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About genericeric

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    Ashburn, VA
  1. The Post had so much potential. Two legendary stars on screen for the first time together, a legendary director, and a topic that speaks so well to issues being faced today. To me, the end product was a disappointment. There's something about Steven Spielberg recent films that have been less successful for me - perhaps they don't seem to fit as much with the culture or times. Each contains 10% too much nostalgia and shine - not every story needs to be wrapped up and packaged neatly with a bow at the end. Bridge of Spies (2015) suffered from this, and I would say that Lincoln did to a certain extent as well. People are flawed, stories are flawed, we can take it. Of course the acting was great. Tom Hanks may not be Jason Robards in the role, but he still plays a great Ben Bradlee. Meryl Streep seems to be playing the same character these days, but she was also great (and the casting probably says more about good roles for mature women in Hollywood than her abilities). Bradley Whitford, in his small supporting role, also stole a number of scenes. But overall I couldn't escape the feeling that there was a missed opportunity here.
  2. I don't get to nearly as many movies as I used to, so the smaller independent movies - particularly those that look like a downer - get bumped off the see list. With the multiple Golden Globe wins, my wife and I decided to check this out and I felt that this was a better contender for best picture than others in recent years (I'm looking at you La La Land). It was a dark, angry film. But it also had moments when I was laughing out loud in the theatre. Several articles have recently been written about this style of film - you often see this in Coen brothers movies, and this did remind me somewhat of Fargo - an easy comparison to make with Francis McDormand starring. But I did feel that the levity in this film was more of a release valve on the darkness and helped carry the story to the end, whereas I lost interest in Manchester by the Sea last year for, frankly, being too depressing. McDormand and Rockwell have both played similar characters before, but both turned in fantastic performances. And three cheers for any Best Pic nominee/winner that clocks in at 2 hours or less (1:55 in this case).
  3. I decided to walk to lunch today, and stopped at OEG when my face froze. I never expect OEG to have the greatest food, but I do feel like lunch is solidly reliable to grab a sandwich or some soup. After asking for a recommendation, ordered the Oyster Gumbo (cornmeal-crusted and flash-fried oysters, andouille sausage, scallions) for $10.99. The oysters were great - plump, crispy, perfectly fried. The rest of the bowl was so bad as to be odd. The sausage was nowhere to be found (nor was any other discernible flavor but salt). No okra, so spice whatsoever, no rice or bread. I'm not sure what it was, but it wasn't gumbo and it wasn't good. The bartender, who I've known for years and is a better bartender than this, didn't ask why the bowl was going back full. May be time to downgrade OEG off the reliable lunch list.
  4. My wife and I made our first visit last night - the restaurant has only been open a week, so please keep that context in mind... Also note that the prices listed include gratuity. Starting with the good - we really enjoyed our food. My wife started with the Butternut Squash Frite with pumpkin seed, sage ricotta, baby carrot and parsnip, and pickled cranberry ($13). The frites themselves were fine if somewhat unremarkable, but all the components taken together were really nicely balanced and reminded me of a deconstructed squash blossom, with the cranberry then cutting through the ricotta. I had the Foie Gras Duck Trio (I think this was $21 but isn't the same as the online version) which came with a lobe of foie, sliced duck, and a cured duck egg on brioche, all over apple butter. The flavor of the dish was great, though the foie was sort of warm, the egg was room temperature, and the sliced duck was sort of cold, which didn't work well for me (lukewarm happened a few times throughout the evening). My main was the "Spaghetti and Meatballs" - three lentil "meatballs" on top of spaghetti squash, surrounded by a moat of tomato soup ($19). Inventive vegetarian dish with the lentil balls that were substantial but not overly dense. Wife had the Spring House Farms Chicken ($23) with apple chicken sausage and some roasted winter squash and mushrooms (online menu description doesn't match so details are vague). The chicken sausage had a great flavor and the chicken itself was moist and flavorful (I would guess poached and then finished on grill?) - I'm not sure both proteins were needed but they were both good. Dessert was a Scotch Poached Pear with earl grey creme anglaise, shortbread, honey ($9). The scotch imparted a bit of the smoked mossy flavor (in a good way) without being overpowering. Our server, Oscar, was very good. Pleasant and attentive without being overbearing. The biggest not-so-good point may have been what felt like a restaurant with an identity problem - the whole evening was a tug-of-war between fine dining and a pop up in the Brambleton Town Center. The prices of the food, especially given that service is included, were very reasonable. Comparatively, the prices of the wines by the glass felt high to me. Our waiter was wonderful, but while the hostess was very friendly she was also very casual - as I'm getting older that 'hey guys' thing with mixed company sticks out to me. The space itself is pushing barren industrial a bit far. But again, this restaurant is only a week old. Maybe it will find its groove. I also hope the bar was just having an off night. I enjoy drinks that have a bit of spice in them, but the martini with orange and habanero simple syrup was way out of balance in favor of the syrup, half the size it should have been, and was served with large chunks of ice from the shaker. Glasses of wine ordered with courses were delivered well after. Again, kinks that may be worked out with time.
  5. If you enjoy a good gin and tonic, the bar at Del Mar is worth a stop. Three to chose from off the menu - Bailando (juniper and cucumber), Estrellas (Ginger, lime, cardamom and star anise) and Te Quiero (Lemongrass, rosemary, grapefruit) and at $14, not badly priced for the neighborhood. The Estrellas brought whole cardamom pods and the anise into a large enough cocktail that I'll need to wait for the next visit to try the Te Quiero.
  6. The bar here is likely their firewall as it plays the role of hotel bar to the Intercontinental, restaurant bar to K/K, and, for the time being, the most accessible bar to the center of the wharf development (I suppose that's subjective) - this is a very large space that was jammed at 10:15 last night. Requin is losing a TON of money by not having an entrance that is accessible from Wharf St as I saw numerous parties attempt to enter and then give up in just a few minutes of watching last night. Of course Del Mar and the irish bar were not lacking in traffic, but Kith and Kin was gaining most of the walk in traffic.
  7. My wife landed late in Charlottesville last Friday so I thought, let's stop and get some scallion pancakes, have a beer, and get some takeout. We rolled into the parking lot at 9:40 with a posted closing of 10pm, which normally we wouldn't do, but again we were just trying to grab and go. It's one thing to close early if you aren't busy. Irksome, because Charlottesville shuts down at 10pm so this was our one-and-done attempt, but I get it. But the guy at the door who physically blocked us from entering yelling 'We're Closed!' - I mean, it's good, but its not THAT good.
  8. I can just imagine the eye rolling that this comment will cause (and probably well deserved), but... I was watching the Beat Bobby Flay episode the other day where he and Garces both cook paella. Now I'm with you in that I've never seen aioli on a paella, but both chefs independently had an aioli component and commented that its part of standard paella. So while not ubiquitous, apparently its 'a thing.'
  9. Tom Sietsema's Reviews

