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Everything posted by reedm

  1. Thanks, Don. We are willing to hop in an uber. Chaia looks tasty, though!
  2. My typically thorough planning skills are lacking today. I didn't research a lunch spot! Would love to hear recommendations for lunch today, keeping in mind we will be at Metier at 7. The Presto lunch at Fiola was my first choice, but it's not offered any longer. Thank you.
  3. Thanks for the thoughtful suggestions. I finally decided on the Jefferson. It's a bit expensive, but this is anniversary #25. Looking forward to a great stay!
  4. Narrowing it down to the Jefferson, the Fairmont, and the Intercontinental Wharf. Thanks for the great recommendations!
  5. I'm afraid I can't be of help. Would you mind if I piggy-backed on your question? The wife and I will be celebrating our anniversary at Metier, and I'm looking for a nice place to spend the night. The Intercontinental at the Wharf looks appealing, as does the Donovan. Don or a mod can shoo my question away if desired. Thanks!
  6. It was my fault for not checking the hours of operation, but it wasn't a wasted trip because I was on my way to the Galleria. A nice noodle dish at Sen Khao save the day. 🙂
  7. Has anyone been to Métier recently? If all goes according to plan, we will celebrate our anniversary there next Thursday. Thank you.
  8. I fully agree. I meant to say they didn’t opt for an “additional” location near Dulles.
  9. I'm surprised they didn't opt for a location near Dulles, aka the new technology corridor. Proximity to Dulles is a time and money saver, and the omnipresent data centers make it a logical choice to me, but what do I know.
  10. My pleasure. Three menus were available the night of our visit. I assume you can always mix and match as you like. Glad to answer additional questions. Cheers!
  11. My wife was tasked to help close the Williams-Sonoma there. Unfortunately, the timing coincided with the single digit temperatures a week or so ago. She had to pull a car to the front to load up the various store remnants in frigid temps. Lo and behold, a parking enforcement employee saw fit to take action, and was trying to put a boot on my wife's car. Seriously? My wife was not happy, and let the person know the parking situation was the reason stores were closing. Absolutely terrible.
  12. My wife surprised me with a trip to the Inn for dinner. Until we left, I wasn't completely sure where we were going. She rightfully decided to find a more affordable place to stay, since $800 a night is extremely expensive. We ended up at 1812 Caledonia Farms B&B, which is another story entirely. At $140/night, it was quite a savings. Overall, the every dish we ordered was creative, perfectly prepared, and quite delicious. That said, I have have enjoyed food that's equally as good (or better), and the entirety of the service did not rate 3 Michelin stars. We arrived a bit early, and thought we might have a cocktail at the bar. Since I didn't have time to do any research, I didn't realize the bar is essentially a small waiting area. Nonetheless, we were escorted to our table, which was past the main dining room. I think the area overlooked the court yard--a fire pit was visible outside. Unfortunately, we were seated at a very odd corner table. I say "odd" because there was simply no way for one of the diners to sit directly in front of their place settings. My wife and I looked at one another, and quickly asked to be moved to another table. They moved us to the main dining room to a more conventional two-top. Much more relaxed, we settled in, looking forward to a wonderful experience. We indicated we would like to enjoy cocktails before we started, and quickly found out our primary server was less than engaging. We asked for recommendations, and our server replied simply with "it depends what you like", and nothing more. Again, very unexpected. My wife had read about the truffled popcorn, and we asked if that was available. A bit later, two boxes appeared. It wasn't revolutionary, but it was quite good. I believe the popcorn is normally topped with black truffle shavings, but that wasn't the case with ours. Both of our cocktails were exceptionally well-prepared and delicious. (One was a riff on a gin cocktail, the other a play on a manhattan.) I chose the "Out of the Blue" seafood menu, while my wife opted for "The Good Earth" vegetarian selection, substituting a couple of vegetarian dishes for selections from the other menus. Each menu is $238. As anyone who has been to the Inn knows, the wine list is massive. My wife opted for a single glass, since she was driving, and I opted for the $175 wine pairing. We asked our server for a wine that might carry through my wife's meal, and she decided on a Grenache, which was around $30 per glass. The next "misstep" occurred when the sommelier appeared with my first glass (L. Aubrey Fils, 1er Cru, Jouy-les-Reims, Champagne, France (N.V.) She very briefly described the champagne, but I thought it was very perfunctory. Our cocktail glasses were still half full, so I'm not sure why they decided to begin the dinner service. We both enjoyed a couple of small amuse-bouche, which were quite delicious. Following those, we were presented with a gruyere gougeres and a shot glass of a wonderful cheese soup, enhanced with country ham. Amazing. When our waiter returned, I mentioned that we were in no hurry, and we would like a more leisurely pace. To his credit, the pace of the meal slowed down. Overall, each of the paired wines was a great match for my food, and even though my glasses were never topped off, I thought the relative value was reasonable. That said, the sommelier was going through the motions, only appearing briefly to pour the wines, but never asking what I thought, etc. I'm barely a wine novice, but I've had many more enjoyable interactions with sommeliers at other restaurants. While our server was a bit of a dud, there were plenty of staff members who were funny and engaging. The lack of consistency was a bit puzzling. Based upon our experience, I've enjoyed more value for the money at other places. Two cocktails, a wine pairing, a glass of wine, and two dinners cost $798 before gratuity. (OBTW, two small containers of the truffled popcorn were $12. Each. On to a few food pictures: A Quartet of "Wellfleet Oysters" in Champagne