We were invited to dine with 14K at the Hamilton Hotel for a special scotch tasting menu on the house. We thought brunch was lovely, so we were very excited to swing by for dinner with the folks at 14K.
I don’t know about you Bitches, but I’m a stereotypically feminine drinker, opting for wine, mojitos, margaritas, or whatever berry-inspired cocktails are on the menu as my usual go-tos. I brought along my boyfriend, Rich, who I knew I could count on to drink my portions if I didn’t love them. That said, despite my preference for “girly” beverages, I was determined to sample all of the scotches and put my basic drinking days behind me—at least for the night.
Our first course began with The Balvenie Scotch, paired and with a tuna carpaccio with seaweed salad, pickled ginger, and soy sauce. We took sips of the scotch before our food arrived, which was a mistake in hindsight. (I am easily tipsy.) The tuna was beautifully plated, tasted very fresh, and was a great size to start off the meal. Once we took a few bites, we tried the scotch again and it was much better. We both enjoyed our scotch neat, but then wisely switched to on the rocks half way through the experience. It was quite a lot of scotch.
The lovely bartender informed us that this was a more smokey scotch, an unusual choice for a first pairing. We agreed and thought that we amateurs could have used a more basic sample to begin with that evening.
Next, came the Dalwhinnie 15 scotch, served with a blood orange and duck confit salad, dressed in a blood orange vinaigrette. This scotch went down a little easier than the first. The salad was lovely and the duck was well cooked and tender. The duck was served room temperature, which paired nicely with the rest of the cold, crisp appetizer salad.
We took our time and, eventually, the salmon arrived with our third scotch, the Oban 14. This salmon was an enormous portion, and absolutely delicious. It was served with herb-roasted tomatoes, fennel, and served over black lentils with lemon-grilled asparagus. This was one of my favorites courses, although I would have liked a couple more stalks of asparagus. By this point, we had plenty of ice to water down our scotch, which we needed. We started to enjoy the scotches more and more, as the bite and aftertaste was toned down. Amateurs, we know.
Our fourth course was the winner of the evening. We devoured our bone-in fillet topped with mushrooms and served with a truffle and bacon twice-baked potato and candy glazed carrots. The steak was cooked perfectly, and it was incredibly flavorful and tender. I didn’t taste any bacon or too much truffle in the potato, which was a little disappointing. The carrots were well cooked and seasoned—and added a much needed vegetable to my day. Rich informed me that the accompanying Macallan 18 was “a really cool scotch” and that I shouldn’t waste it–so I added more ice and sipped slowly. It went great with the steak.
Finally, it was time for dessert. I made sure that we each got our own dessert because I was not in the sharing mood. Thankfully, we each got our own chocolate mousse with layers of white and milk chocolate, dark chocolate ganache, and orange gelee. This dessert was super tasty and a great way to end a rich and decadent meal. It was light and refreshing while still satisfying my chocolate lovers sweet tooth. The dessert was paired with Lagavulin 16. This wasn’t our favorite scotch of the night; however, I’m sure that experienced scotch drinkers would enjoy the intense peatiness.
Overall, we had a great time. The service was outstanding, and the location is convenient—which you can’t be beat. You can tell that the food is carefully prepared and that a lot of thought goes into the menu. We enjoyed our meal and our first scotch experience. This Bitch will probably stick to margaritas and rosé, but at least I’m now a well-informed drinker.
14K at The Hamilton Hotel DC
1001 14th St. N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20005