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Found 33 results

  1. I'm way overdue in writing something about Field & Tides, considering it's become kind of a go-to for us. The food is vaguely Southern in inspiration. I've been 3-4 times, and honestly never had a bad dish. In general, I've enjoyed their starters a bit more than the mains, though that's my experience at most restaurants. Great brunch/lunch menus, and as befits a Heights restaurant, they have great kid options without pandering.
  2. Looking for good lunch dishes rather than trite breakfast dishes. Doesn't matter the cuisine, as long as it's not spicy. Anything within a mile of the MoMA would work - cost not an issue. This is for Labor Day weekend.
  3. 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.
  4. Brought two of my younger colleagues to dinner here last week. We were looking for a casual spot that was fairly lively and had good food. One of my colleagues read somewhere that the Mermaid Inn on MacDougal was something of a "baby bernardin", so off we went. First of all, the notion of comparing the Mermaid Inn to Le Bernardin, baby, toddler, adolescent or full grown version is crazy. Totally different set up and vibe. This is a casual restaurant with a bustling oyster bar that makes a solid effort to turn out good seafood dishes at a fair price. Our group started with "escargot style" lobster knuckles, charred Portuguese octopus and blue crab tostada. The lobster knuckle escargot were really interesting - the kitchen used a very deft hand with the garlic so as not to overpower the knuckles. I'm a sucker for any charred octopus, and this rendition was good - the hot peppers in the dish were reminiscent of Peasant's "Polpo en Purgatorio", although Peasant's version of charred octopus is superior. The tostadas were a miss - for whatever reason we didn't find a whole lot of flavor in them. My main was a yellowfin tuna with sauce gribiche - seared rare as requested and served with some local asparagus. My colleagues also enjoyed their meals, but the details have been lost toi time at this point. No dessert, but with the three entrees, three appetizers and two bottles of sancerre (blanc et rouge), we had a great time and spent well less than expected for a "nice-ish" dinner out in NY, especially for a menu featuring seafood. While our experience was at the MacDougal location, you could do worse than happen by here or one of the other locations for a quick oyster fix or casual meal.
  5. I recently had a chance to visit Bottega Louie, a bright, cavernous space in The Brockman Building on South Grand that is both a gourmet market and restaurant. The large open floor and high ceilings plan gives the place a certain vibrancy, with an accompanying noise level that you might expect from such a large room. I took a seat at the 10 stool bar in the front closer to the market and quite enjoyed the Cioppino, which also cost $30. It was a full bowl of succulent seafood, that contained perhaps the most plump mussels I have ever been served. Truly satisfying.
  6. I remember so well when LeftBank opened - it was actually a nice little spot, something like Leopold Kafe & Konditorei in Georgetown. Then, it closed - out popped Slaviya (here's a DCDining review of Slaviya), and even though I enjoyed my visit there, I pretty much knew that if LeftBank wasn't going to make it there, neither would Slaviya, "bar"ring some sort of late-night coup de hookah. Don't forget, this space started out as the very good Cities, so we've seen a steady decline with each new opening. So, now Slaviya's gone, and we had Taste of New Orleans ... for about a week ... then Slaviya again. (PoPVille is awesome when it comes to methodically reporting openings and closings). This time, it managed to stay open until early this year, but finally, the ax fell. (Thanks, SF) And now? The single largest venue in Adams Morgan has become The Bicycle Space, and my initial impression is that this 180-degree change is a really good call. I hope you guys keep rolling for years to come - if for no other reason than it will make the hellish job of keeping up with the goings-on at 2424 18th St. NW a bit easier.
