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Found 22 results

  1. Yes the general consensus here is that Banana Cafe on Captiol Hill is crap...so why start a thread you ask, because there is new found proof that even crappy restaurants can produce a good dish and I have found that dish at Banana Cafe: The plantain quesadilla! The tortilla was perfectly golden brown and crisp, the plantains meltingly soft and delicious...a light smear of sour cream set it all off. Conversely the stuffed yuca with chorizo, carrots and olives off the "tapas" menu was a disgusting mess.
  2. My wife and I stopped by last night to this bright, airy restaurant after spending 6 hours on I-95. It was our first time and we were really in the mood for some comfort food. We know Carlos and Erin from their time at Boundary Road, and we were overdue to say hi. Erin was behind the Passenger stick in its closing year, and the Bamboo cocktail ($10) I ordered was a very nice version, served with an olive. The glassware there is stylish, from the coupes to the 3 Stars snifter that contained my 3 Stars Farmhouse Ale. I closed with a glass of Touriga Nacionale rose, I haven't had one in a long time. For starters, we split a small Chef's Board ($16), featuring gigante beans, eggplant, marinated olives, house-made ricotta, and two other cheeses and two other meats I can't recall right now. Straightforward and delicious. We split a bowl of house-made pappardelle with pork sugo, parmesan and preserved lemon and moderately spicy ($15) along with a side of cauliflower ($6) and blistered shishito peppers ($7). The pasta was paper thin, delicate, and absolutely delicious -- exactly the comfort food we were looking for. I prefer this dish to the pasta that I've had at the Red Hen. My wife loved the cauliflower, and I FINALLY, after ordering the shishito peppers at a variety of places around town (I've had about 80 of them), ate a pepper that was actually spicy! For dessert, we split a pistachio custard topped with whipped cream and served with a chocolate-chocolate chip cookie. Nicely done! For folks who live in Brookland, Woodbridge, or Hyattsville, I can't imagine having a better local option. Atmosphere is unpretentious and cheerful, and looks to be family friendly. Downstairs is additional seating and another bar, for a quieter, more atmospheric couples night. Next time we will come with some friends and split the Tuscan-Style bone-in steak!
  3. I'm a little surprised we don't have a thread on Bruegger's, although there is scattered conversation about it here and there in other threads. I had a Sesame Bagel with Cream Cheese ($2.61 with tax, if I recall), and like usual, I found Bruegger's to be one of the best of the large chains (which does not include Goldberg's). It has drinkable coffee, and I prefer it to Einstein Bros (which also has drinkable coffee), and strongly prefer it to Chesapeake Bagel Bakery (whose bagels, to me, are more like torus-shaped rolls). No, it's not great, and a purist wouldn't even think it was good, but in a carb-craving pinch, I've found myself in Bruegger's several times in the past, and haven't regretted it yet. I've never tried anything here other than bagels and coffee, but in general, I find what Bruegger's is to bagels to be something on a par with what Qdoba is to burritos. I also prefer the one in North Georgetown more than the couple of other locations I've tried, although I could have just hit them at a good moment (which is *easy* to do at bagel bakeries). (All this said, I just put it in the Multiple Locations Dining Guide, spending a few minutes trying to figure out where to rank it under the "Bakeries" category, and I have it ranked pretty low, so I guess I don't like it *that* much.)
  4. I first tried out Seoul Food's offerings at the DC Grey Market a few months back. They're now a full-blown food truck and received a nice writeup in yesterday's Good to Go column. They make their way to Courthouse once every week or two, and Rosslyn, Clarendon, and Ballston are among their regular stops. So far I've tried a couple of different dishes and find that they are tasty, filling, and a pretty good value. As the article notes, the bibimbap is a little different than the usual restaurant version, with shredded fresh carrots and radishes and salad greens included. The beef and the tofu version are both good, especially with the spicy chili sauce on top mingling with the runny egg yolk. The Superbowl tends more Latin, but is also loaded with good flavors and fresh ingredients.
  5. Just a note of appreciation to Bar Americain for accommodating my family at the bar for lunch on Saturday as we staggered in at different times and for their patience with us for over one and a half hours as we seemed incapable of placing two orders at the same time. The raw bar was a big hit for oysters and multiple orders of the chilled lobster. Particularly interesting was the New England clam and sweet potato chowder. The name is somewhat misleading as it is really less of a traditional chowder and more of a sweet potato soup, and not a particularly thick one. It is wonderfully seasoned, slightly spicy, with a hint of creaminess, and accented with small bits of bacon and some clams in the shell. This was one of the best soups I have had in a while. If you have any kids in tow they will sure to be impressed by the plate for their hamburger with three holes along the side into which are inserted three small bowls containing ketchup, mustard, and Russian dressing. Oh yeah, the hamburgers were not so bad either, at least the pieces I could grab off their plates. Of the five or six times I have been to this place, I think only once did I make a reservation and sit at a table. I usually arrive without reservations and find a spot at the bar where I have found the bartenders to be efficient, friendly, and engaging, whether I am dining alone or with a group. They make it seem easy, which is really a testament to how good they are.
