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DonRocks

Cashion's Eat Place, Chef John Manolatos on Columbia Road in Adams Morgan - Closed

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[posted on eGullet 2003-2004]

For whatever reason, I hadn't been to Cashion's in about five years, and what I noticed most last night was how clean and tight everything was, without being ruined by the hamfisted saucing that is as much of a plague on society as is overuse of sourdough bread. The pork shoulder was beautifully presented in the form of a fajita, and could have actually used some sauce other than the pico de gallo.

Also, the cheese course featured an all-American cheese selection, and it was good although it would have been nice to see some more aging and color in the cheeses (there was a little pomegranate seed salad alongside). The nuts in the raisin-nut bread tasted somewhat rancid to me, though I don't know where they source their bread. Along with that chocolate brownie, we also had this blueberry compote stuff poured over ice cream - it sounds a bit simple but was really quite good.

The open-kitchen concept is okay, but when we were at the bar there were some less-than-savory aromas wafting in from the fryer.

I was strongly impressed with Cashion's last night, and I only wish it wasn't so difficult for me to get to or I'd be back there often. I'm sitting here ticking off the courses in my mind: the oysters (the portion size of this is too small), the sweetbreads, the elegantly reductive fritto misto, and most of all, the earth-shattering tortellini in Tuscan meat sauce. These are all really, really good dishes.

Cheers,
Rocks

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[posted on eGullet 2003-2004]

It seems fitting that my January, 2005 Restaurant Week would begin at Palena and end at Cashion's, two restaurants that did not participate but still turned out amazing meals at the same prices as those who did. Palena deservedly gets lots of attention on this forum, and I've often wondered why Cashion's doesn't get just as much. In fact, in terms of quality, price, and solid, innovative cooking rooted in tradition, I cannot think of any restaurant in Washington DC more comparable to Palena than Cashion's.

I'm convinced that Adams Morgan scares people away from Cashion's, and yet valet parking is only $5.00 at the restaurant, so that's no longer an acceptable excuse.

The wines at Cashion's are a strength, and you cannot possibly go wrong with a glass of 2000 Pommard from Voillot for $8.00 (they also have a bring-your-own corkage policy, although I don't remember how much they charge).

Look at this wonderful meal:

Ann's charcuterie plate is fascinating, consisting of a housemade rabbit terrine, a druggingly delicious turkey ballotine, and a little pile of nutmeg-y pork rillettes served with a deviled egg and fresh, interesting greens lightly bathed in truffle vinaigrette.

Three perfectly cooked pieces of crispy sauteed veal brains, served piping hot, are placed atop a refreshing frisée & salsify salad with an appropriately acidic lemon-caper dressing.

A half-avocado is hollowed and stuffed with tiny wedges of pink grapefruit, and makes a fine transition from savory into dessert.

And then the red wine pear sorbet, made in-house, is one of the most important sorbets in the area. Served at the correct temperature, it comes across as vinous, granular, complex and even whimsical, as it's accompanied by a saxaphone-shaped sugar cookie with "Cashion's" scripted into it.

Every one of these plates is between $8 and $11, and if you're going for the first time, please don't forget the mind-bending spinach and ricotta ravioli with Tuscan meat sauce.

All this, plus one of the singularly great pieces of bar art in all the world. You'll just have to go for yourself to have a look, and when you do, you'll probably see Ann as well, working away in the kitchen of this wonderful restaurant - one of the best places to enjoy a meal in all of Washington DC.

Cheers,
Rocks.

P.S. I also had Sunday brunch at Cashion's a few weeks ago, and it's one of the best casual brunches in town. Not inexpensive, but

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Since Cashion's is only a couple blocks away from us, it became our go-to place for special occasions soon after it opened. It's been a while since we've eaten there, however. My husband had the sweetbreads and they were simply fried and left raw in the middle :lol: . I don't think that's how they are supposed to be prepared. The rest of the meal was simply mediocre. I figured it was just another restaraunt resting on its laurels. And, we really objected to wine being served in a tumbler, although the food was usually good enough to overlook that. Until that last meal.

As far as people being "afraid" to come to Adams Morgan, all I can say is that this neighborhood gets absolutely packed on the weekends. Parking is always a problem, but it is easy to get to using public transportation. But then, I don't consider Cashion's to be a "destination" restaurant.

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Since Cashion's is only a couple blocks away from us, it became our go-to place for special occasions soon after it opened. It's been a while since we've eaten there, however. My husband had the sweetbreads and they were simply fried and left raw in the middle mad.gif . I don't think that's how they are supposed to be prepared. The rest of the meal was simply mediocre. I figured it was just another restaraunt resting on its laurels.

 
Oh that's too bad. I loved Cashion's when we lived closer, but I agree with your assessment of "not a destination restaurant" - for us because of the parking in Adam's Morgan. Not worth the hassle when there are plenty of other good and easier to get to places in town.

And, we really objected to wine being served in a tumbler, although the food was usually good enough to overlook that.

 
Yikes. Better not come to our house then. That's all I use anymore.

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I am tentatively set to have dinner at Cashion's tonight and upon finding that they now have a web site, I figured I'd share it with the group.

CashionsEatPlace.com

If we end up going, I'll come back with a full report!

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i popped into the bar at cashion's last night for a late evening snack and had a brief but delightful experience. i tucked myself into the corner of the rather crowded bar and started with a very deftly made manhattan. feeling peckish rather than full-on hungry, i had the sweetbreads. i hadn't read barbara's post that mentioned her unfortunate experience with this dish during her april visit. whether her sweetbreads were prepared on an "off-night", or mine were atypically good, i cannot say. but i can tell you that mine were superb.

the sweetbreads were lightly fried with just a gently crispness to the crust, and were moist and delicious inside. they were served in a bowl with sauteed spinach, diced apples, and black currents. the flavor combination was a sublime balm for my pallatte.

the bar staff, always the strength of the service team at cashion's imho, was professional, knowledgeable, and exceedingly freindly. thank you billy and george.

in the interest of full disclosure, i should note that i have long been freinds with ann cashion, and many members of her delightful staff.

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i was in a pretty crappy mood yesterday - seems to happen whenever corporate people get too involved in my day rather than watching from the appropriate distance as i run the restaurant. rather than inflict my crappy mood on either my staff or our guests, i made the executive decision to get the hell out and have a working dinner at cashion's last night. i was in a mood for that which would comfort and soothe. cashion's satisfied on every level.

the comfort started with having to run into the bar to get change to pay my cab driver. before i returned, billy, the ever capable mainstay of cashion's bar staff, without needing to ask had a manhattan sitting in front of my bar stool. places where "everybody knows your name" are nice. places where the bartender knows your drink - invaluable.

eventually i got to the menu. i decided to start with the roasted quail. it was served atop a chanterelle and garlic risotto that was finished with truffle oil. this dish was simply sublime. the quail was seasoned very simply with salt and pepper which truly allowed the flavors of the bird to shine. the risotto was deftly executed with just the right amount of bite to the rice. the garlic was just a shade more than subtle and well shy of overpowering. it was, however, the truffle oil acting as the key thread that tied all of the flavors together. at billy's suggestion, i paired the quail with a sauncere. everything was so harmonious that i neglected to remember the vineyard.

i had the hanger steak with blue potatoes and roasted cauliflower as an entree. it was good, very good even. but were i to replay the evening, i would have had another order of the quail.

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places where the bartender knows your drink - invaluable
Isn't that the greatest! Always makes you feel like you're home.

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Had a light dinner at the bar at Cashion's Friday night, needing somewhere that would get me out of the rain yet let me stay close to home. It was just the right spot: warm, welcoming, and not as smoky as I feared it might be. You just never know with bar dining.

Billy is indeed a find, and while I was surprised to see red (Malbec, in this case) served in such small glasses, the pour was not too scant. Went nicely with the vegetable fritto misto, which was served in a spicy red sauce. I couldn't quite tell if my mouth was burning because a) the sauce was too hot, B) the sauce was too salty, or c) just because my mouth was still tender from an overly crusty bread experience from the day before. Anyway, nicely breaded-up veggies, including one of the city's best fried green tomatoes.

Then: ah, the cheese plate. Five delightful choices for $9.50, served with a couple of really nice jammy fruit accompaniments, probably a membrillo and something else. Chimay, Rogue River blue, and three others, all good. The crowning touch was the raisin walnut bread, served toasty warm, just the right texture and temperature to bring out the flavor of the cheese.

Not exactly a neighborhood restaurant, thanks to the prices, but still a nice restaurant to have in the neighborhood.

Edited by jm chen

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Billy is indeed a find,

Billy is quite familiar with dr.com. Those of us with membership should be sure to mention our credentials to him when eating at the bar. Question his current lack of membership. If he scoffs, tell him it's all CrescentFresh's fault.

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let me be really clear about this...

i am in the tank for ann, johnny, and the whole cashion's crew. the service at the bar is the best i get anywhere in the city, the decor whispers in my ear, and the food has never disappointed me.

there. i said it. my bias is on the record. so you are going to have rely solely on my word when i say that i had an extroidinary experience at cashion's last night. i frequent the bar there because it is one of the few places that serve really good food after 10pm during the week. and of course, because i am in the tank for the place.

last night the belly salmon tartar with the baby arugla salad knocked my socks off. i have always felt that tartar was primarily about the quality of the meat or fish used and that it rarely was a true demonstration of a chef's skill. this dish made it quite clear that the line of thought was moronic. the salmon, sliken and rich, was strung together with a very light sauce of truffle oil, salt, and pepper. the baby aruglua topped the generous 3inch disc of salmon. the plate was finished with a sauce that i remember being great but not the details.

i had a very nice entree, but it couldn't touch the salmon. like many places the, apps are the strength of cashion's menu. one of these days, i am going to learn my lesson and just do 3apps instead of the usual app, entree, bourbon format.

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I've gotta say, I've always enjoyed Cashions, though I haven't eaten there in about a year. I can honestly say that I had the best piece of pork ever there, the Pork Delmonico. It was and still is the standard to which I hold roasted pork. Yum.......

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I've gotta say, I've always enjoyed Cashions, though I haven't eaten there in about a year.

I haven't eaten there in about ... twenty hours. My advice right now is: down the rabbit, whole. Served slathered in a spicy salsa with rice ($20).

Cheers,

Rocks

P.S. Welcome Antonio!

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We went there for amateur night last week. As I would have expected, it was pretty low key and the food was great. We sat at the bar and were taken care of by Billy. Had the bison and the pan roasted cod with oysters and caviar. The butter cream heart cookies were ridiculously delicious. On a separate note, I just saw the Elvis photos by the bathrooms-- I guess Johnny's aunt used to be his PR person when he was really young? They're fun.

When I go with my husband, I always hope he can talk to Ann; he's from Greenville, Mississippi, home of the Doe's Eat Place, the original "eat place". Hasn't happened yet and don't know how tied she is to MS anymore, anyway. Will, on the other hand, can't get enough of it: the sweet tea, the tamales, and southern cookin with lots of lard (;.

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i had a very nice entree, but it couldn't touch the salmon.  like many places the,  apps are the strength of cashion's menu.  one of these days, i am going to learn my lesson and just do 3apps instead of the usual app, entree, bourbon format.

This is exactly what I did (on the same night you were there, actually!). Ravioli with Tuscan meat sauce, wild mushrooms on a polenta cake, and gumbo (in order of preference). I'm also convinced this is the way to go (though I'm now wishing I'd tried the salmon). But even with my voracious appetite, it turned out that 3 apps was a bit too much for me.

I love having this place a block away from home.

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I haven't eaten there in about ... twenty hours.  My advice right now is:  down the rabbit, whole.  Served slathered in a spicy salsa with rice ($20).

Cheers,

Rocks

P.S. Welcome Antonio!

I had my first rabbit ever there a few weeks ago. Suddenly, I see Elmer Fudd's side of the issue.

And maybe now I know what I'm having for dinner tonight...

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I had a delicious (and drunken) meal at the bar at Cashion's Friday night. At the end of it, I asked the delightful barkeep Bill to write down the description of my entree because I liked it so much. This is his note verbatim.

Lamb keftedes (Greek meatballs) in a tomato-red wine sauce served w/ yoghurt dill drizzle & a spinach-basmati pilaf.  Only $19.00!  And Billy's wine pairing, service & good time was money, baby...money!!

He is a charmer, that Billy. The keftedes is a large portion. I am usually a plate cleaner if I enjoy something, but when I couldn't eat anymore, there were still two or three of the oblong meatballs on the plate. If I hadn't been heading out for yet-more drinks, I surely would have taken the rest home for later.

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I had a wonderful meal at Cashion's last night. The service, wine, and atmosphere was, as always, great. So was the food, but most of it was overshadowed by our first appetizer, truffled beef ravioli. Songs should be written about this dish, people. It was amazing, delicious, totally off the hook. The pasta was perfectly tender, the beef was soft and seasoned, and the truffle cream sauce was just ridiculous. I've only experienced this a few times in my life, but I very nearly put my fork down after the first bite and declared myself done. What more satisfaction canst thou have tonight??

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Despite spending a fair amount of time in that area of Adams Morgan, I had never gone (or even thought of going) to Cashion's until last night. A couple friends and I had an extensive meal that was very very good. The play-by-play follows, but forgive me for forgetting the details of what each dish was called:

split a couple appetizers:

lamb short ribs (not sure if that's right): good but nothing to write home about

exotic mushrooms with cornmeal cake (not sure that's exactly right): almost stole the entire show. incredibly tasty, perfect balance, and the texture of the cornmeal thing was excellent: soft and creamy inside, lightly seared and crispy on the outside. a delight.

new orleans filé gumbo: moderately spicy, with good chunks of seafood. please sir, may i have some more?

hanger steak with broccoli and potatoes au gratin: the hanger steak was amazing. perfectly cooked to medium rare, and an absolute delight. The broccoli was a complete afterthought, but the potatoes weren't bad. Just hard to stand up to such a beautiful steak.

cheese plate - some very good cheese, a nice way to wrap up the meal

port - i don't remember what kind it was, but they only had one on offer, and it was very disappointing. I really like a glass of port, especially with a cheese plate, and what we got was a thin, overly-boozy version.

All in all, a top-notch meal. The steak and the mushroom appetizer were the highlights, but everything was well-executed and the service was impeccable. Now, if only the beer selection wasn't so terrible (no draft lines, 4 in bottles: bud, heineken, amstel light, and redhook ESB, the only acceptable choice)...

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The rumors about an impending - or perhaps even completed - sale here are becoming credible. Can anyone confirm?

Cheers,

Rocks.

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The rumors about an impending - or perhaps even completed - sale here are becoming credible. Can anyone confirm?

Cheers,

Rocks.

Could this be the "big name chef leaving" news that Sietsema has been hinting about in his chat for a month?

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Could this be the "big name chef leaving" news that Sietsema has been hinting about in his chat for a month?

No, no, no. Just last night I saw a large "Restaurant Lease" sign on the Childe Harold. I'm sure this is what Tom has been hinting at. What place could possibly be more beloved than the Childe?

( :lol: )

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