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Chef Geoff's, Geoff Tracy's Local American Chain in Several Area Locations

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#1 CrescentFresh

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Posted 24 August 2005 - 11:41 AM

Something I once had to say about Chef Geoff's which still is the worse place/meal I've ever had in DC:

In most cases, I alert restaurant staff when I'm unhappy about something and see how it's handled and that often paves the way for a future return. But in some cases that's impractical: "Those curtains are vile. You must change them!" Or it's not even worth the bother because of a combination of things. Or the complaints are about things that are so basic that if they can't get them right without you mentioning it to them they've got serious issues. Or you just don't feel like it, because you shouldn't have to.

Today I visited Chef Geoff's Downtown for lunch, and it falls into the latter categories.

The hostess looked befuddled when I, as a party of one, requested to be seated for lunch today at nearly 1:30 p.m. Plenty of available space. For some reason though, the welcome was less than welcoming.

Music. They were blasting Bruce Springsteen. I'd expect that in a bar/tavern, or even some restaurants without tablecloths! Sometimes music in the restaurant can set a mood, particularly if it's light and in the background. Or sometimes, District Chophouse as an example with its '40s music, it's trying to set a scene. But this was none of that.

I ordered Snow Pea Fusilli: Defined on the menu as tomatoes, onions, summer sprouts, asiago, and pea coulis. The quantity of things wrong with this dish probably exceeded the quantity of ingredients. To name a few, the pasta was overdone, boiled to death. The vegetables (save for the grape tomatoes) were over done, sautéed to death. There were cucumber slices (or were they zucchini? I couldn't tell) that were just shy of wilted mush. They had only enough structural integrity left to allow me to tell that it had been a green vegetable at one time.

The dish was sauced to death with a cloying sweet and acidic vinegar mixture that overwhelmed and overpowered everything (save the grape tomatoes which had enough of its own flavorful acid to fight through this mess). The asiago cheese on this dish looked like it had come from one of those plastic containers of shredded (as opposed to grated) parmesan at the supermarket.

The closest approximation I can suggest for this dish is: Visit your local supermarket. Go to the prepared foods section. Get the plastic container of "Pasta Primavera" or something similar. Nuke it until just warm. This is a true approximation and not an exaggeration.

This is where I should have spoken up. But my server came to ask how everything was only one forkful after another server delivered it to my table. Only enough time for me to say, "I don't like it" and not explain why I don't like it, which is essential for me to send something back. So I nodded while I chewed. She didn't return again until it was clear that I had eaten all I was going to eat. I declined the coffee and dessert offer.

When it came time for the check ($19.47 including tax and an iced tea), and I left $30 so I can have proper change to leave a tip. She brought $10 back to me instead of $10.53. I would understand this (rather small) oversight if the place
was busy and she was swamped, but at this time I was the only customer there.

Your mileage may vary, but I can't think of any redeeming qualities that would make me want to return or consider another chance for them. After all, I paid $20 for that experience and boy do I feel taken. Perhaps it's because I'm spoiled knowing what a $9 chicken can taste like! The place gave me an "aura of bad feeling." I can safely say I will not return there.
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#2 hm212

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Posted 24 August 2005 - 04:46 PM

Something I once had to say about Chef Geoff's which still is the worse place/meal I've ever had in DC:

Today I visited Chef Geoff’s Downtown for lunch, and it falls into the latter categories.

The dish was sauced to death with a cloying sweet and acidic vinegar mixture that overwhelmed and overpowered everything (save the grape tomatoes which had enough of its own flavorful acid to fight through this mess). The asiago cheese on this dish looked like it had come from one of those plastic containers of shredded (as opposed to grated) parmesan at the supermarket.

I was at the uptown version last night - It really sucked. I tried to like it, but I just didn't. I was there once before and had a great meal. Last night yuck!

I had the calamari appetizer, they used a brown sugar sauce. It really did not work. I had the pork tenderloin and also the sauce killed it. It was a combo of hot and sweet and yes overpowered a great tenderloin.

#3 brr

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Posted 24 August 2005 - 09:15 PM

went to the orig location once - never again - insipid, dull boring food - worst butternut squash soup ever - whatever it tasted of, it wasn't squash

as CrescentFresh said, so bad theres no point even complaining

#4 Kanishka

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Posted 24 August 2005 - 10:10 PM

A voice of semi-dissent: Though I've never had anything else at Chef Geoff's, the $5 burger and half price wine deal on the last Monday of the month is really quite good. The burger has two kinds of cheese and bacon, and though not the pinnacle of burgerhood, it's pretty darn tasty. And they serve nice and huge beers if you're not in the mood for wine with your burger.

