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Found 109 results

  1. According to OpenTable, Central Michel Richard is accepting reservations for the 29th of January.
  2. Sunday my wife and I stopped by Primrose for their first night open to the public to check out what has to be by far the biggest restaurant opening in our new neighborhood by Sebastian Zutant, formerly of Proof (in the glory days), Red Hen, and All Purpose. Much like Red Hen, this was a delightfully designed little neighborhood restaurant, with a homey feel and lovely lighting and decorations (check out the bathrooms). Service was touch and go, which is to be expected on an opening night, but everyone was very pleasant and accommodating. The food was nice, if unspectacular, and the wine list an eclectic mix of French producers who I had never heard of before. The menu is very small, with 3 plates of charcuterie, 4 apps, and 5 mains (2 that can be shared). My wife had the steak, which was a nice griddled version cooked very well and accompanied by very thick fries, which were the least French thing that we had all night. I went with the Bourguignon, which was a bit overcooked and less saucy than I like, but pleasing nonetheless. Don't sleep on the Salade Verte, which is a simple heaping mound of mache and paper thin radishes with that salad dressing that you get (and love) in every restaurant in France that serves green salads but I never actually hear the name of since you don't get a choice of dressing when you dine out over there. Congrats to Sebastian and his wife on what should be a very successful effort in Brookland!
  3. Happened to be walking by this weekend and saw that Macon is open in the Chevy Chase Arcade building on Connecticut Ave. We had already picked up bagels with the kids so I couldn't do much but pop my head in, but I'll probably get over there for a brunch soon. I can't wait to try the biscuits and bacon gravy with poached eggs and maybe the "spiced watermelon bowl".... Has anyone been yet? When did it open?
  4. La Madeleine would probably like to stake claim to status as a big chain French restaurant, and the two times I've eaten at one I've been pretty unhappy with the food as being sub par for even what I expected.
  5. To kick off our week of dining out (my vacation), last Sunday we tried Bistro L'hermitage, technically in Woodbridge, but close enough to Occoquan to be considered part of that area. Halfway through our brunch we were already talking about a return visit. The restaurant is beautiful, and very much what I think of as a French country bistro (in my imagination, at least). We were greeted graciously, and service throughout the meal was attentive and professional. I ordered the hanger steak, medium rare, and egg, sunny side up. Both were perfectly cooked and delicious. The mixed greens salad was coated with a delicious vinaigrette, and the fried potatoes were crisp on the outside and soft inside, tasting like . . . potatoes. I loved every bite of everything on my plate. WW thoroughly enjoyed his grilled chicken Reuben with warm potato salad. The potato salad was lightly dressed with a mustard vinaigrette, and the taste I got was a perfect balance of acid and potatoes. I couldn't taste his sandwich, but he declared it wonderful. The menu is filled with tempting offerings, and if all of the cooking is as careful and skillful as it was at our brunch, this is going to be one of our favorites--and we only have to cross the Occoquan to get there!
  6. ClosedChef Driss Zahidi is opening Le Mediterranean Bistro, hopefully in April, in the old Sabzi space at 4008 University Drive in Fairfax. This will be a French Bistro (remember, Driss was the opening chef at Bistro Vivant), with Moroccan dishes as well, as Chef Zahidi is from Morocco. This should mean there will be lots of dishes from Provence and the Côe d'Azur. A sample opening menu can be found here (note the Octopus Kebab). As far as I'm concerned, we cannot get enough good southern French restaurants in this area. Congratulations to the whole team.
