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  1. 21 likes
    As a Hong Kong native, I'm pleased to report that dinner at Tiger Fork was a satisfying taste of home for me. The combination of technique and ingredient quality accounts for much of the positive experience. Cantonese food in East Asia (and, for that matter, in Vancouver, Toronto, SF, and NYC) is represented across the full price spectrum. In the DC area, I feel that most Chinese cooking available to us is clustered around a relatively low price point. The Source comes to mind as an exception, but I've always found their interpretations to be too muted in flavor. In interviews, the team behind Tiger Fork talk about research trips to Hong Kong and the menu reads like a collection of their favorite finds. Nothing wrong with that. There's a focus on dai pai dong (street-side food stalls) classics, with some dim sum and HK BBQ thrown in. They really did their homework; I think the flavors and textures are pretty spot-on. Cheung Fun with Shrimp and Flowering Chives and the "Kowloon Buns" showed expert dough technique: chewy but not tough. The cauliflower part of the Chinese Cauliflower dish was unremarkable, but the star was copious stir fried flowering chives which were crisp and fragrant and just the right amount of oily. The BBQ Plate of pork belly, char siu (why do so many restaurants, including this one, spell it "char sui" on their menus?), and soya chicken showed textbook preparation, but was elevated by use of high quality cuts. Minor nit: the char siu marinade tastes exactly like the jar of Lee Kum Kee I have in my fridge right now. I'll give them the benefit of the doubt that they happened to have perfectly reverse-engineered it for their house-made version! We didn't try any of the (heavily hyped) baijiu cocktails, but the Hong Kong Milk Tea was good: properly strong and not too sweet. We wanted to try the Coconut Rice Cakes for dessert, but they were already sold out at 7pm. The HK Style Egg Tart is, according to the Washingtonian piece on the restaurant, out-sourced to Maria's of Rockville. It's not a great egg tart. (Tiger Fork: if you're reading this, please in-house the next version. I suggest studying the Portuguese egg tart from Fat Rice in Chicago.) Front of house was run perfectly--there were no signs that it was opening week. By the time we left, the bar and dining room were packed. This is a great addition to the local scene and I'm looking forward to trying more of the menu (especially the announced dim sum brunch expansion).
  2. 9 likes
    I didn't succeed in memorizing any one dish from our meal last night, but the science project/"playing with fire" dish this time was a creative cheese toast--"Warm Grayson and Purple Sweet Potato Brioche." The person presenting this melted the Grayson cheese on a thin rectangular hot plate over a bed of coals that had been ignited with Everclear. (I think there might have been another ingredient or two mixed in with the fiery coals, but I don't recall what.) He then scraped the toasty melty cheese onto small rectangles of purple sweet potato brioche. I could definitely have eaten more than one of these. This course was one of the highlights of the evening for me. This was probably my favorite of the bread-type products offered, with the airy cloud of a popover with mushroom sauce that came with the DC Steakhouse course a close second. Bread is one of the things Aaron Silverman and his crew(s) do superbly and I always look forward to seeing what they're experimenting with at any given time. They also did a Perigord Black Truffle Hoecake as one of the initial three snacks that I felt like I should like more than I did. The hoecake was a nice bite, but maybe there was just too much going on in this. Ironically, I found the official "bread course" the least exciting of the breads ("Oaxacan White Mole with Fresh Tortillas"), The mole gave off a slow burn and was flavorful in and of itself, and the corn tortillas were well made, but I found this somewhat disappointing. Maybe I would have evaluated it differently if it hadn't been presented as the bread course. Another oddity: the only part of the DC Steakhouse course I was underwhelmed by was the actual steak. The sauces (béarnaise and peppercorn) that came with it were delightful. I loved the creamed parsley as a take on creamed spinach. And the 50 layer potato cube was inventive and a perfect whimsical (and workmanlike) little package. The two slices of steak (from different cuts, I believe a server told people next to us) was presented as from a "retired dairy cow." Given the toughness of the steak, I won't dispute that description. My husband disliked it more than I did, but this was hard to cut with a knife. My favorite of the sweet courses was the Tangerine and Hibiscus Soda. I think this may have been presented as a palate cleanser but I'd love this straight up as a dessert on its own merit. The frozen tangerine had been halved, and the bottom half was filled with tangerine granita and a little scoop of lemon yogurt sorbet. For serving, hibiscus soda was poured over the frozen confections. My least favorite of all the courses was the Smoked Sturgeon, Alliums, and Beets. I found this way too salty and my husband finished my portion. I suppose I could have noted a preference beforehand of not wanting extremely salty foods, but that can be a subjective judgment, and I don't want to miss out on a great dish by being too cautious in advance. Honorable (or dis-) mention in this category: the Long Life Udon with Jonah Crab. I had a hard time managing the long doughy strand of Udon and found this awkward to eat. That issue kind of overpowered any other reaction to the components of the dish. My husband had a similar reaction. I believe the only course that was the same as the last time we ate here 6 months previously was the Fennel Absinthe Bonbon, which offers a distinctive welcome to the meal, a precursor of the creativity to come. Perhaps this is the sausage lychee salad of P + P? For the welcome drink, there was a choice of a manhattan and a tequila drink (which may have been the same tequila cocktail on the pairings menu). I'm not much of a cocktail drinker, but that manhattan knocked my socks off. Bourbon and two kinds of amaro is all I remember. Perhaps I should have asked for a full-size one to drink with the meal. Having done the a la carte beverage option at the bar, I ordered one glass of wine. It was a sparkling wine that I have no record of. I had a taste of it before ordering it and found it had an intriguing sourness to it. After about half a glass I was less enamored of it. I loved that manhattan, though. Other people around us were getting the drink pairings and some of the glassware used was wild, including rocks glasses that seem to defy some law of gravity. The experience seemed a little more informal than the last time. We were the most dressed up people I saw and we weren't super dressed up. People got a little more dolled up the last time we were here and that was in the middle of the summer. One other thing that struck me was that there was an upsell starting out. We were asked if we wanted a fourth "snack" course. After a description of an interesting sounding potato ice cream sandwich, we were told it would be $40. We declined.
  3. 7 likes
    I know I've been MIA for a while, and offer my apologies for being an under-performing member of our community. Let me earn a bit of redemption by letting you all in on a little secret hide-away all the way up in Monrovia Maryland. Wilcom's Inn is a refurbishment of the old dragway bar that sat at the crossroads of Routes 80 and 75. The building has been divided into a sports bar with full kitchen service and a white tablecloth steakhouse with Peruvian flair. L'Academie de Cuisine-trained Chef Mark Fuster has built his menu around steak house staples such as cowboy cut rib eye, NY strip and crab cakes. The real genius of the menu lies in the Peruvian inspired dishes such as LOMO - a very savory stir-fry of filet mignon; empanadas, ceviche and tacos. Wilcom's Inn also offers a bottomless brunch both Saturday and Sunday for $30 that includes tasting sized portions of many of the diner menu options. Mimosas are $7 with 50 cent refills and Bloodies are $10 with $1 refills. If you're a late riser, brunch is served until 4pm! The pot of gold at the end of this particular rainbow is Wilcom's wine list. Curated by the man behind Gaithersburg's former Rico Y Rico, this list is comprised of 90+ rated bottles offered at extremely reasonable prices. Find a new wine you love? Wilcom's has a "carry out" license that permits you to purchase their wines at retail (not menu) prices to take home with you. Hubby and I double dated with friends from Westminster last weekend. We managed to try three different appetizers and four different entrees. Everything was very well received. My friend's LOMO narrowly edged out my scallops (a special) for best dish on the table. Our server, Dani, was friendly, attentive and knowledgeable about the menu. She had great recommendations. It's small, it's a bit loud, and the parking lot is filled with jacked-up pick up trucks. All this is superfluous. Great food, great wine and great service are waiting for you in this dusty corner of Frederick County.