But I think given comments here I'll stay away from everything else on the menu.

#5 TinDC

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Posted 25 August 2005 - 09:52 AM

I think the new restaurant by Chef Geoff's is going to be called Lia's.

I have to say, I have sort of "come around" to Chef Geoff's. At first, I really tried to like it because it is in the neighborhood, but I couldn't find anything on the menu that I liked.

Lately, though, I have been pleased with some of the things I have eaten. It can be hit or miss, but the $25 "Summer Sizzler" is a good deal. Soup or salad, any entree and any dessert. I have been a couple of times and have enjoyed it. Last time I was there, I had a corn truffle bisque that was pretty good. And all of the desserts I have had were quite good: peach/raspberry cobbler with butter pecan ice cream, a mint chocolate cake with choc chip mint ice cream, etc.

#6 vsky

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Posted 25 August 2005 - 10:06 AM

I have been to the New Mexico (or AU) loc many times as I work next door and only downtown once… I almost always get the burger (overcooked once but didn’t have time for a refire and it was still tasty) the fries are consistently crisp and I’m usually content with the salads, nothing noteworthy either way…
In a triumph of marketing in the downtown location I convinced the BF and I to a Sunday brunch (some coupon thing…).
Decided on steak and eggs, and ordered my eggs “sunny side” instead of over easy as listed, after my BF (basically) explained this…
Sunny-Side Up: The egg is never flipped. The yolk is a bright yellow hemisphere sitting in the middle of the pristine white. The yolk is liquid, and some of the white around the yolk may have a jelly-like consistency.
Over Easy: The egg is flipped briefly. The yolk does not stand out as strikingly, but is still liquid. The white is no longer liquid. Being paranoid like I am I cut first into my steak – whaddya know it was med-well/well, before touching anything else I slipped my steak onto a bread plate to send back…
After a very long time I found someone who went to find someone who got lost…
Then I found my server myself and asked for a MR steak - okay fine.
Then I went for my eggs, they were…
Over Hard: The white is firm, the yolk is a lighter color and flakey.
Oh boy, BF convinced me to flag down server and get some new eggs, so poor guy probably wanted to stay as far from the table as possible… Then I hear behind us the server and chef of some type (sous or exec?) discussing what I really wanted behind me – chef asking server what exactly I said for the eggs….
At some point I got a MR steak which was good, the runny eggs, and cold potatoes (whatever I was not making a 3rd complaint – no way…)
Anyway – that was my one time deal with the Chef Geoff’s brunch (We went to Georgia Brown’s for Valentines which was fabulous – and only made this seem more ridiculous…) we didn’t stick it to the server with bad tip (he probably worked harder on us anyway), but I hope that the fact that I had to send back my one dish in courses helps for more clarity in the future….

#7 giant shrimp

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Posted 25 August 2005 - 10:20 AM

we went to the new mexico restaurant twice this late spring and early summer and found the food edible but suffering from some basic problems (oversalting) suggesting that there was nobody at home in the kitchen. we did shy away from anything that sounded too complicated. the service, on the other hand, was the dopiest on earth. for our second meal we had two servers, one breaking the other in, but both were clueless. if you don't want to bother running two restaurants, why bother opening a third? this place is just sitting back and raking it in.

#8 cjsadler

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Posted 25 August 2005 - 10:54 AM

I have to semi-dissent here too. I've been quite a Chef Geoff's basher in the past, and certainly know the complaints everyone has, but one night last summer, I went with some friends who like to go to the N. Mexico location. Expecting a lame meal, I was instead served the best pork chop I've ever had in a restaurant, over some great cheese grits (everything else was quite good too). A strange anomaly? The presence of Geoff? Who knows? Wildly inconsistent for sure.

I also had an incredible tea smoked pork tenderloin with blueberry bbq sauce at the downtown location a couple years ago-- this was the work of Johnny Monis when he was there.

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#9 laniloa

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Posted 25 August 2005 - 11:24 AM

I used to go to the New Mexico location on occasion because it is around the corner from home. The food really went downhill and the only thing I'd go back for was the burger special. Its been about a year since I did that though. I have a work thing at the downtown location tonight.

