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  1. 9 points
  2. 8 points
    First things first: If you are willing to make the drive to Sperryville and you have the means to pay for a great evening, find a way to make a reservation. Our evening at Three Blacksmiths was wonderful. We would return without a second thought. John and Diane MacPherson are wonderful proprietors and hosts. I find it somewhat remarkable they can provide such wonderful food and drink with a total of 5 people. We (a party of four) arrived on time for the one and only 7pm seating. There is no bar or waiting area in the restaurant, so like the other guests, we were shown to our table as soon as we walked in. We received a warm welcome by Diane, and then John delivered sparkling wine, which was more than welcome after a long drive. I'll try to keep this brief. The menu is set unless dietary accommodations are requested in advance. The only choice to make is for beverages. Everyone chose the drink pairing ($70), but drinks are available a la carte as well. The set menu is currently $128 pp, plus 20% service charge and tax. All in, the price worked out to about $250 pp. As a rule, Three Blacksmiths sources their food and drink locally, and the menu certainly reflected that during our visit. My descriptions do not do the food or drink justice, trust me. Amuse bouche with sorrel leaf filled with an herbed cheese* (I don't recall the filling), hearth roasted vegetables with aioli, and maitake mushroom on a small piece of puff pastry. Wonderful. "Carrots and Radicchio". Impossibly thin carrot slices with carrot syrup and carrot top pesto, served with a soft boiled bantam hen egg. Bread and home made butter. The bread was house made pecan sunflower (?) bread served with two types of house made butter. One was sprinkled with sea salt, and the other was nasturtium butter. The bread was served in a box layered with warm river rocks, and it was fantastic. We all made the mistake of assuming the bread was all we were going to get, so some of us (aka me) slathered copious amounts of butter onto the bread. Lo and behold, more bread arrived. The pictured drink is Dolin Blanc with a twist. It was a unanimous favorite, and I think there may have been something more than a twist. Chilled courgette soup. We all loved this as well--a chilled zucchini soup with finely diced zucchini for texture, and dill oil for flavor. This was a surprise dish of steelhead trout, roe, and strawberry oil. Extremely fresh and refreshing. I loved the detail of the dishes, fork and spoon. "Whippoorwill Spring Pea Agnolotti". This dish was sublime. The prosciutto was perfectly crisp, and balanced the smooth pasta, chees filling, and broth perfectly. We all agreed the Maison Shaps Bourgogne Aligote was a perfect match. John provided some interesting background about the wine, as well. Shaps is one of the few vintners who produces wine in both Virginia and France. Striploin with smoked potato puree, chioggia beet, young garlic, and broccoline. This was another excellent and creative dish. The beef was cooked perfectly, and the jus was a combination of beef juice and beet juice. Fork tender. The granache was another perfect pairing. The "Elder Dida Elixer" was the drink pairing for dessert. The Dida distillery is a short drive a way, and connected to Rappahannock Cellars, which is our favorite Va winery. The cocktail contained gin, and elderflower liquore was very creative, and a great match for the dessert. The Rappahannock Berry Cobbler was a perfect finish. The ginger shortcake was crisp and light, and it was easy to tell the berries were very fresh. I'd certainly never enjoyed Spruce Tip gelato before, but this dessert was killer. Coffee and tea were included with the price of dinner. The French press coffee was welcome for the long drive home. We spent just over 3 hours at the Three Blacksmiths, yet it seemed like minutes.
  3. 7 points
    Just so it is official, we are ending the restaurant owning phase of my life. The Grotto will close before the autumnal equinox. I know so many here and have great memories of dinners and people saying “I’m so-and so from the board.” The board with no need to say more. I hope those of you with fond memories will come in before we’re done.
  4. 6 points
    Last Mom meal of this visit: tilapia topped with breadcrumbs and seasoning, baked and then broiled to brown the top, and served with lemon wedges. Tomato salad with Gorgonzola dressing. Sautéed green beans. It’s been kind of fun over the past two weeks to cook for my mom and to have total control of her kitchen. Without dad‘s palate to please (I hope he’s eating well on the other side) I have been able to cook things MOM loves. Hence, fish.
  5. 6 points
    Craving fish tacos, but too lazy to drive to Whole Foods, and San Diego is just too far away... A 7pm run to Giant produced some pretty tasty perch fish tacos that satisfied my yearning.
  6. 5 points
    Stopped off at New Morning Farms Tuesday market at the Sheridan School in NW DC to pick up some goods. The shiitakes and greens went into a lovely cheesy frittata.
  7. 5 points
    Mom had a huge chicken breast in the freezer, so I sliced it into thin cutlets and made a sort of chicken a la Francese with roasted potatoes. I floured the cutlets and then sautéed them in olive oil and butter, took them out of the pan, and then added lemon juice, white wine, some chicken stock and some herbs to the pan. Then I returned the cutlets to the pan and let them cook for a minute in the sauce. Mom loves lemon so the dish was a big hit. But I have to look the other way when mom puts ketchup on the lovely roasted Yukon golds.
