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Showing content with the highest reputation since 04/20/2019 in all areas

  1. 7 points
    Roasted Eggplant, White Beans, Tomato Sauce, Tahini, Fresh Herbs, Za'atar,
  2. 6 points
    Inspired by Anne Limpert's praise of the restaurant in her chat last week and heeding her call to visit now before it gets too popular (plus, wanting to go before I move from DC in a week (!!)), we checked out Queen's English in the old KBC space last night. In what seems to be common with good restaurants these days, it is run by a man and a woman pair (ala Himitsu, Espita, Seylou, Bad Saint, Rooster & Owl, etc.). Similar to Rooster & Owl, Seylou and Espita, in this case the pair are husband and wife. We walked in at 6:05 to a mostly empty restaurant (it filled up later but was never jammed) and our party of four was seated by the gracious, knowledgeable and likable Sarah Thompson, the aforementioned front of house maven. The place is beautifully redecorated with bright colors that fit the Hong Kong theme. The wine list (available online) is replete with natural wines (a focus of Sarah's), but we went for cocktails instead. All of them were funky -- in a good way -- either bitter or brightly citrusy without being too sweet. They struck me as drinks that Tiger Fork's imo terrible drinks aspire to be, with less gimmick. I enjoyed two pours of zucca, which is one of my favorite amari. Onto the food. As you can see, there are about 16 menu items, and they recommended 3 dishes or so per person. So we decided to make it easy and order basically the entire menu, skipping only the "PB&J" and the chicken. We were then treated to a parade of deliciousness, with the cucumber/trout roe dish standing out from the first batch. The combination of roe with fresh cucumbers thinly sliced and a vinegar-based sauce hit the spot. In the next group, the twice-cooked lamb rib and daikon fritters are two of the best things I've eaten in a long time. I would highly, highly recommend these as must-orders. I liked the twice-cooked lamb rib more than the one at Tail Up Goat, though I haven't had that for more than a year. The daikon fritters have a perfect texture and a great mix of sweet and salty. The shrimp were massive and tasty, but not incredible. I don't remember much about the steam water egg and dumpling, but I'm sure I enjoyed them. For our mains, I loved the bok choy and young pea greens, which were both on the bitter-veggie side, but they are quite similar, so I'd recommend getting one or the other. The star of this course was definitely the sweet & sour branzino, which came in a sauce that reminded me of a much better version of buffalo sauce. Super tender fish and briny cabbage made it a great dish. Unsurprisingly, the crispy rice was also a hit. More than just fried rice, this is like burnt rice that hasn't been charred, so it is...crunchy, hence the name. Same flavors as fried rice, just a new texture. I liked it. Shockingly, the biggest miss of the night was the hand cut noodles, which we were all so excited for. They come buried under a mix of what seemed to be bell peppers, reminding us almost of fajitas. The flavors didn't compare to the other dishes we had. On another note, we saw the chicken when the waiter walked by with it for someone else--and it looked great. For dessert, the house treated us to the only dessert on the menu, which was a caramel custard that was incredibly sweet and caramelly--but not in a bad way. Two bites of it was plenty, as enjoyable as those bites were. Afterwards, chef Henji Cheung came out to our table to ask us how we liked everything! We almost wonder whether he thought we were professional reviewers, but our lengthy conversation likely dissuaded him of that notion. He spoke to us about his background (grew up in HK and NY) and how they found the spot here. They live around the corner and say this restaurant has been a true labor of love for them, working constantly to make it as good as they hope. Both him and Sarah were incredibly nice and appreciative of our patronage. Honestly, we were full by the end but not overly stuffed--if going with a party of four adults, I would recommend doing much as we did, but adding the chicken, dropping the noodles, and dropping one of the greens dishes. This place is going to be a hit and doesn't take reservations, so go now while you can.