#10 Michael Landrum

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Posted 27 January 2006 - 02:30 PM

I was instead served the best pork chop I've ever had in a restaurant, over some great cheese grits (everything else was quite good too).   A strange anomaly?  The presence of Geoff?  Who knows?  

I think that no stronger proof of Don's argument exists than this. When a chef is present in his proudly eponymous restaurant, the mind reels at the greatness possible.

#11 Joe Riley

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Posted 02 March 2006 - 01:39 AM

While a huge number of Rockwellians were taking part in the Corduroy dinner, I was yakking it up with Randall Grahm, winemaker and president-for-life of Bonny Doon Vineyards at Chef Geoff's downtown (1301 Penn Ave NW).

Geoff Tracy served us up 10 courses and we had 10 excellent wine pairings:

Moonfish Sashimi with Wasabi Aioli and Baked Wonton Crackers, served with Bonny Doon Pacific Rim Chenin Blanc 2004

Raw bar with littlenecks, Kumomotos, Langoustines and Sambal Cocktail Sauce, served with Ca' Del Solo Malvasia Bianca '04

Wild Rockfish with Chinese Black Rice and Blood Orange Mirin Sauce, served with Il Circo Moscato d'Asti 2004

New England Lobster Roll with Mache Salad and Old Bay Potato Chips, served with Il Circo Erbaluce 2004

Speck, Bresaola and Prosciutto with Handmad eMozzarella and Ciabatta, served with Ca' Del Solo Sangiovese "Il Fiasco" 2004

Chestnut Stuffed Quail with Creamy Polenta and Crispy Pancetta, served with Bonny Doon Le Cigare Volant 2002

Pork Shank Ravioli with Swiss Chard, Pomegranates and Mushroom Demiglace, served with Il Circo Montepulciano 2003

Slow Braised Veal Cheek with Cherry Couscous and Almonds, served with Bonny Doon "Old Telegram" Mourvedre 2003

Mascarpone Cheese Cake with Pistachios, Apricots and Chestnut Honey, served with Bonny Doon Muscate Vin de Glacière 2004

Chocolate Hazelnut Soufflé cake with Raspberries and Chocolate Mendiant, served with Bonny Doon Bouteille Call Syrah Port (which has 4% Rasperries in it!)

Just getting to spend the evening chatting with Randall made this one of the great wine nights of my life. I've been to two wine dinners with him before, many years ago when I used to work wine wholesale and my company sold his wines.

Randall was my first wine-hero, the principal person responsible for my entering the wine trade. He instilled a sense of evangelical zeal deep within my soul that I've carries with me ever since. He seemed well and in fine fettle and I thoroughly enjoyed myself.

I've not dined at Chef Geoff's downtown before, and only a few times at the original location (he's opening a new one in Silver Spring very soon, too) but everything here tonight was delightful. I nary heard a discouraging word, just lots of yummy sounds from people.

Once again, I leap to the fore to defend the iconoclastic wines of Bonny Doon. Everything we drank tonight was both interesting and useful, and so much more than just pleasant wine in clever packaging. The "Euro-doon" wines were lots of fun, Le Cigare Volant was as pleasant as possible, the Bouteille Call Syrah Port was scrumptious and I'm too tired to go into greater detail tonight.

Suffice it to say that I think that these wines are interesting, these wines are compelling and they are worth your time, money and drinking dollars.

Chef Geoff's has inspired me to think about a return visit soon, perhaps when the patio opens up to the outside,

By the way, the place was packed, 130 diners. Geoff had to close the restaurant for this gig.

Edited by Joe Riley, 02 March 2006 - 01:40 AM.

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#12 JPW

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Posted 02 March 2006 - 08:52 AM

(he's opening a new one in Silver Spring very soon, too)

Do tell more.

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#13 TinDC

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Posted 01 April 2006 - 05:34 PM

I ate at Chef Geoff's on New Mexico Ave. last night. They have a GREAT patio and last night was the perfect night to enjoy it.
I have always said that the food there is hit or miss. For example, last time I went, I ordered a chicken penne and it was a miss. WAY too much onion, I mean piles of them.
But last night I had a great appetizer: wild mushroom gnocchi with fontina sauce. This consisted of sauteed wild mushrooms, gnocchi and a delicious, rich fontina sauce. The gnocchi were firm, but not at all gummy. If this is any indication of what will be served at the new Lia's, I am looking forward to it.

#14 LaShanta

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Posted 04 May 2006 - 12:57 PM

Greetings fellow Foodies!!

(Wow, I'm really getting the hang of this whole posting thing! It's almost addictive!!)

