Jump to content

Our Picks

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

Saw this news on PoPville - Makoto is closing today.  

Their Facebook post from Dec. 10:
    • Sad
    • Thanks

FWIW, the version at Masterpiece in Duluth, GA (“eggplant with chili powder and pepper ash powder”) is superb.  Then again, chef LIU Rui (two-time JBF semifinalist for Best Chef Southeast) was a master chef in his own right, before immigrating to the US and working for Chang at Tasty China.
    • Thanks

Hey, do you know who did the costume design for Black Swan...Rodarte!

The Black Swan pieces are currently on display at NMWA's Rodarte exhibition. 
    • Thanks

Available/offered to eat for the past two nights: manicotti, sausages, assorted cut fruit, roasted asparagus, and sauteed eggplant and peppers. The Big has eaten sausages with white rice dug out from the fridge and the Little has only eaten sausages. Before that we had some lovely homemade chicken tenders that both enthusiastically scarfed for dinner and then refused completely the next day. By the way, while both kids enjoyed the Costco dumplings mightily while we were in the store, they won't touch them at home. I'm somewhat flattered that my homemade dumplings are acceptable and also kind of furious.

Lee, the Big kid just turned 4 and the Little kid is just 1.5, so I don't really expect too much out of either of them (though I dearly miss when #1 would eat anything we gave him, but that has been done for over a year and his formerly wide palate is re-emerging only incrementally). Giving the Big the choice to earn his treats has been less effective during these holidays, as treats are here and there and everywhere and we have been quite indulgent, but has been moderately successful in getting him to revisit the least challenging fruits and vegetables (mostly apples, bananas, pears, and cucumbers). One upside of our method seems to be that he likes treats, but doesn't feel any desperation towards them, as minimum treat attainment is entirely within his control. We're still working on his Halloween candy, which he is happy to share.  This is so different from my own childhood, in which sugary treats were generally banned, and I had already begun filching/hoarding sweets by age 4. While I'm sure a lot of it has to do with our kid's personality, it is a much preferable state of affairs.  As for the Little, we just feed him whatever he will take and try to remove the refused food before it flies through the air.
    • Thanks

Insider tip: The WS will have plenty of merchandise on clearance, if you're in need or want of such things. (Not just from that store...)
    • Thanks

Businesses Continue to Leave Reston Town Center by Catherine Douglas Moran, RestonNow

Businesses are closing twice as fast as they are opening in RTC. Several small businesses and restaurants that have been in the area for decades have pointed to dwindling numbers of customers due to paid parking as the main reason behind their closures.
    • Sad
    • Thanks

Made this gingerbread bundt from King Arthur Flour. I added some candied ginger to the batter but other than that, followed all the instructions. Really liked the way it turned out, will be making this recipe again (with the added chopped candied ginger).
    • Thanks
    • Like

Sure, this story on the Bar Keeper's Friend website is a promotional entry, but it is still hilarious/awesome and that is the same pan I just bought, looking so very shiny and new after a good scrub! So...I think I'll be getting some. Well played.
    • Thanks

After a long drive home on Boxing Day (3 hours from Richmond to DC...ugh) I went to 2 Amy's for dinner.  The place was slammed, the entire back bar area filled with people waiting on tables.  Yet few people were actually eating at the bar, I was able to snag a seat at the end. Miguel and Tammy took good care of me.

Highlights included:

Sicilian Anchovies with bread and butter - A must order

Roasted Eggplant with cherry tomatoes, almonds, smoked paprika, and sheep's milk ricotta - This was a log of roasted eggplant sitting in a pool of cherry tomato sauce and a wedge of the always excellent ricotta (apparently sourced from Sardinia)

Butternut Squash and farro salad with vincotto and tardivo radicchio - a great winter salad, the vincotto adding complexity to farro and squash.

Photo:  eggplant and ricotta
    • Thanks
    • Like

In case you were wondering:  still here!  And still eating out regularly.  I have come to the sad conclusion that Beninese food is not up there in terms of my world favorites, with  a few exceptions.  Palm oil tastes unpleasant.  The bitterness of local leaves is featured rather than diminished, as is the "goopiness" of okra.  And I find the king of local food,  igname pilé, aka fu fu, basically awful.  I am an adventurous eater, but Benin has been challenging.

OK, caveat time.  Southern Beninese food is challenging.  Mid-Beninese food too.  But when you get to the Sahelian north -- voila! The flavors change.  Perhaps my favorite place in northern Benin is Le Secret de la Vieille Marmite, in Parakou, a confoundingly organized quasi-buffet style, quasi-fast food style spot.  You go to the buffet and point at what you would like, which the staff dishes up onto a plate.  They hand you a ticket with a price calculated seemingly out of thin air.  You pay, sit, and they deliver the plate to your table, and a few seconds later yet another staff member comes to get your drink order, which you pay for separately.  Why so many steps?  Why can't I carry my plate to the table myself?  Why can't I pay for my drink and food together?  These and myriad other questions disappear once you tuck in to your repas.

