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Showing content with the highest reputation since 08/23/2018 in all areas

  1. 8 points
    Well, we did it up well. Thanks for the suggestions and between the four of us we did everything that was mentioned last week. The night started with a bang by getting a metered parking space right across the street from the restaurant! The pre-meal Negroni was delicious, as was the Ric Flair cocktail with rye, an amaro of some sort and some other tasty liquids. Restaurant Week pricing was extended until the night we went, so we sampled a good chunk of the menu. Burrata appetizer was fresh and tasty. It included a cool little stewed tomato with a bright, palate cleansing tang from some unknown ingredient. Very cool. Squash blossoms were nice and the octopus was tender and tasty, as were the canellini beans which accompanied the tentacles. MrsDrXmus had the crab pasta which to me tasted like a light Alfredo. Honestly, it wasn’t very crabby, but the fettuccine were delicate, al dente and delicious. I had the frito misto which was great but I should’ve had a pasta, I just couldn’t make a decision. My friend raved about his fra Diovolo pasta and his wife loved the risotto main course she got. Desserts were terrific and I loved the option of cheese instead of a sweet. The tasty gratis spiced pear ‘cello digestif was appreciated. We also had some post-meal amari, which was great to see on a menu. I wish we lived closer to the Grotto because there were several dishes I wanted to try. I know Dean is keeping the menu seasonal, and if every season tasted like this meal I’d love to try it through the year.
  2. 7 points
    the bf and i checked out himitsu's monday "supper club" last night, which i ringingly endorse. seven course menu for $90 (pre-tax/tip), which is expensive but not insane given the quality and quantity of the food. i would even go so far as to call it a good value (in the expensive world of tasting menus -- all relative, of course). how are these reservations not impossible to snag? (there are currently tables at a variety of times available every monday in september, which is as far out as they're currently booking.) but come hungry: it was a lot of food. multiple dishes basically felt full-sized, despite the tasting menu format. (i wonder if this is something that they will tweak with experience.) and be prepared for spice; almost every dish was spicy to some greater or lesser degree. the meal began with the akami crudo (tuna, compressed honeydew, chile, white onion, and shiso), which was the only item that pulled from the regular menu (although subbing shiso for . . . cilantro? if i recall correctly from a dinner last week). as expected with crudo at himitsu, it was a bright, balanced combination of fish, sweetness, spice, and acid. one of my favorite crudos since they've opened. next up was a sort of shumai (although i believe our shrimp filling was a pescatarian sub for boudin blanc -- bits of southern influence on this menu) in a soy broth liberally studded with salmon roe. i quite liked this dish, but it was right on the edge of being too salty for me, and i'm a salt fiend. i imagine some diners will find it too much. the dumplings themselves were a bit too big for one bite but a bit too soft to easily scoop from the bowl with the provided fork. (plus, all that roe!) i should have asked for a spoon. maybe my taste buds were a bit overwhelmed by the shumai, but a sprinkle of finishing salt on the "tartless" tomato tart probably would have been fine with me. (again, salt fiend; not necessarily a technical flaw.) a thick slice of heirloom tomato sitting in a pool of tomato water, topped with little heirloom grape tomatoes (peeled, maybe slightly cooked to condense flavor or just really good to start) and dotted with a spicy yellow paste (more tomato?). i vaguely recall something crunchy -- fried red quinoa, maybe? very summery. (i requested a spoon for the tomato water.) next up, a little pyramid of perfectly fried panelle cubes stacked atop concentric pools of a peppery-garlicky sauce and cauliflower puree. (yes, i did use my fingers to swipe up the last bits of that puree. screw spoons.) tasty but starchy -- could have easily had half as many cubes, given how much food was still to come. back to the southern influence with fried catfish over coleslaw. the coleslaw was bright (not creamy), with raw slices of beautiful purple carrot (which are presumably the same as they use for the awesome roasted carrot dish on the regular menu), the catfish was well fried (of course), and everything was complemented by creamy hot sauce underneath. deceptively simple-looking, immensely satisfying to eat. i think i had three small fillets, and i ate them all. i wasn't hungry by this point, but i couldn't leave anything behind. (really, the bf and i should