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Found 101 results

  1. [Posted on eGullet in July 2004...gee, almost a year ago...] One more voice in praise of Eve. Went with a friend last Saturday night. First, I have to say that getting a reservation is Hard Work - I honestly don't know many eateries here that you have to call on Tuesday to make sure you get in on a Saturday night in the middle of summer. But I sort of knew what I was in for, so no complaints from me! Now, I have to disclose that I work at the restaurant where Cathal ran the kitchen before he and Meshelle opened Eve, but in a very unimportant capacity (part-time hostess). I don't think this had any role in the quality of food, or the ambience, only in how we were treated First, I LOVED the decor. Very warm, homey but sophisticated, and soooo cozy. Bar is a bit crowded, but not in an annoying way. Unusual setup of bar with the counter and couches along the wall makes the place feel very social and home-like. Service was very nice. Now, I am not a high-maintenance diner and I generally like my servers as unnoticeable as possible - tell me about the special, deliver the food, answer a random question and bye-bye. Our guy was very good - on hand when I needed him (not often) and not hovering when I didn't. Now, the food. I understand now why legends of Cathal are still alive at places he used to work. It's awfully good. I have no claim to expertise in judging food except bits and pieces gleaned in the course of late-night tequila-shootin' with the sous, bu the man is seriously good. Appetizer was baby beets and goat cheese salad. Anyone who hails from Russia has ideas about beets, mainly about how to avoid it when mommy insists. But this dish was really very good, clean, great ingredients shining through with minimum fuss. I had my mind made up about entrees before going (I know I know..idle hands with Internet access...will have to think about something to put on timesheet) - pork belly for me. But the duck special sounded too good to pass, so I went for it. So good! Can one make duck medium rare and incredibly tender at the same time? Yes yes, that describes mine. Garnished with a very earthy, garlicky-tasting mushroom (something o'woods?) with no trace of garlick ON it, must be some clever basting technique at work. But now I have to come back for my pork! Dessert was chocolate mojito - brick-shaped thingie of mousse crossed with flourless cake structure encased in chocolate glaze with mint Jello scattered about. So good. My friend had a peach granita that was quite good, too, I am just not a white chocolate fan. I can't wait to try the tasting room! Meshelle told me they are going to start "Industry Nights" on Mondays in August - I am officially on a mission to get all kitchen folks from our place to go already. Oh, and she was so very gracious and wonderful to us - stopped by, like, three times in the middle of a Saturday night rush (I know what that's like!) Just a delight to be around. Face it, being cheerful can be very tiring when it's a part of your job description - we've all had these moments at the end of a busy night when you look at your guests and think, oh would y'all just go cluster!@#$ yourselves! But she was grace under pressure personified. Made for a great night for us.
  2. I checked the dining guide and couldn't find a listing, but I wanted to make a mention of Thailand on Royal in Old Town Alexandria. The restaurant has just moved into a larger location on Fairfax Street, just across from Perks, and their expansion in this economy is a testament to their consistently solid performance. The food is very good and the service is attentive, and we think they are the best Thai option in our part of NoVa. I usually get one of two dishes here, the drunkard's noodles or the panang curry. The noodles are searingly hot and beautifully spiced with plenty of basil. The panang curry has a lovely depth and is exceptionally fragrant with kaffir lime leaves (no skimping on the pricey ingredients). They will also make this dish with tofu and/or vegetables, options that I don't think are on the menu, but have been suggested by our server and make for a nice lighter lunch. Mr. lperry loves the chicken kaprow, spiced minced chicken, and they always make it just how he wants it, on the mild side. We eat out a great deal, and this restaurant is the only one in the area where we have never had a bad meal. Not once. And that's with a minimum of one visit a week. The worst thing that has happened was the appearance of anemic tomatoes in the drunkard's noodles during the off season, but this phenomenon is not restricted to this restaurant. We'll keep going.
  3. Did you know that The Royal Restaurant is the third-oldest in the DC area, having first opened in 1904? 😲
  4. I'm surprised there's not a post yet about Hummingbird. As far as I know, it's not quite open, but should be soon. It's the latest from Cathal and Meshelle Armstrong, Todd Thrasher, and the Eat Good Food Group: the restaurant/bar at the new Hotel Indigo on the Old Town Alexandria waterfront. The bright and airy interior space looks really nice and there is a great patio area, as well. The menus are still in progress, but it sounds like there may be a seafood slant, with the occasional Irish touch, too. Some additional info at Zagat.