  3. 6 points
    A friend and I spent the weekend trying three recent additions to the Northern Virginia hot chicken scene - it just so happens that all three have an Asian influence thrown in for good measure. Here are our results: 🥉Mama Mei's (inside The Block food hall in Annandale) wings look perfect - great color, slight shine, and good size. While the skin is pleasantly crispy and the meat is juicy, the flavor is dominated by oil and not very interesting - even the spiciest level ("hot mama") barely registers. Highlight is the hot honey walnut nuggs - chicken nuggets mixed with candied walnuts and broccoli in a Chinese takeout box. 🥈Wooboi (Herndon) wings are substantial and simply presented - the satisfying crunch is apparent even before the first bite. The meat could be a little juicier* but level 4 ("code red") has great flavor with mild Szechuan seasoning and strong heat. Level 5 ("code blue" - they make you sign a chalkboard waiver) ranks among the spiciest hot chicken I've eaten in the past 15+ years, but the intense and numbing spice mutes the flavor - even the level 3 sandwich has a noticeable kick but pleasant flavor. Good crispy waffle fries reminiscent of Arby's curly variety. *caveat - these sat in the car for about an hour 🥇Hot Lola's (inside the Ballston Quarter food hall) does not offer bone-in chicken, but the tenders are meaty, the sandwich has a heavily seeded bun, and the tender dog (exactly what it sounds like) is a solid novelty. Since there's no skin, there's very little breading and crunch. The meat has a nice chew, and the flavor is outstanding - a slight sweetness and a strong Szechuan buzz, most pronounced in the OG and Too Hot levels, but also noticeable in the Dry Hot. Best pickles of the 3 - sizable and crinkle-cut. --- Hot Lola's (funkyfood)
  4. 5 points
    The culprit was the restaurant. They threw you under the bus because they did not manage their reservations well and valued this party more than yours.
  5. 5 points
    Dinner tonight was halloumi hummus bowls with farro.
  6. 4 points
    Kimen Ramen is the best I've yet found in Virginia - on back-to-back evenings, I had Boru and Kimen, and there's no comparison between the two (except in terms of quantity - you actually get more at Boru, but so what). Echigo Koshihikari Rice Lager ($8) and Kikusui Junmai Ginjo ($19, and highly recommended): Chashu Bun ($4) - They look too sauced, and perhaps are a bit, but they work, and the pork is quite good: Original Ramen and Miso Ramen, both with Pork ($12 each) - Choose your style, and go with it - both were very fine, better than anything I've yet found in NoVA. All ramens are easily customized with a la carte extras or substitutions: Plus, there's this next door at The Block Bar before dinner:
  7. 4 points
    Thank you so much for coming in! You are correct about the pimento cheese. Some people get geeked out about softies, so I added the cheese to familiarize guests. Whenever I have them in please feel free to ask about a sandwich the way you would like it. I’ve got no problem making that happen. Eric
  8. 4 points
    Alta Strada hasn't been cutting it for us lately and our one dinner at the recently opened Nicoletta Kitchen was expensive and disappointing, so we are venturing further away to sate our Italian food cravings. @MichaelBDC kept mentioning his desire to go to San Lorenzo so I booked his birthday dinner six weeks in advance so we could get a table at 7:45pm. We arrived at the restaurant and it was packed, including three big parties: one in the private dining room, one table included the owners of Cork, and a third table included a former Obama Administration official celebrating his wife's birthday. At first, the hostess couldn't "find" my reservation and asked me if I had the right date, which for some reason enraged me more than it should have. I pulled out my phone and showed her the numerous text messages from San Lorenzo (a reminder the day before and a reminder 30 minutes before the reservation) and the reservation magically appeared when she put in my phone number. A manager came over and after some chatting, we were lead to a bar and offered a round of drinks and said our table would be ready soon. Just glancing around the small dining room, I knew that was not going to be the case (after several tables were pushed together for the two large parties in the dining room, there were only one or two two-tops available and they were not even close to finishing their dinners and there was no way the restaurant was going to give us a four top on a Friday night). I quickly figured out that the party with that Obama Administration bigwig was the culprit. As we finished our first round of drinks, I pressed the manager for when our table would be ready and she admitted it would still be awhile so we offered to just eat at the bar. Not ideal for a celebratory birthday dinner but not the worst either. We had planned on ordering the squash blossoms anyway, but the manager ended up sending out one singular squash blossom for each of us to start. We then ordered the wild boar meatballs, which came with polenta, charred green onions, and marinated tomatoes. The dish was very good and the tomatoes added a very nice acidity to the gamey meatballs. We also received an order of the prosciutto with la tur cheese, balsamic glaze and strawberries on the house. We were surprised by how much we loved this dish. The balsamic, strawberries, and cheese were a great addition to the already delicious dry ham. We would definitely order this on our own again. For entrees I had the scallops with artichokes, fennel, and peas. The dish was a great representation of spring with for large perfectly cooked scallops but unless the artichoke were a part of the sauce, there wasn't any to be found on the dish. I used the bread which was otherwise mediocre to sop up the rest of the delicious sauce. @MichaelBDC ordered a special of veal bolognese. The pasta itself was fantastic, but @MichaelBDC said he likes the bolognese we make at home using Marcella Hazan's recipe better. I had a bite and I thought it was delicious as well and the pasta here is indeed amazing, inspiring us to take a cooking class during our trip to Italy this summer. The birthday boy doesn't like sweets so he stuck with an americano for dessert while I had an affogato. Nothing too special about this but that is how we rounded out dinner. We really enjoy the food here, but the service was a miss. Management did take care of us for the seating problems but food was still very slow to come out and we kept having to flag down the bartender to order more drinks. We also didn't enjoy sitting at the end of the bar where waiters were coming in and out to pick up drinks, deliver empty drinks, and put in their table's orders. The restaurant was in the weeds, which is to be expected on a Friday night, but I was not in the mood to be witness to the chaos. We will be back because we love Italian food and pasta, and hopefully we won't be displaced by VIPs next time.
