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Ripple, Local and Seasonal in Cleveland Park - Chef Marjorie Meek-Bradley Comes from Graffiato, Replacing Logan Cox

Cleveland Park Modern American Local and Seasonal Farm to Table Cocktails

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#1 hungry prof

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Posted 01 June 2010 - 09:04 AM

My sister-in-law, a denizen of Cleveland Park, asked me if I had heard anything about a new place called Ripple in the old Aroma space in Cleveland Park. She said the posted menu looks interesting. Metrocurean has the scoop. A bit surprised that this seems to have gone unnoticed on dr.com given the pedigrees of the team behind it. Anybody go on a scouting trip this past weekend?

[ETA: oops--looks like the tag line got cut off in the title of the thread; should be "from our back yard." I assume Don will change the title of the thread anyway. smile.gif ]



#2 Sthitch

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Posted 01 June 2010 - 09:18 AM

I can't be the only person that thought Fred Sanford when I saw the name of this place.

#3 goodeats

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Posted 01 June 2010 - 09:52 AM

Walked by yesterday and saw a few families waiting for all of their party to arrive for a reservation. Thought it was nice to have nettle soup and some sort of delicious-sounding pork belly on the menu, but that was all I had to time to see.

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#4 Rovers2000

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Posted 01 June 2010 - 09:55 AM

I can't be the only person that thought Fred Sanford when I saw the name of this place.

It actually made me think of the Grateful Dead...

Dave

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#5 Jessica Strelitz

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Posted 02 June 2010 - 01:19 PM

It actually made me think of the Grateful Dead...

Me too! One of my favorite songs. Any early reports?

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#6 DonRocks

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Posted 18 June 2010 - 07:34 PM

It actually made me think of the Grateful Dead...

Breaking

"yep," I typed.

I looked up, and she was in the crosswalk.

She had stepped out in a walker, purple hair, but purple only because of decades of Clairol, or Dippity-Do, or whatever some of these old, gray-haired ladies use to keep their hair from turning into a silvery white, for as long as they possibly can.

I mashed the brake. I had only been driving about 25 mph, but damned if the thing didn't skid anyway, just for a few feet. She disappeared under the car.

A full stop. Then, I pulled the emergency brake with my right hand, and opened the door with my left. Got out, and flew around to the front. There she was, lying in the road, with her eyes closed. Her walker was several feet off to the side.

"Ma'am?"

Nothing.

I put my hands on her face. "Ma'am?" I gently slapped her cheek with three fingers. "Ma'am? Are you okay?"

Slowly - it took forever - she managed to open her eyes.

"You hit me," she said.

"Yes."

"Why?"

"I couldn't stop."

There was an almost endless silence.

"Help me up."

I did.

"And get me my walker."

"We should get you to the hos..."

"GET me my walker."

I picked it up, and placed it right in front of her. She was facing the wrong way, but slowly turned around, still directly in front of the car. A crowd had begun to gather. She started shuffling across the street once again, this time with me as an escort, like a grand showman, stopping any cars that would dare approach the white line. The stoplight turned twice during the crossing, but no car breached the intersection. We got to the other side of the road.

She shimmied up the little ramp, then slowly turned around.

"Thank you," she said.

"I'm sorry, ma'am. Are you sure you're alright? Is there anything else I can do?

"Were you using your cell phone?" she asked.

"No. But I was half-responding to a text message,"

She looked at me, her eyes fallen, her face a mixture of anger and disappointment, and she said, in a voice that I'll never forget

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#7 SeanMike

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Posted 06 July 2010 - 11:31 PM

Went there tonight.

Drinks: I wasn't overly impressed with the mixed drinks. The wine that Quentin suggested for me was fantastic though (and I didn't note it, well, because I'm lazy).

I had the charcuterie and some cheese. The cheeses were all fine, nothing spectacular, but he pushed me always from the chicken liver to the duck liver and I have to say...

OMG get the duck liver.

That was by far the highlight of that meal.

Everything else was good, but that was GREAT. I had a blue cheese, a gouda, and a cheddar, plus 24 month prosciutto and the pig's head something-or-another. None of them bad - just the duck liver blew 'em all away.

And his wine selection was superb.

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#8 Joe Riley

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Posted 30 July 2010 - 02:12 PM

The homemade Pappardelle and rabbit was unbelievably delicious. I also very much like the frites.

Theo Rutherford is doing quite an interesting cocktail program. He's got a Bulleit Bourbon-based drink in the works which I got to try at 95% completion (Theo is still awaiting a finishing component to arrive). It will be awesome.

That wine list looks extensive and most compelling.

I had a theory that their degree of business is greatly affected by the movie playing across the street at the Uptown. "Inception" is playing right now, and so there are a lot of 20's/30's in the neighborhood as a result, whereas a recent run of "Twilight" skews too young to bring business across the street. So before you venture out to try Ripple, you might check the movie listings first just to give yourself a broad gauge of the crowd size to expect.

Ripple is a fun place to tipple :) (Oh, c'mon, you just KNOW that I had to say it...)

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#9 samsonsizzler

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Posted 31 July 2010 - 12:52 AM

stopped in there about a week ago to check out the old watering hole formerly known as "Aroma" I used to visit several years ago and was surprised to see an old coworker manning the bar! Quentin! He made some very tasty cocktails. Flames on a few of the drinks but everything was great tasting all around. You guys should check it out!
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#10 Waitman

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Posted 04 August 2010 - 08:40 PM

I can't be the only person that thought Fred Sanford when I saw the name of this place.

Confirmed tonight with a charming and adept server that the name is indeed derived from Fred Sanford's beverage of choice.

A little hit or miss , but a ton of potential food-wise -- loved the sweetbreads, Mrs. B loved the corn soup -- and a nice, unpretentious attitude (it is "Ripple," not "Montrachet," after all) towards a wine list worth exploring. The head front-of-the-house-guy (Danny?) made sure everything was OK. On a three-way charcuterie board the ringer -- the Benton "prosciutto" -- came in dead last behind house-made pig head stuff (not exactly head cheese, it seemed) and a killer chicken liver mousse. Celebs were in attendance. Going back.

