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Found 66 results

  1. Opening day drink menu Opening day menu Their imminent opening on H Street intrigues me, and to tell you the truth I'm not sure what to expect. The charcuterie and cheese has pedigree, the team looks pretty solid, and the menu looks fun as well. The "featured cocktails" exude confidence on paper; I've had the Lion's Tail at the Passenger and at home many times, and it's not an easy recipe to execute. Ditto, to a lesser degree, for the Seelbach. And the Five and Dime (ROOT, maple syrup, egg white, and Black IPA) is only locally eclipsed in opening menu audaciousness by SOVA/Derek Browns' placement of the coffee cocktail (cognac, port, a whole egg, and simple syrup, as well as a particularly strong shaker such as Jamie MacBain).
  2. No, but it's now open, and here are the website and current menus. Note that there's a pop-up window advertising heritage turkey dinners (complete dinners) to go for Thanksgiving this year - they're asking you to order early (note to NRG: That window is showing up every time you click on something on the website - it would be nice if you saw it only once). Dinner: Charcuterie: Beer: Drinks and Wine:
  3. Down an out of the way road in Jessup, a group of friends and I had a fun evening at Blob's Park Bavarian Beer Garden last night. I had heard stories of this place for some time. A few of my childhood friends' parents used to got here for literal buckets of beer and dancing when I was growing up in the area. The space is huge, designed to seat 800 people. We were lucky to have the evening's band be Steve Meisner and his polka band from Madison, WI. There are regulars to this place, their tables marked with wood plaques engraved with their names. There were a lot of families with children running around. We ordered pitchers of Spaten pils and octoberfest to start- no more buckets. Too bad. We then got several appetizers including their pork wings, sausage plates, and very salty Bavarian radishes. I had a weisswurst plate, and then a taste of their German chocolate cake. While the cuisine was not stellar, the atmosphere was the real draw. The polka band started up at 8, and was greeted by a line of regulars who stood in front playing instruments like tambourine and washboards to the first song. Then everyone danced polka or western swing or whatever to the night's sets of music. It felt like night in the Midwest again.
  4. Am I right that no one has written about Maple? Named after the big slab of maple wood that makes up the bar (not pancakes!), this place is right on 11th st. We went for the first time last weekend and were very happy we did. It's a small space and you can tell that the same designers who did Cork did Maple (although I found Maple more comfy/cozy). Lots of wood, grey, etc. and the bar ends in one of those peninsulas that can be a table for four. Outside tables too. The menu is small, and so is the kitchen. That said, everything was delicious. To start we had a summer special cocktail -- gin with limonata, blackberry juice, and blackberries. Refreshing and I am now totally addicted to this drink. We had two of the crostini (I don't remember the price for two, four were $10) and they were tasty -- one with white beans and anchovies and one with prosciutto, fontina, and fig. I give the edge to the white bean one though. I had the short rib panini, which was delicious. Hearty, rich, and just fantastic. My partner had the lamb bolognese, which was also great -- just gamey enough, but not too ripe. We shared a bottle of forgettable Montepulciano, but at $20 for a bottle, it was fine. There were plenty of other choices that were a little more expensive, but we went with the waitresses wine recommendation. We thought it was interesting she suggested the cheapest bottle! Dessert was a special -- cobbler with peaches and blackberries from the farmer's market with dolcezza vanilla gelato. YUM! A few things I loved -- first of all, it is not small plates. I am so tired of small plates! Second, the prices were great. For two cocktails, a bottle of wine, the crostini, two entrees and a dessert our bill was $100 for two people including tax and tip. Finally, they seem to have cool special events. We signed up for an upcoming Italian rare beer tasting. Only quibble was that the wine recommendation was not great from the server, but otherwise she was super nice, efficient, and good.
  5. After a soft opening on Sunday afternoon for friends and neighbors The Red Hen officially opened last night. Menu is not on the website yet, but Washingtonian has a scan. We were hoping to walk down right around 5:00, but never made it out the door; it was apparently packed (as expected given the neighborhood excitement for this place). Early Comments I've read so far are very good on the food, so-so on the value (although no cocktail is over $10, so hooray?). Portions size comes up most, but there are lots of small plates. We're very much excited to try it out. Has anyone been yet?