  8. 5 points
    I was in Chicago this weekend and want to thank the commenters on this thread. My wife and I had the chance to meet up with some out of town friends for a weekend in the Second City. I hadn't been there in several years and have forgotten how nice the city and its inhabitants are. We arrived Thursday morning and went for a snack at Bonci in the West Loop area west of, well, the Loop. If you're not familiar, it's a pizzeria that got its start in Rome and now has two locations in Chicago with plans to expand elsewhere in the U.S. The pizza there are sold al taglio (by the piece). Bonci has a tremendous variety of pizza topping options. The dough is airy and the toppings delicious. My wife and I split small slices of the cacio e pepe, the potato and mozzarella, and the potato and 'nduja sausage. Very enjoyable "snack". After our snack, we followed @treznor's recommendation for Cruz Blanca. I had three beers (by the half glass) and two tacos. I chose the pork belly al pastor taco and the lamb taco. Both were delicious. The lamb had an Arabic seasoning, making it more like a small gyro than a taco, but still very good. The al pastor was excellent. The red lager and hazy IPAs were good, but not special. The coconut and chocolate stout, however, was very, very good. We had late (for us) dinner reservations at The Girl & the Goat. Our reservation was for 8:15pm, but it was almost 8:45pm before the restaurant sat our party. The wait felt longer than its 30 minutes, because the bar area was packed and the entire place was loud, very loud. At the server's recommendation, we ordered 9 "small plates" for the four of us to split. This seemed like a good idea when the server described the restaurant and the food. This was not a great idea, however. The server also suggested ordering everything up front, and the restaurant would deliver the plates. Most of the dishes presented were only big enough for two people to share. The server sent us "two goat empanadas complements of the server" immediately after we split the two goat empanadas that we ordered. Weird, but the empanadas were good enough to split again. The vegetables (sauteed green beans, roasted shishito peppers, and grilled broccoli) were good, but we wanted more broccoli for four diners. The scallop dish was two scallops. These were not big scallops, so splitting each felt really tacky and barely provided an opportunity to taste the food. We had lamb skewers that were unremarkable, as were the crispy beef short ribs. The confit goat belly was over-the-top rich. It was a tasty dish, with lobster, crab, and a lot of butter, but this was one dish we were glad to split. The pork shank was good. Upon reflection, it would have been better to order two orders of fewer dishes, especially the scallops, lamb skewers, and broccoli. If you're only with one person, the dishes are a great size. Splitting with four, however, is tough. Service was good once we sat down. There were good wine options. And their house beer was tasty. The overall atmosphere, however, is dark and loud. Too loud, maybe? After dinner we went to Jeni's across the street for ice cream. On Friday, we enjoyed an architectural boat tour from Ogden Slip (I can't remember the name, but our concierge recommended it). Then we went to Small Cheval on Wells in the Old Town neighborhood. Seating was mostly outside, but the weather was decent. During the winter or rains, this would probably not be a good location. Ordered the house-style cheeseburger with two patties, cheese, onions, and a Dijon mayonnaise sauce. Also ordered the fries. I have not been to Au Cheval to compare, but Small Cheval served an excellent burger. Service was friendly and reasonably fast. The patties are neither pub-style thick patties nor smash burger thin patties. Instead, the patties are similar to a fast food patty, but juicy and well seasoned. The rolls were fresh and very good. The toppings added to, and did not detract from, the burger. The fries were also good: fresh, crispy, and thin. It someone told me this was an homage to McDonalds, I would believe it. But so, so, so much better. For Friday's dinner, we ate at Band of Bohemia. I saw @ad.mich's comment, but could not resist the "first Michelin Starred Brewpub". We skipped the tasting menu, which at $75 seemed reasonably priced. Instead, to start, we shared the eggplant naan, salt cured carrot, walleye crudo, and chilled Spanish octopus. The eggplant naan was a fried eggplant with peppers in naan. It was very good. The salt cured carrot is hard to describe, but was excellent in an interesting way. The carrot had a caramelized miso glaze and was covered in cashews, on the plate as an accompaniment there were little orange slices, lentils, and several other components. The net effect of which, to me, tasted like Fruity Pebbles (but in a good, interesting way). Totally unique starter. The octopus was good. After cooking the octopus, they sliced it and served it like carpaccio in very thin slices around the plate. The Walleye Crudo, however, was the overwhelming favorite. The fish was seasoned well and held up against the gochujang and sesame. Very good. For my entree, I had a duck leg roulade. It was excellent, but I did have entree envy when I saw my wife's butter poached halibut. The brewery makes excellent, delicate, but balanced beers. I had three of the five (I think?) available that evening. The Jasmine Rice is a very lightly flavored beer with minimal hops. The Nobel Raven Ale had a more pronounced maltiness, but was still an easy drinking beer that didn't overwhelm the food. Finally, I had their pale ale called Plaid Camel. As expected this had more hops, but was still balanced with a stronger malt base than either of the other beers. My wife shared a few bites of her beautiful, Instaworthy baked Alaska dessert with me. It was very good. The ice cream was supposedly sea buckthorn flavored, but tasted similar to oranges to me. Our friend ordered the flourless chocolate cake, which she enjoyed, but the piece -- though beautiful -- was tiny. After the serenity of Band of Bohemia, we had reservations at Three Dots and a Dash. This is a Tiki bar in River North operated by the Lettuce Entertain You restaurant group. This place is wild! The crowd was mostly younger folks gathering in larger groups to order drinks and post Instagram photos. Our cocktails were very good, but potent -- especially after a few beers. We stayed for about an hour. The service was O.K., and the ambiance very campy. One table celebrated some big event with a three foot long pirate ship punch bowl while we were there. Two "pirates" came out with the ship to music and a faux thunderstorm. Very fun! Order carefully, and sip slowly, however, as this is in the basement and you will need to walk up stairs at the end of the night. Departing the Tiki bar, we saw a donut shop, Firecakes. In the morning, we returned, and I had a very good churro donut. The Hotel Chicago was a decent hotel (part of the Marrriott Autograph Collection), with an excellent location in River North on the block with Marina City (the famous corncob parking garage buildings), for what it's worth.
