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  1. "Graffiato's New Chapter Puts Restaurateur Mike Isabella back into the Kitchen" by Laura Hayes on washingtoncitypaper.com
  2. I didn't mean anything snarky by it! Just wanted to share the news since it seemed relevant
  3. we got dinner at the bar last night. Everything was great (the hostess even scouted out two seats for us when it was full) but two main observations: the drinks here are much better than they used to be and that chicken is not only still by far the best roast chicken in DC, but it's also on the very short list of best dishes in DC.
  4. In the same vein as the above, it boggles my mind that there is not, to my knowledge, a single third wave coffee shop in all of downtown Bethesda. First place to open there will print money.
  5. I forgot to write-up our Valentine's Day meal at Chloe, but I suppose better late than never. In all, we liked the place a lot, but aren't desperate to go back. Per my request, we were seated at the chef's counter, which provides one of the best views of an open kitchen in the city. In fact, I can't think of a DC restaurant with a better view of the kitchen--even including omakase bars. Everything we had was good to very good, including the beef hummus (which, as some others have mentioned, tasted like delicious "taco beef", but the hummus we had recently had a Shaya in New Orleans was far superior, in our opinion). Our waiter said the chicken was the best he had ever had, so we ordered that as our large dish. It was good, but a tiny bit dry, even when pouring the Vietnamese-inspired sauce over the top. Kinship's version still reigns supreme. Our pannacotta dessert may have been the best part of the meal. One small note: we did notice the waiter's attitude seem to take a noticeable turn for the worse after we let him know we wouldn't be getting a second drink. May have just been coincidental but we both noticed it.
  6. They're notable to me because their Dupont location is open 24-7 (I believe). Very few half-decent places are 24-7 in DC long-term. Many open as such, but quickly abandon the plan.
  7. Yes, good analogy: it is standing only like a corner pizza joint. That said, I found the staff to be kind and professional. I wonder if they could accommodate you somehow. This place takes its drinks very seriously and the bartenders know their stuff inside out and backwards, but it is decidedly NOT pretentious (you'll realize this the second you walk in). I went with some people who were wholly unfamiliar with bitters and asked some silly questions, but the bartender was happy to talk then through their options. The same bartender got into the weeds with me equally smoothly. All the drinks were fantastic. Edit: some of the photos of the place online (and indeed a post in this thread) show/reference barstools but I could swear there weren't any when I was there
  8. This is also my favorite bar in the world. The vibe is perfect, the bartenders are great, the drinks are outstanding and bitter, and the standing-only vibe is perfect for a night cap. Did the bar inspired by this place in Smoke & Barrel survive? We went there once and found quite sweet drinks--the opposite of these.
  9. Finally got here Saturday for our anniversary. Got there at 4:45 before the 5 p.m. opening and was about 20th in line. At 4:55, the hostess asked if we wanted first seating or later, and I asked for third seating, around 7:30. Went home and changed, then came back when we got the text. We were seated at the bar, which is my favorite place to sit at these places. I had told the hostess it was our anniversary, so we were greeted by two delicious glasses of Champagne ($15--Don, apologies, but I don't remember which it was, only that I don't usually like Champagne and I loved this). We had had a late lunch at Shouk, so we ended up getting only smaller plates and none of the larger ones. We started off with three crudos, described below. We loved each of them, and the Kanpachi reminded us a lot of a very similar dish we'd had and enjoyed at Canosci. The tempura with the Kurodai was perfect. We then had the oyster kimchi, which was delicious kimchi with 4 fresh oysters at the bottom. These flavors worked absolutely perfectly, and we loved this so much we ordered it again. We were then brought a gratis order of the eggplant with yuzu-miso sauce. My girlfriend doesn't normally like eggplant, but we both raved at how tender and flavorful the spears were. I thought it would have worked even better with zucchini spears, but that was just a personal preference. It was very nice of the chef (who also served as our waiter at times) to give that to us. The charred carrots that came next may have been our favorite dish. These were some of the best carrots i'd ever had, with phenomenal garlic robiolina cheese. The chili-garlic, sweet carrots, and sweet/zesty cheese worked perfectly. The chef then gave us a free half order of the "gnocchi" made of rice cakes. While we really appreciated the free dish and the texture of the creative faux gnocchi was delightful, we found that this lacked the flavor of the other dishes. Finally we had the decadent uni toast, which is about as good as buttered brioche with a quail egg and unis sounds: outstanding. To drink, I had a fantastic "ambidextrous" which mimicked a drink I've been making at home often with rum, sweet vermouth and amaro--this was better though. My girlfriend had two of the my pal mezcals, which was deliciously smokey with a nice sweetness (I would have swapped the oloroso for a drier sherry, but that's just my aversion to even semisweet drinks). Overall, it was one of the best meals we've had in a while. Interestingly, there was no dessert/coffee menu that we were offered, but the sesame toffee brought with the check was a nice end to a lovely night.
  10. Breaking from Tom Sietsema: Food flash: Massimo Fabbri, late of @RistoranteTOSCA, today purchased Thally and plans to turn the Shaw storefront into San Lorenzo by April. “We want people feel as if they’ve stepped into Tuscany,” says the chef. On the menu: rabbit, ribolita, steak Florentine.
  11. "Glamorous Cocktail Bar Morris Is Ready To Shine" by Tierny Plumb on dc.eater.com I suspect this will quickly become one of the best bars in the city. btw this is Mt Vernon Triangle, not Penn Quarter