Jump to content

Our Picks

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

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

First, I think they own the building and seem to do decent carryout/delivery business. Second, the food is decent and they still manage to always have some customers whether it is weekday lunch or weekend. Nevertheless, I agree the sushi is only so so. Raku, close by, is leagues better. The pan-Asian dishes are hit or miss. I like the teriyaki chicken, Big Duck, honey sea bass (although it has been a while since i ordered this one), scallion pancake, and shaky beef. Mee goreng a few months ago was rather good too. The ginger salad is ok but too much of similar flavor. The bul gogi buns on a recent trip were ok. I wasn't a fan of the bulgogi kimchi fried rice - pretty bland - the one time I had it last year. I live nearby though so I will continue to go on occassion but the dedicated single Asian cuisine in the area tends to be better - Raku for Japanese or Siam House for thai (and sadly no more Nam Viet for vietnamese. Pho 14 up the street is only ok and the non-pho soup dishes are not as good). But it is a good option for a group who can't decide. 
    • Haha
    • Like

Hey Don - big picture - the "community" has spoken in a semi-boycott of the parking debacle.  Boston Properties continues to push ahead, as one would expect (I guess), with some new leases taking up a little of the vacant space(s) created from the exodus.  

RTC has lost its initial charm as a vibrant area people used to go and hang out, walk around, shop, eat and play.  On a nice Spring day you will see people out walking around, but it used to be significantly more consistently busy.  The amended parking FREE in the evenings, may have had a little affect, but I do not think it significant. 

The more recent closure of the large retails spaces, Williams-Sonoma and Pottery Barn, has left the main street of RTC barren.  If one or two of the other original (or almost original) mainstays (Clyde's, Bow-Tie Movie Theater - opened as another brand - Mortons, McCormick & Schmick's, Big Bowl, Jackson's) - that place will be a ghost town center.  I do not have any dog in this fight, and really hope it does not happen.  When RTC was thriving, it was a cool place to go for most.  

There are many who invested in business, condos and THs in the immediate area who may likely see their property/investment values decline(ing), and although there are no guarantees in life, it is hard to believe a ~$20B company like BPX could or would make a decision with only negative consequences.  
    • Thanks
    • Like

Bump. Reminder that tomorrow is the day. If you're going to dine out tomorrow, please go to one of the supporting restaurants.
    • Thanks

1 chicken cut into 12 pieces (either do it yourself or have your butcher do it for you)
75 ml olive oil
2 garlic cloves
a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
a sprig of rosemary
250 ml pinot grigio
freshly ground black pepper
15 ml red wine vinegar
pitted green and black olives

I have done this with chicken and rabbit, and prefer chicken by far.

Warm olive oil in a pot over medium heat, then add chicken skin side down. Brown meat until a golden crust forms, then turn over. Time is your friend here since the color will wash out in the braise if you don't brown the meat sufficiently.

While the chicken is browning, mince the garlic and the rosemary leaves together. When the meat has browned sufficiently, sprinkle the garlic and rosemary over the chicken. Pour over the wine. Season with salt and black pepper. Raise heat and bring this mixture to a boil, then reduce heat to low and cover. Braise chicken for anywhere from 45 minutes to 1 hour, 15 minutes depending on the age of the chicken.

When the chicken is done, scatter olives on top and stir in vinegar. Serve immediately.
    • Thanks
    • Like

As someone who no longer lives in DC but comes back “home” to visit quite a bit...I agree 100% with all of this. Seylou was the only place I wanted to/cared to/and did visit upon my last trip home. The bread, the pastries, everything was top notch. And their passion, talent and commitment are worthy of our support.
    • Thanks
    • Like

I started going to I Ricchi about 10 years ago, when I started seeing their Groupons. At the time, it was a pretty good deal...a good price for a decent meal. But that was about it...decent. I never would have paid the menu prices for the food we got. 

But a few years back, (this is going to be vague) I remember seeing signs out front advertising a new chef, or maybe just a new menu concept. Whatever they did worked, and the food got significantly better. Luckily, they've kept the Groupons coming steadily, and it's gone from being a good price for a decent meal to a great price for a very good meal. 

Still wouldn't pay full price, but at least it's close. 

In fact, right now it looks like you can get a 3 course dinner for 2 with a glass of house wine for $91, (there were a few upcharges, but not many last I went) or a 2 course lunch for 2 for $38. 


Totally worth it at those prices. 
    • Thanks
    • Like

The Virginia Kitchen in Herndon (formerly named The Waffle King)- 1977 (per website)
    • Thanks

Stopped in this morning before the pasta making class at Sfoglina.  They're trying a new experiment -- they have a worker out front with plain and chocolate croissants, french loaves, and two ginormous thermos carafes of reg & decaf coffee, so if all you're after is coffee & croissant, you dont' have to deal with the line, you can get it there on the patio.
    • Thanks
    • Like

apparently jaleo is a finalist for the "outstanding restaurant" beard award, which strikes me as . . . a publicity coup for the brand?  an appreciative nod for jose andres's humanitarian efforts?  i like jaleo well enough, and i realize that this award turns into a bit of a process of elimination as truly great restaurants are weeded out by winning (or great new restaurants wait to hit the ten-year mark), but come on.
    • Thanks

Blueberry in pot in zone 8 means figuring out a winter storage solution and also she doesn't want netting, so definite bird and rodent concerns.  They don't get much leaf disease, but are vulnerable to spotted wing fruit flies after midsummer, finicky about drainage and moisture, and need soil acidity maintenance ( though pot culture is easier in that respect).  It also takes 2-4 years to really establish a productive plant structure and then you need to maintenance prune for production. it's easy compared to growing a fire blight magnet pear or a sweet cherry, but I think pretty daunting for a beginner.  If I wanted one in a pot, a dwarf southern high bush is probably the way to go, since they are more tolerant of nonacidic soil and better fit for the climate.

She specifically said she didn't want to start plants from seeds, so it has to be commercially available varieties and I haven't seen any DTP plant options yet.  The Patio series might work as they are also dwarf indeterminate with wider distribution.  I'd offer her my extra starts, but it sounds like she was happy with 1 Sungold.  I have used DTP seeds from Sample Seeds, Heritage Seed Market, and Victory Seeds (all of the owners are closely associated with the project).  They are all good vendors with true to name seeds.  HSM is probably the best option since they have some $1 sample packs available

Bear Creek is hit and miss for me.  The varieties are interesting but not well tested and I get enough off types and poor germination that I can't wholeheartedly recommend them.
    • Like

My kids are big fans of El Paso in Springfield.  When we go, I order the El Diablo.  It's no longer on the menu, but they will still make it for you.  It's a steak burrito stuffed with grilled jalapenos, rice, and beans and topped with a habenero sauce finished with two grilled jalapenos sticking out of it like horns.  It's huge and muy caliente!  I usually eat about 1/3 and take the rest home.  I've also had their carnitas, which are very good.  My kids and husband go for the tacos or the enchilada and are always pleased with their entrees.

They have a special for taco tuesday - 20 street tacos, rice, and beans for $20.  Think we might try this tonight.
    • Thanks
    • Like

  • Create New...