Welcome to the amazing and unconventional world of Michelin star winner – Unconventional Diner! Located right by DC’s Convention Center in Shaw, the Unconventional Diner comes from the mind of Chef David Deshaies, who worked under a celebrity Chef Michel Richard for 17 years. Now, he’s taking the city by storm with his new take on diners. True to its name, everything here is unconventional and amazing. From starters to entrees and on to desserts, all of the dishes are prepared with perfection. Their sharable dishes were so good that we could eat them alone and be satisfied. Luckily the place was not crazy packed, and we were able to get a reservation pretty easily on the same day. One big tip, however – make sure that everyone in your party arrives on time as they will not sit you until the entire party is there. You can bet that we will return and update this review with more dishes.
Avocado Toast $13 (5/5 NOMs)
We started our unconventional nomnoms with the beautiful sharable dish, Avocado Toast. True to the restaurant name, they bring this to another level with presentation and taste. Being an egg lover, we fell in love with the confit egg yolk. Cut right through to spread the yolk’s goodness all around. Bite-size bread pieces come on the side for you to prepare your nomnoms, or you can skip the bread altogether. Extra bonuses for this dish are that it’s vegetarian-friendly (unless you count the egg as meat!). Dairy-free and gluten-free bread are available by request. This dish got our expectations very high for the rest of the dinner. Remember, just because you got it from the sharable part of the menu, no one says you have to share it!
Everything Lox $13 (5/5 NOMs)
In life we want everything, and Everything Lox delivers this with one of our favorite dishes of the night. Get ready for a great and unconventional take on the Everything Bagel and Lox. At first sight, you see a nice layered smoked salmon on top of wasabi cream. What you don’t see until you cut through is the poached egg’s yolk goes everywhere. Such a great combination of flavors and textures! The everything bagel is cut up into small bite-size pieces that make it perfect for adding all of the different ingredients. We still can’t get over the egg on the inside. What I love about this restaurant is how they incorporate the egg and its runny yolk into so many things. Honestly, can we marry the chef? We love eggs so much, and he has already won our hearts. We would say this is another dish that you should feel no guilt in if you don’t share and eat the whole thing.
Miso Salmon $22 (5/5 NOMs)
We are going healthy with our first full dish of the night, the Miso Salmon. What a great combination to create a tasty seafood dish! Miso Salmon, zucchini, and pine nuts with a lemon sauce on the side. Both the fish and the veggies are very light in seasoning and profile. Great for those who do not want to fall into a food coma, or enjoyed a few too many appetizers.
Chicken Parm Florentine $23 (4/5 NOMs)
Carbs never tasted better than when in this Chicken Parm Florentine. What not to like? It’s breaded chicken, melted cheese, and pasta all together to create this masterpiece. What makes this special, however, is that the pasta is already rolled into bite-sized portions. A great way to make this easier to eat and ensure you have the right amount of pasta in your bites. We also love that marinara sauce is at the bottom so we can choose the right amount for us. Of course, we love that gruyere cheesy goodness on top of the crispy chicken patty. If you are a fan of chicken parm, then this is for you.
Meatloaf $23 (4/5 NOMs)
Grandma has nothing on this amazing Sriracha glazed Meatloaf from Unconventional Diner. Another beautiful dish, with a nice piece of meat surrounded by some delicious morel (mushroom) gravy. Served with a side of some chunky and gooey mashed potatoes with green onion, the meatloaf itself was smooth and soft. You might have expected it to have a bit of a kick with Sriracha, but it was surprisingly mild. It’s so good that your grandma might just give up cooking it ever again.
Sunny Eggs $9 (5/5 NOMs)
Who knew that eggs and bacon make for both a great breakfast and dessert? Every part of this dessert is made from the sugary sweet things. Yes, this is by far one of the most fun desserts out there. It might look and sound like conventional eggs, but it’s far from it. Let’s breakdown all of the witchcraft going on here; “egg whites” made from coconut mousse, “yolk” made of mango and bacon from some magic sour-like things. Just like all the dishes we’ve had so far, Sunny Eggs has a great presentation. Flavor-wise it was just as good as it looks. Just like real eggs, the mango “yolk” had more flavor compared to the coconut moose, which was smooth and light. It was so much fun to dig into this dish and try everything!
Rhubarb Strawbery Cobbler (3/5 NOMs)
We enjoyed going both warm and cold with a Rhubarb Strawbery Cobbler. While we are not usually big fans of cobblers, it was a great nomnom. Plus, our first who loves them ate the whole thing. So it must have been good!
Smith Island Carrot Cake $9 (4/5 NOMs)
They say eat more veggies, and this is the best way – with a whole lot of cake on it! Look at this multi-level orange beauty. Several layers of creme anglaise, which is French for “English cream.” It’s nice and light, so you won’t feel like you got a sugar overload if you eat the whole thing.
Ferrero Rocher Tart $9 (5/5 NOMs)
The last, but not least, (and may we say best) dessert of the night is the Ferrero Rocher Tart. This dessert is one of their top sellers for a good reason. What’s not to love? With its thick layer of Gianduja chocolate spread (which contains a lot of hazelnut paste), and Nutella with caramel, cream, and nuts.
As you can see, it contains a whole lot of nutty things. This tart is a sugary overload, and we are living for it. Both the texture and sweetness gave us a nomster of happiness with every bite. It’s not the lightest of desserts, so it might be good to share it with a few friends.
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