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Found 7 results

  1. I previously mentioned that there may be some culinary transitions at the Lorien Hotel, and if you enjoy the cuisine at Brabo, you may want to go today. However, I've also heard that even bigger changes may be in the works. I've never been inside "the gate" at The Lorien (thus, I will not give it any "star ratings"); I've only been to the restaurants, which I have always loved - I'd really appreciate hearing from someone who has stayed in the hotel itself. This goes for any hotel in the DC area, actually. This is about two blocks from the King Street Metro Station. Not sure how they're going to handle the restaurant changes (Brabo is on the far left; Brabo Tasting Room is on the far right):
  2. Casolare opened a month or so ago, in the Kimpton hotel that is on Wisconsin Ave in Glover Park between Calvert and Davis (?). Apparently the "name" behind it is Michael Schlow, who has James Beard award(s) though I confess I don't know the name. It is a very pleasant warm place, bustling on a Friday early evening - mostly, apparently, neighborhood folks rather than hotel guests. Current menu is here and is self-explanatory - mostly Italian-ish. Everything we ate was well made - not revelatory but good to eat. I mean, it's a hotel restaurant, but one that we will happily go back to, and sit again at the bar, and talk to nice people and eat some good burrata. Park on Davis and check it out if you are in or near the neighborhood.
  3. I got the last seat at the bar at a crowded Riggsby, and immediately got an odd impression about the bartender. This was going to be an unusual evening - I felt it. He handed me the cocktail list, full of ordinary wines a touch too expensive for my blood, but I flipped it over, and there were some graphics showing some of the more upscale drinks; the problem, is that both the graphics and the text were so faded that they were barely readable. Strike one. But I wanted a Gin & Tonic, and that was the one list in the top-right corner, touting that it was made with Hendricks Gin and Fever Tree Tonic Water - I don't love Hendricks in my G&Ts, but I can live with it, so I ordered it. You're out of Fever Tree Tonic Water? Oh. Normally, I'd say Strike two, but you'd just been First Bitten the day before, so, no pitch. And plus, you told me you had their Ginger Beer, so I looked below it at their Moscow Mule. A picture of a beautiful copper tankard was accompanied by the description that the drink was made with a "high-quality" vodka with Fever Tree Ginger Beer, a little lime juice, and a wedge of lime - sounded good to me, so I went with it. Oh, you don't serve these in copper tankards like you have them pictured? Well, I'd say Strike two, but that's not really you're fault, so no pitch. Sure, why not. So I started my meal with a Moscow Mule ($8), and the vodka he used was pulled up from under the bar and poured like he was trying desperately to empty the bottle. The lime juice was measured, however - I thought it was supposed to be the other way around? It was a *strong* drink, but it didn't taste bad, and after all, it used Fever Tree Ginger Beer. But what was that vodka? It was in a blue bottle, and I became curious. I nursed my drink while perusing the menu, and by the time I got to the bottom, I was ready for another, and when he asked me, I asked him what type of Vodka he used in that first drink. He pulled the bottle up from underneath the bar, and held it before my eyes: Skyy. Strike two, my friend: this is a $14 bottle of rot-gut, and it's no wonder you were trying to get rid of it - what happened to the "high-quality vodka" in the description? Well, at least it was an $8 drink. He told me I could have it made with any of their shelf vodka's ... Tito's, Ketel One, Grey Goose ... okay, better. This one, I got with Ketel One. And he measured the vodka, and short-poured me - filling the measuring cup only about 3/4 of the way before taking a scoop of ice so large that there was ice 3-4 inches above the top of my glass which needed to be whisked off. The rest of the drink was made normally, but it's amazing how small of a cocktail you can get when your glass is absolutely full with small ice cubes. It tasted like a mocktail with no alcohol in it. And damned if I didn't get charged $12 for the drink. Strike three. He knew what he was doing; he was just anti-customer, or so I thought. I ordered my meal, a Schnitzel "a la Holstein" ($29), and asked what it came with - "warm, German potato salad," he said. Okay, it sounded potentially acidic, but I took my chances, and with it, I ordered as a second side order, something from the bar menu: Chorizo-Stuffed Mushrooms ($7) which took him aback - I guess people aren't ordering these things as sides with their meals, but it sounded like it would go just fine with my meal, so I verified with him, yes, I'd like it with my meal; not as an appetizer. No problem. A short while later, everything arrived from behind me, and I could see why my bartender had raised an eyebrow - my entree and its "German potato salad" had been cooked to order; my chorizo stuffed mushrooms were made earlier in the day and reheated - they were dried out, and really did look like pass-around canapes, or bar snacks. But the