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  1. After reading some rave reviews, I went by for brunch (they say it's lunch, but it's only offered on weekends, starting at 11). The website doesn't actually have a lunch menu, so I wasn't sure what I was getting into. Unfortunately the lunch menu does not have the uni carbonara. But they do have most of the classics. I had the seafood charcuterie, consisting of smoked artic char, potted lobster, whitefish salad, shrimp linguica, and swordfish mortadella. The first 3 were traditional, and pretty good. The latter 2 were freaks of nature and not my cup of tea. I thought both were a bit too fishy, and the firm jello-like texture was weird. I also had grilled rockfish (or was it monkfish?) with braised kale, some kimchi cucumbers, and scallion pancake. I thought the scallion pancakes were so so. It's not Chinese nor Korean, more like American pancakes with scallions. The fish was cooked nicely. Altogether the flavor was pretty good. It's good to have another interesting seafood joint in the city.
  2. 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.
  3. Apr 25, 2017 - "Take a Look inside the Stunning Seafood Restaurant from Marcel's Chef Robert Wiedmaier" by Anna Spiegel on washingtonian.com The chef comes from Brine.
  4. Seafood sounds good, non-seafood sounds kinda okay but nothing to rush out to purchase. Tim Carman can rite reel gud.
  5. You have so much good in you. I wish some of the things you say didn't mask it with so much abrasiveness. "Pitiful" is a needlessly cutting word in this instance. I see, on the menu, what appear to be unspecified (presumably varying with the market) oysters, misspelled Rappahannock and middleneck clams, Maine lobster, stone crab, and Taylor Bay scallops. What does it take for you to think a raw bar is good? In large part, I agree with your general point, but mainly because raw bar in this area is prohibitively expensive. We have oysters now that have broken the $4 barrier. Yes, the happy hour at Old Ebbitt, blah blah blah, but other than high-volume and high-turnover (and the importance of these cannot be overstated), Old Ebbitt's raw bar is one of the most overrated individual restaurant "things" in town. It's not bad, mind you, just ... overrated. I would love for you, or someone else, to start and maintain a thread "ranking" or listing in some vague categories of quality, the best raw bars in the DC area. We probably have this thread somewhere, but I think when the craving hits, it's generally quite severe with rapid onset - it would be nice to have a fingertip guide. Or maybe ... we should wait for Rich?
  6. John's Grill is a pretty good restaurant. The bar is small, and so is the rest of the place, but scoring a seat and settling in is one of the better ways to enjoy a feeling of old San Francisco. First, let's get some history out of the way. It was the backdrop of The Maltese Falcon, and its walls are covered by celebrity pictures of those who dined here over the past 110 years or so. Think of a place where the Postal Service rolled out its commemorative Humphrey Bogart stamp here, with Arnold Schwarzenegger joining a rendition of "I Left My Heart in San Francisco" at the ceremony. I've eaten (and drank) at John's on every one of my annual visits over the years, and the food is quite good. This isn't fine-dining, but for those of us from the Washington DC area who enjoy the The Monocle on Capitol Hill, Martin's Tavern, Old Ebbitt Grill, or the Occidental Grill, it's somewhere in between all of these sorts of time-worn establishments. I've had an absolutely perfectly executed Negroni at the bar, and I've enjoyed some truly great Cioppino in the dining room. This is also a good restaurant for steaks and burgers, at a good price. And a club sandwich for lunch one day was worth ordering again, as was the perfect side of fries, hot out of the fryer. I'll continue to frequent John's whenever I'm in town. The ongoing subway construction is an impediment, but if you're on foot, it's not much of a problem.
