Since its creation during the early Ming Dynasty in 1369 at Emperor Hongwu's temple in Nanjing, no chicken salad - Chinese, Caesar or not - has ever been awarded what is considered to be the "Supreme Royale Accolade". Until now.
Just moments ago , in the Georgetown sector of Washington, D.C., a chicken salad was awarded an unheard of ( for a salad) "5 Nods" from Nancy Silverton, the creator of the now-worldwide used Nodding System. (* For more on the system see below..
Silverton, in a classic act of serendipity, stumbled on The Grill Room, located in the Capella Hotel, an hour ago after being revolted by the two M Street lunch places suggested by this reporter. She turned off of M Street and down 31st Street near a canal and found The Grill Room.
Immediately, she knew she was in the right place when she spotted Larry Stone , one of America's most renowned sommeliers, hosting a wine lunch Passing on invite to join that lengthy lunch, Silverton opted for a seat at an outside table along the canal and perused the menu by chef Frank Ruta, a former White House executive sous chef who cooked for Carter, Reagan and the first Bush, (who, looking back, seems like a titan compared to the second one.)
She ordered the chicken salad and a glass of Tempranillo. "Whenever I go to restaurant I don't know, especially at a hotel, I play it safe and go directly to a chicken Caesar," said Silverton. "How bad can it be? Though, I'll say, I've had some awful, dried-out, over-dressed versions. But, still, it is my hotel restaurant 'go to' order."
This is how it is described on the menu. Grilled Chicken Breast “Caesar” -Romaine wedge, crispy fried lemons and capers, reggiano cheese crostini. $20.
Silverton was taken aback by the chicken salad. "It was outstanding. The chicken was plump and juicy and probably had been in a flavorful brine. The romaine was perfectly dressed The fried capers and lemons excellent."
Silverton was so impressed she issued the following press release
"Since eating that salad, I have changed my mind and I'll be voting for Frank Ruta for president and hoping he selects Hillary to be his VP," said Silverton "I'm sure he's a better cook than her."
Here's is the Washington Post review of the Grill by Tom Sietsema https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/food/the-grill-room-review-a-new-reason-to-go-thanks-to-frank-ruta-and-co/2015/04/21/d9f420a2-db07-11e4-ba28-f2a685dc7f89_story.html
* The Nancy Nod was created in the mid 2010s to counter the overuse - and hence watering-down - of superlatives. By "Nodding" instead of talking, Silverton - and now billions of others - express their satisfaction. A single nod is a polite gesture that acknowledges food is consumed and the eater is grateful for being nourished and kept from hunger. . Above one nod, indicates a level of satisfaction up until a redline of Five Nods. .(WARNING Above five nods could indicate an actual "nodding" is occurring and precautions should be taken to avoid said person from falling over )
A gelato was the first-ever food to be awarded Five Nods. See this story.
The sesame loaf at Tartine Bakery in San Francisco once received Five Nods. See here.
In addition, the 2015 McLaren P1, the 2015 LaFerrari, and the Krikorian Writes website have all been awarded Five Nods
Editors NOTE - For the record, Somm Stone gave Silverton a second - and free - glass of red wine from Quintessa, one of the properties he manages on the Silverado Trail in Napa Valley. The wine had no affect on the 5 Nod rating.