  9. 4 points
    I am in New Orleans, and while prepping for the hurricane that was a non-issue, we made a big pot of shrimp and sausage gumbo.
  10. 4 points
    I went to Holland to sight-see - didn't even bother to make any reservations in advance. Landed at Schiphol and took the train to Hague. A note on Dutch trains - by downloading their app, you can buy tickets online, and they send it to your phone and you scan your phone ticket to enter the boarding area. The app will tell you when's the next train and which platform so you'll never get lost. It's the easiest way to take a train ever. At the Hague, I visited the Mauritshuis to see some Vermeer. I bought a Museumkaart for ‎€64, which allowed me to access up to 5 top museums (I went to the Mauritshuis, Rijks, Van Gogh, and Maritime Museum). With a Museumkaart, you can skip the ticket line, but at Van Gogh you probably should get a time-entry ticket online. I also visited the Maudurodam, or miniature Holland (I like trains and legos so I think it's awesome). Afterwards I went to crash in Delft. Delft is a pretty town but there isn't a ton to do. After a few beers and dinner at the best Indonesian joint in town (they do rice table for 1 - see menu, I didn't find the food all that exciting), I strolled until the sun started to dip (at around 10 p.m.). The next day I took a day-trip to Rotterdam. I followed Rick Steves' walking tour and had a snack at the Markthal food hall. Later on, I stopped at a Chinese restaurant for some pan-fried noodles and vegetarian dim sum. There's a small Chinatown in Rotterdam and plenty of Chinese tourists, so the Chinese food scene is actually pretty good. That afternoon, I took a canal boat tour of Delft and then I had some decent Neapolitan pizza (at Pizzabakkers - a chain all over Holland). On the 4th of July, I trained up to Amsterdam in the early morning as I had booked a food tour of the Jordaan neighborhood. I didn't think it was worth €79 because I left hungry. We had 3 stops of sweets (apple pie, waffle and pancake) that I barely ate anything. We also had some cheese and cold-cuts. We then had some herring (slimy and fishy) and fried cod (delicious!), and some satay chicken at an Indonesian take-out. That afternoon I took a canal tour with Those Dam Boat Guys. In retrospect, I should have taken a more conventional canal tour as I didn't enjoy being on a small boat with a bunch of potheads. I did have a lovely seafood platter at Lucius. On Friday, I walked through the Albert Cuyp Markt - an outdoor market with food vendors, a fish monger, and other peddlers of all kinds of goods. At my appointed time, I went to the Van Gogh museum. Even with a timed entry, the place was mobbed. Dopes would stand in front of paintings while listening to their audio devices, so other people can't really get a good glimpse of the paintings. The Rijksmuseum was much more civilized and their app is great at guiding you through their highlights. I did even more walking by taking a guided tour of the red-light district, which apparently will be prohibited come next year. On Saturday, I went to the Maritime Museum so I can check out the replica tall ship Amsterdam. Afterwards I had excellent dim sum at the Sea Palace, a fancy floating Cantonese joint near the Centraal station. That afternoon, just as I was finishing a walk of the city center, it rained and I went back to my hotel. Amsterdam is also very pretty. The downsides are stoners smoking pot everywhere and large groups of British yahoos on their drunken bachelor parties.
  11. 4 points
    Cucina al Volo in Ballston Quarter currently has among the best traditional pasta in that part of Northern Va. The spaghetti and meatballs features their excellent home made pasta a spicy tasty sauce and excellent meatballs. My Italian food /comfort food fetish is satisfied.
  12. 4 points
    Trader joes cauliflower gnocchi (my wife and I - and the kids - really like these. Particularly if made in the more Parisian gnocchi style of pan seared) with fresh grilled corn and heirloom cherry tomatoes. Finished with butter and parmesean and a dollop of costco pesto. It reminds me of the gnocchi from Proof (☹️). One of my favorite easy summertime dinners.
  13. 4 points
    Tomato and Zucchini Gratin. The recipe calls it a Provencal style gratin, although I can't find any references to a similar egg based dish in Provencal cooking. Blame the NY Times.