  7. Celebrated @MichaelBDC's birthday with some friends at Le DeSales a few weeks ago. We had a reservation on the early side (6:30pm), which worked out well given our leisurely pace. Except for two hiccups, service was attentive and our water glasses were always full. Our party of four started with a bottle of Zinfandel and a mocktail for one member of our party who is nine months pregnant. We also ordered a platter of charcuterie and cheese to share: jambon cru, duck proscuitto, comte, parmigiano reggiano, and prefere des montagnes. This was a decent board of meats and cheeses, but nothing was particularly interesting or unique. The first service hiccup occurred when we wanted to ensure that the cheeses on the menu were pasteurized. The server said she would ask the kitchen but thought they were all pasteurized. When she came back to take our order, we realized she hadn't checked as she had already told us that she "thought" all the cheese were pasteurized. So we had to insist she go back and check with the kitchen. Turns out all the cheeses were pasteurized, but it was a frustrating back and forth. We ended up finishing the bottle of wine relatively quickly and ordered a second bottle, a Mourvedre from France. For our entrees, we wanted to share the other dishes - a mix of appetizer and entree sized plates as well as sides which the restaurant accommodated, but left for a very full table. We ended up ordering: beets with avocado, miso and quinoa; duck egg with paprika potatoes, soup de pain, and watercress; pork loin with carrots and preserved lemon; cod with turnip and clams pesto; bass with cranberries, cashews, celeriac, and chive oil; broccoli with peanuts and mustard; grilled leeks with sunflower seeds and buttermilk; and the fries. Highlights for me were the duck egg dish, the beets (not super interesting but well executed and loved the crunch of the quinoa), and the broccoli (an odd combination but successfully executed and very tasty). The cod, pork loin, and leeks were well executed but not particularly memorable. I passed on the bass and the fries so I can't comment. For dessert we had the deconstructed cheesecake, chocolate tarte, and creme brulee. Again, well prepared and satisfying, but not outstanding. The GM/owner also brought out four glasses of champagne for us. Not sure why we were on the receiving end of such generosity but we appreciated it. By the time we were done, the restaurant was packed and it took us awhile to flag down our server and get our check. Overall, I was pretty impressed with Le DeSales. Food was well executed and some dishes were really interesting and outstanding. Glad to have more French options to choose from.
  8. According to Eater, this Shaw joint just opened. The head chef previously worked at Le Bernadin and Guy Savoy. Being super hip and cool, we will be checking out their early-bird specials soon.
  9. If there is a thread about this place I could not find it. I have not been here in years, but it appears there is a new chef: Apr 20, 2016 - "Well-Loved La Côte d’Or Café Gets New Owner-Chef; Frogs Legs and Escargot? - Oui!" on lightningreleases.com Apr 22, 2016 - "Frog Legs, Escargots Back on the Menu at La Côte d’Or Café" on arlnow.com May 4, 2016 - "Arlington: New Owner-Chef Leads La Côte d’Or" by Eden Brown on connectionnewspapers.com We used to enjoy La Mediterranée on Lee Highway before it burned down. Might be time to head back to La Côte d’Or and see what's doing.
  10. Le Marais has a few branches in San Francisco. We had brunch at the Castro location today given that we live in the neighborhood. Croissant. On par with the ones at Tartine. A bonus is that the staff at Le Marais has ZERO attitude which practically ensures that we'll be back. Butter and jam. The jam was nothing to write home about however. Their hot chocolate was basically a cup of steamed cream with a shot of cocoa. Oh well, can't get everything right all the time I suppose. Croque monsieur with ham and gruyère, small salad. Unlike at other places we've been to so far, Le Marais uses brioche instead of croissants for their croques. Vinaigrette had a touch too much mustard and acid. Duck confit with roasted potatoes, mushrooms and small salad. Same issue with the vinaigrette here as above. Plate was otherwise perfect. Le Marais 498 Sanchez (18th Street) The Castro
  11. So Bistroquet did a soft opening last night. So soft, in fact, that they didn't actually tell anybody that they were opening and simply let people wander in. I only even saw that they were open because I happened to be walking my dog past them. Because of this, I got there too late and the kitchen was closed, but I did grab a beer (they had a good, but small, beer list. 3 different types of Ayinger and a few French and Belgian beers) and chat with the owner and the chef. I also got a look at the menu and it looks great. Lots of very traditional French food, with some Thai dishes thrown in, (the owner's wife is Thai) along with some Thai-French fusion dishes that looked surprisingly good. What impressed me most was their willingness to put offal front and center - their appetizer list was nearly half organ meat. Dishes like lamb's brain on toast and tripe in mustard sauce shared the page with escargot and pommes frites. The entrees also looked promising, if a bit expensive, but that's the new normal for the neighborhood. (despite the fact that every time a restaurant space opens up the listserv is abuzz with people hoping it gets filled with a "reasonably priced family restaurant." If that's what people actually wanted then Palisades Pizzeria and Listrani's wouldn't have closed down and places like Blacksalt and Et Voila wouldn't be packed every night!) Overall I can't wait to come back and give the food a shot. I'll report back once I have.
