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Found 104 results

  1. 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
  2. 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.
  3. Silly website aside, I wonder if will be in the same league as his Provence, which was brilliant. Mashed potatoes with a ladle of rosemary-infused olive oil where the gravy goes....mmmmmmmmmmmm
  4. "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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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!)
  8. I had a wonderful dinner yesterday evening with a couple of other Rockweilers at Marcel's. I don't know whether to begin with the food or the service or the ambiance. All were impeccable. We dined in the bar area so I can't comment on what the regular dining room is like. The bar area is light and airy with high ceilings and a glass front that looks out onto Penn. Ave. The decor is traditional yet modern. The package puts you at ease as you either sit at the bar or one of the tables in the bar area. The service was unobtrusive, professional and efficient, not a single mistake that I noticed. When it became apparent that the 3 of us sitting at the bar intended to dine, they asked us if we would like a table. When we gave an affirmative response, we were escorted to a nearby table and our drinks transported without the bat or roll of an eye. One of our party brought a couple bottles of wine and they were promptly taken away for chilling. The efficient food and wine service were so unobtrusive and efficient as to be almost invisible. I give the service an "A." I only perused the wines by the glass list and we had wine that one of our party brought so I can't comment on the wine list. I had a white burgundy and it was exactly as it should be. The food also was excellent. I started off with the boudin blanc, which apparently is their "signature" dish. The sausage came out with a perfectly browned skin, the crispiness of which contrasted nicely with the almost flan-like texture of the inside which had a light, delicate flavor. It sat atop a pool of what this morning I recall to be polenta. The whole thing was drizzled with some really good sauce. "A" For the entrée, I had the fillet of black sea bass with ratatouille. Damn, was this good. I ordered it primarily because of the ratatouille and because the others had already ordered what I thought was all the good stuff. The fish came out perfectly cooked and atop some pommes mouselline with the ratatouille around the sides of the plate. The mildness of the fish was offset by the tanginess of the ratatouille. "A" For dessert, I had the cheese course. The only thing I can recall was this one cheese that had so much flavor that I think my taste buds were out of commission for about 10 minutes. One bite of it was all I could handle. It was a real stinker. I give the cheese course a "B." The others had "regular"dessert which I now believe are the way to go. They have a soufflé dessert that takes about 20 minutes; if you are interested, put in your order when your entrée arrives (their failure to tell us about this might constitute a "mistake" by the service). Between the entrées and the desserts the "habitué" came over and sat down and chatted with us for a while. Altogether, an "A+" evening. This restaurant belongs on what has been described as the "short list," along with places such as Eve, Palena, Corduroy, Ray's and Firefly. I don't think it would be possible to have a mediocre dining experience at this establishment.
  9. DGDB (website) is currently open for dinner, rolling out brunch and lunch in the next few weeks. Boulud said this restaurant was going to be the most American of his French restaurants. Also it is noted because it will be serving the "Crabbie" with a nod to SpongeBob. But all that makes it sound so much less of what the opening showed it is likely to be. The bar, with marble and mirrored walls with etched quotes about libations was playful. I liked the height of the space and it made it feel a little less loud while quite packed on opening night. Wine, beer, cocktails were served, we tasted two of the cocktails which I have to say even on a packed night they were shaking up quickly and consistently, so kudos on that. The upstairs private dining was much more normal corporate feel with carpeted floors and blue walls, it wasn't as colorful, but still had fun views with big windows on each side. The upstairs was very loud, but there were also a lot of people up there because of the raw bar. I hope the guys shucking oysters aren't there normal crew because one guy was kind of butchering all of his. On the main floor going back towards the dining room from the bar there were shelves with plates painted by other chefs, cookbooks and other items. The plates were really the coolest part. Some chefs (cough cough Cathral Armstrong) were phoning it in, and some are really cool. A few are so well done I wonder if they had someone do theirs for them. But they were fun to see and some of the chefs I didn't know I was looking up to see what restaurants they were from. It gave it a very casual feel, while not being super casual, reminiscent of a less Southern Empire State South. The back wall can open up completely to the inner courtyard there of City Center which was a really nice feature, it really made the space feel open and kept that section a little less noisy even when really full. I assume they are going to have some patio space, which would be nice given the large courtyard. As to the food, there were a lot of excellent bites at the opening that represented dishes off the main menu. I think the food will be casual, but thoughtful enough to pull off casual well. There was an anchovy dip that wasn't bagna cauda that was really unusual, but so good, I hope this shows up somewhere on the main menu. There were some nice surprise tastes in what might be a very seen it dish, such as their tuna with harissa, and amazing roasted eggplant with very melt in your mouth soft flavorful lamb and an escargot dish that was more than just butter and garlic, in a good way. I thought the sausages in the chorizo ish hot dogs were well made and really flavorful. You could tell from the menu this is a place that will be able to serve all day, which I think in this area of town is a good thing. A huge advantage they have for them is the the bread will be from Mark Furstenberg. A French restaurant with decidedly excellent bread can never be a bad thing. This shouldn't be a surprise, but especially in DC it sometimes is, if the desserts on the menu are as excellent as the opening this is going to be a really strong portion of the menu, which is something I think is exciting. The desserts are the items that really stayed in my head and would make me want to go back. Overall based on the opening, I am excited to see the menu and try some dishes. I think it will represent as another solid option in that area. So we will see. But the opening was a lot of fun. If nothing else the man can throw a great party and be the star of it very well.