  4. 7 likes
    In my opinion, Pinea remains an under-the-radar gem. The cooking is excellent, the wine list is solid with many reasonably-priced options, and the space is grand, but not stuffy. A recent meal started with the octopus with pork belly and beans. An interesting and tasty combination. Lobster/saffron risotto was decadent, but not cloying. My friend and I split a serving, but even at (roughly) half it was substantial and could have been a main course. We finished with the duck breast. It was tender, and the chef let the rich flavor of the meat shine through with a light touch. The duck was balanced with chard and pureed chestnuts. It was a delightful winter's night, hearty meal. The location is a little out of the way from the Metro, which may explain why it does not get the same attention. But going back to the Mendocino Grill days, Koslow's cooking has justified walking a few extra blocks.
  5. 7 likes
    Do you want to try it straight or in a dish? For the former, any high-quality sushi restaurant will have it (I'd recommend going with nigiri over sashimi if you have both options, as the soft texture and rich flavor are balanced by the rice). Sushi Ogawa had Maine, California, and Japanese uni on a visit a few months ago, which would be a good way to side-by-side the geographical differences (I tend to prefer California uni to Maine, as I find it sweeter/creamier.) To try it as part of a composed dish, you're likely going for Japanese or Italian. Izakaya Seki's uni with quail is an unctuous delight. Himitsu has it atop chawanmushi (which I haven't tried, but sounds delicious, and they're good at pretty much everything) or as nigiri/sashimi. Morini's bucatini has uni, crab, and tomato and has been very good (and is basically always available), and I believe that Fiola Mare sometimes does an uni bucatini as well (although the uni is more of an accent than the star in most pasta dishes). (I believe the District Fishwife in Union Market sometimes sells it as well, if you're inclined to take it home.) When I first started eating uni, I found the texture to be off-putting; if you're texturally sensitive, a composed dish may be the way to go.
  6. 6 likes
    My father has been a member since 1981. Everything and I mean everything started to improve when women were admitted.
  7. 6 likes
    My wife and I dined at Rose's last night to celebrate her birthday. We had a fantastic meal. Some highlights below: The Kung Pao tofu was by far the best thing we ate. I will order this every time I go if it's on the menu. Spicy, salty, a bit sweet and great texture The pastrami spiced carrots were a close second. A meatless dish that somehow tastes meaty. Really good The barrel aged Bijou cocktail was fantastic. Smooth around the edges, great way to start the meal Overall, a wonderful meal and a great first experience for us at this restaurant.
  8. 6 likes
    By a happy coincidence, my birthday fell during RW. I decided to treat myself to a solo birthday lunch. Although I have been here several times for dinner and always came away not super-impressed, the menu and the location was what I was looking for this time. Well, I'm here to report that lunch was great! I had salmon rillettes as a starter. I'd never had this dish before and it was delicious. Great salmon and lemon flavor. Also had the steak frites and that was really good as well - maybe sitting under the heating lamp a little too long because my arugula was warm and the meat had cooled a bit. Probably because I'm a slow eater and it took me a while to finish the rillettes. Dessert was this big ball of chocolate mousse which came with a scoop of sorbet, an almond wafer cookie, and a sauce I thought was made of sour cherries, but the menu said cranberries. Really good! Why did I love this lunch yet was so lukewarm to my 4 dinners here in the past? I think it had to do with ambiance. On Saturday nights, this place is jammed with people; it's noisy, crowded, and very dark. So dark you cannot read the menu nor can you see your food properly. Nor can you relax. In contrast, lunch was a sedate affair. I sat on a banquette by the window so it was easy to read my newspaper. The place was medium busy but people spoke in normal voices - they did not need to shout to hear each other like they do in the evenings. And finally, I could see my food. I could see the rillettes came with pretty pickled veggies and a nice presentation. Same with the dessert. Seeing the food made me enjoy the food more. This place also turns out be comfortable for the solo diner. I saw several single diners being seated as I was next to the reception stand. There was this one old coot carrying a yellowed paperback who seemed to be a regular as the waitstaff addressed him by name and asked him if he wanted his usual martini. He later made a bit of a fuss because his egg was not cooked properly on his croque madame. Waitstaff was really nice and accommodating with him. When he left and said goodby, I was expecting them to roll their eyes, but they didn't which I thought was sweet.
  9. 6 likes
    As promised, here's my review. It's long. After all the rave reviews on DR, my wife decided to try this place and were very glad we did. We had a leisurely, decadent 2 and half hour meal where we definitely ate too much but didn't regret it for a second! We decided to skip the outdoor seating and sit at the back bar that looks into the kitchen, which I highly recommend. When first got there, it felt like a family joint in suburbia but by the time we got to our seats in the back it felt like a hip place in DC. What I mean is, we were greeted by a young woman (girl) in braces at the hostess stand and saw lots of young families and also much older people eating than you would typically see in a place like Rose's or Kapnos or some hot spot in DC. The girl with braces was absolutely fine and professional and even asked if we wanted to sit outside (which I requested on my electronic reservation), it was just a surprising sight to see someone in braces. (I hope that doesn't come off as derogatory, it's not meant to be.) As we traveled to the back of the restaurant and sat at the kitchen bar, the place lost that suburban family vibe and transformed to a cool downtown DC place. I mean how many neighborhood family friendly places serve foie gras?!?! When we sat down we were immediately great by one of the head chefs, Johnathan Krinn, who introduced himself to us and told us who he was. Our waitress brought us water glasses and the menu which is hardly noteworthy but for the fact that water glasses were huge! I loved it and told her as much. It was such a nice contrast to so many of the places I've eaten lately where they have tiny water glasses that require refilling after about 3 sips! I even took a picture of one in my hand (for scale) - - that's how much the glasses moved me! We were also served to little loaves of warm bread "“ one parmesan, one with olives. Before I get to the food I should note that according to their website, the menu changes daily and what they post is just a sample. This is true. Most of the menu we had was the same as on the website but some entire dishes changed (Monkfish is on the restaurant menu and Red Snapper is on the website) and some parts of other dishes changed (the foie gras is served with figs on the restaurant menu while the website has the foie gras being served with gooseberries). I'm just noting that to illustrate what kind of dynamic operation they are running here and supporting the claim that the "menu changes daily". We started with the seared Foie Gras with sliced figs and some sort of fig/ginger reduction ($21). Kind of pricey for an app, but it was HUGE!! It was probably over an inch thick and about the size of a hamburger patty! Well worth the money and really great tasting. It was a great combination of flavors and textures and was cooked perfectly. I'd order this again in a heartbeat. We were torn for our second app between the octopus or the mussels (in truth there were a couple others we could have easily ordered too, but we already had three entrees in mind!) and took our server's advice and got the mussels. Just a quick note about the octopus - - we saw many orders of it being made and brought out, and it was a huge portion. I'm ready to go back tonight just to try this! Back to the mussels app ($13) "“ they came with little chunks of lamb sausage, roasted cherry tomatoes, goat cheese and a lobster broth. Wow! The combo of the lamb sausage and mussels really worked well together. I don't recall ever having meat in a mussel bowl and this was nice surprise. The lobster broth and tomatoes were really nice too. Much better than a typical mussel broth."