  12. I prefer to let the pictures speak for themselves. It's one of my favorite places to eat at in NYC although sometimes I do wish the aura of preciousness could be dispensed with. Buvette 42 Grove Street (Bleecker Street) Greenwich Village
  13. I had dinner at Matisse earlier this week and was pleasantly surprised. This was a business dinner and the host chose the place; after a few rounds of anxious research here and elsewhere on the web, my expectations were not high, but the evening was quite nice. We were at the chef's table/wine room, which is a sort of open corner (2 sides lined with wine racks) off the kitchen. Caveats - this was a six-course fixed-menu large-group meal, with dedicated servers and such, so I don't think it's necessarily representative of a regular dinner experience there and I have no idea what anything cost. Also, I think there must be another kitchen farther back or something, because I didn't see much action -- if your idea of a chef's table is to watch flashing knives and flames, you won't see much of that here. That said, the food was thoughtful, creative and for the most part meticulously prepared. Matisse's web page calls it French-Mediterranean, but I'd say it's just French - we're talking cream and butter here, not olive oil and basil. Take an extra Lipitor and enjoy yourself. Standouts included the cocktail snacks (perfect little crab cakes the size of bay scallops, just slightly crunchy and spicy), a demitasse of creamy/spicy pumpkin-coconut soup (a flavor pairing new to me that I thought came off brilliantly), a cheese plate (hooray!), and squab with foie gras in a cabernet reduction. (A couple of quibbles about that one: with such a small amount of squab, I was puzzled as to why I got a nearly-meatless length of bone with mine -- not even enough to gnaw off; I didn't find that the chestnuts added much to my experience; and the wine paired with it, a white Bordeaux if memory serves, was startlingly sweet and I didn't find it worked for me.) Portions were small but satisfying; with six courses, I was grateful they weren't larger. Wines paired with the menu were generally delightful, and a Stemmler Pinot Noir was a big hit. (I was making big plans till I looked it up on Total Wines the next morning and found out it retails for $30/bottle!)
  14. We were a large party that needed some place to eat lunch on a Sunday and I wanted a seafood platter. I recalled that DBGB had a pretty stellar plateau de fruits de mer from my previous visit, so we went back. This time, I ordered the "royal" platter for $99. It had a lot more oysters than the $37 "petit" platter but not more variety of seafood, which was disappointing. There was one small lobster tail, 3 whelks, lots of oysters, claims and mussels, tuna tartare, some white fish, and some shrimp. I also had a $9 DBGB dog - which looks pretty but wasn't really better than a Hebrew Nat'l 1/4 lb beef frank. Others had burgers and various sausages. I also had a side of crawfish and okra gumbo that was pretty good. Go for the large and varied menu, not outrageous prices (for NYC and a celebrity chef joint), and the fun LES vibes.
  15. I eat here with some regularity and keep coming back because they do all the standards well, have an experienced and friendly staff, good parking, a very good wine list and reasonable prices. A good choice for a bustling neighborhood bistro. The table under the stairs is a nice, quiet private spot.