Anyway, I’m being dragged to Chef Geoff’s tonight for dinner before going to the National Theater. Haven’t been there before. Any suggestions on things I must have or things to stay away from?

Peace & Blessings,

LaShanta

"One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well." --Virginia Woolf


#15 mdt

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Posted 04 May 2006 - 01:01 PM

Greetings fellow Foodies!!

(Wow, I'm really getting the hang of this whole posting thing! It's almost addictive!!)

You have no idea... :)

#16 cjsadler

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Posted 04 May 2006 - 01:05 PM

The $5 happy-hour burger is not bad.

Chris Sadler


#17 Jacques Gastreaux

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Posted 04 May 2006 - 02:21 PM

I'd start with the filet of ventworm nut (medium rare) accompanied by a bottle of the 1996 Martian pig slop from Hell. I hear they go well together.
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#18 LaShanta

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Posted 05 May 2006 - 08:29 AM

My experience at Chef Geoff's last night was terrible. The best thing about the night was the iced tea.

OK, maybe I'm exaggerating a bit, but the entrees were terrible. I ordered the paella and it was swimming in saffron. WAAAYYYY too overpowering. Also, my boyfriend got the duck special, which came with a bunch of peppers and some green guacamole-type of sauce on it. The duck may have actually tasted OK if we could have actually TASTED it—if it hadn’t been overwhelmed by piles of vegetables. There was so much going on on the plate that I couldn't make head nor tails of any of it.

Highlights -- calamari/shrimp appetizer and the caramel apple cake (actually the cake was a bit dry, but the ice cream and the candied walnuts compensated).

My advice -- stick to the happy hour and don't venture into the more substantive dishes, especially not for the prices they charge.

To management's credit, they did send someone out and ask why I was not eating my entree and they ended up taking it off the bill. (I literally had 2 forkfuls.) I would have gladly ordered something else if I had the time, but the waitress did not come to check on me until everyone in my party had already finished their meals!

Also, though the happy hour menu and discounts seemed promising, it is terribly, terribly loud in there. So if you do go, be sure to bring your outside voice.

Overview -- Highly disappointed and would never recommend to anyone (even enemies).

Peace & Blessings,

LaShanta

"One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well." --Virginia Woolf


#19 Jacques Gastreaux

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Posted 05 May 2006 - 09:38 AM

So, I see you took my advice. :)
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#20 Barbara

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Posted 05 May 2006 - 10:09 AM

I'd consider this as taking one for the team. Many thanks.

#21 B.A.R.

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Posted 05 May 2006 - 12:51 PM

Chef Geoff's should be commended for being proactive about the disappointment with your entree. Granted, actually, you know, eating your dinner surely would have been preferrable, but many places would not have noticed/cared that you were unhappy with your meal.

And many more places might have noticed, and still done nothing.

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#22 pidgey

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Posted 05 May 2006 - 02:55 PM

I live pretty near the AU location, and the only time we go to Chef Geoff's these days is in nice weather when the patio's open. Why? Because the wait is insane otherwise. An hour and a half to eat mediocre food? I don't think so.

I have to say, the burger is pretty tasty, especially for $5 during happy hours, although I would pay regular price since burgers in that neighborhood are few and far between. But do you know what the strange thing is? They don't serve the burger for Sunday brunch, which goes until 3 pm. (Actually, the time we went I think it was a Saturday, this was late last fall, so I don't know if they changed their Saturday menu, but I don't see the burger on their Sunday brunch menu now).

Haven't been there in several months now, and don't know when we'll go again....

#23 Audrey2025

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Posted 02 June 2006 - 03:40 PM

Visited the downtown location today, and to the food, the atmosphere, and the service, I say: Meh.

#24 JLK

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Posted 16 July 2006 - 10:00 AM

How's brunch at Chef Geoff's? The menu strikes me as fussy, but a friend just picked it so off I go.

Jennifer


#25 CrescentFresh

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Posted 16 July 2006 - 11:33 AM

How's brunch at Chef Geoff's? The menu strikes me as fussy, but a friend just picked it so off I go.

Never had it....but I'd be willing to bet that when you're done with it, you'll have wished you packed a cooler ahead of time and brought it with you. If you stick to bottled goods that they open in front of you, you'll probably be okay. :unsure:
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#26 JLK

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Posted 16 July 2006 - 01:08 PM

I'd put it in my Not Recommended category. The menu was the first sign o' trouble. I was put off by the first item on the men, a "strawberry cheesecake waffle" that included strawberry compote AND cream cheese sauce AND graham cracker crumbles. There was also a chocolate chip waffle option, however strangely enough, Chef Geoff's does not offer a plain old waffle.

