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Found 475 results

  1. [posted on eGullet 2003-2004] Buck's is an interesting, pleasant space that should do quite well in this location. The atmosphere is welcoming and warm, and the bar is a comfortable place to spend an evening. There's a canoe up in the rafters, if that hints at the motif, and there are no bottles on the wall behind the bar which makes it feel more homey, less like a business. The staff seemed competent and cool. James, one of the co-owners, is quite intelligent, a fine conversationalist, and apparently business-savvy (so why did he approve the name!?), Jamie behind the bar is low-key while at the same time being friendly, attentive and welcoming, and Carole Greenwood herself, about whom many vignettes fly, came across at utterly affable and charming to me. The receptionist was also quite cordial. The wine list is a brainchild of James, who is quite the oenophile, and it's esoteric, affordable, and a wine geek's dream considering it's relatively small size. There's no way a restaurant is going to feature wines such as this unless someone really knows what they're doing. But ultimately, I wonder if the list is more thoughtful than it is good (do I really want a Greek rosé as the only one on the list?) Still, it gets a solid B+ given its price-point, and given the knowledge of James, should quickly get even better. The mussels in a rosemary broth are truly great, as good as mussels get, and I think I went through about two baskets of bread (very good bread) sopping up the broth. I can't imagine liking mussels much more than this. Obligatoire. It's a mistake to go and not get these. Grilled quail with venison sausage needs to be rethought. The quail didn't sing, and it was served with a pear chutney which was overwhelming, the whole thing being in a teriyaki-like sauce. The two pieces of venison sausage in the dish were terrific, but lost in the saucing. By the way, the menu reads "Grilled quail and venison sausage," and I was expecting grilled sausage made of quail-and-venison. The steak is a price anomaly at $29.50 (I don't think any other entrée goes higher than the mid-teens). And it's worth it, too, dry-aged and prime. Meat-wise, it's as good as it gets. As good as Charlie Palmer. Where does she get this stuff? This was a remarkable steak. It comes with excellent sweet-potato fries that you might think are in need of sea-salt, but one bite of the steak will change your mind: the coating/saucing is seeringly salty, and unfortunately I think it detracts from the otherwise mind-bendingly good steak. Let me repeat: this is a world-class steak, but given the aggressive seasoning, the sweet-potato fries are rendered as impotent as taro chips. A bit of tweaking with the peripherals, and you have the best steak dish in the city. Jamie admirably kept his composure when I ordered the chocolate icebox cake ... and asked for a glass of milk. I haven't ordered a glass of milk in twenty years, but it just seemed so right at the moment (they didn't have any). What I was hoping for was something cakey, but what came instead was more of a ganache, and I don't think that seems appropriate for this restaurant. It was good, perfectly honest and well-executed, but probably not worth the calories for me. So in my mind, there were dazzling highs (steak, mussels, service, atmosphere, esoteric wine), troublesome lows (quail, sauces) and not much in the middle (the icebox cake). In summary, Buck's is a wonderful and formidable addition to the DC dining scene, and does certain things as well as anyone. I'm happily going back there soon. Cheers, Rocks.
  2. From what I've read here, this is coming from the owners of the Limerick Pub, Squire's Rock Creek Chop House is opening just across the street on Price Ave in Wheaton. The concept reminds me of Ferdinands. I don't expect a destination restaurant, but perhaps a local watering hole where family can gather? Will be interesting to see how it is priced as well.
  3. Did you know that The Royal Restaurant is the third-oldest in the DC area, having first opened in 1904? 😲
  4. Has anyone stopped in at this new Neighborhood Restaurant Group restaurant yet (where Bookbinders used to be)? I saw an article that said they opened the main floor this week. I was looking through the lunch and dinner menus on their website, and the reuben eggroll caught my eye.
  5. Just wanted to get myself going. And what better way, than to sing the praises of my favorite spot. Thanks to Tom and his crew for a mgnificent evening of food and drink for our Rocks roast. That mushroom and crab(?) soup just added to my assertion that Chef Tom has the magic touch when it comes to that course. The steak was out of this world good. Someone mentioned elsewhere that it was in the same league as Ray's, and I agree. Spring rolls, Kit Kat bars and ice cream -- all excellent. But of course the piece de resistance was the company.