have packed one dish up for someone's lunch today and split one plate at this point. hindsight.) given the size, we would have expected the catfish to be our last savory but for the fact that we were paced behind an adjacent table, which received a beef dish after the fish. our sub: seared scallops (at least three, possibly four?), fingerling potatoes, charred okra, a pool of salsa verde. very good but also the least favorite dish of an excellent meal, not really more than the sum of its (well-cooked) parts. for those who remember the early himitsu desserts fondly or just lament the lack of dessert offering on the regular menu: the supper club includes dessert! and it is excellent: a (coconut?) forbidden rice pudding studded with roasted pineapple, slivered avocado, and roasted peanuts, and dusted in lime zest. satisfying and complex without being too heavy at the end of a very filling meal. possibly my favorite dish of the night. the meal was great, but between the large portion sizes, the spiciness, and more than one fried/starchy dish, i definitely left in second trimester food baby territory. carlie's cocktails never disappoint; i love how much sherry she uses. (there were also three levels of wine pairing available, and the regular drinks list.) and it was great to have a way to experience himitsu's food with a reservation!
  3. 4 points
  4. 4 points
    Pumpkin spice "flavored" anything not being served in the form of a home made pie.
  5. 4 points
    Closed 3 years ago this month. Landlord still searching for a replacement tenant. I guess that Brian Wolken's comment that the landlord "has unrealistic expectations about what the space is worth on a monthly basis" has been borne out through time.
  6. 4 points
    I appreciated the review. It punch listed a number of problems I have had with different restaurants, in this case many of them all in one restaurant. Fair warning. The comment on straws was one of many issues. The comment was one sentence compared to long descriptions of other problems. It had no impact on me while the other issues, all of which I’ve experienced elsewhere and been a turn-off were all found in one restaurant. Thanks for the warning.
  7. 4 points
    Hello, Long time lurker, first time poster here. Time to register and maybe contribute.
  8. 4 points
    There have been so many mixed reviews at O-Ku that I decided to try it again, focusing mainly on their Sashimi. Instead of resolving uncertainties, I've managed to raise even more: Here is the order of Sashimi, consisting of 11 items: It's beautiful, right? Very much unlike Eric's more-straightforward presentation up at the top, and very much unlike my more-straightforward presentation from two weeks ago. Which brings me to two lists of pros and cons about the meal: Pros: The sushi bar is lovely, the sashimi is beautifully presented, the total price for 11 items (*) was a relatively inexpensive $78 (although keep in mind that one plate of food was $78!), the cocktail (Shogun ($10)) was well-made, the Echigo Red ($9) was very good, the Uni was some of the best I've ever had, we were comped a delightful order of Nigiri Sea Trout for having ordered such a large plate, two orders of Shiu Mai and Gyoza were fine. Cons: First and foremost, the sashimi was served much too chilled, it was markedly better on the previous visit, this time falling into the "very good but not outstanding" range (the temperature actually changes the texture of the fish, and also mutes the flavor), the otherworldly King Prawn (described above) were a shadow of their former selves - one prawn, split, instead of two prawns, split three-ways each, there were simply too many fruits, leaves, and flowers which detracted from the fish, service was well-meaning but "overenthusiastic" (I'll leave it at that - you know what I mean), the King Crab ($12) had too much lime and wasn't that great, my dining companion - after about the 4th piece - volunteered, without provocation, that "this was better the last time," and she was right - quite honestly, it wasn't even that close. Let me summarize by saying that if visual presentation means a lot to you, then you might just love this Sashimi; for me, the actual fish - the temperature, quality, and the balance of the dish as a whole - far outweighs the visual presentation, so for me, I'll probably take a break from O-Ku, while not dismissing it entirely. (*) Zuke Maguro $5, Kindai Chu-Toro $8, Tasmanian King Salmon $4, Aburi Salmon $4, Hamachi $4, Kanpachi $4, Madai $6, Hokkaido Scallop $7, Uni $13, King Crab $12, King Prawn $11 This is not a "negative post" so much as a counterbalance to my previous rave about the Sashimi - I can easily see any given person going either way with O-Ku, when evaluating their meal. Incidentally, Chef Emperor was there, manning the robata, seemingly with a very deft touch.