  6. Drove by recently, saw the sign, but can't find anything about it on the internet. Does anyone know anything about it?
  7. My wife and I have adopted the Sunday habit of driving to Leesburg for excellent salads and exemplery soup at Kevin Malone's rustic Tuscarora Mill in Leesburg. The front of this is a tavern that we've enjoyed for a number of years, especially on a cold winter's night. Recently, we learned that he had opened a new restaurant in Purcellville, about 15 miles further out into Loudoun County. Today, with the temperature hovering around 80 we put the top down and drove out to explore. To say that Magnolia is a converted grain silo from the 19th century is an injustice. To say that it sits at the absolute end of the Old Dominion Railroad trail does not capture the ambience of sitting on the patio overlooking the trail. This is a five story high mill that has seen at least several million dollars worth of investment. The result is an absolutely breathtaking wooden cathedral with ceilings approaching a fifth or six floor, planked flooring and brick and stone in every direction. Why Sietsema hasn't been out here yet is absolutely beyond me: it opened two years ago. Our expectation was for the same food that we have found in Leesburg at Tuscarora. Our disappointment was not finding it. This is a very abbreviated "review" since we only scratched the surface of this remarkable restaurant's menu. My hope is that Kevin Malone, the owner, might read it and change a few things before Sietsema or Kliman decide to take a Sunday drive to Purcellville. My wife and I each ordered a soup, one the soup of the day which essentially was chicken broth with a few veggies. The other was a very good version of Rao's Vodka Sauce for pasta. Neither was on par with the excellent half dozen soups we've had over the years at Tuscarora Mill. We each had the salad of the day. What is important about my comment is the size of the "dinner" salad: anemically small. In Leesburg dinner salads are not nearly as large as, say, Houston's or Sweetwater. But they are better, perhaps, much better. And a bit larger. At least twelve bites if not more. This was considerably smaller than what we have found in Leesburg. After eight or nine bites we were finished. I've never measured a salad before by the number of bites but the size of this inspired that consideration-there were so few! When I later received the check I could not believe that these salads could cost as much as they did: approximately a dollar a bite! Even the best flavored lettuce does not warrant this. Entrees being served around the room and on the patio looked delicious: we thought that, maybe, we had ordered wrong which would justify a return. After all, we fell in love with the ambience and the incredible effect that the remodelling of the building had on diners: gorgeous, atmospheric, the fantasy realization of anyone driving through the Virginia countryside looking for a good restaurant with a great deal of "personality" to have dinner at. This was it. But at least a few courses need work. We'll be back soon for the main courses and dessert. Definitely worth the trip, if only for a glass of wine...
  8. In the old Levante's space, which is closing at the end of the year. Planned opening for the spring. Clickety. Even as casual as this seems to be, it could instantly be one of the best restaurants in mediocre-heavy Bethesda.
  9. After dinner at my fave' Ghibellina, stopped by the new bar Kingfisher, on my way back to my car, b/c I had to park all the way by the Pig. It's down in the basement, true neighborhood bar, not even dealing with the gastropub or any sort of menu options at all, except for free popcorn and some expensive beef jerky. They have a very strong beer draft list, some canned wines, fun cocktails. If you are hungry for other foods, you can order delivery or just bring what you want in. We walked into the beginning of trivia night (they use "Geeks Who Drink") and played a half a game (our group, "Better Late Than Pregnant" were 3rd of 11 at halftime), but I was turning into a pumpkin so we left before the game was over. I love it - very few of these exist any more. Felt like a bunch of friends got together and said, "Let's open a bar that feels like our basement". Very cozy. Reasonable prices. They have bingo night, too. Will see you there! ** Oh - the name has nothing to do with India or the Indian beer. They had a hard time finding a name for a bar, so they figured they'd go for a bird's name. They got a book and saw a really cool looking bird, and said, "Boom! That's what we're calling this joint". They do not serve Kingfisher but b/c of all the questions, they may offer it at some point.
