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I encourage others to visit and see if they agree or not -- there may be a new king of dim sum in MD, and it's...Far East?!?

Yes, not a typo.  The one that's been around for 45 years and whose website says that it specializes in "Szechuan and Mandarin" cuisine.  My family and I moved to Montgomery County 40 years ago and I don't recall having been here more than a few times before.

But on the recommendation of their friends, we went with my parents yesterday and (pardon the cliche) it was a revelation.  There's a certain richness and freshness in the shumai and the shrimp dumplings that aren't present anymore at Silver Fountain or Hollywood East.  The radish cakes actually taste like radish, and the taro dumplings have way more filling than fried outer shell.  The items tend to cost $1 more here than at the other dim sum joints, but I suspect that's a function of better ingredients, portion size, and execution.

The place was packed at opening, and when we left around 12:30, there were still tons of folks waiting in the lobby.

This is our family's new dim sum destination in the foreseeable future.
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Also totally fair.  I haven't posted in this thread but I've had overall great experiences at Bresca but I will say the experience tends to be more of like 3 or 4 out of 5 dishes are great with 1/2 being underwhelming, but the highs for me have been superlative (the various foie dishes, duck a la presse, chestnut agnolotti on the original menu, beef tartarlets come to mind) which makes up for the lows (for me) especially since they're very creative.  However I'd definitely be a little more "whelmed" on the whole if the dud dishes were entrees, which is always unfortunate.
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four of us had dinner last night at punjab grill.  service wasn't great, but the service kinks seem like the newly opened kind that hopefully will be worked out.  dinner came out to around $90/person, which was definitely expensive but not quite as brutal as i'd feared from a maharaja-inspired restaurant that offers "market price" caviar and truffle supplements.  while we agreed that the food is more interesting than rasika's and most of it quite good,  the overall experience wasn't one that will have any of us rushing back.  i'm guessing this place will live or die based on the amount of expense account business it draws.
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Had a great time catching up with a friend at Bresca last night. He captured the restaurant perfectly - "kind of under the radar now, but still full". That was the case last night, as the room was full for the majority of the evening.

Highlights: Scallop Mi Cuit - one of the better ceviche-ish dishes I have had in a while. The beef tendon with puffed rice was also excellent.

Oddities: The "welcome cocktail" was a nice touch, but a bit too much Shrub for my taste. Hadn't seen this before, especially a gratis pour, which is a nice touch. The cocktail list still follows that ridiculous octagonal map thing, which makes reading the cocktails more challenging, nevermind understanding if they were laid out according to some rhyme or reason.

Challenges: Our mains were the buckwheat linguine and the tuna. Both were overly salty - and we both enjoy salt! Not salty enough to send back necessarily, but both discernibly out of balance.

Overall: Very nice and accommodating service. Well priced, interesting menu and great atmosphere. I found the food somewhat at odds with the glowing reviews above - there was a definite lack of finesse in the mains at odds with the nuance found in the small plates. Seems like better QC is needed.
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What is the Impact of a Player

11 games ago the Wizards "blew up their roster".   John Wall was diagnosed with a second injury that will probably wipe him out of not only the remainder of this season but possibly all of next season.  Additionally the scope of the injury is such it puts his future "stardom" at question.   The Wiz were tied into enormous salaries for Wall, Bradley Beal, and Otto Porter going forward (3 former high draft choices).   The injury forced the Wiz to reverse course on a pledge to keep their 3 high priced "stars" going forward.

The Wiz traded Porter to the Chicago Bulls for two forwards.  Since then the Wiz are 4-7, and Chicago is 6-5.   The Wiz are losing ground on their effort to get to the playoffs, losing some winnable games.  Chicago's record has improved and Porter is playing better and more vitally on behalf of the Bulls than he showed for the Wiz this season.

All that being said I agree with the effort.  The most recent team had a "big 3" in Wall, Beal, and Porter that wasn't big or good enough.  At best they were a mid level candidate for the playoffs.  Not that different from the former "Big 3" of the earlier 2000's with Gilbert Arenas, Caron Butler, and Antwan Jamison--a trio that was good but not good enough.

Porter, at his best, was a complementary player;  he developed into a fine 3 point shooter, he filled many roles, but he never took over.  His role was limited. Interestingly though, since that trade, admittedly a move to "blow up" the roster and restart, they are simply not as good.   Porter, a middling player seemed to add wins. 