  9. 4 points
    Tried Upside Pizza on my way to Penn Station last Friday - I wasn't that impressed. While they are clearly putting a lot of time and energy into their crust and pie, the flavor difference wasn't there - at least not on my white mushroom slice ("Falcowitz"). It was good pizza but I didn't think it was appreciably better than most other by the slice places in the city. As I continued down 8th avenue, I saw a few $1 slice places and almost went to one for a comparison but didn't feel like another slice. I did still feel hungry when I got to Pennsy foodhall next to Penn Station. I went to the Pat LaFrieda stand and waited longer than usual but really enjoy on the train my "World's Greatest Hot Dog" - nice bun, sausage snap, good flavor, with a bit of mustard and hot pepper slices. Not bad for $5 before tax and probably worth the extra money over the cheaper dogs on the street or Papaya King.
  10. 4 points
    Photos from last week Spicy tomato and shrimp stew Peas with garlic and pancetta Ricotta cheese with roasted blueberries
  11. 4 points
    Steve had a free afternoon on Friday and he didn't mind getting in line at 3 p.m. so we tried Bad Saint again. He was the 3rd person in line, and the person immediately in front of him was a stand-in for someone else. As it turns out, neither people in front of us wanted to eat like an early-bird so we got to choose our seats. We chose the two seats at the counter facing the kitchen - probably the best seats in the house. Standing for 2 hrs builds up a mighty thirst, which we slaked with San Miguel. We also ordered all 5 meat/fish dishes. We didn't do the tasting menu because the tasting menu didn't include the crab dish. The first to come out was the Rellenong Alimasag - lump crab, crab fat, fish roe, & garlic butter ($40). The main flavor is that of crab fat or tomalley. This is an acquired taste for some. I don't mind it but I'm not crazy about it either. I would've preferred some other flavor to the dish as well (can't detect the garlic butter). On the bites in which you got some fish roe, they do provide some pop and salty fishiness. The dish also came with Chinese fried crullers (you-tiao) - would've been nice to have more of those. The second dish to come out was the Kinilaw - octopus ceviche with purple yam and Thai chili. We tried it and agreed it was good (not great) and declined to eat more. The texture of the octopus was fine, but the flavor simply did wow us (kind of muted). The third dish was Tinolang Manok - poached chicken with ginger/scallion. We got half a chicken, including neck and butt. The chicken was nicely poached - very tender, but there was no flavor. I think it's a fail - you can get a better tasting version at a much cheaper price at a real Chinese restaurant. My mom and grandma both made better versions. After eating a couple of pieces each, I took the rest home - added soy sauce and sesame seed oil and let it sit overnight. The fourth dish was Pinakbet - shrimp and vegetable stew with XO sauce. Our shrimp was slightly overcooked. The eggplant was almost raw. The stew was pungently fishy (presumably from their XO sauce). We simply didn't enjoy this dish. The last dish was Lechon. Rather than sliced roast pork, we got some mediocre pulled pork, topped with some crispy pork skin that has been scraped clean. This is not the lechon of my dreams. In fact, I ate maybe 2 bites. Steve reluctantly took the rest home (not sure he planned on eating it or treat his dog with it). So of the 5 dishes, one was really good, one was good, and 3 were simply not good enough. We left wondering maybe we should've gone with the tasting menu.
  12. 4 points
    In Tom Sietsema's chat this morning, he said that Frank Ruta just signed on with Ashok Bajaj to work at one of his restaurants. Haven't decided which yet.
