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Found 88 results

  1. 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.
  2. "L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon may be the world’s most expensive restaurant chain." Ouch. I don't know what stings more - that line or the two star rating. "A New Link in the World's Most Expensive Restaurant Chain" by Pete Wells on nytimes.com
  3. I was a bit surprised to see that there were no posts on this restaurant, as Fabio has historically been a figure that has sparked conversation on DR. My wife and I went last night to a mostly full restaurant that is styled very similarly to Fiola Mare, although this space is much larger than Fabio's place on the Georgetown waterfront. Our first observation is that there are a lot of people working on the floor at Del Mar. Including the 2 women working at the host stand, we interacted with 6 different people in our first 2 minutes after being seated. Some people find this style of service attentive; my wife and I feel smothered. My feeling is that if I haven't even opened my menu, any question other than the type of water that I would like is premature. Especially questions about wine from the sommelier before I have been given a wine list, but I digress. After the service staff dispersed, I delved into the menu, which was organized by rather short sections of 3-5 dishes by different types of raw and cold dishes, hot dishes/appetizers, mains, and plates to be shared. We kicked things off with 6 oysters from New Jersey that were described as "briny and succulent", which is right up my alley. Unfortunately, while the oysters were succulent, I would definitely not describe them as briny, as they were a bit flat and not woken up by the Escabeche Vinaigrette. Another sauce was also delivered with the oysters, described as an "aioli", which was interesting as I have never heard of anyone having a mayo-like dip with oysters. This sounded awful to me, but my curiosity was piqued, so I tried it to make sure I wasn't missing anything with one of my oysters, and it was just as poorly paired and bad as it sounds. I'm assuming the inclusion was a mistake, as I can't imagine anyone liking what I tried last night. Shame on me for not using my better judgment, I guess. From there we went to hot appetizers, where we chose the Sopa de Castana y Cangrejo and the Scallops, Sea Urchin, and Black Truffles. The soup was far and away the best dish of the night, exactly what we were looking for on a cold night. It felt vintage-Trabocchi, very rich and flavorful, extracting flavors from ingredients and appropriate spicing to deliver a rich, well-balanced dish. We wanted seconds. The scallops were also nice, well paired with the vibrant sea urchin, but this would have been a better warm weather dish as it was very cold and very light. For our main, we got the Arroz Negro de Calamares en su Tinta. I should note here that we have had paella and arroz negro many times on trips to Spain and at restaurants in the US. We have had a couple versions that we really liked, but we often feel underwhelmed by these types of dishes. Maybe we don't love paella (or Spanish food in general)? I'm not sure, but I figure that I would point this out before saying that we were massively disappointed in this dish. It came out and was plated well by our waiter into large portions along with a side of lemon and, yet again, aioli. I asked the waiter about the aioli, to see if there was a particular way to eat the arroz with it as I have never seen it presented this way. He said that it was how "everybody" ate the dish, which confused me because I have had paella in Mallorca and Barcelona and have never seen it come with any sort of mayo substance. Is this normal? Again, I took the bait and put a dab of it on the side of my plate, dipping a bit of calamari and black rice in to take a taste. No. I can't believe that "everybody" eats this dish this way, as it became gooey and added nothing to the flavor palate. I ignored it for the rest of the meal, but again I must not be getting it, because I found the arroz to be bland and rather uninteresting, even with a copious amount of lemon squirted on top. Also, the calamari was somehow grilled and very chewy on the outside, but slimy and wet on the inside, combining both ways that I don't like my calamari cooked into one bite somehow. We were starving, but both of us still left a lot on our plates, as this just did not work for us on so many levels. We were a bit disheartened after the arroz negro, so we decided to pass on dessert and get the bill. For 2 glasses of Cava Brut, a middle of the road bottle of Ribeiro ($65), and the food listed above, the bill came to $232 after tax. I had to look twice, as this was more money than we had spent on any meal since our last visit to Komi, and far from extravagant or particularly satisfying food. At this price point, I can't possibly see us coming back here, but again maybe we just don't like this style of cuisine or we could have ordered better (cold crudo on a 40 degree night, yes that's my bad). I'll be interested to see how this place does over the years, as it really is huge, very expensive, and in the hot new high-rent district of DC.