  5. Has anyone stopped in at this new Neighborhood Restaurant Group restaurant yet (where Bookbinders used to be)? I saw an article that said they opened the main floor this week. I was looking through the lunch and dinner menus on their website, and the reuben eggroll caught my eye.
  6. What’s the Deal With Executive Diner’s Contentious Menu? Both management and a fired chef are claiming credit for the sweeping document, by Warren Rojas, April 30, 2018, on dc.eater.com.
  7. I look at this as "new opening" experience, but not a good one. Mia's had been open about 10 days when I dined there last Sunday evening. It retains the layout established by Carluccio's: The bar is in the back left of the 1st floor, with dining tables at the front. The former bakery area is now a pizza oven and "bar style" seating for dining. The main kitchen and a dining area on the second floor. Overall, I liked the decor and interior look and feel. The menu looks great, though our food was a mixed bag, as was the service. They have a number of issues to work out in these early days. We arrived for a 7:30 reservation at 7:21 and were told (unapologetically) it would be a few minutes before we could be seated. The place was busy, but I didn't feel welcomed at all by the host. (Perhaps he was trying to accentuate an air of exclusivity and buzz. Hmmm.) I initially thought the bar was in the front by the host stand -- and it was full. But this is bar seating at the pizza oven. There's no bartender there. So we left and had a drink at Pizzeria Paradiso, to return in a little while. When we returned we were seated with our party. Where to begin? The service was ok, with exceptions. The food was a mixed bag, as were the drinks. Definitely a lot to process here -- for me and for Mia's. They have a nice cocktail and wine list. I enjoyed their camomile tea-infused Negroni and we ordered a nice bottle of wine (delivered by a manager with radio in her ear and on her hip). But the Bellini was a problem for one of our companions. They had eaten at the bar a few days before and enjoyed Bellini's there. But this one was different. The menu lists "prosecco, peach purée, orange juice, lavender bitters." They believed the original was either missing the bitters or had much less. And the same for the orange juice. They found this one disappointing. The four of us ordered a spinach salad and capresse to share, with 2 pastas, eggplant parm, and a pizza (which looked like a "flat bread" to me). First the salad arrived. We saw a Capresse coming at the same time, but it wasn't delivered to our table. It was ~10 min before we asked about the capresse almost as one was arriving. The spinach salad was fine; solid. The Capresse has some of the best mozzarella I've tasted. Very fresh and delicious. But it was served with grape tomatoes, and not enough of them for the generous cheese slices. I could swear I saw slices of tomato on the first Capresse I saw, but not sure. About the same time as the Capresse arrived, the pizza arrived. The pizza's are rectangular and cut diagonally thought the center, and perhaps two more times--I didn't really study it.. Again, it seemed like a flatbread, though I didn't taste. (I'm not familiar with rectangular Italian pizza, maybe that's a thing.) Unfortunately, that meant that one us had his dinner too early. I ordered a "spicy" shrimp Diavolo with fettuccine (the online menu shows this as "LOBSTER FRA DIAVOLO"--that was not on offer). Other meals included RIGATONI ALLA CALABRESE, and EGGPLANT & PORCINI “POLPETTA”. The house made pastas are delicious. My pasta was light and delicate, despite the wide noodle. The Calabrese was a very tasty sauce and the pasta was a bit more al dente but delicious. I liked the eggplant, though I'm not much of a connoisseur in that department; our companion found the portion too large and the breading a little too much. Now back to the shrimp. It was devoid of spice. The only hint of spice was the red pepper I shook onto it. The tomato sauce was flavorful and fresh tasting, but the chef forgot to add several spices I suspect. That was another disappointment. The pasta dishes were still tasty enough that we took home what we didn't eat. When our waiter came back we chatted with her about all of these observations and we got nothing more than "oh, sorry" this and that, as well as an exaplainaton that the pizza kitchen is separate from the main, so food might come out differently. Uh, ok, it's still a poor experience. What annoys me is that after trying to give genuine, helpful feedback we go no acknowledgement. We should have been comped the Bellini at a minimum. Maybe offered a discount on the check or on a future visit. The manager should have been called to talk with us (they were NOT remotely busy by this point). We were told how the staff had trained for a month before opening. I think they missed a few things in training. I also wonder what the management trained on. I also have to mention that the seating is too tight in the tables by 1st floor windows. There is barely enough room for waitstaff to get between the tables perpendicular to the windows and the chairs of patrons seated in the tables parallel to the windows. I was bumped at least twice, my sweater was brushed off the back of the chair, as was my wife's coat. I looked a the layout and wondered what the managers were thinking. I saw staff struggling to get through the gauntlet of patrons' chairs and window tables with less than 3 feet of clearance. The divider between dining and bar should be moved 2-3 feet toward the bar. I want Mia's to succeed and I'm generally a fan of Alexandria Restaurant Group's efforts and what they bring to the community. This location has a history of being difficult -- it's sad to think about how long it's been vacant over the past 15 years. I note that there are several Italian restaurants on this block (Il Porto, Landini Bothers) and a pizza restaurant (Pizzaria Paradiso). So I have to wonder whether an Italian kitchen is what the 100 block of King St needed. Is this a slap in the face? The gauntlet thrown down? I'll leave that for others to decide.
