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  1. It will just be me and my (well-behaved) 1st grade son this weekend. He likes to dress up in a coat and tie. Was thinking it would be fun for us to dress up and enjoy an early (5:30 or 6) dinner at a DC Steakhouse. Anyone been to one recently that they'd recommend? I'm thinking about the Prime Rib as I think he'd enjoy the piano music.
  2. Ocean Prime. Looks like another expense account steak and seafood chain is opening up just blocks from the White House, at 14th and G in the old Ceiba space. "OCEAN PRIME is much more than just a steakhouse or a seafood restaurant. OCEAN PRIME is an extraordinary dining destination." "We deliver more than just in amazing food and drinks: We create remarkable experiences." "Stylish attire suggested." I'd yawn, but I can't work up the energy.
  3. I don't see a thread for the Arlington location of RTS yet so I started one. Rocks - If I've missed it, my apologies. Just wanted to comment on my first visit there - it was everything I was expecting and more. As much as I like cool/hip decor/non-human eye candy in a restaurant, I really only ask three things of a place - good food, good wine list and good service. RTS was outstanding on all three counts. My wife took me for my birthday and having read quite a bit about it over the last few months on eGullet, I was expecting an exceptional experience and we got it. The service was prompt, attentive, friendly and not intrusive from the moment we got there through us walking out the door. The wine list is all its been said to be. Lots on really interesting, really great, really affordable selections - we had an amazing Cab (can't remember the name - it started with an "A" and was $28 a bottle) that, for the price, is probably the best value I've ever seen in a California Cab. Started off a little tight (to be expected in a 2002) but was still delicious and just opened up beautifully through dinner. And big bonus points for it being served at the proper temperature! We both started with soup - I had the sherried crab bisque and my wife had the onion. They were both fantastic although I enjoyed mine more - of course anything made with that much cream has to be good . For our entrees I had the hanger steak and my wife had the brochettes (I think I spelled that right). The hanger was simply the most flavorful piece of meat I've ever had and we have friends who their own beef cattle in MD. The steak will forever change how I judge good meat. Cooked perfectly at medium rare with bleu cheese crumbles. The brochettes and assorted veggies were also very good but I paled in comparison to the hanger steak. The sides were also as delicious as has been said before. The portions were quite generous and I look forward to finishing that steak tonight - and a nice touch when we got our meals boxed up for home, we got a refill on the sides. Being a big fan of key lime pie, there was no way to pass that up and man was it good! I'm not one for fanfare, my wife knows this and made no mention it was my birthday when she made reservations. It happened to slip out at some point during the night and the server made a point of telling me happy birthday and the desert was on the house. It is those little touches that really make a place shine. I can't wait to get back and try a different wine and have that hanger steak again.
  4. I rarely post in the Baltimore section, but I was surprised not to see Supano's with a write-up. It's a family-owned Rat Pack-themed Italian restuarant with gorgeous woodwork all over the interior, and pictures of Frankie and Dino and all of their buddies festooning the walls. A large projection screen in one corner dominates the dining room, with videos of Sinatra's concert events running non-stop. The menu also announces "Best Italian Restaurant in Baltimore" and "Best Steakhouse in Baltimore" by various sources, as well as many dishes such as "World's Best Eggplant Parmigiana" and "Baltimore's Best (this or that)"....superlatives aside, this is a restaurant with incredible decor and very good food. I had the shrimp cocktail and the "World's Best" Eggplant Parmigiana. The shrimp cocktail was pretty good, although not the "best" I've had. The eggplant was worthy of superlatives, but perhaps not "World's Best"....nonetheless, I would most definitely order that dish again. As you can imagine, the steaks and chops are also the stars of the show, and the pasta and other Italian selections look like they're from a competent kitchen. There's a whole lot of menu to be sampled here, and I will do my best every time I visit Baltimore.
