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  2. As a friend pointed out the replacements for the entire starting outfield have posted a combined 4+ WAR (the literal "replacements" in Wins Above Replacement are outperforming themselves!). We may not see a projected starter in the outfield until the end of this month, even next month without a division race to worry about (whenever Werth comes back). If healthy (a HUGE "if" this season) a Harper, Werth, Goodwin/Taylor/Kendrick outfield is an incredible luxury.
  3. With Scherzer's continued dominance, angst around yet more Strasburg time on the DL and the abysmal bullpen, Gio has been having himself a hell of a year in the shadows. I think it suits him well. The dig on him over the past several seasons since his stellar stretch in 2012 has been that he lets the pressure get to him when things go awry in the early innings and tends to unravel. No reason to think that wouldn't apply to being in the constant spotlight, either. When he's just allowed to go out and pitch while the news focuses on seemingly every National not named Gio Gonzalez he's at his best.
  4. Today
  5. Knives

    They're gorgeous, wonderful, hold an edge and resharpen very well. But, do you use them often enough to make them worth the price? I've got a fairly inexpensive set of Wusthof steak knives -- made cheaper by buying from woot.com -- and I've made them my daily dinnerware knives. I saw a set of the fancy schmancy ones on a discount site several months back and debated getting them and decided against because I didn't think they would be significantly better than what I have now. If you need to replace or upgrade, though, and you can find a good deal, I'd say go for it.
  6. Knives

    Anyone have thoughts on fancy schmancy steak knives? For example, Shun Kaji or Premier or Laguiole en Aubrac.
  7. A pre-tax service fee is not subject to tipping regulations, and *can* be distributed to the kitchen staff. This is partly why alinea/next went to the service fee model. I suspect that is likely influencing Komi as well. I suppose it may also result in slightly higher tips; my suspicion is that it would be slightly lower net but guaranteed and stable and therefor better for all involved.
  8. Dinner - The Polyphonic Food Blog

    Chicken wings (steamed, then refrigerated, then tossed in sauce, then grilled) Fingerling potatoes cooked in a foil packet on the grill Bagged Asian salad
  9. Dinner - The Polyphonic Food Blog

    I had asked B to make some chili this past weekend -- which was a success -- and I found out later that he had used a Cook's Illustrated recipe. I suppose I'll have to revisit my dislike of that magazine now. Oh, this was tonight's dessert: a fig galette that had a bit of frangipane spread beneath the fruit.
  10. When "Get Out" debuted in theaters last winter, I couldn't wait to see it. It had a 99 percent positive critics' rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and friends whose opinions I value raved about it. I am not a fan of horror films, and I really didn't know what to expect. I certainly didn't anticipate what I saw--a thought provoking and highly entertaining film. This is a great film. It is a thrilling, darkly funny, mysterious movie that had me on the edge of my seat from start to finish. "Get Out" is the directorial debut of Jordan Peele. My son is a fan of Key and Peele, so I expected this film to be funny in a slap-sticky, "Scary Movie," way. I couldn't have been more wrong. The humor is sophisticated and satirical. This movie feels like escapism, but at the same time, it made me think. It is the tale of a black man dating a white woman who goes to meet her family in their upscale country home. Nothing is as it appears during this bizarre weekend. "Get Out" reminds me of some of my favorite old films, combined in a way that is fresh and new. I watched it for a second time last night, renting it on Amazon. After the credits roll, an alternate ending is presented. The director explains why this ending--the original one--was abandoned. I enjoyed watching the film for a second time, seeing all of the nuances I missed the first go around, and I liked hearing about why the movie ultimately ends as it does. If you rent this version, be sure to watch after the credits to see this interesting addition.
  11. Jul 29, 2017 - "Nationals Acquire Howie Kendrick from Phillies" by Daniel Rapaport on si.com Aug 15, 2017 - "Howie Kendrick Hits Two Home Runs for Nationals against Former Team" on csnmidatlantic.com Kendrick has homered in 3 of his last 4 at-bats, including a walk-off, 11th-inning, Grand Slam on Sunday against San Francisco. Gio Gonzalez lowered his ERA to 1.79 tonight - the best ERA in the major leagues. There's something to be said for depth.
  12. Solar Eclipse, August 21 2017

    Check the weather forecast - may want to stay up towards Kentucky and be flexible.
  13. Yesterday
  14. In case this is gibberish to you, the Māori are the indigenous people of New Zealand - if you ever make it to Rotorua, you should try to see the New Zealand Māori Arts & Crafts Institute. .
  15. Cuban Sandwiches

