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Found 121 results

  1. Cathal Armstrong's new restaurant Kaliwa is opening possibly tomorrow at the Wharf (751 Wharf St, SW, DC) (via Laura Hayes' tweet). More info about the restaurant at Washington City Paper: "Kaliwa Brings Food with Full Funk and Fire to the Wharf when it Opens Next Week" by Laura Hayes on washingtoncitypaper.com
  2. So I did not see this (Voltaggio Brothers Steakhouse) listing and figured it may help those when planning a visit to the area. Reservations here non-existent two weeks out so we did the next best thing and got there about 4:45 (they open at 5 PM), and scored a table in the bar area. If you are OK eating in a "lounge" type environment it is fine; chairs are cushy and tables are low. The wait staff was attentive, but not overbearing and knowledgeable. My only gripe was it took about 30 minutes to get our drinks (mixed and wine, so nothing complicated) when we got there, but after that the food from salad and apps to dinner was timed properly without issue. Caesar Salad (interesting twist with the anchovy hushpuppies) Beefsteak Tomato Heart Salad Oysters Rockefeller - Since they were green the presentation was inspiring, but flavor was excellent) Parker House Rolls and Cheddar Biscuits - if you remember the Parker House rolls from CitiZen, they are not that good, but good in their own right. Filets - Wagyu beef was very flavorful. Scalloped Potatos We did not have dessert as we were catching a show and ran short on time. I would go back, when we have more time - plan on spending ~$100/person with a drink.
  3. No, Wet City is not a strip joint. It is, rather, Baltimore's best beer bar. Don't @ me bro. Featuring a frequently rotating list of craft beer kegs on tap---as well a list of kegs that are on deck (!)---it is apparent that the owners of Wet City are beer nerds with deep knowledge and want to make sure you share in that passion. Though Wet City primarily features domestic craft brews, a variety of import craft beers make the list as well. The kitchen is no weak link here either. Often seasonal fare, the kitchen demonstrates thoughtfulness and care in its dishes, which run from the Nashville Hot Chicken to pork rinds to deviled eggs. The spare is bright and airy, which is appreciated given that a lot of beer bars revel in dankness (e.g., the late Brickskeller in DC). White cinderblock walls, wood floors, and light-colored wood table and seating choices set in a minimally decorated space, save for some plant life tastefully arranged throughout. The open space works well so the bar feels bigger than it actually is. Many times, I've been surprised that the place isn't more packed, but I'm happy that it isn't.
  4. Cristina and I ducked out of a business cocktail thing early and took advantage of the fact that we had a sitter, and stopped into the relatively new Star Fish on Heights Blvd for a drink and snacks. The chilled seafood tower did not disappoint. Drinks menu is extensive, and will reward multiple return trips to make my way through the various martinis, gin & tonics, and sparkling wines. The "Saltwater" G&T, with star anise and "ocean water tincture" was delicious...a hint of brine, but nothing crazy.
  5. Rounding out the top 3 current cocktail spots in Baltimore is Sugarvale in Mt. Vernon, from the owners of Dooby's. Rather than focus on a particular spirit or theme, Sugarvale's cocktail menu takes a light-to-dark approach in terms of the strength and flavor profiles of its drinks. So there is a menu of classic cocktails, as well as menus devoted to lighter sipping drinks and spirit-heavy concoctions. Though it's been a minute since I've dropped in, memory recalls consistency over multiple visits. The space is seemingly built out of a basement apartment, and does a good job of maintaining the cozy vibe. Good menu of bar snacks, including some Korean-inspired ones due to the Dooby's connection. You could easily do the Charles St. sweep on one evening starting at Brewers Art, getting dinner at the Helmand, and wrapping up at Sugarvale.
  6. Ladies and gentlemen, your number 1 cocktail bar in Baltimore. The original establishment from Lane Harlan, who also owns Clavel Mezcaleria, this is a cocktail joint that really does do a far better job at the speakeasy vibe than most places that would actively market themselves as speakeasies. The focus here is on amari, with an extensive menu of familiar and rare bitter spirits, and stuff that I'm amazed they procured. I need to plan a visit so I can take advantage of the amaro-tasting options. Seats can be hard to come by during peak days and times (weekend evenings primarily) owing to the fact that a lot of people go here to grab drinks while they wait for the call from Clavel. Nearly all cocktails are great, with the occasional miss (fiancee recently got something that was effectively borscht in a glass). Harlan's is non-descript but arguably one of the earliest forces in the rapidly accelerating development of Remington.