  13. 4 points
    Tuesday night pasta night
  14. 4 points
  15. 4 points
    Went to Puerto Rico for Spring break. Stayed at Hotel El Convento in old San Juan. The rooms are very nice. There are two doors, the second door seals in air conditioning and keeps out the sound, except when there's a wedding party. No door can keep out the bass. At all times, you have access to free tea, coffee and fruits. At 6, they bring out free wine and cheese. Parking is valet, $20 a day. You have access to La Concha and Marriott's pools/beach. The pool at the hotel is really a big tub, may 20 x 10. There's also a hot tub. We didn't eat on the premises. The location in Old San Juan is very convenient for sight-seeing. On our first day (Wednesday), we ate at Verde Mesa and La Lanterna. Not sure how to describe the food at Verde Mesa - it seems Moroccan influenced, lots of stews served with rice. We had a beef stew, a chicken stew and an eggplant stew. All were pretty good. La Lanterna was actually great. It's only 2 blocks from Hotel El Convento, and we ate in the beautiful green-leafed courtyard. We had (i) stuffed zucchini with veal and Parmesan cheese, (ii) spaghetti alle vongole, (iii) guinea hen ravioli, and (iv) veal chop. This is authentic Italian food in San Juan. It was so good we went back on Saturday but they couldn't accommodate us without a reservation. On Thursday we went to La Concha to use their 4 pools and beach. The resort facilities are great - but the $25 valet parking charge is pretty stiff. We had lunch at Serafina, I think it's supposed to be the best restaurant at La Concha. It sucked. Clams in wine sauce turned out to be overcooked in butter (sent back). The meatballs were rock hard. The $8 foccacia was pizza crust (sent back). The linguine alle vongole was also way too buttery. The only good dish was chicken Milanese - pounded wafer thin, breaded and fried but it was good. Thursday night dinner was at Santaella. To me it was just mediocre fusion food. E.g., tuna pinxtos was really tuna poke with a toothpick. Friday we drove out to Fajardo. We ate at El Bohio and Ocean View, both sucked. I suspect all the restaurants there pretty much suck. We were there for a tour of the lighthouse and surrounds during the day and the bioluminescent bay in the evening (by kayak). We went with Puerto Rico Bio Bay Tours. So the best time to go is when it's really sunny out and really dark at night (so think Summer with new moon). Unfortunately, late April is not the best time. I highly recommend this outfit as they focus on safety and education. You will likely get wet so a change of clothes is highly recommended. Saturday we went to the market near Santaella and ate at San Juan Smokehouse. Their pork ribs were tender but rubbed with too much sugar. The pulled pork on the nachos was pretty tasty. We also had burnt end, wings, cole slaw, mac 'n cheese, and corn bread. It's not great but probably the best option around the market around lunch time. I wanted to drive to Lechon valley/alley/mountain/gap (at Guavate) but it was an hour away and I didn’t quite find the time.
  16. 4 points
    Oooh. I haven't been there in a while. I love all those delights you mentioned above. Thanks for the update. Now I'll get back over there.
  17. 4 points
    It's pretty common for a restaurant to have more than one varietal by the same producer on the menu - I've gotten mildly stung by this type of miscommunication at least several times in my life (if you think about it for awhile, it isn't the diner's responsibility to read the entire wine list, and most diners don't have the knowledge to avoid this situation 100% of the time). One very common "trick of the trade" is for a server (or sommelier) to point to the wine, and say, "You want this Pichon-Lalande, correct?" invariably moving their finger over to the price. It's discreet and effective, and it has never not worked with me.
  18. 4 points
    I marinated baby back ribs Greek style: Lemon juice, garlic, oregano, olive oil, salt and pepper. I pre-cooked them in a 300° oven for about 40 minutes, and then finished them on the grill. I was going to make a salad when my neighbor called and said that she was “gifted” a crudités platter and a cheese platter left over from a party. So we had ribs and vegetables and cheese and crackers. Kind of a weird meal, but we enjoyed it immensely as we were sitting under a tiki hut with a beautiful view of the ocean.
  19. 4 points
    I am hopeful that the Graham family retains Clyde's local charm. There are a few thousand employees of the Clyde's Group, and they have families. There are also many of them who have been there for life, because they are well-cared-for, including medical benefits. I love how you can go into any Clyde's and order off the menu, and if they have the ingredients, they'll make whatever you ask for. I love how the twice-a-day raw bar happy hour at every Clyde's is the best deal in town, especially if you love oysters. I love how the Oyster Riot is now a major food event in the DC area. I love how seriously they take their decor, including the lighting, and I really love the attention to detail, like the silver-plated screws on the nautical dock cleats at Mark Center. I love the commissioned paintings, like the massive Babe Ruth mural inside the front door at Gallery Place. If the Graham family continues this local treasure along the same lines, it will be a good thing.
