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Found 81 results

  1. Bartaco opened at Reston Town Center on Monday. We just stopped by early in the evening and by the time we left it was completely packed with a waiting line. Pretty impressive on a weeknight and so recently since it's opening. The atmosphere was casual and staff were friendly and helpful. Our waiter informed us that they have a order slip which we fill out and then place a small blue card on metal stand on the table to notify them when our order was order and for everything else we need. Our tacos ($2.50 each), baja fish, chicken and pork belly were tasty and surprisingly on the level of a place in DC like Oyamel. The non taco part of our order ($5-9 each), guacamole and chips, and tamales were equally as good. We didn't try the rice bowls or desserts. Definitely reasonably priced and good food, a welcome addition to the RTC. If quality remains this high can see it being a part of our regular rotation. Bartaco 12021 Town Center Square Reston, VA 703-787-8226 4pm - late
  2. I'm sure this will be a smashing success just like Eataly was back in 2010, when Mario Batali and Joe Bastianich opened their first store in New York, but a small voice inside me keeps asking "which part of Chinese cuisine has omakase sushi?" "China Live: A Food Emporium of Epic Proportions in San Francisco's Chinatown" by Jonathan Kauffman on sfchronicle.com
  3. After Jake's American Grille was quoting a 30-40 minute wait Saturday night with standing room only at the crowded bar, we hopped next door and had a very pleasant dinner at Terasol. Apparently Terasol was a short lived venture in Chevy Chase Arcade and after a two year search has re-opened at 5010 Connecticut Avenue (across the street from Politics and Prose). The front third of the space is an artisan gallery, selling locally produced pottery, jewelry, paintings photography, etc. The back two-thirds is a cafe serving up French bistro classics - onion soup, pate, quiches, ratatouille, boeuf bourguignon, roast chicken, to name a few dishes. The pate plate was two healthy slabs with a small pile of dressed greens, some sliced cornichons, and a little pot of grainy mustard. The quiche was light, fluffy, and quivering. The rataouille, served up in a medium sized souffle bowl, was luscious. Overall, the food made a very good first impression, perfect for a light lunch or dinner. Service was friendly and well meaning but a little hectic and confused. Open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
  4. The coffee portion of Little Pearl is opening today, Dec. 16 (via Washington Post) and the wine bar portion is opening on Dec. 30 according to their website.
  5. I had lunch at Cafe de la Presse, and aside from the prices, it was really good. It looks like an authentic French Bistro because it was built to look that way, and the wait staff all have French accents. I can't remember dining in any place like this since I was in France about three decades ago. The food was good. I had the Salade Niçoise, which was one of the best renditions I've eaten, but at $21 it's one of the more economic options on the menu. Steak Frites comes in at $31, and Confit de Canard at $34 -- these are lunch prices -- so bring a hefty expense account with you. My companions had the lamb stew (very good) and the daily seafood special (good). The positives are the authenticity and the quality of the dishes. The negatives are the prices and, well, if you're outside the Chinatown gate in San Francisco, why eat French? On the other hand, if you're in San Francisco and you absolutely have to eat at a French Bistro, you don't have to fly to France.
  6. I recently had a chance to visit Bottega Louie, a bright, cavernous space in The Brockman Building on South Grand that is both a gourmet market and restaurant. The large open floor and high ceilings plan gives the place a certain vibrancy, with an accompanying noise level that you might expect from such a large room. I took a seat at the 10 stool bar in the front closer to the market and quite enjoyed the Cioppino, which also cost $30. It was a full bowl of succulent seafood, that contained perhaps the most plump mussels I have ever been served. Truly satisfying.