  4. Stable, corporate environment - $70K range - write me if you're interested. Rocks
  5. Congratulations to Chef Corey Lee for winning the 2017 James Beard Award for Best Chef - West.
  6. My wife and I live in the Washington DC area, but her family lives in Philadelphia. We were visiting over the Passover/Easter weekend and because we were staying in Chestnut Hill, decided to try Mica, a small BYOB restaurant a few blocks from our hotel. We are used to fine dining and to be honest, found that Mica could hold its own with some of the best here in DC Chef driven, the restaurant only has about 32 seats. The services was superb, and the food outstanding. We started with a smoked trout salad with marinated fennel that was described as "a taste", but actually a small appetizer. Next came Albacore Tuna Tartar with smoked jalapeno and carrots and a house salad. We shared all three. My wife ordered the arctic char and declared that it melted in her mouth. The vegs that came with it were perfectly cooked and were so flavorful that she wondered if she could order just a dish of them next time. I had the roasted sirloin of beef with smoked potatoes. Cooked perfectly (rare side of medium rare) and the potatoes were so good that I asked how they were done. (Boiled, smoked, fried, then dried) Dessert was a chocolate mousse with caramel and sea salt and a sour cream pana cotta. I brought a 2013 Radio Coteau Savoy Vineyard Pinot Noir with me and it went perfectly with the meal. And the glassware was perfect (not the cheap jellyglass stuff many BYOs give you) We enjoyed our meal so much that I have already made a reservation for when we are back in Phila next week to visit her parents.
  7. Anyone been yet? I know they are only open for lunch so far, but the initial buzz seems quite good. I was never in doubt of course, but I think this could be something really special. We have ressies for the middle of next month for dinner, so I will be sure to report back but just curious to see if anyone has been there yet. Also....thoughts on parking? Mirabelle
  8. Recently, I had a very bad experience with a professional group dinner at Ristorante La Perla of Washington. Despite repeated attempts to address the issues during dinner, there was poor to simply inadequate service. We had pre-set menus. In theory, everything should have been seamless. However, it was miserable! Some people received salads; some people didn't. A bread basket was placed on only one side of a very large table when there should have been one bread basket on each side of a round table. Servers were surly at best and seemed as though our party was an after thought despite the fact that our dinner had been planned months in advance. Oh, and the worst of all, a guest at one of our tables was a mindful eater. Rather than ask if the guest was finished with their plate, the server picked up the guest's plate - still half full of food - and promptly placed another plate on top mashing the food down. This act prevented the guest from asking for a 'doggie bag'. The first time my organization had a group dinner at Ristorante La Perla of Washington, all aspects of the dinner from service to food were outstanding. Therefore, we made plans to return a few months later. Needless to say, we will not be booking a group dinner at Ristorante La Perla again and will definitely advise others not to think of dining there. Does anyone know if there is a problem between the FOH and the Chef/Owner? It seems as though there are signs of a major calamity in progress. The decline in service, in less than 6 months time, is stunning. There are many other options, but we like to develop a rapport with restaurants and become regular customers. The location of La Perla is very convenient, but we will travel to experience good service and food. Washington has plenty of Italian restaurants to choose from and we are giving up on this old guard restaurant. Does anyone have recommendations for Italian restaurants in DC where group dining is a wonderful experience? Thanks for all recommendations.
  9. Kokkari Estiatorio is the San Francisco Greek equivalent of Komi in DC. It is high-end Greek, and it is superb. I was on a search for char-grilled octopus in San Francisco, and after some research, I headed to Jackson St., and scored a seat at the bar. The place was packed and fully booked, so I was lucky to get that seat. I ordered a double of the char-grilled octopus, so I ended up with two delicious tentacles, drizzled with olive oil. It was tender, with the mouthfeel you come expect with a properly executed octopus dish. Thumbs up on this dish.
  10. Hi, Quick trip to NYC just came up for tomorrow. Looking for something like Corduroy - quiet enough for a decent work conversation, excellent food, but not Per Se pricing as I have to pick up the tab for 5 of us. Ideally, this place is a quick walk from Penn Station. I love going to Ma Peche, but it's a bit too far, and they can't take 5 people til later in the evening. Any advice appreciated! Thanks!
  11. I am taking 3 or 4 people out to dinner. Last time I took one of them to a very nice place, and expensive (Marcel's). It was great but he commented on the price saying something like it must be nice to be in my business (health non-profit...funding from for-profits). Anyway, ignoring the fact that he DOES work for a for-profit, I want to take him and some others from his industry out to dinner to talk about a difficult topic. What's good, quite, near downtown, open on Monday, has good service but is not "expensive". How expensive is Corduroy. I would love to go back there. Or, someplace that will give menus without prices and just take my credit card. Must serve alcohol.
