Jump to content

Our Picks

Top content from across the community, hand-picked by us.

Chateau de la Begude is in Valbonne, about 25 km from Nice. It's a good golf resort, and also has a very nice restaurant La Ciste. We had Le Menu du Chateau, a 4-course affair that did a nice job of showcasing creative cooking. The amuse bouche was not the greatest beginning, a somewhat wan crab meat/radish combination that didn't do much for me. My tuna/watermelon dish was fantastic, a mini Stonehenge of perfectly seared tuna wedges, with watermelon 'squiggles' and an interesting but not overpowering fruit sauce. The pig chest (poitrine de cochon) was great, a cube of slow cooked pork belly with nicely caramelized skin. Desserts were good, though not the highlight. Service was smooth and friendly. If you are here, go here. If you are close, it's also worth the trip.  
    • Thanks

Posted in the wrong thread, it belongs here . . .

Stopped by for my first visit just now . . . Closed by the Dept of Health on 6/14. Next to the official notice is a sign that says “Equipment Repair . . . see you soon!”



    • Sad
    • Thanks

La Preferida has moved a bit further south on New Hampshire, in the parking lot of a Sunoco gas station.  An order of Pastelitos de Carne was 3 fried empanada-like creations -- expertly fried, great texture and not greasy at all, and stuffed with savory ground beef.  Accompaniments included a forgettable coleslaw, a moderately spicy red salsa, and a much tastier but very spicy green sauce.  The chicken sandwich looked pretty boring on the menu -- a subway roll with shredded chicken, hard boiled eggs, avocado and cheese -- but the chicken itself was moist and really tasty.  It had obviously been long-stewed and was very nicely spiced.  Three tacos, one each pork, beef, and tongue, were a huge disappointment -- the tongue was very tender and nicely flavored but the meat in the other two was miserably tough.  All three were served on a single, doughy, thick tortilla, with oversized hunks of dried out cucumber and radish that looked like they'd been hacked with a dull cleaver by a blind person, and no cheese or avocado.  So overall a pretty mixed bag.    
    • Thanks
    • Like

SEI is closing...

Saw the restaurant yesterday with D.C. "suspension" signs in the windows (referring to DC Code 47-2026 and DC Regulations 9-415.7, which appear to be related to Certificates of Registration (http://dcrules.elaws.us/dcmr/9-415)).

Today, the website has been updated with the following message: "

After more than a decade SEI is closing.  

This will be our second farewell to an industry that we love and has been good to us for 12+ years.

We are humbled to have been a small part of the beginning of DC's booming restaurant industry.


SEI was the venue for numerous celebrations, met wonderful families, made forever relationships,

honored to serve such dignitaries and so many wonderful talented

employees, managers and chefs.


There are simply too many people to say thank you to and so many incredible experiences to recount.

We are eternally grateful to those that have graced our tables and made SEI a DC staple.  

So to our customers, friends and supporters, you have enhanced our lives for over a decade and we want to say

THANK YOU for the journey."


Another sad closing.  A bit overpriced, but fairly high-quality and innovative food.
    • Thanks

Komi's turned into Happy Gyro for June.  It's like a really refined vegetarian diner (think Chicago Diner or the local Fare Well putting on airs).  It continuously riffed on (at least my) childhood memories of favorite foods--sure, they're elevated here and fancier, but darn if they're still not comforting and deeply satisfying.

There were about 8 dishes of varying sizes, with the main attraction being a choice between a gyro or a cheesesteak.  My wife and I picked one of each and split them.  Both were delicious and would be perfect replacements for Adams Morgan's post-drinking jumbo slice, but my heart belongs to the gyro because it was the closest thing in the USA I've had to the gyro of my formative years.  The mini tacos tasted like--and this is a true compliment--how I remember Taco Bell decades ago.  There was also mushroom souvlaki, beet fritters, feta and tomato salad, garlic bread, roasted squash, and strawberry ice cream.  Everything was outstanding. 