On a week-long trip up north, I ate at La Marmite four times, each time enjoying something different:  tender brochettes of mutton with red rice, fried wedges of local cheese with couscous and vegetable sauce, spiced chicken with amiwo, and a grab-bag plate of various items with a vegetable-accented rice dish.  I had liberal servings of piment each time, and each preparation of that ubiquitous hot sauce tasted slightly different.  Each meal cost about 2500-3000 FCFA ($5-6 dollars), beer included, and service was fast fast fast.

Parakou is my least favorite town in northern Benin, a sprawling carrefour with limited local culture, mostly used as a jump-off point for other, more colorful places.  But as a trading post, it has OK hotels and decent places to eat.  If you find yourself there, La Marmite isn't a bad option for eating at all.
    • Thanks

To restate, I'm not a lawyer, and haven't yet played one on TV, and I hope that GT prevails.

I do have experience reading legal briefs specifically as they pertain to alcohol laws. Have followed the direct shipping cases, and had my own case 20 years ago. 

I've just read the two briefs in this case, and am left with an uneasy feeling. I thought the state's defense was better and more robust than the Pacific Legal Foundation's attack. These cases can seem straightforward if you look at them from only one perspective. Look from both and they're more complicated.

Although they are different issues, I have a feeling just from reading the briefs, that Trone at SCOTUS, is on firmer legal ground, than GT in Va. I think the GT case could go either way, I'll be surprised if Trone loses.
    • Thanks

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.
    • Thanks
    • Like

Oh Don. This is not a great article. Plenty of others have torn into it but I can't let this just fester at the bottom of the Chicago page like the fart it is.
    • Like

Don, the biscuit I ate didn’t have ham and the sweet element was very restrained.  The pimento cheese was a little odd, but didn’t overwhelm the chicken like I thought it would.  It was very mild.  Plus, I’m on vacation and the weather’s been gorgeous, which makes everything taste better.  
    • Like

If you are doing wine tasting on the West Coast, Alaska Airlines can be a great option due to their wine program, which allows Mileage members to check a case of wine for free from certain airports. 

We were able to haul a case of wine back from Walla Walla, WA via Sea-Tac.  One of the wineries in Walla Walla provided us with a shipping box and the cardboard inserts which cradle the bottles.  Or you can buy one of those fancy wine suitcases. Plus we flew Sea-Tac to BWI direct, also a bonus!   

Wine (Mileage Plan™ members only) - one protectively packaged case of wine when traveling on flights from the following airports, within the United States: Burbank (BUR), Fresno (FAT), Los Angeles (LAX), Monterey (MRY), Oakland (OAK), Orange County (SNA), Ontario (ONT), Palm Springs (PSP), Sacramento (SMF), San Diego (SAN), San Francisco (SFO), San Jose (SJC), San Luis Obispo (SBP), Santa Barbara (SBA), Sonoma (STS), Boise (BOI), Eugene (EUG), Medford (MFR), Portland (PDX), Redmond (RDM), Bellingham (BLI), Pasco (PSC), Pullman (PUW), Seattle (SEA), Spokane (GEG), Walla Walla (ALW), Wenatchee (EAT), and Yakima (YKM). The program does not apply when flying to international destinations.

Looks like they do a similar waiver for pineapples from Hawaii!
    • Thanks

The hearing in the this case has been set for 10 AM 1/22/19 at the Alexandria courthouse. 
    • Thanks

The referendum was not required, it was an optional attempt to relieve "Tea Party" type leave pressure.

The confusion has arisen because the leave campaigners induced some people to vote on the basis of some promises they have been unable to fulfil, and immediately disowned within hours of the vote, such as diverting money that currently goes to the EU, to pay for UK health services. People were asked simply to vote yes or no on leave. 52% voted to leave.

The EU had a protocol in place for a country to leave, but it had never been tested. When it came time to negotiate terms for the post Brexit relationship it became apparent that people had various reasons for voting leave, dislike of EU courts and institutions, control of immigration, particularly from Eastern EU countries, claims of welfare cheats etc. Most UK immigration comes from Commonwealth countries, not EU countries, so leaving the EU won't do a lot to solve the immigration issue. 