¦"¦.more bread for dipping please! We still hadn't decided on the entrees yet, but we were sure one of them was going to be the lamb special which is currently only served on Wednesdays. In fact, that was the whole reason we were here that night. We were torn between the scallops, which we saw coming out all evening and looked great, (and huge), or the monkfish, which we both really like, but don't often see. We asked the other head chef, Jason Maddens which one we should get, the monkfish or the scallops. We even asked if there was any way we could get a half order of each seafood dish to go with the (nonnegotiable) lamb. His response was something like, "I think you should get the monkfish and the scallops and I'll fix you up a little plate of lamb too. We can't let you leave without trying them all". Hummm, OK, we're in! If that's what the professional advises, that's what we'll do. We sat there for a little while longer digesting our apps and drinking our wine (a nice French rose for $35) and decided we better put our entrée order in or we'd be there until midnight so the next time our waitress came by we said we were ready to order, she replied, "Chef has already taken care of that for you." Wow! Great! I wasn't actually sure what we were getting at this point since we didn't really order, we just asked for advice and agreed with the somewhat crazy response! (Who gets 2 apps and 3 entrees for two people?!?!) We ordered another bottle of rose (half of which we took home) and watched the show going on in the kitchen. A note about that and the quality control going on here: Both head chefs were large and in charge tonight with each one of them working on each dish that went out and a lot of dishes got worked on by both of them. At a couple different points during the meal we saw dishes that were not up to snuff being returned before they went to the table to be remade, or to be given to the crew in the back (bus boys, dish washers) to be eaten. The quality and the quality control is very high here and it was easy to see why from our perch overlooking the kitchen. In a little bit the lamb arrived and it looked every bit like a full portion. We didn't know it until we got the bill but this was on the house! A nice unintended benefit of sitting at the kitchen bar and asking the chefs for guidance. The lamb itself was fantastic, as was the sauce and the little salad of greens off to the side. I saw all the others in this thread raving about the brisket and I'd like to get back there to try it, but I'm not sure I could go on a night when they're not serving this lamb! We asked Jason how they prepared it and he said it was brined for 12 hours then slow roasted for 5 hours. (I think that's what he said anyway.) As we were raving about it, we asked why they don't offer it on more nights (every other night the special is the brisket) and Jason said they plan to add more variety to the nightly special menu, but they are starting slow to ensure everything is "just exactly perfect" (he didn't actually say that, but if anyone gets that reference, please let me know!) Soon after we finished the lamb, our other two entrees arrived and they were both full size! And we loved (and split) both of them. The monkfish was served on bed of sliced mushrooms and little pieces of asparagus in a very light, almost clear broth. The veggies and broth almost surpassed the fish in terms of awesomeness. I think I could happily eat a soup that was just the "supporting" part of this dish. The scallops (4 very large ones) were seared and served on top of a bed of creamed corn (super sweet) and some seared spinach. In the middle of the scallops were a few small pieces of perfectly flat bacon. The dish didn't need any bacon to make it special, but a little bacon is never a bad thing! The most interesting part was that each little square piece was perfectly flat and thin. Like the monkfish dish, the supporting players in this dish were just as good as the main ingredient. To continue the night of excess, we split the dark chocolate mousse cake and had some French press coffee. A couple other desserts looked great, but there was no way we could eat them, but I'd love to try their made-to-order doughnuts or their sugar poached peaches. Everything about the night was really fun, enjoyable and delicious but the biggest surprise was when we got the bill"¦"¦"¦"¦"¦.$180 after taxes but before the tip!! (we tipped on the comp'ed entrée). That's 2 apps, 2 entrees, 2 bottles of wine, coffee and dessert for $180!! "Hey Toto, we're not in DC anymore" This is a neighborhood place that's putting out "special night out" food. Why oh why don't we have anything like this in the Mt Vernon area?!?!? If the chefs are reading this, any chance you guys want to open another place at Cedar Knoll on the Potomac? That's a spot that is dying for food like this.
  10. 5 likes
    Two recent references got me thinking about the Celtic House Irish Pub and Restaurant in Arlington. First it garnered publicity via this publication that weighed yelp reviews for Irish bars around the nation and ranked Celtic House FIRST as an Irish bar on which to celebrate St Patrick day. (Wahoo!!!!) Laugh or snicker if you like but in its slightly more than 2 years of operating Celtic House has numerous and tremendous reviews on Yelp and a variety of other review sites, the vast majority of which rate it highly. Secondly I thought of Celtic House after reading this post which suggested that a great way to learn soccer is simply to watch on TV or attend games. Certainly there are dozens of bars around the region that feature soccer. Celtic House is one and includes local United Games. It gets a good soccer watching crowd. Honestly I like one of the owners. He's a great Irish bar operator and before that was an Irish barman in NYC, deep experienced in other aspects of the restaurant business and to add to the authenticity he is Irish. On the food side it does a great job of various comfort foods, the chicken pot pie, stews, and burgers are all above average if not down right excellent. The staff is amazingly friendly--its an honest to goodness Cheers type of place. If you start going regularly you will be warmly treated and become part of the "gang". Its simply a tremendous neighborhood bar/pub with significantly above average food for that type of establishment and one of the friendliest places you will find.
  11. 5 likes
    Oh, my, that looks good. I love Tail Up Goat - I saw Jill there a few weeks ago, and told her my meal was fully worthy of a Michelin star, because ... it was. You know what? I still don't know how to describe the cuisine here, but I actually really like my synthesis of "Modern Alpine" and "Modern Mediterranean," and even though I really have no clue what that means as an ensemble (or, for that matter, on their own), I just like it because it feels right. I don't know what "Modern Scandinavian" is, but I have a gut feeling that would fit in there, too. And yes, Gadarene, I had that same dessert: Carrot and Pineapple Cake, and it was just wonderful. I have always been biased towards older people with more years of experience, but the young talent at Tail Up Goat is bending my bias. I wish I could tell people what a big deal this is, but they'd just poo-poo it for various reasons. They'd be wrong.
  12. 5 likes
    The good doctor and I had dinner there tonight, and when he said "I think I'm going to order $FOOD next time," I knew we had a winner on our hands. We walked in a little before 6 PM, and most of the seats at the bar were already taken. Many of the tables were still empty, though, and we were seated towards the back with a good view of the kitchen. Seeing as how our last meal in this space was RJ Cooper's memorable 2015 New Year's Eve blowout, we were curious to see what had been done to Rogue 24's former digs. Tiger Fork's done a great job of making the space its own. Service was prompt and friendly, with waters poured and drink orders taken once we were seated. We weren't in the mood for cocktails nor keen on wine, so we just stuck with beers. We started with the Kowloon Buns, Cheung Fun, and Humble Plate of Chili Wontons, which came in quick succession. The good doctor's plate was quickly cleared away and replaced with another when his Kowloon bun squirted out soy ginger dipping sauce, which was very attentive. All the dishes were excellent, though I'd probably work through the rest of the starters on the menu before ordering the cheung fun again. We went with the BBQ Platter for our main course, with Salt Fish & Prawn Fried Rice and Pea Shoots as side dishes. My one photo of the fried rice was blurry, presumably because it was the one dish I couldn't wait to tear into and had eaten several bites before remembering to snap a pic. The char siu was, as Charles Tsui noted, on point, though the good doctor was most impressed by the crispy pork belly. The picked bean sprouts and chili sauces make for good contrasts with the meats, though the plain white rice was surprisingly dry. The pea shoots were a fantastic side dish, and I didn't think they needed any of the homemade oyster sauce that accompanied the dish, though that did make for a tasty dipping sauce for the soya chicken. We had most of our mains boxed up so we could have room for dessert, which was the Bubble Waffle Matcha Ice Cream. While delicious, the plating left a lot to be desired; it's served in a crumpled lunch sack, and if you put your spoon through the middle like yours truly, you have to scoop out the collapsed remains. The GM who stopped by our table noted that they were trying to go for a "street food feel" with this dessert but agreed that form overrode function in the presentation. We'll definitely be back, especially for the dim sum brunch, and despite some minor quibbles with timing and service, Tiger Fork was an excellent dining experience.
