Remember Halloween in grade school, when peeled grapes doubled as eyeballs and cooked spaghetti became varicose veins? For the average seven-year-old, it was creepy. But no matter what age you are, it’s not so appetizing. 1789 Restaurant chef Nathan Beauchamp has played with the idea of freaky foods—but in more appealing versions—for the Georgetown dining room's special Halloween tasting menu. Because Halloween night is a typically slow shift, Beauchamp is serving some Fear Factor-type foods bizarre enough to make a “This one time I ate . . .” list. Though he had professed to keep the five-course menu a secret, we twisted his arm for details.
Similar to borscht, his gory-red Bulls’ Blood Beet Soup is made with its namesake—heirloom beets actually called Bulls’ Blood—and served with crispy frog legs. Apparently the amphibians, which he picked up at an Asian market in Northern Virginia, pair quite nicely with the earthy root vegetable. Then he’ll match beef tripe with pumpkin and roasted pears. In the sweets department, Beauchamp will use a melon baller to cut up Gala apples, then dunk them in hot caramel. He’ll pierce them with a skewer for a shish-kebab look.
Beauchamp wouldn’t reveal much else, but he insinuated he’d do a chocolate dish with something orange to pay respect to the holiday’s colors. The rest remains a surprise, so diners will have to share dietary restrictions with 1789 staffers. (Allergic reactions are not the kind of scariness the restaurant is going for.) Or, if you’re feeling less daredevil, you can order off the regular menu.
1789 Restaurant, 1226 36th St., NW (conveniently, it’s right across from the steps made famous in The Exorcist); 202-965-1789; 1789restaurant.com. The $45 five-course Halloween tasting menu will be served October 30 and 31.