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Found 352 results

  1. A lady I know has been touting this place for weeks, so we went tonight. It's a few doors down from Dino. The d�cor is plastic but the food is worth a trip. We had Crispy Spring Rolls (truly crunchy), Hue Spicy Beef Soup (needed a couple of hits from the spices on the table), Fried Quail (delicate and delicious), and Grilled Pork Hanoi (nice). She had a VN beer, "33," never heard of it. What happened in VN in 1933? And why do they have the name of the restaurant backwards?
  2. As I was in a bit of a "treat yo'self" mood last night, I decided to check out Mike Isabella's new place Kapnos and apply some strict ethnic scrutiny to what he is offering to the DC-area bourgeoisie as Greek food. The focus Kapnos (meaning 'smoke') is grilled foods from Northern Greece, although many of the items of the menu are classic Greek dishes regardless of their local origin within the country. Not wanting to BS around with the shi-shi items on the menu, e.g., kohlrabi crudite (I'm fairly sure the average Greek does not know what kohlrabi is, and certainly not in this economy...) or duck pita (duck phyllo pie on the menu), I lined up some of my favorite foods and those that I thought would most representative of Kapnos' focus. Tyrokafteri "“ Too much tyri (cheese) and not enough kafteri (spiciness). Tyrokafteri should really bring some heat, and I thought the sparse and thin slices of hot pepper could not provide enough heat to balance what essentially was a large plate of whipped feta with olive oil. The fresh-baked pita was really nice though; I always liked that at Zaytinya. Patates tou Fourno (aka Fourno Patates on the menu) "“ My username on this site also happens to list two of the basic ingredients for patates tou fourno (oven-roasted potatoes): ladi (oil) and lemoni (not surprisingly, lemon), oven-roasted potatoes have always been one of my absolute favorite dishes since I was a kid. So, you can imagine they hold a special place in my food life. Isabella's version is good, and more importantly, the dish does not try to do anything clever; they are simple and rustic. The potatoes themselves had that nice golden appearance with some charring, and were neither too mealy nor undercooked. However, in Greek cuisine, you can rarely have oil without lemon, and unfortunately, that's what was lacking from these potatoes. A bit more lemon and this dish will be a standard plate for every table at Kapnos. Charred Octopus "“ This was the big winner, and I could tell from the moment I sunk my knife into the first tentacle. Octopus is tricky to cook (as I learned first-hand recently), so I commend any chef who nails this. This was tender, not chewy in the slightest, and had that great roast flavor. Plus, the green harissa was a really nice addition to the dish. Overall favorite and this should be a standard plate for anyone dining here. Roasted Goat "“ So close, but not there yet. The goat is quite tender and has all the characteristics of delicious spit-roasted meats. However, like the potatoes, it was lacking something to balance out all that meatiness. I would have liked another herb or perhaps a tad more salt on the goat itself, because the harissa + yogurt combo on the plate was not enough to balance. But, I can see this dish improving over time as the restaurant evolves. Overall, I'd say that Kapnos earns a solid B+ right now. Since the restaurant is so new, I imagine the recipes will be worked and re-worked until they hit their peak. However, it's a worthwhile entry and I'll be keeping an eye on its progress over time.