  7. I searched for a thread on Johnny's but could only find a few comments here and there. Most comments saying how it's gone downhill, not as good as it used to be, etc. Since I've never been, I have nothing to compare it to previously. First attempt at a late lunch, we were turned away from Firefly, so we walked up the street to look at our options, and lo and behold, Johnny's was still serving after 2:30pm. Service was very friendly and unobtrusive, and our meals were fabulous! I ordered the soft shell crab with Old Bay Buerre Blanc sauce atop a corn (souffle?) something, and co-worker had the shallot, beer-battered fish and chips. First off, the bread was just so-so, and the butter was rock-hard cold. I can live with that, since the soft shell was divine. The Old Bay was subtle, and just gave the sauce a "melt-in the mouth" type of experience. The sauce also had fresh basil, which added a nice complexity to the mix. The corn, which I can't recall what they called it, was incredible. I'll try my best to relay...imagine sweet corn just shucked off the cob, still with a bit of a crunch, held together by something that did not in anyway interfere or hide the flavors. It would also have "melted in the mouth," had it not been for the slight crunch of the corn, with sweet juices in every bite. The complement of the sweet corn with the tanginess of the Old Bay was perfect. When I ordered, the menu said "crabs" (plural) so I was a little afraid that I'd have to leave some on the plate...but the crabs were small, so it was a perfect size for me to eat and not be completely stuffed. My co-worker hadn't ever ordered fish and chips before, since he did not like fish in his youth, but thought the perfect time to try it would be here, since he loves shallots and loves beer! He was not disappointed, and said the fish was incredible. I snagged a taste of the very tempting chips---they were crisp and hot, and if I hadn't been savoring my own meal, would have tried to snag a few more! Dessert was shared; an apple crisp topped with fresh cream. It was not "sweet" as most apple dishes tend to be...nice tart apples, no overwhelming flavor of cinnamon. In fact, both of us though we could detect a savory flavor, such as basil? But we asked the waitress and she said maybe it was the type of apples used. She said it was simply apples and cinnamon. Sorry to be so long in the tooth, but FWIW, Johnny's Half Shell is a nice spot, nothing too fancy. In some ways it's good to compare a place to what it was before, but in other ways, those same comments may prevent new customers from giving the place a go. And from my first trip there, I will definitely return.
  8. If you're ever in Napa, there's a location of Hog Island Oyster Co. in the Oxbow Public Market (which is sort of like "Napa's Ferry Building Marketplace"). There's also a third location in Marshall, where I've never been, but if you're staying on the coast, it's no further than Napa. All three locations are mapped here (ignore the mileage figure - each location is just over an hour from the Ferry Building, depending on traffic, which can get pretty bad):
  9. Looks like Jeff Shively's no longer there. Anyone know what's up with changes to the menu and Executive Chef at Sea Catch? The crab cakes are different (still good but different) and the pumpkin/pecan tart is gone.
  10. We dined at All Set for the first time a few weeks ago. I must confess that I am Friends with the Owner and Chef as well as one of the bartenders. Right at 5 pm on a Saturday, we had the Chick Peas Fries and some Oysters and Clams to start. The fries were good fresh tasting and accompanied by two dipping sauces. The oysters were Wellfleets and they were expertly served. Chef sent me a few others to try but I forget their name. Clams were ultra fresh tasting as well. The point here is the presentation. It doesn't get much better IMO. Care was taken with this. Well thought out and executed. We ordered the Salmon (Norway) and Short Ribs. Both were great. The Short Ribs were classic comfort and the Salmon was perfectly cooked. I really enjoyed the lentils with the salmon ( I was not sure I would). The point so far is that you can tell that they care about what they're putting out! Dessert: I forget exactly what it was. One lighter one with Olive oil vanilla ice cream? and one chocolate peanut butter slice of decadence. I believe the recipes for dessert were crafted by the former pastry chef at Volt. Bottom Line is that we were served fresh food with care in a beautiful and inventive setting. They are a young restaurant and an independent one as well. I would definitely recommend ALL SET to anyone. Even the kids menu is well thought out. Please pardon my lack of detail. Ooh! The bar serves up some fun drinks. I had a Perfect Storm and with dessert a "Grape Drink" the latter of which was my favorite of the two for its inventiveness.
  11. In NYC over the weekend for a birthday getaway. Was able to spend several hours getting acquainted with The Dutch, the new-ish spot from Andrew Carmellini in SoHo. Unfortunately didn't ever make it over to a proper table as I was using the place as a meetup for folks. But got to try several of their items via the bar. Definitely get the fried oyster mini sandwiches (order several), the hot fried chicken (semi-famous in his cookbook), and anything they're recommending from the raw bar. The real standout, though, is the service. Top notch at every station -- the killer bartenders somehow made dealing with the Friday evening post-HH rush seem effortless and kudos to the beverage director Brynn who took care of us with a little extra. I'd recommend going for lunch or early in the evening during nice weather when the sun is still out and occupying the counter seating alongside the open windows.
  12. MissCindy beat me to it! I'd head over to Nick's Inner Harbor Seafood too, which is not in the Inner Harbor - it's at 1065 S. Charles. They expanded last year and now they have over 90 barstools, as well as picnic-style tables, and six tvs - including a couple of big screens - I was assured that the games will be on. They have a sushi bar, raw bar, and fried and steamed seafood, even pit beef coming out of the kitchen. They stay open until 11pm on Friday nights. It doesn't get any more Baltimore than this place.Easy drive to BWI.