  10. I really thought I would like "Breathless" more than I did. Articles I read about this film stressed how important it is, calling it one of the most influential films of the French New Wave movement that changed the way modern movies are made. Having watched this film, I can appreciate these sentiments. I can see how this style of filmmaking would have been groundbreaking in 1960, and I understand how a film like this could influence future film directors for years to come. Having said that, I found the movie tedious to watch. I would never be interested in seeing it again. From a film appreciation stand-point, I am glad I saw it. The film has a quirky 1960s feel to it, and there are moments I enjoyed. Years from now, if I look back on this film, the thing I will remember best is beautiful Jean Seberg and her charming gamine style. I would love to find a copy of the striped dress she wears at the end of the film in a second-hand store somewhere (along with a pair of wrist-length white gloves).
  11. New place called Ev and Maddy's has opened in the space. Read the comments to the article - interesting. "New French Bistro Ev and Maddy's Has Opened In Rockville" by Andrew Metcalf on bethesdamagazine.com
  12. I won't be issuing any spoilers in this post, but I would urge any-and-all science-fiction fans to watch one of the greatest science-fiction films I've ever seen: "La Jetée" ("The Pier") - a 30-minute French short (translated into English) - the only place I found it was Amazon Prime (*), and it was $3.99 - yes, it hurt paying that for such a short film, but once I watched it, it was worth every penny. For me to say anything about the film would be to ruin it, other than this: It is an art film - absolutely for the art-house cinema folks - and is unlike anything else you've ever seen (with the possible exception of one modern movie which it directly influenced). It is disturbing, riveting, and sobering - if you're a science-fiction fan and *haven't* seen this, there's a gaping chasm in your repertoire. (*) At 15'40", there is a direct homage to Alfred Hitchcock's "Vertigo" - the influence Hitchcock had on the French New Wave simply cannot be overstated.
  13. A girlfriend and I had dinner in the small dining room up a set of stairs from the entrance at Tersiguel's. Fernand knew me tangentally as a young customer who was in the hospitality industry and appreciative of his restaurant. We ordered a bottle of Chablis from the Les Clos vineyard (producer escapes me) and Fernand stopped by the table. His wife had been battling cancer, and he shared with us their struggles and fear; and that he had built a shrine to the Virgin Mary in his backyard in order to pray for his wife's health daily. The actual details of the conversation have faded over time, but the tone of the conversation, the immense love and devotion coupled with his intense fear and sense of loss, have not. His son had just taken over the helm of the kitchen, and he was so proud of that, despite his obvious pain. And that entire conversation occurred because of a bottle of wine. Got to get to Tersiguel's soon, too.