  12. Sometimes after a long day one just wants quiet. Quiet, and a good meal. After leaving drinks with a friend I had every intention of walking around the corner to The Modern for a quick meal. I took a spin through, but the bar was PACKED. Fortunately I decided to walk across the street to Chevalier. Shea Gallante is the chef at Chevalier - you may remember him from Cru. Chevalier is a high-ceilinged, rectangular restaurant. Booths are well spaced and the whole operation seems luxurious, but understated. Looking at marketing materials after the fact, Chevalier seems to be marketed as a "Brasserie Luxe", whatever that means. I don't find anything brasserie-ish about the menu, but I guess YMMV. Started off the meal with an amuse of a gougere stuffed with black truffle. Very good. A second amuse followed, this time cured salmon topped with salmon roe, sitting on a blini, which was resting on some creme fraiche. Also very good. I ordered a sancerre to start off - didn't catch the producer, but it was solid, if unspectacular. On the waiter's recommendation I started with scallops, which were paired with roasted beets and soubise (some horseradish added to the usual onion). The scallops were cooked perfectly and were well seasoned. I didn't think that the beets added much to the dish, but the soubise had a pleasant kick from the horseradish. At this point I was ready for my main course, but the waiter instead brought over a portion of fusilli pasta with an octopus bolognese. The dish was topped with some breadcrumbs which added a nice textural component - the octopus wasn't too assertive in the sauce, and although the dish was mild I enjoyed it. The sommelier suggested a Rully for the main course, and it was again solid, if unspectacular. Main course was the butter poached lobster, served with ricotta gnudi and a lobster emulsion. The main course had a generous portion of lobster, and some artichokes were included along with the gnudi. The gnudi were a good match for the lobster and this was the best dish of the night. No dessert for me, but a pair of macaroons were dropped along with the check. There has been some talk on the site lately about what constitutes good service. For me, the service at Chevalier was excellent. The servers were professional, knew the menu, made suggestions when asked and offered to answer any questions. They worked as a team to bring and clear dishes, kept water refilled and were very unobtrusive. A manager came by and asked how everything was when she picked up the bill, but that was about it. I didn't feel fawned over at all, just that I had come to a professional establishment and that the staff to care and pride in their jobs. All in all Chevalier was a good meal in a serene setting. Shea Gallante is a fantastic chef, and I admit I expected more from the meal - this was a very solid ** or ** 1/2 star meal, but given the meals I had at Cru previously I was expecting to find a bit of a diamond in the rough (well, not exactly rough, but you know). If in the neighborhood again I would stop in, but wouldn't base a trip around it.
  13. Thanks to a generous partner, had a great lunch at Mastro's. I had the jumbo lump crab omelet ($25). Outstanding. Came with a side salad, and with the outstanding bread basket, didn't need anything else. We shared some sides -- gorgonzola mac cheese, sauteed mushrooms, and roasted brussels sprouts -- all very good. Three of my colleagues got the Mastro's Steak Salad, and it looked quite appealing. Some things we saw at other tables that looked enticing included the chopped salad and a massive basket of sweet potato fries.
  14. The new name of the new fine dining restaurant from Aaron Silverman will be Pineapple and Pearls: "Rose's Luxury's Sister Restaurant Has a Name: 'Pineapple and Pearls'" by Jessica Sidman on washingtoncitypaper.com Café/coffee/sandwich shop in the mornings and fine dining (with reservations accepted!) in the evenings. They're only going to be open 4 nights a week and no weekends. A very bare bones website is up too: PineappleAndPearls.com
  15. Métier will be the higher-end tasting menu format restaurant. 30 seats, $150-ish. Parker House rolls TBD. The Ziebolds are shooting for a December opening for both of their restaurants, which will be in the same building...but you know how that goes. "Métier is the Name of Eric Ziebold's New Luxury Dining Room" by Becky Krystal on washingtonpost.com
  16. Here is the challenge - Provide suggestions of DR.com worthy sit down restaurants where 2 people can get a nice meal and walk away (all in!) for $150. Caveats Must be in DC proper Must include 3 courses for both people - an appetizer, a main and a dessert (small plates/tapas are not to be suggested as I know I can hit those places and control costs) EACH (6 total course for 2 people) Must be reasonably metro-accessible (weekdays, my wife is metro only) Must have a decent chance to find parking nearby (weekdays I'd be driving in to meet wife, and weekends would be driving too) Must assume a 20% tip Must include the 10% (right?) sales tax on the meal Must ideally be a BYOW friendly place (free, cheap or by no means more than $25 corkage total) By my calculations, this means $90 for food (actually $90.38 - $150 less $25 corkage less $11.54 tax less $23.08 tip) Do not include cocktails or wine or anything, planning or corkaging it in general This seems like it should be easy - '$150 for 2 people? No problem!', but it really is $90. That's like two $10 apps, two $25 entrees, and two $10 desserts. Again, it seems doable, but it is so easy to go overboard. I raise the challenge because dining out with my wife is one of my most favorite things to do (lots of reasons). $300+ is a lot harder to do than $150 hence the challenge. Part of the reason for this is to also broaden my scope to try some new to me places. Thanks!
