Today ends the one-year run of Jose Andres' patriotic pop-up America Eats Tavern. DC celebrants, be advised: this is the perfect place to take shelter from the heat on the Mall and revel in gourmet Americana. The concept behind America Eats Tavern is a marriage of history and food: tasting menus are named for legendary American cookbook authors, and a la carte items are accompanied by historical tidbits and citations to antique recipes. Chef Andres combines these recipes and research from the National Archives with his famous culinary innovation, creating a dining experience fit for a celebration.
While dazzlingly informative from a historical standpoint, the menu offers virtually no description of the food at America Eats. Be adventurous; you are in capable hands. If you must know what you're getting into, the wait staff is friendly and eager to wax poetic about Chef Andres' technique. As one might expect, small plates are best here; highlights of the menu include hush puppies, butter oysters, and buffalo wings. Remember to expect dressed-up and slightly unfamiliar versions of these classic snacks, and of anything else that you order at America Eats Tavern. If you dare, try vermicelli prepared like pudding (a predecessor of macaroni and cheese) or a peanut butter and jelly sandwich with foie gras. And if you believe that cuisine reflects culture, don't miss the chance to celebrate Independence Day with a tasting tour of U.S. history at America Eats Tavern.