  14. We had dinner at Petit Crenn tonight. House-made brioche, butter, sea salt. Trio of canapes. Top: French breakfast radishes, herb butter. Middle: Gruyere gougères, Bottom: Oysters with shallot and samphire; tuna crudo, radish, shrimp cracker; cured trout, trout roe. Seafood bouillabaisse, with clams, mussels, potato and fennel. Sourdough bread, with butter, crème fraîche and espelette pepper. Pan-seared turbot, celeriac mousseline, pea shoot, with beurre blanc and herb oil. Gnocchi à la Parisienne, beurre noisette, mushrooms. Whole-roasted cauliflower, almond crumble. Endive salad with green goddess dressing, shaved beets and Comté cheese. Valhrona Manjari chocolate ganache, brown butter crumble, grapefruit and orange, lime curd, buttermilk snow. Mignardises. Background: strawberry chambord gelée. Middle: salted caramels. Foreground: strawberry macaron. It was awesome. We'll be back; count on it. If I had a criticism, I would say that the middle course was too monochromatic. And I'm not exactly a fan of whole-roasted cauliflower; the top gets crispy but the middle is decidedly a bit too crunchy for my palate. Service charge is included. With two glasses of wine, tax and additional gratuity, it came out to $125 per person. Petit Crenn 609 Hayes Street (Laguna Street) Hayes Valley
  15. I just finished half-rereading Stefan Zweig's brilliant novella, "Amok," to refresh my memory before reading "Letter from an Unknown Woman," in the same collection of short stories, in anticipation of watching the film, "Letter from an Unknown Woman." However, I just found out there was not one, not two, but *three* films made after "Amok," so the siren song called me, and I began watching the 1934 French version, which is mercifully subtitled on YouTube (for now). Note, why did these middle-aged British and French men assigned to Borneo and Malaysia complain about not seeing any caucasian women for months-on-end? Are they out of their minds? Gauguin knew what he was doing, you'll see ... *** SPOILER ALERT *** Do not read any further until reading the novella *and* watching the film. Listen up: It makes no sense to watch this film unless you've read the 40-page novella first, so please, don't - read the novella first, because no matter how good this film is (and I've only watched 15 minutes of it), the novella will be better, I assure you. You'd be doing yourself a grave, literary disservice if you watch this movie before reading the story. So, really, any discussion that follows is going to be assuming you've read the book - and whether or not the film stays true to the novella, well, that remains to be seen, but my guess is that it just might. So read it first, huh? The great Stefan Zweig deserves nothing less (I'm not kidding when I say he's one of the five-best authors I've ever read, even though I've only read his short stories - he is on a par with Dostoevsky, Shakespeare, or anyone else you care to name, and if you doubt me, read him. In fact, if I could read just one more book in my life (assuming all were equal in length!), I might just choose something by Stefan Zweig. As my friend (and donrockwell.com member) Sasha K said, after reading the 41-page-long, "The Royal Game," "People should be ashamed to call themselves 'writers' when works like this exist," and he's absolutely correct. To watch this film, it will help to have some idea of what the true meaning of "running Amok" is - it's a Malaysian term that essentially means losing complete control (because of a strange, unknown disease), and going on a single-minded killing spree, until you either collapse or are killed, and there's no way to stop it once it starts - not unlike being a dog with rabies. This is represented quite well in the first fifteen minutes of the film, and sets the stage for the "real" story, which is allegorical. The film is staying very true to the book so far (I'm 40 minutes into a 1'25" movie), but other than a couple minor deviations, the first major one just occurred: Hélène's lover just found out about the child; in the book, he never found out, and that was an extremely important component of the doctor's unwavering devotion to her. As a psychological drama, it's little things such as this which can never make a movie as good as the book - there isn't adequate time to reflect on things, and compromises will always be made for the audience, no matter how insignificant you think they may be. When you read the story, you'll see how important this seemingly insignificant component is in determining the totality of the doctor's "amok state." Wow, also the blackmail with the letters from Hélène's lover - that doesn't happen in the book. See, in the book, his "amok state" is out of control, yes, but it's tempered with total dedication to her well-being, and he would never do anything to harm her like this. The movie has now taken two pretty big liberties, and I'm not sure I like it; on the other hand, I'm not sure how 90-minutes of psychological pursuit would come across on the big screen, when much of that pursuit occurs in the doctor's own mind (it actually happened, but not to the extraordinary degree to which it does in his mind). These aren't two "black marks" so much as two "gray marks," and I'm hoping there aren't many more, because you're messing with perfection, and you don't want to do that. This is Zweig's story to tell, and it's Otsep's primary mission - in my opinion - to present it as faithfully as possible. Everything comes home to wine: A common wisdom