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#11 mr food

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Posted 07 August 2010 - 12:04 PM

Confirmed tonight with a charming and adept server that the name is indeed derived from Fred Sanford's beverage of choice.

A little hit or miss , but a ton of potential food-wise -- loved the sweetbreads, Mrs. B loved the corn soup -- and a nice, unpretentious attitude (it is "Ripple," not "Montrachet," after all) towards a wine list worth exploring. The head front-of-the-house-guy (Danny?) made sure everything was OK. On a three-way charcuterie board the ringer -- the Benton "prosciutto" -- came in dead last behind house-made pig head stuff (not exactly head cheese, it seemed) and a killer chicken liver mousse. Celebs were in attendance. Going back.

Cocktails (and maybe a small plate) at Ripple next Wednesday before Dino. Roger Marmet is a nice guy and I'm glad his establishment appears to be settling in.

Jay Winton


#12 qwertyy

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Posted 10 August 2010 - 09:01 PM

Confirmed tonight with a charming and adept server that the name is indeed derived from Fred Sanford's beverage of choice.

A little hit or miss , but a ton of potential food-wise -- loved the sweetbreads, Mrs. B loved the corn soup -- and a nice, unpretentious attitude (it is "Ripple," not "Montrachet," after all) towards a wine list worth exploring. The head front-of-the-house-guy (Danny?) made sure everything was OK. On a three-way charcuterie board the ringer -- the Benton "prosciutto" -- came in dead last behind house-made pig head stuff (not exactly head cheese, it seemed) and a killer chicken liver mousse. Celebs were in attendance. Going back.

When I heard of this place, I immediately thought Top Secret and the Muppet Movie (even though the Muppets don't use 'ripple' I always remember it that way). This is a good thing, since Aroma held a lot of personal memories for me, and I wasn't at all happy it closed. The girls and I decided to give the new place a try nonetheless so at least we could hate it in an informed way if we were going to hate it.

But now we're kind of fans.

It's amazing what a paint job can do. The place looks the same, but good, clean, new. Three charcuterie ran 50/50 (one good, one middle, one not [Waitman said it--the prosciutto was very meh]). Three cheeses ran 100% (all of them beautifully kept--including the best Red Hawk I've had, and I've had a LOT of Red Hawk). I diverge with Waitman (or rather Mrs. B ) on the corn soup, which was really disappointing. Not only did the shrimp taste of ammonia, the broth itself tasted only of corn and sugar and was thin and wan. As a Hoosier, I'll eat corn in almost any form, but a good couple of teaspoons of salt I added in increments, this was just dull and dreary and uninteresting, and I returned three-quarters of the bowl (and was not asked why).

They also serve freshbaked cookies for dessert--which make up for in out-of-the-oven heavenly-ness what they lack in execution--and mini doughnuts--which are also imperfect but were paired with a blueberry sauce I would gladly have poured into my purse to take home.

The cocktails are excellent. (The Oscar Madison is the only drink I've had lately that I nursed slooooooowwwwly because I didn't want it to end.) And the wine deals are a real treat.

It's not Aroma, and they haven't won my loyalty back yet, but it's a neighborhood joint with neighborhood service, worthy of more visits.

#13 qwertyy

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Posted 10 August 2010 - 09:17 PM

GREAT post, qwertyy, but it deserves more than this phrase, no? I really like Ripple.

Maybe. But I've only been there once, and I'm not ready yet. When I heard that Ripple was opening, I groaned. "Oh because the one thing DC needs more of is wine, charcuterie, and small plates."

I think they do a good job at what they do, but I also think that I can find what they do, essentially, in many DC neighborhoods. I'm not sure if I were standing in front of Proof, Cork, or Vidalia that I would pop for the cab to Ripple.

ETA: Thanks. :(

#14 mr food

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Posted 13 August 2010 - 02:37 PM

Maybe. But I've only been there once, and I'm not ready yet. When I heard that Ripple was opening, I groaned. "Oh because the one thing DC needs more of is wine, charcuterie, and small plates."

I think they do a good job at what they do, but I also think that I can find what they do, essentially, in many DC neighborhoods. I'm not sure if I were standing in front of Proof, Cork, or Vidalia that I would pop for the cab to Ripple.

ETA: Thanks. :(

nice atmosphere,we didn't get to any food but the wines by the glass list is extensive. A return visit is in order,

Jay Winton


#15 sunshine

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Posted 01 October 2010 - 11:45 PM

Ripple is a wonderful addition to the neighborhood, a casual, clean, cheerful spot for snacks and libations, bonus for being kid-friendly. I don't think this is going to be a culinary wine bar destination, but it has a vibe that is appealing and earnestly tries to serve good products. The wines by the glass (6 for $6, a sparkling, some white, some red) are always interesting and great. The charcuterie (a selection of housemade and other sources like Benton's and LaQuercia), cheese and snacks (like bacon peanuts and/or bacon pecans, olives, housemade pickles) are highlights here. One can select any 3 charcuterie for $15 which is a decent value for the portions. I've tried the housemade chicken liver mousse, bresaola and Benton's 17 month-aged prosciutto - salty goodness served on a board with a few housemade pickles, accompanied by a cone of crispy flatbread crackers. I've had the saba glazed pork with tuna and thought it was just ok - the pork was delicious, the tuna bland with very little seasoning or sear. The duck with sunchokes is great, loved the slight crackle of the skin and rich sauce. Current menu has risotto with honeycrisp apples and truffle, a lobster ravioli with bisque, in addition to a brick chicken, steak, a pasta with shrimp. A la carte sides include Anson Mill grits (good), fries, red peas, a broccoli fonduta. Skip the panzanella tomato salad - it was chopped heirloom tomatoes (good) with crunchy croutons (bad) and some basil and parsley thrown on top and basically tasted like its separate parts but lacked any cohesive or distinctive flavor. As for beverages, in addition to several pages of interesting wines, there's a changing page of beer selections (6 taps, the rest bottles). Of the desserts, I've tried the chocolate cremeaux which was yummy and like a richer, darker chocolate pudding. Love the meat carving/cheese station placed near the bar and visible from the entrance. Nice alternative spot for a pre- or post- Uptown Theatre meal/drink. I hope they're doing well.

