Magdalena is in Mt. Vernon’s Relais & Chateaux Ivy Hotel and run by Chef Scott Bacon. Closed for about 7 months during Covid the historic mansion did a major re-design to the restaurant. Now it is labeled as a Maryland Bistro rather than the former fine dining concept. The color tones of all 4 of the dining rooms now are similar and there is a more variation in the cost. Patio dining is available and one of the rooms is in the wine cellar. Exposed brick walls have some display cabinets of historic objects and rugs to fit each room are on the floor. Music is in the background and well spaced small tables are now marble topped yet still set with nice white cloth napkins. The lighting was fairly bright but pleasant and staff were knowledgable about the menu. Valet parking is available and there were a few specials offered that evening. It was good.
Fried oysters with pickled cucumber and dill mayo was a nightly special. It was great. The lightly coated small oysters were excellent and light. The cucumber shreds were very flavorful and tasty on their own. The mayo was good with the oysters but they were wonderful on their own.
Mushroom Tartine was sweet onion, ramp tops, Farmers cheese and mustard greens on house made bread. It was a large and heavy appetizer. The thick piece of bread had been griddle toasted and then covered with the creamy cheesy sauce full of mushrooms. It was good.
Duck for Two included dry aged duck breast, confit nuggets, sunny egg, country duck ham, bitter greens, blueberry mostarda, ramp cornbread and butter. There were 2 pieces of duck breast that were nicely cooked, but much of the fat had not been rendered. The leg meat was confit style in a breaded round topped with the egg. Inside it was good but there was too much coating on this one. The greens were lightly dressed and had the delicious duck ham in with them. The cornbread was in a small round cut into 4 tasty wedges. On a side plate was the ramp butter, blueberry mostarda and pickled vegetables. The butter was good with the cornbread but it was also good plain. The blueberry sauce was wonderful with the duck slice and confit. The pickled vegetables were tart, crisp and included some young ramps. It was plenty for 2 and good.
We ordered a side of House Cut Fries which were totally crisp and tasty. Lots of potato remained in the small cut skin-on fries. They were a nice compliment to the duck plate.
Almond Cake was with apple and fig, fruit caramel, compressed apple and goat cheese ice was served hot in a small baking dish. The ice cream was a good fit with all the fruit in the fun, tasty cake. The fruit was perfectly cooked and enhanced with cinnamon and ginger, that I could detect. It was a really nice cake and perfect to split for 2.