  7. What this place lacks in ambiance, it makes up for in bountiful, fresh and flavorful food (at a very reasonable price!) I’m an adventerous omnivore who walks past this cafe every day on my way to work---and boy is it tempting to stop in everyday! Sweet Sin Cafe has a menu that will satisfy anyone who has food allergies, vegans and vegetarians and hard core carnivores. My personal favorite is the cream of mushroom soup that’s got a bit of a coconut-curry flare to it. They serve breakfast, lunch ,and dinner and their specialty is gluten-free desserts. I know cupcakes are all the rage right now, but these cupcakes re-define cupcakes. I had an assortment of their cupcakes at my wedding and everyone loved them! My personal favorite is the Cherry Almond, but since it’s one of their special seasonal flavors it’s not always available. The Cookies n’ Cream, Carrot Cake, Caramel Apple and Chocolate Cheesecake cupcakes are all part of their regular line up that I highly recommend. Their portions are huge! Two people could split a cupcake. I love that I work a few blocks away from an independently owned restaurant where I can get a filling, nutritious lunch for about $3-4! When my husband and I go together, we’ll often split one of their platters--and we also love the tacos. It’s kind of an eclectic menu with mouth-watering channa masala, gf pizza and tacos among their many offerings--but they pull it off really well. It’s a good spot for people who appreciate honest-to- goodness GOOD food without any pretentious frills. The only thing I’d change about this place is the space. I wish the seats and tables were nicer and I wish it was easier to bring big groups to join me in this delicious food. There’s a coffee shop at the other end of the block (Charmington’s) that serves bad coffee and disappointing food--but they have a beautiful, comfy space and free wi-fi. I wish I could boot them down the block and promote Sweet Sin to their beautiful corner shop. Until I have that power, I’ll just keep stopping by on my way to or from work and support them one cupcake and a bowl of soup at a time.
  8. The Rockville Pike Lunch Club had today's meeting at this little Filipino buffet spot located in the late lamented (at least by me) Pho Quyen space. Seeing our looks of befuddlement at the names of the Filipino dishes, the manager kindly went through all dozen or so items with us. Great lunch deal -- a heap of rice and two buffet items for $6.50. I had a pork kebab that was good if a little on the dry side. The glaze was somewhat somewhat sweet with a hint of what must be peanuts. My other was the "restaurant speciality" a braised beef. Done very nicely. The sauce was very thick and a little sweet with nice round spices. A couple of dabs of Sriracha (recommended by the manager) served very well to round out the beef. Serving size was quite reasonable. Enough to fill you up without forcing you to take home two meals worth of food in a doggy bag. All in all quite satisfactory. I look forward to going back soon and trying more items.
  9. Junction Bakery and Bistro had it's soft opening this week. It's where Mancini's used to be. They gutted it. I stopped by to get the staff's Friday breakfast. They've gotten real spoiled when I'm in the clinic on Fridays not Dunkin Donuts like my partners The place is cool, super retro looking, you can see into the bakery and watch them work and make delicious baked goods. Seems like people already know about it, it was fairly busy for just being open for 2 days. I got a bunch of stuff - ham and cheese croissant, chocolate croissant, everything croissant, lemon poppy tea cakes, cheddar chive biscuits, some scones, and then I get an Americano for myself. Was a big hit... Everyone loved it. The everything crossaint was a real winner. I had half a cheddar chive biscuit, and that was good. Everything was rich/moist. The Americano was ... watered down (I know, I know ... it has water in it), but it wasn't as strong as Swing's or Stomping Ground or even the new St. Elmo's (what a revamp!). Well, the next hipster thing continues in Del Ray, a full fledged bakery with people with those baking hats. Food is good. Looking forward to trying real breakfast here. -S
  10. Barking Mad Cafe has a solid coffee program. They use Counter Culture beans and can draw a serious espresso. Their cappuccinos and lattes are also good, although I have had a few cappuccinos that were wetter than I prefer. They have drip coffee, but no pour over. The standout, though, is their cold brew. During the summer, they had two offerings, both on nitro taps. It's so smooth it's like drinking Guinness coffee. The coffee served at Barking Mad Cafe would be noteworthy anywhere in the DC area. IMHO, it's extraordinary in Gaithersburg, which has nothing comparable within a reasonable distance.