  8. Stopped by Smoking Kow for a late lunch today. They opened earlier this week. The place is pretty small, with about four picnic tables to eat at inside. They didn't have wings, tacos or ribs today, which was too bad. I ordered the two-meat platter with pulled pork and brisket, along with barbecue beans and mac and cheese. I also tried all of their sauces. I believe they were: original, vinegar, mumbo, chipotle, and gold. I thought the pulled pork and the brisket were both good, though they didn't provide a lot of it for a platter. I also thought it strange that the brisket only comes chopped. It made me suspicious that they're trying to cover up something, because that's why I do when my brisket turns out dry. Of the sauces, I enjoyed the chipotle the most, especially with the brisket. I really enjoyed their barbecue beans. They're red and white beans with a vinegary sauce that has a lot of interesting flavor to it. Can't wait to try that again. The mac and cheese was creamy, fine, nothing to really write home about. Overall, I'll definitely give this place another chance. I think the transition from food truck to restaurant will probably give them some growing pains. The menus (and meat portions) seem more geared toward sandwiches, which makes sense for a food truck. Hopefully they'll have brisket slices and ribs in the near future.
  9. Have you tried the espresso at Misha's? I am not a big coffee person, but didn't see it on your list.
  10. Exciting news on King Street! The folks from A la Lucia (namely Michael Nayeri) have announced that they will be opening a new restaurant in the space at 1106 King Street. The news was announced on the A la Lucia Facebook page, as well as in a recent e-newsletter. It will not be a second A la Lucia location. They're hoping for an opening in early 2015.
  11. Sugar Shack Donuts is another soon-to-be addition to the area near the Braddock Road Metro. Sugar Shack made USA Today's list of Top 10 best doughnut shops earlier this year. Things are definitely picking up in the Northwest quadrant of Old Town, with more to come. And they're hiring, according to the signs in the windows. The latest news, and links to previous stories from Red Brick Town can be found here.
  12. For those who have not yet reserved for Valentine's Day, a new option now appears in the port city of Alexandria, with bold alacrity of a Roman Emperor appearing at the ancient port of Antwerp to slay a giant named after Greek tragic heroine: BRABO (yes, it's all caps). According to their website and recent press, Star Chef Robert Weidmaier's first thrust into the Confederacy offers an exciting collection of adjectives, including "engaging," "inspired and meorable," "rustic and refined, timeless and contemporary [a perfect balance between, that is]," "approachable," "casual" "lively," "uparalleled" and "flavorful." The result of all this is, naturally, a cuisine that that focuses on sustainability and support of regional producers (and how could it not?) and "adhere to traditional technique while speaking to this specific time and place[12:30 Thursday, in my case] and a floor staff run by a Maitre d' with a bloodline as distinguished and well docomented as Ch Clussexx Three D Grinchy Glee's: "[Gonzague] Muchery was born in Lille, France to a Flemish mother and a father from Burgundy. Once one pushes past the purple prose in the press release and on the web, one suspects it may be a decent spot, with benefits including Sunday and Monday hours, breakfast, beer and a menu that parallel's without repeating ('cept the mussels, of course) Brasserie Beck. Someone check it out and get back to me, K?