In any case as a long term fan of the Wiz/Bullets, I muddle along as with other long term Wiz fans.  They have never been as despicable as the SnyderSkins.  They just can't rise above mediocrity, and for most of the time since the end of the 70's they have been worse than mediocre.

Its more fun to eat well and drink.
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Their fish dumplings have haunted me for five years and I live near flippin' LA! Granted I'm 1.5 hours from the San Gabriel Valley, aka both the self-proclaimed and possibly actual center of all Chinese food in this country, and I don't exactly order fish dumplings every time I'm in the area / they are on the menu, but the times I have ordered them it has always been a disappointment by comparison.  The reason is very simple - none have them have been filled with sliced fish.  While a ground / mashed / fish meatball filling makes a lot of sense and can even be quite good (as long as they aren't packed too tight), it's not even in the same ballpark as tender, mild, flaky fish.  I'm not sure why fish dumplings have caught my imagination so - I actually prefer pork / pork and chive / beef / lamb dumplings - but maybe the fact that they are so unusual and I haven't had the like since...that's probably why I can't stop myself from trying them every so often, only to have my hopes dashed time and again. Anyway, this all is to say that y'all are lucky to have China Bistro, I wish them a long and prosperous restaurant life, and I hope to return someday.  Eat some Lenten dumplings for me!!!
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Two weeks ago, Bread Furst remodeled a bit, and now the in-store traffic flow has been changed. The register is towards the back instead of in the middle. 

Havent been there during core weekend hours yet so don’t know how it has impacted the ordering experience.  
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Had dinner at Sushi Capitol last night with some friends. Scrolling through this thread, I noticed that before our last visit mid-February, my last review of Sushi Capitol was April 2017. It's not that we hadn't gone there since, it was just that there was not much to write home about. The fish, while good, had stopped being as exciting and we felt like we were getting the same nigiri each time. After two visits, I can say that Can's ownership of Sushi Capitol has breathed new life into the place. 

Under the new chef, Chef B, we enjoyed some creative nigiri such as red snapper with grated egg yolk on top, Maine uni with some grapefruit, and tuna marinated in citrus/soy sauce. We also had some traditional nigiri (o-toro and mackerel), and experienced some new and/or interesting fish like needlefish and gizzard shad. The fish was amazing and we had a great time. Can't wait to go back.
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So, I made the Pesce alla ghiotta that TrelayneNYC posted the other day. It came out really well. I found the actual recipe from the book on google books. I used two pieces of cod about 8 oz. each. So glad you posted this!  I served it with boiled yukon gold potatoes with butter and parsley and more of the salad from the day before, but with radishes added. We also had more of the garlic naan.
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So I did the colored pasta class.  We didn't make the pasta using the well method because of the color, but I kind of liked using a bowl, as I am not great at the well method anyway.  The class ran a little late getting started (had an extra person join) and ran over too, about 30 mins, just FYI for parking.  It was a very hands on class and I learned good technique.  They kind of explained how they made the colored paste, but it would have been better to have this as part of the demo, as I don't think it would be very easy to make spinach in quite that consistency.  But the pasta took a long time in itself with her checking and watching our progress, so I can see why they did the shortcut, but it could have been better.  I think having the class in not a dedicated cooking space/class space made it a little hard as whenever the instructor needed something they had to run and get it, but I am sure they will become a more well oiled machine.  Also the table space was not so large, so you couldn't really have drinking glasses on the tables.  Having said all that, it was a very good class and well worth the price.  I learned a lot that I will use going forward, and I am really looking forward to the semolina class.  I also would be interested in the stuffed pasta class for the future (although learning to make dumplings and empanadas, I could probably tackle this on my own just fine).  We got a taste of pasta at the end, but it isn't a meal (I didn't expect that, again just wanted to note it as so many cooking classes are different in how they do things).  The instructor was a sfoglina from Italy and really nice.  
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We had lunch here today and as usual, a wonderful time was had by all.


Fried oysters, cabbage, tartar sauce


Miso black cod with cucumber pickles


Silken tofu with pickled wasabi leaf and salmon roe


Squid with Japanese mustard spinach and turnips in a mustard-miso sauce


Mabodofu-don (spicy tofu with minced pork over Japanese rice).

At right is a bowl of miso soup with shimeji mushrooms and razor clams. At top left are pickled watermelon radish and pickled carrots.


Same lunch set along with a bowl of katsu-don (fried chicken with egg and sweet dashi over Japanese rice).


Hōjicha panna cotta, served with a miniature pitcher of hōjicha syrup and sesame cookies.

Hōjicha is a Japanese green tea and is distinctive from other Japanese green teas because it is roasted in a porcelain pot over charcoal, whereas most Japanese teas are steamed.

Total bill came out to $120 for two people. Very reasonable for the quality of food served.
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We had lunch here today and as usual, a wonderful time was had by all.


Fried oysters, cabbage, tartar sauce


Miso black cod with cucumber pickles


Silken tofu with pickled wasabi leaf and salmon roe


Squid with Japanese mustard spinach and turnips in a mustard-miso sauce


Mabodofu-don (spicy tofu with minced pork over Japanese rice).

At right is a bowl of miso soup with shimeji mushrooms and razor clams. At top left are pickled watermelon radish and pickled carrots.


Same lunch set along with a bowl of katsu-don (fried chicken with egg and sweet dashi over Japanese rice).


Hōjicha panna cotta, served with a miniature pitcher of hōjicha syrup and sesame cookies.

Hōjicha is a Japanese green tea and is distinctive from other Japanese green teas because it is roasted in a porcelain pot over charcoal, whereas most Japanese teas are steamed.

Total bill came out to $120 for two people. Very reasonable for the quality of food served.

 
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We enjoyed an exceptional evening at Métier last week. From start to finish, everyone we encountered was wonderfully hospitable, and the service was flawless. Celia greeted us in the lounge--she is wonderfully charming. Michael Chesser, the Captain and Sommelier, was engaging and informative, and led our service.

For my budget, it's a special occasion restaurant, and even though it was very expensive, it was money well spent. 

The dining room is relatively small, but spacious. The kitchen is visible, but we couldn't hear any sounds. 

If I had one quibble, it would be that three desserts was one too much for me. (Signs of age, I suppose)

Instead of providing my own descriptions, I'll include a photo the menu notes. The restaurant was quite accommodating, and changed a couple of dishes to better suit my wife's preferences. For the wine aficionados and experts here, I'd be interested to get your thoughts on the wines used for pairings. I enjoyed each pairing immensely.

Toro with hummus and lavash crackers served in the lounge, accompanied by a burnt cinnamon cocktail. 


Seared Bluefin Toro


Puree of Savoy Cabbage soup with Rye Bread and Cured Foie Gras Crostini


Crispy Skin Filet of Virginia Black Bass


Scallops. (They prepared this instead of lobster for my wife)


Confit of Maine Lobster. 


Pan Roasted Martin Farms Beef


Poached Pineapple Upside Down Cake. (My favorite dessert)


Métier Candy Bar


Dessert number three. I honesty forgot the description, but it's a play on cinnamon rolls, accompanied by a hot buttered rum drink.


Our view of the kitchen. Eric was visible throughout most of the evening, but the table was occupied and I didn't want to intrude on diners' privacy by taking a picture while they were present. 


Menu


Menu notes


Menu notes


Wine pairings
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At around 9 pm, I'm expecting an angry call from my ex-wife asking why our daughter can't get to sleep.

You have some idea where I'm going with this.

My 9 year-old and I dropped by Starbucks for a refreshing beverage after a salty 5 Guys burger. Looking through the cooler, she spots a Starbucks Strawberry Lemonade Refresher. Being the diligent father I am, I read the can looking for any possible caffeine. Nope, product looks clean, right?


It's a sparkling juice blend. Or maybe it's lemonade! Could be a flavored juice blend drink, I suppose. Anyway, it's made with coconut water and real fruit juice!

I turn the can to make doubly sure!


Ok, now it's a sparkling strawberry lemonade. I'm confused, but still no caffeine. 

I triple check! Look at that whopping 25% fruit juice. That's good, right?


"Ok sweetie, drink up!"

I get home and just as I'm about to throw it in the recycling bin...


WTF Starbucks?
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Backyard Barbecue is closed as of this week.  Bad news.  They were great neighbors.  But their location will be taken over by the owners of Alexandria's Smoking Kow.  Good news! 