  10. Kingfisher has been open since the summer. I went in shortly after opening, and the guy behind the bar told me that they wanted to build a neighborhood bar on 14th Street, and that they hoped to tune the TVs behind the bar to nerdier things (like Godzilla movies) than muted sporting events. After half a year of it open, I like just about everything but their happy hour: the free popcorn is great, the beer list (cans only, no drafts, like Red Derby) is pretty well-curated, and it's a really nice place to meet people for a drink, but the happy hour offerings (particularly in the way of beer) are pretty meager. Otherwise, it's a really nice place and a very welcome low-key addition to a perhaps overly buzzy neighborhood.
  11. Tonight's meal was brought to you by the letter B as well as S. Bad service , boys & girls, cancels out a great meal everytime. I often equate it to a bad review. I could read 100 reviews ,but that one bad one will sit heavy with me. The Cove in York has one less patron. Let me start off with the good stuff,though. A bowl of cream of crab,by far is the best deal in town at $4.99. Large bits of backfin crab is abundant throughout the savory blend of cream& spices. I asked the surly bartender what he recommended as a restaurant fav, and the service staff jumped at the opportunity to reccomend the Cantina Nachos. The nachos can be topped off with an array of protein options. I chose the brisket. Wow , just wow. I was blown away when the dish was served. A long oblong plate stacked high with fatty goodness. Housemade chips piled high with beef brisket accented by an abundance of jalepenos, black beans, scallions,tomatoes, and gooey cheddar cheese.It would have been made a bit more perfect if a sprinkling of chopped cilantro made an appearance. But thats me.But my dear followers, thats where the perfection ended. I was really trying to give the bartender the benefit of my doubt, but he failed miserably. I watched him reach into a ice bin with a glass tumbler. Irresponsible. But more importantly , he didnt even bother to greet me once I sat down. Whats the average time a bartender greets a patron? He made eye contact, walked away from me to pour a glass of wine. Still no greeting& or acknowledgement. Not off to a good start. The service when downhill from there. Everytime I asked him a question, he acted indifferent,& bothered by my request. I wasn't his only victim of the evening. I watched him give bad service to just about anyone in listening range. I wanted to like this place, I really did, but bad service cancels out great food everytime. disappointed, kat
  12. In honor of Michel Richard, who left California I understand because diners ignored his menu and instead asked for healthy blah food like grilled fish on a bed of lettuce, my first stop in California was for a nice burger. Father's Office definitely delivered, this is a serious burger. According to wikipedia and consistent with my own memory, it is the "Office Burger, a patty of fine dry-aged beef topped with caramelized onions, Gruyère and Maytag cheeses, applewood-smoked bacon compote and arugula served on a soft roll." I also got a side of sweet potato fries, which represented quite well. It was fairly brisk on a Tuesday evening. The place is a bit dark (that's why I couldn't identify everything on the burger) but definitely worth the stop in Santa Monica.
  13. Being new to donrockwell.com I decided to look around and see what I could find about the places in my neighborhood. I was a little surprised that there were not any posts about Sixth Engine even though they've been open for over three years now. Perhaps that's because it wallows in mediocrity. Don't get me wrong, they've always had a consistently good brunch and well cooked burgers. The problem for me is that much of the rest of the menu has always been a little 'heavy handed' when it comes to ingredients and sauces. Thankfully, the chef who opened the place, Paul Madrid, has left and things are starting to get better. Additions like the arugula salad and roasted cauliflower with "Ling Sauce", which is very much a sweeter General Tso's sauce, have injected life back into the menu. Hopefully they will continue down this path. The bar program, on the other hand, came flying out of the gate and hasn't lost its momentum. Draft beers rotate regularly to highlight the best of the season and the bartenders take pride in not only making the drinks, but also the ingredients, creating custom shrubs and tonics to use in their creations. While I realize the latter can be found at craft cocktail bars all over the city, it's surprising to find in a place that has the vibe of a glorified TGI Fridays. The layout is more on par with the food than the bar program. Do not go there if you're looking for a quiet evening. The bar bleeds into the downstairs dining area and with TVs in both, it can quickly become a situation where you have to yell at the person across the table from you in order for them to hear you easily. The beautiful upstairs dining room has exposed brick walls and hardwood floors that echo all of the activity in the kitchen that adjoins it. Surprisingly the outdoor patio is the least noisy of the three even with the traffic on Mass Ave just a few feet away. There are a plethora of tables and the service is good. The sun us really the only enemy. During happy hour you're fine and in the shade while the sun scorches Philos' patio across the street. During brunch though you are in the sun's crosshairs and it will roast you at your table even with umbrellas in place to help prevent that. At the end of the day Sixth Engine is a nice place to get a drink and maybe have something to eat if it speaks to you. Otherwise, have a few drinks and walk around the corner to Wise Guy Pizza and score a slice of pie.
