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Found 44 results

  1. So I did not see this (Voltaggio Brothers Steakhouse) listing and figured it may help those when planning a visit to the area. Reservations here non-existent two weeks out so we did the next best thing and got there about 4:45 (they open at 5 PM), and scored a table in the bar area. If you are OK eating in a "lounge" type environment it is fine; chairs are cushy and tables are low. The wait staff was attentive, but not overbearing and knowledgeable. My only gripe was it took about 30 minutes to get our drinks (mixed and wine, so nothing complicated) when we got there, but after that the food from salad and apps to dinner was timed properly without issue. Caesar Salad (interesting twist with the anchovy hushpuppies) Beefsteak Tomato Heart Salad Oysters Rockefeller - Since they were green the presentation was inspiring, but flavor was excellent) Parker House Rolls and Cheddar Biscuits - if you remember the Parker House rolls from CitiZen, they are not that good, but good in their own right. Filets - Wagyu beef was very flavorful. Scalloped Potatos We did not have dessert as we were catching a show and ran short on time. I would go back, when we have more time - plan on spending ~$100/person with a drink.
  2. Cristina and I ducked out of a business cocktail thing early and took advantage of the fact that we had a sitter, and stopped into the relatively new Star Fish on Heights Blvd for a drink and snacks. The chilled seafood tower did not disappoint. Drinks menu is extensive, and will reward multiple return trips to make my way through the various martinis, gin & tonics, and sparkling wines. The "Saltwater" G&T, with star anise and "ocean water tincture" was delicious...a hint of brine, but nothing crazy.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  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. 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):
  8. Seafood sounds good, non-seafood sounds kinda okay but nothing to rush out to purchase. Tim Carman can rite reel gud.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. Lady KN and I were in the Fells Point area and decided to hit Thames Street Oyster House on a Friday afternoon. In fairness, we only had access to the raw bar, as we arrived between lunch service and dinner service. No problem, as we tucked into Malpeque, another local Maryland oyster, two varieties of Virginia oysters and a dozen large shrimp as a cocktail. Everything was fresh and good, and I am definitely going to return to enjoy some of that enticing menu....
  14. One thing I've noticed, both on this thread, and also from personal experience, is how valuable it is for a restaurant to be close to LAX airport. After a long day of travel, you just don't want to deal with Los Angeles traffic on your first night - I've found you the perfect restaurant. Fishing With Dynamite is a raw bar and seafood specialist in Manhattan Beach, about a 7 mile drive from the airport hotels. The Chef de Cuisine is David LeFevre, who has spent time at Charlie Trotters, Le Moulins de Mougins, Water Grill, as well as a couple years hoping all over Asia (and his Asian influence shows at Fishing With Dynamite). We have a common friend in Josh Raynolds (a wine writer for The International Wine Cellar). Look for Fishing With Dynamite to be a James Beard Award contestant in the future. Since we're 3 hours behind on the east coast, I got there at around 5:30, and it was still empty on a Wednesday. The menus online are current, save for handwritten daily specials (which should interest you). I started out with a pint of Jamaica Red Ale ($6.50) by Mad River Brewing Company in Blue Lake, CA while I perused the menu. Wanting to see what Chef Lefevre could do with the "Traditional" section, I started with a bowl of New England Clam Chowdah ($9), a sensational bowl of chowder made with littlenecks in shell (and comes with a bucket for the shells), made with Neuske's bacon, Weiser Farm Potatoes (both thinly sliced baby whites and, I believe, sweets (although those could have been squash), and some lovely house made oyster crackers which you should try one of, dry, then immediately dump the rest in. This could have used the smallest pinch of salt, although it might have been my body chemistry; not the soup - other than that, it was just about the perfect bowl of chowder. Knowing I'd get seafood with some type of lemon in it, I switched over to a 6-ounce glass of Seguinot-Bordet "Reserve Sainte-Victoire - Vielles Vignes" Chablis ($14.50) - they also offer 3-ounce pours at a discount. "Can you vouch for your crab cake?" I asked my knowledgable bartender (who, from overhearing him, is clearly a cocktail expert). "Of course I can," he said. "What if I told you I just woke up in Baltimore this morning?" I asked. The staff all laughed. Maryland Blue Crab Cake ($16) was delicious blue crab, the whole crab, lump and fin meat, but not in a