Monday, January 13, 2014

Bidwell, the New Roof to Table Restaurant at Union Market


We're all familiar with the farm to table (fresh & locally sourced ingredients), but roof to table might be a new one for you. Many of Bidwell's fruits & vegetable will come from the move than 70 aeroponic planters located on the roof of Union Market (1309 5th Street).

Bidwell takes its name from John Bidwell. A general in the U.S. Army in the 1800s, a United States Presidential candidate in 1892, & founder of Chico, California, Bidwell was a man of many talents. He was also an avid farmer known for developing the Bidwell heirloom melon, a gold medal winning flour, and he often credited with cultivating California’s first commercial raisin crop.

Chef John Mooney (formerly of Red Sage, Raku, & New York City's Bell, Book, & Candle) will show off his unique flair for southern inspired fare. Think Gin & Tonic Salmon with Caramelized Cauliflower, Crispy Deviled Eggs with Homemade Ranch Dressing, Lobster Taco with Avocado Tomatillo Salsa, and Suckling Pig.

Seating for 120 patrons, including a chef's counter where you can enjoy the open kitchen, & additional outdoor seats. Lunch Tuesday-Friday 11:30am-3:30pm. Dinner Tuesday-Thursday, & Sunday 5:30pm-10:00 p.m., & Friday-Saturday 5:30pm-11:00pm. Brunch will be served on Saturday & Sunday 9:30am-3:30pm. But it sounds like they are starting off with just dinner service for the moment.

Further coverage:

Washington City Paper (they have a menu)

Brightest Young Things (tons of photos)


Anonymous said...

Salmon and lobster just scream "Southern".

Shelly said...

I had just returned from a trip to a Kibbutz in Israel, working with hydroponics when a dear friend suggested we dine together and check out the fruits of the aeroponic planters located on the rooftop. Of course I was up for it, I’m hooked on “ponics”!

We were seated at the bar and welcomed by my friend John Mooney, who also happens to live two doors down. He’s always out working in his garden when I walk by with my Yorkie and he’s always got a special treat for my four legged friend.

We started out with the crispy deviled eggs. They were quite tasty and the Ranch Dressing was to die for! I moved on to the lobster tacos, which were a decent attempt at a classic I usually enjoy when visiting Dangriga, Belize. Honestly a big less avocado is desired, and a little more cilantro would be perfect. My dining companion partook of the Suckling Pig. And that evening she was oinking out!

By the time we finished, there was no room for dessert.

I’ll be probably be back soon to try more of John’s creations. I would rate this place a three out of five Shelly stars.


4th and G said...

Shelly -- I believe that you now have me hooked on ponics, too!

Anonymous said...

Eh, I don't think you need to use Southern ingredients to necessarily consider something Southern-inspired. I mean, you could consider lobster étoufée made with American lobster "Southern-inspired"...

Anonymous said...

At anon 1:23
One of the fundamental characteristics of Southern food is the use of local ingredients, also highly trendy right now but where this restaurant fails. The DelMarVa has a rich cuisine that can and should be capitalized on. There is not even a nod to it at Bidwell..
Mooney should not swoop in, calling his food Southern or even Southern-inspired, when he obviously has no experience with it.
That is not to say that you won't have a pleasant experience at Bidwell, just don't even pretend that it has the value of Southern food. That is dishonest.

Anonymous said...

"One of the fundamental characteristics of Southern food is the use of local ingredients, also highly trendy right now but where this restaurant fails."

There's nothing geographically unique about the use of local ingredients. If anything such a stereotype would be more appropriate for the West Coast, arguably the nation's bread basket.

When I think about "Southern-inspired", I think about specific dishes, less traditional cooking techniques, and notable ingredients. If Mooney adheres to those ideas, then I think his approach is a good one. I don't think there is anything dishonest about what he is proposing.

h st ll said...

Glad to see Shelly is back!

As for Bidwell, ate there yesterday and did NOT like. The steak and egg benedict was just a store bought english muffin, not toasted or heated. The steak part was decent but the dish was cold and lacking flavor. My wife said her grilled cheese was ok. My son's fries were below average.

After all they spent on the buildout you think they would have better food.