  14. Mythology is now (soft) open at 816 H Street NE. The concept has been in the works for years and comes from former Atlas Room GM (and Mark & Orlando's owner) Mark Medley with his business partner Todd Luongo. Mythology opened quietly last night. With little fanfare, Mythology lined up the talented Chef Joseph Harran (formerly of Woodward Table, Bistro Bis and Vidalia) to operate the kitchen. If you don't know Chef Harran (and I did not), note that our fearless leader DonRocks has described him here as "exceptionally talented" and a "Top 20 Chef in the city." Our preview meal confirmed Don's informed opinion and was quite delicious and well-executed. We particularly enjoyed the blue crab toast appetizer, the scallops and steak (w/bone marrow) entrées, and the playful "coffee and tea" dessert. The second floor lounge area and roof decks of the building and concept remain under construction, but Mythology is open for dinner now and likely to add brunch and the upstairs bar/lounge space in the coming months. Some aspects of the Mythology theme were not to our taste, but we will be back again for another very good meal soon. Mythology is an instant contender on H Street, IMHO -- Chef Harran in back and Mark in front is a very strong combination and elevates the competition for quality dining here in NE DC.
  15. I will be taking the Executive Chef role at Barrel and Crow in Bethesda. We plan to offer regional American food mostly in the the $18 to $24 range for dinner, along with a couple items in the $30 range. We are looking to be a great neighborhood restaurant for people to come to and enjoy some great comforting food and drink, at a decent price point. We are hoping to open in about 4 weeks with a little luck. I have attached a sample of the opening dinner menu, still haven't tested everything yet so there could be some small changes. Barrel and Crow Opening Dinner Menu.pdf
  16. "German Restaurant Takes Signed Trump Photo Down after Barrage of Yelp Complaints" by Ken Meyer on mediaite.com
  17. Good tacos (non-traditional tacos), fantastic beer list, and they serve their entire menu until 1:30 am.
  18. In PA for a wedding this weekend. Looked at us a bit funny as 3 families with kids strolled into a pub for brunch, but frankly not much else was open or looked good...plus all the parents needed a beer. Great draft list. I had a local bitters on cask (Yards ESA, I think). Po-boys were tasty and filling, and the fried green tomato BLT with Benton's bacon hit the hangover helper high points. Definitely a solid brunch/lunch option if you're in that neck of the woods.
  19. Joe Englert, the man behind such dive bars as The Big Hunt, Lucky Bar, Capitol Lounge, and Pour House, strikes again, this time expanding his empire to the H Street, NE Corridor. Viewed by some as the next gentification project around town, Englert is moving in fast and furious with at least 7 projects slated to open on H Street -- the Argonaut Tavern being the first. What can I say, it's a typical Englert dive bar! This time he has struck with a 1800's sea wharf saloon meets pirate rum bootlegger theme. Lots of nautical stuff, pressed tin roof, uneven floor boards, mismatched tables and chairs, a pool table, and flat screen TVs showing sports the modern touch. The beer list was a little small, I had a rather tasty unknown IPA, but unlike many Englert spots the food was actually rather tasty in dive bar way. Despite it being New Year's Day, we went with the fried calamari which was tender, with lots of black pepper in the batter and the Italian sausage sandwich was actually pretty darn good. The winner being the sweet potato fries. Joe's places are what they are, dive bars, but it's a winning formula for him, and I look forward to checking out his other joints on H street in the coming months. Argonaut Tavern
  20. Birroteca, a new restaurant that focuses on pizza, small plates, craft beer, and wine officially opens tonight. A little bit about how the restaurant came to be here and a link to their Facebook page here (they do not appear to have a website up yet). I had the opportunity to go for their soft opening last night with 3 friends. The full menu was available and we were able to choose what we wanted. The menu is split into the following sections: appetizers, salads, pastas (entrees), pizzas, and vegetables, with if I'm remembering correctly about 6-8 choices in each section, plus they have a nightly special. We opted to get a mix of the small plates/apps, pizza, and entrees and share everything. We started with three appetizers, the meatball, calamari, and fried polenta as well as a duck confit salad, all of which were excellent. My favorites were probably the meatball, which was 8 oz (not sure what type of meat is used) and served on top of housemade ricotta with tomato sauce and a little shaved cheese and the calamari, which was cooked a la plancha, resulting in incredibly tender pieces of calamari topped with capers and grilled lemon. The fried polenta was a pleasant surprise, 3 "sticks" of very creamy polenta that was fried to crisp perfection (I really have no idea how they accomplished this) served on top of eggplant ragu. The duck confit salad with a bed of greens with figs and some type of citrus fruit, topped with an entire duck confit leg. The fat was scored and rendered really well and the skin was incredibly crispy - I could eat that leg every day. The salad itself was less appealing to me, everything went nicely together, but there was a bit too much sweetness overall for me to have eaten the entire salad on my own. Next up we shared the duck duck goose pizza, two entries: the papperadelle with wild boar bolognese and the penne with fennel sausage, the mussel appetizer, and the cauliflower from the vegetable section. The pizza came topped with duck confit and a duck egg. It was really rich and tasty, but again there was that sweetness and sadly our duck egg was overcooked so we weren't able to get the benefit of the yolk spreading out over the pizza as you cut into it. However, the crust was perfect for me - the right balance of slight chewiness to overall crispness. The pasta for the bolognese appeared to be housemade and was very tender and the sauce was very good, if not wowing. The fennel sausage was a surprising standout however. Not sure where the sausage is sourced from, but it's incredible and balanced nicely with the tomatoes and the bitterness of the greens in the dish although I don't think the penne is homemade . The (1/2 lb of) mussels would have been underwhelming I think were it not for the croutons in the dish. I will fail miserably at describing these - they were flavorful and incredibly well seasoned and seemed to be soaked with liquid, but they were still crunchy so they added a nice texture and flavor to the dish. By the time I got to the cauliflower, the last item to reach our table, I was getting quite full so I'm not sure I can evaluate it fairly. It was roasted and again had a sweetness to it (fig, balsamic, both?) that for me after having experienced that with both of the duck dishes was too much, but it was tasty otherwise. Desserts were a pumpkin pannacotta that was well liked across the board, as well as a chocolate fig tart (good, but not something I would rush to order again) and the olive oil & sea salt and ricotta ice creams (both tasty - I enjoyed having the sea salt ice cream with the chocolate tart and the ricotta ice cream with the pannacotta). We stuck mostly to by the glass wines, and a couple of people sampled some of the craft beers on tap. They have a really nice selection of (mostly local) beers on tap, I would say about 15 of them (?) from places like Brewer's Art, Stillwater, Flying Dog (was so happy to get to enjoy The Fear on tap), etc. along with a decent cocktail list. I wasn't particularly impressed with any of the wines that we had and I sampled 4 of the reds, but for the price (most tend to run $7/glass) they're fine. They didn't have a dessert wine list yet and were still working on that so hopefully the wine list will evolve as well. For the sake of full disclosure, we were asked to pay for our drinks, but not our food. However, we were presented with the food bill separately (presumably so we could tip accordingly) and for everything that we ate, plus an average of 2-3 drinks/person with tax and tip the meal would have cost us just over $60 per person, which to me is an excellent value as we left stuffed. Across the board I felt the food was very good to excellent, the set up of the menu is really great - a large enough selection with a lot of enticing choices, but not overwhelming (and nice for sharing), the service especially for a soft opening was quite good (there were a few hiccups, but surprisingly few), and I really liked the interior - I think this restaurant will be a promising addition to the Hampden restaurant scene. ETA: You'll have to forgive me if I've forgotten some of the details or gotten things wrong as I'm working completely from memory here.