  9. 3 points
    I ordered their chicken parm as takeout this week. I think it was the best I've ever had. Two incredibly crispy pieces that somehow seemed to have gooey cheese inside them. It came with a side of standard plain spaghetti. Expensive at $23, but wow
  10. 3 points
    Per the article and an employee at Legal Sea Food at the Galleria; rent was the issue. It certainly must have been. If you want to get a feel for the rental increase they were facing: Go to this In Depth Credit Analysis of the Mortgage on the Tysons Galleria. Its the same document that was used in a business article, you referenced earlier @dcs, with regard to the Isabella Eatery. I linked to it back in 2016 when the Isabella Eatery was first announced. Its a long complicated document but it gives a view of what the finances are like inside a mall like this and a partial rent roll (circa 2012) which includes Legal Sea Foods then rent-->about $35/foot (I assume triple net). Go through that document a bit, as the article did, and you can see that basically rents written before 2012 were low and rents POST 2012 shot up like crazy. The mortgage on the Mall comes to $1052/foot. By my calculations that means the mall needs $60/foot rent (triple net) to break even (actually that is a loss)....and so they need higher rents as a landlord to make the property work. I don't know how the team leasing up the mall is working but I'm sure they value first floor space dramatically higher than top floor space. My gut is they were trying to get $80,90, maybe over $100 foot. from Legal Sea Food. That is just a gut guess. Now Legal Seafood would see a rent increase from "somewhat more than the 2012 rent of $35/foot" to some huge number. No wonder they didn't renew. On top of the rent number they would pay something like over $10/foot for their share of real estate taxes, over $2.50 foot for utilities and a host of other costs. Its expensive to occupy space in that mall. But...if you keep going through that credit analysis document you will see that sales per foot in the mall are astronomically high across the board. Some of the tenants are doing SUPER. Anyway, I always enjoyed Legal Sea Food; not the greatest Sea food by a long stretch but a solid place and it was once really great in Boston. I used to frequent it at the Galleria. Maybe they should renew the lease at a "market rate" that would satisfy the landlord--and they can charge $58 for a shrimp cocktail. That would be neat!!!!--OR NOT!!!
  11. 3 points
    My second visit to Woodberry Kitchen was disappointing. The drinks were fantastic and the service was great, but someone in the kitchen was seriously over-salting nearly every dish we tried. My first meal there, everything was spot-on, including the deviled eggs, crab pot and oven-baked clams. This time, the deviled eggs were again sublime, but all of the other dishes fell short. The biggest disappointment was the raw beef. It was so salty that I couldn't finish it. The beef was served with homemade chips that were fabulous alone, but difficult to eat with the extremely salty meat. The smoked trout was better, but also over salted. The saltiness in this dish competed with an overly sweet mustard sauce, overwhelming the delicate flavor of the trout. The cast-iron chicken and biscuit, which sounded fantastic when the server described it, was poorly seasoned as well. The biscuit was great, with melted honey butter inside, but the chicken (cooked in a cast-iron skilled--not fried) was salty and texturally unappealing. I love this place, and I hope the kitchen was just having an off-night. Based on the wonderful food I enjoyed the first time I visited (earlier this summer), I will certainly try it again.