  13. RW Update: Last night had a great dinner at 1789 -- scallop ceviche "margarita," mussels, softshells, and more scallops for the lady as an entree. I told the waiter it was her birthday (which it was -- thank you, RW gods!), and her dessert (warm choco cake with the mintiest mint choco chip ice cream you'll ever have the fortune to come across) arrived with a candle and a birthday card from the staff. Lunch at Oceanaire yesterday -- Surprise! The RW menu is dinner only (damn you, RW gods!). I just don't get the appeal of this place, unless you like feeling like you're on a loud, overcrowded ship -- if I need seafood again and can't make it to O'Learys in Annapolis, I'm heading to Kinkead's. Strike one: the oyster po' boy looked like a package of van de camps fish nuggets dumped onto two giant pieces of puffy bread. Strike two: the following conversation -- Me: "Where do you get your crab meat from?" Waiter: [eyes dart side to side, shuffles a bit...] "They're a Chesapeake Bay Style crab cake, one of our most popular choices." Lady: "They're huge! And full of meat." Me: "Yes, but where do you get the crabs?" Waiter: "We get them from Philips; they provide most of the crabmeat in the region." Me: "Which is from Indonesia." Waiter: "Yes, but it's a very large crabcake." (Fortunately, the waiter went back to the kitchen to check and that day for some reason they had Marlyand blue crab.) Strike three: I still didn't like the crabcake. Too much breadcrumbs and parsley edging out the crab. With such a fat stomach and thin wallet, I decided to cancel my lunch at Vidalia tomorrow and go back to Breadline for the heirloom tomato salad and some chocolate + marscapone cookies, at half the price of a RW lunch (and no tips!).
  14. Co-worker is raving about this place...anybody been? Emphasis on fresh seafood. Website 829 Frederick Rd, Catonsville, MD 21228
  15. So last week was my week in Bethany. We didn't really eat out much this time, but met friends at Seacrets. It certainly wasn't for the food, not for getting s***t faced, but it was for the novelty of eating outside under full sized palm trees with a sand floor. It was the first time I had been there in probably a decade. Time has pretty much stood still (G-Love and Special Sauce was the headliner band that night). It is also a different experience when you are there with your child, and they hand you the "rules" for being there with someone underage (kind of funny considering my daughter is 5. They just opened a distillery on-site in June, which is new. Okay, now on to the food--it was pretty bad and the service was pretty bad as well. My wife and another friend had salads, one topped with grilled shrimp, the other with tuna. The first time they made the salad with the tuna, it cam with tuna salad. They acknowledged the mistake, re-made it, asked how the tuna should be cooked and it came about 15 minutes later well done. Regardless, they comped it which was nice. I had "Jamaican Tenders" and a side of fries. They were pretty dried out, not very spicy, not very good to say the least, and pretty puny. Someone else got a veggie wrap which looked pretty good and they seemed to like it. Bottom line--don't come here for the food, some here for the ambiance or to get a frozen rum drink called a "Pain in the Ass", served in a plastic cup and sit in an oasis like setting with a canopy of palm trees and a sand floor. If you don't take yourself too seriously and you enjoy the company you are with, you will have a good time at this classic.
  16. My friend Katie Loeb runs the bar program at Oyster House (1516 Sansom Street), so I'm not completely unbiased, but I very much enjoy both raw and cooked options there. One of their specialties is fried oysters with chicken salad, a Philly tradition dating from a time when oysters were cheap and chicken was expensive. Or something like that. Food's good, drinks are good, there's pretty much always a cask beer on. And Nodding Head brewpub upstairs makes exceptional, moderate alcohol beers for pre- or post-imbibification.
  17. Pennsylvania 6, a moderately upscale Modern American restaurant with locations in Philadelphia and New York City, will be opening SepNov, 2015 at Franklin Square. Among other things, diners should anticipate a strong wine program.
  18. J. Paul's? Isn't this place just the M Street/Inner Harbor tourist trap joint or am I confusing it with something else?
  19. Water Grill is the best seafood restaurant in all of Southern CA. Serious. And, it's in downtown L. A. a couple of blocks from the Bonaventure. Unfortunately, it's not cheap. Probably comparable to Kinkead's in price.
  20. I have never been in SoBe's in Clarendon but it appears to be trying a new concept with the grand opening this week of the Rock and Raw Bar at Sobe's. If the product is quality it might be a nice addition to the area. It woud appear to be a niche not yet filled in that crowded neighborhood.
  21. Jeff Black here. My new Restaurant is now open. Downstairs is a Gulf Coast inspired Oyster Bar (Pearl Dive), upstairs we have bocce ball and a bar named Black Jack. Let me know what you think. JB
  22. Yes, it's going in the former veterinary clinic near the Belga; it will be called Senart's Oyster House, after an old ghost mural that is painted on the outside wall of the building.
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