  16. We hadn’t been to L’Auberge Provencal in a few years, but headed out last weekend with a couple friends for a German Wine dinner, hosted by Elite Imports. We had a five course meal with accompanying wines. Each course paired very well, and we wouldn’t hesitate to return to La Table Provencal for a “regular” meal. Fluke Sashimi, preserved lemon, green apple, mango vinegar - Graacher Himmelreich Reisling Kabinett, Joh. Jos. Prum 2015 Excellent first dish – the preserved lemon and green apple matched particularly well with the Kabinett. We also received a peach gazpacho as an amuse, but this was rather unceremoniously plunked in front of us and as a result didn’t know what it was (apart from obviously being a gazpacho of some type) until later. Service was a bit choppy – we were often left to review the printed menus to understand what we were eating. The waitstaff didn’t describe the dishes at all. Scallop, spaetzle, heirloom tomato, chili flake - Graacher Himmelreich Reisling Spatlese, Joh. Jos Prum 2015 Maybe my favorite course of the afternoon – I taste any chili flake, but the acidity in the Spatlese and the tomato cut the richness of the scallop and spaetzli nicely. A small portion though - as the scallop was definitely singular. Maultaschen, bratwurst, Asian pear, dates, caramelized onion - Zeltinger Sonnenhur Reisling Spatlese, Joh. Jos Prum 2015 Another good example of how an off-dry or even sweet wine with enough acidity can pair with heartier foods. This dish included three silver dollar sized pieces of bratwurst – the maultaschen was in a ravioli-like format and the pear and onion were carmelized in a sort of rustic jam. At this point we began to notice two things – that the portions were pretty small, and that wine glasses were not topped up during courses (and were relatively small pours to begin with). Baker Farm pork roulade, potato, cabbage, fig, juniper - Weingut Bernhard Huber, Baden Pinot Noir Spatburgunder Trocken, 2014 Excellent dish – and a great pairing with the Spatburgunder, however I think that the wine suffered by comparison as it was such a departure from the gradually building sugar profiles in the wines until this point. The majority of the group ranked this wine as their least favorite of the afternoon, but I wonder if that would have been the case were it served earlier. The roulade was good, but two slices – cabbage manifested itself in the form of two cabbage leaves, and the potato salad was two spheres of potato with the traditional accompaniments. Peaches, Olive oil cake, vanilla yogurt, pine nut brittle - Wehlener Sonnenhur Reisling Auslese, Joh. Jos Prum, 2015 I was fully prepared to hate this course, but boy was I wrong. As delightful as a box of birds. Enjoyed the olive oil cake and yogurt as they were on the savory side and provided a very nice contrast to the sweetest wine of the evening. A great time was had by all - with two caveats. Portions were on the small side, as were the pours. I understand that there is a fine line in tasting menu portion control and wine dinner/ lunch pours, but the pours were considerably less than a half glass. The other caveat was the service – I’d describe it as perfunctory – bring plate, drop plate, clear plate. The service may have been compromised by the fact that the reps from Elite were often talking to the group between courses. Given the 2015 vintage’s reputation in Germany it was a nice opportunity to taste through some Rieslings and bring back a few cases.
  17. No thread for Chez Billy in Petworth? Ok, I'll go. A friend had been talking this place up late last year, so I wasn't too surprised when my SIL gave us a gift certificate here for Christmas (she lives in NYC, and asked my friend for recommendations). Were there other places I'd rather have been given a GC to in the city? Probably. But, I was also glad to have an excuse to try out Chez Billy. We went on a Sunday night, and the restaurant was never crowded, although the bar had a number of folks. The bar room is actually the more interesting of the two with its high ceilings, but the other room was nice and cozy for a winter night. It was a bit darker than I would like, but maybe I'm just getting old. Service was good. Nothing outstanding, but nothing bad. We started with Tartine Aux Champignons ($12 Sauteed wild mushrooms, grilled country bread, sherry vinegar, duck egg) and Soupe A L'oignon Gratinee Lyonnaise ($10 Classic onion soup), both of which were good. For some reason I was thinking the tartine would be more tart-like, when in fact it was just as described - a piece of grilled bread in a bowl, topped with mushrooms and a duck egg. It was good, but I think I was still thrown off by my own wrong expectations. The soup was excellent. So many times I have trouble with French onion soup cutting through the cheese and bread and eating it in a dignified manner. This was rich and cheesy, but very manageable. Our mains were Confit De Canard ($23 Pommes"Πde terre sarladaise, shitake mushrooms, garlic spinach, roasted duck jus) and Jarret De Porc ($24 Cider braised duroc pork shank, white beans, local kale, bacon). Both meats were falling off the bone, as expected, and both were very good. The pork shank was enormous, and I enjoyed the bean, kale, and bacon swimming underneath. Great wintery dishes on a cold evening. We ended with Plat De Fromage ($8 Walnut raisin toast, wildflower honey), which included a goat, a sheep, and a cow blue (I had been craving a blue cheese that day), and all three were delicious. Although I love walnut raisin toast, I wished there had been a more "plain" bread or cracker or something to let the flavors of the cheese shine through. All in all we really enjoyed our meal and would definitely recommend. I don't know if I'd drive across town, but if you're in the area, it's worth a stop. We even got parking right out front! Beats heading downtown.