(To those who may be curious: as far as I could tell, there wasn't any tofu, seitan, or processed meat substitutes--it was mostly mushrooms or legumes in place of meat.)
    • Thanks
    • Like

[I sent agm a personal message of thanks, but it bears repeating that people on this board are amazing!]
    • Thanks

Went back to Bar Vasquez.  It is much improved.  We started with CAMARONES A LA PLANCHA - perfectly grilled Patagonian Red Shrimp, tender but slightly crispy on the exterior.  WOOD-GRILLED LENGUA DE TERNERA was another winner, tender tongue with a criolla sauce (similar to chimichurri).  Not pictured but a great value is the prime skirt steak, tender yet full of flavor.  The only miss was the crab bucatini - bland red sauce with equally bland crab meat.  We also had some broccoli.  I wonder why DC can't support a decent Argentine restaurant.
    • Thanks
    • Like

SeaQuench Ale, by one of Don's "favorite" breweries, Dogfish Head, is a great, refreshing, summer sour (lime, lemon), and is only available in cans (IIRC).  It is also very affordable, in the realm of sours, being priced like a "normal" 6-pack of craft beer.  (Sours can get to be almost prohibitively expensive.)  Any sours by Veil, Vasen (which just started canning and distributing to Northern Virginia), or Commonwealth, is likely to be good to very good.  Three Notch'd also cans a passionfruit gose that is pretty darned good.  Aside from Dogfish Head, the other breweries are Virginia-based.  Old Pro gose by Union Craft of Baltimore is a great example of an unfruited gose, with just the tartness and a bit of saltiness, also in cans and generally available at craft brew shops locally.  At the higher end (price-wise), The Bruery out of California is turning out some really good sours, but around here they will mostly be in large-format (750 mL) bottles.  They are fairly widely available, but they also have their own shop with a huge selection in the Union Market area, quite close to St. Anselm (closed Sundays at present).

ETA: minor nit to pick, it is the "Department of Beer and Wine" (not "wine and beer") over there in Potomac Yards, with the appropriate (IMHO) ordering of their liquid offerings.
    • Thanks
    • Like

I realized no one has posted much in this thread for a while except for the most recent post on the 3rd location opening. I've been to the Zoo location, Duke's Counter, several times in the past year and even ordered lunch delivery a few times. The best dish is still the Proper Burger with its messy, tasty mix of sweet and savory toppings. Second favorite is the Fried Eggplant (aubergine) sandwich which is spicy with jalapenos and very satisfying for a vegetarian sandwich. I will note that all of the sandwiches are large - easily enough for two people or two meals. Both of these sandwiches come on good bread. I haven't enjoyed as much the sandwiches on the naan or the pastrami on weck on marble rye - the pastrami meat was only ok. Its been a while but the brisket sandwiches were better tasting meat. The fries continue to be great. The quinoa salad is good for a hearty non-sandwich. I recently had the new-ish sockeye salmon rice bowl which was good for a lighter meal. Kids like the chicken fingers (big surprise). The cocktails are usually rather good and they have lots of extended happy hour discounts from noon to 7 vs, only after work hours. The avocado toast is only so so and too spicy. My main wish is that they included the full sandwich menu during their very long brunch hours on the weekend.  My wife and I occasionally like eggs/breakfast for brunch, but we mainly go to Duke's for sandwiches and their brunch runs during all conceivable lunch hours on the weekend (10-3 Saturday AND Sunday) which is why it we don't go there more frequently. 
    • Thanks
    • Like

OK, so for a decent brisket, you need a low heat source and a lot of time. Aim for a cooking temp of around 225 degrees, and 1 to 1 1/2 hours per pound. It's done at an internal temperature of 195 to 205 degrees. So yes, an oven is your best bet.

Smoke is great for brisket. If you think you'd be able to keep your grill at 200 - 250, or a little more, for 2-3 hours, there are several methods of getting smoke in a gas grill. I would hit YouTube and see what people are recommending for grills like yours, and figure out if you can do it. 

So, if you can smoke on your grill, smoke your brisket for 2-3 hours. Hickory is a common brisket wood. If you want a strong smoke flavor, hickory works. To lighten it up, mix it with oak, which is a milder taste. Personally, I like fruit woods. Apple, cherry, or a mix. After smoking, wrap the brisket in foil and put it in a preheated 225 oven. Total cooking time 1 to 1 1/2 hours per pound, but briskets vary wildly, so check the temperature early. Usually there's a stall at around 160 degrees that can last a while, and the temperature climbs quickly once it gets past that. 195 to 205 internal temperature is your target.

If you're able to smoke, then for your first brisket, go basic - salt and pepper only. That plus smoke is all the flavor you need. You can add to that next time, once you know what the results are. Add the S&P at least four hours before cooking, or up to 12 hours.

If you can't smoke your brisket, then cook it in the oven uncovered for a couple of hours, then cover it with foil (or wrap it) for the rest of the cooking time. But you'll need to use a rub with a lot more flavor to make up for lack of smoke. Something like this would work:

2 tablespoons kosher salt
1 tablespoon coarsely ground pepper
1/2 to 1 tablespoon cumin, depending on how much you like it
2 tablespoons smoked paprika
1 tablespoon ground chipotle
1 tablespoon brown sugar (whatever variety you prefer)

The paprika and chipotle will add some smoke flavor. And if you can find a decent smoked salt, that will help too. Modify the rub freely. Garlic, onion or both would be tasty additions, but you know your own taste preferences. Mix it, rub it all over the brisket. Some people rub yellow mustard on the meat first to help the rub stick, but I've never found that necessary. Rub it 4 to 12 hours before cooking. If you don't use all of the rub on the brisket, add more right before cooking.

After you hit the target temp, bring it out and let it rest a minimum of 1/2 hour. If you're not serving right away, keep it in the foil and wrap it in a towel to stay warm. Finish it on a hot grill to restore the bark if you smoked it (the foil will kill it), or to approximate a bark if you didn't.

It's good to have some barbecue sauce on hand in case the brisket turns out dry, but otherwise it's entirely optional.
    • Thanks
    • Like

The kids wanted tacos (over sandwich/hot dog at Attmans) so we went to Sinaloa.  With the tortilla machine working, the room was hot.  Nevertheless I had some menudo and I got the kids lengua, res, and al pastor.  They loved the tongue.  The beef and al pastor were not very good.  The al pastor seemed to have been doused with pineapple juice that was not cooked off.  The taco portions were huge.  The menudo was okay. 
    • Thanks

Misha’s moved to 917a King St on 31 May. The old location is closed up a city hearing notice for change of restaurant ownership. 

The new location is an upgrade, though some will not like it over the kitchy original. The new one is larger, has some outdoor seating and a rear entrance by the new roaster. There is some counter space along the walls suitable for individuals. The communal table is now a high top toward the back. 

Had a nice iced latte. 
    • Thanks

Very nice article and full of truth. Alba truffles are a unique product and I keep telling people that tartufi di Alba are very very pungent and strong aroma. If one truffle does not totally fill a room of a beautiful aroma you should be very skeptical of it. Believe me in order to understand fully, you need to go to Alba during truffle season ( october to december) and walk the beautiful little street of Alba and you will smell truffle the all way. Then go in a reputable restaurant and have truffle just on a butter dressed tajarin pasta and you will learn the real power of a white truffle. At the price that truffle are sold here in the States it will be cheaper to go there and get the real flavor.

The Article unfortunately explain how bad things are getting in Italy. This is only one small problem we do have. All our excellent product get ripped a part copied and sold for the real one.

I blame us ,Italian that we do not care or we are too lazy to take actions in order to protect  the beautiful and good things we have.

Finishing on the white truffle, my personal point is:

Until 10 12 years ago I use to get my truffle direct from my brother in law ( he was born in , which he will by direct from few trifulao that he knows well. I was serving those truffle with pride.

After that I  reary  sell white truffle and If I do I never sell them for Alba truffle if am not sure are from there.Thre is not need to eat food that you are not sure about it.

Thanks Don to allert me about the article.

Ciao all.
    • Thanks
    • Like

The parents were in town and we had morning plans in the Dupont area so we did brunch/lunch at the Tabard Inn.

I haven't followed what resulted from the Inn's "Turbulent Period" several years back, but all the waitstaff were wearing buttons stating "Employee-Owned Majority" (the button is also listed on their website), so maybe things ended up for the better?

In years past, I remember the Brunch menu having a good mix of breakfast type dishes and lunch type dishes, where as now the Brunch menu is more paired down with a breakfast focus.  Pretty much all of the Brunch entrees have a egg component, other than the burger, chicken and waffles, and market fish of the day. 

However, the cream cheese and chives scrambled eggs ($16) with home fries, biscuit, and applewood smoked bacon was very good. 

The quiche ($15) was also well received.  The waiter noted that the quiche is always meat free and veg.

Their fresh local oysters were fine and on the pricey side at $3 each.  

The braised pork belly with poached egg ($12) from the appetizer menu was also enjoyed.

For dessert, we went with the classic Tabard Donuts ($2 each).

The Bloody Mary ($11) was not the best I've had. 

I'd also note that the dining room was not full, with several empty tables the entire time we were there. (It was a holiday weekend).  I remember a time when getting a weekend table for Brunch at the Tabard required booking well in advance.

The Tabard Inn still maintains its worn charm, and I thought they did a respectable job.  Hopefully, being "Employee-Owned Majority" has been good for all. 
    • Thanks

Don, one of the most luxurious and satisfying appetizers at Black Salt that you should try is the butter poached lobster agnolotti with spring peas and morels. 

The seafood counter is amazing, love that you can choose seafood not on the menu for that day but they will prepare it for you, especially love the black bass they get in.  Stopped by the other night and picked up two crab cakes to take home and broil. Excellent.

My treat for special occasions at Fiola Mare is the  pasta vongole and the dover sole. 
    • Like

This place is now a third outpost of St. Arnold's. I ended up there Wednesday night with my husband and 5-year-old. They have great happy hour specials available until 7pm throughout the restaurant (not just at the bar) -- probably the same as other St. Arnold's locations. I enjoyed my St. Arnold's Mussels, which were at a greatly reduced price for happy hour (maybe half price -- I can't remember). My husband enjoyed the beef carbonnade and his happy hour beer (I forget what it was but some kind of lighter beer -- possibly German if they still have some German beers on the menu). I'm not a beer drinker, so I drank a meh happy hour chardonnay (at least it wasn't oaky!). The service was great. It was a beautiful night, so the patio was full, but no one was inside. We ordered my daughter a grilled cheese from the kid's menu, but she kept stealing my mussels.
    • Thanks
    • Like

I've got a bit of the dreaded spring time crud, so I'm not up to posting about our recent experience at Chloe, but I will say it was better than ever. Every dish was a hit, and the service was wonderful. Sounds identical to beachgirl54's experience!

I posted a few pictures on instagram, and you can find them if you search for the hashtag #donrockwelldotcom

    • Thanks

Locavino, a wine and beer café and retail outlet in downtown Silver Spring, is expected to open in June in the former Adega space, according to co-owner Jarrod Jabre:

    • Thanks

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 Tinoland 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.
    • Sad
    • Confused
    • Thanks
    • Like

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.)
    • Thanks
    • Like

Query Mill Farm CSA, in Montgomery County, has a few openings for the season. Inquire at querymillfarm@hotmail.com.

They do require pay upfront for the season (30 weeks x $20/week, plus a small delivery fee if you choose delivery rather than pickup), checks preferred (no plastic).

They produce a newsletter every week detailing what is coming the following week, and you have (some) ability to substitute if there's an item you don't want. I am not connected with the farm, other than having been a CSA subscriber for almost a decade. I get a grocery cloth bag full of produce every week, way more produce than my $20 would get at a farmers market or grocery store. And it's turned me on to some greens that I never would have bought on my own.

The season runs from May-November (they just started this week).

Query Mill Farm has been in operation in Montgomery County for nearly 40 years. They grow organically on 1 1/2 acres, but are not certified. They emphasize American heirlooms and special European and Asian varieties. They feature heirloom tomatoes, season-long lettuce, and multitude of greens. No tree fruits. While they used to sell at local farmers markets, they have recently switched to CSA-only.
    • Thanks

Ok, here goes....after going here every Summer for the past 20 years....feedback welcomed, I will try to save you some heartache, and $.  Parking in Stone Harbor is metered, but Avalon has free parking.  Take a few rolls of quarters with you so you do not get a ticket.  25 MPH speed limit is strictly enforced in both towns.