  7. Since opening five years ago, Chris Shepherd's Underbelly has been a self-appointed beacon for the evolution of Houston food. The menu has a half-page thesis on why Houston is the most interesting culinary city in the country, there are dozens of celebratory links to *other* Houston restaurants on their main webpage, and Bun B is quoted on the wine list. From afar I've found the chest-beating a little too much, but I can appreciate a chef who wants to represent his city -- especially in a time where many owners are happy to replicate restaurants from other cities. And being such a vocal proponent certainly helped Shepherd win the James Beard Award for Best Chef: Southwest. But hey, what about the food? Head-on Gulf shrimp with buttermilk dill panna cotta, pickled beans ($24). Plump and sweet, this was a great showing for Gulf seafood. The panna cotta was a nice compliment. Hand-torn cornbread pieces and pickled beans were both sort of throwaways. Seared soft-shell with eggplant curry ($24). Shepherd recently made a big PR announcement about getting away from beef and pork, which meant a larger focus on seafood. Soft-shells are among my personal favorite foods, and this was a very good one. The eggplant curry was nicely done with a touch of heat; Shepherd is a fan of moderate-to-significant spice (if you're not, be aware, as it permeates the entire menu). Vinegar pie with salt brittle ($9). Previous savory dishes were not coursed (nor labeled as appetizers or entrees; guess by price) so I was rather full after two. Still curious enough to try this dessert, which I believe has been on the menu since 2012. It's not scary at all; more key lime in flavor than sour or acidic. Overall, a quality showing by Shepherd and his team. I didn't fall in love with Underbelly, but it's worth visiting for anyone who appreciates loud flavors with global influences -- basically the "Houston creole" cuisine that the restaurants trumpets.
  8. With its nice long bar and large sunny windows, The Vanderbilt is the kind of place you want to go to for an afternoon drink. We enjoyed a glass of the Forstreiter Gruner Veltliner 2013 ($9) and the Aizipurua Getariako Txakolina 2015 ($12). They were serving a limited prix fixe menu because of Mother's Day but we did enjoy our plate of cottage fries ($6). The vibe of The Vanderbilt is more upscale neighborhood restaurant with prices to match. But not a bad place to spend an hour or so on a late Sunday afternoon after wandering around the Brooklyn Museum.
  9. Friends and I are trying to watch basketball tonight but can't think of a place that has both TVs and decent drinks. Somewhere in Logan/Shaw would be ideal, but relatively flexible. Ideas? Only place we could think of was Riggsby, but that's not really a sports bar.
  10. My husband and I were walking in Clarendon Saturday night looking for a place to stop for dinner (we had planned to get a salad at Northside Social, but squatters who weren't eating were still taking up tables for work at 7:30 p.m.). We walked past Bar Bao, which we've been looking forward to trying once they opened, and saw activity inside. It turned out they were having a soft opening and it was their second night open. Because it was a soft opening, I won't report in any detail other than to say we enjoyed our meals thoroughly. (We liked the music, too - it was loud, but it was not EDM which can set off headaches for me, but rather a good mix of some '80s/'90s/'00s energetic music). They had a more limited menu than they will for the true opening, but there were still plenty of things on it and we were quite happy. It's mostly Asian-inspired street food / bar food (including several kinds of bao, steamed dumplings, and at least one vegetable side). We had one of the nicest and most attentive (in a non-annoying way) servers we've ever had, too. We definitely plan on going back and may become semi-regulars.
  11. 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.
  12. Hat tip to Jake for nudging me to this "real good" spot: The Wallace. Smart crowd but decor is tasteful and comfortable. Started with a spinach salad with grilled portabellos and blue cheese which was very nice and straightforward. Grilled Japanese eggplant over lentils was next, and possibly my favorite dish of the night. Lentils were smokey and delicious! Spouse ordered the squid ink pasta with Uni bescamel and ikura. Tasty but a bit too rich for me. And yet hypocritically I loved the next course, foie gras three ways: terrine, mousse, and grilled. All fantastic, with the exception of the mousse which was spectacular. It was served over what looked like crumbled feta, but was actually dehydrated foie gras! We shared a carrot cake that delivered. Many tables ordered a mushroom tartine that looked really good. Cocktail was an apple brandy and a duck fat rinsed orange liqueur with bitters. Very nice. And the wine was all good as well. Fun place! Service got weeded here but we enjoyed ourselves and had no subsequent commitments.