  6. We went to Oriental East today. At first, we thought we made great time by getting there at 10:50 AM, but it turns out that there was already a line of about 200 people outside, waiting for the restaurant to open. They ran out of tables before we could get a seat, so we had to wait about 30 min for the first round of people to finish eating. Next time, we will be there 30 min prior to opening. Everything was really good, except for the turnip cake, which was too soggy. Oriental East doesn't have any warming mechanism on their cart to keep the dim sum warm, therefore, you have to get there early to get fresh and hot dim sum.
  7. Did you know Starbucks owned Teavana? Well they do, and they're closing them all: "Starbucks' Teavana Stores Are the Latest Casualty at the Mall" by Tonya Garcia on marketwatch.com
  8. Website. The chefs here work on using locally sourced produce, meats, poultry, and other proteins. They are creative with their dishes as well as cocktails and do an excellent job with wine parings. I have been there 3 or 4 times now and will definitely go again mostly because they are trying to do the right thing by staying away from factory meats and produce. I think they are a bit pricey compared to other restaurants in the region doing the same thing, but they are one of a very few in Fredericksburg going this route. Because their finished product consistantly well balanced, flavorful, and worth the visit (we are 45+ min away & we meet friends there; this is the one place we can agree on) we will continue to patronize Bistro Bethem.
  9. Former Liberty Tavern chef Liam LaCivita's new restaurant Bar Civita is now open, taking over the former Murphy's of DC space in Woodley Park. Menu is Italian-leaning with handcut pastas, homemade cheese, charcuterie, antipasti. Most dishes available in full and half-sized portions. Hoping for some good things, since Woodley Park could use some better restaurants! City Paper Post
  10. Got this notification from Thrillist on the planned opening of The Bayou in DC. "Taking over the old Rookery space, Bayou's a two story New Orleans-themed jazz-taurant rocking vintage black and white pics of the Big Easy and a large mural of a jazz band on Frenchman St. under chandeliers. They're hawking everything from po' boys to "St. Charles Fried Oysters", and live-tuning light jazz Thurs-Saturday evenings, followed by later-night rump-shakers like "Old Man Brown" and "Buster Brown and the Get Down", which actually isn't the name of the band, but rather instructions to Buster Brown while walking some of NO's rougher neighborhoods. The Deep South crew is hosting a party for the Saints playoff game Saturday, so check the menu here beforehand at bayoudc.com" TSchaad
  11. I'm normally hesitant to post about somewhere so well known, but since Don asked... I feel a small sense of guilt whenever I go to New York (a few times a year) and end up at the same restaurant each and every time I'm there. Sure, I branch out as well, but at least one meal (and frequently several) is had at CraftBar. I've tried Mesa in Union Square - it used to be really good, but for a few years I've felt like I'm paying for the name attached. Same can be said for the Batali restaurants I've tried lately. Momofuku Ssam is still a decent place to grab a pork bun if in the neighborhood, but David Chang seems focused on his more recent ventures. Daniel Boulud and Tom Colicchio are definitely ruling the celebrity chef roost at the moment (in my opinion) - and I just find myself attracted to CraftBar more often. There IS a certain initimidation factor to dining out in NYC, particularly for unadventurous. Amazing and affordable food can be found if you have a playful palate and are willing to wander more than a few blocks from Broadway. If you're willing to drop a months rent, or at least a car payment, change your outlook on food with Masa or Per Se. But for a relaxed Saturday evening, or the in-laws happen to be in town? CraftBar is almost always a guaranteed homerun. I, too, get frustrated at times by the simplicity (even if its near perfect simplicity) of the original Craft and (insert other ingredient focused, protein centric restaurant here). Sure, I love a GREAT and FRESH piece of fish, but if you're just going to poach and plate it, there is only so far that respect for ingredients and freshness can take you (other than to a triple digit check). I'm in the camp that I would like to see what a chef can do beyond cooking my protein to a ridiculously perfect temperature. So enter CraftBar. The Pecorino Risotto Balls with spicy tomato sauce are consistently on the menu and are downright addictive. Sure, they're just risotto balls, but they're the best I've tried. There is almost always a pate or similar meat concotion on the menu, and these better than a safe bet as well (in addition to the pickles they come with). I've tried sweetbread dishes at every Colicchio restaurant I've been to - my advice is if you see sweetbreads on one of his menus - order the dish. Sweetbreads sauteed with Kumquats is similar to the most amazing rendition of Orange Chicken you'll ever eat. Sweetbreads with a ramp puree brought a bit of spring into a dish I don't normally associate with warming weather. Pasta's are another strong point of CraftBar - I've never been sorry to have ordered a seasonal gnocchi. So obviously I'm a fan. But last trip, I was made a believer out of a special pork dish for 2. Three different parts of the pig (including belly and shoulder) were presented with three different preparations, along with sides in what was a piggy nirvana. Easily enough food for 3 people was demolished by 2. Throw in a relaxed atmosphere with professional service, a quality beer program and good wine list, and a price point that isn't going to bring tears to your eyes and the guilt for being a repeat customer in a city of so many good choices starts to abate.
