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Found 374 results

  1. You could have knocked me over with a feather. After an excellent meal at Ghibellina, I was strongly swayed that there may be a new king of the 14th Street Shuffle (the Dining Guide Shuffle, that is). Further proof that DC's Italian Renaissance is in full-swing. People are talking about this-and-that neighborhood, but the biggest change in DC's dining scene of late has been the explosion of high-quality, moderately upscale Italian restaurants. And Lupo Verde, at least downstairs at the bar, positively screams Italian. If you've never had a Na Biretta beer, get one, and if you like a lot of malt, get the Na Biretta Rossa ($9) - this is like Moretti La Rossa, but better, and on steroids. Excellent quality, and a very cool-looking bottle to boot. I would get this again in a heartbeat, but there are four Na Birettas on the menu, and I'm eager to try the other three. It took forever for me to get my appetizer, probably close to half an hour, but when it arrived, I knew what took so long: I cannot imagine the labor that went into the Torta di Cozze ($9), and they've got boulder-sized testicoli offering this on a 14th-Street menu. Nominally a "Mussels Cake," this was an incredibly elegant little plate of warm, shelled mussels, sandwiched between two small wafers, with a half-melted scoop of Burrata, a little Parmigiano, and a drizzle of leek sauce. While not a large dish, and perhaps more delightful than delicious, this was not a nine-dollar plate of food; get it now, or pay more later - assuming it can possibly remain on the menu. Lupo Verde has a nice little wines by the glass list, but I went straight for the house white: Pinot Grigio on Tap ($8) from Piemonte, and it was a solid (not perfect, but solid) match with the Torta di Cozze - ideally, you'd want something a bit fuller bodied and bone dry. I recently had a very good spaghetti carbonara at Rose's Luxury, so I thought I'd try Lupo Verde's Carbonara ($14) to compare - there was no comparison. Lupo Verde's is made with homemade paccheri, guanciale, eggs, and Pecorino(-Romano?), and the paccheri is a wonderful vehicle for this classic Roman dish. This was, without question, the finest carbonara I have ever eaten. Like the Mussels Cake, it was a fairly small portion, but it was also a fairly small price - my server came down and almost apologized that the dish, served in a metal bowl, is presented merely warm, not steaming hot, because "that's the way they eat it in Italy," he said. Maybe, but the dish was plenty hot enough for me, and I was entranced by its execution. Lupo Verde's house red is also from Piemonte: Sangiovese on Tap ($8), and while this was a perfectly nice wine, especially for the price, I would counsel having it with a less-delicate, perhaps tomato-based dish, or charcuterie, and I would again recommend a full-bodied, bone-dry white with the Carbonara. Although I was getting somewhat full, I knew I hadn't eaten very much - these were not large courses - and since it was early, I knew I'd be wanting something later. So I got a plate of Three Cheeses ($13) to go which came with slices of bread, walnuts, and apricots. I apologize for failing to note the cheeses, but if you'd like, you can piece the order together yourselves: Lupo Verde is currently offering a total of four DOP (Denominazione Origine Protetta) cheeses, and I got the three that weren't Castelmagno. That was about the most non-helpful thing I've ever written, but the portions were fair, and although the cheeses are stored in plastic wrap, they were in perfect shape (on a similar note, my beer had gone several months past its expiration date, but it, too, was in perfect shape). It is important to recognize that I have now tried only two cooked courses at Lupo Verde, and I am not reviewing the restaurant; I am reviewing the individual meal. And I'm going to come right out and say that these were the two most refined dishes I can ever remember having on 14th Street. Needless to say, coverage is initiated, strongly, in Italic, and Lupo Verde, based on this one meal, is a legitimate contender for the 14th-Street crown. Yeah, you could have knocked me over with a feather.
  2. Stopped by 7th Hill Pizza (next to Montmartre) a couple of hours ago. I walked in to look around, and they're giving away slices of pizza. I thought the pizza was pretty good (nice brick oven). Apparently they're still lacking an inspection before they can open for business fully. I'll be back when they are.
