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Posted at 1:19 PM ET, 07/ 6/2009

Coming to Clifton: Trummer's on Main

By Tom Sietsema




Chef Clay Miller (left) with owners Victoria and Stefan Trummer at their new restaurant in Clifton. (Bronwyn Jimenez)

After a $2 million makeover, the former Hermitage Inn in Clifton will reopen on July 13 as Trummer's on Main. The modern American replacement in the 19th-century building was conceived by former New Yorkers Stefan and Victoria Trummer, who chose Victoria's hometown rather than Manhattan to open a restaurant of their own.

The first floor of Trummer's on Main features a bar and lounge and room for the restaurant's 8,000 or so bottles of wine. Go one flight up for the kitchen and two dining rooms: the Loft, with seating for 45 patrons, and the larger, glass-enclosed Winter Garden, which Stefan Trummer describes as resembling "a big greenhouse." The top floor, the Gallery, will serve art instead of food: it's designed to be a showcase for local artists to display and sell their work.

The couple hired Clay Miller to head up the kitchen staff of about 15 cooks. The 38-year-old chef comes to the area from Norman's (as in Norman Van Aken) at the Ritz-Carlton Orlando, where he spent the past five years. He's also worked (though in lesser positions) at the French Laundry in Napa Valley and for the esteemed chef Joel Antunes at The Dining Room at the Ritz-Carlton Atlanta.

Miller's modern American menu is short and intriguing, with entrees priced from $18 to $32. In a telephone interview, the chef sounded especially proud of an appetizer he refers to as "vanilla belly," pork brisket marinated in Asian aromatics and injected with vanilla paste. The dish is set off with spinach puree, batons of pickled rhubarb and a dollop of grenadine-spiked Chantilly cream atop the pork.

Miller will be supported by pastry chef Chris Ford, late of the whimsical ChikaLicious Dessert Bar in Manhattan.

Stefan Trummer, perhaps best known as a mixologist in New York, plans to put his stamp on the liquid side of Trummer's. The showiest cocktail may be his swirl of grape vodka, muddled grapes, elderflower liqueur, verjus and champagne dressed up with champagne sorbet. He's calling the $13 libation "the Titanic."

-- Tom Sietsema

By Tom Sietsema  | July 6, 2009; 1:19 PM ET
Categories:  Restaurants  | Tags:  Tom Sietsema  
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Comments

I wonder if they did any market research before embarking on their grandiose plan. They were supposed to open last Nov but they didn't do their due diligence on the building so they had to spend a lot more money on renovations. Clifton is not accessible to public transportation and FCPD can easily set up sobriety check points. And is there really a market for a NYC mixologist and organic cocktails in this area of Fairfax County in today's economy? Sorry the pork dish with pickled rhubarb doesn't excite me. Did the chef research his market before coming up with his menu? And yeah I know the neighborhood, the area and the demographics. Clifton is not Mclean or Great Falls or DC! I was exploring Clifton in 972 when it was inhabited by motorcycle gangs!

Bet the place is failure like Alto Plaza in Centerville. Shame the location has a lot of potential but these fools from NYC dont' have a clue.

Hey Tom do you always believe the line from the restaurant publicists?

Posted by: sheepherder | July 7, 2009 8:32 PM | Report abuse

@sheepherder

Good gracious, buddy. You'll have my permission to call them fools once you meet the restaurateurs, eat the food, sip the drinks, and enjoy an evening.

I went this week and the tortellini literally took my breath away. Bravo.

Posted by: justicio | July 9, 2009 3:07 PM | Report abuse

Hey justico what day did you go? I must have missed you on Tuesday!

Posted by: omarthetentmaker | July 9, 2009 4:49 PM | Report abuse

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