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jonstewart's Achievements


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  1. My wife and I cancelled our reservation at Ellē last night in order to try something new (RIP, Jonathan Gold). We'd never been to Nostos, hadn't even heard of it, but had an excellent dinner last night. The fava bean condiment was dull, but the taramosalata and roast eggplant made up for it. For specials we had the feta saganaki, but brilliantly served with watermelon cubes, all cut the same and stacked in a brick—salty sweet summer perfection—and then ate up a perfectly cooked dorade. We were early, but it was full by the time we left at 7, on a Monday night.
  2. Mola opened tonight, in the former Radius space on Mount Pleasant St (the same building as Purple Patch). I was lucky enough to be invited by owners Karlos Leopold and Erin Lingle to the soft opening last week. Good, adult-tasting cocktails and a nice, short list of Spanish wines. We didn't try the seafood dishes, but the veggie plates had a lot of depth of flavor, the sort of Mediterranean treatment that's more common in California restaurants. Below: fried goat cheese with honey and beet chips, and sherry-glazed artichokes with herb, egg, and pine nut sauce. Their website at http://www.moladc.com is still under construction. The initial menu is here (350523116-Mola-Menu.pdf)
  3. DCRA doesn't list any permits for this address. I just ordered from them last week. :-( I haven't heard about anything else coming in.
  4. My wife and I were very pleased with our dinner at Mintwood Place on Saturday night. First and foremost, Mintwood is fantastic at catering to families with small kids (without slipping into chaos). They brought my three year old's food first, to keep her occupied while my wife and I waited for our courses and drank our cocktails (a rye Manhattan for madame, The Tipperary for me; both well-made). I was envious of my daughter's salmon, with inch-long cuts of asparagus and baby carrots that looked freshly plucked from the garden, and slivers of sauteed onions dressing them. Most kids seem to hate to have their food mixed together, and, not that I want to overthink a kids menu, it seems like Mintwood both respects this by separating the elements on the plate _enough_, and also challenges the kiddos by mixing things together just a bit. Anyway, I was envious until my softshell crab, with Provençal vegetables and tomatoes, came. I was a bit dubious based on the menu description, but the vegetables in this case featured artichokes heavily, bound together with a bright smear of stewed tomatoes. The salt and the acid paired up nicely against the sweetness of the softie. It had enough of my attention that I have no idea what my wife had for an app. My wife ordered grilled shrimp with "rice grits" and pork belly ham for her main. The ham was fatty and smoky; I didn't have enough of the rice grits to judge them fully. I got the half cast-iron wood-roasted chicken, having never had it at Mintwood. It was delicious, seasoned so well it was like chicken soup in the flesh. The skin was deeply browned while the meat was moist and tender. My wife enjoyed a glass of Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough, New Zealand and I had a white burgundy from Puligny; both tasted like exemplars. Service was excellent, too. Our server kept my wife's main hot while she accompanied my daughter to the bathroom, brought my daughter a small seafood fork to use instead of a full-size fork, and delighted us with a second round of complimentary chocolate madeleine crisps at the end of the meal. Tail Up Goat is a very nice addition to the neighborhood, but Mintwood is the best sort of old reliable, i.e., reliable.
  5. Dinner for two last night. We had: charred chocolate rye, salt-crusted sardine, butter, pickles [14] sunchokes, bagna cauda, parsley [12] maltagliati, fermented honey sausage, pea shoots [17] lamb ribs, sumac onions, beets "“ for two [42] butterscotch budino, blood orange, candied pistachios [9] We thought the first three dishes were excellent. My wife concurred with the post above about the assemble-it-yourself nature of the chocolate rye bread dish, but the ingredients were so good and the sardine so funky that I really didn't care. The sunchokes were roasted to perfection. The maltagliati was a nice change-up from the charred chocolate rye, having a nice savory cream sauce that had absorbed the sweetness of the pea shoots. Our first bites of the lamb ribs were delicious. Great Mediterranean flavors in play. But as we ate it, there seemed to be a lot of fatty chunks still in the ribs. Perhaps that's just the nature of lamb ribs, but I would have liked these more, and felt better afterwards, if the ribs had been cooked a bit lower and slower. The butterscotch budino? Meh. It was on the small side, and delivered with gigantic spoons which did not fit the dish. We each had a cocktail, which were bitter and complex, and a glass of wine. My wife had the delicious brambly Rioja, and I had the 2001 Lebanese Cinsault (Old Wine From Big Bottles?), which was fantastic, albeit a steep $32. Dinner itself came to a relatively steep amount for 2. All of the flavors were deeply satisfying. I think the lamb ribs need some work with the cooking. We will be back, especially to stop by for a glass of wine and a small bite at the bar.