  14. 4 points
    Similar as above, these are roughly in order of my preference within their group. I've starred those that I'd seek out. Restaurants Wynwood * Kush - Great burgers, great beer list. If you're out drinking in Wynwood, this is a great place to end (or start) the evening. * Coyo Taco - Great taco place right near J Wakefield. Everything I've had here has been great. Has Nopales (grilled cactus) and Hongos (with huitlacoche as well) tacos, which I haven't seen a ton of places. They also have a ton of other options like Al Pastor, Carne Asada, Cochinita Pibil, etc. Beaker & Gray - Shared plate concept with really good cocktails. Really enjoyed the food here. The cheeseburger croquettes were quite good, really everything we had was but those are what I remember the best. Enriqueta's - Not really Wynwood (its between Wynwood and the bay), but close enough. Cuban diner that we had to wait to get a table for. Simple, homestyle Cuban food. Really enjoyed this place. Only open for breakfast and lunch. BND Burger - The burger was quite good (not as good as Kush's). There's a bouncer to get by, which isn't awesome. But its also connected to a club (separate entrance) which can be either good or bad based on your preference Little Havana * Old's Havana - Great option for Cuban. Ropa Vieja was the best I've had, and the black beans were great as well. * Azucar - Great place for ice cream with cuban-inspired flavors (and some non-cuban inspired flavors as well). Across the street from Old's. El Pub - Mostly a sandwich place, they make a perfectly serviceable cubano and its derivatives (medianoche, croquetta preperada, especial, etc). Its a block away from Old's, so unless you want a sandwich, go to Old's (which might also have better sandwiches, but I haven't had a sandwich at Old's) Miami Beach ** Stubborn Seed - Best restaurant I've been to in Miami. By a pretty long way. We had the 8 course tasting menu as well as the wine pairing and cocktails. My wife wasn't inspired by anything on the cocktail menu so asked for the bartender to come up with something gin-based and he did a great job. We were able to get a reservation day of, but I'm not sure that's normal and this was during the week not the weekend. I don't remember a ton of what was on the menu, but I remember every single course being very good and also not being hungry after dinner. It's certainly not cheap, but the skill and quality is absolutely showcased. * OLA - Latin place in north South Beach (some might even call in Mid Beach). If you go here, make sure you're going to the right place (in the Gates Hotel) as its moved somewhat recently and something list its old address. The Fire & Ice ceviche really showed off the Cobia, which was nice as it wasn't a fish I'm overly familiar with. I don't remember exactly what we had for entrees (pretty sure at least one was a special), but remember thinking they were quite good. For dessert we had the Chocolate Cigar (which they're known for), which was cute while still being tasty. Seating out back is outside and right on the river/canal. Azabu - In the Stanton. Yes, a hotel restaurant. Though, its a Miami Beach outpost of a NY Michelin star restaurant. I tried the fish collar (a new experience for me), maki, and robata. All very good. Pubbelly - Sushi with a solid sake and beer list. There's another one in Brickell City Center. Had a roll or two (including the butter krab roll) and some robata. I bit expensive for what it is... But its Miami Beach. La Sandwicherie - A walk-up counter sandwich place that's open until 4am. Had to check it out myself. Very good sandwiches (I had the Italian) and milkshakes. There's another one in Brickell. Lobster Shack - Casual place for lobster rolls. If you're in the area, its a solid option. Wouldn't go out of my way for it. Brickell * La Centrale - This is really three (or more?) restaurants in City Center. The bottom floor is Mercato, the second floor is Osteria (I think, can't remember), and the top floor is Enoteca. The first floor is further split into a Cafe and a Pizza & Pasta place while the second floor is further split into Stagniole, Pesce, and Carne, with a gelateria (Venchi) right outside. Enoteca is 1 restaurant, a wine bar. So there's somewhere between 3 and 7 restaurants, plus 3 bars. I've barely scratched the surface here having only eaten here once. The Papperdelle in the Pizza & Pasta area was quite good with a Tuscan sausage (the sausage itself in the sauce was a bit overcooked). Tacology - Top floor of City Center. Really solid tacos and options for mezcal/tequila. The line can be kind of a problem, but as a singleton I had no problem being seated immediately. Boulud Sud Miami - Went here for a happy hours picked up by work. Everything was very good, but I wasn't picking up the bill, so that might have tempered my opinion. * B Bistro & Bakery - We went here right after getting off a cruise and actually got here before the bistro was open (but the bakery was open). We started with a couple bakery items and a coffee and then ordered a couple brunch items. Can't remember what exactly they were (and the menu online isn't jogging my memory), but they weren't the 'typical' brunch items and showed some imagination and were quite good. Unfortunately the service here got nonexistent at the end of the meal and it took a solid 30 minutes to get the bill after we were done. I'm hoping that was just a waiter have an off day as opposed to a systemic issue. Graziano's - Argentinian steak restaurant. Definitely good. I went with work people after a happy hour... so don't remember a ton about it other than the steaks were cooked well and of good quality. * Crazy About You - The food is perfectly fine (even quite good). But the reason you go here is because its one of the few restaurants directly on the bay. The views are pretty awesome Truluck's - Steak and seafood. Its good, but it didn't strike me as 'Miami', whatever that means. Perfectly good option for an upscale place for those that live in Miami, wouldn't be my choice if I were visiting. Various La Carreta - Local chain of cuban food. Exactly what you'd think it is. Maybe not as good as some places, but I've quite enjoyed every time I've been and have tried a the chicken chicharrones, ropa vieja, meatloaf, and croquettes. Solid option. Other options (solid options, but not as good as those above, but still worth looking at potentially) Alter (Wynwood) - Only in the 'Other' section as I haven't personally been there. Heard really good things though! Melinda's (Wynwood) - Another place I haven't been but really want to. Have heard awesome reviews of the mezcal selection. They aren't open Mon-Wed though which are the nights I'm in town... Butcher Shop (Wynwood) SuViche (various) CVI.CHE 105 (various) American Social (Brickell) - Fine, just kinda not special
  15. 4 points
    A celebratory evening on the patio concluded with a neighbor's berry topped cheese cake.