  7. I have been negligent in posting, but have been super busy if that's any excuse! We went here by accident on my birthday in December, and liked it so much that we've already been back once. And we will be back more often; just wished it was closer to where we live! I recall reading somewhere that this place was in the works as it is run by a relation of the people who ran Fred and Harry's in Four Corners. I think it is a nephew? Anyway, they apparently opened in October. It was a snowy evening and after seeing the Hobbit in Silver Spring we were looking for a casual spot to try something new. Decided to check out Quench in the same shopping center, but as we were parking I noticed Nantucket's Reef further in the center. If we had parked on the street I would've totally missed it! But recognizing the name as having read about it, and remembering I wanted to try it, we decided to give it a go. And we are very glad we did. Mr. S noticed they had short smoked salmon on the menu and he has not seen it on a menu other than Artie's, which is too long a haul to frequent for us. The fish was cooked perfectly and was just as flavorful as the Artie's version. The mashed potatoes are skin-on, lumpy and delicious. He had the in-season veggie medley which was grilled and well prepared. I had a special fish of the day, but can't recall which one at the moment. It was a white fish that again was deliciously well prepared. I had a spinach side that I have never seen before--it was red and I thought perhaps prepared with beets. But it was just a red spinach! The service both times we were there was friendly and not obtrusive. We were almost too full for dessert but decided to give it a try. Loved my bread pudding (which is toted by the servers as one of the favorites, for good reason) and Mr. S also enjoyed his pumpkin cheesecake. But we knew we wouldn't be able to order a dessert the last time we were there since the serving sizes were generous and we were too full with the calamari appetizer. Those of you in the northern Montgomery County area should definitely give this place a try. Dining in Gaithersburg/Northern Rockville is definitely looking up between this and the opening of Brasserie Beck in the old O'Donnell's space. http://www.nantucketsreef.com/
  8. This morning Tom Sietsema announced that Helen Wasserman will be opening Crave by Helen in the former Addie's on the Rockville Pike. From the article: Helen is my sister. I could not be more proud!
  9. Decided to give The Dandelion Pub's brunch a try largely based on location and the inability to get a reservation at Starr sister restaurant Parc. Dandelion is housed in what seems to be an old Philadelphia home and was delightfully cozy on a chilly fall morning with a fire burning in the fireplace. It was actually a little difficult to identify the restaurant from the street because there wasn't a prominent sign. I was glad I'd kept the street address in my phone. Two of us went with traditional breakfast fare enjoying the 2 inch high, fluffy Brioche french toast and Eggs Benedict. I was pleasantly surprised to receive two poached eggs over perfect English muffins, rather than just one that it seems many restaurants think constitute a full entree. The other half the group went with more traditional pub menu of fish and chips and Shepherd's pie. Both were given high marks and really hit the spot on a morning that felt like fall had definitely arrived. The bloody mary's were just as spicy as requested and the service unrushed. The house has several small dining areas and fusty English vibe. The bar area has a couple of spectacular mounted boar's heads if you're into that sort of thing. A good solid choice of standard brunch food....but nicely matched with pub classics.
  10. 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.
  11. Pete Wells reviews Armani Ristorante on nytimes.com Normally, I'd direct you to the website, but here, instead, I'll draw your attention to the "ferocious" tennis player with his awesome backhand on display (on the top strip of models) here. Look at that grip! A threat to win the 2014 U.S. Open? This guy, on the other hand ....
  12. Vaso's is opening a 2nd location soon. "Vaso's Kitchen Preparing New King Street Location" by Drew Hansen on patch.com -- [sorry about the tweets guys; I hadn't had my coffee yet.] (Glad you had such a nice time, SeanMike - nobody deserves one more than my good friend.)
  13. Managed to luck into a dinner reservation at the apparently still-hot Animal, which I'd encountered in a New Yorker article a couple of years ago, forgotten the name of and then rediscovered while leafing cluelessly through the Food Lover's Guide To LA ("David, would you say we're more in 'Central City,' 'West Side,' or 'West of the 405'?"). Turns out the place was in walking distance (think Miracle Mile or The Fairfax District) and since someone was trying ot bail on a reservation, they needed to fill a table for five and we fit the bill. What a great place. It's nose-to-tail at its finest, featuring uncomplicated but creative preparations. The chef/owners are largely lacking in formal kitchen training which -- as with the Ramones lack of actual music lessons -- seems to bring a simple but powerful focus to their work. There are a lot of ears, innards and the like on the menu, which changes daily but which is approximated on their website. Plates are small and five of us went through about a dozen, despite having worked through some very passsable red beans and rice at the (misnamed) LA Farmer's market just hours before. Highlights included -- well, pretty much fucking everything we ate, including the tendon crisps; the tandoori octopus with tamarind, mango and raita; a bit of flat iron steak prepared in such a way that it tasted exactly like what a Philly cheesesteak would taste like if they'd served it at that wedding in Cana and Jesus had addressed the entree after taking care of the beverages; and marrow with chimichurri. Surprisingly, or not, the kale and apple salad was great, and necessary to cut the cholesteral on occasion. And while I grow weary of Brussel Sprouts, serving them in a bowl with a poppable poached egg on top is not a bad way to go. Despite being the most obvious thing on the menu, the barbecued pork belly with slaw on buttered brioche is impossible to describe without falling into equally obvious cheap sexual metaphors (or similes) and -- in terms of pork-as-dessert -- far better than bacon chocolate (so we had a very creditable tres leches cake with a dulce de leche sauce, which seems as though it makes the dessert into actually a "quatro leches"-type dessert, but my Spanish is poor, so who knows). The room is comfortable without being memorable -- high ceilings, spare art, wooden tables -- and the service is friendly. competent and unpretentious. Minimal but tasty wine list. Prices per plate are generally low -- those tendon crisps are $4 -- but if you've ever been on a good two- or three-day crack binge, you know even at $10 a rock plate, prices add up. With 2.5 mid-priced bottles of wine, a few beers, tax and tip, we dropped about $600 for five people, and were delighted to have done so.