  6. First time to Restaurant Eve last week, for a special occasion dinner. We ordered the tasting menu and received a printed copy at the end (since misplaced, but very similar to the current one [pdf]). I can't remember the last time I had food where the flavors of each dish's ingredients came through so clearly. The beef dish we had featured some sort of specially roasted garlic cloves"”after the first bite we looked at each other and both expressed that it seemed bland. But then we tried it with bites of the garlic, and it was perfection. There wasn't too much on the plate, but everything there was essential, and that's how the whole dinner felt. Get the softshell crab and foie gras while you can.
  7. First time at the Crane and Turtle last Friday night, will probably be a while before we're back. We were a walk-in and had to wait (as expected), which was pleasant enough due to Upshur Books and the Citizen across the street. They called us and we sat outside, maybe around 8:45. Service was scatterbrained, with two different servers helping us, each forgetting things along the way and clearly forgetting to communicate with each other. We ordered wine off the bat, but waited a long time for it and had to issue a reminder. This was repeated later in the dinner with our second glasses. Bread was promised for sopping up the sauce of an appetizer (would have been nice to have bread immediately), then delayed, finally brought out, then whisked away while we were still eating it. They did comp us our second glasses of wine, which was appreciated. But the food didn't really make up for it. We had the tuna tataki, hamachi tataki, and and some kind of sesame octopus appetizer. These were all very good, except that the octopus was a little tough. Mains were a different story. My scallops were gummy and overcooked, each and every one of them. My wife had the salmon; it was good, but, as she put, it was "good because of butter." If it was a superior piece of salmon, we couldn't tell. Loved all the rose wines that were on offer. That was great. Kinda' wished we'd have gone to Seki instead, though.
  8. Dined here the early evening of St. Patrick's Day, maybe the second table seated. It was expensive, but a great meal and, frankly, I thought the dining room was a better setting for Chef Ruta's food than Palena. We had no issue with noise or service. The champagne cart thing was downright awkward, but service was otherwise correct and we appreciated that they split a salad for us on separate plates (without us asking; we only noted we'd share it). My wife had the Maine Lobster salad, I had the rabbit en porchetta, and we split the fried lemons salad. I found the rabbit too subtle, but the maine lobster salad was good and generous, and the fried lemons salad sublime. For mains, my wife had the tuna and I had the suckling pig trio. I'd say something about the tuna, beyond the generic "delicious", but the suckling pig demanded all my memory-forming attention. It and the fried lemons salad were the standout savory dishes of the night. I can no longer remember what my wife had for dessert; I had the Georgetowner; both were great desserts. Someone a few tables over brought in several bottles of wine. I was hoping they'd be a DR post so I could find out what was being poured. Looked like at least one white Burgundy... Very happy to be able to eat Chef Ruta's food again.
  9. The food's about the same. The new room is a bit more spacious. Haven't sat outside in the back patio yet.
  10. Like seeing them get love, everything held up on a second visit before Thanksgiving. The tacos are small. Three is the correct number to order to feel full. This is as it should be.
  11. I grabbed lunch here for the first time today, think it's been open for a little over a month. I haven't been to every taco joint in the district yet, but the first visit here beat every visit I've made to Taqueria Distrito Federal. I had the lengua, the carnitas, and the fish taco (daily special; tilapia). The lengua had a nice crust on it, which I've not had on lengua in the past and made for more of a roast pork belly mouthfeel, and the carnitas were properly fried and chunky, not pulled pork. The fish was not overcooked, although the fish taco as a whole had more of an earthy chili funk to it than the brightness of a Baja-style fish taco. The spiciness of the base tacos was fairly mild. They have a nice selection of salsas on the table to fix that, though. I believe the tortillas were homemade, just off the griddle. A bit apt to crack but still flexible enough to do the job, great flavor, and with the correct number of two per taco. My wife's al pastor huarache was also delicious. Taqueria Habanero on Yelp Jon
  12. Dinner was delicious last night at Eat the Rich. I'm not a huge fan of the Rappahannock oysters, but enjoyed the Olde Salts. My wife had seared albacore tuna, which looked like it was overcooked but wasn't. I had rockfish served with two head-on shrimp that might have been the most delicious shrimp I've ever had. We finished off by demolishing a "fish pie." One of the bartenders invented a custom Manhattan-ish cocktail for me using a smoked bourbon. A great enough meal to be worthy of a post.
  13. My wife came across Sietsema's First Bite from March and we decided to try Malgudi out on Thursday night. Neither of us have particular expertise with Indian food, but we were very pleased. My wife's dosa was enormous and flavorful; better still was the Meen Moilee (fish in a yellow curry), which one can pair with several different rice options for a modest additional charge. I chose the tamarind rice, and it was well-spiced and flavorful, a far cry from the normal bowl of white basmati rice. I suspect this will become our go-to Indian take-out place.
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