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About eatruneat

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  • Birthday 02/03/1982

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  1. Agree with @turbogrrl's assessment of Gakyu. @MichaelBDC and I went there for dinner with friends and it was indeed expensive and underwhelming. We later took the same friends to the Chinatown location of Sushi Capitol and we all loved it. Living two blocks away, we are frequent visitors of Sushi Capitol in Chinatown but we only do omakase. We tried to go this past Friday but it was packed so be sure to make reservations if your heart is set on Sushi Capitol. IMHO, the Chinatown location is a bit better than the Capitol Hill location where we have experienced slow service and just average nigiri. But that doesn't stop me from stopping by the Capitol Hill spot when looking to treat myself for lunch. Nama is fine but we still prefer Capitol. FWIW, Washingtonian has recommended Rakuya in Dupont and Sushi Hachi on Capitol Hill for solid sushi that doesn't break the bank, but I have never been.
  2. Rimessa Roscioli -- We couldn't get reservations at the more established Salumeria, so went with the wine centric Rimessa. Had the five course tasting menu with wine pairing. The food was very good, the wine very good, but together the food and wine pairing were outstanding. Food highlights were a lemon ravioli with caviar and a cod with a light tomato sauce. The wines that were paired with each of the dishes transformed the ingredients. Tavernaccia da Bruno - Lovey trattoria in Trastevere. Great pasta and a perfect whole roasted fish over potatoes. Nonna Betta - Longstanding restaurant in the Jewish Ghetto. Despite the aggressive host trying to get us to sit down (we had already planned on it man!), we had a great experience. We had the Jewish artichokes, Jewish style carbonara, and a ravioli dish. Loved that carbonara. Hosteria Grappolo D’Oro - Nice little place in the Campo Di Fiori for pasta. Unfortunately, our pastas were on the salty side but we enjoyed it none the less. Cul de Sac - Cute little wine bar off of Piazza Navona, where we stayed. We loved it.
  3. Two and and a half days in the Val d'Orcia with Podere Brizio, an agritourismo (bed & breakfast) in Montalcino being our home base. Podere Brizio had the best breakfast out of all the places we stayed in Italy. Buffet had a variety of pastries, cured meats, and cheeses. Eggs made to order if you so desired. We had dinner our first night here and would not recommend. We should have gone elsewhere but after a bit of driving from Rome (including getting lost), I didn't want to get behind the wheel again. Cooking class and lunch at Ristorante Daria in Montichiello our first day. We made pici pasta which we had with a tomato sauce and the restaurant also had a duck sauce that they also served us with the pasta. We also "made" eggplant parm (but with the pecorino from nearby Pienza) and panna cotta. Wine was served with lunch. A great experience. La Sposa is a cute little restaurant in Montalcino. Had pici pasta again, this time with clams and bottarga. Simple and tasty. Pici is the traditional pasta of the region but doesn't have eggs so I was not a huge fan. Last dinner in the area was at Trattoria il Pozzo. Tomato bruschetta and a zucchini salad to start, but we couldn't leave the Val d'Orcia without trying bisteca a la fiorentina, a huge steak simply grilled. An amazing steak cooked perfectly. See below. We ended up only doing one wine tasting in Montalcino, but Poggio Antico gave us a great tour and the wines were very good. Ended up leaving with two bottles, including their Brunello Riserva.
  4. Spent two and a half amazing days in Florence as part of our two week Italian adventures. -Arà: è SUD - Contemporary Sicilian restaurant that turned out to be one of the best meals of our entire vacation. After a few days of traditional Tuscan cuisine, we were in the mood for something lighter and brighter and the restaurant hit the spot in both atmosphere and cuisine. @MichaelBDC said that the octopus salad was the best octopus dish he has ever had and we a lovely mackerel for our entree as well. Wine list is all Sicilian. -Duje Santarpia - GREATpizza. Enjoyed a Margherita pizza and a dish of fried sardines that made my sardine loving heart very happy. -Osteria Vini e Vecchi Sapori - Traditional tuscan cuisine. Service wasn't great but the food was. Had the duck bolognese and a steak with pink peppercorn sauce. Both awesome. -Sandwichic - As mentioned above, awesome panini by the Accademia Gallery and Duomo. -Ino - Another great place for sandwiches by the Uffizi and Ponte Vecchio. We preferred Ino because the sandwiches came out hot. -Il Volpe e l'Uvo - Cute little wine bar by the Ponte Vecchio. We went there for a drink each day we were in Florence. Watched the owner slice proscuitto in thin slices like a machine. Very decently priced wines by the glass (even by Italy's standards) and bottles to go if you find one that you like.
