The restaurant is clean, modern, upscale and refined, and the menu is eclectic with creative spins on classic flavors and many others that were new to me. Their food is locally sourced with some of the vegetables and herbs grown on-site. Each and everyday their menu changes as certain ingredients can show up or not show up as they source direct from nearby farmers. The farm-to-table taste is evident in every bite, and it's a beautiful, refreshing way to dine. The owners suggested I try the 6-course tasting plate with wine pairing, and it was a memorable experience!
Firstly, beyond the food, I really enjoyed sitting near the kitchen, where I could watch their team work together fluidly. When communication was lacking and mistakes began to happen, they came together and discussed it and within a moments notice, they were back working well like a well-oiled machine. The service I received was excellent, timely, thoughtful, and with detailed as far as providing me with details of origins of certain ingredients and the paired wines.
The tasting menu of the day offered the following (in order):
- Pickled Shrimp & Crab Salad with Endive, Smoked Paprika & Garlic Bread Crumb, paired with Domaine de Fontsainte Gris de Gris Pinot Gris from France
- Grilled Cabbage with Green Sauce, Confit Egg Yolk, Pickled Trout Roe & Garlic Chives, paired with Greywake Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand
- Miso Chilean Sea Bass with Spring Raab, Pickled Radish & Yuzu-Sesame Sauce, paired with Shichi Hon Yari Junmai Sake from Japan
- Ember Roasted Carrots with Carrot Mole, Salsa Macha & Queso Fresco, paired with Chateau Musar Grenache from Lebanon
- Ovoka Heritage F1 Wagyu Ribeye with Grilled Maitake Mushrooms & Black Garlic Sauce, paired with local Jake Bushing Wines Tannat-Petit Verdot "F8" from Monticello, Virginia
- Carrot Cake with Carrot Butter, Ginger Syrup & Cream Cheese Icing, paired with Chambers Muscat from Australia
Every dish was creatively designed and lovingly prepared, while each dish and paired wine took me for a tour of the world. I found the Chilean Sea Bass and Wagyu Ribeye to be among the best I've ever had, with complex flavors that sent me through a whirlwind of pleasure on my palette, and soon I was wishing for more. Specifically, the sea bass was the absolute best seafood I've ever had, and that's saying something, considering I've had fresh seafood on the coast of Aruba, France, Spain, Maine and Florida. The sea bass was buttery with bursts of salty, juiciness that left me astounded. I never knew it could taste so good. This paired dish was a rollercoaster of excellent flavor, perfection in its preparation, and it ended with a sweet sake that tasted of citrus and mushroom, pairing beautifully with the sea bass.
My close second favorite was the Wagyu Ribeye, which should come as no surprise, because it was prepared perfectly. Paired with a more acidic, robust dark red wine from Monticello, near the Thomas Jefferson region of Virginia, this Wagyu beef came from a local farm 15-minutes from the restaurant. The initial smell was delectable, smokey and mouthwatering. Along with the ribeye came maitake mushrooms prepared better than I've ever had and a sauce that was gentle, which added a subtle soothing flavor, which was impressive when combined with the mushrooms. The sauce added an element rather than taking over the flavor like an A1 or BBQ sauce. I prefer to taste the meat and the spices than to have a charred piece of meat with some ketchup, per se. The taste was juicy, smokey, with added flavors of butter and earthy mushroom, which paired stunningly well with the Wagyu. It wasn't quite as tender as some ribeyes, but the flavor was top notch. The fattier parts of the ribeye simply melted away on my tongue with supreme flavor.
Lastly, as a sort of desert, the tasting menu offered up a carrot cake that I was slightly leery of at first, having had not so many great experiences with carrot cake in the past. But this tasting changed everything for me. When you model the perfect bite on your fork, marrying a bit of the moist carrot cake, carrot sauce, cream cheese and pecan, it was really perfect. The rich and naturally sweet flavor that came through so well came from the farm-to-table approach Field & Main prides it self on. It was simply fabulous. Overall, I was blown away by everything I sampled, and highly recommend a visit if you're a local or if you're passing through on your way to D.C., or if you're like me are were touring the natural areas around Shenandoah National Park. Field & Main is an excellent example of a talented, passionate team of chefs who come together to do things the right way. Farm-to-table is how it should be, and they are a beautiful example, and a must try!
Learn more about Field & Main Restaurant at www.fieldandmainrestaurant.com