  13. 5 likes
    I couldn't find a thread on this deserving shop. On the way home from a successful dentist visit to Arlington - I couldn't resist the simple singage. "Livin' the Pie Life". Took home a small chilled chocolate cream and an apple/cherry right out of the oven. The chocolate had a chocolate crumb crust and the fruit pie had an excellent traditional pie crust. Being of a savory orientation, I also got a bacon and cheese scone. There were also mini quiches that I'll try next time. All were great and worth the price ($$) - and being about 4" in diameter, they were lighter in the calories than getting a whole pie. The chocolate pie scored some serious husband points.
  14. 5 likes
    My Mom wanted to take her gentleman friend out to birthday dinner, so we had a really fun meal at Honey Pig. We were going to go to Kogiya, but they had a big tour bus pull in and were packed. Mom's friend had never had Korean BBQ before, but has been trying a lot of new asian foods lately because he does security systems, atm and fire alarm systems and got hired by a company that has a bunch of different asian restaurants. Very proud of him, and of my Mother, for being cool adventurous eaters. He loved the K-pop videos and the corrugated metal. We got shrimp, bulgogi, beef rib and spicy pork belly. The shrimp was much better than I expected, they were big juicy shrimp. I thought they would get too overcooked, but we pulled them off the grill at just the right time. They really enjoyed the bulgogi (who doesn't) and the rib was a good safe option for them. My Mom doesn't like spicy, so she was less inclined to the pork belly, but ate some. We also got a seafood pancake. I think the banchan other than the kimchi is a bit strange here, for instance the raisin, apple, pasta salad? But I like the bean sprouts and kimchi on the grill. The shrimp came with onions and peppers, and man those peppers tasted good once they had gotten all charred and sweet. Everything was good and we all had a really nice time. It was also nice because we had a political discussion and we are all normally of very different political views, but were all very much on the same page. It was kind of nice to be united as a family about something in a positive way, although the reasons it's coming about are not great. It makes me think the future will be more positive, hopefully.
  15. 5 likes
    One thing I've learned about the top tier Texas BBQ joints is that they have pitmasters who have dedicated years not only to the craft, but to a particular smoker setup and particular space. The interaction of equipment and environment have a huge effect on the final product in central Texas-style barbecue. I imagine that DC can't hope to have a "great" barbecue place until someone makes that kind of long term commitment.
  16. 5 likes
    Ferhat: Here are some benefits to claiming the listing: (this is for Ferhat, but its useful for other restaurants and local businesses) 1. you can upload pictures, rather than have anyone's good or bad pictures be uploaded. FYI, when uploading check out how they show. You can control the visual impact via cropping, which can make a big visual difference. 2. You can respond to reviews in google....good and bad. 3. you can choose categories, which can have a significant impact on how well your restaurant shows for various search terms in google. 4. You can change and update your hours of operation......and other benefits. 5. Currently a verified owner is the strongest source of data in google. I've been working on this "stuff" for over 10 years. Ever since google started google maps and set up a system for small businesses there have been endless problems with the information that is shown and getting it corrected. Their systems are far better today and in the last few years but they are still prone to errors and mistakes. One of the issues that continues to haunt some businesses is that an ex employee or a "now disgruntled" ex employee has control of the "claimed listing". It is why you should do it yourself. Google's systems for correcting this are better but not fullproof. Do it with a gmail account. You can give access to that account to an employee but you should control it and ensure that access via a cell phone. It gives you control and gives them access to you to correct bad mistakes. BTW: I reported the erroneous "closed message via a 2nd gmail address. One way to hasten correction is to crowd source it. But the best way is to claim the listing. You can do it at night, at home etc. Its simple. Here is the general link to the process but I'd do it off the picture of the box that Joel provided. That "box" is called the google knowledge box. One other thing: Google has not associated the website and url with the brick and mortar business to date, or made a strong association. One can tell that by searching for your business by name in google ie...something like this....."Drift on 7th, DC". If google had made a strong connection...by you having claimed the listing...your url would show first in their results, rather than the news stories and other items that rank over your website. If you are going to share the "management of a listing" with an email set up a separate gmail acct for the business...something like DriftonSEVENTH@gmail, or anything you choose. That way employees don't have access to your email. Once you claim the listing your url will almost assuredly pop up first for searches by name. (claiming is that important these days). BTW: Once you claim the listing in google also claim it in bing. The process is similar. Take the time to carefully add categories. They are important for visbility. Restaurant and Seafood are no brainers but there could be other helpful categories. you can add categories later...but definitely do restaurant and seafood now. There are STILL an enormous number of searches in google for things like "restaurants DC", "restaurants Shaw", "seafood restaurants DC" etc with seafood being a major subcategory. Lets see, within the last couple of months Dino's was reported "closed" in google. He got FB fans to report it in google and it changed within a day. One other thing I noticed...google is mixed up between the connection to the location between Fishnet and Drift on 7th. You can see that via the google reviews.which are old fishnet reviews.... Ultimately those can also be changed although its a more cumbersome process As long as you are "claiming listings", claim it in Yelp, outside of the two big search engines that is the site(directory) which will be viewed the most by likely visitors and diners. You want that updated also. (I haven't looked up Drift on Yelp) Good luck. But seriously, claim the listing yourself. If you don't want to be responsible for handling and managing it...give access to that gmail acct and managing the listing to an employee...but make sure you have control. Its really easy. Thank goodness. It hasn't always been easy.