  3. Roy Rogers Franchise Expansion in Mid-Atlantic speaking of local franchises, the Plamondon Bros. are trying to bring back Roy Rogers. Question is, how much brand loyalty is there for Roy's? Concerning 5G's with little brand loyalty except for a small cadre of DC and VA people, is their gimmick gonna keep people comin? Oh, how's my grammar - Just Kidding
  4. You could have knocked me over with a feather. After an excellent meal at Ghibellina, I was strongly swayed that there may be a new king of the 14th Street Shuffle (the Dining Guide Shuffle, that is). Further proof that DC's Italian Renaissance is in full-swing. People are talking about this-and-that neighborhood, but the biggest change in DC's dining scene of late has been the explosion of high-quality, moderately upscale Italian restaurants. And Lupo Verde, at least downstairs at the bar, positively screams Italian. If you've never had a Na Biretta beer, get one, and if you like a lot of malt, get the Na Biretta Rossa ($9) - this is like Moretti La Rossa, but better, and on steroids. Excellent quality, and a very cool-looking bottle to boot. I would get this again in a heartbeat, but there are four Na Birettas on the menu, and I'm eager to try the other three. It took forever for me to get my appetizer, probably close to half an hour, but when it arrived, I knew what took so long: I cannot imagine the labor that went into the Torta di Cozze ($9), and they've got boulder-sized testicoli offering this on a 14th-Street menu. Nominally a "Mussels Cake," this was an incredibly elegant little plate of warm, shelled mussels, sandwiched between two small wafers, with a half-melted scoop of Burrata, a little Parmigiano, and a drizzle of leek sauce. While not a large dish, and perhaps more delightful than delicious, this was not a nine-dollar plate of food; get it now, or pay more later - assuming it can possibly remain on the menu. Lupo Verde has a nice little wines by the glass list, but I went straight for the house white: Pinot Grigio on Tap ($8) from Piemonte, and it was a solid (not perfect, but solid) match with the Torta di Cozze - ideally, you'd want something a bit fuller bodied and bone dry. I recently had a very good spaghetti carbonara at Rose's Luxury, so I thought I'd try Lupo Verde's Carbonara ($14) to compare - there was no comparison. Lupo Verde's is made with homemade paccheri, guanciale, eggs, and Pecorino(-Romano?), and the paccheri is a wonderful vehicle for this classic Roman dish. This was, without question, the finest carbonara I have ever eaten. Like the Mussels Cake, it was a fairly small portion, but it was also a fairly small price - my server came down and almost apologized that the dish, served in a metal bowl, is presented merely warm, not steaming hot, because "that's the way they eat it in Italy," he said. Maybe, but the dish was plenty hot enough for me, and I was entranced by its execution. Lupo Verde's house red is also from Piemonte: Sangiovese on Tap ($8), and while this was a perfectly nice wine, especially for the price, I would counsel having it with a less-delicate, perhaps tomato-based dish, or charcuterie, and I would again recommend a full-bodied, bone-dry white with the Carbonara. Although I was getting somewhat full, I knew I hadn't eaten very much - these were not large courses - and since it was early, I knew I'd be wanting something later. So I got a plate of Three Cheeses ($13) to go which came with slices of bread, walnuts, and apricots. I apologize for failing to note the cheeses, but if you'd like, you can piece the order together yourselves: Lupo Verde is currently offering a total of four DOP (Denominazione Origine Protetta) cheeses, and I got the three that weren't Castelmagno. That was about the most non-helpful thing I've ever written, but the portions were fair, and although the cheeses are stored in plastic wrap, they were in perfect shape (on a similar note, my beer had gone several months past its expiration date, but it, too, was in perfect shape). It is important to recognize that I have now tried only two cooked courses at Lupo Verde, and I am not reviewing the restaurant; I am reviewing the individual meal. And I'm going to come right out and say that these were the two most refined dishes I can ever remember having on 14th Street. Needless to say, coverage is initiated, strongly, in Italic, and Lupo Verde, based on this one meal, is a legitimate contender for the 14th-Street crown. Yeah, you could have knocked me over with a feather.
  5. Has anyone had an opportunity to visit Fireworks Wood Fired Pizza in Leesburg, Virginia? http://www.fireworkspizza.com/HOME2.htm My family and I have eaten at the restaurant once, and ordered take out twice. On our first visit, the first pie we ordered was the: quattro carni. The second (take out) was the: smokey blue, and the third (take out) was the: fire cracker. Our favorite pie thus far has been the: smokey blue, but felt that the service each time has been poor. During our first visit, the wait staff neglected to remember one-half of the order for my family. As a result causing the food delivery to be staggered. Each time we have called to place take out orders, the phone manners from the wait staff/bartender taking the order has been less than stellar.
