703.255.7212 For years, my impression of Vienna has been one of a “clique neighborhood” with an unchangeable pattern and landscape. It seemed as if established Vienna landmark restaurants like Nizam and others, tending to older couples with the men wearing sports jackets and ties, were going to remain unchecked. Couple of new construction projects on Church Street is changing the old façade of Vienna. It is slowly turning into a place you may want to visit even if you don’t live there. Bazin’s can be one of your starting points.
My wife and I recently visited Bazin’s with 3 other international couples. In our group, we had Italians from Peru, expats from Germany and Mexican Jews from the “occupied territories of Southern California” as they call it. We waited for our table while sipping our cocktails at the crowded bar. In the mean time, one of the proprietors Julie Bazin served everyone at the bar delicious white pizza with onions. She made us feel like her house guests rather than restaurant patrons. We sat at our small round table and ordered a bottle of Pinot Noir with couple of appetizers that included Tuna Tartar, Red and Golden Beet Salad, Crispy Oysters, Duck Quesadilla with Honey BBQ Sauce, and Grilled Asparagus Salad. Out of this bouquet of appetizers, my favorite was the Crispy Fried Oysters that are served with country ham and creamed spinach. They were very fresh, perfectly oval, crispy and very much reminded me of the fried oysters I used to eat in Istanbul, cooked in the fishing boats ducked at the harbor. I also noticed that almost everyone at the table enjoyed the Beet Salad with candied orange zest, pistachios and goat cheese. I can assure you are not going to find this salad in corporate owned establishments.
After ordering our second bottle of wine, we eagerly waited for our entrees. Few of us ordered the Teriyaki Glazed Chilean Sea Bass, more on that a little later. Other entrees ordered were Stuffed Flounder, Veal Milanese and Grilled Filet Mignon. If it is available, you must try the Chilean Sea Bass. Under the thin crust of sweet teriyaki, you find a tender filet of fish that simply melts in your mouth like butter. Sea Bass comes served over a bed of wasabi mashed potatoes with a sprinkle of finely chopped fresh chives that perfectly contrasts the sweetness of the fish. My wife ordered the Veal Milanese served over a generous portion of baby arugula, roasted cherry tomatoes, fennel topped with parmesan cheese and creamy lemon dressing. Veal was slightly dry and she had hard time finding the creamy lemon dressing. Everyone else at the table seemed very satisfied with their selections.
Approaching midnight, we ordered our Cognacs, coffees, slices of Apple Cobbler, Warm Chocolate Tart and a Pecan Pie. Our polite waiter never made us feel rushed even as we sat down alone in the entire restaurant. Bazin’s has a strong gravitational pull in the center of Church Street and Vienna is better for it.
written by Murat , July 08, 2009