#16 KeithA

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Posted 07 October 2010 - 01:46 PM

I was at Ripple a month or so ago and I have to second the chocolate cremeux dessert - decadent and delicious. Also, enjoyed the wines steered to by the sommelier and the cheeses were pretty good too.

Ripple is a wonderful addition to the neighborhood, a casual, clean, cheerful spot for snacks and libations, bonus for being kid-friendly. I don't think this is going to be a culinary wine bar destination, but it has a vibe that is appealing and earnestly tries to serve good products. The wines by the glass (6 for $6, a sparkling, some white, some red) are always interesting and great. The charcuterie (a selection of housemade and other sources like Benton's and LaQuercia), cheese and snacks (like bacon peanuts and/or bacon pecans, olives, housemade pickles) are highlights here. One can select any 3 charcuterie for $15 which is a decent value for the portions. I've tried the housemade chicken liver mousse, bresaola and Benton's 17 month-aged prosciutto - salty goodness served on a board with a few housemade pickles, accompanied by a cone of crispy flatbread crackers. I've had the saba glazed pork with tuna and thought it was just ok - the pork was delicious, the tuna bland with very little seasoning or sear. The duck with sunchokes is great, loved the slight crackle of the skin and rich sauce. Current menu has risotto with honeycrisp apples and truffle, a lobster ravioli with bisque, in addition to a brick chicken, steak, a pasta with shrimp. A la carte sides include Anson Mill grits (good), fries, red peas, a broccoli fonduta. Skip the panzanella tomato salad - it was chopped heirloom tomatoes (good) with crunchy croutons (bad) and some basil and parsley thrown on top and basically tasted like its separate parts but lacked any cohesive or distinctive flavor. As for beverages, in addition to several pages of interesting wines, there's a changing page of beer selections (6 taps, the rest bottles). Of the desserts, I've tried the chocolate cremeaux which was yummy and like a richer, darker chocolate pudding. Love the meat carving/cheese station placed near the bar and visible from the entrance. Nice alternative spot for a pre- or post- Uptown Theatre meal/drink. I hope they're doing well.



#17 smokey

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Posted 07 October 2010 - 02:07 PM

Ugh. Reading the recent posts is giving me a case of the 'should haves.'

I went to Ripple with 3 friends ~2 months ago (I think?) and kept meaning to post and well, the road to hell and all. Of course, I can't remember a single thing that we ate. But, I do remember liking it a great deal and thinking, "I should come back here." it's got a nice vibe, I liked the waitstaff and the food was tasty and reasonably priced. The risotto our table shared was good, but I'm glad that we all shared it--it's incredibly rich. I liked the panzanella salad when I had it; perhaps the previous poster had an off night with the salad or the may be a difference between summer and October toms. i can't remember anything else I had, but, like I said, would happily go back.

It's in a location that used to be a cigar lounge and I will say that you can still smell a bit of that. But not so much that it put me off.

#18 darkstar965

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Posted 28 December 2010 - 01:22 AM

Ugh. Reading the recent posts is giving me a case of the 'should haves.'

I went to Ripple with 3 friends ~2 months ago (I think?) and kept meaning to post and well, the road to hell and all. Of course, I can't remember a single thing that we ate. But, I do remember liking it a great deal and thinking, "I should come back here." it's got a nice vibe

Same here on all the above but cut the quote after vibe because I go a different way than smokey, who liked it. Have been 2 or 3 times in the past few months. It does have a cool vibe. The charcuterie table out front is (or was) interesting. But, of course, most important is the food. Some of it approached good. Some was disappointing. I do recall the charcuterie being a bit disappointingly ordinary and undersized for the price and maybe a bit too much cleverness over flavor (one of the bigger sins with restaurants imho) Most was forgettable and I do remember feeling the portion sizes and three menu sections labeled differently than the standards of apps/starters/entree or main/second/etc all resulted in us leaving hungrier than the wallet lightness might normally indicate. Bummer--I fear it's another ok spot in a market where ok spots don't stand out, don't inspire the loyalty of other spots (even in CP) and then just fade away. Maybe will try it once more and post with some detail but those are the general recollections.

#19 qwertyy

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Posted 23 January 2011 - 01:12 PM

Ripple has officially moved up in my estimation from a place I'd go if I were in the neighborhood to one of the top contenders that spring to mind for a fun night out.

Though we'd planned to spend the evening wining and dining at Palena, an hour of generally disappointing food, service, atmosphere, and wine (yeah, I said it) pushed us to cut our losses and head down the street to Ripple. Where we were greeted by a warm, friendly host in a warm, fun atmosphere. I've said it before, and it's worth repeating: the redesign of this place is spot-on, retaining great elements like the layout of the front room and quirky bartop and adding improvements like a bright paint job and other elegant touches. Every person we talked to that night, from the hosts and the bartender to the server and the owner, had an easy smile and a friendly chat; as opposed to some places where friendliness can seem forced and arm's length, these folks seemed to genuinely enjoy their jobs--and genuinely happy that we were there.

Cocktails were almost as yummy as my last visit. That Oscar Madison is just a winner, though the bartender didn't flame my lemon peel like he had the previous time, or like he did for the neighboring table, which really pushes the drink into top-notch territory. Eh. No biggie. Still a damn good drink. The charcuterie and cheese we chose were well-made and well-stored, with a French bleu being the standout, holy-shit-can-I-rub-this-on-my-body item. I wish there were more vegetable options on the menu, as we would have liked to shared something lighter to supplement the meat and cheese, and the one salad option wasn't really blowing my skirt up. But, again--eh. No biggie.

