April 2, 2011

"Recovery" Weekend

Following a big race I usually allow one week of eating and drinking whatever my heart desires. But this time around, I had an unstructured rest period of two weeks to get mentally and physically ready to start Ironman training on April 4. Since I have no training to speak of, I wanted to share my finest recovery meal yet. After all, the only thing I enjoy more than triathlon is food. And wine, of course.

Last night we had dinner at Obelisk in Dupont Circle. Obelisk is a refined Italian restaurant with just 30 seats. There is no sign out front, no website, no Facebook page and no music. Just simplicity. We arrived sufficiently hungry for the seasonally-driven, five-course tasting menu and brought two bottles of wine - a Produttori del Barbaresco 2005 Barbaresco and a 2004 Fratelli Revello Barolo Vigna Conca. But the experience started with a cocktail of vodka, Campari, moscato rosa and lime.

The first course consisted of various antipasti, including the creamy burrata and clams above. There were also marinated peppers and a perfect arrosticini - a skewer of small, beautifully grilled lamb cubes. Just when I thought I had died and gone to heaven the fritto misto arrived - a thin slice of onion and an incredibly delicious sardine.

I was kind of full (let's not talk about the raid I staged on the bread basket...).

But the wine was poured and the meal continued. Next up was the primi, I chose a ravioli stuffed with dandelion greens and watercress with walnuts and a light, brothy sauce. For the secondi I decided on the wagyu beef and did not regret it. Aside from my marathon weekend In-N-Out Burger, I haven't had beef since the holidays and don't plan to eat any for at least a few months. What better way to say farewell than with wagyu? It was truly unreal.

The fourth course was cheese served with a grainy fig jam. Unfortunately there are no photos because (1) I ate it very quickly, and (2) The restaurant was too dark to continue my iPhone photos. Trust me, it was lovely. Dessert was even lovelier, a dried pear and ginger strudel with moscato ice cream.

Of all the restaurants I've been to in DC, this was by far my favorite. I can't recommend it enough if you're in the area and I look forward to making my way back.

While my day was free of any real training, I did spend an hour walking amongst the cherry blossoms. It was windy and chilly, but stunning nevertheless. As much as I enjoy rest and indulgence, I'm looking forward to ending this recovery and kicking off my next phase of training on Monday. Until then, I'm off to find my next meal!


  1. "There is no sign out front, no website, no Facebook page" - Then how the heck did you find it??? Do you have to belong to a secret society or something?? :)

    It all looks too fancy for me. I'd just go with In N Out Animal Style.

    Woohoo for training starting!

  2. I was thinking the same thing... how did you ever find this place? Sounds fabulous! :)

    I love that you take some time off after a race. I think that's so important!




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