  3. Sthitch: have you tried Willard's in Chantilly? For a jack-of-all-trades place they do a good job. Don't miss the cobblers!
  4. I've kept this quiet for weeks out of professional courtesy, but you'll hear about it very soon anyway, so you may as well hear it here first. Breaking News: Brian Zipin will be GM (and a partner) of Medium Rare, a sub-$20 American-style steak frites restaurant opening in late February in the old Yanni's space. Behind the operation? Mark Bucher of BGR was one of the creators, and none other than Michel Richard was (quietly) involved with developing sauces and desserts, but Brian and Tom Gregg (past President of Cuisine Solutions) are involved as non-silent partners. Cheers, Rocks PS Don't ever underestimate Michael Landrum - the guy gets around. But I've been told ... no sous vide (and I asked "are you sure? about ten times). So you weren't quite right, Michael!
  5. It looks like Agraria's second location will be Founding Farmers, at the IMF building. See links here and here.
  6. Victor Albisu's Taco Bamba opened yesterday in Falls Church/Tysons. It was a rough opening day. When the wife and I arrived at about 7PM the air conditioning was not working and their expediter was doing double duty dealing with the AC techs. We tried six tacos between us, Lengua, Tripas, Suadera and Pastor. All of the fillings were excellent, especially the tripe. The Pastor was not made on a rotating spit and suffered for not being quite crispy enough on the exterior. The flavorings on all the other meats were excellent, better than anything I have had in DC. The house made salsas that were served with the tacos were also excellent. We did not try the tamales, but if they are as good as the ones sold in his mother's store next door, then they are very good. The biggest disappointment were the tortillas. They were flour instead of corn and were not house made. My wife, the Arizonan, seeing the packaged soft tacos opted for the crispy tacos which were made from masa and they worked better than the soft flour ones. For me, the result was like having great pastrami on wonder bread. I hope they get a better supplier for the tortillas. I also prefer to dress my own tacos with, depending on the type of taco, cabbage, raddish, cilantro, onion or peppers. The tacos came pre-dressed though they did have small cups of diced raddish available. With opening night jitters, we ended up missing part of our order, but that is par for the course for any opening night. I am going to work my way down the menu and give them a chance to work out the kinks. As a former Miami resident, I am looking forward to trying their Torta Cubana and I hope they take a shot at another MIami favorite I miss Lechon (whole roasted pig). All things considered, I am very happy Victor Albisu has saved me a trip to Maryland to get a taco
  7. There's a new Poki DC on L st...btw Ct and 19. Couldn't find it on the web. Soft opening today was tasty. I found this Poke more than OK. Very nice people there everything was what it was supposed to be. Fresh, cold, warm, soft, crunchy...It is a bowl of rice with stuff on it but I pretty much love rice with stuff on it.
  8. When I moved to the DC area in 1997, one of the first "serious" restaurants I went to was Jaleo. I was just back from nearly a year in Europe with over a month of that time in Spain, so I was hankering for a tapas bar. I was prepared to be disappointed with Jaleo, but instead found myself returning every few weeks over the next couple of years. I intended to go to Cafe Atlantico last night, but the bar at Jaleo looked tempting. And for the first time in a long time, it looked like there were a few free seats. I started with a couple of scallops in Romesco sauce. I enjoyed the sauce, and the scallops were a bit past their prime but still decent. Queso de Tupi "Abuelo Tunica" was a surprise. This was a soft cheese that had been mixed with some sort of Spanish liquor served with bread and fig puree. It had a boozy sharp flavor that hit the spot. I also tried the Ensalada de Remolacha which consisted of beets, orange segments, walnuts, mixed greens and Cabrales-- one of my favorite cheeses. This was tasty, though the beets just didn't taste super fresh. I wouldn't go so far as saying they were canned, but they had definitely been around a while. I finished up my meal with a variety of sliced Spanish sausages: Chorizo, Soria, Butifarra, and Salchichon de Vic. All the meats were great, but I didn't care too much for the whole wheat toast points that came with it. Everything was washed down with a Garnacha, Carinena, Syrah, and Merlot blend called Perlat. I'm glad I stopped in. It had been too long. If I'm in the area, and it's still early enough in the evening to get a seat at the bar, I'll be back. Soon.