among "terroirists" (of which I am one) is that the *maximum potential* for a wine occurs the moment the grapes are picked; from that point forward, it's the winemakers primary task *not* to screw things up. Think of an absolutely perfect, ripe, heirloom tomato - how can you improve upon this? There are ways, but they generally don't involve corrupting the tomato. There are potential advantages to changing small things. For example, even though it was as obvious as the sun rising in the morning, I failed to see (in the book) that when the doctor saw Hélène at the ball, she was going to have the procedure done later that night - I have no idea how, or why, I missed that, but I did - this movie made that perfectly clear to me (dumbing things down for the dummy, perhaps?) I'm not sure this involves a "cinematic advantage," so much as a "dimwitted reader." The problem is, with him attempting to blackmail her - even though it was almost surely a bluff - when he looks at her and says, "Forgive me," he comes across as a complete, total, *jerk*, whereas in the book, it's clear that he isn't calculating enough to try and pull such a stunt - he was, as he said, running straight forward, at top speed, with blinders on, and nothing could stop him. When you "run amok," you simply don't have the presence of mind to attempt such a rotten tactic, and the movie suffers because he did. A classic, "eat shit" look from the 1930s: And strike three: He never once told her he loved her in the book: It wouldn't have been in keeping with the story. And stike four: The ending was all wrong, and reminds me that the movie was entirely missing the narrator, and didn't work without it - it needed to be structured just as the book was. This film ends with the absolute certainty that this was a clear case of murder-suicide, whereas the book leaves everything completely unknown, and the secrets are forever buried at the bottom of the sea - it is *so* much better in written form, and I urge you only to watch this film if you've read the book, and are curious about a comparison-contrast. I would love an opinion of someone who *hasn't* read the book, but I can't ask anyone to do this to themselves: "Amok" *can't* be a great film - it just can't be. But the novella was one of the greatest short stories I've ever read. Damn - the deviations did this in. Trivia, which I didn't recognize: Valéry Inkijinoff, whom I believe deserved a Best Supporting Actor nomination - despite the Film being French, and despite him being Asian - played the roles of *both* the man stricken with "L'Amok" at the beginning, and also Maté, Hélène's servant, who was unwaveringly faithful until the very end.
  16. 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.
  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. According to OpenTable, Central Michel Richard is accepting reservations for the 29th of January.
  19. 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?
  20. Just wanted to let everyone know about my dinner last night at a relatively new restaurant in Kentlands Shopping Center, which is located in Gaithersburg, MD. The restaurant was apparently written up recently in either The Washington Post or The Washingtonian. I know it was mentioned in the 100 best restaurant magazine for one particular dish. The restaurant is small and you will more than likely need reservations, espeically once word of this place gets out and it becomes busier. Their number is 301-947-4051 and they're located at 304 Main Street. There are something around 28-30 seats and the night we were there (monday) there was a total of six people, a four top and my girlfriend and I. The have two employees basically, the chef and his wife, they each run half of the restaurant basically. Apparaently their son comes in and helps on busy nights, but that's it. Anyways, they have a prix-fix menu consisting of either 2, 3, or 6 courses. We ended up getting a 3 course meal (48 bucks) but I would have loved to get the six with was in the middle to upper 70's, very reasonable considering the quality of food we got. We both have very refined palates, me being a cook at Maestro in the Ritz-Carlton Tyson's Corner and formerly a cook at 2941 has introduced me to some of the best food in town. I can say this was one of the best meals I can remember. My gf's dinner consisted of a smoked salmon plate with goat cheese and chives, designed like a butterfly (cute and tasty), sauteed calamari tubes with green olives and garlic, Duck Pot au feu (spl?) with cabbage/potatoes and a mustard/tarragon sauce. My dinner consisted of sauteed escargot with puffy pastry "shell", seared foie gras over poached pear and sauterne sauce (big portion and perfectly cooked), and squab stuffed with chestnuts and prunes with a light roasting jus. The service was great, we received an amuse of a salmon roulade. We got a cheese plate for our dessert which I had a glass of Cote du Rhone with which was very nice and my gf had one of the largest glasses of sauterne I've ever seen, the stem itself being a good 7 inches I'll bet. After the check we both got a chocolate and grand marnier truffle coated in cocoa powder. I really can't say enough good things about the place and would recommend it to anyone looking to have a great meal in a cozy french restaurant. He changes it often, but also keeps some of the favorites around all the time which is normal for any chef. Call them up and go for dinner, as they are only open for dinner, mon-sat, closed on sundays.
