hungry prof

Ripple, Local and Seasonal in Cleveland Park - Chef Ryan Ratino Replaces Marjorie Meek-Bradley

107 posts in this topic

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 ]

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

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

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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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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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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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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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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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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.

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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.

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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. :(

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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,

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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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?

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

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

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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.

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

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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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