  9. I eat here with some regularity and keep coming back because they do all the standards well, have an experienced and friendly staff, good parking, a very good wine list and reasonable prices. A good choice for a bustling neighborhood bistro. The table under the stairs is a nice, quiet private spot.
  10. Has anyone had an opportunity to visit Fireworks Wood Fired Pizza in Leesburg, Virginia? http://www.fireworkspizza.com/HOME2.htm My family and I have eaten at the restaurant once, and ordered take out twice. On our first visit, the first pie we ordered was the: quattro carni. The second (take out) was the: smokey blue, and the third (take out) was the: fire cracker. Our favorite pie thus far has been the: smokey blue, but felt that the service each time has been poor. During our first visit, the wait staff neglected to remember one-half of the order for my family. As a result causing the food delivery to be staggered. Each time we have called to place take out orders, the phone manners from the wait staff/bartender taking the order has been less than stellar.
  11. In the space formerly occupied by the credible Pane e Vino, there is now Casa Tequila. It appears to be the second outpost of the original Casa Tequila in Purcellville, and offers what might be the suburbs' most extensive tequila menu. With the same outdoor seating as Pane e Vino and with such a selection of tequila, there should be some pleasant happy hours for the Lorton Station residents. The menu -- which I admit that I have not yet sampled -- looks like a decent attempt at "Mex" with a few "Tex" thrown in to attract the locals. This area is not big on true Mexican flavors, which is a shame, but here might be the place to sample some genuine dishes. The mole ranchero and arroz con pollo will be on my short list when I visit. Which will be soon.
  12. 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
  13. They had mini-corn dogs on their menu. Did you have an opportunity to try these? Do you think perhaps they might become the next mini-burger? I am salivating at the thought.
  14. Pho Nom Nom, out Rockville Pike is a bit of a drive but so worth it. Best Pho around!
  15. OK, I couldn't find a listing for this restaurant, so here it goes... I have tended to only go to the take out place in Arlington and the new "cafe" in Silver Spring recently, but Friday I found myself at the Lebanese Taverna in Woodly Park. I used to go here all the time in years past, so when were were looking for a quick bite to eat, we thought we would give it a try. I would say the food was ok, but not as good as I remembered. I think ultimately knowing you could go to Zatinya and have similar food, but prepared in a more inspired way, you would pick Zatinya. We ordered a bunch of the mezza. Some items were fine (the Kibbeh and hommus), one item was very good (sharaht ghanam- which was sliced lamb), and others were average to not very good (the lamb kabob appetizer was terrible, the pieces were so fatty my piece was impossible to eat as it was all fat). I know that its location near the hotels means that there are many tourists, but I think they may have dumbed down some of the food for them. I used to remember this restaurant as a fun and interesting place to go. I still like the take away in Silver Spring, but if I want to sit down and eat, Zatinya is the winner, with better food and atmosphere. I wonder if they are successful with the 100 King restaurant in Alexandria, they will go back to to Woodly Park, and give it a much needed update.