  17. 5 likes
    I am a bit surprised that there are not at least a couple more reviews of Clarity to this point. My wife and I went late last night (9:15), which was her second time and my third. My additional time was also a late Saturday when she was out of town and I sat at the bar. Our first time was a couple of days after they had opened. Pretty crowded each time, even in the late hours. Last night in particular, there seemed to be quite a few people at the bar simply to have drinks. Being a big burger fan, I have found myself unable to order anything off the menu other than that. It is of the two-patty variety, in color resembling medium-well to well-done, but not overcooked and plenty juicy. (the first night we were there, our waitress told me it was "Five Guys" style, in that it was two thinner patties rather than one larger patty--hopefully they have disabused her of using that descriptor, because that is where the similarity ends). Tom Sietsema's recent quick review said that it is served on a potato roll, but it seemed to me to be more of a brioche bun (can it be both?), with some herbs sprinkled on top. In addition to the beef having a good beefy flavor (dry aged), the confit tomato, a garlic aioli spread, and the white cheddar cheese make for a compelling taste combination. The burger comes with a choice of one side, and, being a traditionalist, I have order the "Pencil Fried Potatoes" with sriracha ketchup each time. I am pleased to report that they have finally figured out how to properly fry these. The first time, it was a limp pile of sogginess. Last night, they were what you would expect them to be. The ketchup has a little kick, without being overwhelmingly spicy. A quick menu note--the $12 burger has now become a $15 burger (it might be slightly larger, as I could not finish it last night), but still fairly priced in my opinion. The price hike may actually be the cause of me trying other entrees in subsequent visits--it was a steal at $12! I am guessing that this was something they figured out. On our first visit, we split the "Brussel Sprouts, Marcona Almonds" appetizer, which I think had the "medjool dates", but definitely did have dried blueberries (the size of BBs, but packing quite a punch) and bibb lettuce. It was more of a salad than the menu made it seem, but it is something I would definitely order again. The brussel sprouts were peeled into leaves and the trademark bitterness was very muted. The marcona almonds were toasted (or something) such that they were less oily, and had a nice crunch. My wife, on that visit, had the Crisp Red Snapper with red pepper relish, which she liked quite a bit, as did Biotech's wife in the above review. Last night, my wife had the grilled yellowfin tuna appetizer and a side of "charred greens" (which, looking at the online menu, used to be called "charred broccoli rabe). It was still the broccoli rabe, but they probably genericized the name of the dish to allow for variation. Very nice char taste, maybe a little too heavy on the garlic in spots (online menu says "garlic chips", which appears to be accurate, and they sort of clumped in the nooks and crannies of some of the pieces of rabe) The tuna appetizer was five decent slices of rare tuna underlying a pistachio pesto (online menu says macadamia nuts). I am not a seafood eater, so I did not try it, but my wife said that it was very good. She also said that she did not detect any cilantro, despite that being listed as a component. A fairly substantial portion for an appetizer. On the beverage front, my wife found a sauvignon blanc that suited her tastes, at $8 by the glass. They have four beer taps and several beers in the bottle. (can you tell by now that we generally do not do cocktails?) The tap selections are well thought out, if not skewing (appropriately) to the lighter side. Currently the lineup is 3Stars (DC) Peppercorn Saison, Evolution (Salisbury, MD) Lot No. 6 (double IPA, but not an enormous hop bomb), Old Bust Head (Vint Hill, Va.) Chukker Czech Pilsner (the only OBH beer that I have liked), and Port City (VA) Optimal Wit. This lineup has been the same* from opening, possibly it will change toward the dark side when the cooler weather arrives in several months. Prices on the 3Stars and OBH Chukker have gone up to the upper end of what one should pay for those beers (actually, in the case of Chukker, now at $8/pint, beyond the upper end). Overall, given that we are only 10 minutes away from this place, we will have it in our regular rotation. It is a very nice, modern setting (albeit in an aging strip mall) which is not common in Vienna. Tom Sietsema can do better than I in describing the décor. Also, they have an outdoor seating patio in front of the restaurant, which is not yet open (as in, no furniture currently present), which might be a nice place if they put up umbrellas or some covering so that one is not looking up at the signage for the neighboring "gold and jewelry exchange" a/k/a pawn shop. There is a maybe 5 or 6 foot tall painted cinderblock wall (currently barren, hopefully somehow decorated once the patio is operational) surrounding the three sides extending away from the front of the restaurant. This outdoor seating aspect might be a little like trying to make lemonade when handed lemons. Finally, contrary to Destruya's comment above, there is a considerable amount of parking, both in their regular lot (albeit we have been there on the late side of the dining hours), and in a neighboring lot that exits to Church Street, which services a small office complex during the day. Clarity has seemingly struck a deal to allow that to by used as restaurant parking come evening, in that there is a sign announcing "Restaurant Parking", which is also mentioned on their website. *The 3Stars peppercorn saison has been on the tap list since opening, but when I ordered it on my first visit, out came a deeply brown-colored beer in a glass. Before it hit the table, I told our waitress that that was not what I ordered. She assured me it was, but went and got Nico, an accomplished sommelier who is also apparently the overall beverage director, who "assured" me that this was the peppercorn saison, because that is what the label on the keg said. We had a good-natured exchange, with me noting that I had had this beer less than a week earlier at Nats Park, and had had it on a number of other occasions. I offered to taste it, if he wanted me to see if that would change my mind. I did, it didn't--it was definitely the 3Stars Pandemic Porter, no surprise to me. Since I like that beer also, I said that I would keep it, but recommended that he get this situation in order. Being that it was the third day that they had been open, I also asked if I was the first person to order the saison, and he said "no", and that no one had reported a discrepancy. I can't imagine (maybe I could if this were more of a hipsterish place) who would have ordered a saison and drank a porter without even knowing the difference. Honestly, I am a little surprised that Nico was not able to discern this just from the color difference. Sometime between that first and my second visit, the saison was put on tap.
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    What worries me is what happened about twenty years ago, when people said "the last straw" was tearing down Evans Farm Inn. That was the beginning of *all* this "Tysons as the next New York" crap peddled on people by real-estate developers. The Metro to Dulles should have been underground until it got out to the toll road; now it's just a big eyesore, and always will be. I'm all for Metro going to Dulles; they simply (or, not-so-simply, because it would have been expensive as hell) needed to have run it underground until it got out past the commercial sector of Route 7 - *then*, it could have run above-ground between the toll lanes, and nobody would have cared. Tysons is an absolute disgrace, and Route 7 - between the Beltway and around Tyco Road - may be the single ugliest stretch of asphalt in the entire DC Metro area right now. I don't care how much it would have cost to have run the Metro underground to that point, but as a long-term investment, it would have been worth it. This is Virginia's Whitehurst Freeway.
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    Found a photo. Actually, a photo of the reheated dish...squid become a little less tender, but not in a bad way (ie: not rubber band-like)
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    John's Grill is a pretty good restaurant. The bar is small, and so is the rest of the place, but scoring a seat and settling in is one of the better ways to enjoy a feeling of old San Francisco. First, let's get some history out of the way. It was the backdrop of The Maltese Falcon, and its walls are covered by celebrity pictures of those who dined here over the past 110 years or so. Think of a place where the Postal Service rolled out its commemorative Humphrey Bogart stamp here, with Arnold Schwarzenegger joining a rendition of "I Left My Heart in San Francisco" at the ceremony. I've eaten (and drank) at John's on every one of my annual visits over the years, and the food is quite good. This isn't fine-dining, but for those of us from the Washington DC area who enjoy the The Monocle on Capitol Hill, Martin's Tavern, Old Ebbitt Grill, or the Occidental Grill, it's somewhere in between all of these sorts of time-worn establishments. I've had an absolutely perfectly executed Negroni at the bar, and I've enjoyed some truly great Cioppino in the dining room. This is also a good restaurant for steaks and burgers, at a good price. And a club sandwich for lunch one day was worth ordering again, as was the perfect side of fries, hot out of the fryer. I'll continue to frequent John's whenever I'm in town. The ongoing subway construction is an impediment, but if you're on foot, it's not much of a problem.
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    Don't read the reviews for those with a mouth full of liquid. I sent 5lb of an off-brand (same results if eaten in quantity) when the occupiers of the Malheur wildlife refuge asked for snacks. Following the arrests, I contacted the local food bank to warn them to beware of any sugar free items that might be donated by that group. That was an interesting exchange, but the food bank rep was gracious about it.
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    Love the story of this place, true family owned joint/American dream fulfilled. We were a 2-top on a weekday night, greeted and seated promptly, fed well and got two after dinner drinks gratis just because the owner (I'm guessing) felt like treating us. Shared one app (hot mazza assortment - butternut squash was excellent) and main (chicken and ground beef combo), with bread that was plenty of food for two. Interesting to say, but I was impressed mostly by the sides/ veg preparation, less with the meats. Although the shank many others were enjoying looked great, will have to try it next time. Reasonable alcohol selection (any alcohol is a plus actually), adequate house wines. Looks like on the night we went they were training non-family members to serve, it was apparent it's difficult to loosen the grip for the owners. We were asked if the server introduced the specials, mentioned that the sides were limitless, etc. We had to reassure a few times the server did indeed. On their website you're asked to email or call for a reservation, but they do have OpenTable (not advertising it is a way to save some money I guess). A great place to have in the Springfield desert, definitely will be back.
