“Sound, stirred by tension and vibration outside of the bowl.” Photo by Farrah Skeiky.
From a press release:
“Drawing from four concepts that hold both literal and abstract values, Columbia Room’s four course Spring Tasting Room Menu Spectrum offers an interpretation of sound, color, flavor, and time through drink and food. Launching March 13th, guests will be able to experience these concepts brought to life by the Spirited Award-winning team. This menu continues the Columbia Room tradition of challenging guests’ perceptions and expectations about what a cocktail should be.
“What really drew me to the idea of ‘spectrum’ as a menu was the thrill and the challenge of conveying complex ideas like cymatics [sound vibrations] and the color spectrum through our drinks and dishes, in an understated way,” says JP Fetherston, Beverage Director. “We never intend for a theme to overshadow the cocktail or the dish, but the context it lends can elevate even the simplest of preparations.”
Some of those preparations are deceptively simple. The tasting begins with a course called Sound. The punch-style cocktail presented in a large bowl is stirred on the outer surface, and the vibrations move the drink to swirl and skip inside its vessel. Pick a Color creates a choose your own adventure experience, offering White, Green, or Red with no ingredients listed. The guest has a preconceived idea of which flavors are associated with each color and those ideas play into the appreciation of the drink.
“This is by far the most intricate experience we have put together,” says Head Chef Johnny Spero. “We looked at several different forms of spectrum like sound, light, color and flavor but I think the definition that inspired a lot of the menu was looking at spectrum as a classification of two extremes or opposite points. This really challenged us to find balance and harmony in very radical ingredients.”
Radical ingredients such as matsutake mushroom and vitamin C, for example, found in the Flavor course. The corresponding cocktail yields the five flavors in each sip: sweetness, sourness, bitterness, saltiness, and umami. This course is followed by Time, a course of extremes, in which guests choose between younger and older cocktail consisting of cognac, madeira, tea cordial, and beeswax of varying ages. The cocktails pair with a dessert of Pear prepared with kaolin, black cocoa, black sesame, marshmallow, and yuzu.
124 Blagden Alley NW
Washington, D.C. 20001
Closed Sunday and Monday
DETAILS: The Spectrum menu begins March 13th, and runs through early June. Reservations for the Tasting Room menu must be made in advance via columbiaroomdc.com.”