Last Thursday, I was invited with a bunch of other Durham food bloggers and lovers to sample the new spring menu for the Fairview Dining Room at the Washington Duke Inn. We were treated to a four course lunch, and it was absolutely gorgeous on their patio.
I’ve dined at the Fairview Dining Room once before and I loved it, but I hadn’t been outside. The grounds are incredible, especially on a warm spring day like this one was. And the food lived up to the setting in every way. Plus, they made my life easy and gave us printed menus.
You’ll notice in my descriptions how much I love Chef Jason Cunningham’s expertise mixing up tastes and textures—I adore having contrasting elements come together in a dish. You’ll note as well that I said four courses, but we actually had eight dishes. The kitchen prepared small versions of several menu items and served them together for most courses. The first one, however, was on its own and dubbed the Bloom course, an ahi tuna tartare.
It was delicious; raw fish is growing on me, especially when it is cured like tartare should be. The cure was a cumin and lime vinaigrette, and I loved it. I loved everything about the zing and vibrancy of lime that ran through the whole dish. The fish cubes were served over an airy avocado mousse and a sprinkling of fennel, chick peas, cucumbers, and tomato. I especially liked combining the buttery texture of the fish with the singular pita chip.by