The seem to have fixed the execution problem with the fresh baked cookies and milk, which were freaking awesome.

Strangely, for the second time that night (!), we were served a warm bottle of white wine. I don't mean we ordered it and the server came back and said, "I'm sorry we don't have that chilled. Would you like us to throw it on ice?" I mean that he brought the bottle, poured a taste and then was about to serve it when we had to intervene and mention that it was warm. But kudos to him. Not only did he put it on ice, but he brought us each half glasses of a similar wine to sip with our food until the bottle was cold, and which we found out later were unnecessarily comped. Classy. And considering that we were sitting in the front of the restauraunt and how busy and long that bar is, he did an impressive job of keeping our glasses from emptying from then on.

Two thumbs up. Full-on fan.

Note: the owner says they're expanding into the space next door, and the new room will have a slightly different vibe and include live music on the weekends.

#20 Rovers2000

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Posted 08 April 2011 - 04:35 PM

Sietsema is reporting that Logan Cox is going to be heading up the street (from New Heights) to helm the stove at Ripple at the end of April.

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#21 MMM

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Posted 13 May 2011 - 10:42 AM

Sietsema is reporting that Logan Cox is going to be heading up the street (from New Heights) to helm the stove at Ripple at the end of April.


Wondering whether this happened and if anyone has eaten there recently?

#22 giant shrimp

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Posted 13 May 2011 - 11:30 AM

Wondering whether this happened and if anyone has eaten there recently?

he started on april 28, according to ripple on facebook.

#23 Rovers2000

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Posted 13 May 2011 - 11:45 AM

It definitely happened, one of the bartenders I was talking to last Saturday when I popped in mentioned Logan being there.

I've only been at the bar for wine and charcuterie (both excellent) so don't have enough since the new chef came in for a full writeup.

Dave

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#24 ChiantiandFava

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Posted 13 May 2011 - 11:56 AM

Also heard through the grapevine that the sous chef from Cork will be heading up to Ripple in the very near future.

Perpetually reverse-commuting.


#25 porcupine

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Posted 14 May 2011 - 05:00 PM

My now-deleted reply "yes and yes" was an attempt to make a statement by saying almost nothing.

Yes, Logan Cox is now at Ripple; Steve and I ate there about a week after he started. I remember thinking that the food was all well-executed but that there was nothing particularly exciting about it. Bacon-roasted pecans were a great snack. Steve had a salt cod-filled pasta dish; I had a roasted chicken dish. A side of fries was "not worth the calories", according to Steve. I enjoyed my side of lentils du puy more than the chicken. Butterscotch pudding was a nice comfort-food kind of way to end the meal.

But this doesn't tell you much, does it? It didn't excite or interest me enough to remember any details. We left thinking that either we just didn't get it, or that we ordered the wrong things, or that we should come back in a few weeks to see if something more appealing was on the menu.

As a wine bar Ripple is probably great. It has a long list of wines by the glass, and a very good looking cheese and charcuterie selection. I suspect that if we were drinkers we'd love the place. I suspect that if we were in the mood to just hang out all evening with friends and graze for dinner and could walk there, we'd be there once a week; it seems designed for that kind of socializing.

The space is quite nice, a long and narrow bar area separated from a long and narrow dining area, with a decor that made me feel I could just settle right in and be comfy. Our waiter was great at describing the wines on the by-the-glass list; from what I overheard, other staff are, too. I think qwertyy gives a great description of the place in her second paragraph, upthread.

[any better, Don?]

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#26 DonRocks

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Posted 14 May 2011 - 08:09 PM

My now-deleted reply "yes and yes" was an attempt to make a statement by saying almost nothing.

I remember thinking that the food was all well-executed but that there was nothing particularly exciting about it. Bacon-roasted pecans were a great snack. Steve had a salt cod-filled pasta dish; I had a roasted chicken dish. A side of fries was "not worth the calories", according to Steve. I enjoyed my side of lentils du puy more than the chicken. Butterscotch pudding was a nice comfort-food kind of way to end the meal.

But this doesn't tell you much, does it?

[any better, Don?]

[yes and yes]

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#27 giant shrimp

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Posted 16 May 2011 - 07:16 AM

My now-deleted reply "yes and yes" was an attempt to make a statement by saying almost nothing.

Yes, Logan Cox is now at Ripple; Steve and I ate there about a week after he started. I remember thinking that the food was all well-executed but that there was nothing particularly exciting about it..

how about a slow cooked hen egg with small clams and hacked sardines for excitement ($11)? the egg was slow cooked, turning out somewhere between coddled and soft boiled, with lots of white and yolk left to flow. the ingredients were arranged in a bowl, so the symmetry doesn't last long. off the top of my head, i just don't associate runny eggs with fish, and the combination here was successful, with delicious flavors and some heat, and maybe a little too much salt.

a hunk of king makerel ($22) was also good, in an anchovy sauce with brownish beans lurking below and bok choy on top, again served in a white bowl, decorated with dark smears, and there's not a lot else you can do to decorate with these ingredients working with a convex surface. this fish has some muddy and oily connotations, which are dealt with ably to turn out somewhat murky meat with some rareness at its core, not the place to find pink but what is there, sort of gray, tastes good.

Quail agnolotti ($17) seemed to be up there with the clams and eggs, but i was only able to snatch one off someone else's plate. the kithcen's mission appears to be to play up flavors that push slightly into unfamiliar territory, and those here were intriguing.