    It was an odd review... The Inn seemed to score a lot of bonus points for the overnight stay, which most restaurants couldn't compete with. Not that this is the first time he's expressed a fondness for the cooking, but it seemed a bit skewed.
  10. Agree it was a good and well-written article, but the author seems to focus more on the market disappearing for these restaurants than their dramatic decline in quality, which I would argue has had just as much of an impact. A quick google search will reveal quite a few articles waxing nostalgic for the days when Pizza Hut used to be special - fresh ingredients, salad bar, pitchers of beer, friendly waiters, etc. More recently the Pizza Hut CEO has said that the chain is focusing more on convenience than quality - recent takeout confirmed he achieved the goal. I can remember when Red Lobster used to be not bad, when you would watch the fresh pasta being made at Olive Garden (still not great, but couldn't argue it wasn't fresh) and when you get the sense that the microwave wasn't the primary cooking tool at Applebee's. Equity funds and the Jon Taffers of the world have sparked such a focus on profit over quality that they now have neither.
  11. German Restaurants

    Bumping this up - I drive by here all the time but have never convinced my +1 that its good enough to try, anyone have some intel?
  12. I suppose this could be good or bad depending on one's point of view. I was at Devil's Backbone over the weekend, and they're definitely experimenting with 'new', albeit less 'interesting' to me. I've never really gotten into the recent craze of smoked beers - this is a charity contribution for firefighters so the tie-in makes sense, I just don't care for the flavor. They have a sour IPA on tap - again, I understand that sours are all the rage these days (they had two sours and a gose on this weekend), but a sour IPA? Not my thing. A spruce IPA in August. An apricot dunkel. I'm sure some beer enthusiasts enjoy this variety of the new and trendy. I used to go to DB and have a hard time picking the few I could try because so many were appealing. Now I find myself ordering the Striped Bass or Eight Point every time and enjoying the setting more than the selection.
  13. Some places have certainly struggled (Voltaggio's two concepts and HH stand out), but it does seem that traffic has significantly increased over the last year. Eddie Merlot's, Matchbox and even Uncle Julio's are all pretty jammed on weekend nights. That being said, I always felt like Hail and Hog was a bad fit for the neighborhood. It was a downtown, tourist restaurant with prices to match that was located in a suburban location lacking many tourists. G3's other restaurants are located closer to the stadiums and can take advantage of the fan traffic. Of course even that fan traffic can't always save them, as one of G3's other restaurants, Colts Grille, also closed abruptly in July. They're now down to just two locations.