Inability to accommodate these disparate interests while at the same time trying to hold on to as many EU benefits as possible for business etc ( free movement of goods, but not people) has bedeviled the process. There have been as many resignations from the May admin as firings from the unmentionable's

There's no majority in parliament for anything the EU will agree to, other than remain, which the voters rejected. Think of it like Texans voting to secede, then unable to agree among themselves to accept any future relationship offers the US will agree to.

Brexit has been described as the greatest act of unforced national self harm in history.
    • Thanks

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. 
    • Thanks
    • Like

Yeah, we still like the Northridge location better and are willing to drive the 10 extra miles roundtrip (a big deal anywhere in LA!) to get there when we have time. It's a less formal, always-bustling spot that feels warm and welcoming no matter the time you walk in. And the food, probably psychosomatically at this point, tastes just a bit better - spicier, noodles with just the right chew, veggies tender-crisp, etc. Though maybe it is because the kitchen is more open to the dining room so there are more deliciously pungent aromas of Thai food wafting about the room. Who knows? Regardless, we are always happy when we go.
    • Like

Definitely in DC, the home of bad restaurant name puns.

Ah geez it's already a thing. In Portland of course. http://www.pokemonpdx.com/

And just like DC, there is drama. https://www.oregonlive.com/dining/index.ssf/2018/10/colin_yoshimoto_poke_mon.html

But it looks like "Poke Salad Annie" is available.
    • Haha

Unfortunately, this appears to be closed and under construction...
    • Thanks

"Spanish Chef Dani Garcia To Close Marbella Restaurant after Receiving Third Michelin Star Last Month" by Elisa Menendez on theolivepress.es

Had dinner here with some friends on Friday. Overall, it was OK, but not great. We had:

Nua Dadd Deaw - fried sun-dried beef. Pleasant enough.

Chicken Sate - the peanut sauce was very good but the chicken itself lacked flavor.

Moo Yang Kati Sod - quite good pork belly skewers.

Pla muk yang - a few pieces of grilled squid. Pretty disappointing, not much squid, and not much flavor.

For my main I had the Kua Kling. They had run out of ground pork so I had it with sliced pork. It was a little one-dimensional - extremely spicy, which I liked, but didn't have that mix of other strong flavors that I associate with good thai food. Shared a side of eggplant with ginger, which was fine.

Service was very good.

Maybe I ordered poorly, but I didn't see what the fuss was about. What I had was no better than many other Thai restaurants in the region, and certainly didn't have the freshness and flavors of Little Serow or Bangkok Golden.
    • Thanks

Headed to Fiola Mare for an early dinner last Saturday, pre-company holiday party. The restaurant was packed, the music was loud, and the atmosphere was hectic.

We checked in for our reservation a bit early and were offered a seat at the bar. As we ordered drinks, I perused the wine list. Ruinously priced, many, if not most, bottles at 4x retail or auction. Few bottles of red wine under $100 (unless you like Dolcetto or Lagrein) - nothing from France under $100 - including a cru Beaujolais  for $125?! Glanced at the bordeaux list only to see the 2000 Ducru-Beaucalliou pushing $900! I don't begrudge a business their markups, but damn. After a cocktail we chose an '07 barbaresco from Taliano for $130 that didn't seem like highway robbery.

Once seated, we ordered two appetizers - first, the Hamachi Sashimi, with marinated eggplant, basil, and olive oil. This was an excellent dish, albeit a bit olive oil heavy. The basil and eggplant added to the hamachi, punching up the flavor but not distracting.

Next up were two orders of risotto with white truffles - shaved tableside. The truffles were in great condition, and the captain shaved a generous portion over the two dishes. Great pairing with the barbaresco. We really enjoyed this course, though I'd love pretty much anything with truffles.

For mains we had Ora King Salmon, with a mushroom ragout, ditalini pasta and winter truffle and a Bucatini with Red King Prawns, Uni and piment d'espalette. Both mains were excellent - the bucatini was probably the more "interesting" combination of the two, and was really more suited to a white wine, but we did that ourselves. The Salmon paired very well with the barbaresco, but perhaps better with a half bottle of Altesino Brunello that we ordered as well. While we enjoyed both dishses, all fell into the realm of very good, not great. The salmon needed a bit of salt, and the bucatini would have benefitted from a bit of acid.

Overall, service struggled to keep up with the kitchen. Granted, the place was filled, but we experienced waits to be seated, to receive our cocktails, wine, second half bottle of wine, etc etc. Service was perfunctory, but pleasant enough. The waits were nothing egregious, but enough to be noticed as glasses were empty. I came away thinking a few things - I'm not sure if the goal for Fiola Mare is a michelin star but our meal and service in no way merited one, the wine pricing is ruinous, bordering on predatory, and I bet they will do super in Miami.
    • Sad
    • Thanks
    • Like



×
×
  • Create New...