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Found 130 results

  1. I love me some mussels. But only if, and it's a big-ass if, every last one of them is perfectly fresh and each and every one of them is cooked just right. I'm beginning to suspect that this is simply too much to expect. Mussels can go bad in the blink of an eye, they can be full of grit, and it only takes one stinker to ruin a whole damn plate. But every couple of months I find myself ordering them. And 9 times out of 10 I kick myself for it when I get that unmistakable whiff of god-awful funkiness or, worse yet, toss one in my mouth and get a flavor that is vaguely reminiscent of the busiest... uhm... "adult entertainment industry professional" in town and that only gargling down half a bottle of wine will help ease my misery. I’ve awaited them anxiously at some of the most well regarded high end joints in town, and I’ve rolled the dice in some real dives. Whether I’ve paid $18 or $4.99 for a plateful, I can never be certain I’ll enjoy the results. I’m not sure what my question is, but I guess I’d like to hear from some grizzled restaurant veterans on what they do, if anything, to try and ensure that I won’t gag on a bivalve at their establishment. I totally understand that it may well be impossible to source mussels that are 99.97% pure. Do mussels get returned to the kitchen with any greater frequency than other dishes? Has anyone else’s experience been similar to mine? Should I just give up on mussels and stick to the chicken fingers?
  2. .....almost 11 years later. I REMEMBER BERTHA's!!!!!! Bertha's has been around for decades. OMG, I was there a lot. It opened in '72. I was probably there soon after and then a lot. LOL. Mussels/Beer Beer/Mussels. Bertha's had beer mussels and no air hockey table. Other nearby places had beer and air hockey tables but no mussels. "You're So Vain" was always playing in the background. I still return on occasion.
  3. Ooooh thank you. Reminder to self--Go to Lyon Hall for HH...better yet...ANY DAY (these days I'm really not an HH person, but that mussel deal at Dino's has been so good and so compelling ).
  4. Coming soon to DC. Best Ciopinno I have ever had anywhere. "Tadich Grill To Open a Location in Washington, DC" by Paolo Lucchesi on insidescoopsf.sfgate.com.
  5. Saw this in a tweet from Tim Carman: Charcuterie master Julien Shapiro hired as chef for Eat the Rich http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/going-out-guide/wp/2013/08/27/charcuterie-master-julien-shapiro-hired-as-chef-for-eat-the-rich/ While an opening date still remains a question mark, Eat the Rich has now settled on an opening-day chef. He's Julien Shapiro, the man currently producing artisan charcuterie at Bryan Voltaggio's Range in Chevy Chase Pavilion........ (see above link for the rest) Shapiro's pork and squab "starship," an example of what "measuring gets you," the chef says. (Julien Shapiro)
  6. 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.
  7. [posted on eGullet 2005] Finally got to BlackSalt last night for dinner (9 pm res) and had an enjoyable meal. The restaurant was bustling when we arrived and we started with a nice glass of wine at the bar while our table was being prepared. We decided to order 2 small plates and 2 apps while we decided what to have for our main course. We asked our waiter if this would be a problem, and he said it was fine and that the 2 small plates would arrive first and then the apps. Well the apps came out first, followed a little bit later by our small plates. Not a huge problem, but I would have been happier without having all 4 plates on the table at once. Also our waiter told us that everything on the menu was wonderful and that all of our selections were perfect. Overall the service was acceptable and what I expected. The small plates that we ordered were the white anchovy and baby octopus. The appetizers were the rock fish cheeks and foie gras and a market special tuna ceviche with lime aioli and avocado. The anchovies, as previously mentioned were wonderful and by far the best of the 4 plates. The rock fish and foie gras combined well with the pureed and crispy potato that they were served with. The next 2 dishes were disappointing. The baby octopus was on the tough side and tasted predominately of lemon zest. I do not recall the exact preparation at this time, but remember looking back at the menu to see what else this dish was supposed to be in the dish as I could not taste much of anything else. The tuna ceviche was not what I expected and I dubbed this dish, tuna nachos. On the plate were 3 corn tortilla chips, resting on some greens, which were topped with avocado, lime aioli, a piece of tuna, and finally a piece of pink grapefruit. The wonderfully fresh tuna, which I sampled a piece of by itself, was completely overwhelmed by the lime aioli. I felt like I was eating a chips and dip. For our entrees I had the herb crusted long fin tuna with mushroom risotto while my friend had the bourride. The tuna was cooked on the rare side of the medium rare that I ordered it and was delicious. The spices on the fish, the earthy taste and creamy texture of the mushroom risotto complimented each other wonderfully. The tuna was also served with some greens and topped with pieces of pink grapefruit and some black olives, which seem to be a favorite condiment. The dish was also served with I braved the potential scallop health hazard and tried of piece of fish (that was far away from the scallop tongue.gif ) from the bourride. I really enjoyed the delicate licorice flavor and creamy texture with the piece of fish. For dessert we shared a piece of the chocolate peanut crunch cake (or something closely fitting that description), that we were told was the pastry chef's signature dish. It was a wonderful way to finish the meal and I recommend trying it. The total bill for dinner with 2 glasses of wine and tea was $132 and I was pleased with my meal and look forward to returning and trying some more of the dishes on the menu. I still think it has a little way to go before it can be compared to the top restaurants in the area.
  8. Tom Sietsema declared this to be the best seafood restaurant in DC! I beg to differ. I would have to assume that Tom got special treatment because every Jose employee is probably required to know his face. First, no geoduck, no sea urchin, and no hush puppies. I didn't realize that hush puppies need to be sourced like other pristine seafood. So we started with some scallop crudo, which should taste mild and sweet. Ours tasted slightly fishy, which made me want to hide the flavor by ingesting the celery in black pepper giardiniera. Next, roasted oysters, served with a side of Fresno chili butter sauce. One of our 5 oysters didn't pop. I complained and they replaced the order with 5 shucked oysters roasted with the sauce, which actually tasted better. Lastly, lobster jambalaya. The rice was slightly crunchy, and if you don't dig out the lobster immediately, it will become overcooked. I wouldn't say the lobster was perfectly cooked when it arrived at our table, but waiting will make it much worse. The flavor wasn't anything special. Nate Waugaman didn't shine at America Eats Tavern, why would he all of a sudden become the chef at DC's best seafood restaurant?
  9. Seafood sounds good, non-seafood sounds kinda okay but nothing to rush out to purchase. Tim Carman can rite reel gud.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. Great news for University of Maryland students: our own Ferhat Yalcin, ex-GM of Corduroy, is opening Fishnet at 5010 Berwyn Road in College Park. For many years, Ferhat and I have kicked around concepts, and he has finally found his perfect location. Fishnet is planning to serve about four types of grilled (or deep-fried) fish with 4-5 homemade sauces to choose from. Most of these will come as sandwiches, and there will be some other things such as calamari, mussels, and yep - a lobster roll. He's planning to run specials such as soft-shell crab sandwich and a whole grilled dorade platter (influenced from Corduroy). Maybe fish tacos in the future, and there will also be side dishes offered. No alcohol because he's too close to the school, but homemade lemonade, small-batch sodas, and the best news of all: delivery. Look for an August opening, in time for the 2011-2012 school year. Congratulations, Ferhat! You've worked hard to get this going, and it's finally coming into place. Nobody deserves this more than you do. Cheers, Rocks
  13. 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):
  14. Josh's post about La Cuchara in Houston reminds me that Houston's La Cuchara (which means "The Spoon") has nothing whatsoever to do with La Cuchara in Woodberry, a Basque-inspired restaurant run by brothers Ben and Jake Lefenfeld. However, Baltimore residents will be pleased to know that the Lefenfelds will be opening a second, seafood-based restaurant in South Baltimore - Minnow, located in the 2 East Wells Apartment Building: "Restaurateurs behind La Cuchara Opening Seafood Restaurant in South Baltimore" by Sarah Meehan on baltimoresun.com According to Sarah Meehan, Minnow is hoping for a May, 2017 opening, will seat around 130 guests, and will have a Mediterranean-based wine list to match their seafood, which will include high-quality, simple, grilled fish.
  15. In-laws are visiting for the 4th of July. They are not adventuresome eaters, everyone in the family gets car sick if we go more than 10-15 minutes from their hotel and in desperation we have taken them to Bonefish in the Kentlands twice now. They love it. So we're going again... I, on the other hand, have yet to have an edible meal there. Part of the problem is that I am frozen when it comes to ordering fish out. I can remember that Chilean Sea Bass is endangered or over-fished and not to order it and that wild salmon is good and farmed salmon is generally bad. Beyond that I'm lost. Has anyone had a decent meal with a sustainable, not endangered, not contaminated out the wazoo fish??? Thanks!
  16. When crawfish are in season, it's tough to go a week without heading out for a few pounds, and this weekend we set out early for lunch at what may be the most well-known of Houston's Viet-Cajun joints, Crawfish and Noodles. C&N has hosted Zimmern, Chang, and god knows who else, and they are clearly aware of their celeb-status, with t-shirts for sale prominently displayed as you walk in. That kind of hubris is typically not a great sign, and I have to admit approaching the rest of my visit as though I were cross-examining a hostile witness. C&N held its own, and while I didn't leave with a "We've Got Crabs" t-shirt (I mean, really), I can dig the food they're putting out. We started with an order of honey-garlic chicken wings, as requested by the 4-year old. He fell in love with the "Viet wings" at Cajun Kitchen, and hasn't stopped talking about them for weeks since. C&N's wings were solid, though I think we should have ordered the "Fish sauce" version for a more direct comparison. These were a bit too sweet for my tastes, with no heat. There are a variety of noodles and soups to choose from, and we went with the stir-fried rice noodle with mixed seafood. This is a hefty portion, with onion, celery, carrot, and crispy shallots mixed with shrimp, (chewy) squid, and fish balls, with a peppery sauce on the side ready to be mixed in. Delicious, and devoured quickly, but if we had to go head to head, we all agreed the crabby garlic noodles from Cajun Kitchen might edge out a win. The crawfish delivered. Choices are limited to spice level (though an intriguing "ginger grass" option is listed as being available at some point in the future). Medium is Houston-medium, which is to say, probably "hot" if you're coming from somewhere else. We opted for medium with a side of "hot" dipping sauce, and I would heartily recommend this combo. For the spice-loving but not super-spicy friends, the medium mudbugs alone are perfect. For those of us who prefer to see God when we eat, you can drag the tail through the sauce and get it done. Compared to the purely Cajun versions I grew up with (and have had at Houston places like The Boot in the Heights), these have a more pronounced garlic and citrus flavor. Priced at $10/lb, these were also the most expensive I've had thus far. Note on wait times: We got there just before noon on Sunday, and were 1 of 5 or 6 tables there. 30 minutes later there was a line out the door.
  17. 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.
  18. Crawfish season is just getting underway here in Houston, and today's visit to Cajun Kitchen marked our first batch. We opted for the "Fatass Number 1" combination. 3 pounds of crawfish (still pretty small this early in the season), a half-pound of head-on shrimp, and a generous section of snow crab legs, plus some potatoes and corn. Market price was $56 today, including the $2 upcharge for the "Kitchen Special" spicing on the boil (which appears to include orange slices, generous amounts of garlic and ginger, onions and peppers. Totally fair, I think, given the amount of seafood you get, but YMMV. We got "medium" spice on the boil, planning to share with the boys, but be forewarned that "medium" is pretty damn spicy. The shrimp and crab are clearly added after the crawfish are tossed in the spice, and were mild enough to share with kids. Aside from the boiled seafood, the garlic noodles and Viet-spiced chicken wings were winners with the whole table. The noodles are fairly thick, tossed in a garlic sauce, and topped with ample amounts of sweet lump blue crab meat and crispy fried shallots. The wings veer toward the sweet side, with a nice backbone of funky fish sauce. There are big screen TVs all around the dining room, and cheap domestic beers available...This could be a great place to spend an afternoon watching a baseball game come Spring.
  19. 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.
  20. 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!).
  21. For those who are not a fan of Mark's Duck House but are a fan of Cantonese cooking in the Falls Church area, there is a little, hidden alternative pretty much right across the street. Open since February of this year, XO Taste has the hanging poultry & ducks, roast pork, and other familiar Cantonese dishes on an expansive menu, BUT in a much, much cleaner and brighter setting. Today's Pipa Duck was the highlight of the evening, nicely roasted, although slightly fatty still, crispy skin, with great juice and marinated flavor. The bonus was that it was not too salty or dry, as served at some places. They also had a great array of congee, so my friend and I went with the traditional Thousand year old eggs with pork congee. Again, not too salty, but not as thick as other Cantonese restaurants--this dish was every bit as comforting as good congee should be. The pork had a nice salty kick to it, but not overbearing. The only miss of the evening was the Seafood in XO sauce, since they didn't use a lot of sauce, and the kitchen used too much yellow chives and onions, and not enough seafood. But it's XO sauce! All this came to around $32, which is probably a bit pricier than some of its Cantonese counterparts, but for the atmosphere and complimentary sweet red bean soup dessert, I'd come here again. Especially to explore more parts of the menu. And those little swimmers in the water tanks towards the back of the restaurant. Most of tonight's diners were Asian families, in case you were wondering. Someone on one of the area chats asked if the reviewer had gone before, so it's on some people's radars. Hopefully it'll be on the area food critics' radars soon too. 6124 Arlington Blvd. Falls Church, VA 22044