  6. Went to matchbox tonight "on a whim". Try the white pizza with prosciutto. But instead of prosciutto, have anchovies on the side. Mmmmmmmm.
  7. Has anyone had an opportunity to visit Fireworks Wood Fired Pizza in Leesburg, Virginia? http://www.fireworkspizza.com/HOME2.htm My family and I have eaten at the restaurant once, and ordered take out twice. On our first visit, the first pie we ordered was the: quattro carni. The second (take out) was the: smokey blue, and the third (take out) was the: fire cracker. Our favorite pie thus far has been the: smokey blue, but felt that the service each time has been poor. During our first visit, the wait staff neglected to remember one-half of the order for my family. As a result causing the food delivery to be staggered. Each time we have called to place take out orders, the phone manners from the wait staff/bartender taking the order has been less than stellar.
  8. Anyone else tried out the Tonic that recently opened at the former Quigley's Pharmacy on 21st Street? No liquor license yet (the hostess said they might hear today -- right), but four of my colleagues and I had a good lunch. I had a really good burger and there are several versions on the menu. Hand-made patty with good quality bun. I had the guacamole burger which was pretty messy but delicious with housemade guac and cheese. There is a bar (and the beer taps are in place though still dry) that seats about 15 and downstairs as well as upstairs table seating. There is also a third floor lounge with what looks like a conference room where a private party could be accommodated. Nice space and efficient service. If you go for lunch and don't want to sit at the bar best to make a reservation.
  9. Something I once had to say about Chef Geoff's which still is the worse place/meal I've ever had in DC: In most cases, I alert restaurant staff when I'm unhappy about something and see how it's handled and that often paves the way for a future return. But in some cases that's impractical: "Those curtains are vile. You must change them!" Or it's not even worth the bother because of a combination of things. Or the complaints are about things that are so basic that if they can't get them right without you mentioning it to them they've got serious issues. Or you just don't feel like it, because you shouldn't have to. Today I visited Chef Geoff's Downtown for lunch, and it falls into the latter categories. The hostess looked befuddled when I, as a party of one, requested to be seated for lunch today at nearly 1:30 p.m. Plenty of available space. For some reason though, the welcome was less than welcoming. Music. They were blasting Bruce Springsteen. I'd expect that in a bar/tavern, or even some restaurants without tablecloths! Sometimes music in the restaurant can set a mood, particularly if it's light and in the background. Or sometimes, District Chophouse as an example with its '40s music, it's trying to set a scene. But this was none of that. I ordered Snow Pea Fusilli: Defined on the menu as tomatoes, onions, summer sprouts, asiago, and pea coulis. The quantity of things wrong with this dish probably exceeded the quantity of ingredients. To name a few, the pasta was overdone, boiled to death. The vegetables (save for the grape tomatoes) were over done, sautéed to death. There were cucumber slices (or were they zucchini? I couldn't tell) that were just shy of wilted mush. They had only enough structural integrity left to allow me to tell that it had been a green vegetable at one time. The dish was sauced to death with a cloying sweet and acidic vinegar mixture that overwhelmed and overpowered everything (save the grape tomatoes which had enough of its own flavorful acid to fight through this mess). The asiago cheese on this dish looked like it had come from one of those plastic containers of shredded (as opposed to grated) parmesan at the supermarket. The closest approximation I can suggest for this dish is: Visit your local supermarket. Go to the prepared foods section. Get the plastic container of "Pasta Primavera" or something similar. Nuke it until just warm. This is a true approximation and not an exaggeration. This is where I should have spoken up. But my server came to ask how everything was only one forkful after another server delivered it to my table. Only enough time for me to say, "I don't like it" and not explain why I don't like it, which is essential for me to send something back. So I nodded while I chewed. She didn't return again until it was clear that I had eaten all I was going to eat. I declined the coffee and dessert offer. When it came time for the check ($19.47 including tax and an iced tea), and I left $30 so I can have proper change to leave a tip. She brought $10 back to me instead of $10.53. I would understand this (rather small) oversight if the place was busy and she was swamped, but at this time I was the only customer there. Your mileage may vary, but I can't think of any redeeming qualities that would make me want to return or consider another chance for them. After all, I paid $20 for that experience and boy do I feel taken. Perhaps it's because I'm spoiled knowing what a $9 chicken can taste like! The place gave me an "aura of bad feeling." I can safely say I will not return there.