  11. "Reopening of Beloved Roper's Restaurant Delights Residents of Flood-Weary Simonton" by Emily Foxhall on chron.com Residents of Simonton, and of Houston in general: You're an inspiration to us all - a pillar of strength and guts. Hearing that you reopened means a lot to me, personally, and I couldn't be more proud of your can-do spirit: You looked adversity in the eye, raised your collective middle fingers, put your heads down, and went to work, reclaiming your lives. The successful reopening of Roper's speaks volumes about all of you. Kind regards, Don Rockwell
  12. I see from today's lettres that Mr. Rockwell was at Cassatt's recently. I fervently hope that he wasn't there Saturday night, as every time the band stopped playing would be the exact moment that I would say something shameful that would suddenly carry across the restaurant. The meat pies were indeed very good and there are easily 7 or 8 to choose from. My beef and cheese was great until I hit the occasional bits of gristle. The steak and mushroom pie didn't have that problem and was perfect for a cold night. The lamb kabob and the grilled tilapia were fine, but you can get those elsewhere AND those unfortunate souls who ordered them were forced to borrow my mango chutney. I protected it like an enraged giant weta. We came because of their inclusion in the Neighborhood Eats on WETA (which is different from a weta; look it up) and because New Zealand has always been the escape plan if we had to flee the country, so it would behoove us to see if we like the food. Has anyone else been? Is the food small "a" authentic?
  13. In my never-ending quest to find quick breakfasts in my neighborhood, today I tried the Marymount University Ballston Cafe next to the Starbucks at the Blue Goose location. I had a breakfast sandwich with sausage and it was quite delicious. Croissant was nice and buttery. Their morning fruit bar looked good too with fresh strawberries, blueberries, grapes, pineapple, yogurt, granola toppings. Coffee was decent though no match for the Starbucks next door.
  14. I just realized this little gem of a Vietnamese place did not have its own listing in the Dining Guide, just a few passing mentions in other categories. Because the establishments that dot this plaza apparently are all closing as part of a construction project, I figured now was a good time to pay tribute. Coming in the door, the first thing you see is the bakery. A wide assortment of cakes and sweets are on display, and a book of cake decorations is available to order from. To the right are prepared foods, and I scored some rolls with pork sausage and a fine dipping sauce from the table. The case and the refrigerator have a goodly assortment of pork buns and jars of various vegetables and pickles. To the left is the seating area, with a nice looking buffet of about 8 options, including Don't favorite everything meatballs, pork cutlets, pig belly in sauce and a few other tempting delights. I noticed that most of the diners were indigenous, always a good sign, and a noticed quite a few polished-off bowls of pho with some deeply brown broth left in the bottom of one bowl. I had the combination banh mi, which for $2.75 included ham, head cheese and pate, along with maybe the least industrial bun I've had with banh mi in memory. This was an overall better combination banh mi than the dozen or more I've eaten at DC Sandwich. The aforementioned pork spring rolls were 3 to a pack, loaded with vermicelli, lettuce, shredded veggies and disks of pork sausage, with a tangy-sweet peanut dipping sauce. The pack was about $4.50, and the total with the banh mi and tax was $7.61. I'm stuffed to the gills. Out of fear that it may close or relocated sometime soon, I will put it in my near term rotation and make sure it gets a steady flow of revenue. But as long as it's open, there is absolutely no need to run to Falls Church for my banh mi fix.
  15. Just saw this piece about Lia Cafe about a new Brazilian cafe opening in Mt. Pleasant. Looks like it will have all the typical salgadinhos (Pao de Quijo, Kibbe, etc.) that you would find in a Brazilian corner bakery. Hope they also have acai and juices, like a real Rio juice bar. No matter what, I think I will be here a lot. It's a bit sad for me, though. I had an idea to open a place like Each Peach Market, and then someone beat me to it, and my next idea was to open something like this, and I've been beat to it again!
  16. La Madeleine would probably like to stake claim to status as a big chain French restaurant, and the two times I've eaten at one I've been pretty unhappy with the food as being sub par for even what I expected.