  13. For $30 pp, Geranio has a 4 course menu offering right now. I recieved a notice via mail, but the dates are confllicting, so I'd call to be sure if you're going after August. The notice states on one side, that the 4 course fixed price menu will be offered throughout the month of August. On the other side it says it's available Aug. 1 thru Sept. 30. Choice of: Loster Bisque with Tarragon Fried Calamari with Lemon Caper Sauce Choice of: Salad of Vine Ripened Tomato and Mozzerella with Prosciutto and Field Greens Field Greens with Herb Mustard Vinaigrette, Gorgonzola and Walnuts Choice of: Veal Scaloppini with Braised Mushrooms, Roasted Garlic Fingerling Potatoes and Marsala Reduction Grilled Atlantic Salmon with Mashed Potatoes, Pancetta and Roasted Garlic and Shallots, Red Wine Sauce Choice of: Tiramisu Homemade Ice Creams and Sherberts http://www.geranio.net
  14. This place opened up on Duke St where Maggio used to be, by the bike shop. The menu looked so interested - typical kebabs, hummus, dolma and the like. But, there were many other things I've never heard of - stews, fried fish dishes, lamb shank, etc. It had the feel of Amoo's - families, native languages heard, family owned and operated, but it's Iraqi not Iranian. From the few yelp reviews, this is the only Iraqi place in the area and the Iraqi community is very excited and impressed with the cooking. The place was packed, almost all middle eastern crowd. We tried to place a carryout order and they just couldn't get to us - after over ten minutes, we still couldn't place an order so ended up leaving. I know they were super busy, but we were starving and had some little kids involved and it wasn't going to work out. The food I saw looked impressive, they have Iraqi breakfast at 9a and it looks like a real solid operation. I'll try again to eat there soon, but when someone else goes, please report!
  15. I am sorry if this thread is elsewhere. We had dinner at Vaso's last night and I can't say enough good things. It is EXACTLY what a neighborhood restaurant should be. Appetizer stand outs included the artichoke with garlic; spanakopita and a zesty feta spread. They could have done much better by the bread though. Dinner show stoppers included a special of veal chop stuffed with ground veal, cheese and ham. Perfectly roasted. My uber fussy brother proclaimed it the best dish he has eaten in months. I had a wonderfully grilled whole branzino. But the heartwarmer was my Mom's dinner. Mom is a vegetarian. We asked Vaso (Vaso is the owner and chef and her kid runs the front of the house) to make a pasta dish for her. She sent out pasta with tons of veggies and a great tomato sauce. Mom was thrilled. The service was warm and friendly. Brava to Vaso for her lovely little place.
  16. Captain Gregory's speakeasy inside Sugar Shack is now in soft open - we tried it last week and we will be back. They are open Thursday - Sunday evenings starting at 6pm You make reservations via text 571-281-0059 and when you arrive you pull on the whiskey flag and the slid open the door to check for reservation. There is a two hour limit and a $30 / person minimum. There are about 22 seats and it is very dimly lit (had trouble seeing menu) by candlelight and the music is via LP. We had a great time, after the first round we moved over to the bar and chatted with the bartender Sam who was friendly and talkative. he makes most of the bitters and flavored boozes himself. The food options ($12) when we were there were long johns one with Brie/Fig/Bacon (YUM) and the other was a brushutta type (also good) The drinks ($10-15) all have a story and are all wonderful we had quite a few and all were unique and very wonderful
  17. Any update on the opening up of Overwood in Old Town? It's taking the place of Ecco and the opening has been pushed back a number of times so far in 2006, or that's what a City of Alexandria site has had listed. Thanks.
  18. I was walking around at lunch today and passed by 100 King St (vacant for awhile) and notice a bunch of permits on the windows and obvious demolition going on. Went back to the office and did a bit of digging and found a submission by Carluccios on the upcoming docket of the Board of Architectural Reviews. Apparently a UK based Italian chain. Carluccios.pdf
  19. Gotta say, I hate the name, but I enjoyed the ice cream here over the weekend after some blueberry picking at Larriland Farm. They're located behind and a couple of doors down from Tersiguel's in Old Town Ellicott City. It's just a walk-up window with a bunch of outdoor seating (bonus for me but maybe not for everyone: lots of dogs!), which was perfect for this beautiful summer day sliding into evening. They share the window with River House Pizza, which is a wood-fired pizza place. (We didn't try the pizza, which was sold out for the day.) I didn't realize when we were there that they don't make their own ice cream. They serve Taharka Brothers ice cream, which I had never heard of but is made in Baltimore and seems to be very well regarded. I certainly enjoyed it. I had a scoop of the black cherry chunk and a scoop of the pistachio in a bowl. The scoops were quite generous, and the flavors were quite bold. The pistachio was a light greenish beige color, not a garish green. My daughter wanted pink ice cream, so we got her watermelon sorbet, which was amazingly refreshing and delicious. I wouldn't usually order sorbet when ice cream is an option, but that watermelon sorbet was something else. My only complaint was that the service was a bit slow. The line to order moved pretty quickly, but it took awhile for our ice cream to come out. Despite that, I'd certainly return!