Anyway, my friend picked it and I didn't want be bossy so I went. He tolerates my food obsessions (e.g., "grits at Colorado Kitchen NOW!") frequently enough so we met there at noon. We ate at the bar as we often do. We enjoy chatting with most bar staff, however Chef Geoff's barman today definitely fell short on charm. Whatever, on to the food.

They make a decent latte, and were good about refilling my friend's coke. That was the good part. The bad part was the food. After learning that the French toast with apple compote ($11.95 with "roasted" sausage) was not available (did they, um, run out of bread????), I ordered the biscuits and gravy with home fries ($12.95) and my friend had the Texas scramble (again, $12.95).

We both had regrets. My friend's dish must have had between six and eight eggs in addition to chorizo, black beans, salsa, sour cream and tortilla chips. It was huge and overwhelming and not very good. Frankly I was tempted to try to change his mind when he ordered. :unsure: My own choice stemmed from the hope-against-hope that Chef Geoff's version might be even half as good as the same dish at Majestic Cafe; it was not. Instead of the lovely crumbly sausage offered at Majestic, Chef Geoff's version arrives with slices of sausage links that immediately made me think of the franks in franks & beans. But the real problem was the unbearable saltiness of the dish and the leaden biscuits. I could not cut one of the two without a knife. Not a good sign.

Ah well...live and learn.

Jennifer


#27 Jacques Gastreaux

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Posted 16 July 2006 - 04:19 PM

Instead of the lovely crumbly sausage offered at Majestic, Chef Geoff's version arrives with slices of sausage links that immediately made me think of the franks in franks & beans. But the real problem was the unbearable saltiness of the dish and the leaden biscuits. I could not cut one of the two without a knife. Not a good sign.

Let me see if I understand this correctly and just to be sure that there is no mistake here: The bisquits and gravy was made with sliced link sausage???? Why, I've never heard of such a thing.
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#28 JLK

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Posted 16 July 2006 - 04:41 PM

Yes, I was disappointed too. Must have been the same "roasted" sausage advertised as a side. I'm still guzzling water from the dish's saltiness.

Jennifer


#29 Pool Boy

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Posted 16 July 2006 - 04:48 PM

I ate there once, at the downtown location, with some wino friends. It was OK, but nothing special. The service was not good or bad, but maybe a bit slow. But with wino pals, the wine bottles keep getting opened so it's hard to care at that point.

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#30 JLK

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Posted 16 July 2006 - 06:10 PM

It's very hard to picture Chef Monis cooking at Chef Geoff's.

Jennifer


#31 Michael Landrum

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Posted 16 July 2006 - 06:23 PM

It's very hard to picture Chef Monis cooking at Chef Geoff's.

Try to picture him cooking in a tight tank-top and leather pants. It gets easier.

#32 Ferhat Yalcin

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Posted 16 July 2006 - 06:42 PM

After learning that the French toast with apple compote ($11.95 with "roasted" sausage) was not available (did they, um, run out of bread????),

restaurants (either very good or terrible) may run out of things anytime . this is as normal as breathing air. I dont think any restaurant holds an 18-wheeler in front of its loading dock fully loaded with bread or tomatoes.

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#33 TinDC

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Posted 16 July 2006 - 06:57 PM

Chef Geoff has been advertising their $25 "summer sizzler". Any soup or salad, entree and dessert. Even if the food is not fabulous, it is still a good deal.

#34 CrescentFresh

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Posted 16 July 2006 - 07:22 PM

Even if the food is not fabulous, it is still a good deal.

I apologize for this sounding so blunt, but along that logic, so is McDonald's Dollar Menu. :unsure:
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#35 TinDC

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Posted 17 July 2006 - 08:00 AM

Yeah, I agree, but I just thought I would pass along the info. And they have a nice patio...

#36 pidgey

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Posted 27 February 2007 - 10:56 AM

Well, Chef Geoff has done it again. The downtown location recently unveiled a new menu, with more than 50 items on it. Included on the menu are the new "Simple Meats"...at steakhouse prices, with steakhouse accoutrements (read: no sides included). For example, you can order Ribeye Steak with Zinfandel Jus for $29.95. If you want such sides as "tempura onion rings," its an additional $5.95. Its like Chef Geoff woke up one day and said, "How can I make this location even more mediocre?"