  16. 4 points
    We went for dinner last week and were thoroughly impressed. The food was outstanding and the service was impeccable. The balance of flavors, textures and temperatures on all of our dishes was perfect. We had the 4 course menu, which was plenty of food, and the little extras they gave us along the way were a great touch (including a generous pour of a desert wine). We prefer cocktails over wine, and ordered two of their signatures, both well-balanced and complex enough to keep me sipping happily throughout the meal. Fiola is an outstanding restaurant and deserves its star, but is the food worth what we paid? It depends. Even though we loved our meal there we probably wouldn't have gone had we not been given a gift card (hello daycare!). We were discussing at dinner that as good as the food was, was it twice as good as places we've eaten that cost half as much? Probably not, but that's an objective measure for something that is inherently subjective. It felt like we were paying for the service as much as the food, which isn't a bad thing. The service and ambiance at Fiola were incredible, and certainly made our evening very memorable.
  17. 4 points
    An old friend of mine, whom I grew up with and knew from Jr High on, Larry Burdett, passed away either on the evening of June 19 or in the early morning hours of June 20; June 20 being his birthday. The explosion of grief among family and friends is enormous. Larry was the nicest most sincere fellow, moved back to our home town after college and lived there his entire life. He passed away at the house his grandfather built in the 1930's; a house he grew up in. Like his father he was a member of the local volunteer fire department and grew to become chief, serving 3 times in total (a position that rotates every year). We grew friendlier in the last few years. Larry was a prolific FB user, and a prolific friend of many combining the two gave him over 750 FB friends. On that basis the grief is enormous. Due to FB we grew friendlier, he being an original member of groups associated with our home town, me having joined later on. Larry opined on a variety of topics including politics where our perspectives were pretty similar. His political posts were unique in that his friends from all political persuasions joined in. For those that join in political arguments on the web it was completely unique. I used to ask him if it was okay to rant--he approved. He started asking me about people we grew up with, ones whose perspectives were on the opposite of ours. We grew friendlier. I saw him last Autumn. It was a real pleasure--we were the essence of old friends, even as we hadn't been close in school. He is receiving an amazing outpouring of web love. For a very "common man" he was remarkably loved. See ya Larry. Enjoy your bourbon and watching U of Kentucky up in heaven with your folks and other departed friends. Hopefully there is a fire department there and you and your dad can ride the trucks to help out victims.
  18. 3 points
    You'll find that parking near there is a hassle since MoCo is putting up a building that has eaten most of the public lot. Metered street parking is a possibility or the parking garage next to Wheaton Plaza. I'm going further off topic but I can't resist putting in a plug for the nearby Fillippo's (fka Marchone's), an excellent Italian deli.
  19. 3 points
    My first post on DonRockwell.com, and I'm commenting on a thread from five years ago. But here goes. MFR is an institution. We took our son there 27 years ago when he was less than 36 hours old on the way home from the hospital. The servers--several of whom still work there--almost didn't let us sit down, worried that such a little baby shouldn't be there. He still eats at MFR every time he is at home. MFR is not "fine dining" but the food is good and the service exceptional. It is the closest restaurant to CIA headquarters. Once I had breakfast there with a former senior Agency person. He noted that he recognized many of the older diners from his early days at work. Apparently lots of them retire nearby. On other occasions, former Speakers of the House, and the current and past CEOs of General Dynamics have been at adjoining tables. Best, though, is the holidays when the restaurant is crowded with local college students revisiting where their moms took them after soccer games. There are not many truly local places like this left in northern Virginia.
  20. 3 points
    Went here for lunch with @MichaelBDC and the in-laws yesterday. Everyone really liked their food and spritzes and we had a great time. For appetizers we all shared the brussels sprouts, arancini, and fried artichokes while @MichaelBDC and I also had the bocconcini & prosciutto. Brussels sprouts were good, but not any different than what you can get elsewhere. Arancini and artichokes came in pairs, and everyone enjoyed the arancini. Being a big of a fiend, I really enjoyed the artichokes and didn't detect any fryer issues here. The bocconcini could have used a little more olive oil, but who doesn't love cheese? For pizza, @MichaelBDC and I split the Napoli, which was a bit of a salt bomb with capers, anchovies, and olives but I still liked it. As someone who generally doesn't enjoy the crust, I found Stellina's to be great. I also had a slice of my sister in law's cacio e pepe pizza and thought it was really good despite being super rich. My sister in-law raved about it. There weren't any complaints about the cotto & funghi or the margherita, so I am guessing the pizzas were a hit. Looking forward to coming back and exploring some of the panini offerings.
  21. 3 points
    There was a table of little girls near us while we were watching the end of the game on Sunday. The comments they made warmed your heart. Things like, "these are the real heroes," "Mommy if I play soccer enough can I do that?" "she got two trophies!" It was fun to hear them, I really hope they get equal pay.
  22. 3 points
    World Cup: Winners in 1991, 1999, 2015, 2019 (there have been 8 Women's World Cups, the US has won 4) Olympic Games: Gold medal winners in 1996, 2004, 2008, 2012 (The Olympics have staged 6 women's tournaments, the US has won gold 4 times)
  23. 3 points
    A couple of tasty tasty items at the back bar last night: raw porcini salad with pecorino, lemon, chives; country style chicken terrine; caponata; oven roasted spring onions wrapped in prosciutto; and Sicilian anchovies with bread and butter.
