McLean, VA 22101
Several months ago one of us dined here with a neighbor and had an enjoyable dining experience despite the pricey menu. So, when a Groupon came out for McLean 1910, we jumped at the chance to dine here together and save a few bucks.
Despite the beautiful wooden tabletops, the over-the-top minimalist décor gives this place a sterile feel. The large windows seemed to open up what is a rather a small dining space with a full bar in the back behind the booths. One nice thing about the spacing was that we felt we had some privacy at the booth which we always prefer. In other words, other diners, that were scarce anyhow, were not breathing down our necks.
This mid-to-upscale restaurant was named for the year the municipality of McLean was established by the founder of the Washington Post and its first editor, John R. McLean. For many years, McLean’s Three Pigs barbeque resided in the corner lot in this McLean strip mall laced with nick-knack shops, a lighting store, a Russian store, a pharmacy and a paint store.
Although the menu was rather limited, we appreciated the fact that McLean 1910 serves humanely-raised meats and other sustainable ingredients. The server, Eduardo, helped us to select our food. Our appetizers included a rich Lobster Bisque and the “1910 Salad.” The bisque’s aroma and taste were superb. We had to order a second (or was it the third?) plate of fresh bread to dip into the bisque—a combination that represented the best lobster roll this side of Boston. A signature bread spread on the table was a combination of a green chimichurri sauce and a white bean sauce. Neither of these was particularly tasty, though the presentation had an aesthetic appeal, but the rest of the food more than made up for it.
For our entrees, we ordered the Buccatini pasta and Diver’s Scallops. The homemade pasta was thick long tubes of spaghetti in a rich tomato-based gravy, spinach and pine nuts, as well as two slices of garlic toast. The scallop dish was served with a green-tinted lemon caper sauce. The five scallops sat atop a circular presentation of spinach sauté, tomato, garlic and an abundance of crunchy fennel root (perhaps they can back off on the fennel a bit).
From the bisque to the check, the attentive service, including a visit from the chef, made this an enjoyable dining experience. Though the meal was indeed pricey, the quality of the dining experience was worthwhile. It might be a good venue for small special occasions or special nights out rather than a regular place to visit. It will probably be a while until we return.