  12. 3 points
  13. 3 points
    Last week, I went to the Rye Street Tavern, NoHo Hospitality Group's latest foray into Baltimore. It was on a Sunday evening, so we naturally gravitated towards their "Southern Fried Sundays" - a fried chicken dinner, served family style. Keep reading, because I'm going to tell you a little secret about ordering this meal that wouldn't be at all obvious to a first-time diner. and it will make the difference between you "liking it," and "loving it." The cocktails were somewhat expensive, but were well-made and delicious: And a little loaf of cornbread comes out just before everything else arrives: Then, the family-style dinner: Everything about this meal screamed "Repeat!" - everything, that is, except the price: We paid $70 for those two little assemblages of food that you see just above (plus the cornbread). "Geez," I said, "$70, and we got *four* pieces of chicken!" I mean, it was great and everything, but as you can see, there are three starch-heavy items: the cornbread, the biscuits, and the potatoes, and we both paced our dinners so that we finished everything at the same time. We were mildly full, and yes, the richness of the cooking made everything satisfying, but come on! I wanted more chicken, darn it! So, just as we were winding down, our server came up to us, and said, "Would you all care for some more chicken, or side dishes?" "Wat?" Okay, so ... spending my money so you don't have to ... we asked for some more chicken, potatoes, and collards (made with delicious bacon, btw), and got a healthy second portion; the rub is that we had *no idea* it was coming, so we filled up on starch, when we would have really preferred a better balance with another piece of chicken. Remember: Those second portions are coming your way, but not a word was said about them until we had almost finished the meal - if you take *that* into consideration, and use it to your advantage, then $35 is a very fair price for this meal. Also, the restaurant gave us two spice muffins "to have with breakfast the next morning," which is always a nice touch. To Rye Street's full credit, they offered to box up the second helping which we couldn't finish - we felt sheepish about this, since boxing up all-you-can-eat meals is something of a shady practice, but they would hear nothing of it. Keep in mind: I don't know if this is all-you-can-eat; I suspect you get two helpings, and *maybe* a third helping if you really do a number on everything, but I wouldn't count on that. Still, in no way did they seem like they were trying to skimp on things, so this was merely a lack of knowledge on our part - learn from our mistake! Go here on a Sunday night, get this exact same thing, and *remember* that it's essentially all-you-can-eat - I can't guarantee we'd have gotten a third helping, but who knows? There's no need to stuff yourself with carbs, merely so you don't leave hungry. Furthermore, the restaurant, and the grounds it's on (it shares acreage with a distillery) is beautiful - there's even a battleship in the background! And that is damned good fried chicken!
  14. 3 points
    Last night my husband hit it out of the park with all of us cleaning our plates: Poached salmon in white wine sitting on lemon slices. The kids LOVED IT! He also made mixed rice in the rice cooker with broth instead of water, again kids loved. Green beans were perfectly steamed (I did that part). They asked for seconds on everything but the green beans. I have a fruit eater too. Our appetizer was sliced up watermelon. The 5 yr old kept eating it so I had to keep slicing for the rest of us. 8 yr old explained to me last night that sometimes he stops liking foods, and then likes new foods and then likes the food again. For example, he's off chicken right now but wants more pork. I"m going to attempt to pan fry a pork chop tonight and see if I can get clean plates again tonight. They love pretty much all dumplings and pot stickers. Their favorite request is "cold plate" which is basically anything in the fridge, cut up and on a plate...cold. It was my husband's thing as a kid and not a bad tradition, I must say.
  15. 3 points
    Was in town last week and thought we'd give this a try. General comment: the plating and presentation, not something I usually care about or notice, is very strong here. A few highlights: Mole Sampler: All four were complex, smokey, with fairly subdued but still present heat. The serving size is also fairly large, we needed as second helping of tortillas, which were fresh and very tasty as well, just to eat half of it. Pulpo: Perfectly tender, smoky, and served atop a "pancake" stuffed with black bean. Somewhat reminiscent of your favorite Mt. Pleasant pupusa but lighter and much more subtle. Excellent dish, kind of amazing at $17 for those keeping score at home. Bacon wrapped quail: This, also stuffed with chorizo, ventured into "turducken" territory, but was served with the most incredible "pan de elote" I've ever had. Moist, with all sorts of savory and sweet interplay with a distinctively corn flavor overall. Might recommend trying to get an order of just that. Seriously. Pastel de queso fresco: Cheesecake, but the queso fresco gave a very light tang, offset well with the blackberry sorbet. It worked.