Despite the fact that my husband really wanted a steak last night, I told him that its probably a rip off, and we both got the burger. I passed on the "chipotle mayo" that's now apparently a standard on the burger. The kitchen apparently mixed up our burgers, because I got his medium rare and he got my medium. And we were both surprised that lettuce and onion no longer appear on the burger (just tomato and pickle, and of course bacon and cheese).

In fairness, the specials seemed to be at more reasonable prices, ranging from $16.95 to $31.95 (that would be the ribeye), more in line with the old menu.

On the plus side, half price wine night is now apparently every Monday at the downtown location, and happy hour is extended all evening on Mondays and Tuesdays. But the wine list seems to be very pricey as well...only a few wines were in the $20 range, with most of the wines more in the $40-$60 range.

The new menu does not seem to affect the New Mexico location. If I go to the downtown location again, I'll sit in the bar.

#37 dinwiddie

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Posted 27 February 2007 - 10:45 PM

I've eaten at the downtown location a couple of times. It wasn't bad, but not at all memorable. I tried to have lunch at the New Mexico location once, but after sitting at a table for 15 minutes without even getting a menu or some water, I got up and left.

#38 rdg

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Posted 28 February 2007 - 12:49 AM

the $5 burgers are the only reason to visit. i'd never go in the place if it weren't for their happy hour.

#39 vsky

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Posted 17 March 2007 - 12:48 PM

Greek Pizza at the New Mexico Location. I've posted earlier about my mixed feelings at their other location, but this pizza was a winner last night. Goat cheese, sweet and hot peppers (banana), tomato and red onion on a thin crust. I can't describe very well why I liked it so much but I guess it was the flavor of the cheese combined with the heat of the peppers. I've always though their pizza was just okay,like the steak and gorgonzola but upon comparison I realize that's just too heavy and the flavor in the Greek is much more balanced. The only down side was that 2 of the 6 pieces had bad crust (too much) to toppings (too little) ratio (but my BF got stuck with those anyway) Just a thought if you find yourself in the neighborhood. And since I've worked next door for five years (and probably a few more) I'm happy to have my new go-to order :-)

#40 collije

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Posted 21 March 2007 - 03:52 PM

Yeah, have others have suggested the $5 Happy Hour burger special is about the only appealing thing there [well, besides the Happy Hour beer specials lol, they're huge!].

#41 DanielK

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Posted 11 September 2007 - 10:52 PM

Needing a place to have a < 1 hour meal with kids before a show at the Warner tonight, and not wanting to eat at the National Place food court, we decided to give Chef Geoff's a try.

Meh. Not terrible, but nothing special.

An appetizer of Fried Ipswitch Clams was actually quite good. Great tasting clams, and the batter was still hot and crispy when they arrived. However, it was a pretty measly portion size for $13 (filled a small martini glass) - probably half the size of the appetizer portion of the same dish at Legal Seafood a few blocks away, at roughly the same price.

The Hummus Three Ways was boring. Tasteless regular hummus that needed garlic, oil, or ANY kind of seasoning, a spicy red pepper hummus that tasted only of crushed red pepper flakes, and an olive spread that was actually pretty tasty. The pita it was served with was excellent, though, warm and just a touch toasted.

The kids had kid pasta and pizza. Both were happy, though neither looked to be anything special. I didn't try them.

I had a grilled hangar steak with chimmichurri sauce, and a side of mashed potatoes. The hanger was very tasty, and though it came rare instead of the medium-rare I ordered, that's fine with me. The chimmichurri could have used a bit more kick, but the mashed potatoes were awful. Tasteless and gummy, they needed a whole lot of salt and pepper to even get a few bites down.

My wife had the "Jumbo Shrimp and Very Gouda Grits w/Peppers and Tomatoes". The grits were great, with just enough Gouda to make you remember that it's there, without overpowering. The veggies and accompanying sauce were just sweet enough to engage with the grits and shrimp, and very plentiful. The half-dozen large shrimp, were, unfortunately, mostly devoid of taste.

Prices aren't low, so I certainly wouldn't put in a regular rotation, but if I were dragged there, I'd find something to eat. Total for 2 apps, 2 entrees, 2 kid meals, and 4 soft drinks was $90 before tax and tip. I've had far better meals for far less money, even downtown.