  14. Boxcar Tavern (originally to be called "Boxcar Bistro") opened December 30th. The original concept was for a wine bar, but it opened as a gastropub with a wine program. The executive chef, Brian Klein, was also the opening chef at Senart's. The interior looks much the same as Cervera's other restaurants, most closely resembling Senart's and then Lola's. It's a shotgun style, long and narrow. The buildout took many months, extending out into the back alley. I've always liked the look of his places--and he does the interior design elements, such as lighting and seating, on his own. He's very talented at this. They are comforting and pleasant. I am beginning to hit a point of fatigue, though, which is why it took me a month to go here. The staff were lovely. I got a Victory Pils on tap ($6) and a Boxcar quesadilla, with Duck Confit, Pulled Pork, Red Onion, Roasted Pepper, Melted Cheddar & Gruyere ($11). The quesadilla was small. Even though it had been cut into quarters that were stacked on each other, it was, when pulled apart, really small. The texture was mushy. Okay, I'm no food critic, but I couldn't have told you what the meat was in it if I didn't know. It came with sour cream and an avocado-ish spread that were not anything special. I like enough of the food at his other places not to give too much weight to one quesadilla that was so-so. The fatigue has set in, though. I know he thinks that his places don't all look the same, but that's because he's looking at what are minor details to everyone else.
  15. Spent the weekend in NYC with my 16 year old drama queen taking in a few shows. We had a truly fabulous brunch at Hundred Acres in Soho on MacDougal street. We started off with the Ricotta fritters with date molasses and powdered sugar. They were a creamy, tangy beignet...but only better. There were probably 7-8 on a plate and perfect to share. I had the goat cheese-thyme bread pudding, two poached eggs, warm spinach salad, lemon butter. It was one of the best brunch dishes I'd ever had. The bread pudding was gooey and savory. The lemon butter sauce elevated the wilted spinach to another level and the eggs were perfectly poached. My daughter had thebreakfast sausage, two poached eggs, cheesy jalapeno grits, bourbon jus. She kept using her side order of home fries to sop up all of the bourbon jus when she had otherwise polished off every bit. The sausage was more of a link sausage with a great crispy skin and bite to it. Honestly, this is a meal both of us will remember fondly for years....and I'm sure will me a mandatory destination for all future trips to NYC.
  16. I really wish I'd stumbled into Smoke and Barrel at the beginning of an evening out rather than at the end, when, famished and a little tipsy, I devoured my pulled pork sandwich at approximately the speed of light. I can't, therefore, provide thoughtful details much beyond "yum!" The smoked meat is piled on a respectable bun with a scoop of good cole slaw, with the surprisingly spicy sauce on the side. And I don't think anything has ever tasted better after a night of beers with friends. A side of sweet potato home fries was excellent.
  17. I thought we had a thread on Shaw's, but I guess not ... According to the City Paper, the stillborn Shaw's Tavern has been bought by the owner of the late Axis on U St. He is bringing along the chef from Leopold's to head up the kitchen. I always liked Axis, it was low key for a U St place, if a bit overpriced. Always a nice beer selection, though, which goes a long way in my book. As a nearby resident of Bloomingdale I have high hopes for another worthwhile neighborhood sit down joint.
  18. 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.
  19. Was at Rockfish Saturday night with some girlfriends after a day at the salon. We normally go to Rockfish when we miss the deadline for brunch at Carrol's Creek and Chart House. But we had a really nice dinner. The wine selection is not huge, but we managed to find a good wine that was very reasonable. I started with a cup of MD crab soup, it was very good, had all the requisite flavors and the vegetables were not mushy. I really enjoyed it, it would have been even better last week in all the rain. I am really a big fan of MD crab soup when done right. It is one of my favorite soups. I then had the fish tacos- an app as an entree. There were three tacos with two very generous pieces of battered cod in each tortilla. On the bottom was a really good slaw with a little avocado puree. I thought they were good, although as I got full I ate the stuffing and left the tortilla. It had good flavor as was a little different from the normal entrees on a lot of Annapolis menus. My dinner mates had the crab and lobster pastas. The crab one looked incredible. The lobster smelled phenomenal, but you had to take the meat out of the shell and cut it and that made it really messy and difficult to eat politely, they should go ahead and take the meat out of the shell before serving the dish. Anyway this place is normally very solid, a little dark inside, but nice and a little more casual than O'Leary's or etc.
  20. Waitman & I have enjoyed Silk City Diner a number of times. They have some very inventive specials. If you go, go early as it fills up. It's not terribly close to Rittenhouse Square though.
  21. Saw this banner walking home from Barracks Row the other day. 735 8th St SE, pretty much right across from the barracks. Can't find much other information besides their Facebook page which says they're opening this December. Anyone have any other info? (Sorry if there's already an entry on this somewhere; I searched and searched and couldn't find it.)
  22. I've actually received a few PM's about Eventide and was going to wait until our chef's name is public knowledge before I started this thread, but I guess it's never too early to give out details to this group. We're still in a lengthy construction period but truly hope to open by May/June. (My fingers are cramping as I type because they've been crossed for so long.) We're on Wilson Blvd. at the beginning of the same block that the Clarendon Ballroom and Liberty Tavern are on. The scoop...nice bar/lounge on the first floor run by an exceptionally professional and hilarious Bar Manager that will be concentrating on inspired, well-crafted cocktails and a bit of a more elegant atmosphere than a bunch of Clarendon restaurants play host to (read: no Jager bombs served here...ever). Second floor will be about 90 seats of unpretentious, "date night" dining with 3 semi-private areas where we can host 3 seperate groups of 10 or combine the areas to hold up to 30 for receptions, business dinners, etc... The rooftop will feature table seating and will be a food-first floor. We certainly want cocktail-only guests to sit at the tables, but will not be playing host to an "SRO" rooftop scene...that's what the Clarendon Ballroom's roof is for. (The Ballroom owners are partners at Eventide as well. I might as well be straightforward and divulge that info now.) There will be a small bar on the roof for late night cocktails after dinner, but the roof will be managed so that it stays as comfortable as possible for all and remains a mostly-seated area. I have also hired an extremely gregarious and knowledgable wine director but, you guessed it, I can't divulge his name either. Please don't think I'm being cloak-and-dagger about naming my management team, but they are all still working at their jobs and cannot put in their notice until I can afford for them to come on salary. My Assistant GM (and also an Eventide partner) is Nick Freshman. Nick's a great guy that I've known for over 10 years and has worked with me at Olives and Poste and will be running the upstairs dining room. We're all extremely excited about this project and really can't wait to get our doors open. In the meantime, if any of you happen to walk by the site and the front doors are open, please feel free to stick your head and ask for Nick Freshman or myself and we'll give you a quick tour while it's still under construction. Just bring beers!! (Feel free to post or PM me if you have any questions/comments/suggestions about the place. I welcome them and look forward to answering you.)
  23. Chef Spike Gjerde has opened his long awaited farm-to-table restaurant in Clipper Mill. The wife and I went there last night and were shocked at the full dining room, given the restaurant's out-of-the-way location. No matter though, we had made reservations and were seated promptly in the loft overlooking the dining room. The renovation to the building is stunning. The exposed brick walls and recycled old-growth lumber that were used are dramatically illuminated, looking both elegant and cozy at the same time. A wood burning oven is the center piece of the open kitchen, and most of the food on the menu seems to be cooked in it. We ordered: Oysters (raw and roasted) Chicken liver parfait Hamburger Autumn vegetables Everything was very good: the food, the service, and the space. We'll be back soon. Woodberry Kitchen