Stone Harbor

Yvettes Cafe - the original owner passed several years ago, however the guys who purchased it improved service and kept the eclectic menu intact.  Lunch is busy, place is small, but always clean and very good.  Get your subs here. $$

Fred's Tavern - atmosphere is bar all the way.  Decent kids menu and food is fresh, reasonably priced for what you get.  Service is beach typical.  Since this is adjacent to their liquor store and they sell both wine and liquor, remember this is a seasonal area and their wines do not always age well in the off-season.  Stock up and home and bring your own beverages, save yourselves the disappointment. $

Watering Hull - opened last Summer and is upstairs in the promenade of downtown.  Seems to be a new local's hangout, but food and drinks are good - service is fine. $$

Stone Harbor Pizza - beers on tap and nice pies.  Expect a long wait time for food once ordered, as their kitchen is small. $

Spiaggetta - the best Italian food at the shore.  Atmosphere is ok, dress can be casual, they are maybe the only place with parking out back, which is really nice.  Service always on, and specials great.  Owner is there every night and treats you like an old friend. $$

Donna's Place - off the beaten path outside of town, but their wraps, bagels, donuts and sandwiches are very good.  They are reasonably priced and being one who hates to wait in line for 20 minutes for bfast, you don't have to here.  Everything is made to order.  Fresh seafood store next door if you want to cook at home.  The place has been there since 1979 and the owner is sincere and appreciative of the business. $

Reed's at Shelter Haven - new within the past few years, they did it right.  Nice hotel, and excellent restaurant(s), from breakfast/brunch/lunch and dinner.  Place is dressier than I care to be at the beach - if I cannot wear nice flip-flops (yea, I know a contradiction, but when I am at the beach, I dress like I am at the beach), I tend to go someplace else. If you eat outside, the seagulls will get you - they are very smart.  $$$$


The Diving Horse - new place, high-end but comfortable.  Specials were fine, a little pricey.  Since it is new, many people flock here nightly. $$$$

Kudos - new name for an old restaurant (and new owners) several years ago - location is downtown Avalon, but often missed for breakfast which is good, reasonable and service always fine.  Open for lunch and dinner as well.  Have specials, decent salads, burgers etc. $$

Tortilla Flats - if you are looking for Mexican food at the beach, choices are limited.  This place is ok. $

    • Thanks
    • Like

Cape May

Over this last beautiful weekend, I escaped responsibility to read lots of books and walked around Cape May.

Exit Zero: Usually, I love this place. This weekend the food servings seemed smaller than usual and my curry soup was so salty and thick, it was almost inedible (and I love salt). Pro Tip: They now have a liquor license and their whites by the glass are not that good (pinot gris and sauvignon blanc)

Black Duck: I love this place and it delivered on Saturday night. For the first time the table ordered the pupu platter and while I liked and enjoyed the appetizers, I loved the salads/veggie slaw stuff that was under the actual appetizers. At $32, it's a high price to pay for apps but then again, they BYOB so maybe it's okay in the end. I also think my wonderful delicious scallops were $32. On other nights I've enjoyed duck and lamb dishes, especially if they are on special. 

Shamone: $35 tasting and BYOB? Yes, thank you. Run by the guy who runs George's (yummy breakfast, big fresh salads...everything's good), this is a weird little place. I love the tasting menu but of the 15 courses, 14 were quite small. Twice I have been and they've dealt with my food allergies without complaint which is impressive for a tasting menu.  

Blue Pig: No. Don't go eat at Congress Hall. Just don't. 

George's: Love for breakfast and lunch. Pro Tip: Get there at odd times like 11am for lunch or 2pm. It's tiny and busy.
    • Thanks

The Whole Foods Spring Rosé Sale Is Back by Bridget Hallinan of Food and Wine

Here's the lineup:

Orlana Vinho Verde Rosé - $7.99

King Rabbit Rosé - $9.99

Mr. Pink Rosé - $13.99

Angels & Cowboys Rosé - $14.99

Pool Boy Rosé (1L) - $11.99

French Blue Bordeaux Rosé - $12.99

Ste. Venture Aix en Provence Rosé by Charles Bieler - $13.99

AIX Coteaux d’ Aix en Provence Rosé - $18.99

De Chanceny Crémant de Loire Brut Rosé - $13.99

Presto Sparkling Rosé (canned rosé) - $11.99
    • Thanks

Windy City Red Hots is closing both locations (Leesburg & Frederick) this month - posted on their website - and reported locally.

If you crave a true Chicago Dawg before they close, move quickly.
    • Sad
    • Thanks

  • Create New...