  21. Funny, I had an Americano (a large comes with four shots - they use a California roaster with a multi-syllabic name beginning with "D") in Del Ray just two days ago, at the pleasant Emma's Espresso and Wine Bar. I didn't try any of the baked goods, but the Americano was very well made, served in a ginormous (that didn't activate the spell-check alert?) mug, and was quite a good cup of coffee. The first few moments of service were addled, but instantly rectified themselves, and the staff there was as pleasant as can be. They have free WiFi, and Emma's is well-worth a visit if you enjoy independent coffee houses. They own the entire house, right off Mount Vernon Avenue, so there's ample parking.
  22. Met up with some friends on Friday night to try Smokehouse Live in Leesburg. No better way I can think of to describe this place than suburban Hill Country - same system, same basic theme, very similar menus. The good - The bar area here is bright and very open with friendly service, a limited bar menu and good happy hour prices. Nice selection of bourbons, some cocktails during happy hour for $5 and a tap selection that goes beyond the Shiner limitations of HC downtown. But then... The rest - Hill Country (normally I would say so many comparisons to HC would be unfair, but they don't seem to even be trying to hide the imitation, so...) somehow manages to pull off sticking a room full of bench tables together and have it not seem totally cold and impersonal. Smokehouse Live can't say the same - plywood walls, disjointed floor plan and an oddly cramped 'market' ordering area made me miss some cheap and tacky kitsch and finished hardwood. But hey, you're here for the barbeque, right? The pulled pork was ok - not awesome, but not bad - wished it had more bbq flavor. I will admit - I order lean brisket - and am used to this being a bit more on the dry side than the 'wet' orders, but this was so dry it was crumbling apart. The beef shoulder (crod) is just a hard cut to work with - even after trimming visible tough areas I still had trouble chewing (not sure this is as much the restaurants fault as just a tough cut). Texas Chainsaw sauce was ok, though could have used more heat for being the 'spicy' version; eastern carolina was a little close to being straight vinegar for me. Please, for the love of God, if you only read one sentence in this write up, read this one: A 16oz portion of collard greens will cost you $14.25. Just to make sure we didn't miss anyone there - A 16oz portion of greens will cost you $14.25. Now to be fair, your little order card does list the price for each side in tiny little numbers inside the bubbles. Generally being a person who is not so concerned with price that I thought a side order of collard greens for two people might break me, I didn't really pay attention - after all, its a side of greens and some turkey that was left over from the day before. I would love to see their food cost for this. Or for the $14.25 portion of macaroni and cheese. Or for the $14.25 portion of lima beans and corn. But moving on... It was our server's first day, or at least appeared to be, so I hold her completely blameless but when you are half way through your meal and still do not have someone take your drink order, AND when you have flagged down three different staff members begging for drinks and then a manager, AND when you give you drink order to all three of these staff members never to see said drinks, it gets old. I'll still never understand why, when the new server finally appeared, she made an Arnold Palmer using Mountain Dew, but at this point I was beyond questioning. Bottom line - would totally go back for happy hour at the bar and listen to some music, but the dinner experience was approaching 'one-and-done' levels of not good. P.s. didn't want to start a new topic for a restaurant so far out that wasn't good, but please feel free to move as needed
  23. Science Club? That sounds interesting. Anyone have news on what it is? Bar, lounge, resto? What kind of drinks, couches, food? Maybe you have to check your brain at the door?
  24. Water Grill is the best seafood restaurant in all of Southern CA. Serious. And, it's in downtown L. A. a couple of blocks from the Bonaventure. Unfortunately, it's not cheap. Probably comparable to Kinkead's in price.