Place will be dark for a while  during the transition. (Meanwhile, get your ribs at Peking Pavilion next door.)
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The Big Hunt was an early player in the DC craft scene.  Dave Coleman was the GM and Beer Director at The Big Hunt and then went on to found 3 Stars Brewing.  The references I can find online is that Coleman was beer director at The Big Hunt in 2006, if not earlier.  My guess is his efforts predate Birreria Paradiso, probably by a couple of years. 

The Reef opened in 2001/02.  When it closed in 2013, most media reports noted that it was one of DC's first bars to focus on craft beers.  The First DC bar to have Chimay and Allagash White on tap (according to the Post) 

RFD opened in 2005(?), which of course had the same owners at the Brickskeller, and the same problems with keeping beers in stock.

Rustico also opened in 2006, with 250 bottles and 30 taps. 

Granville Moore's helped jump start things on H Street, NE in 2007 with a Belgium beer focus.

Brasserie Beck opened in 2007 (was originally slated to open in 2006)

ChurchKey was delayed and finally opened in 2009.

Meridan Pint opened in 2010.

I'm sure there are other notable additions.  Such as The Saloon on U Street, which opened in 2000.  There was a previous Georgetown location, but I'm not familiar with its history nor beer selection.
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We had a really great meal here Saturday with friends.  The standouts were the mushrooms served in the form of linguini a la cacio e pepe, the incredibly savory chicken and snail lasagna, and my salmon, which was somehow super crispy on the skin, but basically raw below it.  It came with cabbage and roe of some sort in a dill/cream/fishy sauce.  Outstanding. 
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Opened a location at 513 23rd St in Crystal City on Feb 11 (via their Facebook page).
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I recently did 2 food tours in Venice.

The first was an evening tour upon my arrival - Venice Food Tour: Cicchetti and Wine, $153 by Urban Adventures.  We were supposed to hit 5 venues but one was closed.  So we only did 4, Do Mori, Do Spade, Sepa, and some other place.  I was still hungry afterwards - definitely not worth the money.

The second was a mid-morning tour on my last full day in Venice - Rialto Market Food and Wine Lunchtime Tour of Venice, $103 by Raphael Tours.  We ventured from Rialto all the way to Castello, we had sweets, meats and cheese, chichetti of fried seafood, risotto, pasta with squid ink, and finished with Tiramisu.  This is a much better tour.

For dinner, I ate at Boccadoro, Carampane, Bistrot de Venise and il Ridotto.  A word on il Ridotto - I didn't book it in advance.  When I tried to book it online while in Venice, I found out their website doesn't allow solo booking so I had my hotel call and I got a reservation that way.  Turns out the restaurant was mostly empty that night.  I went a la carte and had (1) black spaghetti with sea-urchins, candied peppers, kale, (2) cuttlefish, mushroom and black lentils, and (3) guinea hen, radicchio, buckwheat and pomegranate , €40 per dish.  The only dish that I didn't enjoy was the cuttlefish but the other dishes didn't blow my mind.

 
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The staff has turned over since I was involved with FFM, but looking at their website- the correct person to contact is Nony Dutton (Director of Markets and Programs) Nony@freshfarm.org
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Trade deadline is Monday the 25th, and the Caps put Devante Smith-Pelly on waivers to free up cap space.  No one claimed him (he's not had a good year) and so we keep him in the org and move him down to Hershey.  In the meantime, we picked up Hagelin for some draft picks from the LA Kings, where he has not had a good year, but they play a different system and he doesn't seem to have found his groove there.  He's a speedy player, good experience, and should be a good fit for the 3rd or 4th line, plus has 2 Stanley Cups from his tenure with the Penguins.  Looks like a good trade on paper at least.  

My guess is that Burakovsky is still on the trading block as well.  He's got talent but can't seem to reach break-out velocity with this team.  Rumors are swirling but nothing has solidified yet.
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Flowergeddon!!!! Hopefully it does not return when the flowers do this season:

LA Times reporting

Ungated article from Frommer's on the upcoming anticipated superbloom

I adore the idea of the wildflower hotline    (760-767-4684)
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Seylou is one of the most important food service operations in the DC area.

I've been on this board since its inception, and before that eGullet, and before that Chowhound, and almost everything that has been discussed in those 18+ years about what may be "lacking" in DC, or whether or not DC is truly a world-class food city, is represented in Seylou. It's success and future depends on DR.com and other like minded and passionate people to support it, either monetarily or on social media. 

Seylou literally checks all the boxes: local, organic, sustainable, free-standing, independent, world-class quality, unique, community, I could go on and on. The owners, Jonathan Bethony and Jessica Azeez, work tirelessly and uncompromisingly to put out some of the best breads and pastries in the world. Yes, I said world.

Jonathan, who ran the Washington State Bread Lab and started the bread program at Blue Hill for Dan Barber (started as in did everything from selecting the specific wheat, growing, harvest, mill, bake) is doing the same out of Seylou. Nothing here is inexpensive, but it is all reasonably priced. A loaf of bread made from freshly harvested grains from a local Amish farm, milled in full the day of baking, does not come cheaply. But that $11 loaf of pain au levain will last two weeks and is massive, not to mention delicious. So certainly price point is a barrier to entry for most, and Seylou knows this. If you are on SNAP, the discount for bread at Seylou is 50%. 

Another challenge is the physical appearance of the breads and pastries, specifically the color. Everything is brown to dark brown. It looks burned beyond all hope. The croissants appear as if a single bite will cause the pastry to crumble into dust. There is no "golden" colored anything. The color comes from the whole grains and oils from the entire wheat kernel. That deep brown croissant that looks dry is "OMG this is the best crossant I have ever tasted" as my lovely wife stated oafter her first bite. Cut one in half and it is extraordinary in its lightness, with hundred of airy pockets in between buttery (Trickling Springs) rich dough. Just amazing.

You can say the same about the cookies, bialy's, financiers, foccacia, etc. The District is incredibly lucky to have Seylou, and it is a bakery worth a special trip into DC, just as Metier or Komi are. Go. Buy a loaf of bread or as much as you can afford. This place should be a landmark in DC for years to come.*

*Climbs down from soapbox.
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The Sfoglinnys.

Grover and I went last weekend. We walked over and entered from the Duke Street side.  This is a very long, somewhat narrow entrance that is used as a Gallery to highlight art.  From cursory glance, mostly portraiture.  There is a private dining room on the left as you go towards the Hostess stand.  Entering from the Duke Street side you get to tour the whole restaurant.  Very nice room but somewhat confusing from that entry point.  From memory, the food:

Appetizer

Me: Fois Gras terrine - Interesting but layers of Foir Gras and, I believe duck confit.  The accompanying baguette slices were more like soft bread with no crusty crunch. Again interesting.  Wrapped with leek which added color but a not of flavor, red wine gelee and pickled veggies.

Grover: Onion soup.  The standard that sets the tone for the rest of the meal. Nice presentation, salty soup. If you could overlook the overly-generous use of salt, the broth was nice.  Doesn't rise to the level of the Onion soup at Del Ray Cafe, but (minus excess salt), acceptable.

Mains

Me: Wagyu beef  Ordered "rare towards medium rare" and delivered as ordered.  Good pink to red center and well cooked. That's the good part.  The not-good part was the "sauce" which had a tendency to overpower the taste of the beef. Accompanied by an interesting stack of shredded cabbage and mushroom on a pastry circle. 

Grover: Pan roasted Monkfish.  Bone-in Monkfish was very well done (no, not overcooked, prepared very well).  I didn't manage a taste but Grover did a commendable job of demolishing it.  Accompanied by a similar stack of veggies on the above described pastry circle.  Mostly ignored but the carrots that topped it were interesting.

Dessert

Grover had the Lemon cake(?).  This was a number of cubes of lemon cake and a scoop of lemon sorbet.  Actually quite good.

General observations:  The staff is a mix of new-to-dining and seasoned servers.  At times it felt as if we were at a soft opening.  Used utensils and glassware were removed promptly but the pacing was somewhat erratic. I'm not sure I'd call this a bistro, the menu reads more new American rather than French bistro. Incidentally, the host/manager spoke impeccable French (possibly the most authentic French item in the house) . 

We both had a glass of Prosecco and I had appropriate wine for the terrine (a Sauterne) and beef (a California red).  The bill before tip was $170. Will we go back?  Certainly.  One visit does not make a reliable opinion, it's only a fleeting impression.  I would like to see Bistro Sancerre succeed because I personally see the promise of some good things coming. Not quite there yet, but (I hope) just over the horizon. 
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