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  1. I went to a get-together with a large group at Homestead last night (my first time eating in Petworth). We were on the top floor of 3, where there was a bar and some tables, and they handled us well (large group of various people showing up anywhere between 6 and 9 p.m.). I like the space and the host was friendly and welcoming. I only had a small taste of the menu, but it was excellent. The things I ordered aren't on the online menu at http://homesteaddc.com/starters/ because their menu changes daily, although a number of items on the online menu were on the menu last night (quail, raclette, catfish, buttermilk hot chicken, half roasted chicken, Homestead burger). A salad of berries (blueberries and strawberries), goat cheese, hazelnuts and greens was great - very fresh, interesting greens that weren't the typical "mixed greens," though I can't tell you what they were. Good goat cheese and fresh, tasty berries. Large serving, too. Grilled squid was tiny tiny whole squid (baby squid, but much smaller than baby squid I've had before, about the size of a thumbnail), with drizzles of a delicious yellow sauce that tasted of Spain (I don't recall what was in it, maybe saffron?), and bits of diced fruit (pineapple? don't recall), on top of salad greens. Not what I expected, but very good. There was a saffron soup on the menu and I was very curious but didn't end up getting it. My husband got the half roasted chicken with vegetables and he was happy with it; someone else got the burger, and I snagged a few fries, which were good. Someone else was very happy with her tuna tartare over avocado, which looked appealing. There were many interesting cocktails on the menu (drinks menu isn't online). No mocktails, but I got a nonalcoholic version of a drink that had blackberries (or maybe blueberries, can't recall), cardamom syrup, and lemon. Very nice. Followed it with a ginger beer. There's outdoor seating on the second level (maybe 8 tables) and lots of space throughout the building. I'd definitely go back.
  2. Chef Spike Gjerde has opened his long awaited farm-to-table restaurant in Clipper Mill. The wife and I went there last night and were shocked at the full dining room, given the restaurant's out-of-the-way location. No matter though, we had made reservations and were seated promptly in the loft overlooking the dining room. The renovation to the building is stunning. The exposed brick walls and recycled old-growth lumber that were used are dramatically illuminated, looking both elegant and cozy at the same time. A wood burning oven is the center piece of the open kitchen, and most of the food on the menu seems to be cooked in it. We ordered: Oysters (raw and roasted) Chicken liver parfait Hamburger Autumn vegetables Everything was very good: the food, the service, and the space. We'll be back soon. Woodberry Kitchen
  3. 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
  4. I was thinking about this restaurant the other day, knowing that it was supposed to open in the Spring (but figuring that it would be delayed) and realized that we went the whole summer with no news on when exactly it will start service. I figured I would come here to see if cheezepowder or any other members had heard any rumblings and was shocked to see that no one had posted a thread about it yet. There has been quite a bit of buzz on the internets for over a year now, and dare I say that if David Chang and Eric Ziebold did not have anticipated openings this year or early next year that this would be the hottest reservation in town when it opens. I'm sure everyone has at least heard in passing about it at this point, but wanted to see if anyone had any more insight into what sounds like a very cool new restaurant. Website / @thedabneydc on Twitter "Jeremiah Langhorne's Restaurant, The Dabney, Will Open in Blagden Alley" by Missy Frederick on dc.eater.com "Meet Jeremiah Langhorne: Picking Composters, Pigs, and Potential Line Cooks" by Tim Carman on washingtonpost.com
  5. My sister-in-law, a denizen of Cleveland Park, asked me if I had heard anything about a new place called Ripple in the old Aroma space in Cleveland Park. She said the posted menu looks interesting. Metrocurean has the scoop. A bit surprised that this seems to have gone unnoticed on dr.com given the pedigrees of the team behind it. Anybody go on a scouting trip this past weekend? [ETA: oops--looks like the tag line got cut off in the title of the thread; should be "from our back yard." I assume Don will change the title of the thread anyway. ]
  6. R&D Foods is a tiny slip of a store, serving up sandwiches, prepared foods, cheese, cured meats, baked goods, and with a frozen meat case (sausages etc.). Shelves have a selection of grocery supplies, condiments, etc., many locally produced. They will also put together picnic baskets. It's a good spot to know about if you are planning an outing in Prospect Park.
  7. Here goes nothing.. Bear with me & my excitement in stirring a new following toward South Central Pennsylvania Dining Stay tuned for my first review!!!
  8. How about Equinox? Who has been there and what were your thoughts? I have searched this forum and haven't seen mention of it.
  9. I have a kind offer from my future mother-in-law for dinner anywhere in DC for my birthday. She keeps pushing for Nora, but I haven't heard much buzz about it recently. I was hoping to finally get to Kaz or Sushi-Ko, but perhaps I'd be missing out by not trying one of her favorites. I may also be missing out on the political points I'd score by letting her have her way. Has anyone been recently? How was it?
  10. Kingbird is now the answer to any question about dining near the Kennedy Center. If you can get past the absolutely shameful high prices on the wine list (a long list from $90-$500, but only one or two bottles priced at $40-$50; I wouldn't recommend coming for drinks after happy hour), the service is friendly and we all enjoyed our meals and the atmosphere. Scallops, beef tartare, and pommes frites were all fantastic starts to share before the main courses. They also serve gratis curry popcorn that is very good. We had pork belly and veal bolognese for entrees, which were both okay. I finished with some kind of deconstructed tiramisu with coffee gelato, I think shaved coffee beans on top, cream, and chocolate. As much as I'd want to protest ever going back to this place based on the prices of the drinks, our appetizers and dessert served by our friendly waitress really won us over. They also gave us gratis lemon macaroons at the end, which was very nice. I didn't see a thread yet on Kingbird, and I usually don't like to start new threads for a restaurant like this on my own, but I'm sure Don will start one based on this post.
  11. My wife and I have adopted the Sunday habit of driving to Leesburg for excellent salads and exemplery soup at Kevin Malone's rustic Tuscarora Mill in Leesburg. The front of this is a tavern that we've enjoyed for a number of years, especially on a cold winter's night. Recently, we learned that he had opened a new restaurant in Purcellville, about 15 miles further out into Loudoun County. Today, with the temperature hovering around 80 we put the top down and drove out to explore. To say that Magnolia is a converted grain silo from the 19th century is an injustice. To say that it sits at the absolute end of the Old Dominion Railroad trail does not capture the ambience of sitting on the patio overlooking the trail. This is a five story high mill that has seen at least several million dollars worth of investment. The result is an absolutely breathtaking wooden cathedral with ceilings approaching a fifth or six floor, planked flooring and brick and stone in every direction. Why Sietsema hasn't been out here yet is absolutely beyond me: it opened two years ago. Our expectation was for the same food that we have found in Leesburg at Tuscarora. Our disappointment was not finding it. This is a very abbreviated "review" since we only scratched the surface of this remarkable restaurant's menu. My hope is that Kevin Malone, the owner, might read it and change a few things before Sietsema or Kliman decide to take a Sunday drive to Purcellville. My wife and I each ordered a soup, one the soup of the day which essentially was chicken broth with a few veggies. The other was a very good version of Rao's Vodka Sauce for pasta. Neither was on par with the excellent half dozen soups we've had over the years at Tuscarora Mill. We each had the salad of the day. What is important about my comment is the size of the "dinner" salad: anemically small. In Leesburg dinner salads are not nearly as large as, say, Houston's or Sweetwater. But they are better, perhaps, much better. And a bit larger. At least twelve bites if not more. This was considerably smaller than what we have found in Leesburg. After eight or nine bites we were finished. I've never measured a salad before by the number of bites but the size of this inspired that consideration-there were so few! When I later received the check I could not believe that these salads could cost as much as they did: approximately a dollar a bite! Even the best flavored lettuce does not warrant this. Entrees being served around the room and on the patio looked delicious: we thought that, maybe, we had ordered wrong which would justify a return. After all, we fell in love with the ambience and the incredible effect that the remodelling of the building had on diners: gorgeous, atmospheric, the fantasy realization of anyone driving through the Virginia countryside looking for a good restaurant with a great deal of "personality" to have dinner at. This was it. But at least a few courses need work. We'll be back soon for the main courses and dessert. Definitely worth the trip, if only for a glass of wine...
  12. "Alton Brown Names Ma(i)son 'Restaurant of the Year'' by Kevin Stairiker on flymagazine.neet Maison, mark my words, will make it to JBF, along with other Lancaster culinary talents. My goal is to add Central Pa, to the dining map, one bite at a time. hungry, kat
  13. Did a search here and on google but did not find anything. My wife just informed me that we are meeting friends here on Saturday night - anyone been? Suggestions or should I use my power of veto.
  14. New York Times Travel feature for Luca: "A Pennsylvania Restaurant That's Hot in More Ways than One" by Kathryn O'Shea-Evans on nytimes.com A sister restaurant to Ma(i)son. Luca, unlike its sister, serves liquor. Its nothing short of amazing. Central PA eats, kat
  15. This post is a little about hyperbole and a lot about a place called The Bartlett Pear Inn (BPI), IMHO The Best Restaurant On The Eastern Shore. The BPI has occupied the space formerly known as the Inn at Easton for about two years. Apologies in advance for a longer post...okay a bit of an opus...but it's as much about guilt for not having posted sooner as it is about having a lot to share. And, for those who hate long posts, I've tried to use liberal formatting (sections, bold face, spacing, italics) to make it more skimmable. You can even stop after the one line Executive Summary just below if you like. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Great and often inventive food from a humble yet driven perfectionist. Great people with genuine niceness and hospitable spirits. Great value at moderate prices. Go soon. FULL POST INCLUDING SOME MULTIMEDIA, LINKS, REFERENCES & DETAILS I have to say I'm more surprised this thread didn't already exist than with any other new topic I've yet seen appear on dr.com because... -- It's a truly great place and I'll go into detail on that below. -- It's run by a truly wonderful couple, Jordan and Alice Lloyd. -- The Lloyds were the buyers of the historic inn from Andrew Evans, of the previous tenant, The Inn @ Easton and of current "BBQ Joint" fame. Of course, The Inn @ Easton was loved on this board and had a fairly active thread. Surely some Rockwellians have investigated what moved in when Chef Evans moved out besides me? -- Not that I put much stock in those "other" food community sites but BPI has earned the highest ratings on virtually all of them (tripadvisor, urbanspoon, zagat, yelp, blah, blah). There has been a fair amount of media attention showered on the Bartlett Pear. Though will say TS underrated this place in my view--he was there on a night when the best aspects of BPI may not have been on full display. I hope he goes again soon. IT'S ACTUALLY MOSTLY MY FAULT BPI'S COMING OUT ON DR.COM COMES SO LATE (SHORT BACK STORY) The most blame for BPI's very late coming out on dr.com is best directed at me. Our (my SO and I) story with BPI goes back to December, 2009 and that nasty first snowmaggedon storm which started on a Friday night. It stranded us at the Inn at Perry Cabin in St. Michaels for most of a weekend. "Most" because we made it out for just one dinner--at the Bartlett Pear--the Friday night the snow started falling with the roads just passable for us to make it back to St. Michaels from Easton after dinner. Anyway, since then, we've dined and stayed at Bartlett Pear maybe half a dozen times. I thought I'd posted on it before but hadn't. I suck. So, on with it already. But, first a very brief and relevant word or two about exaggeration. HYPERBOLE Most. Best. Worst. Top 3. Top 10. Outstanding. Extraordinary. Fantastic. Too many of those words in amateurish write-ups like mine. That said, there will be some hyperbole in this post. There has been already. Catch that thread title? It's intended. I think the place rather unique. And, getting the cliched stuff out of the way early, I'll go on record with a somewhat audacious claim but one I think accurate. OVERALL BARTLETT PEAR HEADLINE BPI is at least the best food on the Eastern Shore and would be a Top 10 (5?) for sure were it here in DC. We love it. It's fabulous. We've sent many friends there through word of mouth. One of our very favorite spots in the region. THE BARTLETT PEAR INN/BACKGROUND + WHO ARE THESE PEOPLE? As written briefly above, the BPI is now about 2 years old. It's a gorgeous inn as I'm guessing the Inn at Easton was (I regrettably never visited it then). Alice Lloyd, the innkeeper, keeps 7 lovely, luxurious, yet moderately priced, rooms in great shape. She also handles two young children and one boxer but, no worries, the boxer is never in the inn for those concerned about that. I know they did extensive renovation to the Inn before reopening it as BPI. If bath accoutrements are any litmus, they use L'Occitane here but the rooms are surprisingly easy on the wallet. It's a perfect base for exploring Easton and the area. But, The Thing that's most exceptional about BPI is the restaurant and Jordan Lloyd's cooking. Jordan's only 31 and originally from Easton (as is Alice, whose maiden name was the inspiration for the Inn's name). He has the resume of someone older, more seasoned and very accomplished: - culinary school in Pittsburgh - worked and studied under several famous chefs including: * Christian Delouvrier (Bal Harbour, FL) * Thomas Keller (Per Se in NYC) * Michel Richard (here at Citronelle) Even TS wrote "....Lloyd has the chops to back up his dream..." Beyond "chops," Jordan has the passion, ambition, knowledge and skill one would expect given his bio. But, beyond that, there are three things we think most worth noting about Jordan and his cooking. THREE REASONS WHY JORDAN LLOYD'S COOKING STANDS OUT First, Jordan has that gift, exceedingly rare among would-be culinary innovators, to combine and invent; to create new, delicious and, at times, surprising flavors. This is the stuff that can't be taught in culinary school. No foams, sous vide or crazy experiments gone wrong on a plate here. Most everything we've ever had here has just been really excellent; lots of wows. And, in any restaurant of however many stars or diamonds, that's the most important thing, right? Second, Jordan has drive. It's not just about work ethic--though while anyone really good in this industry works their butts off, I can't imagine it'd be possible for anyone to work harder than Jordan. It's about his intense focus to become a great chef and then keep improving. That's why he sought out the jobs he did before opening BPI. That's why he logs the hours he does. That's why he'll even cook in 145-degree ambient temperatures (more on that below). Third and most important, Jordan is just an exceedingly nice guy in a way that can't be faked. He's genuinely humble and unassuming. I wouldn't be so sure about this had I not had as many interactions with him as I have; had I not taken a cooking class with him in his pillbox of a kitchen or chatted with him many times in quieter moments at the Inn. Maybe it's because he's so young. Maybe he was just raised that way. Niceness isn't just what makes someone so likable. Less obvious is that it (and associated humility) are what make it possible for a driven professional to always improve and get the best from staff. Such is Jordan. The BPI serves a full hot breakfast every day and dinner every night save Tuesday. They have a great brunch on Sunday, which I'll use for this post's food specifics since we were just there this past weekend. I'll then post again with some specific dinner items after a future visit unless others beat me to it. FINALLY, THE FREAKIN' FOOD! BRUNCH. This past weekend, four of us planned a Saturday dinner and Sunday brunch at BPI during a weekend stay. But, alas, for the first time in all our visits to BPI, our Saturday plan went awry thanks to the crazy high temps that would tax nearly any air conditioning system. Jordan's kitchen was getting up to 145 degrees and, after sweating out a Friday dinner, he shut down Saturday night to give his staff a break, despite the loss he knew he'd take with the dining room fully booked. We went to plan B for Saturday, enjoyed discovering the Bistro Poplar in Cambridge (which Jordan personally booked us into and which now has its own separate shiny new thread on dr.com) and cursed our bad luck for not having eaten at BPI Friday night when we had the chance. After all, as nice as the Inn is, the food is the biggest reason we keep coming back for weekends. Ah, 20/20 hindsight. So, Sunday brunch couldn't have come soon enough. We'd had a few Sunday brunches at BPI before so knew to expect great things. Our two friends couldn't stop raving. We ordered a larger number of things to best try out the various proteins, produce, dairy and treats featured across the menu. BRUNCH HEADLINE (FOOD AND MEAL EXPERIENCE DETAILS FOLLOW) Wow! Delicious, interesting and impressive. Strongly recommend eating (and staying) at the Bartlett Pear. SERVICE The service at BPI, whether dinner, breakfast or brunch, is always attentive, efficient and genuinely friendly and casual. This is one of the memorable and unusual things about BPI. They effectively meld an elegance and outstanding quality with an informal and casual culture. Most of the servers are from the area and pleasures. We had a relatively new and younger server for the brunch who took great care of us and our various special requests. FOOD We enjoyed: - Truffled Scrambled Eggs ($7): served in cast iron after being continuously whisked, these are light, velvety, savory and really, really tough to duplicate at home despite Jordan's unassuming and deceptively simple directions. - Side of Applewood Smoked Bacon ($4): suffice to say, this isn't the applewood smoked bacon sold at Whole Foods. Need to find out his source. This is the bacon any serious breakfast place should be forced to serve. - "Eggs Benedict" with Stonehouse Farm Poached Eggs, fresh hollandaise, Inn-Made Brioche toast and the bacon ($14 or free if staying at the inn). Of course, the technique is predictably and exactly what it should be with eggs perfectly poached to order. It's the brioche and hollandaise that elevate this benny above most. - Chef's Sunday Inn-Made Pappardelle Pasta ($21): I always, always order the pappardelle whenever on Jordan's brunch or dinner menus. Again, a simple preparation with his hand rolled pasta, light butter, truffle, 8 or so well seasoned cockles and a cheese that really makes the dish and the name of which I can't recall. This dish = sumptuousness. Sumptuousness = this dish. - Stonehouse Farm French Egg Omelette w/ Roasted Bell Pepper Ragout, Homestead Farms Organic Green Salad ($11 or free to overnight inn guests). The omelette was lovely, light and beautifully seasoned but it was the bell pepper ragout that wow'ed. I'm not a big bell pepper fan. That said, these rocked. - Sugar Snap Peas, Roasted Garlic Confit ($6): Maybe an odd thing to get with brunch and everything else but I felt like an in season vegetable and these didn't disappoint. - Pear Tart ($4): Befitting their name, there are often pear-related dishes on the dessert menu in one form or other. This had light airy puff pastry and perfectly chopped tender pieces of ever-so-lightly-sweetened chunks of pear. - Pear Sorbet ($3): the menu calls this a "scoop" but it's actually a quenelle. The best fruit sorbets are an explosion of the featured fruit which makes you forget anything about frozen, ice or ice cream. This is that. - Fordham's Root Beer Float w/ Tahitian Vanilla Ice Cream and Ginger Spice Macaroon ($8): This was the only thing we did right culinarily Friday night, getting some tea and this at BPI's bar after a disappointing dinner elsewhere. Really refreshing and reminiscent of both past and current eras. Jordan's ice cream. A pear straw unlike anything I'd seen before. I'm not sure about the provenance of the roughly 4" diameter macaroon that capped the tall soda fountain glass but it was the perfect complement for the dessert if not quite up to the global macaroon standard :-) BEVERAGE We didn't really put this to the test this trip and others with way more expertise than me will have to assess it. But, I can say that the wine program is of nice size and forethought with about 40 reds, mostly European/French (Beaujolais, Burgundy, Rhone, Bordeaux, Barolo, Brunello) and 30 whites. Smaller selection of about 10 beers but with choices including a Saison Dupont Farmhouse Ale (Belgian/$12), Meredsous Brune Dubbel Ale (Belgian/$8) and Traquair Jacobite Ale flavored with coriander (Scotland/$12). THE END P.S., Go to Bartlett Pear. Stay. Have dinner. Have brunch. Have drinks. This place is a destination. [disclosure: I have no vested interest in BPI other than the history as described above. Just an avid fan.]
  16. We stay at the Ashby Inn on a regular basis, and were there last weekend. It is far more casual than genteel, although there's a bit of that in horse country. Sitting on the balcony and listening to the cows lowing will quickly convince you that the city is not too close. They recently changed chefs, and have, at least for the moment, shortened the menu because of decreased dinner traffic in this stuttering economy, but the food remains wonderful. I know that they have an eight ounce filet listed, but believe that's the only steak offered. Note, too, that the Inn is quite close to the Sky Meadows State Park, which has very nice hiking trails and beautiful views. One of Paul Mellon's finest contributions to that part of the world.
  17. Clementine is in a unique area of Baltimore that is unpopulated by the usual hip restaurants. This place has the feel of a general store, and they cure their own bacon and make other charcuterie. It's a great spot to bring kids; there's a cute play area off in the corner. Great assortment of sodas from rosemary lemon fizz, lime basil elixir, Cheerwine, and other drinks. We went for breakfast. The waffles are fantastic - almost fried and funnel cake like with strawberries and whipped cream. There's an Elvis version with bacon, bananas and nutella as well, which I did not get to try. We ordered catfish with grits, corned beef hash, and their regular scramble. Be sure to ask for their housemade hot sauces that come in both green and red. Catfish was cooked to the right texture so that it didn't end up tough with great grits. The corned beef hash is unlike any other hash - the meat was high quality and came in chunks, lovely chunks of squash and potato. And I'm not sure what they put in their scramble of eggs, potatoes, red cabbage, onion and duroc bacon, but yum. Definitely want to return to try their version of bi bim bap and charcuterie. This has definitely unseated Miss Shirley's as my favorite brunch spot in Baltimore.
  18. Since moving to Houston, I've been on a mission to find my new place. I'm the kind of creature of habit that needs a local, a home base. In New York, the dearly departed Redhead, and (also dearly departed) Northern Spy filled that role, and in DC, Boundary Road did the heavy lifting. While it may be a tad premature to say after only one visit, Nobie's is looking the part here in Clutch City. Nobie's is named for the chef's grandmother, and radiates a warm, familiar feel from the very beginning. I think the comforting confines of the former Au Petit Paris help, as do the beautiful vintage speakers displayed throughout, playing an eclectic mix of music off of a stash of vinyl records. It also helped that we immediately ran into an acquaintance at the bar as we walked in...a welcome occurrence when you're new to a city. The bar itself is relatively small, with a few stools, and from the looks of it, the full menu is available there. Cristina and I have a long-documented love of dining at the bar wherever we are, so I imagine we'll end up parked on those stools fairly often. We started with 2 of the 3 cocktail specials of the moment, the lightly effervescent gin-based Snow on the Pines, and the rye-based Baby it's Cold Outside (served warm, which would've been even better if it weren't 70 degrees in Houston right now). Both were excellent, and I imagine it would be tough to go wrong ordering whatever the daily cocktails happen to be. The rest of the drink list is equally well-edited and curated, with 3 interesting draft beer options, and a number of bottles and cans (big ups for Lone Pint Yellow Rose on tap). I took note of the Schlitz tallboy for $3 and $5 shot of Four Roses Yellow Label for another time/context. I miss my occasional late nights at Boundary Road with a friend or 2, winding down with a slightly superfluous Natty Boh and shot of Old Overholt. We started with a couple small plates. The Texas Tartare is a finely chopped steak tartare adapted to our lovely State's tastes with smoked jalapeño and topped with a layer of deviled egg yolk. Served with nicely toasted bread, this was a hit. The "Texas" bits were noticeable but played with a measured hand such that they didn't overtake the basic flavor profile of my beloved steak tartare. This is the kind of thing that can get super gimmicky real fast, and the skill shown with this dish is a real "tell" as to what you can expect from the kitchen here. The beer battered sweet potato tots came hot from the fryer in a bowl ringed with a whipped goat cheese. Crispy, soft, salty, cheesy. So get those. It was tough to pass up some of the other snacks on offer...the dukkah Chex mix and cool ranch chickpeas sounded great. Next time. Our salad of local citrus and fennel was the perfect foil for the richness of the tartare. Segments of grapefruit and orange mingled with paper-thin slices of fennel, bits of mint, red chili, and black sesame seeds. This is a simple salad whose execution elevated it beyond my expectations. There are a few salads on the menu, and if they all receive the care this one did, they shouldn't be missed. Moving along, we shared the Ricotta-stuffed raviolo with crispy duck confit, and the Aleppo prawns with burnt orange. The pasta is a rather robust single raviolo filled with house-made herbed ricotta and an egg yolk that covers everything beautifully once you cut into the shell. This was surrounded with irregularly sized pieces of crisped duck confit. This was a hearty dish whose richness would have been better appreciated in colder weather, but was still greedily devoured. The ricotta was light and lemony, and a nice counterpoint to the richness surrounding it. The prawns were served head-on and simply, seasoned with citrus and Aleppo pepper. These were well-cooked and delicious, though without any accompaniment on the plate, they felt a bit spare. We unfortunately skipped dessert to make it to a movie, but there will be plenty of time for that later. Nobie's hit all the right notes, from the unfussy, comfortable decor, to the friendly, unpretentious staff (none of that "Are you familiar with chef's concept crap), to the soulful, straightforward, ingredient-driven cooking. There's something for everyone here, from bar snacks and well-chosen wines by the glass, to large-format dishes like a grilled octopus and "Fred Flintstone" ribeye. My favorite joints always have that flexibility. Nobie's is a welcome and important addition to the Houston scene. Keep my seat warm guys, I'll be back soon.
  19. Garrison has been open for just over a week now. It's a handsome restaurant with a pleasant patio space in front. The menu is vegetable-centric and apparently emphasizes seasonal produce. Mr. P and I nibbled our way through a number of vegetable side dishes/appetizers and a pasta course. Poppy seed gougères were excellent: very small and took awhile to come out, suggesting they were made to order. Gougères are as much about texture as flavor, and these were spot-on. Heirloom tomato salad was nicely composed, with a piece of burrata and mint rather than basil (a nice change of pace), and slivers of almond. Fennel gratin was straightforward but intense, the flavor punched up with a splash of Pernod. Squash blossoms with smoked provolone and Romesco sauce were outstanding, perfectly fried and not too much cheese, so the flavor of the blossoms wasn't overwhelmed. Mr. P also had the roasted cauliflower; he liked it but said it was his least-favorite dish. As I don't care for cauliflower I can't usefully describe the dish. Sweet corn tortellini was a nice summery pasta dish, buttery but not overwhelmingly so. The pasta was a tad overcooked but I'm so accustomed to that now it doesn't bother me. We also ordered two of the three desserts, a chocolate terrine and buttermilk panna cotta, which were pleasant but unremarkable. A nice way to end a meal, not too sweet, not too large, and blessedly not precious, either. Coffee was adequate. Would have liked to have half-and-half or cream with it rather than cold milk, but nope, not an option. Service was genuinely friendly and polite but somewhat lacking in a few ways that aren't worth going into, because for a place open just over a week it was impressively good.
  20. Might be your big chance to go lean on a dairy farmer to make exactly what you want. Rocky Point Creamery (4323 Tuscarora Rd, Point of Rocks MD) is about a month away from opening, and owner Chuck Fry means to make pretty much everything ice cream-esque to sell either at the counter or through the drive-through window. A fourth-generation dairy farmer, Fry's milk comes from his herd of Holsteins on the adjacent farm, so freshness won't be an issue. He's got a soft-serve machine in, and also plans to make hard ice cream with up to 14% butterfat. His recipe is Philadelphia-style (aka not custard), and that's about all I had time to ask about today when I stuck my nose in the front door.
  21. There's not a lot of detail in either the email I received or the website, but there is a website and the place has a name. Field and Main
  22. This little brewing restaurant is in Vienna VA next to the WO&D Trail. Great to get to by bike but if you are in your car you will find it in an industrial area at 520 Mill Street. Didn't get a look at the inside as I had my dog...but the outside has a patio and a grassy area where kids , dogs, and frisbees are welcome. I had a flight of beers, and while not a beer connoisseur, I like the wheat and the stout. The list is immense along with some wine and homemade sodas, so there is bound to be some libation to your liking. I am not writing this post about the drinks....it is about 2 shrimp which were served to me atop some Anson Mill Grits. I have hated shrimp for the past few years as I find them tasteless. This place was the exception, I don't know if it was a one day fluke but the shrimp I had there reminded me of the shrimp I had in Basque country at Etxebarri. They were exceptional. We also had the Duck Liver mousse and Roasted Pimento Cheese. They were both worth ordering again. A charcuterie plate with homemade crackers rounded off our meal (well rounded off may be an exaggeration)....but it was all good and the prices were not bad at all. I would go back for the shrimp alone.
  23. I just had brunch at BRX, an American Bistro in Great Falls, VA (www.brxgf.com/). Having eaten here for lunch and dinner, sadly I had overlooked this local establishment for brunch. This place is nestled in the small shopping center along Route 193 (Georgetown Pike) and Leesburg Pike (Route 7) at the traffic light. They are locally owned and have an excellent menu and specials weekly. Brunch was excellent - all their food is made to order and from various eggs benedicts to pancakes, crepes or omelettes you cannot miss. Because they are situated in the corner of the plaza you have to look for it. The decor is nice and the bar area separated by glass from the main dining area. When the weather is nice, you can be seated outside. The staff is accommodating and the owner is often visible and interactive making sure your experience is to your liking. The have a great wine selection as you will observe when you enter there is a wine locker area that appears well utilized. If you are looking for a nice, consistent locally-owned restaurant with comfortable atmosphere, check it out.