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Showing content with the highest reputation since 12/21/2018 in all areas

  1. 8 points
    The centerpiece of Christmas Eve this year was a chestnut bisque (from this Geoffrey Zakarian recipe). It came out extremely well, but I really should have bought frozen chestnuts, as the recipe indicates, rather than roasting and peeling my own. That was a lot of extra time and frustration I didn't need. The addition of the pumpkin pie spice in this is essential. I even bought a new jar of it, and it paid off. This was really good. I also picked up a new and decent quality bottle of sherry for the recipe. The rest of the meal was an herb and garlic baked Camembert from Smitten Kitchen Every Day; crudites; an assortment of breads and crackers (sourdough baguette, pumpernickel, whole wheat pita, Carr's rosemary crackers, and Triscuits); cold cuts (Virginia baked ham, mortadella, and Genoa salami); regular and spicy Cava hummus; various olives, pickles, and mustards. It was way too much food, but it was fun to graze and everything left can be used in future meals. Christmas lunch was more of the bisque, plus grilled cheese (leftover Camembert plus Parmesan, pear, and leftover ham.) Christmas dinner was a simple and delicious celery and Marcona almond salad I've made before (from Fine Cooking) to start. For the main course I made a sous vide boneless leg of lamb (rubbed with Maille whole grain mustard, black and red pepper, and olive oil, stuffed with thyme, rosemary, and nicoise olives). Steamed green beans with evoo and toasted pine nuts and sage scalloped potatoes rounded out the meal. That makes two dishes over the holiday I added to the menu after seeing Food Network's "The Kitchen" on what seemed like endless repeat. The potatoes were incredible but super rich. I will not be making them again for another year, because OMG...2 cups of heavy cream. They were GOOD. The sage and garlic infused cream made the flavor amazing, plus the salt and cayenne between the layers added a spark I don't usually associate with scalloped potatoes, and the heat cut through the richness. The only downside (other than our cholesterol levels) is that the 1 lb. amount given for potatoes in the recipe is too low. I used two medium potatoes (1 1/4 lbs.) sliced thin and couldn't even get three full layers. I should have added the third potato I had. This is the first time I can recall not parboiling potatoes for this kind of dish and having them cook through perfectly. Both nights I planned to make ice cream sandwiches with the homemade toll house cookies I made (my only holiday baking this year) but they went by the wayside since we had plenty of food already. Maybe this weekend.
  2. 7 points
    In appreciation for my favorite dish in this area. Their Chengdu Kung Pao Chicken continues to be the best version I’ve ever had. I stopped in for lunch today. They have a Kung Pao Chicken lunch special with rice and an egg roll. I asked if I could have the special with the Chengdu Kung Pao Chicken. They said no. I didn’t even care. The real “special” is the Chengdu version and this confirmed it. I’m always here with groups and order multiple dishes, so it was great to just focus on one outstanding dish. Outside of the traditional chicken, peanuts, and peppers, they also include sliced ginger and garlic. These take it to the next level. I’m usually a stickler for using chopsticks, but I was wearing a tie so I used a fork for safety. This also made the dish better as I could get all the flavors at once rather than one at a time. These folks take my favorite Chinese dish and make it my favorite-ist.
  3. 6 points
    Stopped by Stan's for lunch today on one of my increasingly rare visits downtown. I suppose I'm a creature of habit, as I first started visiting some 30+ years ago....but if they keep putting out pleasing food and drink...its why not...but rather, why don't you go there more often. On my own I lunched at the bar, and it may well have been the only time I've ever been at Stan's when I didn't down alcohol. Regardless, two gents next to me were drinking straight booze with respectively water and soda water in additional glasses. (now that is the Stan's I know). Speaking of people who know what they like, the two gents both worked in the area; one has been visiting Stan's for 15 straight years and the other a paltry 10 years; both on a consistent basis. During lunch, Kathy the owner came by and recognized me, and her two regulars. Nice lady..we had a great chat. Stan's, and at least the Post Pub are evidently both doing well from recent tenant relocations that have added beaucoup daytime workers in the immediate vicinity. You can't beat the wings. I had 1/2 an order of 10 decent sized wings for $8.50. They are beautifully cooked; the chicken is moist and the spicing is delightful. The two gents next to me ordered the quesadilla steak and cheese special of the day and both gave it a gold star. Stans: Pleasing the population at its lower level location in Downtown on Vermont Avenue for well over 35 years. Now that says something!!!!
  4. 6 points
    As mentioned in a separate post, a number of new restaurants/food outlets recently opened in Tyson's Galleria. My daughter and I were out doing some Christmas shopping, and we decided to check out Sen Khao. I haven't been to Thip Khao, but I frequented Bangkok Golden a few years ago, which is the restaurant that introduced me to Lao cuisine. The menu is somewhat "compact", and featured two starters, a salad, two sticky rice dishes, and three noodle soups. You have your choice of proteins for the salad dish as well as the soups. We opted for Curry Puffs ($5) and two of the soups. The curry puffs may have been the best I've ever had. The dough was thin, light, and perfectly cooked, while the filling consisted of nicely seasoned pieces of potato. An order consists of two curry puffs with accompaniments. I chose the Khao Piak Sen ($14), which is a type of chicken soup featuring rice noodles, pulled chicken, garlic chili oil, herbs and greens, and some crispy rice. While it was slightly spicy, chili paste and raw chiles are available for those who like it hotter. This soup was a winner. Clean favors, nicely seasoned, and freshly prepared. (Note: The menu states the noodles are udon-style, and while I'm not a noodles expert, I think rice noodles were used.) My daughter opted for Mee Kathi with tofu, which is a coconut curry rice noodle based soup flavored with egg, peanuts, cabbage, and banana blossom. She declared her soup to be outstanding as well. The service was extremely quick, and the staff was very friendly and helpful as well. If I worked in the Galleria or lived nearby, Sen Khao would be on my short list. We strolled to check out the other food outlets, and picked up an eggnog ice cream cone ($4) at Ice Cream Jubilee. The eggnog ice cream was fantastic. Creamy, rich, and with a hint of rum. They offer several interesting flavor combinations (Thai Iced Tea, etc.) Looking forward to a return visit there, as well.
  5. 5 points
    Hungover from New Years Eve festivities, I had the craving for Chinese food and convinced @MichaelBDC to roll the dice and order from Panda Gourmet via Postmates. We over ordered and ate throughout the afternoon and into the evening. Thankfully we did not have any major delivery issues that noticeably affected food quality. Altogether we ordered large hot and sour and wonton soups, steamed dumplings in red sauce, won tons in hot and spicy sauce, dan dan noodles, and liang pi noodles. The dumplings and wontons in sauce were a hit as well as the liang pi noodles, which were spicy, smoky, and overall very good. Hot and sour soup could have been better but really hit the spot for this hung over gal. Wonton soup was the only disappointment. The broth was very soy heavy. We didn't get to the dan dan noodles and are still in our fridge waiting to be reheated. We would order Panda Gourmet from Postmates again.
  6. 5 points
    Finally made it for "brunch" yesterday. The way to think about this is not as a very pricey brunch (albeit way cheaper than hotel brunches and the likes of Fiola Mare), but as an early, bargain Sunday supper. A couple of the items are vaguely reminiscent of brunch food (e.g., the ricotta "pancake" pictured above), but in truth it's simply three excellent, delicious Jon Sybert dishes for less than you'd pay at dinner! (I had the pork belly and tagliatelle, both fantastic, and a nice semolina custard.) It's also really nice to be at TuG during the day, in the light--quiet, peaceful, and, as always, as welcoming as any place in DC this side of 2 Amys. Disclosure: My son works there occasionally.
  7. 5 points
    Thought people might be interested to hear about Chef Guo, a new restaurant featuring Chef Guo Wenjun's take on Chinese banquets. This is probably the closest the DC area has had to Chinese fine dining, and I'm interested to see how it fares. The chef serves a selection of two tasting menus, the Banquet of Eternal Bliss Hot Pot ($68 lunch, $98 dinner), and the Banquet of Peace and Prosperity ($158 dinner only), both of which feature 10+ courses in the style of imperial cuisine. Scroll through the website to see the full menus, pictures of the dishes, and a press release detailing the overall concept. So far there hasn't been much buzz about this place outside of the Chinese community, but some friends who have gone reported it to be luxurious, visually and conceptually unique, and a lot of (too much?) food, mostly very good to excellent. There seems to be a mix of traditional cuisine and modern/Western techniques. If I understand correctly, the dinner they attended was a special event combining dishes from both menus, with all of the guests at a shared table and Chef Guo himself coming out between each course to explain the concept behind the dish (in Chinese); it's not clear to me how different the experience will be once the restaurant gets settled in, but from their website it seems like they are definitely interested in catering to non-Chinese clientele as well.
  8. 5 points
    Wow. What a run 701 had. Great, under the radar spot. Had always had solid meals there - and 701 was a trailblazer in that neighborhood.
