Cementing itself as a Fairfax staple for its popular brunch, Tart restaurant at The Farmer's Daughter hotel (not to be confused with The Butcher's Daughter, a restaurant in Venice) has remained a consistent presence in the neighborhood since opening years ago. But as all good restaurants must do from time to time, they're changing things up, bringing in new Chef Josh Pebbles who's breathing new life into the menu. We had a chance to come in for dinner and check out their new offerings, and we have to say; dinner might be giving brunch some serious competition. Keep reading to check out favorites from their new menu!
Since we came in on the earlier side, we had the opportunity to order from their happy hour menu, from which I got the negroni. The preparation was definitely classic and boozy, and I loved both the refreshing citrus and bitter campari. Definitely a great drink to start off the night with.
To get started, we had to have the Mini Corn Bread Muffins, which I think have been on the menu since the restaurant's inception. And for good reason. These were moist, warm, fluffy, and all around delicious. The whipped honey butter had a nice sprinkling of sea salt on top which made it all incredibly addicting. Though this was our appetizer, it could've easily been dessert.
Next we had a scallop crudo, which was nice and light. The watermelon radishes were a welcome addition, and the scallops were well-sized and well seasoned. Though there were some chilis in the dish that lent it a bit of heat and acid, I think a bit more citrus would've been a good addition here, and I think the dish needed to be a bit colder overall. But still a nice scallop crudo.
Definitely one of my favorite parts of the meal, the Duck Liver Terrine was a decadent, creamy indulgence for foie gras lovers. The duck liver terrine was whipped and fluffy, and really flavorful. A generous sprinkling of sea salt on top balanced out the richness, while the cherry compote added a lovely sweetness. All together, spread on that perfectly toasted bread, it was a really satisfying and delicious bite.
Another great dish, the Squid Ink Spaghetti was really fun and creative. The spaghetti itself was perfectly cooked, with a bit of firmness signature of a good al dente. A smattering of well-seasoned and nicely cooked shrimp was a great seafood-focused protein that paired smoothly with the squid ink. Arugula pesto and serrano peppers added some nice fresh elements, while the romesco added another rich, creamy element. All together, another very satiating dish.
Well of course there's a crispy brussels sprouts dish. A menu staple all over the city at the moment, these brussels sprouts were a nice take on the ubiquitous offering, injecting the crispy veggies with a spicy chili vinaigrette and a lime creme. The runny egg brought it all together well.
To finish off, we were lucky enough to try the aged Tomahawk steak. The 28 oz portion is definitely big enough to split amongst a large group, while the aged beef is amazing. This was seriously one of the best steaks I've had of late, and the quality of the beef as well as the careful aging process was evident in every bite. Like some of the previous dishes, a generous sprinkling of sea salt elevated the dish and really brought out the flavors. I particularly loved the trio of salsas/dips, which all added an element of sweetness, spice, and/or acid. A very impressive offering that we didn't want to let go to waste!
Overall, we were really impressed by the creative and tasty takes on both American classics and modern favorites. But because Tart isn't the newest kid on the block, their dinner selection might get overlooked in favor of newer, trendier options. Which is a shame, because Chef Josh Pebbles is producing really good food in the kind of low-key environment that is ideal for a casual night out.