  24. 3 points
    Cocktails These are going to almost all be in Miami Beach based on one ridiculous evening of drinking that got a bit out of hand. Keep in mind that cocktails in Miami beach will be $15+ so can get expensive quickly. On the other hand, there's some truly good cocktail places out there. Miami Beach Repour - Probably the cheapest drinks (don't lower your expectations too far, its still Miami Beach) and probably my favorite of the evening. Very laid back vibe next to the lobby of the Albion Hotel. Regent Cocktail Club - The smallest cocktail list of the places we visited (though still with a full bar), but well made drinks. There was also live music that was quite good and was nice to sit and relax and listen to some music with a couple cocktails. Sweet Liberty - Dimly lit, we sat at the far end of the bar and the bartender helped us immediately. Good cocktails, imaginative, and made well. Brickell Blackbird Ordinary - Solid place for a solid cocktail. Not sure what it's like on the weekends as some of the pictures definitely look different than what it was like during the week (very laid back) Things to Do I'd be remiss if I didn't mention Wynwood Walls. Most of Wynwood is adorned with graffiti that is amazingly interesting to walk around and look at. And then there's the art exhibit called Wynwood Walls. Absolutely amazing. Graffiti artistry at its highest in a curated exhibit. Entrance is free. You could easily spend a couple hours here if you were so inclined. I think we spent a bit over an hour and it's one of my favorite parts of the city.
  25. 3 points
    Comfort food at this restaurant remains excellent. A friend and I were there Sunday/ with some all day HH specials. We had beer, fried olives over bread, bruschetta, a mhargarita pizza, lasagna, cappuccinos. It was tail end of lunch. Our choices included a healthy array of deals off of HH. The place was slow but service was awake. The pizza and lasagna were terrific. Fried olives over bread was a bit like bruschetta, with the two of us, digging the pits out of olives and placing it on the bread. Oooomph. Tasty but too much work, while we were toiling away on the beers. It remains a great place for region wide comfort food. More power to them.
  26. 3 points
    So went back again for a great evening at the outdoor patio. NOTE: They have done away with their "tasting" menu which is still posted on their website. I let them know, so it should hopefully be updated soon. Our meal and server were excellent. They have a Family Meal, which is explained as if you are in Italy and stop in a villa - the family would serve you their freshest available food. This was the closest thing I could find that would be similar to a tasting menu. The appetizer portion all came out at one time, which was cool - so it went something like this: OUR DAILY FOCACCIAWILD RAMPS, NETTLE PESTO, PIPE DREAMS FARM GOAT CHEESE SESAME CRUSTED FETA SESAME, VIN COTTO, EARTH + EATS HONEY Octopus Salad Broccoli rabe There was more, but my attention after the excellent bottle of 2007 Calebretta, Azienda Vinicola became much less sussinct. Main Course started with a Bison Hanger steak which was excellent. A lighter version of homemade pasta with a light alfredo-type sauce and fresh cracked pepper. We ordered the CARAMELIZED RICOTTA GNOCCHIPORK SAUSAGE RAGU, CALABRIAN CHILI, PARMESAN CHEESE as an add-on because it sounded excellent - and it was. There was also a beet/spinach salad, another round of bread. My descriptions are not doing this place justice - the atmosphere on the patio was crisp and lively, not stuffy. It was busy and we enjoyed a great meal with dessert as noted below. CRISPY YEAST DOUGHNUTS ORANGE BLOSSOM SYRUP They serve lunch as well and their Brunch looks great - for those wanting to try it and not invest in an all-out dinner - there is an opportunity there. The dinner was reasonable considering the complexity and diversity of the food we experienced.
  27. 3 points
    We finally made it here last night right at opening. We don't live terribly far, but it's never at the top of our list when we get time to go out. We were on the way back into town and thinking of places between the BW Parkway and our house and it popped into mind. Wow. We never should gave waited so long! First thing: my wife is celiac and appreciated that they state up front that they use tamari exclusively. She remarked how often she craves Japanese pub/izakaya food, but is always nervous that there is shoyu in everything and ends up ordering "safe" items. It's the first time she's been able to pick from the whole menu without care. I don't have any frame of reference with the NYC yakitori spots, but Momo compares very favorably to what we remember from Japan. The set combinations could have been described a little better; we ordered the 6 piece tare/shio combo and then the tsukune set thinking the meatballs would be their own thing, but the 6 pc. set included 2 meatballs as well. Also had duck hearts (well, I did) which were fantastic. All of the yakitori were very good to excellent (duck hearts and the "oyster" nugget with crispy skin), but the highlight of the meal might have been one of the veggie plates: Bok Choy seared and served with natto butter sauce I had gone to take our 4 year old to the rest room when this arrived at the table, and was lucky there was any left when we returned. I was worried this would be too natto-y, but it wasn't overpowering at all. A simple dish that hit every note perfectly. Of the 4 veggie dishes we ordered I think only the silken tofu is something I wouldn't order again (it was fine, but the subtlety was lost amongst the other dishes). We were going to get a Rita's for the kid afterwards, but tried the toasted marshmallow and purin anyway (at $3 a pop, why not?). The purin was a perfectly good take on the familiar flan, and the marshmallow was, well, a toasted marshmallow. BUT! The black sesame buttercream on the side. Holy shit. I would have been happy spooning a bowl of that directly into my mouth. We joked if they sold it in pints, and the bartender said they've done just that a couple of times for regulars 😂 We will definitely be back (our little one ate almost everything he tried, and I know our older ones will like it, too). I found it pricey just due to the amount needed to order to make a complete meal. Our total was around $120 before tip including 3 cocktails, which were expensive and by far the weakest part of the meal. I will stick with the interesting all-Japanese beer selection next time.