#42 jigones

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Posted 08 November 2007 - 11:25 PM

It sucks that my second posting is a negative one, but the restaurant made me do it. :P Here is the story. My wife and I are searching for a rehearsal dinner spot. I meet with the coordinator and went over pricing. While I was not expecting the best food in the world, the location, and private room made it very attractive. All they had to do was convince me that the food was remotely decent. However, it was terrible. I made better meals in college, so consider this place wants to be considered high scale and charges some hefty price, here it goes:

Food:

Me-hanger steak medium rare with chimichurri sauce:I am not sure if the cook was color blind, but it was burned on the outside and on the verge of mooing at me. Since the steak was already cut into slices, how can an experienced cook send it out of the kitchen this rare?!?!?! Since it was warm, I did not send it back (with the meat turnover they have, chances are I will not get too sick :blink:) Further, I have no idea what the sauce was, but it was not "chimichurri." It actually tasted nothing like chimicurri. While I do not have the most sophisticated palette, it certainly did not taste like it contained any of the chimichurri ingredients either. Maybe I should hold a class to teach them how to make proper chimichurri sauce. I was expecting an explosion of taste, but got a bland rare chunk on meat. While I am from Argentina and a steak snob, I will never take a cooking class there....ever...or hold an event. Gets worse...

Friend- Pork Chop: It came out soooooooo raw that they waitress wanted to ensure he did not take a bite of it. It was still cold in the middle. He was so hungry that he got the Fettuccine (they also told him it was the quickest dish.) Decent, but it tasted like a lean cuisine. Now, while I think too many people expect to be comped for small items too often, if you mess up an order that bad, you have to comp it. Well, it was not. Further, he got mashed potatoes to eat with the pork and was still charged for them, but there was no pork to go with it.

Wife- Trout: It was bland and the only thing that made it remotely edible was the sauce on the side.

Service

Waitress and greeter were cordial, but to eager to push the extras (a big no-no for me.) I usually eat at least a 5 course meal with lots of alcohols and digestives, but not when you push me.

Other

Cheese selection was extremely limited.

Their alcohol pricing made no sense, GM 150 1 ounce pour as part of the GM flyer was relatively cheap.

Appetizers, gnochi were very good and so were the fried tomatoes.

These are my worthless two cents. While I am sure there are equally good experiences, they just lost a lot of my business.
Do not forget the flour.....

#43 Tweaked

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Posted 02 June 2008 - 09:37 AM

Gulp...at the risk of being forever mocked and yes, perhaps, ostracized...I dined at Chef Geoff's Downtown last night...AND ENJOYED IT!

ok, first let me set the scene: it was only a quick snack after an afternoon of shopping and wandering around downtown...we sat outside on their little balcony and the weather was beautiful...there was a parade of fabulously dressed people going to some gala thing which made for fun people watching...so a lot was going in their favor!

the duck spring rolls were nice and crispy and the hoisin BBQ sauce sweet and spicy (3 for $11)
the prosciutto, manchego, asparagus brushetta was piled high and drizzled with olive oil and a reduced balsamic (1 for $8)

a couple beers rounded out a pleasant hour at Chef Geoffs.

There, I said it! :lol:
Meat is Murder...Tasty Tasty Murder

#44 DanielK

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Posted 14 April 2009 - 10:59 PM

I've heard Geoff Tracy is taking over the Colvin Run Tavern space - true or false? If so, he's quietly becoming one of the biggest restaurateurs in town.

Can anyone report on anything good, interesting, or culinarily worthwhile at any of his restaurants? Quite honestly, I have never heard one good thing about any of them, except the "happy hour hamburger," which isn't much of a draw for me. Still, I'm more than ready to give them another try, and would like nothing more than to write about something great. But what, and where?

Cheers,
Rocks.

I've been, once each, to 3 of his places (downtown, NM Ave, Lia's), and couldn't recommend anything I ate to anyone. Mediocre food at best, at a higher-than-expected price point.

#45 Adam23

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Posted 15 April 2009 - 09:46 AM

I've been, once each, to 3 of his places (downtown, NM Ave, Lia's), and couldn't recommend anything I ate to anyone. Mediocre food at best, at a higher-than-expected price point.

I concur. His places are ok and I always somehow end up at them with a group of people looking for a "cheap" place that isn't Clydes or TGI Fridays. And then I leave with a bigger bill than I hoped and mediocre food. His burger is decent though and the price is right for happy hour.

#46 Pool Boy

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Posted 15 April 2009 - 10:14 AM

I've been, once each, to 3 of his places (downtown, NM Ave, Lia's), and couldn't recommend anything I ate to anyone. Mediocre food at best, at a higher-than-expected price point.