traditional Maryland style at all. Breaded with what was seemingly a lemony panko and served atop a whole grain mustard remoulade, and served alongside a salad of red cabbage and house made dill pickle slices, this was a delicious, somewhat acidic, virtuoso presentation of Maryland Crab that you should not hesitate to order. Alongside it: Chef David's Mom's New England Squash Rolls ($5) - I had *no* idea about what the presentation of these would be - it turns out they're something resembling Parker House rolls, but with squash, and much denser, served with rosemary butter for spreading and dipping. An order of four was too much, so I took two home the next morning to have with my coffee. (As of April 3rd, 2014, if you go to their homepage, the 2nd and 3rd pictures are reasonable facsimiles of my chowder and crab cake, the chowder is slightly different (especially the oyster crackers), but the crab cake is almost a dead ringer for what I had.) Despite the name, and informality, and location just off the Pacific Ocean, this is a deadly serious seafood restaurant that you're going to be hearing about in the future, and I would return in a minute, next time going for the "Modern" section of the menu since I've already seen how Chef Lefevre can succeed with the more traditional items. If you're tired, and in a LAX hotel with a car, your spirits will be awakened if you come to Fishing With Dynamite - although the menu is small, there's plenty more to explore here than I did on my brief visit. This restaurant is owned by the same people who own Manhattan Beach Post.
  15. I tried the newly-opened Catch 15. The menu looked pretty unfocused, but it is close to a friend's office and takes reservations, so we figured we'd give it a try. It was profoundly mediocre. We sampled about 10 dishes and all were a solid "eh." I wouldn't ordinarily even post, but because it's new, I figured that I'd pass along word: don't bother.
  16. I've been walking past the construction zone that became Roof Bethesda (and Smashburger) for a while now, so I was pleased to see it finally open and thought I'd check it out. From what I've been reading, I thought it was going to be more of a hip, rootop bar scene that also happened to have food, but I was happy to see that I was wrong...well, maybe not wrong, they're certainly going for the hip bar part...it's also a serious restaurant. And a darn good one at that. Let me start with a negative though. Unless your restaurant has some sort of really wacky concept, I really, really don't need the server to start with a long winded explanation of the menu. It's a restaurant. It's a menu. Appetizers are smaller than entrees. Yes, I can see that the cocktails are on top, and the wine is on the bottom. I get it. I've dined before. Don't get me wrong, our server was excellent and friendly...I know this comes from the top. Stop it. Anyway, we started with a Smithwicks draft, $7, and a Russian Mule, $10 (I think that's what it was called), an excellent drink with vodka, ginger and lime juice served in a copper cup, which stayed nicely chilled throughout the meal. Cute. We skipped appetizers and went right to entrees, Tagliatelle Pasta and Clams Handmade egg noodles, local clams, garlic, butter, tomatoes, $18 and Mountain Trout Almondine French beans, red bliss potatoes, almonds, caper-brown butter sauce $18 Both were excellent and, as you can see, reasonably priced. Nothing especially earth-shattering or creative, just simple and well made. Exactly what I tend to look for in a restaurant. We finished with a Sticky Toffee Pudding ($10 on the menu, charged $8) which could have used a big big scoop of ice cream instead of the chantilly cream on top, but was warm and tasty despite that. Food aside, I do have a few issues though. The main one is the lack of separation between the bar and the main dining area. It was loud, and the bar crowd was practically spilling into the dining room on a Monday night...can't imagine what it'll be like on a Friday or Saturday night. Might take some work to convince people that this is as much a restaurant as a bar. But the main room is beautiful....it's on the second floor of the building and is pretty much all window...you get a very nice view of the neighborhood. Also, and I know I sound like a broken record here, the menu on the website was vastly different from the menu we received, and didn't specify prices. Drives me crazy. I was really looking forward to the churros mentioned online, and was disappointed when they didn't have them. Ideally? Update the menu on the website daily. If that's too hard, note on the website that it's a sample menu, and post the full one daily on your Facebook page. Easy. In general though, this was one of the most pleasant meals I've had in Bethesda in a while. I know it's early, but it looks like I'll be adding this to the rotation along with Grapeseed, Food Wine and Co., and a few others as long as it doesn't get too loud and bar-oriented.