  5. I've kept this quiet for weeks out of professional courtesy, but you'll hear about it very soon anyway, so you may as well hear it here first. Breaking News: Brian Zipin will be GM (and a partner) of Medium Rare, a sub-$20 American-style steak frites restaurant opening in late February in the old Yanni's space. Behind the operation? Mark Bucher of BGR was one of the creators, and none other than Michel Richard was (quietly) involved with developing sauces and desserts, but Brian and Tom Gregg (past President of Cuisine Solutions) are involved as non-silent partners. Cheers, Rocks PS Don't ever underestimate Michael Landrum - the guy gets around. But I've been told ... no sous vide (and I asked "are you sure? about ten times). So you weren't quite right, Michael!
  6. EPIC Steakhouse is easily one of the best San Francisco steak houses, and most of the "Best of" lists confirm that. Even better, it's not a chain! We waited in the upstairs bar until our table was ready, and I can attest to a large wine list and solid spirits program. I had the Dungeness Crab Cocktail, which was outstanding, and the Prime Dry Aged Bone-in 20 oz. New York Strip. Wow, what a meal. Everything was perfect, and then some. This is not a place for the financially timid - the crab was $21 and the steak was $61, but I was happy to pay for such a high quality meal.
  7. Once, nobody really spoke about restaurants, at least not in the way they do now. Nobody debated the merits of each dish, no one cared what farm their steak came from, and restaurants were more about hospitality than cuisine. That time is long gone, but shards of it remain. One is a few short blocks from my front door, and I'm sure to go every chance I get. Some restaurants transport you to a different place. This one promises a different time. Martin Donohue opened Donohue's Steak House in 1950 on Lexington Avenue near 64th, where it still is today. His son Michael took over a few years later and ran it until his death in 2000. The restaurant then passed to Michael's daughter, Maureen Donohue-Peters, who still owns Donohue's and is there almost every night. None of them ever changed the place. Not one bit. Why would they? Donohue's is a single room paneled in brown wood with a checkerboard floor. The front is dominated by an Art Deco bar. Beyond it is the dining room, which has three small tables at its center and five tall black booths along each of the side walls. The back wall has a "specials" board which almost never changes, and probably never has. I can't attest to the authenticity of everything in the place. But I'd wager it all looks almost exactly as it has for nearly seven decades. The button-tufted booths are flanked with coat racks and a few age-tarnished paintings hang above. The tables are covered in red tablecloths with paper Donohue's mats at each seat. Instead of a rollup, the silverware is still laid out on each mat with a white cloth napkin folded between. Nearly all of the menu dates to the Eisenhower administration as well. Steaks are all familiar cuts like NY Strip or filet, with gentle prices that betray a lack of pedigree. The fish would have been equally familiar decades ago, when baked salmon or scrod were in fashion. Everything else -- hand carved turkey, baked chicken, shepherds pie -- is straight from grandma's house. I typically go for the burger, which is first rate in an "old school" kind of way and served with decent steak fries. I like the meatloaf and gravy too -- one of the permanent specials -- which, with sides of mashed potatoes and peas and carrots, reminds me in a good way of the Salisbury steak TV Dinners of my youth. I also always sit at the bar, over which Tom the affable bartender quietly presides most nights. Tom seems like he's been there 30 years, though I strangely haven't the courage to ask. Regardless, he's certainly not trying to reinvent the wheel. Aside from a handful of flavored vodkas, if you couldn't get it 60 years ago, you can't get it now. In this regard, a Maker's Manhattan is occasionally nice, but bottled Budweiser usually does the trick. After all, you're not here for fancy cocktails. Or amazing food, for that matter. It's good, but that's not really the point. What you're here for is the history and the perspective that comes with it. Donohue's is a living museum. Most patrons know the staff by name because they've been coming for 20, 30, 40, or even 50 years. One even left his two favorite servers a $100,000 tip in his will. The old guard mostly stay in the dining room where they seem to know everyone already. Still, a "newcomer" can usually find a few regulars at the bar to chat with. Often, whether you want to or not. Either way, there's always a good story to be told. There aren't many places like Donohue's left. Places from a time and a city that disappeared before most of us were born. I'm glad to have this small piece of it.