I've been to one of his locations twice I think with some wine buddies, most recently probably 3 years or so ago. 'Meh' is what I say. Not bad stuff, just not memorable by any stretch of the imagination.

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#47 qwertyy

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Posted 15 April 2009 - 11:05 AM

The happy hour burger is indeed a steal, but the downtown Chef Geoff's has become such a nightmare if you arrive any time after 4pm that we've stricken it from our list.

It remains, however, boss's favorite destination for special occasion lunches, which is good for the sole reason that it's not Aria. Whenever we go, it seems that the rest of the table enjoys their meals, and I get the stinker. (Or maybe my colleagues just have bad taste and they're all bad dishes, but I'm trying to think positive.)

Last time, I got the BBQ pulled chicken sandwich with sweet potato fries. The rest of the table's food was well-portioned and attractive; mine arrived last and was such a behemoth car wreck that a few of my companions actually whispered "jeez." (Exactly what you want for a business lunch, right?) The eight-inch sub roll was overflowing with bad-quality chicken, doused in sickly sour-sweet sauce and topped with a massive heap of frizzled onions. How exactly does one eat that when not at a picnic table covered in newspaper? Well, first embarrassingly, and then with a fork. But it was unsatisfying enough that I gave up after a short while and just ate the limp, tasteless fries.

Two desserts were unmemorable but for the hint of freezer-burn they left on the palate.

I'm just going to get a salad next time.

#48 stockwatch

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Posted 14 July 2009 - 05:43 PM

Anyone been to the Tyson's location yet?

#49 Ericandblueboy

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Posted 15 July 2009 - 08:26 AM

Anyone been to the Tyson's location yet?

Menu reads like upscale Cheesecake Factory (lots of choices and all over the map)...we got a coupon for the Tysons branch, probably will use it and see what Chef Geoff is all about. It's been awhile since I've been to Hermes (still can't afford anything in there though).

#50 Stacey

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Posted 18 July 2009 - 09:51 AM

Anyone been to the Tyson's location yet?

We went to the Tyson's location yesterday and opted for the valet parking (2.00 added to your ck at the end of the meal...) we waited about 5 to 10 minutes for a table after a bit I mentioned that we can do a half booth I just need the short chairs for my comfort, if we wanted the "high chairs" we could have sat right away. We were greeted cordially by what I may assume is the General Manager and the two ladies in charge of seating. We waited by the bar and 2 bar staff offered us assistance which we declined but accepted menus to browse while waiting... finally we were seated.

We shared 3 appetizers since we couldn't make up our minds. The Truffle Parmesan popcorn (yes, it was popcorn!) it actually tasted very nice. Mini duck corn dogs (yummy and sort of hot-dog-type but a bit hard to eat on a stick) with a purple mustard (The mustard is VERY spicy - think chinese mustard or horseradish bumped up) it cleared my sinuses in mere seconds... and lastly the trio of hummus with pita and olives. The hummus with red peppers was very nicely made the rest were standard fare.

Next we ordered our main courses.

Hubby got the super tuscan burger ordered it medium well it came out medium rare. I got the chicken with goat cheese, red peppers and bacon with a side of sweet potato fries. Mine tasted pretty good but I could not tell if the chicken was a tiny bit "pink" or if it was the red peppers... I hoped for the best since it did look cooked to both of us.

(yes, I got a bit ill in the wee hours but maybe the chicken WAS pink or maybe I wasn't used to all the rich food after dieting all week.)
For dessert we shared since we couldn't make up our minds. We had their "in house home-made" well... according to our waiter/server Michael.. ice cream/sorbet trio - hubby got the blueberry sorbet, vanilla bean and also toasted almond ice creams and I opted for their lava cake with chocolate ice cream on the side of it. We shared it all and we both felt the ice creams were on par with Haagen Daz or better.

They had bread with a pomegranate/red pepper spread that kept getting refilled. The service was very good and they kept my glass full which to me is always a plus, especially on a 90 degree day!

I got my doggy bag from what was left of our meals and added some of the bread that was left to it and we trotted out the door on our merry way.

We would definitely go here again!* There were really no major faux pas or negatives with the tiny exception of being a bit pricy... the location is lovely and easy to get to from Route 7 in the Tyson's corner area.

(*and if I order chicken next time, I may re-check it in case it was the chicken that upset my tummy)
Stacey from Reston VA
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