  9. 5 points
    Tim Carman had Vinh Kee at #9 on his list of top 10 bargain joints in the burbs. I had their dim sum when they first started but it wasn't anything special so I was skeptical. But a few weeks ago we went and validated the actual goodness of their dim sum. This is the best dim sum joint in NoVa to my knowledge, in terms of quality and variety. The star was the XO turnip cake. The turnip cake was cut into cubes, deep fried, and then topped with minced meat in XO sauce. It came out really hot...so wait awhile for it to cool down. It was a substantial portion...we ate some before snapping the photo.
  10. 5 points
    I had a superlative dinner here this week. We ate upstairs in the formal dining room. The noise level was low making it easy to converse. There was the obligatory TV pundit sighting, marking this as one of the power spots in town. I'll confess that was dining with the GM, Michael Sternberg, but watching other tables in the room, I could see that everyone else seemed to be as well taken care as we were. We began with raw bar- mussels, oysters and clams. Outstanding. Next, warm lobster salad could not have been better. It was lightly dressed and perfectly poached. Rare has an extensive dry aging program and all the steaks seem to have between 21 to 45 and more days of age. I chose the rib cap steak (the only steak on the menu not dry aged because of the texture of the meat) with Molly Sauce (hollandaise with mushroom duxelles folded in) that may have been the best steak I've eaten in many years. Michaael brought some 40+ year old Cote Roties which were interesting and good accompaniments to the steaks. At that age, the wines shed their weight and show off an interesting delicacy. I only made it half way through my steak as all the cuts are generous. It was still delicious the next day with scrambled eggs. I finished with chocolate pot de crème, which I could also not finish. The service was genial, very well informed and attentive. I really like this place.
  11. 4 points
    Happy New Year everyone! All my love and best wishes for a wonderful year ahead, Rocks "The Perfect NewYear's Resolution for 2019 Was Written 154 Years Ago" on washingtpost.com PS - My 2019 New Year's Resolution is to reduce my use of disposable plastic by 50%, which I honestly believe I can do just by thinking a bit. Anyone want to join me?
  12. 4 points
    Thanks to all for the recommendations. I ended up doing a pre-game brunch at Rye Street Tavern, with a taste of the AC's Famous Fried Chicken (Classic Southern Style) and a Dockside Royale cocktail. Winner-winner chicken dinner? Well, yes! I don't make a habit of eating fried chicken, but if I did this would be my go-to place. Note that the all-you-can eat chicken applies only to Sunday dinner. It is suggested to call ahead because sometimes they run out of birds. The property is beautiful inside and outside - transporting. Post-game meal went to Hersh's for a Miles Davis pizza pie with a side of Malfadine duck bolognese and a spot-on Boulevardier. Everything was excellent and the cost was very reasonable. Hersch's is a great neighborhood place - sadly not my neighborhood. The on the corner ambiance was not in a silent way, but young, loud and boisterous. The polar opposite of the tranquil brunch at Rye Street. And the Ravens defeated the Browns in a must-win game to get in the playoffs for the first time since 2014. All-in-all a perfect Baltimore day.
  13. 4 points
    No one has ever paid me to eat anywhere although I occasionally attend media previews or events where meals are comped. When I write about those on my blog I acknowledge that fact. I paid for my meal at Julii. Because I know the chef- as I interviewed him for Jewish Food Experience- I provided him with some feedback on what I liked and didn't like. I plan to go back next weekend and will try the lamb. Again, I will be paying for that meal. I agree that prices are high here- but I think are comparable to City Perch. For a less expensive meal at Pike and Rose, I just ate at Nada and found the prices quite reasonable and the food is good.
  14. 3 points
    Hey, hey now, don't you say anything bad about my beloved Bao Bar. They could take over some Taylor Gourmet spots that have died and I would be happy.
  15. 3 points
    Spent a couple of days in Richmond between Christmas and New Year's. A late lunch at Edo's Squid was tremendous. I love the laid back vibe, and the place was nearly empty at 1:30 on a weekday afternoon. I started with the broccolini with garlic and red pepper. It was drowning in olive oil but remained crisp and spicy. For a main, I ordered the spaghetti with clams. This was also covered in olive oil and contained an absurd (but absurdly delicious) amount of garlic. I couldn't finish it but came close. On our way out, three servers were gathered around a table hand peeling hundreds of cloves of garlic which went into a giant basket. I wish we had a place like this in DC. On our way out of town, we finally went to ZZQ. I wondered if this would live up to the hype, but they managed to surpass it. Their brisket is second only to Franklin's in terms of the best I've ever had. It has a perfect amount of smoke. The turkey was extremely juicy, and I also loved their house made sausages. We tried the hot guts sausage, and a queso fuego which was their daily special. Both were loosely packed but with a good amount of fat. This is a special place, and I suspect it will get even more attention and acclaim over the next couple of years. If you're near Richmond, you owe yourself a chance to try it. (Sorry, the picture is a little bigger than I intended.)