A butterscotch pudding with toffee crumble ($7) had not set, but i ate it anyway. i could have chugged it, but used a spoon. (despite his refined taste, giant shrimp will happily eat just about anything.) lavender panna cotta ($8), the one taste I had, was expertly prepared, a little out there in a playground of ingredients that included, i believe, candied cilantro. I always watch out for hard sugar in my desserts because it's not good for dental work. i remember hard candy from new heights, so it's no surprise to see it cropping up here, though a little softer.

walking the distance from the packed bar to the dining room in the back, this feels like one of the longest, slimmest restaurants in the city. the banquettes are the stand out decor-wise, with patches of brightly colored cloth in patterns and juxtapositions reminiscent of what dutch designer hella jongerius puts together. the geometric red walls behind the banquettes i'm not as sure about. the surface looks hard yet porous, not so polished and not ready to stand up to wear and tear.

this place really packs them in and i'm not sure what kinds of demands the bar places on the kitchen. it seems a challenging environment to me, though obviously not totally overwhelming, for fixing attention on the food, which was creative and ambitiious, and at this early stage in need of some small refinements.

the prices may seem on the low side, lower than new heights (and i guess they are) but they add up quickly to about what you would pay at palena cafe or two other places on this block. a full dinner for two, including two bracing martinis and two glasses of wine, tax and tip puts you in the $160 range.

#28 porcupine

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Posted 16 May 2011 - 09:40 AM

how about a slow cooked hen egg with small clams and hacked sardines for excitement ($11)?...

a hunk of king makerel ($22) was also good, in an anchovy sauce with brownish beans lurking below and bok choy on top...

OK, point taken. Those do sound exciting. But they don't sound like something I'd order, because I hate strong fish flavors. So maybe Ripple just isn't my cup of tea. (Quail agnolotti sounds good, though.)

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#29 schulju

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Posted 12 July 2011 - 01:44 PM

Been meaning to post about Friday night's dinner at Ripple. Gals night out...we had a really wonderful time, in no small part due to the great care we received from Dave.

We ordered three cheeses: Cyprus Grove Humbolt Fog, Crave Bros. Petit Frere and Jean d'Alos bleu d'Aauvergne. While I thought the portions on the cheese were quite small, I enjoyed all of the cheeses. The bleu and the petit frere were particularly good. We rounded out an over-sized wooden board with three choices from the charcuterie offerings: house made mortadella, soppresatta and a pate made from chorizo that's was not listed on the menu. I thought the charcuterie offerings were quite generous in comparison with the cheese. While I found the pate a little too spicy to enjoy, I absolutely loved the mortadella. In addition to this collection of cheese and meat, we split a small salad and an order of semolina gnocchi with tarragon pesto, clams and chilies. Frankly, I don't know that I actually noticed either the clams or the chilies in this dish, but the gnocchi themselves were pillow soft and as delicate as I've ever had. All these goodies and a lovely bottle of rose wine for $100, generous tip included.

Ripple is built for grazers, my meat and potato loving husband probably wouldn't understand the appeal. However, gal pal and I both thought the restaurant earned a place in our rotation.

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#30 ChiantiandFava

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Posted 12 July 2011 - 11:02 PM

Forgot to post about my meal there two weeks back. Started with some cheese then chose a few and [disclaimer] had a few things sent out to us--

chilled corn soup, charred octopus, gaeta olives, cilantro 9

semolina gnocchi, tarragon pesto, clams, chilies 13

slow cooked hens egg, chorizo puree, squid, maitakes 11

roasted bluefish, smoked corn, blueberry capers, brown butter, pickled crab 22

The SO really enjoyed the hens egg small plate. I thought it would make a great breakfast for a farmer/fisherman in Spain but wasn't quite what I was looking for on a night out. I loved the gnocchi but the tarragon was quite prominent (which is great to me, not so great to others). Both the plates featuring corn stole the show, however. The chilled corn soup was devoured and the bluefish dish was incredible. I would never think of combining blueberry capers and fish but the corn was a perfect bridge. Really impressed by chefs Cox, Schreuder and co.

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#31 Rovers2000

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Posted 16 July 2011 - 06:15 AM

Had my first pretty disappointing meal at Ripple last night. While there were some very good points to it, overall, it might make me reconsider this as a spot to have some delicious wine / cheese / charcuterie at the bar vs. bringing a group in for dinner in the back (or at least in the future, I will request a table not in the back of the restaurant, which I will get to below):

The Good:


-Excellent wine selections from the sommolier / bar manager, the cos nero di lupo was delicious and light (and unfortunately the last bottle they had in stock)
-Cheese and charcuterie are a good value here. Good portions of cheese and meats and a really, in my opinion, excellent "chicken liver parfait"
-The corn soup, mentioned upthread truly tasted of corn on the cop in chilled soup form. The octopus was fine, but probably an unnecessary component to the wonderful corn flavor.
-Deserts were excellent, both the butterscotch toffee pudding and their take on a smore was really really great (I could've eaten just the scortched marshmellow component and been thrilled)

The Bad:


-I will comment on the service first b/c I got the sense that they may have been short staffed last night (folks running around, what looked potentially like a chef actually bringing the food out vs our waitress). While Ripple is certainly a fine place to hang out, the meal lasted almost 3 hours (there were 6 of us) which I felt was excessive (the time between the first course and the main was almost 45 minutes). Additionally, we were seated in the very back of the restaurant (not the "newer" space) which was totally fine initially, but once we realized it was literally FREEZING I actually considered asking to be moved. We mentioned it to the waitress who said she would try to remedy it, by the end of the meal, I was literally shivering.
-I had ordered the soft shell crabs, but they were out so I went with the duck breast. On the menu it was described as "crispy" which had me excited for some crackling duck skin...unfortunately the duck skin was so limp, lacking any sort of crackle, that one of my dining companions actually cut it off their portion saying "if its not going to be crisp, I'd rather not waste the calories". I got the feel that maybe this dish spent some time sitting while our other mains were prepared.
-The agnolotti was, in my opinion, an embarrassingly small portion and probably should be moved to the second course options on the menu b/c I really disagreed that this was enough for a main.

All in all, for a meal that clocked in (with two very accessibly priced bottles of wine) at 450 for 6 of us, I left disappointed and as I mentioned above, will probably center future visits to Ripple around their excellent wine selection and friendly bar service vs. an actual sit down dinner.