  20. 3 points
    Began my early dinner at home with these exquisite Flat Green Beans braised with Sweet Onion and Tomato from Green Almond Pantry
  21. 3 points
    Just went to this for the first time and liked it a lot. Their produce selection was not as extensive as the Lotte in Chantilly, it's more akin to the produce in a smaller HMart, but what they had was in good condition and some (including the lotus root) looked very fresh. they had fresh durian too (though it was the stinky kind). i think the selection is more exclusively chinese than some of the other asian markets, for example there were very few indian vegetables (no tindora, etc, though they did have a few karela). they had a huge selection of tofu products though-skins, noodles, pressed, baked, mushroom, five spice, spicy, etc. and a lot of different types of fresh noodles including wide hand-shaved shanxi noodles very similar to panda gourmet's hand pulled noodles. (now i just need to figure out how i can replicate those spices!). they had a lot of products like bings that i haven't seen at other markets. they also have some food stalls-including a taiwanese one, a sichuan one, and one with roast ducks and chickens-- a bakery, a ten ren tea, and a deli where you can buy dim sum by the piece. the hotpot we got was tasty, and while my husband said the dim sum was only ok, the scallion-stuffed pancake we got was very good. one fun thing they do is that when you check out, for every $20 you spend you get $1 in 99Ranch money that you can use at the bakery or the deli, so after you do your shopping you essentially get a free treat which is fun. they had a good selection of dry goods as well. the produce was limited enough that this won't supplant our trips to lotte or the larger HMarts, but they had enough unique items that we'll definitely be adding this to the rotation.
  22. 3 points
    It's half off sushi and sashimi, I don't think you can order of the rest of the menu at the bar. Only at the bar (12 or 13 people total) and on most days, you need to be there an hour early at least. Don't assume that if they're are 7 people ahead of you that you're safe, people will save space for late arrivals in their party. I don't think it's worth it unless you have a bottomless appetite for sushi/sashimi. They also tend to cut the fish a little thinner than the dinner service, so you are not getting full benefit of the discount.
  23. 3 points
    Salad of iceberg lettuce, grape tomatoes, radishes, cucumbers, cubed Jarlsberg cheese, hard-boiled egg; Bolthouse Farms Cilantro-Avocado Dressing Sourdough baguette and butter Fettuccine with Lemon Herb Yogurt Sauce The pasta was excellent. My husband raved about it. I will definitely make this again. It looks like some version of Fettuccine Alfredo at a glance but is wonderfully tangy with yogurt, lemon, and salty feta. I eyeballed the 3 tablespoon amounts for the herbs and had more than I needed. I'll have to find something to do with the rest, other than adding some to the leftover pasta. I didn't think straining the Greek yogurt made a whole lot of sense. It did give off a tiny amount of liquid, but I'll skip that step next time. It's going to get embarrassing if I have to admit to making any more recipes from "The Kitchen," but all the recipes I've made so far have come out quite well. For anyone unfamiliar with the concept, it's a Food Network take on the multi-host "View"-type cooking show. If you're looking for a place on FN where they're actually showing how dishes get made, this is one of them. (And Rachael Ray is back with more 30 Minute Meals, as well. While she shows preparation start to finish, The Kitchen shows the basic steps but already has a pre-cooked version.) They have four hosts, with them alternating in pairs taking the lead making a recipe and being the sous chef.
  24. 3 points
    The kids wanted to make trifles and spaghetti nests, courtesy of recipes in the littler one's High Five magazine. We did that on Saturday, and we had a lot of pudding and berries (and, tbh, pound cake) left over. I finally dug out my tiiiiiiny mason jars (that I got with the intention of making home-made sous-vide egg bites but haven't yet, because Starbucks) and put the leftover pudding and berries into them. Perfect size for desserts!
  25. 3 points
    I'm lazy. I always check opentable first. I will remember to go to Resy for something in the Great American Restaurant Group but beyond that, if it isn't on OpenTable, I'm not likely to pursue it. Mr. BLB booked Fiola Mare for our anniversary dinner tomorrow night. We haven't been and I'm quite looking forward to it, especially since BL-6th grader will be away so I don't have to spend a fortune to feed him too. --- Resy.com (FranklinDubya)
  26. 3 points
    For some unknown reason I had a craving yesterday for one my childhood favorites*, French bread pizza. I bought a baguette from TJ's and made two different kinds: cremini mushroom and pepperoni with fresh basil, Monterey Jack and Parmesan; and, spinach, fresh basil, Monterey Jack, Parmesan, goat cheese, and rosemary chicken. I had cooked up three chicken breasts earlier for my husband's lunches to go with some roasted vegetables, and I had some lemon rosemary chicken left over. It was great on the pizza, especially with the spinach and goat cheese. There was also a small salad of Bibb lettuce, cucumber, and hard-boiled egg with avocado green goddess dressing. *As a kid, it would be Stouffer's frozen French bread pizza, but this was much better. (My parents didn't eat pizza. they thought it was a weird food, so I only got the awful school pizza or this, unless I was at someone else's house and they got delivery pizza. I have no idea why my parents were so averse to pizza. They each liked and disliked different things, but they were on the same page on pizza.)