SabayonSpectacular. Very rich and decadent. Paired with the champagne mentioned above. Chilled Baby Leeks with Black Truffle Remoulade. My wife's favorite dish. A "Star-Kissed" Tuna and Foie Gras Confit. Exceptionally delicious. Rich, velvety and savory. Paired with Domaine de la Bergerie, Le Grand Beaupreau Savennieres, Loire Valley, France (2-15) A Turnip Tarte Tatin with Caramelized Onion and Triple Creme Cheese. (Vegetarian). Another highlight. We were informed this was on the menu for the first time. They asked for feedback, and it was all positive. Well balanced textures and flavors, with a perfect warm temperature. Pan-Seared Maine Diver Scallop Perfumed with Curry and Calvados. Paired with Ebony, Chardonnay, Hive, Willamette Valley, Oregon (2014). This was a delightful dish as well. This is the first time I've seen a scallop served sliced. I'd be interested to know why they chose this method. A Marriage of Virginia Bison: *Pepper-Crusted Tenderloin and Braised Short Rib with Seared Foie Gras and Black Truffle Reduction. My wife picked this from the gastronaut menu. I was amazed at the tenderness of the bison, because it was literally "melt in your mouth" texturally. For whatever reason, I enjoyed this dish more than my wife did. Simply outstanding. A Duet of Lobster: Butter Poacched and Cabbage-Wrapped Maine Lobster with Caviar Beurre Blanc. Paired with Domain Blaine-Gagnard, Chassagne-Montrachet, La Boudriotte Premier Cru, Burgundy, France (2016). Another delicious dish. I was very impressed by the relatively plain looking cabbage wrapped lobster. The lobster filling may have been a type of lobster mousse. Delicate and delicious. A Lilliputian Pomegranate and Maple Dreamsicle. We both received this. In hindsight, I should have received the listed Coconut Sorbet with Passionfruit and Ginger Granite. Very tasty nonetheless. Apparently a Pear. Paired with Jorge Ordonez, Victoria #2, Moscatel, Malaga, Spain (2015) This dessert's reputation is well-deserved. Chocolate-Hazlenut Mousse Napoleon. Light, but decadent. Finally, a mystery. (Sort of). Both of these are water glasses. Initially, we both had clear water glasses, but without explanation, my wife's glass was removed and replaced with this oversized blue glass. I finally asked our waiter, who said it was a signal that my wife was not eating seafood. She had indicated she likes a very limited range of seafood (she ordered the scallops), but she obviously does not have an allergy. The glass was comically large. Can anyone help with a better explanation? (I'm not complaining--it was funny)
  13. I should have said good or very good, but not great. We stayed in a rented house that came with a chef, who cooked wonderful meals. In my limited experience, the CR cuisine was a bit bland, but I understand that's typical. That said, we had a wonderful time, and I'd recommend a trip there to anyone.
  14. We had a blast in Costa Rica. Tourism drives their economy, so they aim to please. There is plenty to do for all ages; zip-lining, hiking, scuba diving, parasailing, horseback riding, etc. Food is great as well. We flew using Copa. One stop in Panama City. Very easy. If you're interested, PM me. I have an expat connection who will put an itinerary together for you.
  15. I prepared Hainanese Chicken Rice last night, using some frozen broth from another Hainanese chicken recipe I'd tried before. My wife and I are both under the weather, and while the chicken and sauce were delicious, the broth proved to be very comforting on its own.
  16. I recommend you search for a Latino grocery store in your area. You're likely to find them there. As an example, when I lived in Fairfax, Americana Grocery was a great resource.
  17. My wording may have been misleading. Nothing's afoot with WS in general. I meant to convey other stores may move merchandise to stores that are closing...
  18. 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...)
  19. It's been a few years, but I understand Barrafina is as excellent as ever, and as busy as ever. I've been to the Frith Street location, but I understand there are locations on Adelaide St and Dean St. Not inexpensive, but well worth it.
  20. As mentioned in a separate post, a number of new restaurants/food outlets recently opened in Tyson's Galleria. My daughter and I were out doing some Christmas shopping, and we decided to check out Sen Khao. I haven't been to Thip Khao, but I frequented Bangkok Golden a few years ago, which is the restaurant that introduced me to Lao cuisine. The menu is somewhat "compact", and featured two starters, a salad, two sticky rice dishes, and three noodle soups. You have your choice of proteins for the salad dish as well as the soups. We opted for Curry Puffs ($5) and two of the soups. The curry puffs may have been the best I've ever had. The dough was thin, light, and perfectly cooked, while the filling consisted of nicely seasoned pieces of potato. An order consists of two curry puffs with accompaniments. I chose the Khao Piak Sen ($14), which is a type of chicken soup featuring rice noodles, pulled chicken, garlic chili oil, herbs and greens, and some crispy rice. While it was slightly spicy, chili paste and raw chiles are available for those who like it hotter. This soup was a winner. Clean favors, nicely seasoned, and freshly prepared. (Note: The menu states the noodles are udon-style, and while I'm not a noodles expert, I think rice noodles were used.) My daughter opted for Mee Kathi with tofu, which is a coconut curry rice noodle based soup flavored with egg, peanuts, cabbage, and banana blossom. She declared her soup to be outstanding as well. The service was extremely quick, and the staff was very friendly and helpful as well. If I worked in the Galleria or lived nearby, Sen Khao would be on my short list. We strolled to check out the other food outlets, and picked up an eggnog ice cream cone ($4) at Ice Cream Jubilee. The eggnog ice cream was fantastic. Creamy, rich, and with a hint of rum. They offer several interesting flavor combinations (Thai Iced Tea, etc.) Looking forward to a return visit there, as well.
  21. Not to take anything away from Phil's fundraising, but if you live in the Ashburn area, I highly recommend AhSo. The food and drink menu continues to evolve, and I don't know of another place that others such a diverse menu.
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