If for no other reason, our final five minutes of the evening were enough to guarantee that we will make a return visit to Sidra Forman’s. Candles had gutted, well-used wine glasses scattered the table, and everyone had abandoned their original seats at the table to form intimate clusters of conversation around the room. We bid goodbye to our dinner companions with warm clasps of the hand, kisses on the cheek, and affectionate hugs. Sidra and her daughter ushered us into the balmy night with parting gifts of rustic bouquets of roses, peonies, and hydrangeas and mini loaves of bread still warm from the oven. Flowers in hand, making our way back home, we felt as if we’d just departed a dinner party full of old friends rather than simply closing out a night of fine dining.
In the ever – and rapidly – changing neighborhood of Shaw, Sidra, with her family and friends, hosts an at-home restaurant. Beyond the dark door of their row house, Sidra and company beckon you in with the warm glow of candles, an array of carefully selected wine, a crafted specialty cocktail, and the promise of a dinner cooked simply, deliciously, and with the freshest ingredients. As we stood in the garden getting to know our cohorts for the evening, we were surrounded by rows of herbs and vegetables that would shortly grace the table. With the fiery grill just a few feet a way, a view of the action in the kitchen, and passed hors d’oeurves making their way through the crowd, the only thing that could have improved the cocktail hour would have been if we’d snagged the spot on the hammock tucked into the corner of the patio. It must have been a delightful perch, as the couple tucked into it could not be tempted to abandon it, regardless of inducement.