Dave

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#32 darkstar965

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Posted 19 July 2011 - 11:59 AM

Any other recent (post new chef) feedback? I wasn't that excited about my early trips to Ripple--not so memorable, kind of expensive for too-small portions, a few standouts but overall inconsistent, more trendy than tasty, etc, etc.

But, with the expansion and new chef now in place, I'm hopeful Ripple has transformed for the better and thinking seriously about heading there again with some friends later this week. Should we and, if so, what's best to order food wise?

#33 chiefdc

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Posted 19 July 2011 - 12:30 PM

I was really disappointed by my last meal at Ripple- and this was with Chef Cox was at the helm. I actually liked my previous meal better prior to his taking over. I found the portions to be miniscule and the food to be bland. I was even disappointed with my cheese plate from here. What happened to giving people value for their money? I don't ever need or want Maggiano-style portions, but just an honest amount is all I ask. The cocktails were good, not great. From now on, I will opt for Dino and Palena further down the block.

[Edit- didn't mean to "jump" darkstar's post above- but it jogged my memory of how bad my meal was at Ripple- and unfortunately I can't recommend anything I had that night]

#34 darkstar965

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Posted 19 July 2011 - 09:39 PM

I was really disappointed by my last meal at Ripple- and this was with Chef Cox was at the helm. I actually liked my previous meal better prior to his taking over. I found the portions to be miniscule and the food to be bland. I was even disappointed with my cheese plate from here. What happened to giving people value for their money? I don't ever need or want Maggiano-style portions, but just an honest amount is all I ask. The cocktails were good, not great. From now on, I will opt for Dino and Palena further down the block.

[Edit- didn't mean to "jump" darkstar's post above- but it jogged my memory of how bad my meal was at Ripple- and unfortunately I can't recommend anything I had that night]

No "jump" at all. Very much appreciate the perspective--exactly what I was looking for. I posed the question here just because I'm very uncertain about whether to give Ripple another try and, if I do, whether to do it with just two of us or with friends. It's the value thing I'm worried about. Will we get 'too cool for school,' uninteresting and "miniscule" portions that will make us feel as if we were fleeced? Or, will we experience a "new" Ripple that heard enough feedback like that and changed when they brought in a new and accomplished chef and expanded? Chiefdc's experience doesn't bode well. Maybe there are a few others who've tried it recently with similar or different views. Thanks chief.

#35 Heather

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Posted 20 July 2011 - 08:09 AM

I had a different experience, but that was a couple of months ago. The cocktails were average, both were too sweet, and having more than one special featuring Creme de Violette is overkill, IMO. The food was solidly good, in particular a brandade angnolotti that hit it out of the park and wonderful crepinettes. The wines by the glass and bottle were intriguing and what I chose matched well with the food.

Weakest point? I arrived first, and waited ten minutes at the bar without acknowledgement from the bartender. When my friend arrived, we sat for another 10-15 before managing to catch a waiter's eye to get at least a drink menu, then another 15 during the painstaking cocktail creation. Fortunately the company more than made up for the inattentive service. The courses arrived promptly, however, and so did the bottles we ordered to go with our food. The space is lovely, and the bar comfortable. I would be happy to return with a reservation for dinner.

#36 Rovers2000

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Posted 20 July 2011 - 08:44 AM

Will we get 'too cool for school,' uninteresting and "miniscule" portions that will make us feel as if we were fleeced? Or, will we experience a "new" Ripple that heard enough feedback like that and changed when they brought in a new and accomplished chef and expanded?

Your first line here about being "too cool for school" sums up my thoughts pretty much to a T (from the longer post upthread) from my last visit. I've been to Ripple 3 times since the new chef arrived and twice I haven't been super impressed with the food (the 2nd time I visited on a Tuesday night when the restaurant was almost empty, and had a fabulous meal with 2 other guests).

Maybe hitting Ripple on a less busy evening or for a seat at the bar with some wine or for a dessert is the key?

Dave

"Make sure that the beer - four pints a week - goes to the troops under fire before any of the parties in the rear get a drop."
-Winston Churchill to his Secretary of War, 1944


#37 schulju

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Posted 20 July 2011 - 09:23 AM

Weakest point? I arrived first, and waited ten minutes at the bar without acknowledgement from the bartender. When my friend arrived, we sat for another 10-15 before managing to catch a waiter's eye to get at least a drink menu, then another 15 during the painstaking cocktail creation. Fortunately the company more than made up for the inattentive service. The courses arrived promptly, however, and so did the bottles we ordered to go with our food. The space is lovely, and the bar comfortable. I would be happy to return with a reservation for dinner.

I had an entirely different experience on a recent Friday night during prime dinner hour. My companion arrived a few minutes before me (all good parking karma was with her that night). She was immediately sat at our table and provided with water and flatbread while she waited me. She was offered a cocktail, but decided to wait for my arrival. When I arrived, I was immediately met at the host stand and taken to our table. Our waiter Dave did a great job. He was attentive, informative, but never intrusive.

I agree there's an issue with the value proposition on some of the menu items. We felt the by-the-glass wine prices were steep for the offerings, but found the bottle prices in line with the norm, and therefore chose a bottle to share. As I mentioned in my post above, I thought the cheese portions were quite small for the price, but found the charcuterie servings to be very generous. We didn't order a main, but instead chose to share a salad and past. The pasta was very flavorful and quite well done...but both of these dishes were quite small.

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#38 Heather

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Posted 20 July 2011 - 11:39 AM

I had an entirely different experience on a recent Friday night during prime dinner hour.

Sorry, I was unclear - we sat at the bar the whole time. I would give it another chance sitting in the dining room

#39 porcupine

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Posted 21 August 2011 - 07:50 AM

After nearly damning Ripple with faint praise upthread, I need to write about our second meal there. It was difficult to get Steve to give it another try, but we were both glad we did. Chilled corn soup with dried olives and cilantro was surprisingly satisfying, given that it's rather thin, with a delicious contrast of flavors. Semolina gnocchi with basil broth, crispy salami, and lemon confit was outstanding - everything you want in gnocchi in terms of both taste and texture (of the gnocchi themselves, and the textural contrasts in the dish overall). Steve's agnolotti were beautifully textured, too, and delicious with cubanelle peppers, gaeta olives, chanterelles, and ricotta fonduta. It was a perfect light meal for a warm summer evening.

