Brunch in the Garden
May 03, 2016 02:05PM
● By Dia
Though the inn is worth checking out for a staycation, you don’t need to be a guest there to dine at restaurant506. It’s open to the public Wednesday through Saturday for dinner, or you can make reservations for Saturday or Sunday brunch, which runs from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. ev- ery weekend. For Mother’s Day, the restaurant is rolling out a special prix fixe brunch menu. All you need to do is make a reservation— and maybe get some flowers.
Classified as “inspired American cuisine,” the dishes at restaurant506 are just that—inspired. Executive Chef John Klein has cooked in places such as Boston, Chicago and Florida, and he incorporates those experiences into the food at restaurant506. “These places each have a way of expressing their vibrant cultures through food,” he says. “Drawing on my experiences allows me to think outside the box to create our own unique style.”
The menu is creative, if not indulgent. The award-winning brunch, which is admirably not a buffet, features fare such as Peaches & Cream French Toast and Sage Asiago Crusted Trout. Whether you’re into sweet or savory, there’s something to satisfy your appetite. And because brunching means sipping on a chilled beverage, restaurant506 offers a refreshing variety, including four different kinds of mimosas.
Dinner is also a delightful experience. The meal begins with an “Amuse Bouche,” which means “amusement for the mouth.” It’s a succulent taste designed to whet the appetite before the main course. There are as many appetizers as there are entrées on the menu, so if you typically don’t order a starter, you might want to look over the offerings—particularly the Pecan Crusted Crab Cakes. These happen to be Chef Klein’s specialty and have become a staple at restaurant506.
“I have always been inspired by seafood and fresh herbs, and my Maryland-style crab cakes are the perfect combination,” he says. “This dish also draws from my experience in Texas as I have added pecans into the breading.”
Dinner options such as the Espresso Dusted Duck Breast and Herb Crumbed Rack of Lamb aren’t just deliciously tempting, they’re also artfully plat- ed. The food here is designed to be appealing to the eye and the taste buds. Just consider the Chocolate Deconstruction, a $9 marvel of a dessert. A hollow orb of chocolate is filled with ice cream and fresh berries. Then, at your table, a server pours piping- hot caramel over the top, melting everything together into a plate of sweet deliciousness.
When you declare a favorite on the menu, it’ll stick around—for a while, at least. The menu changes in the spring and again in the fall to incor- porate the freshest foods while also highlighting the themes of the season. Right now, kale is the ingredient du jour. “This superfood is something that has caught the public’s attention lately,” says Chef Klein, “and I’m excited to present kale in my own way.”
Spring is a lovely time to dine al fresco, or you can enjoy your meal in the lavishly appointed din- ing room. When you’re done, take a stroll beneath a canopy of trees in the courtyard. It’s an ideal spot for snapping a quick family photo (which is all Mom probably wants, anyway). And if you’re there in the evening, the garden sparkles with twinkling lights.
Should you want to weave some educational tid- bits into your experience, restaurant506 offers special dinners and events. It will host a Whiskey Pairing Dinner later this month, and in the summer, it will roll out an instructional wine series. Called the 506 Wine School, participants learn about and taste at least six different wines while enjoying some light bites.
We admit we don’t often look to Arlington for fine dining, but we’re glad we discovered restaurant506. It’s a quiet retreat with an abundance of culinary and visual delights.