  17. Thanks mainly to this post, managed to find and snag a last minute reservation at Al Fiori on a Saturday night a few weeks ago (most places were completely booked until 10, but they had openings at pretty much any time). The prix fixe menu is up to $97 for four courses, but still a decent price for the quality of meal. I had the Insalata di Alstice (nova scotia lobster, sunchokes, pine nuts, golden raisins, truffle vinaigrette), Corzetti pasta (fennel sausage, ricotta, pomodoro, basil), Capriolo (pan roasted venison chop, sweet potato, chestnut, parsnip, golden oak mushrooms), and Semifreddo (white chocolate, pomegranate, citrus, meringue). The lobster salad and dessert in particular were incredible. I think you might get a smaller pasta portion with the prix fixe menu to avoid getting full, because the people ordering just pasta next to us appeared to get a larger portion, but I didn't look closely enough to be sure. I thought the portion sizes ended up being just right for a filling meal, with some leftovers. Some other dining companions had the butternut squash soup, octopus, pasta with crustacean ragu, ricotta & marscapone ravioli, veal chop, caramelized brioche, and chocolate mille fuille. From what I tried, everything was great, especially the fatty, perfectly cooked veal chop. For vegetarians doing the prix fixe, they'll let you do a second pasta (and presumably appetizer if you ask) in place of the protein course, or a vegetable plate comprised of all of their side dishes (finger potatoes, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, hen of the woods mushrooms, and a creamy polenta), which we went with and ended up being a ton of food. Highlights in pictures below:
  18. Excellent meal last weekend, simple French not overly sauced, vegatables treated as they should be. The clientele was definitely older. Did not see anyone who seemed younger than 65. Younger folks don't know what they are missing
  19. I did not see a thread for Craft (itself). Wow. I wonder why?!! Been twice and loved both times. Really good food, really good service both times. Great space. I will have to try to dig up photos (I think I have some from both times).
  20. The return of Eric Ziebold The short version - two dining rooms. Kinship will be a more casual mix and match menu concept with four different menus focusing on four different concept - ingredients, craft, history and decadence. 80 seats. The yet unnamed second space will be in the basement. A "jewel box" salon for fine dining $150 (or so) tasting menu format. 36 seats, dinner only. Parker House Rolls? A chef's gotta have some secrets. No doubt a lot more will be forthcoming in the months to come. 1015 Seventh St. NW
  21. Other than second-hand information from a hotel employee, I don't have much detail to add, but Frank Ruta is apparently going to be the chef at the Cappella Hotel at 1050 31st St. NW in Georgetown. I doubt "The Grill Room" will keep its name if that's the case, but for now that's all I know - I'm waiting to hear back from Frank.
  22. On Saturday we visited Manassas for the Civil War weekend event (sponsored by the Manassas Museum). Venturing into the Old Town area, a block from the museum, we had dinner at Carmello's on Center Street. The sister restaurant, Monza, is right next door and I'm pretty sure the kitchen is shared. Dinner started with complementary sparkling wine (Gatao, from Portugal). The bread and tapenade was great. Mr. lovehockey enjoyed his Ceasar salad. Entrees were filet mignon and halibut with crab and veggie risotto. For the former, Mr. lovehockey likes it medium well and it was the first time since he showed up in my life that they asked if they cooked it right upon serving. It was medium-rare. It went back, but I really was stunned that they asked first! The description on the menu for the halibut is "crab-stuffed pan roasted Alaskan halibut." The crab that was there was not stuffed into the halibut, but the portion of halibut was generous. We had no room for dessert, although the menu indicates the desserts are made in-house. Prices are in line with what you'd find in DC (entrees $22-$42). They have several gluten-free options. This may be nitpicky, but Mr. lovehockey's espresso included the lemon rind. So many places neglect this. He notices this, and I've learned to notice this (I don't drink coffee). It was also the first place I think I've ever visited that had ads included in the music track. Carmello's has spring, summer, and winter menus (we had the summer menu). The dining room is very nice and the service is earnest. Personally, I think it is a place that has a lot of potential. If you're looking for fine dining in Manassas, go here (although I admit I was in jeans and they welcomed me in!). There is a parking garage a block away that is free after 10 a.m. on weekdays and all day on weekends.
