7134 Main St.
Clifton, VA 20124
CUISINE Modern American, International, Wine Bar
PRICE $$$ ($21-$30)
HOURS Open for dinner daily, brunch Sunday.
NVM AWARDS Best Restaurant 2010
Best Restaurant 2011
Best Restaurant 2012
NEARBY METRO None
SPECIAL FEATURESAccepts Credit Cards
By Warren Rojas
Food: 8.7 Ambiance: 8.5 Service: 8.4
“There is always something going on in our food. That’s what makes it good,” our folksy-to-a-fault waitress quipped during a trek through Trummer’s culinary terrain.
Pardon the arrogance, madam, but I firmly believe chefs Clayton Miller (savory) and Chris Ford (pastry) deserve a little more of a build-up than your canned response.
Owner Stefan Trummer and sommelier Tyler Packwood do a much better job of chatting up their nationally recognized culinary tacticians—right down to spot-on recommendations about how best to wash down each whimsical bite.
Goat cheese ravioli topped with ravishing raw salmon and sprinkled with smoked, dried and cured tuna (winsomely grated over the dish for the grand finale) was thrilling.
Pickled watermelon and tempura mushrooms add sass to miso-soaked sea bass.
Coarse grains, plump raisins and chocolaty chips woven together by sticky maple syrup and foamy milk froth permanently ruined commercial granola bars.(February 2010)
By Warren Rojas
A well-known adage suggests, “When in Rome, do as the Romans do.”
Here’s a 2010 update: When in Clifton, take your cues from Stefan Trummer and Tyler Packwood.
Trummer (owner/resident mixologist) and Packwood (sommelier) have stirred up the burgeoning cocktail scene at Trummer’s swank first-floor lounge.
Guests can sip on circa 20 respectable pours (most in the $9-$15 range)—think West Coast (California, Oregon) and Eastern Europe (Germany, France), as well as a surprising dearth of New World pickings (can count the Virginia, New Zealand and Australian offerings on one hand).
A filled-to-capacity flute of NV Barboursville Brut revealed a toasty sparkler with just a whisper of residual sugar (fun, anytime refresher).
The 2007 Foxglove Zinfandel was much more assertive, bombarding me with black cherries before lulling me into submission with a nice, ripe red-fruit chaser.
Meanwhile, Trummer shakes things up with seasonal cocktails plucked from nature’s bounty (lemongrass, elderflower, smoked watermelon).
The Titanic summons a well-balanced cooler that hits your sweet (muddled green grapes), sour (elderflower), cold (homemade sorbet) and bubbly (champagne) receptors without overloading any one pleasure center.
Crushed ice, pressed sugar cane, dark rum and fresh lime come together in the very tart but amazingly refreshing Cubano.
Meanwhile, chef Clayton Miller makes his own fun with bold bar snacks.
A buttermilk biscuit does its best to contain a gourmet trifecta of seared foie gras layered with sauteed eggplant and crème fraiche (the sandwich absolutely oozes richness).
Unctuous pork, potent Valdeon and tangy-sweet blackberry jam gloriously commingle beneath the cover of flaky dough in the simply named but expertly executed “brisket on a biscuit.”
The house burger shoehorns pure Angus beef—the patty glistening with juice and dripping savory goodness—into a homemade ciabatta bun (top notch) dressed with a quick hit of ketchup and serious pickle slice (gives the taste buds a vinegary goosing). Artisan cheeses (grated Comte layers on the lustiness) only up the enjoyment ante.