8407 Kitchen Bar, Tom's new work on our Rancilio Silvia

Last night we ate at 8407 Kitchen Bar in Silver Spring. Great friends, good ambiance, very solid food, friendly and good service. I tried the Trebbiano d'Abbruzzo which was a lovely, easy-to-drink, minerally white, T an Ommegang dubbel beer, S a Tavel Rose' which neither of us loved, and B a Malbec that he liked quite a bit. To start, I ordered the potato croquettes which were phenom: non-greasy, fried balls of potato, smoked gouda, bacon and shitakes. Tom had the duck prosciutto, arugula and apple salad, S the salmon tartare on wakame, and B the beets, chevre and pistachio salad. Everyone enjoyed the apps! My primary disappointments were: the bread which was cold and a bit dry, and the flatbread and olives which were way too salty (flatbread was like saltbread) and a bit underwhelming in the sense that the olives looked like they came from a generic jar.

For the main course, I ordered the crab cake on a corn and pea "stew" of sorts, T the Cuban pork sandwich with chimichurri, S the pesto-crusted halibut on a summer squash caponata with shrimp butter, and B the scallops with jerusalem artichokes, sugar snap peas, toasted hazelnuts and blood orange beurre blanc. I thought mine could have been seasoned a bit more assertively, but overall, things were good, and I would definitely return. Upon leaving, S and I saw jars and jars of various pickled items. She had just been telling me about the fiddlehead ferns she had and wanted to pickle. Lo and behold, pickled fiddlehead ferns at 8407. I asked if we might taste one or two, and initially the answer was a kind no because then they'd have to be refrigerated. I get it. Who wants to open a giant jar of a canned item if you're not ready? Anyway, I inquired about the brine, and when the guy returned, he not only told us what comprised the brine but had gained permission to open this jar and let us taste! So nice!!!! We thought their brine was a tad too sweet, but don't tell. ~~~ Now, on another note, I think I've mentioned Tom's desire to be a serious barista and master latte art. The very first gift he gave me, nearly 9 years ago, was a fantastic espresso machine, the Rancilio Silvia. Two days ago, and following huge amounts of research and deliberation, he installed a pressure gauge in its hull, to better reach and maintain the 9 bars of pressure that makes an optimal espresso (this is what I'm told, people). The gauge is a handsome addition, and T's latte art was lovely this morning.