  23. Villa Mozart Restaurant is looking for: * an evening line cook with at least 3 years experience in fine dining who is reliable, organized, and love cooking * a waiter who is serious, dedicated, reliable, and customer oriented. Experience in fine dining a must. Read up on Villa Mozart and forward your resume to info@villamozartrestaurant.com to setup an interview.
  24. I guess you could call it hallowed ground, that space at 239 West Broadway, where some 30 years ago Drew Nieporent, along with a youthful (weren't we all?) David Bouley, opened Montrachet, their ode to fine French cuisine and, of course, fine wine. At the time, I was living in the San Francisco Bay area, toiling away in Silicon Valley, barbecuing and grilling in my backyard, and heading to Jeremiah Tower's Stars and Berkeley's gourmet ghetto whenever I got the chance. Montrachet had a fine run, followed in the same space by Corton, with its esteemed chef Paul Liebrandt. When PL left (after 5 years) to open The Elm in Williamsburg last summer, Nieporent was cagey about what would happen next with this space that has been a destination for 30 years. Fast forward to May, 2014 and now we know; happily, Significant Eater and I got a taste of it this past weekend. Along with co-conspirators John Winterman (late of Daniel) and Chef Markus Glocker (late of Gordon Ramsey at The London), Drew and the rest of his team appear to have another winner on their hands. My wet Plymouth Martini was well made and served in a beautiful (though unchilled) glass - I hope the $17 tariff will cover breakage, and Sig Eater's Aviation was just right. Menus are offered in 2, 3 or 4 courses... And surprise, surprise...this kitchen can actually figure out how to parse your order, unlike (too) many places that open these days, where the dishes come out of the kitchen when they're ready, not you. You want 3 savory courses? No problem. One of you wants to order 3 courses and one wants 4? They can do that - I know because that's what we did; they handled it well, but then again these guys are pros. Sig Eater's first course was the English pea soup... Simple, right? And just about perfect; the creamy texture of the soup makes those crispy, organ-y sweetbreads even better. Tiny pea tendrils and a salsify crumble add bite and crunch. Lobster and asparagus make a fine combo, no? Indeed, here they do, with the chunks of delicate lobster accompanied by stuffed zucchini blossoms and an expertly fried quail egg. The kitchen was kind enough (and once again, pro enough) to split my second savory onto two plates, so we didn't have to battle each other for that last spoonful of the insanely rich Parmesan risotto. Beware - if you order and eat a whole portion of this, your appetite will wane, even with the nettles, ramps and sunchokes doing their best to help ward off the gout. Sig Eater decided to have beef for her main course... The tender strip was fine, but the braised cheek really brought the beef. Served with a cauliflower puree, baumkuchen (go ahead, look it up), and Romanesco, this ought to satisfy one's cow craving for a while. And my main? Rabbit, "Flavors of Bouillabaisse," of course. I had already heard about how good the rabbit was, but I still was knocked out by the tenderness of the bunny. And the fabulous saffron ravioli didn't hurt either. Take a look at the little ribs served along with the chunks of rabbit... Just a fabulous dish. Dessert, or rather cheese, beckoned, and we shared our order of Époisses, because eating a whole order would have been, well, decadent. And then, since the kitchen was out of the Key Lime pie, we were comped the Black Forest, which satisfied Sig Eater's chocolate craving (for the night, at least). I ordered the poached stone fruits, which was fine to counter my guilt for eating like a pig, though you'd really have to convince me to order lemon thyme ice cream if any other flavors are available. And what to drink with all this food? Well, I'm a wine neophyte, but the by the glass list seems to go along with a broad swath of the menu... A pet peeve? Sure. When I asked which wine might go nicely with the lobster, I was poured the most expensive glass of white, and then again with my rabbit. And when Sig Eater asked the same question about her beef, you got it - the most expensive red got poured. And then the 2nd most expensive red for a second glass. So be aware - our wine bill was $111, and the 2 cocktails added another $31. It's not a complaint, just a pet peeve - and a caveat emptor - because I could've just as easily ordered a glass by name. I did that with the risotto course, and enjoyed my choice of the New York Riesling with the rich rice. As I've mentioned in some previous blog posts, Sig Eater and I are celebrating some big-deal birthdays this year, and we're treating ourselves well. But even if it wasn't a big birthday year, we'll happily return to Bátard. For a one-week old restaurant, and a first visit, the food and service were fine indeed. Bátard 239 West Broadway, NYC (212) 219-2777