  18. I heard from an inside source today that Stephen Starr's restaurant group has signed a lease for the old Q Street Cleaners space at 1601 14th St. NW, and it's going to become a Buddakan. Confidence level? Since I'm relying on a source for this (as opposed to hearing it with my own ears), it can't be 100%, but it's up there.
  19. While out that way, does anybody ever go to Frog & Friends just outside Marshall? I always get the road names mixed up, I think it's roughly where the Belvoir Road intersects 55, near the livestock auction. My wife and I and my stepdaughter had a pleasant late lunch there a couple years ago, seems like at that time the then-new owners had just taken it over. It had declined, I think people said, prior to that, but these young guys had Citronelle connections and big ideas for getting Frog & Friends on track, though I believe they were maybe a little under capitalized.... sort of country French I'd say. ETA--Ach I DO always screw up the road names, it's the Zulla Road, rte 709 & VA 55.
  20. It took some digging, but I independently confirmed that L'Hommage Bistro will be opening at 450 K Street NW, just east of Mount Vernon Square. The Chef de Cuisine will be Josh Perkins, who was most recently at Ecco in Atlanta - he has 25 years of experience in the industry. The Mâitre d' is named Mustafa Fairtout (I'm not sure about the spelling of Mustafa's last name), who was a Server at Cafe Milano. This will be a classical French bistro with onion soup, páté, steak frites, etc. The restaurant will seat 175 with 50 at the bar and 80 on the patio. Owner is Hakan Ilhan of Al Dente et al. A bakery will be attached to the bistro, selling French breads, sandwiches, coffee, and to-go meals - the bread will be made in-house. --- I was also sent this article: "Alba Osteria Owner Hakan Ilhan to Open French Restaurant in Mount Vernon Triangle" by Rebecca Cooper on bizjournals.com
  21. From: The List, Are You On It. Christophe Poteaux, currently Executive Chef / Food & Beverage Director for Aquarelle at The Watergate, will open this new restaurant in Old Town Alexandria by September, featuring a moderately priced, modern French/Mediterranean cuisine with a blend of world ingredients. So does anyone know where and when this is going to open?
  22. We went tonight and had an excellent meal. Both chef/partners Claudio Pirollo and Mickael Cornu were there on Sunday night! Great pate, super mussels and a delicious gratin of prosciutto wrapped endive for starts. The rib-eye steaks were perfectly done. Charming service made the evening thouroughly enjoyable.
  23. "Tous Les Matins du Monde" is an intense, unrelentingly sad drama based in the mid-late 1600s, involving the life of the great viol de gambe composers Marin Marais, his teacher, Saint-Colombe, and Saint-Colombe's two daughters. It is a film about loss, longing, wasted lives, and ultimate redemption. However, this film is so unrelentingly intense in its sadness that the "ultimate redemption" is like having an ounce of water after you've crawled out of a desert. To me, this is one of the greatest movies I've ever seen because the musical aspect resonated with me so deeply; to the average person, probably not as much (I saw this once before, back in the 1990s, and thought the same thing, so my personal life events have nothing to do with my thoughts about the film). I say, "See it!" But be aware that you're not going to want to go ride roller coasters when it's over. There's no violence, very little sexual innuendo, and nothing graphic; this is just a straight-up, human drama with a ton of character exploration. Guillaume Depardieu plays the young Marin Marais, while his more famous father plays the older, more decrepit version of same - the transition, while hardly seamless (I mean, this guy is *French*), is just about perfect.
  24. If you've ever wondered what the oldest film in the world is, as far as anyone knows, it's the two-second clip known as "Roundhay Garden Scene," filmed by French inventor Louis Le Prince. Click on the title, and the film - which you'll miss if you blink - is on the top-right of the Wikipedia page. There's also a wealth of information there - the film was shot in Leeds, in the West Riding of Yorkshire, England.
  25. There are three versions to the 1895 documentary, "La Sortie de l'Usine Lumière à Lyon," which has a running time of about one minute: The versions are referred to as, "One Horse," "Two Horses," and "No Horse" - it will be obvious why when you see them. All three can be viewed right here on Vimeo. Admittedly not much of a plot. It is not impossible that, if Jeanne Calment was born on the day this film was released, she still might have been alive this very day (Jeanne Calment remembered meeting Vincent Van Gogh!)
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