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    On the SPECIALS MENU (March 5, 2017): PISTACCHIODELLA: Pistacchio cream sauce, thinly sliced red onions, gruyere cheese, more chopped pistacchios, a drizzle of olive oil, topped off with shaved mortadella
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    I had brunch at Marcel's today. Service was superb as always. I only ate two dishes. The first was a butternut squash soup with a nut oil (I think walnut, possibly pecan) and crispy shallots. The soup was tasty, though there was one burnt shallot, but I found the one clump of parsley in the center a bit odd. My entree was a red snapper over lobster risotto with peas. The risotto was very good. I found the fish pretty overcooked (I had difficulty cutting it with a knife) which was a disappointment and some of the lobster was on the edge. The plates were hot. I can't imagine food sat in the window, and assumed they warmed their places, but I don't know. For a place like Marcel's, I expect the fish to be perfect so that was a disappointment. I enjoyed the rest of the dish though, especially a sprinkling of what I think was basil throughout. I didn't order dessert, but both of my friends seemed to really enjoy the chocolate mousse desert. Not surprisingly they heard we were celebrating two birthdays so my friend's mousse came with a candle and they brought me a dish with 2 macarons and 2 candies (both quite good). Happy birthday was written on both. Overall I enjoyed it, but I don't feel the cooking, at least based on the 2 dishes I had was at the caliber it usually is. Bonus, bottles of wine are half price for brunch so we enjoyed a bottle of champagne we wouldn't have been able to otherwise.
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    Happy Mardi Gras y'all!!!
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    It is reasonable to consider whether the markups support healthy employee wages (cheers) and/or cushion revolting commercial landlord greed (jeers). Roger Marmet is known to be an exceptionally fair and even generous employer. And better ingredients cost more money than marginal ones.
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    Interesting podcast from Arlnow. An interview with Nick Freshman (Spider Kelly's, Evantide, and a lot of restaurant experience before them) Its long (55 minutes). Timely as part of it covers the closure of a number of Clarendon food establishments that occurred this year. Gets into a lot of depth about operating a restaurant and elements about the Clarendon scene. Couple of things I relished: Use of the word saturation and some description, which Nick has used before (here). Astute observation (but somewhat nebulous in my experience). An excellent observation about the draw of other exciting neighborhoods (focused on DC). Astute, (in my mind). As a former leasing agent with restaurants I enjoyed how he described the location for the now closed Park Lane Tavern and how it might be "sold". Yeah. I did that work on behalf of landlords and tenants (restaurants). Oh man. Regardless of the description or selling language, there is nothing better for an operator than sitting there at busy days and counting the traffic (foot traffic) or auto's or people going to other restaurants. Than do the same thing down the street, to compare. The owner SHOULD do it or the agent or the owner's staff. Its your money. Its one operator's perspective and its interesting.
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    Osteria da Nino, not Samuel Beckett's Tavern, is the best restaurant in Shirlington. First, let me add that I went back to Samuel Beckett's Tavern for a late supper the other evening, and only the bar menu was available. Starting off with a New Belgium Shift Lager, a respectable session beer that's as good as anything I've found at Samuel Beckett's, I went straight for the 800-pound gorilla that I've always avoided ordering here: Sam's Lamb Burger ($14), fresh ground lamb mixed with spices, and topped off with Cashel blue cheese, served with hand-cut chips and lettuce, tomato, and onion on a sesame-seed roll. This burger was huge - probably 10-12 ounces, cooked to a perfect medium-rare, and came positively slathered with a Cashel blue cheese sauce (I have visited the Cashel farm in Ireland, adore this cheese, and had every reason to be "pulling for" this sauce, but this was just gloppy and gross); the tub of ketchup and extremely garlicky mayonnaise for my fries went completely untouched (except for a fingertip-taste of the mayonnaise to gage the garlic). This sandwich was over-the-top, and while the lamb was of good quality (how often do you see such a large lamb-burger topped with Cashel blue?), it was simply too much gook - I ended up opening up my roll, scraping off the sauce, and eating the meat alone. Many people order this sandwich, and I suspect many people like it, but it's just too much for me, and I'll stick with more refined cooking here the next time I come. Onward! I took hopsing's post about Osteria da Nino very seriously when I read it, and kidnapped my young dining companion last night, smuggling him into Shirlington - Osteria da Nino is very close to Carlyle, but since it's one building off of "the strip," it was completely dead. This is a restaurant you have to know about in order to find, and it's going to need to get some publicity out there in order to succeed, especially at dinnertime. And succeed it should, because right now there's nothing else this good in all of Shirlington. The Beef Wellington I had the other night at Samuel Beckett's was certainly right up there, but that was a daily special, and I'm unconvinced Beckett's can produce cooking of that high level of quality when the pub is crowded; perhaps it can. I started off with a glass of Pinot Grigio ($8) as we waited for our two appetizers to split, and as soon as they hit the table, I knew we had found what has been missing from Shirlington for so long with Osteria da Nino - a somewhat spacious, spartan restaurant that could use a bit of warmth and interior design to bring together the cold-feeling hard surfaces into something resembling, dare I say, the product of a woman's touch. Fritto Misto ($12) was a large cone containing some unusual and delicious fried items: shrimp, salmon, and fennel (the fennel being the only miss, being cut too large and not cooked quite long enough) - still, this was an excellent rendition of fritto misto that is well-worth ordering. Seasoned perfectly by itself, it did not need the garlic-curry mayonnaise dipping sauce it came with, but we used it in moderation anyway. Delicious, and a good contrast to our Insalata Burrata ($10), a fantastic combination of burrata, cherry tomatoes, plums, nectarines, and a bit of pesto - I'm not sure where the chef got this recipe from, but it works, and it works brilliantly. If this dish, or a variation of it, is on the menu, order it. Garganelli con ragí¹ di maiale ($17) was a good-sized bowl of piping hot garganelli pasta, with Papa Weever Farms pork ragu, fennel, spices, gremmalata, parmesan, and baby arugula. There was nothing surprising about this dish (unlike with the burrata), but it was satisfying, and a well-conceived foil to the Filetto di Branzino ($24) which came with a fascinating brick-sized rectangle of Sicilian tahboli (yes, it's the same thing you'll get in a Lebanese restaurant, except with pomegranates), arrabiatta sauce, and crispy faro. The sea bass was cooked by someone who knew what they were doing, with its skin crisped just the way you wanted it. "The Rules" of being a restaurant critic say you aren't supposed to judge a restaurant after one visit, but I've never been one to follow rules. This is a very exciting, promising restaurant, and is so much better than anything I've ever had in Shirlington (Beef Wellington notwithstanding) that I'm making a beeline in its direction the next time I head down S. Quincy Street. Parking is plentiful in a lot just behind the restaurant. --- An important addendum: I got a text message from someone who saw this, warning me that their first visit to Osteria da Nino was a wonderful surprise; their second visit had more inconsistencies. Doesn't it figure that the *only* time I ever question critics' standards, is the time I get called out for possibly jumping the gun! Anyway, I'm not at liberty to go into detail, but you'll probably read more about this later.
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    Had a really good meal here this past weekend except for some nits (some of which were in control of the restaurant, some not). The grilled octopus was quite good, though I think the rest of the preparation around it was getting slightly in the way of the delicious octopus itself. Still a very good diash. My wife had their version of a burrata salad that was quite good. Cocktails preceded that, and despite my misgivings of their list being littered with drinks with 'smoke' in the ingredients, they were quite good. Then we waited. A while. Probably 30 minutes before we flagged down our guy (in the meantime our water was refilled and we were rationing our wine because we knew there was a lot of meat coming). But within maybe 3 minutes of asking for status, our entrees arrived. Delicious stuff, just a bummer the ticket got overlooked (it was a Saturday at prime time and they were packed). Wagyu bavette with chimichiuri, veal sweetbreads with salsa criola (I'd ordered the smoked citrus hollandaise but I was not bothering to point it out), blood sausage (morcilla), brussel sprouts sides (good but not revelatory) and mushrooms (quite good) rounded out by a grilled pineapple crepe souffle (very good and tart). The wine was a Gigondas that was our plan B when the baby Numanthia was sold out (the sommelier did not try to upsell us, perhaps partly because I think it was clear I knew my way around a wine list, as the two plan B's I'd asked about, one was maybe $10 cheaper than the bottle I intially ordered (this is the one I ended up ordering) and the other was 10 or 15 more than the original bottle I ordered. So...nice. The only other thing that was a bit of an annoyance was the noise level. They had two eight tops and at least one, possibly two six tops going. Given the presentation of the meat nature of the grilled and smoked meats, I get that it makes for great sharing and large groups but man alive it was loud in there. The bar was louder still. Oh well. I'll be back - probably for the smoked seafood box next time. Anyone had it?