Vegetarians should note the way many of the dishes are constructed, because it would be easy for the kitchen to leave out the meat (like the salami on the gnocchi, or the octopus in the soup).

As a couple who are constantly battling weight gain, Steve and I really appreciate the menu layout: a few small dishes, a few medium sized dishes, and a few main course sized dishes (all denoted by the dots on the menu). That allows us to eat a balanced meal in several courses without overdoing it. I know a lot of people think the small plates trend is verging on trite, but I couldn't disagree more. If you want more food, order more food, but if you need to control quantity (or cost, for that matter), you can dine really well and not feel deprived (or poor). Ripple is an excellent restaurant for people who like to dine that way.

Elizabeth Miller
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#40 dwt

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Posted 23 September 2011 - 09:50 AM

Had dinner at Ripple last night. Agree with previous comments about small portions. I believe the trigger fish fillet I had as a main was only about 4 ounces, though it was accompanied by 2 medium-sized shrimp which made the protein quotient more reasonable. I was actually OK with the portions on this visit because we'd had a substantial lunch earlier in the day. But under normal circumstances, I probably would have wanted something more substantial. Started with the "rouge pumpkin soup, charred eggplant, cipollini, pine nuts" (it's officially fall) which had nice flavors and contrasting textures. But I don't get the silliness of having the solid ingredients in delivered in bowl into which the server pours the liquid at the table -- yet another trite food trend that needs to die.

We felt the by-the-glass wine prices were steep for the offerings

Agree.

Generally an enjoyable dinner with competent service, good flavors, but nothing awe-inspiring. I probably had high expectations from previous dinners at New Heights when chef Cox was there. We might give it another try, but it's awfully hard to walk past the Palena Cafe on the way.

#41 DonRocks

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Posted 28 September 2011 - 10:22 AM

Theo Rutherford has been at Fiola for awhile now, but do not underestimate the talents of Mo Cherry, who previously worked as sommelier at Charleston in Baltimore. Last night he pulled, out of nowhere, a Mencia to go with Ripple's quinoa and lobster-mushroom risotto (with poached egg!), and the acidic red worked just perfectly.

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#42 synaesthesia

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Posted 28 September 2011 - 09:54 PM

It's worth mentioning how good the chocolate chip cookies are Ripple are with Valrhona chocolate, and cacao nibs. Crisp edges with soft gooey centers. Some of the best I've ever had.
Jamie

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#43 DonRocks

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Posted 28 September 2011 - 09:58 PM

It's worth mentioning how good the chocolate chip cookies are Ripple are with Valrhona chocolate, and cacao nibs. Crisp edges with soft gooey centers. Some of the best I've ever had.

It's actually a sad commentary on how skewed things have become in favor of bacon, that I feel compelled to ask if there's any in the cookies. (It would be kind of refreshing if there wasn't, especially with a glass of cold milk. Mmmm.)

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#44 synaesthesia

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Posted 29 September 2011 - 07:01 AM

It's actually a sad commentary on how skewed things have become in favor of bacon, that I feel compelled to ask if there's any in the cookies. (It would be kind of refreshing if there wasn't, especially with a glass of cold milk. Mmmm.)

No bacon. And yeah you have your choice of a cold glass of whole(?) or chocolate milk to accompany. When I took a friend, the only way to describe the feeling afterward was "cookie drunk."
Jamie

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#45 hmmboy

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Posted 05 October 2011 - 10:20 AM

Chef and I shared a sensational meal last night at Ripple - one of my top meals of 2011. Started with the seasonal veggie plate and the maitakes w/anchovies. The veggie plate was very well done and the maitakes delish. It would have been easy to overpower the mushrooms with the anchovies but Chef Cox balanced them beautifully. Next course we shared the quinoa and lobster mushroom risotto and the pistachio agnolotti. The pasta was lovely, the risotto was spectacular. Rich and seasonal but in no way heavy, we scraped the bowl clean and almost took the arm off the busser who tried to remove it before we had eaten every drop. Main courses were the fazzoletti w/quail ragu and the venison w/boudin blanc. The venison was cooked and seasoned to perfection (actually every dish we tasted was really well seasoned) and the combination of ingredients was exquisite, aesthetically and flavor-wise. However, as good as ithe venison and risotto were, my favorite dish of the night was the fazzoletti - a stunningly delicious pasta dish that I can't wait to have again. Other than an otherworldly pesto I had at Farina in San Francisco last month, it is the best pasta dish I have had this year - and at $17 it is a steal. Frankly, contrary to several previous posts, I thought the portion sizes were perfect and the prices extremely reasonable for this exalted level of ingredients and execution. Chef Ruta's shadow loomed large over several of the dishes, a great thing for sure, but Chef Cox is a star in his own right and I strongly recommend you getting yourself to Ripple soon. it is one of the best, and best priced, dining experiences in DC right now. Oh, and I second the shout out for those warm, gooey, and decadent chocolate chip cookies. Yum!
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#46 DanielK

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Posted 05 October 2011 - 11:30 PM

Mark is not exaggerating - I went tonight just to have some snacks and a drink at the bar, and also landed up having one of the meals of the year.

We munched on some "bacon roasted pecans" (fabulous) while I drank my new favorite cocktail: the Claire Standish (bulleit bourbon, princess mix, orange twist).

For starters, we shared "apple-barley salad, fennel, smoked rockfish, idiazábal" and a charcuterie plate (beef, barley, prune terrine; chicken liver parfait; testa-trotter terrine). The salad was brilliant - a complete melding of flavors, and the smoked fish is pastrami-spiced and served confit style. The charcuterie portions were incredibly generous for the price. I thought the chicken liver was the weakest of the three though still decent, and the testa-trotter terrine (essentially, head cheese) was brilliant.

