Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Serbian Crown Restaurant

One day I was having a random discussion with my coworker about our past food experiences when the question of the most bizarre meal that we have ever had came up. I answered with what I believe to be the most unique meal I have had to date which was blowfish. The answer he gave immediately shocked when he told me and is the basis of this post. He told me that he had eaten Lion.

My first question was lion? Like Simba from the Lion King? he promptly replied, yes a Lion. I was in an utter state of shock and disbelief. My next question was where and when. He said that he went a couple years ago to a restaurant called Serbian Crown in Great Falls Virginia.

(Photo brought to you by Yelp)

I immediately began to research this establishment to see if they still served this meal. I was delighted to discover that they still serve lion and that it was not too far away. I informed a good friend of mine of this discovery and he greeted me the same enthusiasm I had. We set out on our journey to sample what has to be one of the rarest dishes on the planet.

The drive took us no more than 30 minutes to rural Virginia. The night was dark and soundless, at first we thought that our GPS failed us as it looked like we were in the middle of the forrest. The quaint and quite neighborhood permeated an Erie feeling within me.

(Oysters Moscow Style)

We walked through a mostly empty piano bar littered only with people above the age of 50. Our server then began to explain the origins and background of the restaurant. He indicated that it served traditional Russian cuisine with a hint of French culinary methods. We quickly scanned the menu even though we knew precisely what we wanted.

We fist decided to order Oysters 'Moscow Style' which are raw oysters topped with sour cream and red caviar. We also ordered a couple of martinis the most notable being a spicy martini that had pepper vodka. Our oysters which cost $15 were both interesting and delightful. I was surprised mainly because I did not know how well seafood and dairy would mesh but it was surprisingly good.

(Scaloppini of Lion)

We were then greeted by the arrival of the main attraction. We both waited in heated anticipation of what was sure to be a culinary experience the likes of which most people have never experienced. To this point I have yet to fully describe the taste because it is so unique. The meat had the consistency of of steak but did not have a similar taste. The sauce that accompanied it was very tasty and complimented the savoriness of the meat.

I made sure to slowly enjoy each piece because this may be the only time I was going to have it. The dish turned out to be a great success and the experience will be forever embedded in mind.

Aside from Lion the Serbian Crown also offers a number of odd dining options including Emu, Wild Boar and Antelope. If unique animals don't float your boat they also offer a number of traditional Russian dishes, a small selection of exclusive caviar and some French dishes and desserts.

The food was delightful, the service was nice, the drinks were solid and the price tag was reasonable. Aside from the location, decor and the age group of the patrons all of which gave me the creeps this was one of the best dining experiences of my life.

But looking back I would rather have those impediments, the mystique behind their restaurant goes well with the unique dishes they have to offer. So if you want to eat a Lion with your friends give this place a shot, it is a seasonal dish (winter for the Lion) so you have to ask in advance if they have it.

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