Thursday, March 7, 2013

Dining on the Cutting-edge - Daniel Singhofen’s Eola in Washington DC, USA

Pictures: Christian G.E. Schiller and Chef Daniel Singhofen at Eola

When President Obama was elected for the second time as President of the United States of America, Todd Kliman from the monthly “Washingtonian” wrote a piece entitled “Where Barack Obama Should Eat Out During His Second Term”. One of the recommendations was Eola:

“You and Michelle have done well in this category, having already logged meals at Citronelle (now temporarily closed), Tosca, Vermilion, and Komi. The next restaurants on your list should be two Dupont Circle-area gems: Eola and Little Serow. Both are independently owned, with kitchens that are—to put it in political terms—rigorously “on message.” Eola serves a rustic version of contemporary American cooking in a charming rowhouse; Little Serow (from Komi chef Johnny Monis) is a spicy and thrilling tour of northern Thailand.”

Annette Schiller from Ombiasy PR and Wine Tours selected Eola for a winemaker dinner with Co-owner Anne Cuvelier, Château Léoville Poyferré on May 1, 2013 and we went there for discussing the winemaker dinner with Daniel Singhofen and Sommelier Darlin Kulla, and had dinner ourselves, with our friend Gunther.

Picture: Annette Schiller from Ombiasy PR and Wine Tours and Chef Daniel Singhofen at Eola

Château Léoville Poyferré in St.Julien, Boredaux, is a 2ième grand cru classé; the 2010 grand vin just got 98+ points by Robert Parker. The wine searcher average price is currently 155US$ per bottle.

Picture: Annette Schiller, Didier Cuvelier and Christian Schiller at Château Léoville Poyferré in St.Julien, Boredaux

See more:
Ombiasy Wine Tours: Bordeaux Trip Coming up in September 2013
Lunch with Didier Cuvelier at Château Léoville-Poyferré in Saint-Julien, Bordeaux


In a nutshell, at Eola expect to spend the evening dining on the cutting-edge at an innovative New American restaurant, where a $75 five-course prix fixe menu (no à la carte) is served at a leisurely pace in a quiet townhouse with beautiful aged wooden floors and sparsely decorated with exposed bricks and ochre walls.

Pictures: Eola

Restaurants such Eola—intimate, personal spaces with driven and visionary chefs—are the exception in the United States, not the norm. Komi and Obelisk in Washington DC also belong to this group of restaurants.

Daniel Singhofen

Daniel Singhofen came to Washington DC by way of Orlando, his hometown, where he cooked at a couple of well-regarded restaurants before turning in his apron to follow his fiancée, an employee of the World Bank, north in 2007.

He trained at the Culinary Institute of America and was the sous chef for Kevin Fonzo at K restaurant in College Park, before opening Eola. Eola is owned by him and his parents.

The Place

Eola is simple and pleasant. The first-floor dining room is a relatively narrow exposed-brick affair with a yellow back wall. The kitchen, seen through an open window, adds a low hum to the room. Bare wood tables, simple candles, a wood floor of some vintage and a wall of exposed brick make it a warm and friendly place.

Eola’s Menu

Eola’s menu changes nightly and offers 5 prix fixe options: the main menu with 3 options, a vegetarian option and one of offal offerings. Gunther and Christian went for the regular menu, while Annette picked the offal offerings.

As for the offal menu, Daniel Singhofen said he didn’t create his menu to shock his guests. Rather, he is demonstrating his respect for ingredients. “If we’re responsible for taking life, then we need to be responsible with what we do with that animal,” Daniel Singhofen said. “We try to use as much as we can, as often as we can, and not waste anything.”

More generally, Daniel Singhofen said that he works to create a symbiotic relationship between the chef and his purveyors, like David Ober of West Virginia’s Cedarbrook Farms, who provides Eola with all things swine.

Turning to the wines, we picked the US$ 45 wine menu and did not bother to check the excellent wine card.

Our Selections

The Chef’s Welcome, a selection of small plates

We started with 4 amuse bouche:

Potato Roesti

Arctic Char

Duck Rilette

Deviled Quail Eggs

Wine: Naveran Cava Brut 2010

First Course


Coddled Amish Egg, spinach, leek, gaunciale bits, sunchoke puree, crab froth

Castellar Rose Cava


Corona Bean and Rosemary Stew, parmesan, turnip, rutabaga, salsify, spinach

Mueller-Catoir Riesling 2011


Confit of Gizzard and Heart, grits, mushroom, baby carrots, apple

Solluna Priorat 2006

Second Course


Saffron Risotto, mussels, clams, crab, parmesan

Columna Albarino 2011


Hand Cut Fettuccine, fennel sausage, ragout, chard, parmesan

Mauro Molino Nebbiolo, 2010

Annette: Fettuccine, cured pig liver, coddled egg

Mauro Molino Nebbiolo, 2010

Third Course


Cobia, lentils, root vegetables, blood orange, parsley root cream

Lioco Chardonnay 2010


Shenandoah Beef Loin, potato, wilted greens, jus

Chateau La Chapelle 2009


Pork Jowl Confit, lentils, kale, radish, carrot and mustard jus

Vincent Girardin Bourgogne 2009


We all went for the same:

Meyer Lemon Pudding, ginger anglaise, candied citrus

Kracher Beerenauslese 2008

Cheese Plate

We skipped the Artisan Cheese plate for US$ 15

Cookie Plate

A cookie plate full of choices like a crunchy chocolate hazelnut biscotti, a duo of soft brownie cubes, a bittersweet chocolate chunk cookie and a pair of ginger infused molasses drops was a comforting swansong.

schiller-wine: Related Postings 

Lunch with Didier Cuvelier at Château Léoville-Poyferré in Saint-Julien, Bordeaux 

Ombiasy Wine Tours: Bordeaux Trip Coming up in September 2013 

Bordeaux Trip September 2012, France

Bordeaux Wines and their Classifications: The Basics

An Afternoon with Owner Michel Tesseron at Château Lafon-Rochet, 4ème Cru Classé en 1855, in Saint-Estèphe, Bordeaux

Château Léoville-Poyferré, Chateau Le Crock, Didier Cuvelier in Bordeaux and the Cuvelier Los Andes Wines in Argentina

Tasting with Alfred Tesseron the last 10 Vintages of Château Pontet-Canet in Washington DC, USA/France

Union des Grands Crus de Bordeaux (UGCB) on North America Tour in Washington DC - Schiller’s Favorites

Owner Jean-Bernard Grenié and Wine Journalist Panos Kakaviatos Presented the Wines of Chateau Angélus and Chateau Daugay at Black Salt Restaurant in Washington DC, USA 

In the Kitchen: Chef Javier Romero at Taberna del Alabardero in Washington DC, USA

Alejandro Luna Beberide from Bodegas y Vinedos Luna Beberide in Spain at the Taberna del Alabardero in Washington DC

Bodegas Marqués de Murrieta Winemaker Dinner at Taberna del Alabardero in Washington DC, USA/Spain


  1. Join us for the winemaker dinner with Chateau Leoville Poyferre owner Anne Cuvelier on May 1.