  5. Went here for lunch with @MichaelBDC and the in-laws yesterday. Everyone really liked their food and spritzes and we had a great time. For appetizers we all shared the brussels sprouts, arancini, and fried artichokes while @MichaelBDC and I also had the bocconcini & prosciutto. Brussels sprouts were good, but not any different than what you can get elsewhere. Arancini and artichokes came in pairs, and everyone enjoyed the arancini. Being a big of a fiend, I really enjoyed the artichokes and didn't detect any fryer issues here. The bocconcini could have used a little more olive oil, but who doesn't love cheese? For pizza, @MichaelBDC and I split the Napoli, which was a bit of a salt bomb with capers, anchovies, and olives but I still liked it. As someone who generally doesn't enjoy the crust, I found Stellina's to be great. I also had a slice of my sister in law's cacio e pepe pizza and thought it was really good despite being super rich. My sister in-law raved about it. There weren't any complaints about the cotto & funghi or the margherita, so I am guessing the pizzas were a hit. Looking forward to coming back and exploring some of the panini offerings.
  6. I second this recommendation. @MichaelBDC and I went the other week and went a few weekends ago and tasted the whole selection. We ended up buying a bottle of the Cinque, which is on the more bitter end of the spectrum. Some very interesting flavors across the board. We went into the bar for a drinks but that place is LOUD, so we left after a round.
  7. Alta Strada hasn't been cutting it for us lately and our one dinner at the recently opened Nicoletta Kitchen was expensive and disappointing, so we are venturing further away to sate our Italian food cravings. @MichaelBDC kept mentioning his desire to go to San Lorenzo so I booked his birthday dinner six weeks in advance so we could get a table at 7:45pm. We arrived at the restaurant and it was packed, including three big parties: one in the private dining room, one table included the owners of Cork, and a third table included a former Obama Administration official celebrating his wife's birthday. At first, the hostess couldn't "find" my reservation and asked me if I had the right date, which for some reason enraged me more than it should have. I pulled out my phone and showed her the numerous text messages from San Lorenzo (a reminder the day before and a reminder 30 minutes before the reservation) and the reservation magically appeared when she put in my phone number. A manager came over and after some chatting, we were lead to a bar and offered a round of drinks and said our table would be ready soon. Just glancing around the small dining room, I knew that was not going to be the case (after several tables were pushed together for the two large parties in the dining room, there were only one or two two-tops available and they were not even close to finishing their dinners and there was no way the restaurant was going to give us a four top on a Friday night). I quickly figured out that the party with that Obama Administration bigwig was the culprit. As we finished our first round of drinks, I pressed the manager for when our table would be ready and she admitted it would still be awhile so we offered to just eat at the bar. Not ideal for a celebratory birthday dinner but not the worst either. We had planned on ordering the squash blossoms anyway, but the manager ended up sending out one singular squash blossom for each of us to start. We then ordered the wild boar meatballs, which came with polenta, charred green onions, and marinated tomatoes. The dish was very good and the tomatoes added a very nice acidity to the gamey meatballs. We also received an order of the prosciutto with la tur cheese, balsamic glaze and strawberries on the house. We were surprised by how much we loved this dish. The balsamic, strawberries, and cheese were a great addition to the already delicious dry ham. We would definitely order this on our own again. For entrees I had the scallops with artichokes, fennel, and peas. The dish was a great representation of spring with for large perfectly cooked scallops but unless the artichoke were a part of the sauce, there wasn't any to be found on the dish. I used the bread which was otherwise mediocre to sop up the rest of the delicious sauce. @MichaelBDC ordered a special of veal bolognese. The pasta itself was fantastic, but @MichaelBDC said he likes the bolognese we make at home using Marcella Hazan's recipe better. I had a bite and I thought it was delicious as well and the pasta here is indeed amazing, inspiring us to take a cooking class during our trip to Italy this summer. The birthday boy doesn't like sweets so he stuck with an americano for dessert while I had an affogato. Nothing too special about this but that is how we rounded out dinner. We really enjoy the food here, but the service was a miss. Management did take care of us for the seating problems but food was still very slow to come out and we kept having to flag down the bartender to order more drinks. We also didn't enjoy sitting at the end of the bar where waiters were coming in and out to pick up drinks, deliver empty drinks, and put in their table's orders. The restaurant was in the weeds, which is to be expected on a Friday night, but I was not in the mood to be witness to the chaos. We will be back because we love Italian food and pasta, and hopefully we won't be displaced by VIPs next time.
