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Andrew Huber

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About Andrew Huber

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    Wilt Chamberlain

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  1. So Bistroquet did a soft opening last night. So soft, in fact, that they didn't actually tell anybody that they were opening and simply let people wander in. I only even saw that they were open because I happened to be walking my dog past them. Because of this, I got there too late and the kitchen was closed, but I did grab a beer (they had a good, but small, beer list. 3 different types of Ayinger and a few French and Belgian beers) and chat with the owner and the chef. I also got a look at the menu and it looks great. Lots of very traditional French food, with some Thai dishes thrown in, (the owner's wife is Thai) along with some Thai-French fusion dishes that looked surprisingly good. What impressed me most was their willingness to put offal front and center - their appetizer list was nearly half organ meat. Dishes like lamb's brain on toast and tripe in mustard sauce shared the page with escargot and pommes frites. The entrees also looked promising, if a bit expensive, but that's the new normal for the neighborhood. (despite the fact that every time a restaurant space opens up the listserv is abuzz with people hoping it gets filled with a "reasonably priced family restaurant." If that's what people actually wanted then Palisades Pizzeria and Listrani's wouldn't have closed down and places like Blacksalt and Et Voila wouldn't be packed every night!) Overall I can't wait to come back and give the food a shot. I'll report back once I have.
  2. I live next door to the MacArthur Listrani's (which I agree went downhill in recent years, I'll explain in a bit) and just this week they put up a sign saying: "Coming in September, Bistroquet." According to neighborhood scuttlebutt, it is going to be owned by the same person who owns Bistro D'Oc downtown, and run by his son. It will feature french bistro fare with a thai section as the owner's wife is from Thailand. (Hopefully their Thai is better than Bambu across the street.) Back to the decline of Listrani's, it was bought maybe 6 years ago or so from the original owners. The new owner clearly had no idea how to run the place, as he completely changed everything that made Listrani's good. First of all, he refused to seat parties with more than 4 children. In this neighborhood, that alone would have been their death sentence. He also changed the menu, where the only thing you could order while eating in was pasta or individual sized pizzas. You could still order large pizzas, subs, calzones, etc. for takeout, but he refused to let you eat them in the restaurant. I imagine this was to discourage families with children from ordering a large pizza and eating in. And finally, what I consider the worst sin of all, he did away with the fresh baked focaccia and rolls they used to give you and replaced them with generic frozen dinner rolls. I know this because my dog sniffs at their trash every night and you could see they had thrown away boxes of crappy frozen rolls. The owner also treated his employees pretty badly, and was just not a particularly pleasant guy. As sad as I am to see a restaurant that I grew up with close, it was not the same Listrani's at all. Hopefully Bistroquet will do better.
  3. Thanks for letting us know. I would just like to echo the sentiments of other posters and let you know that Mockingbird Hill is an absolute treasure for the neighborhood and the city as a whole. Your staff is just unbelieveably knowledgeable and dedicated to spreading the love for one of the most underappreciated beverages in existence. The sherry list itself is excellently curated, and the food is delicious. I will absolutely be making many more trips to see what Scott can do.
  4. To be honest, the only thing not entirely mediocre about CPBG is the roof deck, and with the average quality of BBQ in DC I don't know how excited I can get for this. At least people are trying to improve the BBQ scene though - maybe these guys will hit the mark.
  5. A co-worker spoke to someone who was there to renovate the space last week. Apparently the concept wasn't working out (it must have been failing spectacularly for them to realize this so quickly) and the same owners are redoing the interior and going with a different concept. No word on what that concept might be.
  6. Like Keith said it is mostly standard Chinese American - however there are a few authentic Sichuan dishes hidden in the menu, but not nearly enough to call it a Sichuan restaurant.
  7. My first job was at the Papa John's in Tenleytown - PJ's is very willing to negotiate on prices for large orders, which is probably why so many corporate accounts use them. I think the lowest I ever saw them go was around $6 per pizza on an order of 250 large pies. (Which took me 3 trips that completely filled my station wagon with all the seats down - no tip either!)
  8. Bummer that Pulpo is gone, I really liked that place. Hawaiian cuisine doesn't do much for me, but I may give Hula Girl a try.
  9. There are probably 10 large hotels within walking distance of Heavy Seas that arepacked to the brim with tourists right now. Never underestimate the appeal of not having to walk across the bridge or get on the Metro when you are dealing with tourists who are probably exhausted from walking around the Mall all morning. And if it is that full now, imagine what it will look like in August. I doubt the hotels and few residential buildings could support a concentration of bars on par with Clarendon, but with the lack of competition, I am not surprised at all that they are able to fill the place on a Saturday.
  10. I work in the building above Le Sandwich and it has been closed for the past couple of weeks. I managed to try a sandwich from there in the maybe 1 week they were open. It was..OK. I had the pate, which was decent, but nothing exciting. The bread was actually quite good though. Very crusty and chewy inside. The customer service was abysmal however - my sandwich rang up as $2 more than the menu price, and when I pointed it out they said: "The menu is wrong. The pate costs extra, do you want it or not?"
  11. Last night I got takeout from a new Chinese spot in Glover Park called Dumplings and Beyond. It opened recently in the old Shanghai Tea House space. I was seriously blown away. The dumplings were clearly made in-house and were top notch, the sichuan boiled beef in fiery sauce rivaled (or possibly exceeded) Sichuan Jin River, and the garlic eggplant was out of this world. I wish I could have tried more dishes. A huge plus - I asked for both entrees to be extra spicy, and they actually did it. The only gripe I had was that the ratio of authentic dishes to Americanized food was pretty low. (Actually the total number of dishes in general was quite low for a Chinese restaurant) But everything I had was just unbelievably good. They also had some intriguing Chinese casserole dishes with pork rib and meatballs which will definitely be next on my list. I would highly recommend trying this place.
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