  20. Vermilion hosts a wine dinner each month - typically the first Monday of the month - however August will be a bit different. The restaurant is serving up a five course dinner paired with various beers from Dogfish Head Brewery in Delaware. Cost is reasonable at $60 inclusive of tax and tip. Menu Passed Appetizers and Tasting Crab Cigars, Curry Russian Dressing Goat Cheese Profiterole with Basil and Mint Grilled Bison Hanging Tenderloin Crostini, Horseradish Cream Dogfish Head Shelter Pale Ale First Course Prosciutto Wrapped Figs with Gorgonzola, Microgreens Dogfish Head Indian Brown Ale Second Course Arugula and Brie Cheese Salad, Dried Apricots, Pumpkin Seeds, Celery Root and Champagne Vinaigrette Dogfish Head Aprihop Third Course Baked Maryland Rockfish, Fingerling Potatoes, Wild Mushrooms, Green Beans, Rosemary Cream Sauce Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA Fourth Course Grilled Bistro Filet Marinated in Chicory Stout, Orange and Soy, Grilled Summer Squash, Shitake Mushroom Glaze Dogfish Head Chicory Stout Final Course Assorted Truffles and Chocolates Dogfish Head Raison D’Etre Reservations can be made by calling the restaurant at 703.684.9669. These events typically fill up pretty quickly, so get in early! Cheers!
  21. They're still delivering to Arlington from the Alexandria location, but the last time we got it, the pizza was undercooked. I don't know of other pizza/Italian places that deliver to the Courthouse area other than Papa John's and similar ilk, though picking up at Fireworks has worked (pizza ready in 15 minutes both times). Wish Faccia Luna had delivery!
  22. From: The List, Are You On It. Christophe Poteaux, currently Executive Chef / Food & Beverage Director for Aquarelle at The Watergate, will open this new restaurant in Old Town Alexandria by September, featuring a moderately priced, modern French/Mediterranean cuisine with a blend of world ingredients. So does anyone know where and when this is going to open?
  23. I tried out Meggrolls last night. It's in the former Five Guys space at 107 N. Fayette Street in Old Town. The space is pleasant -- navy and white, with a touch of dusty orange in the dining area, blond wood tables and chairs, and a bunch of framed '80s album covers in the dining area. Right now, they're open for dinner hours only, at 5:00, so they can get a feel for the flow. The menu is small, about a half dozen Meggrolls offered, plus some cole slaw variations, french fries, and chili, and the chalkboard advertises that pies are coming soon. The chalkboard also says that 1 roll is a good snack and 2 is a meal. Well, 1 roll and a side of slaw would be more than plenty of food for me; I did the 2 rolls (no sides) and it was a stretch -- remember, it's all deep fried. At $6.75+ per roll (sides are a la carte), taking the chalkboard's advice gets pricey pretty fast for what is, at its heart, tasty craft junkfood. The rolls are a cheeseburger, buffalo chicken, gyro, mac-n-cheese, and chicken parm. The rolls are expertly fried, and fried to order. I could see into the frying area and each chamber of the fryer was labeled for each type of roll so none of the flavors mingle. They're using some sort of iPad register system and it looks cute but I wonder how it's going to hold up over the medium term, let alone long term. Because it's done to order, and a small kitchen (one fry cook/roll splitter and one dressing the rolls at the pass, it can get backed up quickly and one even small order gone wrong can throw the whole thing into the weeds. Case in point, I was in a mini-rush of folks getting off work and arriving about 5:45, and was 3rd or 4th to order and 10th or 11th to get my 2 rolls, one of which was done many minutes (and several intervening pick-ups) before the other. The rolls were dark brown, crunchy, not greasy, and held up well to a 30 minute car ride home, but I certainly wouldn't recommend that sort of holding time. I tried the spicy buffalo chicken roll and the gyro roll. The chicken was a mild-to-medium spicy piece of chicken that appeared to have been pre-cooked in the spiced coating, then egg roll wrapped with a little something else inside the roll, deep fried and then split lengthwise and topped with a small celery stick and dressed with bleu or ranch dressing (I had the bleu on the side since it was a to-go order). I would have liked it a bit spicier and with more of a celery kick to it. The gyro was a spiced lamb patty, sort of like kofta, deep fried, split lengthwise and topped with (a very bland) tzatziki, shredded lettuce and halved grape tomatoes. I liked this one a little better than the buffalo chicken, but felt it was a bit out of balance with too much yogurt/not enough herbs compared to the lamb. The flavor of the lamb was good. I scraped off most of the tzatziki and ate it with the tomatoes instead, and a punch of fresh herbs and garlic would have done it good. Overall, it was a fun meal but I'd really put it in the category of a well-made junky treat and not something I'll eat very often.
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