  16. 3 points
    To Senator John McCain. I didn't often agree with his policies and I've had a hard time forgiving him for foisting Sarah Palin on the nation. However, he was a Senator who reached across the aisle and served with dignity, honor, integrity and heroism. Sadly, there is no one else like him in the current Congress. America has lost a true American hero.
  17. 3 points
    I'll also add I like the Com Ga Hai Nam (Hainan chicken) at Eden Center, but I do see that Pho Va has one now as well so I need to try it. Thanh Son Tofu is not just for their tofu (lemongrass, of course). They do a really good xoi man (sticky rice with chicken and Chinese sausage) and just one serving is enough for many if you're sharing. And I think they have the best che in Eden Center, though one I had at Kim Phung Bakery was pretty yummy. Phu Quy Deli Delight has a great variety of beef jerky, makes a great sugarcane juice, and people seem to like the Lee's coffee there.
  18. 3 points
    Night-before-first-grade “couch picnic” of Greek feta turkey burgers & tomato-artichoke salad. (They don’t like the artichokes.)
  19. 2 points
    Rainy day lunch w/ the kids at Taco Bamba Springfield today & it was SO good-first time in a while that I ordered all new stuff & it was worth it. I got a sope w/ tinga, tostada Tong Po Pork-chorizo, mint, basil, larb sauce, onion, cilantro, charred serrano salsa, chicharron, & street corn (I shared ). Tom got 3 tacos-al pastor, Ricky Bobby, & high on the hog, E got 2- taco bamba & arabe. I am SO happy when I get good food, despite the rain, I almost floated home. I’ve only eaten at Springfield & Vienna locations (& none of us have tried DC), but the kids think that Springfield has the edge. It was packed today & no complaints, aside from how messy I got, hands & face, eating all the delicious food. Next time, I’m going to have another Foo Fighters taco-I think the small one I got the first time was an aberration, & it tasted delicious.
  20. 2 points
    First, I love the building and the service. Second, I do want to have a drink or two that sexy bar in the back. Third, and this is most important, etoufee DOES NOT HAVE tomatoes in it. Thank you. And it wasn't that good. gooey
  21. 2 points
    Thanks for the suggestions. Dinner’s not until Thursday, PLUS they’re extending Restaurant Week pricing through that night. Good for me!!
  22. 2 points
    I didn't see a thread for this place. Website link. I stopped in a couple of weeks ago for Sunday brunch before a Nats game. I'd passed it a bunch of times and never gone in. I enjoyed my $13 CHICKEN HAVARTI SANDWICH Grilled Chicken Breast / Havarti Cheese / Avocado / Lemon Aioli / Brioche Bun. It was a bit overstuffed, and I had to keep reconfiguring it, but the ingredients all seemed high quality. It hit the spot and I would certainly order it again. It seemed to be kind of a local for the 20 and 30-somethings living in the surrounding (mushrooming) population of apartments in the neighborhood. Service from the bartenders was friendly and relatively attentive, though they were clearly busy. I was not the only identifiable Nats fan, but the clientele mostly seemed to be young neighborhood residents out for brunch. Several of them knew the employees by name.
  23. 2 points
    I can't go there anymore either and really enjoyed the place. It's just I can't. And I too miss Willow. Had some very great (and some very slow) meals there.
  24. 2 points
    I declare it Closed. Warrenton to get Indian “fine dining” restaurant, by Don Del Rosso, May 15, 2017, on fauquiernow.com.
  25. 2 points
    I find commerce, cloaked in patriotism and military pride, to be stomach turning. It is the "mission" of Mission Barebecue. I find the playing of the National Anthem at noon to be absurd. I love our country. I love barbecue. This place gives me the creeps and is not for me.