  12. MissCindy beat me to it! I'd head over to Nick's Inner Harbor Seafood too, which is not in the Inner Harbor - it's at 1065 S. Charles. They expanded last year and now they have over 90 barstools, as well as picnic-style tables, and six tvs - including a couple of big screens - I was assured that the games will be on. They have a sushi bar, raw bar, and fried and steamed seafood, even pit beef coming out of the kitchen. They stay open until 11pm on Friday nights. It doesn't get any more Baltimore than this place.Easy drive to BWI.
  13. A new restaurant opened on Hanover St in Federal Hill, the BlueGrass tavern. Since it's a few blocks from my house, I've been twice already. The chef, Patrick comes from Ryleigh's Oyster, and he seems to be subscribing to the local food movement and he's also interested in making some in house charcuterie as well. On my first trip- I just went for a light supper. They have a nice selection of small and medium plates on the menu, I ordered the bacon jam on crostini (reminded me of Kevin from last season's Top Chef). It was really good- sweet, salty, smokey. I then ordered a fresh asparagus salad and the bison carpacchio. Both were very nice. The chef spotted me as a food person (the camera was a giveaway), so he came out, greeted me, and offered for me to try something off the menu. It was slices of corned beef heart with cornichons and aioli. Very nice. pic For desssert, I had the strawberry rhubarb pie with basil ice cream. Went back for dinner with friends another evening. This round, tried his two charcuterie plates- my favorites were his duck speck, the chicken livers, and the duck rilletes. The best item, I had was the foie gras prep for the evening- seared foie gras, in between two pancakes, with egg and bacon, and maple syrup- a foie gras McGriddle. I also tried my friends dishes- the antelope loin with redeye gravy was nice, lean, and the chicken fried quail salad was good too. This time for dessert, we had the banana creme pie which was very good. I would say, this place is very promising for the Federal Hill neighborhood. blog/pics 1500 S. Hanover Street Baltimore, MD (410)244-5101
  14. I couldn't find a topic on this place. If it exists, my apologies. We went to Cusbah late last week, and were impressed. The food was very good, extremely flavorful (they were not afraid to use heat), and extremely affordable. My goat vindaloo was $11, while my wife's chicken tikka makhni was $9, and it was more than enough food for us. They had some decent drink specials as well (and some appalling sounding mixed drinks, which involved Goldschlager and Jagermeister mixed together). I wouldn't travel to go here, but it's definitely the best Indian food I've had on the Hill (which is, admittedly, a low bar).
  15. Baying Hound Aleworks is a small independent nano-brewery in Rockville, Maryland. The brewery produces small batch beers and uses only the highest quality ingredients. Our beers are unpasteurized and contain no additives or preservatives. Instead of forcing carbonation, Baying Hound ales undergo a secondary fermentation and are conditioned under a controlled environment. The origin of the name "Baying Hound" is a tribute to my dearly departed bloodhound Marmalade. She was my brewing hound, always at my side and careful to clean up any spilled malt. When she died, I wanted a way for her to live on and be remembered. Tours and tastings are available on Fridays and Saturdays by appointment.
  16. Some news we just posted on the CP blog about Jaleo executive chef JohnPaul Damato. It's really about Damato's new restaurant, Mio, so I don't know if this deserves a new topic. Rocks?
  17. Chef Janis McLean from Social Reform, in the old Caucus Room space, is looking to hire a line cook. Social Reform, along with both restaurants in the Georgetown Westin Hotel - The Caucus Room and Bí³veda - are all owned by Larry Work's Longboard Hospitality Group.
  18. It's been tough waiting for HECOB to reopen. So bad, I half remembered Todd Kliman's snippet last summer about Dim Sum being served at Tai Shan in Montgomery Village. This location has always been pretty steady for mains even before the name/ownership change [back in the pre-butterstick, Peking Supreme days]. A couple of Sundays ago I went and found that a display case of tendon, seaweed peanuts and other cold dim sum had replaced the first couple of booths inside the dining room. The dim sum is ordered from a menu [attached], not carts, and is delivered from the kitchen when ready. I had pumpkin pancake [more like a bun], scallion pancake [no too oily] and pan-fried pork buns. The setting is almost serene compared with New Fortune and seemed to pick up after noon with Asian families. TaiShanDimSum_Dec2009.PDF
  19. I'm always blown away by how good the meats in the refrigerator case look. Today I got one of their prosciutto sandwiches with cornichons and mustard. I understand how that works on a charcuterie board. But if I ever order it again, I will be sure to request both on the side because OMG it was a bit like eating a salty mustard sandwich with some bits of membrane that had to be pulled at. At $8 it was a bit of a lean sandwich, but the French bread it was on was much better than most you would get this meat on.
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