  21. The French Hound serves lunch on Saturday. It's a great little spot. http://www.thefrenchhound.com/
  22. Sadly, one of my favorite spots in the city closed on Wednesday. Le Train Bleu was the not-so-secret "secret" restaurant in Bloomingdale's. It was designed to look like an old rail dining car and was named for the famous train of the same name (not the restaurant in the Gare de Lyon railway station in Paris). In a lot of ways, it was one of those restaurants that time apparently forgot -- the experience was probably the same a month ago as it was when it opened in 1979, and the same people likely still worked there. About half of the patrons were tourists, but the regular clientele -- now in their 70's and 80's -- were probably the same too. And the food was always good, though not spectacular. Still, it was just one of those places that you love to be. While it was only a block from my apartment, I didn't go often because it was seemingly never open (it closed at 5:00 every day). But it will nonetheless be greatly missed, and I'm glad I got one last lunch on its final day. It was as good as it ever was until the end. [Originally posted on NYDiningGuide.com]
  23. I just wanted to write that: Simon Ndjki-nya. The upstairs wine bar at Bistrot Lepic would be one of my quirky choices for the question we all get: "I'm coming in from out-of-town this weekend. Where would be a really cool, undiscovered place for us to go? We want something quiet but not boring, with good food, good atmosphere and decent wines by the glass." The wine bar at Bistrot Lepic is also a perfect first-date venue - lots of small plates, comfortable, intimate ambiance, friendly bartender, food coming up from the main dining room's kitchen downstairs, good for private conversation. My one qualm is that the wines by-the-bottle are a bit overpriced (only a couple of bottles are under $30), but this is mitigated somewhat either by sticking with humbler bottlings, or ordering by-the-glass, and the food prices are quite reasonable, with interesting small plates around $7, most fish entrees in the upper teens, and meat entrees hovering around $20. You can do well here if you nibble and pick. Cheers, Rocks.
  24. We have eaten at Mediterranee a handful of times for lunch once with our in-laws (who are very picky I may add) I always get the prix-fixe lunch for 16.95 where you get an appetizer an entree and dessert and so does hubby. Here is their info: 10123 Colvin Run Road, Great Falls, VA (703) 757-9300 (It runs right behind Route 7 about 2 miles or less from Wolf Trap) We went there on Friday and as usual the food was great! The service is usually fantastic but it was a bit uneven flowing... I'm used to the two women who work the dining room and there were two gentlemen but they did good enough. They brought out their usual freshly cut french bagette bread basket and butter and then we proceeded to order. I got the Country Pate with olives and gherkins and Hubby got the Grilled eggplant with cumin and oranges. For my main course I got the peppercorn hangar steak with frites (fries ;-) heh) which had a fantastic cream sauce not too heavy nor too light. Hubby ordered the Smoked pork loin in a coconut milk cilantro sauce with pineapple I really REALLY am not into pork or ham but I had a forkful and I wanted to steal his dish and run off and eat it too! It was so smoky and delicious and made really nicely. For dessert he got the Bread pudding with caramel sauce (the caramel sauce was DEFINITELY homemade a tiny bit over-cooked but not really noticable but nice texture and odor YUM) I got the Crepes stuffed with chestnut cream and it was yummy... next time I may get the Banana flambe with rum, served with vanilla Ice cream... I'm just not into Ice cream too much. Anyhow this is a great place for lunch and one day I hope to try it for supper if I ever have time. --- Happy New Year L'Shanah Tovah to everyone.... and beit avon'
  25. Work with me here for a minute folks, as I try to sort out this quote system... (in other words, sorry if it looks weird, I'm trying) I had a terrible dinner at La Fourchette, admittedly 5 years or so ago. But it was bad enough that I wouldn't go back. Terrible service, and food that included a mayonnaise-based dressing (I detest mayonnaise, and most of its aise cousins) on a nicoise salad. The waiter argued it wasn't a mayo dressing, it was oil and vinegar. Umm, yeah, there's oil in there, but there's also blipping egg in there, thus making it an -aise! Plus, that's obviously not a the kind of dressing that belongs on a nicoise salad. Yeck.