  8. I had a stellar dinner at the Rib tonight. It is comforting to go to a place that has knowledgeable staff. From the bar to the dining room, nothing could be faulted. The place looks great, the ambience perfect. This is a grown-up restaurant. That means coat and tie. I had a perfect lobster bisque. The crab imperial is all lump crab. The prime rib I had was indeed the best rib I've ever eaten. Tender, flavorful, ample. Why no buzz about this place? I don't eat there often enough.
  9. I ended up having lunch at STK on Friday. My boss heard about it from someone (young sales rep) and wanted to go. We looked so out of place (I'm early 40s and boss is in his 70s) but there weren't that many people to see it. At 12:30, there were about 5 tables there. The decor is definitely lounge and bar, not so much business lunch. Loud early to mid 2000s pop music was blasting. I don't even know why they are open during the day. The server started out with the "bottled or just tap" water question then tried to push wine. I had an iced tea. The first glass was fine but when the pitcher ran out, they came back with some cloudy old iced tea. The server tried to tell me that it was because they steeped it too long. Right. Rolls came out in a small cast iron pan but it was cold and dry. Chive-garlic dip was tasty and would have been good with non-stale bread. Our sandwiches took a while to come out. I had roast pork with Edwards ham sandwich and a side salad. The salad greens were fresh and crunchy with nice contrasting peppers and radishes. The sandwich was really salty and the roll was completely soaked and greasy. My boss orderd a seared tuna BLT. It looked pretty good but was way too thick for a normal person to bite into. The slab of tuna was not sliced and difficult to cut up with a table knife. At least the shoestring fries were crispy. Dessert was the best part of the meal. I ordered the mascarpone cheesecake. It came with finely diced berries mixed with a little balsamic vinegar. Nice sweet sour combo. The cheesecake itself was very creamy but light in texture and not too sweet. (It was almost as good as the chevre cheesecake Huw Griffiths used to make at Tabard Inn.) I would not have chosen to go there. I definitely will not be back on my own dime. Tom Sietsema's First Bite from May 20th.
  10. Original Ray's: The Classics posts are in the Ray's: The Steaks Thread. Saw this in the Gazette: NOTICE Notice is hereby given that application has been made by: Elliott A. Rattley, Jr., Nicholas R. Lopata on behalf of ARS Silver Spring, LLC, for the transfer of a Beer, Wine & Liquor License, Class B, H/R, On Sale Only, for the premises known as The Classics Restaurant, which premises are located at: 8606 Colesville Road Silver Spring, Maryland 20910 A hearing on the application will be held in the First Floor Auditorium, Council Office Building, 100 Maryland Avenue, Rockville, Maryland, on: Thursday: May 16, 2013 At: 11:30 a.m. Any person desiring to be heard on said application should appear at the time and place fixed for said hearing. BY: Kathie Durbin Division Chief Board of License Commissioners for Montgomery County, Maryland MC 50306 (5-3, 5-10-13)
  11. From what I've read here, this is coming from the owners of the Limerick Pub, Squire's Rock Creek Chop House is opening just across the street on Price Ave in Wheaton. The concept reminds me of Ferdinands. I don't expect a destination restaurant, but perhaps a local watering hole where family can gather? Will be interesting to see how it is priced as well.
