OK, Don and everyone else -- hi.
The short version is that I signed up for DonRockwell.com at the suggestion of our good friends, Bobby Bloch and his wife Sari (of Bobby's Crabcakes fame). My wife (who brings a somewhat different perspective having grown up in Sweden) and I love good food and good wine. (Except the day before my wife goes to Weight Watchers.) So this seemed like a natural, and so far it's been a lot fun and quite interesting.
Although we've lived in the area for more than 30 years, our restaurant experience was somewhat limited for a long time by the fact that our children insist on sushi 90% of the time that we go out. We love sushi too, but a litle balance is also ok. Actually, now that the children are getting a little older (one now in college), we've started to branch out a little. If you call going to Bobby's Crabcakes close to once a week branching out. Why Bobby's? Because Bobby and Sari are really good friends, the food is great, we really like the menu, and we like the fact that you can get really good food in a nice but casual atmosphere. Having said that, I am still forlornly looking for good Chinese in the Bethesda area, and am largely disappointed with the Italian restaurants. You can do ok, but where are the little hidden gems or even a consistently good trattoria?
We are really enjoying the developments in the DC restaurant scene over the past few years - especially around Penn Quarter and Dupont Circle. As long-time DC residents know, when my wife came to town, the choices were rather slim. She used to have to carry around a jar of instant coffee. That way she could order a cup of coffee (she would describe it as coffee water) and then add a spoon of instant to get something close to what she was used to in Sweden. (Caffeine addiction = yes! True for all Swedes; seems to be in the genes.) Now it seems like there's generally acceptable and sometimes good coffee on almost every street corner. And the restaurant scene is simply light-years from what it was. Keep up the good work all you struggling restauranteurs out there!! You're on our list; we hope to get there soon.
We will try to chime in with some thoughts about our dining experiences over time, but one question to start. Yannick Cam recently opened his new Bistro Provence in Bethesda. We've heard from some friends who were disappointed, especially with the portion size. But we've heard from others who loved it. I'd say there are more of the latter. If you've been there, what was your experience?