  28. 3 points
    Back in Seattle! It's an errand-filled time bouncing from dentists to doctors to various other family obligations, before headed east soon for wedding fun. Lunch yesterday was at Samurai Noodle, a favorite ramen shop in the U District. It's no-frills but great as far as cheap, fast ramen goes. My spicy shouyo tonkotsu was a little mild for my taste, but I'm coming off of three years of West African peppers so my taste buds cannot be trusted. The noodles bounced, the egg ran *juuust* a little (AKA how I like it), and the pork and chicken broth was richer than usual. M had the standard shouyu tonkotsu, and though she found the pork cut too fatty my eldest had no problem eating it for her. All three sons loved their noodles, which the youngest regularly refers to regardless of provenance as "psghettis." They shared a bowl of tonkotsu miso, which here comes with a pat of butter. The menu insists the butter is a game-changer, which I must gently disagree with. But the boys didn't complain -- at least about that. (Our 2.5 year old was incredibly frustrated he could not manipulate chopsticks. He's stubborn, like his dad.) A shout-out to the summer vermicelli salad. It hardly feels like "summer" to we former tropical denizens, but the vinegar-and-pickle laced noodle salad had a sour and funky flavor I have not enjoyed in years. Thanks America!
  29. 2 points
    I'm not sure what to title this thread; I am sure it doesn't belong in the Gom Ba Woo thread. Yesterday was "Double Carryout Day" in DR Land, and I went 0-2 in order errors due to language barriers - both were drawn-out phone calls, with my having taken extreme caution to repeat the order several times, and speak slowly and clearly, to no avail. District Dumplings, South Arlington I ordered 16 Pork and Celery Dumplings, 8 steamed, and 8 fried. I got 15 dumplings - 8 Pork and Celery steamed, and 7 Pork and Shrimp, fried. Wiseguy Pizza, Rosslyn I ordered a Large Pizza with Extra Cheese and Sausage. I got a large pizza with extra cheese and extra sauce. I'm not sure I've ever had two phone orders in a single day, at two different restaurants, with both orders wrong. Oh, well!
  30. 2 points
    I don't know if it adds anything, but I always sprinkle some oregano in the bottom of the pan before adding the slices
  31. 2 points
    So glad to see the endorsement in the chat. I'm wading through new registrations. Thanks for your patience, folks!
  32. 2 points
    Last night I made a watermelon/tomato/feta salad with tomatoes from my garden!!! We also had chicken breasts baked with mural of flavor seasoning from Penzey's and a little olive oil. Ramp bread that I thawed from a delicious bakery up in WV that my uncle procured for me. I also made a clear the fridge spaghetti sauce with- the last of a bit of red sauce that came from the freezer, leeks and broccoli stems sauteed in garlic, and the last of the crab for lunches today. Prepped for other meals this week by putting more chicken breasts in the instant pot with a store bought Rick Bayless taco seasoning.
  33. 2 points
    Try Jinga brand. The radish is good, my personal favorite is the cucumber kimchi and of course Napa cabbage. Not sure what particular "flavor" you're looking for (or missing) but kimchi as a rule is not overly spicy but a good blend of tastes with some heat. You should be able to find Jinga in almost any Korean market but I know for sure it's at Super H-Mart in Fairfax and Lotte on Braddock Rd (outside the beltway) and H-Mart on Heritage Drive in Annandale. Kimchi is a lot like drinking coffee. After 4 or 5 days, the one you bought is the one you prefer. 😀
  34. 2 points
    I'll post more thoroughly soon, but we just returned from Portugal yesterday. Ate at Alma Saturday night. I'd definitely keep that reservation, it was quite delicious. His other restaurant, Tapisco, is also quite good. We stumbled in there one night when the line for Ramiro was completely insane.
  35. 2 points
    A short stop over in Seattle before heading out to the Walla Walla area. We didn't explore much: Columbia City Bakery: A small but very well stocked bakery in the Columbia City neighborhood. The bakery has been named a James Beard Semi-Finalist 4 times. Excellent vegetable torta with potatoes, roasted poblano peppers, leeks, and cheese. Also enjoyed the breakfast sandwiches and we took home some excellent cookies. The breakfast sandwiches are made to order so be prepared for a 10-15 minute wait. This is one of those neighborhood gem types places. Meet the Moon: Hipster style cafe. We ordered cinnamon buns the size of our heads to go. Wish we could have stayed. Leschi Market: A dive looking mom and pop grocery store across the street from Meet the Moon with a very good wine aisle, lots of local Washington State wine at reasonable prices. Marination Ma Kai: A food truck's waterfront brick & mortar space in the North Admiral area for Hawaiian-Korean fusion with killer views of downtown Seattle. Food was ok (good greasy fries, fish tacos were tiny), beer list was solid with local offerings. Really your going to chill outside and take in the view. PCC Community Markets: Sort of like Yes Gourmet meets the prepared food section at Whole Foods. Carried a decent selection of local wine and beer. We also bought some excellent Rainier cherries. Looks like they have about a dozen locations around the Seattle area. Columbia City Bakery vegetable torta:
  36. 2 points
    The kids'll love the grilled meats and fried rice and potato puffs at Thip Khao. Near the mall, I think Teaism and Jaleo remain the best lunch bets. And Daikaya and Bantam King for *ramen* (and fried chicken at the latter).