  27. 3 points
    Had wonderful bagels with cream cheese spreads lox (Nova) tomatoes, and capers from Bethesda Bagel in Rosalyn. We loved them. For someone who grew up on his stuff and continued eating them for years I simply don’t often dine on them any more. Best? Best in DC? I don’t know. But quite good and satisfying. Too bad Bethesda Bagel in Rosslyn has only a tiny window side eat in area. If this was a full deli/bagel shop with seating I might “live there”
  28. 3 points
    Raspberry Almond Coffee Cake
  29. 3 points
    We went there last weekend and will probably stop by again this weekend! Really pleasant space. Looked slammed when we arrived, so we sat at the bar (which had surprisingly comfortable stools). Service was friendly and not too slow, given how busy they were (and the fact that it was fun to watch the bartender at work). We just had queso fundido (with chorizo) and tacos. Quite good (though Chaia and Oyamel do tastier potato tacos) — especially the carnitas. Looks like outdoor seating doubles the capacity. And the line to order included a fair number of people doing takeout. For us, too, it’s a bit out of the way, but worked well as dinner before a movie at AFI Silver. And I knew that if we liked it, we’d have another shot at going there this weekend since we have an errand to do at House of Musical Traditions. (Though I will admit that the combination of Cinco de Mayo and Sietsema’s favorable review in this Spring’s restaurant guide has me thinking our timing isn't great.)
  30. 3 points
    This was SO GOOD. Thank you! Mine was about 2 lbs. I planned to do about 6 1/2 hours but it ended up being more like 7 1/4 hours at 131F. I seasoned it with kosher salt before it went into the bath, using much more salt than I typically would, figuring that it would penetrate the meat over the long cooking time. When it came out, I coated with evoo, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. I seared in a cast iron skillet 3 minutes on the first side and 2 on the second, which was seasoned the same way. OMG. This meat was amazing. I served it with the juices and topped with chopped scallions. The rest of the meal was roasted cauliflower, leftover coconut rice, a Mark Bittman soba noodle and edamame salad, and more grilled bread and whipped ricotta. It was too much food, but it was delicious.
  31. 3 points
    We had some nice thick pork loin chops with a beautiful (if I do say so myself) pan gravy; spring mix, avocado, tomato, and avocado green goddess dressing; leftover coconut rice plus chickpeas; and grilled bread with whipped ricotta spread.
  32. 3 points
    Visiting a friend this weekend up on the top of the Beltway and we went for a stroll through the Wheaton Botanical Garden and followed that up with dinner at Ruan Thai. Wish I had thought to check out DR for what to order, as our selections ranged from OMG! to meh. The OMG! was the crispy duck with a spicy sweet & sour tamarind (?) glaze. Perfectly crispy, with a smoky undertone from the wok char, a good lingering heat that wasn't overbearing, and that wonderful final note sourness. I think we would have been happy ordering 3-4 plates of this and nothing else. The only knock on the duck dish would be I wish the kitchen had been more precise in chopping it evenly. Some of the pieces were a bit difficult to wrestle with because of size and shape. Didn't stop me, though! Also got the chicken larb which was a good, straightforward preparation, and ordered an eggplant appetizer with chicken that turned out to be basically more larb but with eggplant in it. It was more interesting than the straight chicken larb, so at least we learned something with the side-by-side comparison. Very good was the panang curry: strong, balanced rich sauce and tender meat. Decidedly meh was a rice noodle/watercress/pork dish in a broth. It just didn't come together, the pork was small slices and dried out and flavorless (honestly couldn't tell if it was chicken or pork), the watercress was the best part of the plate but tough and cut too long (hard to chew through and I stopped eating it because it seemed like it could be a choking hazard), and the broth was not spicy and had no depth of flavor. The service was a bit slow and not terribly attentive when we first arrived but improved as the meal went on, I think because more servers arrived for the dinner shift (we arrived fairly early). So, definitely worth going back to for more of that wonderful duck and to explore the dishes flagged as good earlier in this topic.