  12. NYC restaurant leases space at 16th and I streets. Laurent was the master of fish, now he does steak. Details: www.dcbubble.blogspot.com
  13. Ben & Mary's Steakhouse U.S. Rt. 17, southbound side, 1.5 mi north of RT 211intersection/downtown Warrenton, VA 540-347-4100 Home of the "Fabulous Filet Mignon" Where to go after a long day of hiking in the mountains and hanging out by the swimming holes and waterfalls on White Oak Canyon? Pack a decent shirt and pair of pants and let the traffick on I-66 subside at Ben and Mary's, about 2/3 of the way from Skyline Drive to Mt. Pleasant We had always taken 66 to 29 (to 211 to Sperryville...) if we wanted to intersect the Blue Ridge further south than Front Royal the traffic is so screwed that we went the "long way" last time, heading south on U.S. 17, and were rewarded with a savings of many minutes and a glimpse (worth remembering if you're going to the Inn at Little Washington, too) of a homey-looking steakhouse just north of downtown Warrenton. The sad truth is that too many of these charming little spots turn out reprehensible food but Ben and Mary's is exactly the kind of place you're looking for when you decide to blow off chain dining for a little uncertainty and delight. Pretty good steaks ($13-25 with 2 sides) surprisingly excellent shrimp, delivered fresh every Friday night, wonderful staff and -- despite the paucity of what might be called "decor" -- an indisputable charm. In addition to the steaks, the menu strikes several southern notes that we look forward to exploring, including honey fried chicken and fried oysters (I'll bet their iced tea is good, too -- the tables are set with iced tea spoons); and a selection of sandwiches for a more casual meal. This ain't Ray's or Charlie Palmers, and the wines come from a jug. But Ben and Mary's makes a decent martini (although the place is so Southern that I almost felt guilty drinking gin on a Sunday) and by the time it arrived, our waitress had us feeling as though we'd been regulars almost as long she's been working there: 29 years. All in all, a nice little place to unwind after a long day in the woods.
  14. Last night, I had a great meal at Charlie Palmer Steak. The menu had just been updated for spring/summer to add some seasonal elements. There's a chilled corn chowder with lobster and avocado, for example, as well as buffalo mozzarella and heirloom tomato "composed salad." I had been to CPS before and liked the whole experience, the food, etc. but this time, I came away loving the place. Everything about our meal was more personal which added to the experience, IMO, greatly. The visit didn't start off all that auspiciously. I found that our bartender wasn't very friendly, but she made my mother a rave-worthy vodka martini so...whatever. Not long after we arrived a drunk and loud rowdy crew (in jeans, no less) rolled in and caused a little commotion in the bar area. Some members of the party seemed to know the other (male) bartender and I could see that he was uncomfortable. They were seated in a quiet part of the restaurant quickly in order to get them out of the way. About our food: IMO, the bread service could be improved. I like having options (ciabatta or kalamata olive last night), but the bread is served almost cold and with unsalted butter. Olive oil and balsamic vinegar came later, but was probably intended for the salads. Warm bread makes a big difference, I think. Mom had the romaine salad with fried pancetta and blue cheese. I had some of the crisp bacon and it was delicious. Dad had the mixed greens. My friend and I shared the buffalo mozzarella. It was fine (my friend really liked it), but I've had some really excellent buffalo mozzarella lately and this just wasn't on par with the best of that lot. Perhaps it was bland? Maybe. Mom and Dad both had the CPS surf & turf, filet mignon with butter poached lobster and loved it. I tried the lobster - unusual for me, yes I know - and really enjoyed it. I had the marinated hangar steak (at $29, it's one of the lower priced entrees) and had zero regrets. It was SO GOOD, a cut of beef I pretty much always enjoy cooked a perfect medium rare and full of flavor. My friend had the lobster, also butter poached, and ate every last bit of it. Our sides were great - the most buttery (buttery-est?) mashed potatoes, asparagus and a new-to-the-menu creamed corn. When I was last at CPS, I had the bittersweet chocolate dessert and wasn't crazy about it, but I remembered enjoying my companion's sorbet a lot; I steered the group in that direction. Instead of the mix of ice creams and sorbets we had last time, we were served six little scoops - two each of mango, blueberry and rasperry. So delicious and perfect for summer. At the end of the night, we asked the wonderful host Martin if we could see the view from the roof deck (used only for private events). Upon exiting the elevator, you have a lovely view of the Capitol, brightly lit against the night sky. I suspected it would be a very enjoyable experience for my visiting parents, which is why I made the request to go up there, and I am so happy I did. It was an enjoyable end to a special night.