  16. 3 points
    At this point, eating at National Airport is like a visit to DC's culinary graveyard
  17. 3 points
    We're having soup to beat the Sick for the next few days. A brothy chicken soup and lentil soup as well. If they're not enough to do the job, I have a big butternut squash that will be roasted and pureed into more soup. Die germs, die!
  18. 3 points
    Tim Carman's article yesterday described Gen Lee's reaction to their signature eggplant dish appearing on the menu of Andrew Zimmern's new Minnesota restaurant. The article notes Mr. Zimmern did not ask permission to add it. Zimmern got a demo in July 2013 when he visited Chang's Richmond location (the first page of this thread includes a link to Zimmern’s Vine of the visit, but it highlights a fish dish). I wonder: did Zimmern disclose to Chef Chang he envisioned opening a chain of restaurants? At the time, Chef Chang could have seen this kitchen visit as an informal nod to a journalist/T.V. personality, not sharing a recipe for future commercial use. Sure, it was 5 years ago, but ouch. Who knows, their expansion plans might geographically overlap. Chang's restaurants' quality have varied depending on who was in the kitchen and some here have had disappointing meals. What if Chef Chang was even farther removed from the plate? When I first read yesterday's article I thought of Tom Power's "Chocolate Hazelnut Bars" heartfelt homage to Michel Richard and their time working together. Mr. Zimmern's offering was not this.
  19. 3 points
    Have a good time in London, my home town. The restaurant scene in London is probably best in its diversity, with a wide variety of ethnic cuisines. You have limited time but a few ideas follow. Best fine dining experience: Ledbury or Hedone or The Ritz (but jacket and tie for that one) or Gordon Ramsay. Best Italian: Beck at Browns. Best Indian: Indian Accent. Best Chinese: Hakkasan for "posh" Chinese, Royal China Queensway for a more down to earth experience. Best pizza (at least near your hotel) is 50 Kalo di Ciro Salva. Best Spanish: Cambio de Tercio. Best pub food: Harwood Arms, which specializes in game, some of it shot personally by the owner. Enjoy your trip. Details of all these places with reviews and photos are on www.andyhayler.com --- Harwood Arms (zgast)
  20. 2 points
    I really like the sound of that ^^^ avocado gg dressing. Last night was charred sumac and oregano chicken wings; celery, and ranch or blue cheese dressing; tiny meatballs with caramelized onions in kind of a balsamic reduction, and (on a whim) takeout cheese pizza. I was disappointed in the Bell and Evans wings. Whatever process they use to prep the wings resulted in some randomly chopped bony bits in with the wing and drum pieces. Their chicken is usually top notch, which is why I buy it. I hope this was an aberration. It's not that much effort to break down wings into two pieces, but this is the way B&E ones are sold, and it's always worked out okay until now.
  21. 2 points
    I'm fairly sure you mean you burped with satisfaction (unless you're conveying the quality of your eructation).
  22. 2 points
    The first time I was actively lobbied by an old-school lobbyist was here. Great memory. That man purchased a lot of yummy for a lot of ladies...and one or two gentlemen. Good times.
  23. 2 points
    Christmas Eve for us since we became officially Southern Californian has been beef and pork tamales with assorted salsas and guacamole, adobo black beans, salad, and a Christmas cookie assortment. For Christmas Day, we meant to put on a few more dishes, but sick kids only allowed us to make the beef tenderloin with bourbon mushroom sauce, roasted Brussels sprouts, potatoes, and carrots, cranberry slaw, rolls, and more cookies, which was still tons of food.
  24. 2 points
    I’ve continued to try the bialy’s and bagels at the new Bethesda bagel in Roslyn. The bialys are consistently inconsistent. They are baked in house and they don’t bake many. (I suspect they might do one baking for the morning: the demand is minimal). Over time the shapes have varied. There have been signs for available bakers on the window- they either are short staffed have had turnover or both. The better one’s are ample with sizable depressions brimming with onions and poppy seeds—kudos on those. THe lessor ones have come in myriad shapes and sizes although they all have more ample depressions and a better filling than what I had at Bullfrog. Ah...but the bialy taste is all important. These are not the bialy’s I recall from my youth. Something is amiss. While I’ve been through NYC quite a bit of recent I’ve neither had the time or inclination to search out storied bialy’s. I hope to get around to that later as I’ll have more time. When well formed I give them a B
  25. 2 points
    Tonight I made tuna tetrazzini for the family. Mom wanted to double recipe, so we ate the pasta, not baked in a casserole tonight. I put the rest in a casserole dish and put in the fridge for later. Contemplating what do with all the left over parm.