  17. If there is a thread about this place I could not find it. I have not been here in years, but it appears there is a new chef: Apr 20, 2016 - "Well-Loved La Côte d’Or Café Gets New Owner-Chef; Frogs Legs and Escargot? - Oui!" on lightningreleases.com Apr 22, 2016 - "Frog Legs, Escargots Back on the Menu at La Côte d’Or Café" on arlnow.com May 4, 2016 - "Arlington: New Owner-Chef Leads La Côte d’Or" by Eden Brown on connectionnewspapers.com We used to enjoy La Mediterranée on Lee Highway before it burned down. Might be time to head back to La Côte d’Or and see what's doing.
  18. First Watch in the Fair City Mall has good breakfast. The pancakes are good and are my second favorite pancakes after Kerbey Lane Cafe in Austin.
  19. I had dinner at Matisse earlier this week and was pleasantly surprised. This was a business dinner and the host chose the place; after a few rounds of anxious research here and elsewhere on the web, my expectations were not high, but the evening was quite nice. We were at the chef's table/wine room, which is a sort of open corner (2 sides lined with wine racks) off the kitchen. Caveats - this was a six-course fixed-menu large-group meal, with dedicated servers and such, so I don't think it's necessarily representative of a regular dinner experience there and I have no idea what anything cost. Also, I think there must be another kitchen farther back or something, because I didn't see much action -- if your idea of a chef's table is to watch flashing knives and flames, you won't see much of that here. That said, the food was thoughtful, creative and for the most part meticulously prepared. Matisse's web page calls it French-Mediterranean, but I'd say it's just French - we're talking cream and butter here, not olive oil and basil. Take an extra Lipitor and enjoy yourself. Standouts included the cocktail snacks (perfect little crab cakes the size of bay scallops, just slightly crunchy and spicy), a demitasse of creamy/spicy pumpkin-coconut soup (a flavor pairing new to me that I thought came off brilliantly), a cheese plate (hooray!), and squab with foie gras in a cabernet reduction. (A couple of quibbles about that one: with such a small amount of squab, I was puzzled as to why I got a nearly-meatless length of bone with mine -- not even enough to gnaw off; I didn't find that the chestnuts added much to my experience; and the wine paired with it, a white Bordeaux if memory serves, was startlingly sweet and I didn't find it worked for me.) Portions were small but satisfying; with six courses, I was grateful they weren't larger. Wines paired with the menu were generally delightful, and a Stemmler Pinot Noir was a big hit. (I was making big plans till I looked it up on Total Wines the next morning and found out it retails for $30/bottle!)
  20. I'm excited, since I'm something of an Fairfax City cheerleader. I've only been able to find a few reviews online, but they're all raves. I tried Sweet Life (the former occupant of the historic Moore House) once for dinner and it was sorta 'meh'/hit-or-miss, so I'm not surprised they didn't make it. Choices by Shawn seems to focus a lot on gluten-free baked goods, and they even have a few vegan offerings. The web site is here. Has anyone tried this place? Any thoughts?
  21. I spent all day feeling terrible and craving soup, so when N came home we wandered over to 18th to try out Ben Tre, which apparently opened in August. I've been craving canh chua for weeks now, and I already knew that Pho 14's version doesn't really do it for me. But, man, did I score tonight! The soup hit all the high notes- sweet, sour, spicy- with yummy bits of pineapple and lots of tomato. There were little puffy bits of pork belly in there, too, and okra and pepper flakes. It was amazing and perfect. The shrimp toast appears to be shrimp paste, on toast, and then the whole thing appears to be battered and then deep fried. 3 pieces to an order. It is both good, and a little horrifying. N had a spicy beef soup which was also really tasty, but not what I wanted. Which was fine, because I was blissfully happy with my own soup. Now that I have found this place, I may be here at least once a week, it's a 5 minute walk from home.
  22. Planning to meet a friend near Smithsonian Metro this weekend and walk to the MLK memorial / Tidal Basin. Would like to meet up first for a drink and quick snack. Is there a nice cafe or bakery near there or between the Metro and the memorial? Thanks.
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