  15. Thanks to a generous partner, had a great lunch at Mastro's. I had the jumbo lump crab omelet ($25). Outstanding. Came with a side salad, and with the outstanding bread basket, didn't need anything else. We shared some sides -- gorgonzola mac cheese, sauteed mushrooms, and roasted brussels sprouts -- all very good. Three of my colleagues got the Mastro's Steak Salad, and it looked quite appealing. Some things we saw at other tables that looked enticing included the chopped salad and a massive basket of sweet potato fries.
  16. Smith & Wollensky on the menu for last night. I'd definitely go there again for RW. We had great service and great food. There was none of that "red-headed stepchild" feeling you get at some restaurants during RW. We weren't rushed (in fact, it took us quite a while to get the bill settled!) and our server was gracious. I had: -Blue Point oysters -Casear salad -Filet mignon (served w/ wild green and matchstick frites as sides and BĂ©arnaise sauce) -Cheesecake My gripe: slim menu selection. I wish there was more to choose from for the apps than just 2 salads and pea soup. The desserts were carrot cake, cheese cake or fresh fruit. It would've been nice to mix it up a bit and have some originality but the filet made up for it...a bit. The filet was very good & tender - suprising considering you'd expect restaurants to skimp on the quality of the meat during RW. Perhaps we didn't get the center cut filet but whatever cut of filet we got, it was great. The oysters were good - large and fleshy. Are Blue Points supposed to be more "earthy"? (In a good way!) I like my oysters briney and salty with a crisp finish. Eh, it's just me. Tomorrow, Ten Penh and Saturday Cafe MoZu.
  17. Set to open July 1st at 14th and U NW. The chef (who, in full disclosure, is shacked up with a good friend of mine) was most recently exec chef at Smith and Wollensky here in DC. I haven't had much of his food, but I can tell you he makes a hell of a cake (made a banana puree filled chocolate thing at our baby shower that was dynamite.) Whether the food is good or not (and here's hoping it is) the deck alone is worth a look. Just looks like a great place to hang...
  18. I attended a large business dinner at Urban Farmer recently. The hotel looks really nice and the restaurant has a good vibe, but the service was slow and generally terrible, the steaks (grass fed NY strip) were noticeably under seasoned, and the rest of the food was nothing out of the ordinary. I did have brunch here on a different occasion and had a much better experience.
  19. Exciting news on King Street! The folks from A la Lucia (namely Michael Nayeri) have announced that they will be opening a new restaurant in the space at 1106 King Street. The news was announced on the A la Lucia Facebook page, as well as in a recent e-newsletter. It will not be a second A la Lucia location. They're hoping for an opening in early 2015.
  20. Heading up to NYC this weekend to see some friends. I know we have reservations at the Strip House (more along the line of the Palm rather than Good Guys) on Friday night. Has anyone been there and could comment on the restaurant. I have read some favorable reviews about the food (interesting sides like goose fat potatoes) but have heard that the wait even with reservations can be long. --- Robert's Steakhouse (crackers) Dining in New York City (jparrott)
  21. "There's a Chef Change at Claudia's Steakhouse, and Claudia Herself is Taking Over" by Becky Krystal on washingtonpost.com This article doesn't mention that "Claudia's Steakhouse" is now called "Claudia's." Rumors are only worth the paper they're written on, but I heard a rumor - a credible rumor - that Claudia's is becoming an upscale sports bar. I emphasize that this is an unsubstantiated rumor, but the source is credible enough where it may well be true. If you look at the menu, you can already see it's not really a steakhouse at this point: And then there's this: