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  1. Yesterday
  2. I haven't been in quite a while, but I always used to get the garlic sprouts with chicken (paired with a Chinese hot sauce that I can't remember if it was provided or bought separately from the grocery store) and the jeo-yen shrimp.
  3. Local Food Truck-Turned-Restaurant Expands to Ashburn by Fatimah Waseem, RestonNow Business must be pretty good for a second location. Have recently redone the original location to get more seats/table/barstools - glad to see life is good for them, very nice people and great food.
  4. Great game last night vs the NJ Devils, whom the CAPS lost to by 5 recently. A 5-2 WIN with Ovechkin contributing his 25th career hat trick was excellent. The actual hats on the ice kept coming for probably 5 minutes and the turnout pretty decent for a Thursday night. Dinner at The Smith prior to puck drop was actually very good as well. Samsonov played pretty well - the CAPS giving up a goal on their own power play advantage but the kid is quick and seems to have the speed needed for a decent future in the NHL.
  5. Before Green Almond Pantry closes at 7PM tonight, I highly recommend picking up this insanely delicious Lamb Shank with Celeraic and Potato. I was lucky enough to use a chopstick to scrap out all the bone marrow as a bonus. This is the best lamb shank I have ever enjoyed to date in my life! Cagla's cooking is sublime!
  6. Truly dispiriting restaurant week lunch at Ambar. Only one dish stood out and that was an off menu improvization suggested by the incredibly nice and friendly bartender. Their restaurant week offer is unlimited small plates for $22. NOT A DEAL! I ordered a mojito which the bartender spashed with soda. I prefer my mojitos without the soda splash but this one was very well made, not too sweet, nicely limey. A good start I thought. Then the food started rolling Mezze platter started off strong with bresaola {called beef prosciutto} and lamb prosciutto {which I suspect was really duck.} These were both excellent and along with the mojito I was pattingmyself on the back for my second excellent pick for restaurant week. But hubris preceeds a fall. The rest of the mezze platter was boring to bad. There was some red glop and orange glop with didn't have enough flavor to suggest what they were. There was a whipped substance that could have been mascarpone, cream, butter or other bland ingredients. It was unplesant but at least there was a lot of it. The breads, two little slider buns I presume, wee homemade and dry. Grilled Asparagus was as you would expect, out of season, boring sauce, fried quail egg {which was good but just nog big enough to tip the scale to good. Again, out of season asparagus is usually mildly flavorless but this took flavorless to a new height except the perfect flavorlessness was marred by a weird bitterness. Piquillo Peppers were absolutely unrecognized or tasted under the wet, gloppy and bland breading. The sauce had no flavor to break the monotony. Tartar was actually scary. A small puddle of meatish looking glop, very runny, clearly dried out from sitting on the plate too long. I was almost scared to try it but throwing caution to the wind, I took a nibble and it was barely edible with a caper that gave it some zing. The only zing tot he meal so far. However, the taste did not reveal if this was steak, lamb, puppy, or random roadkill. The next bite, motivated to solve the mistery more than desire to eat more, revealed a crunch that could have been a stale pretzel, a stale corn nut or some unknown crunchy substance that contributed a crunch and salt but devoid of any flavor whatsoever. In retrospect the dish resembled dog food without as offensive an aroma. I have never tasted dog food so I can't compare the flavor. A tiny portion but gosh darned awful {the best thing I could say about it.} At this point, I wasn't really hungry just craving some flavors of actual food. I looked at the stuffed pepper and the stuffed sour cabbage on the menu, and asked he bartender which to have. He suggested the cabbage on a bed of mashed potato. While not outstanding, or even good, it actually tasted decent. About as good as the stuffed cabbage I get in the can from Yekta supermarket. There may have been more dishes but my memory is blissfully free of them. Great service. The tartar may have suffered from it being Restaurant Week, but nothing show any indication of a ounce of effort at making food taste good. I really want the space in my stomach back to fill it with something good like cup o'noodles.
  7. Superb restaurant week lunch. Sat at the bar. 1st course was a charcuterie plate with two kinds of salumi and a wedge of smooth liver pate. The pate was amazing! Smooth, balanced, rich without being too rich. The bread basket was very good with crusty breads in two shapes. 2nd course: greens, vegetables in a tangy dressing. Main course: croque monsieur was simply fantastic. My first croque monsieur was at Disneyland in the 60's and this version brought back memories of my eating that first sandwich with fork and knife. I wish they would put it on the bar menu at night. I took the 2 aps option and did not have a dessert. Their desserts are usually fabulous but I was not in a sweets mood. Cocktail: Head of state, a Manhattan spn, very good and well made. Great lunch, nice atmosphere. In fairness, Christophe, Michelle and I have a friendship based on our many evenings spent at food events. But my first two courses came out before Michele knoew who I was and Christophe was ot running errands.
  8. Sherry's Wine and Spirits in Woodley Park usually has an interesting beer selection.
  9. Last night was old-fashioned meatloaf like Mom used to make, barded with bacon and basted with tomato juice during cooking. We also had buttered peas with fresh dill and pepper, roasted za'atar cauliflower, and brown rice.
  10. Semeli Taverna is an interesting new Greek concept perched atop the Sakerum sushi establishment on 14th street NW--in the refurbished rooftop of the latter. The menu is based on a choice of 14 mezze and one main dish, always a “fresh catch of the day”. Though you can order the mezze separately a la carte, the try-all-mezze option seems the default option here and at 39 dollars for the all-mezze menu is quite a bargain. While not attaining the quality of the outstanding Greek places in the area (Nostos, My Mom Eugenia, and, on the fast food front, the Greek Deli on 19 h street NW), the food is quite good. Best, in our group’s view, were the saganaki, the calamari, the orzo with lamb ragu’, and the branzino. We felt nonetheless that there were some areas for improvement. The chicken souvlaki was a bit on the dry side and cocktails were not available—strange, given that there is a full bar at Sakerum downstairs (from where they were supposed to come, we gather). Moreover, the final mezze, the dessert, was a relatively strange combination of what appeared to be cornbread and mochi green tea ice cream (the latter recycled from Sakerum?). The menu listed semolina cake with Mastiha gelato for dessert, but what was provided did not seem to match the description, at least if we understand what mastiha should be... The locale is nicely outfitted to look like a Greek terrace, suffused in blue and white, the national colors of Greece, and with hanging (faux?) plants. During our visit, the clientele was mostly youthful, except us...The room was pretty quiet and allowed for relaxed conversation, which is definitely a plus. Overall, the experience was quite pleasant and, again, we felt it was a fair deal for DC standards.
  11. We have been patronizing Tachibana for nearly three decades, since the early nineties when it was still located in the Cherrydale neighborhood in Arlington. Our daughter is probably the greatest fan of Tachibana worldwide, as it is engraved in her childhood memory as her go-to-restaurant. Over time we have tried most of the menu items: sushi, sashimi, ankimo, salads, tonkatsu, shabu shabu, udon, tempuras and more. During our most recent visit last week, we ordered sashimi special and sushi assortment. Uni, toro, saba and the hand rolled sushi options were the standouts, but everything else was very good too. While perhaps not on par with the very top Japanese restaurants in Washington area (say, Sushi Taro, Sushi Gakyu, the omakase at Sushi-ko or Izakaya Seki), Tachibana remains a great, consistent Japanese restaurant with a family-friendly atmosphere, without being too loud or trading down on quality. Needless to say, we love Tachibana. The sushi is always fresh and tasty, made to order in front of you, and the hot pots are also delicious. We rarely skip a custom-made assortment of sushi for the three or four people that typically make up our group. One more menu item to mention is their green tea. It invariably has a calming and soothing effect on us. The red bean mochi ice cream is a must and we often close our meal with it. One minor drawback is that Tachibana does not take reservations for fewer than six people, and if you do not go early (before 6pm on Fridays and weekends), your average wait will be around thirty minutes. It would be convenient if Tachibana at least allowed you to call ahead before you leave home.
  12. Sheet pan meal: chicken, red peppers, cubanelle peppers, potatoes, cabbage, Brussels sprouts and carrots roasted with salt, pepper, Italian seasoning and lots of olive oil.
  13. Fenwick Beer & Wine just marked its 10th Anniversary last week: https://www.sourceofthespring.com/business/fenwick-beer-wine-mark-10th-anniversary-saturday/
  14. The developer needed to fill a space after planned operator had finished build out as they were ridden out of town on a #metoo rail. Y’all are sensing that.
  15. Thursday night: Kay cooked. Kimchi jigae w/mushrooms, tofu & rice. Vegetarian. Then amazing baby bananas from HMart Fairfax. Tiny and custardy. Makkoli
  16. More leftovers. Frozen mushroom enchilladas w/home made salsas. Great remainder of the bottle of Vinco Biancoperso. Value prives orange imported by Williams Corner. Tangy, almost apricot/peach but in a not too fruity way. Last of the Kirk & Sweeney 23 year rum.
  17. Last week
  18. It's a very tough call b/c the most important defenseman is the goalie. Plus you have to look at who is available to trade for, and frankly, I'm not sure there are any high-caliber D-men that we can get at this point in the season who play a similar enough system that slotting them in is better than a crapshoot. Thankfully, Jensen is starting to hit his stride and has learned the system and the stats show definite improvements for when he is on the ice, and Siegenthaler keeps getting better and better. That long reach of his and his willingness to block shots is great.
  19. My two sons who play and follow hockey say the Caps need a strong Dman or 2 to make a long playoff run. Their argument is good Dmen will drive opposing shots down and those that are taken will be from further away. Only way this will happen is to trade Holtby before trade deadline.
  20. I've been reading some sites and it seems very unlikely that we'll be able to keep Holtby after this season due to the salary cap, what Backstrom will be paid going forward, what goalies are going for on the market these days ($10M), and looking ahead to who else we need to sign / re-sign looking at the future. Caps have been excellent about finding and building goalie talent in their pipeline. Samsonov is getting back-to-back starts and will be in net against the NJ Devils tonight, to start bringing him up. Copley is solid as a #2 and can be brought up from Hershey and Vanachek in Hershey could also be brought up to work as a #2. I've seen a couple of rumors of trading Holtby before the end of the season to get maximum value for him and buying some better blue-liners, but that seems pretty far-fetched to me, as it's unlikely you give up a Cup-winning goalie as you're heading into the playoffs.
  21. This is where we had our wedding block (and stayed ourselves for the weekend) 2+ years ago. The Marquis Lounge, if you have a room on that level or have enough Marriott status to gain access, is fantastic, and provided a great view for July 4th fireworks!
  22. Sharpening the old knives is certainly worthwhile, cheaper than buying new (even inexpensive) knives. If they are cheap knives, they won't hold an edge very long but they aren't used as often or for prolonged chopping, so overall the edge should last fairly well. Happy to do your knives as well, of course.
  23. More big salad and pumpernickel Eggplant, tomato, pepper, and potato stew I made the stew from half of the leftovers of the moussaka from the other night. The recipe for the moussaka didn't work too well as moussaka, but with a little creative effort, it transformed into a pretty good stew. Don't know what I'm going to do with the other half of the leftovers. The recipe made a lot. The inspiration for the stew came from a recipe in The San Francisco Chronicle Cookbook Volume II: Cianfotta Lucana. I doubt I would have come up with the stew without seeing that recipe. I'm keeping track of it to make in its own right some other day. The main difference would be the broth in mine derived from what was left of the original sauces on the moussaka. (The sauces never properly thickened.)
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