A couple years ago, I discovered The Little Fountain Cafe in the WashingtonPost.com's entertainment guide. I was looking for a small, romantic place to take my wife for her birthday and everyone that had who posted a review had given it very positive ratings. Here is another one.
When I tell people about Little Fountain, they rarely know what I am talking about. In fact, I was able to call at 6 and get a reservation for 8:30 PM the same day. I definitely recommend making a reservation because when we arrived, the place was full.
Once you come across The Little Fountain Cafe, it is easy to figure out why you've never noticed it. It's located in an English basement with only a small neon sign above it to let you know there is a restaurant there. As you walk down the stairs, there's a single outside table on the left before the entrance. Go in the door and the hostess area can fit two people at the most. There are probably 16 tables in the entire place. It's quiet, which is a good thing - Its the perfect place for a quiet, romantic dinner for two.
Now before you go thinking I've gotten soft in my middle 20's, let me just say that normally I could care less about ambiance and the little fru fru crap. The only things I care about are food and service, but on a special occasion like my wife's birthday, these things become important.
The chefs at Little Fountain Cafe here definitley have a European influence in their cooking. You see plenty of cheeses, fruits and sweets mixed with bitters. The every ingredient to each dish always has a purpose, right down to the garnish. The flavors of each are meant to compliment each other. Ingredients change to what is in season.
The wine list is very reasonable. There are wines that range from $20 to...well, more than I'd ever spend on a bottle of wine. We ordered a Louis Latour Chablis that was $28.
For starters there is a salad with dates, walnuts, gorgonzola and a light vinagrette - both times we have been here I have ordered this. When we went the other night, my wife had a Cream of Spinach with Artichoke soup that was delicious. All the appetizers are just the right size, none are a meal in themselves. I hate it when a restaurant will serve an appetizer that ruins the entree because you are too full to eat it.
As I stated earlier, the flavors in the entrees are all carefully planned. If you eat the ingredients together, the dishes will taste much better. It kind of kills the idea of having all the food on you plate separated. Last Saturday, the special sounded so good both my wife and I ordered it. It was Chicken Saltimboca with a side of orzo and rapini. We both enjoyed it very much. Other times, we have ordered the Pork Loin and Beef Tenderloin which were both great.
The dessert selection at Little Fountain is another highlight, so make sure you save room. They are not your everyday desserts. Selections range from a chocolate chip bread pudding to a apple cranberry torte. I had the apple cranberry torte - I think Homer Simpson put it best when he said, "aahhgggllllll."
Our average bill including tip has been about $100 which I find incredibly reasonable considering the quality of food and service.
The Little Fountain Cafe
2339 18th St. NW