    I probably eat something from Earl's 1-2 times a week. Hadn't had their Cuban in quite sometime, but having seen this post I thought I'd give it a more recent try. I enjoyed it quite a bit. Its a hearty sandwich at $10 and non traditional it is, as they clearly mention--its their variation on a more traditional Cuban...changing: the bread ham or glazed ham to prosciutto swiss to provolone pickles to fried pickles and mustard to honey mustard Well well well. That is clearly a VARIATION on the theme. LOL. Nevertheless I thoroughly enjoy this variation. I think in switching from ham or glazed ham to prosciutto they lose some of the sweetness factor, but the honey mustard and fried pickles provide that taste element. Certainly non traditional though in my mind it does a wonderful job of creating a tasty and recognizable variation.
  16. Charleston, SC

    Last week was my first visit to Charleston. I hoped the city would live up to the hype, but damn, it exceeded it. We were there four days and nights, and tried to pack as many restaurants as our schedule and stomachs would allow. This was about trying a lot of renowned favorites rather than necessarily trying something new, but I can't wait to go back. McCrady's This is the 18-seat tasting menu bar that Sean Brock opened last year. I've read that Brock said he wanted to strike a balanced approach here, ensuring that meals don't go past two hours and that diners don't leave hungry or overly stuffed. I'd say he nailed it. It was 14 courses, with each course between 2-4 bites. Highlights were: the carrot tart with baby carrot slices arranged like a rose, and then revealing a sweet carrot gelee upon first bite; an aged beef strip steak accompanied by sour cabbage and farro (I normally don't care for farro, but here it was smoky, toasty and excellent. Chef Brock said that's because they burn the farro and then thresh it in a barrel); the Charleston ice cream of Carolina Gold Rice accompanied by fresh herbs and thinly sliced raw okra; and the "foiechamacallit", their take on a whatchamacallit candy bar but filled with foie gras. Brock was in-house, supervising the staff throughout dinner and serving many plates himself. Without exaggeration, this was the best meal I've ever had. I don't say that lightly but after putting a lot of thought into it, I can't think of a better menu from beginning to end than what I ate here. This is an opportunity to catch a great chef at his peak and I'm grateful we did. And lest you think it is difficult to get reservations, we managed to get a 6:30pm seating just three days earlier - and they now accept bookings via OpenTable. Husk We went here for lunch, and I think it suffered a little from our McCrady's experience. The shrimp and grits was excellent. We also ordered the fried chicken which I thought was good but the crust was a little thin and I didn't get a lot of flavor from it. I think I just prefer my chicken to be a little spicier. Edmund's Oast This is a fun place with a giant open seating area, lots of communal tables, a long bar, and a large assortment of beer and charcuterie that's made in-house. The vibe reminds me a lot of The Publican in Chicago. I wish they had a larger selection of malty beers, but that's a complaint I could register just about anywhere these days. I went with the Andechser Doppelbock Dunkel for a couple of rounds, and before leaving tried their Peanut Butter & Jelly beer. It tasted just like peanut butter and jelly, but was drinkable. I finished it all, but wouldn't order it again. It's a nice novelty. Leon's Oyster House We fortunately found a couple of seats at the bar here, which was still packed an hour before closing. I've heard such great things about the fried chicken but had no room. We did however try a platter of the fried oysters and this place knows its way around a fryer. The breading covered every centimeter of the oysters, without being clumpy in any spots and none of the oysters stuck together. Rodney's Scott BBQ I've always wanted to try whole hog bbq so I'm glad Rodney Scott opened this place in Charleston. I snuck a peak at the smokehouse in the back and the dozen or more giant smokers left little doubt they are doing it the authentic way. The pork was moist and the combination of flavors from different parts of the hog really made it unique -- like enjoying the light and dark meat from a turkey. Lewis' Barbecue John Lewis helped open Franklin's Barbecue and LA Barbecue in Austin, so his credentials can't be questioned. His brisket is as tender as butter with a blackened crisp crust that tastes of pepper and hints of sugar. I could have used a little more smoke flavor, but that's a personal taste that I know isn't shared by many. Their hot gut sausage was dense but moist, almost like a polish sausage. It might have been my favorite bite. I'd also strongly recommend the green chile corn pudding. One nice quirk is their green barbecue sauce, made with peppers and meant as an accompaniment for his smoked turkey. Once I tasted the two together, I couldn't eat the turkey without it. It may be something I have to try at home. The Ordinary The Ordinary has probably ruined most raw bars for me moving forward. We ate the tuna tartare, the red snapper ceviche and an avocado and red porgy ceviche. These were complex ceviches with a great mix of sweetness, salt and spice. The bartender recommended the chili garlic snow crab too, which were two crab claws served