  17. The Lobster Joint (next door to Katz's Deli) is what TackleBox coulda, shoulda been, serving New England "comfort food" in a low key, benches and beer, order at the counter setting. Generous plates of fried seafood served in lobster roll style buttered and toasted buns. Enjoyed the crispy oyster roll ($15), onion rings, good fried calamari and solid raw oysters. A solid place to get a casual, relatively quick dinner. Or to spend time catching up with friends before heading out to other places. Not expensive but your bill can add up fast, depending upon what you order.
  18. Richard Gorelick of The Baltimore Sun reviews Oyster Bay Grille (website) in Towson Square, and not terribly favorably.
  19. 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?
  20. Upstate, opened by a guy from Utica, is a cozy bar in the East Village, lots of wood and brick, dim lighting kind of place. Despite trumpeting its Upstate background, not much on the menu would give you an impression of Upstate New York. One doesn't find much in the way of oysters nor bouillabaisse in Utica or Syracuse. That said, Upstate is a fun place to meet friends for happy hour and catch up. Until 7pm they run a special, a mug of beer and 6 oysters for $12 (Founder's Porter and 6 oysters for $12 in NYC, that ain't bad.). The oyster list runs about 20 deep, split almost evenly between East Coast and West Coast. I would suggest hitting Upstate for Happy Hour or late night and skip the dinner rush...or you might find yourself standing by the door waiting for an open seat while others slurp down tasty bivalves.
  21. Uptown Tap House opened last night in the old 4P's space in Cleveland Park. The decor is pretty much the same as the 4P's. It isn't clear they really did much work other than install a few fans and replace the signage. UTH is owned by McFaddens/Sign of Whale people. The restaurant held a neighborhood night last night offering a "3-Course Tasting Menu" and free Champagne. I'm pretty confident the champagne had never seen France, but i'm happy to take free alcohol. Not surprisingly, the restaurant staff was overwhelmed, and sadlythe kitchen ran out of many of the food items by our reservation time, so our tasting menu of the house specialties was severely limited. (I was eyeing those big ribeyes that were going out, but never got one.) Items we had: - Fried chicken salad - A few pieces of chicken fingers on top of some iceberg lettuce. - Spinach and Artichoke dip - They ran out of chips, so a quick trip to CVS alleviated the issue. Tasted like the spinach and artichoke dip that ever bar in town serves. - Crab cakes - Easily the best item of the evening - I found them to be rather good - lots of crab, not too much filler. Really pretty tasty and a good size. - Seared salmon - Sad overcooked piece of salmon on top of some overcooked spinach. - Lots of cheesecake Overall, pretty much uninspired bar fare. It will be interesting to see what the owners plan to do with the space and food, but as of now, you can't really compare the food to that offered at many of the neighboring bars on the Cleveland Park strip.
  22. 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.
  23. Lunchtime. Hunger. New York City. What are there, like a thousand places to eat? Actually, there's probably more, especially if you count all the street meat that's around; carts, trucks, kiosks, people selling tamales out of their granny carts, sidewalk food sold by squatting women in Chinatown - and on and on. Now compound that hunger problem with finding yourself in one of those places in New York City that sees a million people a day; people scurrying through its grand spaces, not there to eat but on their way from somewhere or to somewhere, generally in a hurry. And it happened to me last week (though I wasn't in a hurry), when I ended up here, to visit that store at the top of the stairs"¦ Normally, giant railroad terminals aren't thought of as great places to eat (well, maybe in Italy, where you can often find a decent panini and a perfect espresso); they're usually where you can grab a crappy sandwich or half-cooked hot dog, on your way, as I said, to or from somewhere. Grand Central actually has a food court in its lower level, which certainly does a booming business at lunch. But look a little further underground and you'll stumble across this"¦ Its official name is Grand Central Oyster Bar & Restaurant, and it has been sitting in the lower level of Grand Central Terminal for practically 100 years, falling into decline in the late 60s to early 70's then rescued, renovated and now once again feeding hundreds of seafood happy customers on a daily basis. Don't forget to check out the Gustavino tiled ceiling in this landmarked building"¦ I like to grab a seat at the counter, because that way you get fed fast and you get to watch the show"¦ Remember, this ain't Le Bernardin folks. So start off with a bowl of clam chowder (I like Manhattan-style)"¦ Chock full of briny clams (get there early), slightly spicy and with a handful of those oyster crackers crushed into it, it hit the spot. Then I moved onto the real reason I was here"¦ Perhaps the finest oyster po-boy you can find in the city, simply loaded with perfectly fried oysters, a little shredded lettuce and a swab of tartar sauce to top it all off. A squeeze of lemon brought it to perfection"¦under $10! Even though I like the counter at lunch, the full menu is serious. Plenty of daily/seasonal specials. And the oysters? On any given day, the blackboard menu is likely to offer up at least 2 dozen varieties"¦ I don't get here for lunch as often as I should, but for food this good, in a beautiful and historically landmarked building, it's worth a trip. And that goes for whether you're hopping on a train or not.
  24. We had lunch (Saturday 12/17) at Riverpark. Located between 1st Ave and the FDR Drive on 29th St. in Kip's Bay, this Colicchio-owned restaurant overlooks the East River and the Brooklyn waterfront. It occupies the waterside first floor of a stunning science/tech building known as the Alexandria Center. As you walk along 29th street from 1st Ave to the river, you pass by the Riverpark Farm where the vegetables and herbs for the restaurant are grown. At this time of year, most of the beds are of course under heavy plastic. The interior of the restaurant is understated and the view is great. To the north, you view the Williamsburg bridge and the huge new condos that replaced the enormous Domino's Sugar Plant, the world's largest. To the south, the still low-skyline, light-industrial but increasingly hipster/art scene area dominates. Though it was slightly warm for December, it was too cold for the terrace or the patio. It must be great to sit out there in nice weather, but I wonder about the roar of the traffic on the FDR. We started off with hibiscus iced tea with lime. Very refreshing, though probably more of a summer drink. We were reluctant to order the house-made cinnamon doughnuts because how could they possibly compare to Tabard's? Hate to admit it, but these blew away Tabard's. They were as light as air and perfect in every way. They serve both the doughnuts and the holes, with a small dish of chocolate dipping sauce. To my mind, chocolate and cinnamon are not a great combo, so I didn't try the chocolate sauce. Tim had French toast with a side of pork belly. I found the French toast to be too sweet (sans syrup) but otherwise good - not in the least bit soggy, as French toast can often be. The pork belly was perfection. I had been looking forward to the oysters tacos w/ lime-pickled onions, green tomatos, and cilantro, which reviews have lauded. This is the perfect time to serve oysters, but apparently this dish is no longer offered. I decided to order two starters - lamb sausage with tzadziki (they called it spiced yoghurt dressing which is odd as I would think most people in NY are sophisticated enough to know what tzadziki is and it isn't exactly exotic or rare) and greek yoghurt with sour cherries, poached pears, and granola. Both were wonderful. They should offer the lamb sausage in two sizes, as they do the yoghurt, as the two small pieces were perfect as a starter for an entree, but not as half of a meal. Our friend/host ordered a cheeseburger. He was happy with it. We were not impressed with how it looked. I can't comment on the wines. Our host is the expert and he ordered for us. I can only say we enjoyed the wines he selected. None of us had dessert. It was wonderful to be in this little pocket of peace and quiet, in NYC two weeks before Christmas, steeling ourselves for the craziness of 5th Ave. And speaking of craziness, if you feel a need for a mental tune-up, Bellevue is a short 5-block walk. In fact, as you walk down 29th to the river, you pass the original Bellevue on your left - it is now a homeless shelter. PS - if you intend to go to NYC for the windows, skip all but Bergdorf's. The others are ho-ho-hum to lame, but Bergdorf's are worth the trip.