The Source you have to try, it’s this one. Stuffed with king crab and Kurobuta pork, this is as good as it gets. In fact, we’ve ordered it on every visit thus far.

Crystal garlic chive dumplings

Speaking of dumplings, we also ordered a plate of  their “Tiny Dumplings”.  Good for sharing, the miniature dumplings were prepared with pork belly, black vinegar, chili oil, ginger, and topped with cilantro leaves.

"Tiny Dumplings"

Finishing out the round of appetizers was the Tandoori arctic char. Sitting on a bed of cardamom raita, the fish was topped with pickled Japanese cucumbers. The arctic char was impeccably-cooked, and I especially enjoyed the crispy skin while the raita really complemented the fish.

Tandoori arctic char

As for our entrees, Rachel got the day boat scallops, which were accompanied with cilantro raita, curried cauliflower puree, and rhubarb lime pickle. After so many appetizers and small dishes to start, she was glad her entree was on the lighter side and wasn’t too heavy. She only wished she maybe picked a different dish since the flavors were similar to the arctic char appetizer and didn’t seem as unique as some of the other entrees that were chosen amongst our party of four.

Day boat scallops

Meanwhile, I went with one of The Source’s trademark dishes, the lacquered Chinese ducking. Chef Drewno’s outstanding rendition of the classic Peking duck recipe made this meal one to remember. I have never come across duck that was so tender and flavorful. Throw in the crispy skin, housemade lo mein, and star anise-plum wine reduction, and you have yourselves one stellar entrée. In fact, the table reached a consensus that I had ordered the best plate of the evening, so that’s saying something. In other words: order it.

Lacquered Chinese duckin

Once again, we left The Source full and content. After three visits, the restaurant has impressed us each and every time. The service was excellent as always, but it’s Drewno’s cooking that keeps us coming back for more. Well done, chef.

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