Since we'd also plowed through a very good basket of flatbreads, we were getting full at this point, so we shared one small entree: "quinoa and lobster mushroom risotto, poached egg". Mark is spot-on - this is worthy of licking the bowl. And that poached egg transforms this from a cute play on risotto into a rich and noteworthy dish.

Total, including tax and 20%+ tip to our fabulous bartender, with 2 drinks each, was only $60pp. Definitely coming back - but wow I didn't need more choices in that neighborhood! How to choose among Ripple, Palena, Ardeo/Bardeo, Dino, Medium Rare, etc...

#47 darkstar965

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Posted 07 October 2011 - 11:05 PM

Mark is not exaggerating - I went tonight just to have some snacks and a drink at the bar, and also landed up having one of the meals of the year.
...
Definitely coming back - but wow I didn't need more choices in that neighborhood! How to choose among Ripple, Palena, Ardeo/Bardeo, Dino, Medium Rare, etc...

CP is an embarrassment of riches. While Palena rules the roost IMHO, have to add Two Amys & Bistro Le Zinc (west side of CP), Vace, Lavandou, Cacao, Indique and Sorriso (all Conn Ave strip) to your list also. I think they're all very good (in a few cases excellent) representations of their respective spots on the value spectrum. Now if only we had a (really) good coffee place to reoccupy where the Starbucks (and then the crazy Cereal Bowl place) was. Something like Filter or Dolcezza...ah, we can dream.

And, I'm definitely giving Ripple another try given these posts. Have been lukewarm on Ripple despite a few attempts but only one since Logan Cox took over. Will do soon and report back. Thanks for the implicit kick in the butt to do so ;)

#48 brr

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Posted 02 November 2011 - 08:12 AM

Sorry I cannot echo the recent burst of favorable reviews for Ripple. Went a few weeks ago. Liked the funky decor and the attentive service. Didn;t like the small servings and the high prices. The soup mentioned below was delivered in the same fashion, and yes its a trite food trend but whats even more ridiculous is when the liquid is barely enough to cover the solid ingredients. It was delicious but I literally think I managed 3 or 4 spoonfuls and for the price ($12 I think but I could be wrong) it was kind of a ripoff actually.

I also can't share the love for the quinoa risotto w/ egg. Normally I'm a sucker for anything with egg but it was oddly flavorless and slightly over salted.

I'll slink back to my cave now......

Had dinner at Ripple last night. Agree with previous comments about small portions. Started with the "rouge pumpkin soup, charred eggplant, cipollini, pine nuts" (it's officially fall) which had nice flavors and contrasting textures. But I don't get the silliness of having the solid ingredients in delivered in bowl into which the server pours the liquid at the table -- yet another trite food trend that needs to die.

Agree.

Generally an enjoyable dinner with competent service, good flavors, but nothing awe-inspiring. I probably had high expectations from previous dinners at New Heights when chef Cox was there. We might give it another try, but it's awfully hard to walk past the Palena Cafe on the way.



#49 hungry prof

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Posted 02 November 2011 - 07:33 PM

Well, put me in the more positive category. Lovely dinner for six this past Saturday night at Ripple. I agree that the portion sizes are not huge, but I'm ok with that. I think the value is reasonable for the quality of what you're getting, and I actually like walking out of a restaurant these days and not feeling like I'm stuffed to the gills. A more specific report:

Several of our party had the rouge pumpkin soup, charred eggplant, marinated squid, cipollini, pine nuts ($9) to start. It somehow seemed appropriate on a cool night two days before Halloween. A huge bowl? No. A satisfying appetizer? Yes. I had the fazzoletti, tuna ragu, caperberries, cerignola olives, celery ($15) off of the pasta menu. This was more or less a loose lasagna with a classic flavor combination presented in a new light. The pistachio agnolotti, roasted beets, gaeta olives, tarragon, ricotta ($15) was also well received off of the pasta menu.

For the main course, the table split between the pine-smoked venison, toasted oats, radish tops, ginger emulsion ($25), which was very good, though a bit odd. The venison was served just about room temperature, which I suppose could be appropriate for something that has been smoked, but it was also a bit unexpected. The other half had a duck leg dish (not on their current menu online) that was a quite ample serving of duck. I don't remember what it came with

All of the dessert plates were licked clean: milk chocolate cremeux, toasted marshmallow, crisp graham cracker (smores--with awesome toasted marshmallow lining the bowl), baked-to-order chocolate chip cookies & milk, butterscotch pudding, chantilly cream, toffee shards, and an assortment of ice creams (including pumpkin, espresso, and apple riesling).

All of the food was interesting and artfully presented. The flavors were simultaneously adventurous while also being comfortable. And the ingredients felt wholesome. Service was excellent. Really one of the best waiters I've encountered in DC. The room was relatively quiet--good for my in-laws who are losing their hearing. And, last but not least, their corkage fee is only $10 for those, like my father-in-law, who judge a restaurant largely by their ability to bring their own Burgundy.

All in all, we really enjoyed it, and it definitely will be in the rotation for future visits.

#50 sheldman

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Posted 03 May 2012 - 10:51 AM

I am bothering to post, only because it has been a while since anyone posted in this thread. What I will say has been said better, upstream: very well-conceived and very well-executed food, somewhat small portions, not inexpensive. I think that there is a little psychological disconnect between the location and the cuisine - on the strip with a weird old grocery store, a store with vacuum cleaners in the window, etc., etc., a restaurant at this price range is a little funny, potentially leading to a feeling of "I didn't expect to spend this many $." The tiny ice cream sandwich annex (Sugar Magnolia) adds to this potential for confusion, I think - as do the hip t-shirts on the staff. But when I think specifically about the food and the very good service, the price is certainly fair. And the food was delicious.





Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: Cleveland Park, Modern American, Local and Seasonal, Farm to Table, Cocktails

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