  10. WARNING: Shameless plug for Evening Star Cafe & The Wild Grape (JParrot)... This Monday, April 24th, the Evening Star Cafe is hosting Richard Weiss of The Wild Grape at our monthly wine dinner. If you like small production wines from South Africa, this is most definitely a not-to-be-missed dinner. Chef Matt Cordes and his staff are pairing their creations with seven wines from The Wild Grape. Menu Vischysoisse with Parsley Froth paired with a 2005 Louisvale Unwooded Chardonnay (Western Cape) Seared Scallops with Farmer Greens, Fennel & Articoke and a Lavender Vinaigrette paired with a 2005 Monteroso de Franchi Old Bush Vine Chenin Blanc Pan-Roasted Muscovy Duck Breast with Savory Sour Cherry Bread Pudding, Minted Duck Jus and Micro Greens paired with a 2003 Avondale "Amira" Syrah (Coastal Region) and a 2003 Hartenberg "Ecurie" Cab, Shiraz, Pinotage, Merlot Blend (Stellenbosch) Caraway & Herb Crusted Lamb Round with Red Onion, Parsley & Black Pepper Creme paired with a 2003 Le Riche Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot Blend and a 2001 Vergenoegd Estate Cabernet Sauvignon (Stellenbosch) Raisin Tart with Port & Muscat Drizzle paired with a 2005 Vriesenhof Melelo Muscat d'Alexandrie, Tinta Touriga (Stellenbosch) Price is $85 per person (includes tax & gratuity). RSVP by calling Planet Wine at 703.549.3444.
  11. 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.
  12. Yes, it's going in the former veterinary clinic near the Belga; it will be called Senart's Oyster House, after an old ghost mural that is painted on the outside wall of the building.
  13. I've kept this quiet for weeks out of professional courtesy, but you'll hear about it very soon anyway, so you may as well hear it here first. Breaking News: Brian Zipin will be GM (and a partner) of Medium Rare, a sub-$20 American-style steak frites restaurant opening in late February in the old Yanni's space. Behind the operation? Mark Bucher of BGR was one of the creators, and none other than Michel Richard was (quietly) involved with developing sauces and desserts, but Brian and Tom Gregg (past President of Cuisine Solutions) are involved as non-silent partners. Cheers, Rocks PS Don't ever underestimate Michael Landrum - the guy gets around. But I've been told ... no sous vide (and I asked "are you sure? about ten times). So you weren't quite right, Michael!
  14. It looks like Agraria's second location will be Founding Farmers, at the IMF building. See links here and here.
  15. We used to go pretty regularly to the Chadwick's in Friendship Heights, and just recently went back for the first time in a couple of years. It's remarkable only in it's consistency in providing decent food at a very fair price. I usually get a burger or a sliced pork sandwich. In addition to the burgers, which are decent, J is fond of their ribs and small sirloin steak. We both like the fried calamari and the draft beer. For us it was a place to go, close to home, when I didn't feel like cooking and didn't want pizza or cheap Chinese, my husband didn't want to get dressed up or spend a lot of money, and our entertainment for the evening was going to be browsing in the book store afterwards. There are other places we've been going to in recent years, newer, trendier--Chadwick's is easy, cheaper. Rarely ever a wait for a table, parking isn't a hassle, etc. And when Veggie-teen was younger, she liked the big sheets of white paper on the tables and the crayons.
  16. The Philadelphia food critic is not a fan. "Founding Farmers May Have a Good Story and a Good Mission. But the Food ..." by Craig LaBan on philly.com --- See the extensive Washington, DC thread here.
  17. Exciting news on King Street! The folks from A la Lucia (namely Michael Nayeri) have announced that they will be opening a new restaurant in the space at 1106 King Street. The news was announced on the A la Lucia Facebook page, as well as in a recent e-newsletter. It will not be a second A la Lucia location. They're hoping for an opening in early 2015.
  18. Appleby's Hell Was out in Chantilly yesterday for the gun show, and my buddy and I were really hungry so we decided to go to Appleby's only because we hoped it would work in a pinch. So go in and get sat, then waiter who might be about 20 comes to table to take order. We ordered the boneless chicken wings, then both got burgers, one coke and one diet coke. When I asked that my burger be cooked medium and with the barbeque sauce on the side, he tells me that he thinks they have to cook it medium-well, but he will check with the manager. As for the buffalo tenders he goes into lenghty explanation of mild vs spicy. I opt for spicy. About five minutes later, he brings the sodas to the table, asking who gets diet-regular, we tell him. About ten minutes later the burgers come to the table. I looked at him and inquired as to the whereabouts of the buffalo tenders. DEER IN THE HEADLIGHT LOOK. Oh, do you guys still want those he asked, n ot quite sure himself. Yes, I say as I ask him for soda refills for both of us. Start in on burger and notice that sauce is on the side, yet also on the burger! My buddy ordered the same burger and got no sauce at all. He surived. Walking dead returns with the sodas only to auction them off. The kid only had 2 tables to deal with. The funny thing was this was kind of enjoyable to experience, with his 2.3 minute responses. Buffalo tenders come out near completion of the burgers and we start eating them. No more than 4 minutes had passed when Keeanu comes back and asked if were done. A simple no is my response, but I'm thinking that this guy is Agraria/Extra Virgin waiter material. Check is dropped about 10 minutes after that and the bill is $25.34 and "I'll take that when your ready" is gladly optioned to us. We throw down $40.00-2 twenty's and take a bet as to whether or not he is going to ask us if we want change. Personally I feel a 60% tip was a bit much, but who am I to question. Sure enough, he picks up the check and asks the million dollar question--" do you guys need change", trying not to either laugh/grab him by the neck and shake him, I just said Yes. It's always a roll of the dice in these places, and the meal was what we expected-decent for what we ordered. He was no Justin Guthrie, but hey, who is.
  19. I like the combination wine shop and tasting room/restaurant concept. However, the expectation at a place like this is that they'll have some interesting wine selections that you might not find everywhere else. Unfortunately the shop bottles and the tasting list here (3oz, 6oz) tend toward fairly common wines, such as E. Guigal Cotes du Rhone (a wine that I like, but...). The kitchen was at one time overseen by Jeff Heineman from Grapeseed, but I'm not sure if that's the case anymore. The food was pretty disappointing, though. The entrees we had were bland: monkfish with a wine-tomato sauce and vegetables and a lamb ragu over corkscrew pasta. The bartender at the Idle Hour, where we stopped afterwards, raved about the place and told us we needed to try it again. To me it was a collection of trendy ideas (small pours, industrial interior, truffle oiled this and that, etc) done poorly. Anyone else been?