  33. 3 points
    Last night, we had Fava bean salad with asparagus, jamón serrano and mint Pesce al forno con le patate ("baked fish with potatoes") Strawberries macerated with sugar, 25-y/o balsamic vinegar and black pepper
  34. 3 points
    I agree that it really is the customer's responsibility to make it clear to the server what wine they want. I am not saying the server should not take it on themselves to be clear - they should. But it seems in this case they did ask a follow-up question (perhaps a bit too vague?), though clearly the confirmation was imperfect. I almost always make sure that, when I am the one ordering the wine, I make sure I not only say the words of the wine I want, but I point to it on the wine list so they know exactly which wine I ordered. I also always make sure that the wine that is presented to me before opening is actually the wine I ordered (it is usually not a problem of the completely wrong wine entirely - most often the wrong vintage, or they grabbed the wrong bottling because they had two or more wines from the same producer). That said, on one of the occasions where I did not follow my normal procedure, I ordered a bottle of champagne that was similarly $100 higher than what I thought I was ordering - they made sure to ask.I confirmed. They presented it. I confirmed. I tasted it and accepted it. I continued tasting it for a few minutes and realized the quality was some notches up above what I ordered. But the damage was done since I confirmed everything every step of the way. That is my perspective. I think the person that posed the question did the restaurant a disservice by not bringing up the mistake (yes even after the meal was done and the surprise tab appeared) at the time it happened. It is entirely possible that the restaurant may have been willing to make some accommodation at the time - they is plenty of buffer in that $146 wine tab for them to, if not just charge you for the bottle you thought you ordered, at least split the difference. I understand people do not want to make a scene or are uncomfortable with the perceived confrontation this might cause - but clearing things up as they happen is in my opinion the best course of action. Just my two cents.
  35. 3 points
    I think it was 5 years ago to the day. All of my memories from that day are memories I wrote of all of the many, many times I dined and felt at home at Palena. I'm so hoping Frank finds the next thing soon - I am in serious withdrawal.
  36. 3 points
    That sounds great Pat! We had a pasta salad last night with cucumber, green pepper, feta, pepperoni, olives and cherry tomatoes. I made a sort of Italian/Greek style dressing with what I had- oil, vinegar, herbs, garlic powder, a dash of Worcestishire, a splash of lime juice (was out of lemons), caper juice, red pepper flakes, salt, pepper.
  37. 3 points
    Lamb pitas (tzatziki, chopped tomato) Zucchini-feta fritters (mint, dill) Feta would have been nice in the pitas but seemed like overkill with the amount of feta that went into the fritters.
  38. 3 points
    I have a lot of wine to work through here. One thing needed is more affordable French wine. The selection here is literally all over the map. Italy and Greece are strong as is Georgia and most of Eastern Europe plus domestic wine. It's an interesting challenge.
  39. 3 points
    I got an email from Cleveland Park Wines that said Mark Slater is now with them. Good luck to Mark!
  40. 3 points
    Mama Chang is supposedly a celebration of the culinary contribution of the Chang's female relatives. I think that's all PR b.s. Nevertheless, it's a bright and airy restaurant with the currently popular cement floors. The staff is bilingual and generally young. So how is it they can completely botch a menu description? Cumin duck wings and legs turns out to be wings and feet. Duck feet that's fried is very difficult to eat - the skin is tethered to the bone and hard to gnaw off. If you like chicken feet and you like to work hard for tiny morsels, this might be worth a try. I think the flavor is good but you'll have to eat with your hands and don't mind ending up with a plate of gnawed bones in front you. The Chinese description simply said "parts" so no way to know that you're getting some webby fried feet. Even the wings are scrawny - not much meat at all (certainly not as much as chicken wings). The pan fried fluffy vegetable bao is fine - note there're lots of sesame seeds on the bottom. The filling is mostly leeks and shitake mushroom. You can buy shen jian bao of equal quality in the freezer section of Chinese markets. The pan-fried noodles with vegetables was a let-down for me. They don't use egg noodles like at Cantonese restaurants. The veggies consist of mostly snap peas - something not really used in traditional Chinese cooking and which I don't particularly like. The thick noodles were okay, the saucing nothing special. This restaurant could be good. I just need to order differently next time. If anyone's interested in going as a group - post here or shoot me a message.
  41. 3 points
    Easter dinner: Spring mix, feta and sliced strawberries; sherry vinaigrettte Roast leg of lamb with potatoes and onions Steamed green beans, lemon and butter I'd never made the lamb recipe before and it was fantastic. It's from Vol. 2 of The San Francisco Chronicle Cookbook. The potatoes and onions are simmered in beef broth for 10 minutes before they and the liquid go into a large greased baking dish in a 400F oven. They bake 20 minutes, come back out, and are topped with a 5 lb. leg of lamb. The lamb has had slivers of garlic inserted and been rubbed with a mixture of 1 Tbsp. olive oil and 1 1/2 tsp. (combined) dried thyme, rosemary, savory, and marjoram, plus salt and pepper. It all goes back in the oven, turned down to 375F, for 1 hour for medium rare. The temperature was still reading a little low at 1 hour, so I let it go a bit longer. Ultimately, I went 20 more minutes, which I think was a little bit too long; 15 probably would have been better. Then, after resting 20 minutes, it's carved and served over the onions and potatoes. Absolutely delicious.