  13. Last month we visited BlackTail, the new Cuban-themed bar in Battery Park from Sean Muldoon & Jack McGarry of Dead Rabbit Grocery & Grog. We really enjoyed ourselves, and we're always amazed at how much attention to detail Sean, Jack and their team put into creating world-class establishments. http://blacktailnyc.com
  14. Barking Mad Cafe has a solid coffee program. They use Counter Culture beans and can draw a serious espresso. Their cappuccinos and lattes are also good, although I have had a few cappuccinos that were wetter than I prefer. They have drip coffee, but no pour over. The standout, though, is their cold brew. During the summer, they had two offerings, both on nitro taps. It's so smooth it's like drinking Guinness coffee. The coffee served at Barking Mad Cafe would be noteworthy anywhere in the DC area. IMHO, it's extraordinary in Gaithersburg, which has nothing comparable within a reasonable distance.
  15. Convivial uses the same method to chill their cocktail glasses. It is a current trend. Nothing out of the ordinary. What about these below, filled with ice? Anyone used them? Do they keep drinks chilled?
  16. I wanted to start the thread here for a new spot coming to downtown Takoma Park. Seth Cook and Chris Brown, two coffee veterans who have been at Northside Social for years, are branching out on their own. They have a great location on Laurel Avenue, and construction is about to begin. TKBC (@takomabevco) will offer coffee, beer(draft) and wine as well as a great cocktail program. The menu will be designed by a chef you will all recognize. I love this team and this concept, and that is why I decided to back them financially and advise on the project. Keep your eyes out as the project progresses.
  17. Earlier this year, my friends Ryan Irvine and Stephanie Jansky launched Full Measure Bitters, a Cleveland-based purveyor of small-batch cocktail bitters (and Ohio's first legal bitters company!). They recently finished production on Batch 4 and have had great local success. They just started selling their product on Amazon and I couldn't be happier for them. Until they get approved for Prime, they're offering free shipping to anywhere in the Continental US. It makes for an excellent Old Fashioned; the recipe is on the label.
  18. Has anyone her in DR Land been to Ivy City Smokehouse? They got a good write up in the Washingtonian (I can't seem to find a link on their website), and was wondering what the DR scoop is.
  19. Summer Cocktails

    Anyone have a short list of their favorite summer cocktails? Trying to expand my horizon for home cocktail making and stuck in a little bit of a rut. Kind of vexed by drinks involving topping off with something bubbly (champagne or similar, soda of some sort, seltzer/soda water, etc) as the bubbles never last more than a minute or two. Anyway, TIA for suggestions.
  20. I recently had a chance to visit Bottega Louie, a bright, cavernous space in The Brockman Building on South Grand that is both a gourmet market and restaurant. The large open floor and high ceilings plan gives the place a certain vibrancy, with an accompanying noise level that you might expect from such a large room. I took a seat at the 10 stool bar in the front closer to the market and quite enjoyed the Cioppino, which also cost $30. It was a full bowl of succulent seafood, that contained perhaps the most plump mussels I have ever been served. Truly satisfying.
  21. We were excited to try Brick and Mortar after Eater named it one its five finalists for Philly 2015 restaurant of the year - along with Aldine, one of our best dining experiences in the city so far. After dining there last night, I can tell you the inclusion on that list does Aldine a great disservice. Brick and Mortar is housed in the first floor of the Goldtex apartment building - it's an oddly shaped, generic space that is really devoid of any character whatsoever. There's an enormous TV that had sports on when we got there although to their credit they did turn it off once the dinner crowd really started to roll in. This restaurant continues an annoying trend of playing loud pop music while you're trying to enjoy dinner. They have a number of crescent-shaped tables that are totally awkward and make you feel like you entire party is sitting on the same side of the table - they tried to jam us into one and then made kind of a big deal about accommodating our request to sit at a regular 4-top. The food is your standard charcuterie, cheese boards, small plates, yada, yada that you see everywhere these days. I would say everything we ate was enjoyable though nothing to write home about. The oysters were just OK, the lamb was pretty nice, as were the rock shrimp. All in all, just not a standout restaurant - there are plenty of better places to go.
  22. 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:
  23. DC City Smokehouse folks are opening Wicked Bloom Social Club nearby at 1540 North Capitol St, NW, DC, on Friday, Sept. 25, 2015. Washington City Paper also says: