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Found 22 results

  1. I had dinner with friends at Osteria Morini this evening, the Italian joint at "Yard Park" on the right bank of the Eastern Branch between Nationals Park and the Navy Yard. I hadn't been down to that part of town since all of the development of the park and the ballpark, and it's really very interesting and pretty cool. The restaurant is sleek and appealing, though rather uncomfortably noisy. There's extensive outdoor seating, though, which during nice weather, such as we had tonight, is probably very nice, and much quieter than the restaurant indoors. While my friends and I were dining indoors, I was silently wishing we had taken seats outdoors; oh well, perhaps next time. I totally loved the food. My favorite bits: Exquisite, wonderful lardo, very thin slices in a curly tangle, with little slices of toasted bread, just fantastic. I asked the server where it came from, and she said Emilia Romagna, which is a pretty vague answer, but with every morsel I ate I felt closer to heaven (which my cardiologist might agree with, if he believes in an after-life). Charred octopus with "red rice salad": I was less crazy about the red rice salad, which I didn't quite understand, than the octopus itself, which was sumptuously excellent. The lardo and the octopus were the big winners of the evening, to me, but we had a lot of other things that were also smashing. Buttered spinach. Crostini with: smoked trout and goop, which was very nice; finely diced beets and goop, which was also very nice; and a melange of mushrooms and goop, which was rather strangely sweet, and the only dish of the night that I disliked. I had a dish of bucatini with crab and sea urchin, which I adored, and which of course ended up spackling my brand-new white dress shirt, as bucatini will do. There were some other things. Asparagus, which was nice. I forget what else. This place serves up some wonderful food, and the servers do their jobs very well. I recommend it.
  2. Went to Californios this week for the fourth or fifth time, and it once again blew me away. The food is right up there with the best tasting menus in Mexico City, imo, maybe ranking just-under Pujol in my book. It would not surprise me at all to see this get a second star in the next couple years. Tickets are shockingly easy to come by for cooking of this caliber. Food+tax+service comes to $204/person (at least for the tickets I bought this time) but the wine list is really fun so you'll probably end up spending more. Thankfully, the ticketing system ensures that past-you pays for the food up-front and actually-eating-the-dinner-you only has to pay for booze. You should go. I didn't take photos but this person did: "Mexico + California - The Inventive, Engaging, Stunning Food at Californios [Review + Pics]" on foodtalkcentral.com 3115 22nd Street (22nd & South Van Ness)
  3. I can't find an existing thread. If there is one, please merge. I did not go here, but my wife did, for lunch. Here's what she said 'And I had an absolutely AMAZEBALLS lunch today. AMAZEBALLS. Did you see the picture I texted you? It was horribly expensive for lunch though. But daaaaaamn!' You have to understand, she's in publications and just doesn't talk like this. Apparently, it was a really good lunch.
  4. Wanted to try someplace new on a recent trip to NYC, so this was one of the places we picked. Dovetail. There are so many places to consider trying in NYC. I am often overwhelmed with choosing so my wife usually narrows it down to 5-10 places and together we winnow it down to the place we finally choose - their menu spoke to me. We had a fun day at Die Neue Gallerie (and had had a fine, fine lunch at the restaurant there on the premises), and we were glad we had a later reservation to ease in to. I'd like to punch the taxi drive we used in the head, but that is another story. Great space. It felt very refined and elegant, without feeling too stuffy. I'm a nice jeans and nice Hawaiian shirt guy at heart, and I did not feel (completely) out of place. Nice hum to the room without being noisy. Easy to carry on a conversation. They have some prix fix options (3-4 courses), a tasting menu, and things like pre-theater and a la carte dining at the bar. We went for the 4-course option where we could pick and choose. After a small flurry of amuses (oysters, then some fried things (tine risotto balls? and I think tiny...what, almost like micro egg rolls but so much better), we dipped in to their fluke crudo (fluke crudo, morels, dill cream, fava beans) and white asparagus (white asparagus, prosciutto di parma, sage, orange oil), both wonderful but the fluke was the standout. Then we had primarily vegetable/salad courses next. Warmed avocado, summer truffles, rye, rocket arugula, was stunning. And the Spring green ravioli, asparagus, black trumpet mushrooms, nutmeg was wonderful. Very hard to choose a winner between these two. You'd be right to order both. Entrees were quite good as well. Beef tenderloin, green garbanzos, chanterelle mushrooms, pickled ramps is what they have listed on their menu now, but the preparation I had involved no ramps, but wilted/seared greens and I think morels. My wife had the Halibut confit, english peas, shishito peppers, clam nage though I also think it was slightly varied as I do not remember the peppers in her dish (and I forgot to take a photo of it!). Both were great, but a minor step down from the prior course. For dessert, we had these two - Macerated strawberries, vanilla panna cotta, lemon sorbet, crystallized violet and Rhubarb pavlova, hibiscus cream, pink peppercorns - the first being particularly inventive in its preparation and plating. The crystalized violet was essentially the thinnest meringue you could ever make shaped in to a cup/dome that was then dropped on top of the strawberries and other gooieds - hiding everything inside until you cracked in to it. So good, and not too sweet at all. Perfection. The Rhubarb pavlova was quite fine as I recall (missed the phot again!), but was a notch down from the other dessert. We ultimately also got more petit fours to take back to the hotel with us. Good wine list, good service, great space, great pacing and a good time. I'd absolutely go back. I'll append photos when I have time to upload them and link to them here from there. Now, what is really funny is this - despite it being an excellent meal and being largely sated, there was a Shake Shack literally right around the corner from Dovetail. We were just going to hail a cab back to the hotel, but we'd talked over dinner about how much my wife raved about the chicken sandwich she'd had at the DC outpost of Shake Shack. We popped in to split one of those so I could wee what the fuss was about. SO GOOD! Get one! And yes, that kind of put me over the top. OOOOOOFA. Pictures
  5. 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.
  6. With its nice long bar and large sunny windows, The Vanderbilt is the kind of place you want to go to for an afternoon drink. We enjoyed a glass of the Forstreiter Gruner Veltliner 2013 ($9) and the Aizipurua Getariako Txakolina 2015 ($12). They were serving a limited prix fixe menu because of Mother's Day but we did enjoy our plate of cottage fries ($6). The vibe of The Vanderbilt is more upscale neighborhood restaurant with prices to match. But not a bad place to spend an hour or so on a late Sunday afternoon after wandering around the Brooklyn Museum.
  7. I'm normally hesitant to post about somewhere so well known, but since Don asked... I feel a small sense of guilt whenever I go to New York (a few times a year) and end up at the same restaurant each and every time I'm there. Sure, I branch out as well, but at least one meal (and frequently several) is had at CraftBar. I've tried Mesa in Union Square - it used to be really good, but for a few years I've felt like I'm paying for the name attached. Same can be said for the Batali restaurants I've tried lately. Momofuku Ssam is still a decent place to grab a pork bun if in the neighborhood, but David Chang seems focused on his more recent ventures. Daniel Boulud and Tom Colicchio are definitely ruling the celebrity chef roost at the moment (in my opinion) - and I just find myself attracted to CraftBar more often. There IS a certain initimidation factor to dining out in NYC, particularly for unadventurous. Amazing and affordable food can be found if you have a playful palate and are willing to wander more than a few blocks from Broadway. If you're willing to drop a months rent, or at least a car payment, change your outlook on food with Masa or Per Se. But for a relaxed Saturday evening, or the in-laws happen to be in town? CraftBar is almost always a guaranteed homerun. I, too, get frustrated at times by the simplicity (even if its near perfect simplicity) of the original Craft and (insert other ingredient focused, protein centric restaurant here). Sure, I love a GREAT and FRESH piece of fish, but if you're just going to poach and plate it, there is only so far that respect for ingredients and freshness can take you (other than to a triple digit check). I'm in the camp that I would like to see what a chef can do beyond cooking my protein to a ridiculously perfect temperature. So enter CraftBar. The Pecorino Risotto Balls with spicy tomato sauce are consistently on the menu and are downright addictive. Sure, they're just risotto balls, but they're the best I've tried. There is almost always a pate or similar meat concotion on the menu, and these better than a safe bet as well (in addition to the pickles they come with). I've tried sweetbread dishes at every Colicchio restaurant I've been to - my advice is if you see sweetbreads on one of his menus - order the dish. Sweetbreads sauteed with Kumquats is similar to the most amazing rendition of Orange Chicken you'll ever eat. Sweetbreads with a ramp puree brought a bit of spring into a dish I don't normally associate with warming weather. Pasta's are another strong point of CraftBar - I've never been sorry to have ordered a seasonal gnocchi. So obviously I'm a fan. But last trip, I was made a believer out of a special pork dish for 2. Three different parts of the pig (including belly and shoulder) were presented with three different preparations, along with sides in what was a piggy nirvana. Easily enough food for 3 people was demolished by 2. Throw in a relaxed atmosphere with professional service, a quality beer program and good wine list, and a price point that isn't going to bring tears to your eyes and the guilt for being a repeat customer in a city of so many good choices starts to abate.
  8. Other than second-hand information from a hotel employee, I don't have much detail to add, but Frank Ruta is apparently going to be the chef at the Cappella Hotel at 1050 31st St. NW in Georgetown. I doubt "The Grill Room" will keep its name if that's the case, but for now that's all I know - I'm waiting to hear back from Frank.
  9. 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...
  10. Hat tip to Jake for nudging me to this "real good" spot: The Wallace. Smart crowd but decor is tasteful and comfortable. Started with a spinach salad with grilled portabellos and blue cheese which was very nice and straightforward. Grilled Japanese eggplant over lentils was next, and possibly my favorite dish of the night. Lentils were smokey and delicious! Spouse ordered the squid ink pasta with Uni bescamel and ikura. Tasty but a bit too rich for me. And yet hypocritically I loved the next course, foie gras three ways: terrine, mousse, and grilled. All fantastic, with the exception of the mousse which was spectacular. It was served over what looked like crumbled feta, but was actually dehydrated foie gras! We shared a carrot cake that delivered. Many tables ordered a mushroom tartine that looked really good. Cocktail was an apple brandy and a duck fat rinsed orange liqueur with bitters. Very nice. And the wine was all good as well. Fun place! Service got weeded here but we enjoyed ourselves and had no subsequent commitments.
  11. "Winsome Takes Echo Park Diner Food beyond Hipster Brunch" by Jonathan Gold on latimes.com
  12. a clever plant in ts chat about willow. i don't know what's up but i think maybe its tracy mcgrady's new venture. --- RE: Your Fantasy Restaurant Job: Recently defunct Gaffney's in Ballston is in the process of being reincarnated into "Willow"- I work in the building and have spoken a couple times to the two women owners- they've both worked at Galileo, one was at Kinkead's for a long time the other was one of the originators at Firehook Bakery and spent a year in Tuscany. Their intent is to have EXACTLY the sort of place you describe. I can't WAIT for them to open! Tom Sietsema: Wow! (And good gossip. I'll have to check out the details.)
  13. I have been to this Boulud outpost maybe 4 or 5 times dating back to I think 2003 or so. It was quite nice back then. Then, I went there for lunch a couple of times with a vendor for the overly wrought burger for fun. It was all good. Then, last fall, went again pre-theater of all things and WOW. They'd updated the dining room a bit it seemed, and the menu was great. Really great. Good wine list if a bit overpriced. GREAT service/staff. My only regret was not taking proper tme to give the place a lingering meal for justice. Next time. I've been luck enough to go to db, Cafe Boulud, Bar Boulud, Danie; and I think another instance, this db experience was near the top of the heap. Honestly, Daniel was kind of a let down (aside from the over the top service, which was a hoot). My wife and I were walking quite a few blocks after the meal as we are wont to do, and we both came to the realization 'Palena is better.' (sad in retrospect now, but true!). And Daniel itself was no slouch by any means whatsoever. It was quite fine.
  14. I was dismayed to see Tom Sietsema's City Perch review in The Washington Post magazine section yesterday, considering the restaurant is only about a month old. Sietsema visited the restaurant multiple times, but during its infancy. Shouldn't a restaurant be able to work out the kinks before being subjected to a major review? I'm wondering why he didn't start with a First Bite column. I've now been to City Perch three times- once for dinner, another time for cocktails and bar bites, and also attended the opening event. I've been very impressed with the food from Executive Chef Matt Baker and well-known pastry chef, Sherry Yard. (Yard helped design the menu and is working to get the restaurant off the ground.) I agree with the complimentary parts of the review- the bread board is absolutely amazing, as are the brussels sprouts. The roast chicken is also quite good. Not mentioned was cedar smoked salmon, which my husband enjoyed, and my friend raved about short ribs. We had no issues with over zealous servers, although it was clear they were somewhat tentative after being slammed in the review. I'm hoping the review doesn't dissuade potential diners- particularly in Montgomery County- from giving it a try. The Rockville area is in desperate need of upscale, quality dining. City Perch delivers- and the setting is really quite lovely as well.
  15. Drove past this place last night and this morning Daily Candy had an email about it. I'm excited to try it as I've enjoyed Pinkberry and Red Mango when I've been up in NY. http://www.tangysweet.com/ Don feel free to move this topic.
  16. Red's Table -11150 South Lakes Dr., Reston, VA 20191 Red's Table is hiring for one Kick-Ass Baker/Pastry Chef to oversee our bread program and desserts. Savory experience is a plus, as this person will function in a hybrid position of AM Sous as well. (Mostly receiving and opening the doors for staff.) Five days a week with two consecutive days off. Tattoos and piercings are a bonus, but not required. We are hoping to open in the later half of March and are looking for people to help build our team. We will be open for Lunch and Dinner as well as Brunch on the weekends. Red's will be a scratch kitchen paying close attention to region and seasonality. We will have our own bread program as well as a range of scratch pies and cakes. Focus will be on our large raw bar offerings as well as sustainable finfish and local proteins. Chef Adam Stein is looking for strong, self-starters with experience who either wants to take a step up or are looking for a change of pace. No yellers, screamers, or plate throwers need apply. A warm, family atmosphere is the aim. If you're looking for a serious, but relaxed, atmosphere to contribute to a hard working team, then please submit a Brief Cover Letter and Resume to Chef Adam Stein here or at the link below. Thanks! Red's Here's a link to the $25 we threw away on Craigslist.
  17. Eventide is seeking a Pastry chef and Pastry assistant to head up our fabulous 2 person pastry team. The Pastry Chef position is ideally suited for a Pastry Cook or assistant that is ready to step into a starring role. The pastry department at Eventide is responsible for bread, dining room dessert and sunday brunch production. It is a chance to learn how to run a small department and spread your wings. Must have an eye for detail and your own ideas about pastry and also be willing to listen to direction. The pastry assistant position is strictly production and some assembly. Must be able to read and follow recipies and must be able to independently think and work unsupervised. This is not a learning position. You must have knowledge of breads, pastries, ice creams/sorbets and other various pastry related things. I am also looking for a pm line cook. Speaking spanish is a plus but not necessary. Please be professional and willing to work and learn. If you are someone that fits the descriptions above please pm me your resume. If you think you are someone who fits the descriptions above but have major emotional issues, a drug problem, are an alcoholic or are someone who has problems with punctuality, you will not fit in here just so you know, so don't send me your resume, you'll just be wasting your time and mine. The restaurant is located near the Clarendon metro at 3165 Wilson Blvd in Clarendon Virginia. Look it up on Google maps or whatever way you get directions. Consider that the very first part of the interview. The second part will be to see if you're smart enough to find the back door. Gunther Seeger in Atlanta always considered that a test for cooks. We never come in the front door. We provide the illusion for the guest, to come in the front door would destroy that illusion.
  18. Perhaps check out Fork on Market- 3rd and Market - a convivial bistro open 7 days a week(Old City- also where Amada is on Chestnust so you just can't go wrong in the area). A great location to grab a drink too- 2nd St.
  19. I know of a top-tier pastry chef who is looking for work right now. Not full-time restaurant work, but working with chefs and/or pastry chefs to improve their program, or to work with individual events. Please contact me, and I will make the appropriate links. donrockwell@dcdining.com
  20. I had a terrific meal a few weeks ago at Range [Closed Jan 1, 2017], a new restaurant in the Mission. My friends and I shared a few starters, which I followed with spinach soup instead of a salad. This was a nice surprise; the soup didn't lend any of that dry-mouth feel that I sometimes get from spinach, even though, according to the server, it was completely vegan except for the dollop of cream in the middle. Nice, tasty, and interesting, even for a meat-lover. For a main, I usually don't order the chicken, but my dining companions had ordered every other dish I was interested in, and the chicken got breathless raves, so I said what the heck. And it was phenomenal. The meat and its sides had innovative but not overpowering flavors and were cooked perfectly. So were all the other dishes at the table (which I of course got tastes of). Finally, after a tremendous chocolate souffle and a tasty alcohol+coffee concoction I had to throw in the towel and call it a night. Incidentally, not only was the food amazing, our server was just great--friendly, knowledgeable on the food, and extremely well-versed on the wine. And to top it all off, the entree prices ranged from $16-20, appetizers $6-13. The San Franciscans at the table all commented that the place could have easily tacked on $4-6 an entree without changing a thing, and it'd still be a deal. And who knows--maybe they will in a few weeks. But my friends are right: that restaurant would still be a find. I highly recommend giving it a go before everyone else discovers it! (or even after!)
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