with a swipe of chili sauce. The chili sauce was legitimately spicy, but I could have licked the bowl. I'd strongly recommend just sitting at the bar here and ordering small plates until you're full. Xiao Bao Biscuit We went here for lunch. Had the Bo Bo Ji, which is sichuan style chicken, cilantro, scallion and peanut salad; and the Mapo Dou Fu, which is spicy pork with chili oil, rice and greens. Enjoyed both dishes. FIG Our final meal was an early dinner at FIG. We had the tomato tarte tatin and ricotta gnocchi for appetizers and the suckling pig with Carolina Gold Rice. It was all as good as advertised. The only complaint was that dinner felt a little rushed. They clearly need to move tables especially that early in the evening, but the dishes came very quickly. Still, the food is fantastic. I just wouldn't go there for a leisurely meal.
  17. Well - just to be clear, I wouldn't order a $500 bottle of wine. I'd much rather order 3 bottles at retail and enjoy them at home. Check that, I'd rather order 2 cases of $20 wine and enjoy those at home. How does one go about getting one of those expense account things?
  18. I once tried to tip our server at Komi some extra cash for him to pocket personally, and he refused it. I wonder if this is following P&P's "let us not burden you with math" at the end of a luxurious meal, for the benefit of the diner. Also, if you are ordering a $500 bottle of wine at a restaurant, you are trying to impress somebody, so the extra benjamin just adds to your mystique.
  19. I did a little you-tubing on Glen Campbell. I had no idea how great he was on guitar and how varied his musical tastes were. Did you know he filled in for Brian Wilson with the Beach Boys?
  20. The decor is a little more casual, but the food is certainly still what I'd consider "fine dining." As for Nordic influence, there was nothing I saw on my plate that made me think of anything but Southern. Maybe the rye bread in the dessert? If you look at the dinner menu, there are touches here and there that sound more Nordic.
  21. Would you consider Honeysuckle "Fine Dining," and how much Nordic influence did you notice there?
  22. I know it's not really fair to judge a restaurant after one lunch, and an RW lunch at that, but since it's been open too long not to have a thread, I will anyway. The simple description, and I apologize to the current team that may or not being trying to avoid comparisons, is that it's essentially Vidalia with slightly different decor. And since I loved Vidalia, I mean that in a good way. Really, if you had told me I had just eaten at Vidalia after an interior makeover, I'd have no reason to doubt you. Started with a delicious basket of banana bread with whipped butter and a fruit compote. First course: Chesapeake Sugar Toads new orleans bbq, popcorn grits, pickled okra Essentially a poor man's shrimp and grits, except that I prefer sugar toad to shrimp any day of the week. If you've never had sugar toad (a little Chesapeake Bay puffer fish) before, you should. The only place I've had it before is, well, Vidalia. It's got a taste and texture somewhere between white fish, crab and shrimp, and was perfect with the toothy grits and sauce. Second course: Confit Duck Leg corn & tasso ham maque choux, duck sausage, pickled peach jam A perfect rainy day course. A nicely meaty leg with crisp skin...the sides had a touch of sweetness that cut through the duck really well. Dessert: Finnish Aura Blue Cheese concord grapes, rye bread, candied walnuts, spruce tip honey Simply a great combination of flavors and textures. So again, I hope I'm not insulting Chef Hamilton in any way by saying, in a obviously small sample size, that this place tastes like a re-born Vidalia. I'll certainly be back.
  23. Well - the other thought in the back of my head is that this could actually be a way to shift some of the generous tipping to those in the back. Not sure how pooling works at Komi (or virtually any other restaurant today). As for not averaging 20% pre-tax, I find that mind-boggling. Maybe if I ordered a $500 bottle of wine, I wouldn't top 20% on that, but - just - wow. One can rationalize that they can afford $150 for a meal, but not $30 to tip?
  24. I suspect what it means is that they average *less* than 20% pre-tax, and that you would be considered a generous diner. There won't be anything stopping people from slipping a $10 in the check holder, so if people wanted to leave more, I would suggest they bring cash, because they may not have a place to leave a credit card tip. I still wish there was a way to leave line cooks, dishwashers, and AGMs a tip - they work harder than servers, and are paid less.
  25. I find this odd - with the level of service I got at Komi, I definitely would never tip 20% pre-tax. Are they risking bringing down total salaries for staff by doing this? Or are there more really crappy tippers at a place like Komi than I would expect?
  26. Truth to that... lot of silly business, and that's just because they can. People forgetting to stick to the roots, and just making great versions of great products. But, a low ABV sour IPA .. it tastes kinda refreshing in the backyard on a hot DC day, right? I think the new big trend is the Hazy IPA, that's soft and dank. It's a trend I can get behind. Veil in Richmond and Dancing Gnome in Pittsburgh have great versions. Wonder who will mainstream it first.
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