Clifton / Modern American / $$$
Many restaurants have an identity so strong that a new chef does little to transform it. One might have thought that Trummer’s, with its seasonal, Austrian-inflected cuisine, was one of those. That is, until Daniel Perron made a triumphant return to the kitchen late last year.
Perron first worked at the Clifton restaurant a decade before, as chef de partie. In between, he earned serious cred, garnering Michelin recognition and rave reviews from critics at the DC restaurants where he cooked. Back at Trummer’s, the Woodbridge resident is bringing touches of his Korean heritage to the locally sourced fare.
One example is a pork loin from the Shenandoah Valley’s Autumn Olive Farms. It’s prepared with a spicy-sweet strawberry gochujang, Perron’s take on Korea’s famous hot sauce. Served with chicharrones from the same pig, it gets a wholesome appeal courtesy of purple Okinawan sweet potato, tangy Japanese-style yuzu kosho, and bok choy. Another highlight is braised short ribs in a Korean barbecue–inflected sauce, served over creamy polenta di riso.
Not everything is explicitly Asian. A fried pork terrine is Perron’s own; a fritter served in smoky broth and sweetened with lingonberries is a subtle nod to owner Stefan Trummer’s European heritage. But there is no question that the cuisine is all Perron.
See this: A beachy vibe pervades the all-white dining space upstairs, in part thanks to the oversized woven ceiling fans. Settle in for pub fare at the cozy downstairs bar.
Eat this: Crispy pork trotter and head terrine, Korean barbecue braised short ribs, Peaches & Cream
Service: Reliably friendly—even if you’re not a regular, they’ll remember your face.
When to dine here: A celebratory night that doesn’t require a jacket and tie but merits them nonetheless.