flavors were all there, and they did, in fact, go with everything else. The schnitzel itself was delicious, but pounded more thinly than I've ever seen a schnitzel presented before - I was hoping for something nearly twice this thick for $29. So they not only get you with a high price, but also with deceptively small amounts of meat. Still, the batter was delicious, the schnitzel was cooked very well, and it came with some anchovies (for some much-needed salt), capers, and a runny egg. Every so often I'd spear a new potato from its iron skillet sitting next to my plate (this was my "German Potato Salad" - it was halved new potatoes, with a little onion on the bottom and cooked with some jus, perhaps from the schnitzel, and they were *delicious* - a nice surprise in a meal where I felt like I was getting nickled-and-dimed. Likewise, I did the same with my chorizo-stuffed mushrooms, which were about the same size as the potatoes - yes, they were older and dried out, but when put on my plate and cut in half, they went very well with my other two items. Right when the food came, my bartender asked me if I'd wanted another drink, and I told him I was thinking about a glass of wine. He thought for a moment, and said, "I've got something for you to try," before pouring me a generous glass of Vermentino ($11), which is exactly the wine I would have chosen for myself. I complimented him on his call, and he began to warm up. So I enjoyed my rather expensive meal (the final bill was $73.70 before tip), then asked for the check. I reached for my wallet and mouthed the words, 'Oh, my God.' He saw me do this, obviously read my lips, and knew something was wrong. I had forgotten my wallet in the car. Embarrassed, I explained this all to him, and handed him my keys and iPhone, saying I'd be back in five minutes. (I did have the wits about me to take my car key off the ring.) No problem, he said, and I showed up a bit later, left a $15 tip, and all was well. "I could tell something bad had happened when I saw your face," he laughed. So, all's well that ends well, and I enjoyed my meal even though I was out $88.70. And the bartender wasn't such a bad chap after all.
  4. Domaso Trattoria Moderna is in the Hotel Palomar in Rosslyn at 1121 North 19th Street (at North Lynn St). Phone 703.351.1211. Website here. Tom Sietsema's Dish here. We had dinner here the other night and enjoyed it. For my appetizer, I had the polenta which came with a thick sauce of truffle torta ambros, marscapone, and truffle oil which was good and very rich. The polenta was the firm type (a cylinder sliced diagonally lengthwise) although I think the menu said soft polenta. My husband had fried mozzarella with roasted peppers, crispy leeks, and white wine sauce, and the pepper flavor was a nice addition to the fried mozzarella. Both appetizers were plated nicely. For bread, they served us two pieces of rosemary focaccia, small parmesan breadsticks that had a bit of spiciness to them, and two thick slices of white Italian bread with a chickpea garlic spread. I thought the bread was good - dense, slightly chewy crumb. The bread was room temperature/slightly cool. For the main course, we ordered pastas. I had the gigante tortelloni filled with potato and small bits of pancetta and came with shavings of pecorino on top. It came with a slice of crispy pancetta as a garnish. The menu said there was also goat milk butter, and I think that was in the sauce. The tortelloni reminded me of pierogies. My husband had the mushroom risotto. For dessert we had the chestnut and chocolate terrine which was a mousse in a small cup made of chocolate in a mesh design. It came with a candied chestnut, quince and moscato compote, and a white chocolate garnish. They also gave us complimentary bombolini filled with pastry cream (these are on the menu so I'm guessing they just had some leftover). We were really stuffed at this point though, and we couldn't finish the desserts. (My carb-heavy choices of polenta and potato-filled pasta probably didn't create the most balanced meal.) The service was friendly and attentive. I have a sample menu which looks the same as the menu we had, but I don't remember all the details so I can't be sure. The prices on the sample menu for salads and appetizers are $8 to $12, soups are $6, and pastas are $11 to $15. For the Secondi meat/seafood dishes -- whole roasted Mediterranean sea bream (and baby artichokes, riviera olives, red bliss potato and lemon white wine sauce) is $25, herb rubbed roasted beef tenderloin (and baby arugula, red onion marmalade, and red wine essence) is $28, grilled jumbo shrimp (and buckwheat polenta and lemon sauce) is $27, a grilled veal chop (with roasted cipolline onions and smashed parsnips) is $38, and a half boneless organic chicken (sautéed with pioppini mushrooms, roasted chestnuts, and chiavennasca grape) is $19. Desserts are $8. There's also a separate bar menu with some different small dishes.
  5. Any guesses on who's going to come to DC for the latest offering from the Kimpton Group? Or are they going to find someone already here?
  6. I'm bringing a group of friends to Poste tomorrow night. I haven't been for dinner there in over a year. Anyone been lately? Suggestions?
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