  16. I ate dinner last weekend at Sin Fronteras. My Mother and her SO has been raving about the place, so I was glad to get to check it out. The parking lot of this place was packed, which has to be a good sign. My Mom really likes the Margarita Salmon. She told me to get the Chile En Nogoda which is- A toasty poblano pepper, filled with seasoned ground brisket beef combined with raisins and sweet plantains, topped with our delicious, homemade cold creamy Nogada Sauce served with white rice. It was delicious- it had a really good mix of flavors and was savory, but fresh. I thought the combination sounded a bit strange, but it was really good. Not a huge portion, but just right with the chips and salsa and everything else. My Mom got a seafood soup that I tried which was also delicious- it tasted like a latin version of a bouillabaisse. SO had the tilapia which was also very good from the bite I stole. The guac had more cilantro than I like, (but I don't like any cilantro) but was good. The margarita I had was more than acceptable in size. I loved this place, the interior is a bit like a sports bar/diner cross in feel, very casual. The owner was so nice and wanted to make sure we liked everything, which we did. They take a lot of pride in their restaurant and food.
  17. Good new food cart in Rosslyn (near the metro). They have a menu of breakfasts tacos and I think they're open for lunch now too. I stopped by this morning when I was in the neighborhood. I had two tacos with egg whites, peppers & onions, pinto beans, and cheese on a flour tortilla. Only cost $5. Very good food, especially for the price. Nice warm, soft tortillas stuffed with flavorful beans, crispy veggies, and soft egg whites. Add a bit of the medium salsa and it's a good meal for a low price.
  18. I have got their pizza from DC (yes a nightmare) but recently ordered their "jumbo slice" a number of times at their FC location. Their dough is perfectly fluffy with a nice crunch and sauce has a nice red pepper infused taste.
  19. Bullfrog Bagels did a few pop-ups around the city, but has now opened a permanent store on one side of the Star and Shamrock bar on the East end of H St. I stopped in around 8:30 this morning, and there was a line of about 18 people. The selection today included all the standard bagels as well as a reasonable looking bialy. I needed to get in and out quickly, so decided against any of the breakfast sandwiches (egg & cheese, lox, smoked whitefish, etc.), and got a sesame and everything bagel to go, with sides of scallion/chive and smoked salmon cream cheese. The little guy got a bialy. The everything bagel was indeed everything. Almost, but not quite too salty (which is the perfect amount of salty for a bagel), with a shiny, dark brown outside and perfectly chewy inside. This was a damn fine bagel. The sesame looked like it could've used a few more minutes in the oven, and was a bit pale and soft on the outside. Overall, it was still a pretty good bagel, but didn't compare to the other. I'm not much of a bialy expert, but this one at least looked like the ones I remember from NYC. Nice softened onions and poppy seeds filled the middle. Given the crowd, they're definitely filling a need. Another day, another quality opening on H St.
  20. Rocklands is opening a new location in Wintergreen Plaza on Rockville Pike. Any reason for me to get excited about this, or should we continue to get our 'cue from Urban? The only Rocklands we're tried was the Glover Park location and that was at least 7-8 years ago. I remember nothing about the meat, but their corn salad was pretty good. The new Rocklands would be about 3 minutes from our house, rather than a trek down the Pike.
  21. I wrote this up several weeks ago, but worth repeating. The Copper Crust Company is a god send to this carb addict. Its located right inside the Central Market in downtown York. The owners are originally from NY, city proper, I may add. They brought their skills to town. An everything bagel that a New Yawker would eat!! Although, I do believe the secret to NY bagels & pizza dough is the water. This should be on a list of MUST eat places while visiting the area, among many more. But rec needs to wait til my next review!! building suspense, kat
  22. About a week ago I followed signs leading me to Firehook Bakery, in a very odd, industrial location on Flint Lee Road off Lee Road in Chantilly (across from Chantilly Crossing, home of Target and Costco). Having seen Firehook in DC, but not being close enough to try it, I was intrigued. Given that the most prominent bakeries out here are in supermarkets or wholesale clubs, I find this to be a great addition to the neighborhood. I tried a loaf of the pumpkin cranberry bread. Quite delicious. Many of the other offerings also looked good (example: Danish with fresh fruit instead of neon gop). Also, they are giving a free cup of coffee with each purchase, and the coffee is fantastic. Next time I'm in there I'm going to buy a bag of beans. In short, good news for us hicks.
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