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    Arugula Salad with Roasted Asparagus and Egg 1/4 lb. pencil-thin asparagus, trimmed of their woody ends and sliced on a bias 2 tsp. olive oil salt black pepper mixed salad greens (mesclun, arugula) 2 eggs Combine asparagus and oil in a bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer to a roasting pan or Pyrex baking dish and roast in a 350 F oven for 15 minutes. Cook the eggs by slipping them into boiling water. Boil for 9-10 minutes, then plunge eggs in ice water and peel. When asparagus is done, transfer to a salad bowl. Toss with salad greens. Transfer to a plate. Quarter the eggs and top salad with them. Drizzle with 1 tsp. dressing (recipe follows), then serve immediately. This recipe is sized for two people. ========================== This is our template recipe for salad dressing. Macerating the shallots in salt and vinegar helps take off any harsh edges off of the shallots. We'll vary this template occasionally by adding herbs (thyme and Italian parsley are favorites), substituting white wine vinegar or sherry vinegar for the red wine vinegar, or a very small pinch of sugar which helps round flavors. What typically happens is that as our batch is running low, I'll make a fresh batch and add it to the pre-existing one so that the jar of dressing never completely empties. Shallot Vinaigrette 1 shallot, finely minced pinch of salt 1 tbsp. red wine vinegar 1 oil-packed anchovy fillet 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil Combine shallot with salt and red wine vinegar in a small bowl. Stir a couple of times. Macerate shallots for 5 minutes. Mash anchovy fillet into a paste. Transfer to a small bowl or glass mixing cup. Add shallot mixture. Whisk in olive oil until ingredients are well-combined and emulsified. =========================== 8 chicken thighs, seasoned generously with salt and black pepper. Clockwise from bottom: three carrots, trimmed, peeled and sliced on a bias; 3 celery stalks, trimmed and cut into 2" lengths; 2 onions, trimmed and peeled, then cut into chunks. 10 peeled garlic cloves; thyme sprigs; bay leaves. 4 cups homemade chicken stock; dried porcini mushrooms soaking in 3/4 cup boiling water. Soak the mushrooms for 15 minutes, then strain out and reserve both the soaked mushrooms and porcini soaking water. 1 cup pinot gris. I'm a big believer in cooking with wine you would normally drink. If you don't have any pinot gris, chardonnay could work. Sauté the vegetables in a little bit of olive oil or until they begin to soften and take on a little color. Remove the pan from heat, then add the garlic, thyme and bay leaves. Add the porcini mushrooms. Mix well. Heat a skillet until hot but not smoking. Add 1 tbsp. oil. Swirl pan until oil coats the bottom of the pan with a thin film. Pour off excess oil. Add 4-5 chicken thighs to the pan, skin side down. Reduce heat to medium-high. Brown chicken until skin is well-browned, about 15 minutes, then transfer to a plate. Add remaining chicken thighs, then repeat browning process. When chicken thighs are done, transfer chicken and vegetable mixture to a roasting pan, ensuring that the chicken lies atop the vegetables, skin-side up. Pour off most of the fat from the pan you cooked the chicken in, then deglaze with white wine making sure you scrape up all the browned bits. Add chicken stock and porcini soaking water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for five minutes. Remove from heat and pour stock mixture atop chicken. Liquid should come up halfway; the chicken shouldn't be submerged. Cover with foil, then braise for 90 minutes in a pre-heated 375 F oven. Remove foil from pan, then raise heat to 400 F and braise for 15 minutes or until chicken skin is crisped. Oven-braised chicken thighs with porcini mushrooms and vegetables.
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    When the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame opened this was the featured song with Chuck Berry and "some back up band"
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    Hi: i'm Diane and I'm originally from Silver Spring, MD, but for the past 30 years I've lived in New York and Boston, both great foodie towns. I recently moved back to Silver Spring and am up for exploring the restaurant scene in the D.C. area since things have changed a lot since I last lived here in 1986. My husband is the big foodie in my family and he has influenced me greatly over the years. We love going to dinner at new restaurants and exploring international foods.
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    Tried Shouk today with my NYC brother. Delicious and filling! I got the chickpea pita, he got the cauliflower bowl and a cup of soup, we shared the sweet potato fries, and as a big lagniappe due to a mixup at the pass, he got a chickpea bowl as well. We also got two cookies but, no surprise, had no room left to try them. Also, the cashew labneh that comes with the fries is really good. Like drinkable good.
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    We had a great dinner here on Saturday night sitting at the bar. Their selection of sour beers on tap is first rate and will always keep us coming back. We had charcuterie (speck, culatello, szechuan peppercorn), braised pork arepas, and the bacon cured spare ribs. All delicious. Considering we ordered all pork anyway we probably should just have gotten the Pig Feast. A good excuse to go back.
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    Because of a career transition, I have found myself at the Cosmos Club many times in 2017 and yet, am not a member. I don't know if that makes my review more or less biased because I actually cannot pick up the bill at Cosmos. I am a fan. First off, the service is absolutely perfect. Second, the building is amazing, beautiful, old, and historic. Third, the walls are full of history. Forth, I feel incredibly young and extraordinarily beautiful when I dine at Cosmos. If you exclude grandchildren, I am usually the youngest in the room by about 20 years. It's amazing. But really, I'm here to tell you about the food. When I first went to dine, I assumed that I would get a big baked potato with sour cream, cheddar cheese and bacon bits. I had, however, a very lovely lobster salad that was lightly, and yet perfectly dressed. ALso, I'm a huge soup and crab fan. Even though their crab soup has square carrots in it, I love it. It's very good and the crab is, I think, added at the end so it keeps its crabby, sweetness. My theory is that the average age of the members is quite advanced and their chef is personally invested in keeping them all alive as long as possible so created a wonderful, light, tasty, healthy menu. He should be commended.
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    I'm sorry you were disappointed, but I get it. You aren't the only one who feels that way. As a botanerd and orchid fancier in recovery, I prefer a more science-oriented exhibit; however, I commend Smithsonian Gardens for trying something different. The idea was, if I understand correctly, to try exhibiting them purely as art. Viewed that way I think it's quite successful, but it is a change from what people are used to. The annual orchid exhibit is held at USBG alternating years, so look for it there next year. In other years it's held at a Smithsonian facility (two years ago it was called Interlocking Science and Beauty; I think it was at Natural History). It's a collaborative effort between two different organizations and I love that they do it. ktmoomau, if you're an orchid fancier you might appreciate this: fifteen or twenty years ago, SI, USBG, Architect of the Capitol, and maybe a few other entities had a massive shared greenhouse facility near Blue Plains. I went there once with a few employees from Brookside Gardens - we were borrowing some materials - but there was a glitch and we were left cooling our heels for awhile. Then a gentleman whose name I've forgotten came by, introduced himself as the head orchidist for one of the organizations, and offered to take us through the orchid collections. This was beyond special, since the collections held endangered species that were seized under CITES guidelines and were being studied before being repatriated to their home countries. The plants were so protected that he wouldn't accept any volunteers who expressed even an interest in orchids, just in case (he'd had problems with volunteers poaching plants, iirc). I was in geek heaven.