  6. It looks like Agraria's second location will be Founding Farmers, at the IMF building. See links here and here.
  7. Good new food cart in Rosslyn (near the metro). They have a menu of breakfasts tacos and I think they're open for lunch now too. I stopped by this morning when I was in the neighborhood. I had two tacos with egg whites, peppers & onions, pinto beans, and cheese on a flour tortilla. Only cost $5. Very good food, especially for the price. Nice warm, soft tortillas stuffed with flavorful beans, crispy veggies, and soft egg whites. Add a bit of the medium salsa and it's a good meal for a low price.
  8. Anyone been yet? I made up my mind as soon as I saw the signage (and later looked at the website) that I would never go here, but my wife's friends are already talking about a marguerita happy hour some time next week. TS' fairly scathing review, which should come as no surprise to any of us: http://www.washingto...tic-review.html
  9. Mi and Yu Noodle Bar opened on S. Charles Street a few months back, and they are a welcome addition to the neighborhood. This is a non-traditional "ramen" restaurant in that you mix and match a protein (currently buttermilk brined fried chicken, roast duck carnitas, 5 spiced bbq pork belly, soy-miso braised short ribs, or seared tofu), noodle (ramen, pho, or udon), and soup (spicy kimchi, miso, or adobo duck) to create your meal. I've tried all of the meats except the pork belly, and they are all well-seasoned, flavorful, and tender, although there are some dry bites here and there. The ramen noodles seem to be imported and are pretty good, while the udon noodles are what you would except, but personally don't seem to work that well with the heaviness of the soups. The miso soup is lighter and more reminiscent of your typical ramen place, while the duck soup really packs a punch on your initial slurp, but gets a bit overwhelming with salt and umami as you work your way through. All of the soups come with a soft-boiled egg and a tasty bean sprout/cabbage/carrot salad. The end result is several different combinations of delicious flavors, although some work better together than others. The noodle bowls are $12-$14 for a LOT of food; I've never been able to finish the soup. This is the perfect meal for a cold day or a long week at work. The other thing that I love about this place is the online ordering system (using ChowNow) on Mi and Yu's website. Choose a pick up time, order your meal, pay, and they'll email you when your food is bagged and ready to go. Walk in, take it home, get a BIG bowl ready to go (remember, it's a lot of food), combine, and enjoy.
  10. Hello all, I'm making my first trip to Taqueria Poblano tonight (Ballston location, near the home of a friend). I'm pretty excited about it quite frankly between my need for a beer (one Negra Modelo please!) and the inexpensive cuisine. Looking at the online menu, I'm very interested in trying the tacos al pastor and, as always, I need to satisfy a craving for guacamole. What are their other can't miss items?
  11. Went there twice this weekend. Big, hearty Italiamerican fare. Best pizza I've had in DC outside my own kitchen (although I haven't been to 2 Amy's yet). The chicken parm subs ooze with red and white goodness. The pizza crust is exceedingly light, but with ample structure to not bend under the weight of the rightly measured toppings.
  12. Local chain El Tio Tex-Mex Grill expanding where the former Great Falls Tavern (closed), then more recently Triny's Mexican restaurant existed, but recently also closed. This will be their 4th location and they are working on a refresh/remodel before opening in the near future. Location is excellent at the corner of Georgetown Pike (Rte 193) and Walker Road.
  13. Saturday night, pouring rain, we ran across the street to the Gotham Market at The Ashland, a tony food hall located in the first floor of an upscale apartment building. Decor is all exposed bricks and industrial metal, pretty much what you would expect. The food hall has several food court style restaurants - place an order and receive a numbered table stand and the food is brought to you. Restaurants include Apizza Reginale, Bar Granger, Flip Bird, The Crabby Shack, Mason Jar, and a sit down branch of Boqueria. The pizza at Apizza was solid, about the level of Pete's Apizza in DC. Bar Granger had a decent selection of local brews on tap. The fried pickle chips from Mason Jar went down easily. Gotham Market has a sister location, Gotham West Market in Manhattan.
  14. Guess some of you will be headed down my way now. http://news.fredericksburg.com/businessbrowser/2013/02/14/broker-new-fredericksburg-restaurant-likely-to-draw-from-no-va/
  15. Pho 75 in Rosslyn. Metro to Courthouse, about a 10-15 minute walk downhill. Have a small bowl, then a steak at Ray's, then pay your respect's to Dremo's before it closes with a few pints to wash it down. Hops are a digestif, natch.
  16. Urban BBQ in Rockville opend back up on Tuesday, Sept. 6. The place has expanded, there are now tables and chairs instead of just the stools. They now serve sodas from the fountain (don't worry, they still have the great root beer), have a beer and wine license, and have three TVs. When I was in there one was on the Food Network, one on CNN, and one on the game. The food is just as good as ever. (I just had to get some of the dirty wings, I'd been jonesing for them ever since they closed for renovation.) Stop by, I'm sure Lee and Dave would be glad to see you.
  17. [i'm surprised that there isn't yet a thread on Teaism, but in case I just missed it, please re-file.] Five pm. Sustenance thus far today consisted of a bag of Fritos. Awful day at work. About to meet a friend for drinks. And then I turn the corner and see Teaism, and something about the place draws me in. Nothing about my tuna bento box was extraordinary, but everything was Good. Soft sweet potato in peanut sauce. Crisp cooked broccoli in thickened ponzu. Warm rice, seared tuna were just fine. Delicate cold mint tea. I've got no standing to judge this meal relative to others in the DC area. All I know is that this was the first meal in a month that felt nourishing and tasty and satisfying and relaxing. Thanks, Teaism. ETA: In case there's anyone in the metro area who doesn't know it yet, the salty oat cookie sold at Teaism is one of the great triumphs of baking. I've been able to mock up a reasonable facsimile at home, but there's nothing like the original, eaten out of wax paper on Connecticut Avenue with a ginger-lime tea. Sublime taste pleasure.
  18. i think it only seems natural that i'm the one to start this thread, eh? in any event, Laura Hayes profiled French Quarter Brasserie recently. gone are the most comfortable bar seats in all of history. in is a spin-off of a Cajun-inspired Fairfax spot.
  19. Class 520 opened there second Montgomery County location in Bethesda on Friday, May 5. The other location is in Rockville. If you don't know what Thai Rolled Ice Cream is, do a search on you tube watch a video or two or three, be mesmerized, then try out this specialty. Essentially, you pick a flavor, they pour some liquid ice cream base on a cold stone, work it for a while, once it approaches freezing, it is put into a think sheet, then rolled and put in a cup. At 520, the journey ends at a fixins bar. I got the strawberry green tea. It is on the expensive side, but worth the experience. They also sell bubble tea in a light bulb shaped glass.
  20. I go to A&J in Annandale on a sporadic basis, essentially going either when I suddenly get a craving for their stuff, or if I happen to be in the neighborhood, which is rare. But I was there this weekend with my partner's Chinese teacher for lunch, and we wound up talking about something I had noticed for some time--with one exception, any non-Chinese there were accompanied by Chinese people. I am not sure whether this is because of the location, or because the menu is a bit restricted, or some other reason, but there is really no reason for "foreigners" not to go here, since the food is fantastic. For those not in the know, A&J is a Taiwan-based chain, called "Ban Mu Yuan" in Chinese (means half-acre field) with locations all over Taiwan, Beijing, California, Rockville and Annandale. They are specialists in "small dishes", such as dumplings, noodles, vegetable dishes, etc, though they also have more substantial fare, like pork ribs, fried chicken and other meats with rice. It's all very authentic, and on weekends you can even get Chinese breakfast foods like soy milk and "you tiao" (fried dough sticks). Prices are very good, too, though be warned that they only take cash.
  21. The Logan Circle store of Pitango Gelato opens today. Noah is a really nice guy, and the gelato is excellent. His dedication to getting the best ingredients is pretty amazing. He definitely scours the area for the best stuff he can get. For a little more about his process I wrote about it on DCist. The pistachio flavor is wonderful.
  22. Sthitch: have you tried Willard's in Chantilly? For a jack-of-all-trades place they do a good job. Don't miss the cobblers!
  23. Marja Vongerichten enters the quick serve market. Opening soon: "Marja Vongerichten Launches BiBiFresh, a Roving Bibimbap-up" by Hugh Merwin on newyork.grubstreet.com