  37. 2 points
    [In a theoretical world, and maybe once these recommendations are done, I'll move this thread to "Help Needed." But Mongo Jones is a baller, not a frequent poster, so it must remain here for now.] Shouk?
  38. 2 points
  39. 2 points
    Steak au poivre Quinoa mixed with olive oil and herb roasted tomatoes and corn Leftover scallop and potato salad
  40. 2 points
    Salad with spring mix, purple frisee, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, radishes, feta, and chopped leftover steak; Bolthouse Farms Avocado Green Goddess Whole wheat naan Grain salad with quinoa and marinated gigande beans Berbere roasted cauliflower
  41. 2 points
    Payment convenience also leads to increased revenue. By and large, people spend more on a card than with cash, not to mention that fewer of us are carrying sufficient cash on a regular basis. So even paying 1$ in processing fees likely leads to increased income.
  42. 2 points
    Last night I made one of the remaining few Costco prime steaks in the freezer. I'm wary of cooking them too rare since reading about the blade-tenderizing. I did it reverse sear and left it in the oven a bit too long. It was only a little pink but still quite good. Not cooking such a good steak to at least medium rare seems like a waste, though. I think I'll take my chances and go back to rare when I defrost the next one and take my chances. I also made a broccoli and penne dish, with a sweet blue cheese, creme fraiche, hot pepper flakes, and toasted sliced almonds, and I salvaged a a couple of tomatoes that had bad spots around the top by cutting the tops off and broiling the tomatoes with Parmesan.
  43. 2 points
    We enjoyed a terrific dinner last night. Although we had studied the menu last week, we were happily surprised by a new one. The service and food were perfect! The sautéed rouget atop a white gazpacho cream was a great pairing of cold and hot. I am a fan of the lobster French toast to share and was not disappointed. Lamb and sweetbreads were perfect. Chef is a master of temperature and textures and of course taste. Almost too full for Dessert and coffee but we persevered. I was intrigued by the small hammer and found this very interesting information from the hammer museum https://www.hammermuseum.org/hammer-highlight-toffee-hammers-and-suffragettes
  44. 2 points
    Skirt steak tacos with leftover tomatillo sauce, cilantro, and rice flour tortillas radishes shredded romaine red bell pepper jalapeno cucumber sour cream (forgot the avocado...)
  45. 2 points
    Better part of this decade and no updates on one of my favorite little gems in Vienna? They are having an afternoon tea this week, and if anyone hasn't tried Cafe Renaissance, or if you enjoy afternoon tea, please go for it.
  46. 2 points
    http://www.falafelinc.org/ We took a group of college kids to the new Spy Museum via the Alexandria water-taxi to the Wharf. After the spy museum we walked down to the Wharf for dinner. We had a vegetarian in our group, and all the group agreed that Falafel Inc sounded good. It is fast casual, with a little machine that pops out falafels to order. The drink options seemed a little limited. You could get a sandwich (in a pita), or a bowl (salad), with add-ons like hummus, zataar fries, tabouli, etc. I think there was a small confusion on what a bowl and sandwich were for the group when we first walked in. It seems like they could just say pita or salad. There are no tables inside, but outside there were high tops and tables you could stand/sit at to eat. They have sauces you can add after you get your sandwich- those have names, but the names don't really correspond to what it is- I would prefer if they just said like cilantro sauce, mild spicy, spicy, etc. I figured the bright orange was a hot sauce of sorts and got that, I was right and I quite liked it. Anyway, the naming could be better, but the sandwich really was pretty decent with the sauce. Fries were good, not quite as good as those from Lebanese Taverna Market, enough for at least two to share. I can't remember if the sauce descriptions were on the hanging menu, they were likely on the printed one, if there was a sign right above the sauces that would help. But also having one that says it can't be described is a bit trite. Anyway, good for a not too expensive grab and go at the Wharf with a vegetarian.
  47. 2 points
    Katt -- As a former Lancastrian who assiduously avoided the tourist throngs, my suggestion is to hit the volunteer fire halls in the autumn. Tourist traffic tends to wane after the school year begins, and the volunteer fire halls usually have the best food in the autumn, with or without a mud sale. The chicken corn soup on the eastern side of Lancaster County is absolutely spectacular, and the shoo-fly pies are homemade.
  48. 2 points
    I had a very enjoyable dinner at St. Anselm last night. Service was outstanding right from the start. The delicious biscuits are a great way to lose your appetite. We had king crab leg, beef tartare, oysters. All very tasty , except the oysters. They had shrunk on the grill and were very small. For a mid course we shared the salmon collar, which was enormous and beautifully cooked and seasoned. For main, I had the NY strip, a good steak done perfectly. Creamed spinach was creamy. Don't miss the mint chocolate chip ice cream for dessert. I was quite surprised to see a packed restaurant on a Monday night.
  49. 2 points
    As I walked by Ray's this morning (6/17) every table setting was set --as if they will be serving dinner tonight. A little later I ran into someone who was there during the "havoc" of the last two weeks. He loved the restaurant and said the last meal might have been the best. Upon finishing they gave the customers a small free dessert but also "rushed them out" to get another couple at the table. He hopes they survive.
  50. 2 points
    we stuck with traditional and got the color from tiles, counters and such.
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