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    Panda Gourmet is available for delivery on Amazon Prime Now so @MichaelBDC and I put in an order and grabbed a couple of drinks after our evening run. We ended up ordering the dan dan noodles, rouga mo chinese burger, cold steamed noodles with sesame sauce, hot and spicy chicken, and sauteed string beans. Highlights were the two noodle dishes, especially the dan dan noodles, and the sauteed string beans. Probably should have ordered the cold xi'an noodles mentioned above but got confused and ordered the one with sesame sauce. Still good. The green beans were nothing super special (sauteed with garlic and ginger) but still nice to have alongside the other dishes. The rouga mo chinese burger was good, but not great. I preferred the noodles to the burger, but I am a noodle fiend. The chicken was really dry and was good if we picked at it but didn't work with the steamed rice. Overall a great experience. Cost was $45 included tax and tip (which was automatic) and we had a coupon for $10 off. Order took about 50 minutes, which we expected.
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    From January 12, 2017 and no longer on the menu, but so memorable! SO delicious I have to share! I hope it will make another appearance on the menu! bialy, onion jam, trout roe, bottarga, butter
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    Welcome to the area! Even more than most places, I feel like whether you like Ashburn is all in the neighborhood. If you have great neighbors you'll love it, if not you may find it a bit 'detached' out here. Just in case you're still looking at houses... For food... Opa! Mezze Grill is good greek food, I second Bob Wells' rec of Ford's Fish Shack. At One Loudoun there is an interesting Thai place called Streets of Siam that has a solid cocktail program. Parallel Wine Bistro is a place I can love and hate at the same time, but the patio is a nice place to hang out on a warm evening. Next to Parallel is Johnny's Italian - other Johnny's have received raves for their cheesesteaks in other threads on this site, but I find its the best pizza in the area. It's been awhile since I've been to the Wine Kitchen in Leesburg since the no-res policy doesn't work well with little ones, but the last brunch I had there was solid. Magnolia's and WK Hearth in Purcellville (15 min) are good, and then you have Potowmack Farm up in Lovettsville. We eat most often at Clydes Willow Creek and Coopers Hawk but I'm afraid that is more due to convenience (and their bars) than them being really solid choices. Sadly I've not found too many of the small, non-chain places at the 'centers' to be worth a second visit, but Mali Thai is decent enough and Sakura is ok for hibachi/sushi. I tend to shop at the Whole Foods at Belmont Chase... honestly the options out here are somewhat limited in that area unless you love Harris Teeter or have the mental toughness for Wegmans on a weekend.
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    Moroccan carrot salad, garnished with cilantro, lime juice and Castelvetrano olives Clockwise from center: one 3 lb. chicken cut into pieces, washed and patted dry; bay leaves; salt; 16 shallots, peeled and trimmed; black peppercorns; canned artichoke hearts, drained; 4 tbsp. unsalted butter. Melt butter and 2 tbsp. vegetable oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Working in batches, brown chicken, then transfer to a plate. This is a step you can't rush because if you do, then the color will wash out in the braise. After the chicken has been browned, add the shallots to the pan and cook, shaking the pan occasionally, or until the shallots are all lightly colored. Transfer chicken and shallots to a Dutch oven. Pour off all but a thin layer of fat and add to the Dutch oven, along with 1/4 cup white wine. Season with salt and black pepper and add the bay leaves. Cook over low heat, covered, making sure to baste the chicken with the collected juices every 7-8 minutes. Add the artichoke hearts about 15 minutes through. Chicken should be done after approx. 30 minutes, when a fork or knife pierced through the thickest part of the thigh causes the juice to run clear. In the pan you used to sauté the chicken, add 1/2 cup chicken stock and bring that to a boil over medium heat. Scrape up all the browned bits with a spoon, then reduce the stock to 1/2 its original volume. Pour that over the chicken, then plate and serve at once. The chopped parsley is my addition, mostly for color. Poulet sauté à la Bordelaise ("sautéed chicken with shallots and artichoke hearts"), adapted from "The Cooking of Provincial France" by M.F.K. Fisher and the Editors of Time-Life Books (1968), page 123.
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    Damn it, Star, I am *so sorry* - we have all cherished your Grandma Reports in your reviews. Right now, there are a lot of to-dos to be done, but at some point, you're going to enter a realm of quietness that's more quiet than anything you've ever experienced. Then, a month or two will go by. That is the time when I'm going to share with you something that will help you immensely, For now, I hope I can speak for everyone when I say "I'm really sorry." It's so easy to say, "She lived a long life," or "She passed peacefully," but the truth is that some things in life just suck, and there's no way to get around it, other than to go straight through it. I'm sorry. PS - You have my permission and blessing to knock the shit out of anyone who says (with the best of intentions), "She's in a better place now."
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    The statement of one's preference that there is no quality of dining experience that justifies waiting two hours provides no information about Rose's and should be reserved for a different conversation about waits in general. This is distinguishable from a statement that Rose's is not good enough to wait in line for two hours.
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    They freeze well. Halve lengthwise, remove stems and seeds. Wrap tightly in plastic and freeze in a plastic bag. Use a bit at a time.
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    This is the world of Michelin 2-star dining - real caviar is *very* expensive, and I just don't see the harm in having an option to order it (or not) - I'm quite certain they don't care. I see caviar and truffles as supplements all the time, and never order them, but they're generally in the $30-100 range as well, regardless of the price of the restaurant - same with wine pairings, which can run $100 or more. I generally agree with mtureck, but after the meal I had at Pineapple & Pearls for $150, there's no way I would expect a portion of caviar like that included. Upscale restaurants have $1,000+ bottles of wine listed all the time, but they don't expect you to order them - if someone walks in worth $50 million? They'd do it without batting an eye, so why not offer it to them? BTW, Pat, your review *was* fantastic. PS - I do think that perhaps their *approach* towards the caviar dish might have been a bit of a tease, and maybe they should rethink that. It's fine to have it offered, but I think they should mention the price as the very first thing. "Tonight we're also offering, for a $40 supplement, a decadent ...." and then close by saying something like "It's fine to split, and you'll also have the full experience without it - it's meant for a splurge" or something like that. Or maybe have a little postcard-thing on each table describing it, to be picked up if people don't mention it - that's a more passive approach. I have to stress, I really think we're in a bubble right now (even though Pineapple & Pearls is a *very good* value), and restaurants are going to keep pushing the envelope until we aren't.
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    I have a pigs feet recipe for pozole by Rick Bayless going in the crockpot, although I only have a small crockpot so I had to half it. Will have to figure out what to do with the other pigs foot, probably sous-vide it and then de-bone and grill it off. I have a brisket that is going sous-vide for about 32 hours. So we will see how it all goes.
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    I'm just wondering when you guys are going to finally realize you're a cut above everyone else ... (... why in the heck do you think I've kept this website going for over ten years?) I suspect that, like you, Buredo is something I would enjoy on a semi-regular basis, with the amounts of sauce from the squirt bottles rather severely *curtailed* so my meal can be both tasty *and* healthy. But I'll be darned if I'm going to wait in line for what is essentially quick-serve temaki sushi. There is a mini-chain in San Fransisco called Sushirrito which was, I believe, the pioneer of this concept, and it is quite popular here, especially among people in their 20s. And if anyone thinks I'm coming across as Grumpy Cat, Buredo looks like something I'm interested in, and even has the potential to be in Italic; you just won't see me waiting in line for it.