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About reedm

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  1. We're headed to DelMar for the first time this Sunday to celebrate my daughter's 21st birthday. While DelMar has graciously agreed to prepare vegan items for her, I'm a certified omnivore. Don provided his usually outstanding write-up. (Thanks for the gin and tonic warning :-)) Has anyone else been recently who cares to share their thoughts on their favorite dishes? Thanks!
  2. I'll suggest this is a "must watch" for anyone who regularly follows and contributes to Don's website. Thanks for the recommendation!
  3. reedm

    Video Door Bells

    I've given some thought to a Nest doorbell, but seriously, nobody rings our doorbell. Here's another take: (Work and family safe)
  4. I had a sense they were just phoning it in for several months. The quality of service at the restaurant did not match the prices on the menu. Hiring professional staff in this area is challenging, but that’s not an excuse to at least try to train the staff.
  5. Check with Harris Teeter's. They're one of the few grocery store chains that receives primal and sub-primal cuts. I'm not an expert, but that might include whole briskets. I happened upon a full brisket at Costco that had been trimmed. Unfortunately, I needed more than two people justify buying that much beef.
  6. I offer another perspective, courtesy of two of my friends. While they wouldn't declare themselves sushi experts, they have eaten at many outstanding restaurants, and they have eaten sushi numerous times, so I trust their opinions without question. They reported Sushi Nakazawa to be outstanding. 21 courses, and most of the fish was sliced to order. The restaurant is not inexpensive, but my friends deemed it worth the expense.
  7. Had my initial colonoscopy a couple years ago. I bit the bullet for 999 others and ended up with a minor perforation. (Healed itself after antibiotics and a couple of nights in the hospital). Not fun, but better than discovering colon cancer too late to do anything about. They discovered/took a couple of small benign polyps, and I’m on the five year plan. I agree. Get it done.
  8. After a failed attempt obtaining tickets at "will call" for Cirque du Soleil (long story), we found ourselves looking for lunch. While the overall operations of the eatery have changed a bit, it still takes effort to find which options are available, since that varies according to the day and the time. We settled upon Graffiato, which has it's own hostess stand, and had quite an enjoyable lunch. The "Crispy Brussel Sprouts" ($13) was a generous serving size, and more than enough for two to share. The sprouts were crispy, yet tender. The pancetta vinaigrette was a nice compliment to the maple yogurt, which was piped around the inside of the bowl. Chopped hard-boiled eggs were sprinkled throughout. I initially wondered if the combination would work, and it turned out to be delicious. We also ordered "Gnocchi a la Vodka" ($15), which was a fairly traditional version of a gnocchi dish. The pasta was nice and soft, and the sauce was well-balanced. Very good, and it's a nice dish for less adventurous diners. Despite my limited enthusiasm for eggplant, I decided on the "Roasted Trout" ($22), which was served with eggplant caponata, lemon-caper aioli, and a bit of greenery/frisee. The trout had been filleted, and it was nicely cooked, with crispy skin and tender flesh. The caponata was appropriately tangy, and it paired nicely with the creamy richness of the aioli. I'd certainly recommend this dish. Service was great as well. We didn't have anything other than water, but our waiter was attentive, prompt, and friendly. Graffiato is set back from the open area of the mall, and it's a nice space full of interesting decorations and artwork. Btw, the deep dish crust is long gone, and the thin crust pizza is a huge improvement. (My wife works at the Galleria, and she has sampled quite a few of Isabella's offerings.
  9. Take a look at Chloe. It's not necessarily a quiet place, and I wouldn't place it in the high end fine dining category, but the food is superb. (See the Chloe thread for my recent experience). Might be tough getting a reservation unless you'd like to dine early, which we did, and I recommend. The area is growing quickly, and it's fun to walk around before and/or after dinner.
  10. Three of us enjoyed Chloe for an early dinner a couple of weeks ago. Two of us had been before, shortly after the restaurant opened in January, and we'd been waiting for the opportunity for a return visit. If you read no further, I'll simply say the restaurant has only gotten better. The food and service were simply outstanding. This must be one of DC's best spots. The menu still consists primarily of small plates, in addition to three entree-sized dishes, as well as a handful of dessert options. We began with a couple of cocktails, one of which I had to order as soon as I saw its name--"Kabbadi Highball". I learned about Kabbadi after a recent trip to India, when one of my colleagues told me he had become a fan of the sport after watching too much of it during sleepless nights. The cocktail, consisting of Scotch, Garam Masala, Star Anise, Orange, Angostura, was delicious, and it certainly evoked memories of some of the flavors of India. Our server was excellent, and even though I was pleased to hear her recommendation of ordering all of our dishes and letting them course them, I was a bit skeptical. Of course, I shouldn't have been, since the pacing of the dishes was just about perfect. (They arrived a bit quickly, and I suspect I could have slowed the pace a bit, but I opted not to.) Between the three of us, I was the only omnivore. (One pescatarian and one less adventurous eater who doesn't eat fish). As a result, we ordered snacks and small plates only, most of which were vegetarian. Without exception, each dish was delicious. Roasted Marcona Almonds -- Espelette chile Plate of Pickles -- Piparra peppers, garlic, olives, cornichons, fennel pollen Cobia Crudo -- Avocado, Thai chilies, lime, fish sauce, crispy shallots, puffed black rice Sheep's Milk Ricotta -- Grilled house made bread, really raw honey, rosemary, olive oil Roasted Asparagus & Hen of the Woods Mushrooms -- Bernaise Grilled Ramps -- Romesco sauce, aged manchego, marcona almonds Housemade Spicy Garlic Sausage -- Eye of the tiger beans, crushed cornbread, pickled kale Russet Potato Gnocchi -- ramps, asparagus, wild mushrooms, snow peas, parmesan The flavors, textures, and aromas of each dish were wonderful in their own right. For my tastes, I appreciate how the menu offers a diverse choice of options, which certainly seem to be globally influenced. I can't think of many restaurants similar to Chloe. I would feel comfortable putting a blindfold on and making selections, knowing that I would get a fantastic meal. Grilled Ramps with romesco was a unanimous favorite. I think it's the first time I've tasted ramps, and they lived up to the hype. The other favorite was the incredible roasted asparagus dish. The asparagus was bright green, but impossibly tender, and the roasted mushrooms were a treat. The surprise was the incredibly light (whipped?) bernaise, which made for a delicious combination. The Chai panna cotta and the Chocolate Sundae provided a perfect finish to a wonderful dinner. Looking forward to a return visit!
  11. reedm

    Chicago, IL

    If you need to decompress a bit, check out Pequod's for deep dish. You'll need an uber/taxi. We loved it.
  12. Thanks for the suggestions—I’ve managed a solution. More to follow.
  13. Mods, feel free to move this to the “help needed” thread if you like.
  14. Spurred by my failure to obtain reservations for a birthday dinner for 4 during "prime time" in DC (despite starting my search two weeks out), as well as a desire to stay closer to the homestead and avoid a 45 minute drive, I've decided to narrow my search to the Leesburg/Ashburn area. I've been to AhSho and Aggio several times, so I'm looking for a new spot. Does anyone have recent experience with Casa Nostra, Lightfoot, or possibly French Hound Brasserie? I'm looking forward to sage advice from a group I trust. Thanks!