  8. We never got around to writing about dinner at Chloe months ago, but it was phenomenal. I forgot everything we ordered but we definitely had the crispy whole fish, the roasted mushroom hummus, and the cobia crudo. As we were settling up, we realized we did not eat meat at all during the meal, an anomaly for us and a pleasant surprise. As two devoted carnivores, it takes a lot to draw us away from ordering meat but Chloe did it and we didn't notice until the end. We left stuffed and had to cancel the brussels sprouts as we were filling up fast.
  9. I am always a fan of Convivial for these types of events. It's where @MichaelBDC and I went to celebrate our engagement with friends, it's where we take family who come into town, and it has also hosted a large reunion dinner with former co-workers. Iron Gate would also be a good choice place for a birthday dinner.
  10. Chestertown Desperate to escape DC, we booked a long weekend in Chestertown, MD. It is slim pickings in the off season but we managed some decent eats. We took two nice bottles of wine with us to drink at the B&B, but stopped at Chester River Wine & Cheese for some cheese. There was a good selection, actually better than I had expected and we left with a finger of Etorki, a finger of Payoyo, tinned herring, and crackers. The little shop also sells charcuterie, oils, spices, vinegars, local liquors, and prepared foods. In season, they also do wine tastings but don't have enough foot traffic to open multiple bottles to taste in the off season. We had dinner at the Kitchen at the Imperial our first evening. I had a terrible espresso manhattan, tasty stuffed oysters (bacon, leeks spinach), and a very good crab cake. The crab cake was made from jumbo lump crab and had very little filling. It was served with a forgettable tomato roumalade and a side of asparagus. @MichaelBDC had an average caesar salad and a braised lamb shank. The lamb shank entree came out swimming in entirely too much rich red wine sauce (which was also too fatty/greasy), but was cooked well and tasted above average. After walking around Eastern Neck Wildlife Refuge, we stopped at Harbor Shack in Rock Hall. This place is laid back, borderline divey, and right on the water. The menu is all over the place ranging from Mexican food to brisket to fried fish, so we kept it simple. I had the crab cake sandwich, which was decent and tasted better with some tartar sauce. @MichaelBDC had a fried rockfish special which turned out to be like fish and chips. The rockfish was the winner, came out hot, nicely fried, with seven large pieces of fish and average fries. Our last night, we went to Barbara's on the Bay, probably the most popular place in the area. The place was packed with locals when we got there, but fortunately for us we arrived on the later side and were seated at a table in the bar area. I had some very good grilled oysters and some above average shrimp and grits. The shrimp was great. @MichaelBDC had a beet and goat cheese salad and the meatloaf with mushroom gravy, which he loved. This is not gourmet stuff, but still a very good meal and fairly priced. As for lodging, we stayed at the Great Oak Manor. This is a great place with a nice great room that overlooks the bay and some other nice quiet rooms for guests to sit around and enjoy themselves. There is also complimentary port and sherry all day long. There was a nice pantry for all day coffee and tea, baked goods, fruit, and m&ms. The breakfasts we had were really good. The only downside was the very large great pyrenees dog belonging to the inn keepers that roamed the manor. The dog was nice and friendly, but I did not realize I was even slightly allergic to this dog until I had pet it and sat next to it, and got its dander on me. I was miserable for the rest of the weekend so what was supposed to be a relaxing weekend on the Eastern Shore turned out not so.
  11. The lobster etouffee was indeed delicious, but the kanpachi and carrots were the best dishes of the night. You forgot the Parisian Gnocchi, which was probably the weakest dish we had. Taste was good but the gnocchi were a little too doughy and soft for me. @MichaelBDC had the winter citrus for dessert and I had the eclair. The eclair was very good but the savory dishes stole the show.
  12. There will be dine in options. Six counter seats which Can plans to reserve for omakase only. And then there will be seating along the walls for people want to do a quick bite. Can also mentioned chirashi bowls for lunch and onigiri for eating on the go.
  13. Walked by the new Chinatown location today and signs on the window says that it is opening on Wednesday. I am very very excited about this.
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