  42. 3 points
    A gorgeous game by the Caps last night in a pounding, all-in, 200-foot effort all game long for a 6-0 shutout. The goal above shows just how in much pain the 'Canes are in at this point, with Dougie Hamilton makes the decision to not touch the puck as he sees Ovechkin coming up behind him. As Laughlin said after the game "it was a business decision" to leave the puck. Fabulous penalty killing, and it looks like rookie Jonas Siegenthaler is a wonderful fit beside John Carlson, settling the D pairings into 3 solid L-R pairs. Scoring last night was Backstrom, Backstrom, Connolly, Wilson, Dowd and Ovechkin. Ovi's goal was on the power play, and was in the back of the net 1 second after an offensive zone puck drop on the far side of the ice from his office. A lot of stats in this game, but star among them, Braden Holtby becomes the top playoff shutout goalie for the Caps, with 7 in his career, besting Olie Kolzig. Nic Dowd scores the first ever playoff penalty goal by the Caps.
  43. 3 points
    It's one of those minimalist pasta sauces. You do need great scallops to pull it off. I don't think chicken could be subbed, but maybe try it and see. For tonight, we're having Shakshuka Everyday Palestinian salad Both are from "Zaitoun". You should buy this cookbook.
  44. 2 points
    Sicilian meatballs. Note these are from the nightly specials menu. They also serve Polpettine al forno which are on the regular daily menu.
  45. 2 points
    When I saw Laura Hayes say “ Why did I not know of this?” I shreaked. @Shaho posted about this last yr. Thank you for posting on Twitter. We all know we as a forum bring value , and sharing our discoveries online and linking it back to this platform is a way to spread the importance of Donrockwell.com. Tell your friends about us. Its free to join, and you never know where it may lead. I have made great friendships & have gained extraordinary insight not only on food & beverage , but so much more. Thank you to everyone who contributes ! I am grateful. I can honestly say Don is grateful as well. If one or any of our posts has helped, we all have done well. Grateful, kat
  46. 2 points
    It's not a best new restaurants list. It's a dining guide. He says he focused on 30 newcomers and ranked his ten favorites.
  47. 2 points
    2 Amy's was hopping last night. Dishes getting 86ed by 7:45pm. But it was good to back at the bar. I went with: Sicilian anchovies with bread and butter (of course) Smoked salmon and cucumber salad on toasted bread with goat cheese and meyer lemon. Excellent dish. Green and white asparagus with mustardy dressing, crouton, and pecorino gran cru. The asparagus were excellent, the dressing could have been a little more mustardy/kicky. Capicolo cotto tonnato, sous vide pork shoulder, sliced thin, like a cold cut, served on top of a tonnato sauce and accompanied by arugula, a medium boiled egg and anchovy. A touch of salt and a touch of acid, and this would have been truly excellent. It was just missing that final pop. Sicilian meatballs, almonds, cinnamon, a good sized portion of about 15 small meatballs, this could have easily feed 3 people as an appetizer course. The meatballs were a little dry and dense, but good flavor from the tomato sauce.
  48. 2 points
    Easter dinner: Starters were Serrano ham and cantaloupe, and Manchego cheese and various crackers. I topped steelhead trout with a mixture of chopped Kalamata olives, sun-dried tomatoes, roasted red pepper, garlic and pomegranate balsamic vinegar. Those went into the oven alongside a pan of asparagus with just salt pepper and olive oil. While the fish cooked, I sautéed some riced cauliflower until it was pretty dry, then added some garlic, and let that infuse, and then added chopped up artichoke hearts, lemon juice and Parmesan. I plated the fish on top of the cauliflower rice, and with the asparagus spears, the plate looked rather pretty. Dessert was supermarket Keylime pie, as requested by The guests.
  49. 2 points
    hello all--especially those who i may have crossed paths with on egullet a lifetime ago. i'm glad to make suggestions for twin cities area dining for anyone traveling here. and i'm probably going to be in dc in the late summer with my family and will doubtless hit you all up for recommendations before then.
  50. 2 points
    Both kids refused to eat the jap chae (sweet potato noodles, tossed with garlic-sauteed beef, mushrooms, and zoodled squash/zucchini/carrots, and soy sauce, brown sugar, onion powder, and sesame oil) when it was fresh on Tuesday night (though they've liked it in the past), but GUESS WHO wanted it all when I pulled it out for my own dinner last night, hmmmmm? And after they had both supposedly eaten a full meal of quesadillas before I got home! Plus they also wanted to share an apple! Nutritionally / palate-wise I was delighted but it was annoying that my dinner was relegated to various fridge scraps after they gobbled up Every.Single.Bite.
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