  20. Late to writing this up, but was in New York a few weeks ago, and took the opportunity to hit THE GRILL with a few friends. Some background - the Major Food Group team (ZZ's, Carbone, Parm, etc) have basically taken over the Seagram building's restaurants - THE GRILL and THE POOL replaced the Four Seasons, and The Lobster Club replaced Brasserie. Much has been made of THE GRILL so far, particularly the cost of the renovation and the prices on the menu. If the crowd on our visit is any indication of their usual crowd I'd say things are going just fine. The redesign of the space is beautiful and the bar is an incredible showpiece, if not the most practical place to hang out for a drink at - seems as though it would function best as a stop prior to the table. I am a fan of MFG's retro style - the tableside preparations are very nice, and aside from the Jockey Club many moons ago I can't think of a place in DC (or in NY) who offers as many. Our group started with Pasta a la Presse, Scallop w/ snails and steak tartare. I only had a bite of the scallops with snails, but honestly it reminded me of Frank Ruta's gnocchi with snail fricassee that was on the menu at Mirabelle this winter, albeit with scallops instead of gnocchi. Very enjoyable. The tartare was very good, chopped to order and served with an incredible array of accompaniments. I had the pasta a la presse, which is a dish of house-made fettuccine in a sauce made of various game put through a duck press and incorporated into a sauce. The game is put through the press tableside and returned as a composed dish. I thought the dish was excellent, but will likely try the blue crab gumbo next time out to try and keep the meal a bit lighter. Our mains were the larded squab, pheasant claiborne and prime rib. I didn't get a chance to have the squab, but it looked excellent. I had the pheasant Claiborne, which was served in a cast iron skillet closed with a ribbon of puff pastry around the rim. The Madeira and truffles in the braising liquid made for an incredible aroma when the lid was removed! All in all a wonderful dish. Apart from the pheasant, the braised endive that came with it was sensational. Our third companion had the prime rib, which was carved at the table - he had a choice of the end he preferred and wisely elected to maximize the amount of rib cap included. Once carved, the captain came back with a deviled bone as well. We asked about the off-menu steaks on offer - the top end was some rib-eye for just over $300(!) - we didn't inquire about what it included or didn't. Aside from that ridiculous steak, all of the other prices were in line with similar establishments in DC or NY. The wine list, was broad, as you'd expect, and highly marked up, as you'd also expect. There are some excellent picks there for the astute wino, however. We were fully prepared to pay a multiple of what we ended up spending, which was around $65/ bottle for a '09 Raffault Chinon or two. All in all a great experience. We'll be back. Also, we didn't eat at the Lobster Club but headed down there for a drink after dinner. My goodness that place is an absolute scene!
  21. Did you have the onion rings at Quarry? I keep hearing they are excellent. Both the Half-Moon BBQ and La Bamba are also good places to eat. Both are directly below the (ex?) Napoli, and both are IMO better than any of the formula places that have invaded Silver Spring.
  22. (Search returned nothing and I don't recall seeing a thread, so here goes) I had a lovely dinner (with a large group, none the less) at the new Liberty Tree last night. Pizza and small plates on H street, I believe they've been open a whole two weeks or so now. It feel strange to tout the virtues of a salad, but the "rare tuna" was pretty wicked. Spinach, Kalamata, white beans, topped with seared tuna with some pine nuts. Seriously, best salad in a while. And the salads come in two sizes, thank you very much (I hate not knowing if it's going to be huge or small...at least with two sizes you can have some idea if you're ordering as a starter versus a main). Margherita pizza with prosciutto, also pretty darned yummy. I snuck a bite of the bread pudding (didn't leave room for more than that) and it was seriously good. The kicker? Noticeably affordable. Our bill came and my friend and I had to laugh because her two bottles of Lambic ($12 each, which I think seems pretty normal since they're at TJ's for $10) came to a full half of our dinner check. I'm excited, this place is good. I think it's going to be crowded when word gets out.
  23. For the younger folk out there, Rosemary Clooney was George Clooney's aunt. She had a remarkably warm and graceful way of singing. She fell out of sight in the 1960s because of some personal problems, but came back strong in the 1980s with some wonderful American-songbook type records. Here (in 1984) she sings one of Irving Berlin's greatest songs, "What'll I Do?". I tormented myself with this song after a particularly painful break-up, but now it's just an old, sweet friend.
  24. Original Ray's: The Classics posts are in the Ray's: The Steaks Thread. Saw this in the Gazette: NOTICE Notice is hereby given that application has been made by: Elliott A. Rattley, Jr., Nicholas R. Lopata on behalf of ARS Silver Spring, LLC, for the transfer of a Beer, Wine & Liquor License, Class B, H/R, On Sale Only, for the premises known as The Classics Restaurant, which premises are located at: 8606 Colesville Road Silver Spring, Maryland 20910 A hearing on the application will be held in the First Floor Auditorium, Council Office Building, 100 Maryland Avenue, Rockville, Maryland, on: Thursday: May 16, 2013 At: 11:30 a.m. Any person desiring to be heard on said application should appear at the time and place fixed for said hearing. BY: Kathie Durbin Division Chief Board of License Commissioners for Montgomery County, Maryland MC 50306 (5-3, 5-10-13)
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