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About jpbloom

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  • Birthday 03/25/1956

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  1. Thanks for the reminder. I haven't been to the Italian Gourmet in years, probably since Chase The Sub/The Sandwich Shop opened. Based on today's experience alone, the sandwiches are quite good but not great. I'll probably stick with The Sandwich Shop as my first choice but will include this one in the mix to sample more of their wares.
  2. We've done carry-out from Clarity pretty much once a week since this all started, having been to the restaurant the week before everything shut down. The smoked and grilled stuff has been wonderful and the composed meals were actually a great deal. Fortunately for the restaurant but unfortunately for us, they are now putting more emphasis on the parking lot restaurant so the carry-out offerings are more limited and no longer as good a value. The smoked items are still worth getting. We almost went to the parking lot restaurant this week for my wife's birthday but it's only a six course tasting menu and she can't eat that much at night anymore.
  3. There may well be specials in the future. Right now the menu is somewhat in flux. The menu might be "boring" but it's basically what I expect at a bistro.
  4. Desperate for something good after a week of really bad wine at a bad resort, we decided to try somewhere new to which we could bring our own bottle. We decided to try the recently opened Parc de Ville in Merrifield. This is a self-titled French Bistro and Wine Garden from the owners of Chez Billy Sud, located in the ill-fated former Gypsy Soul and Requin space. While they've tried to give it a slightly more bistro-ish feel, the space doesn't look much different from its days as Requin. While the menu is still in a little bit of flux relative to what is on the website, things were handled much more efficiently than I would have expected for a restaurant opened only one month. Service was very good, attentive without being oppressive. Staff was friendly but not over familiar. Timing worked well, even though I dawdled a bit with my appetizer. The food was very good for a bistro type of restaurant. This is not trying to be fine dining but that's not what we were seeking. My wife really enjoyed her onion soup, a touchstone for her which has been disappointing in a number of places recently. She opted for an omelette for her main which she thought was a very good lighter menu option. I started with a chunky meaty pate which was just what I wanted - very tasty. I had really been hoping for the lamb shank that is the online menu but, alas, it is no longer available with nothing comparable as a replacement. The steak frites was actually very good, the NY strip a better cut than you normally see in that dish and cooked exactly to order, but it was really a second choice and was picked largely because of the wine I brought. Several people near us had the duck confit which looked very good and will likely be my or my wife's order on our next visit. The wine list is largely bistro level, not bad but nothing really exciting. The roughly 3x retail mark-up will probably lead me to keep bringing my own ($25 corkage, nothing on their list, which is not online). Overall I'd give this a solid B+ at this point. It was an enjoyable meal at the level advertised with good food and service. I've never been to Chez Billy Sud so I can't give any comparison to that. We will definitely be back.
  5. Northern Virginia Magazine is reporting that Trummer's will reopen after renovations "sans 'on Main' with a new menu for a rotisserie-themed, upscale-casual, family-friendly restaurant." That sounds like a press release but I'm not really sure what it means. Anyone have more information?
  6. Honestly I had never heard that (so I guess for me at least the "quietly" is accurate). If that was the criteria for the award, then bravo.
  7. I've lived in this area for 41 years and worked downtown for 35 of those years. Annie's has never come up in a food discussion, I've never been tempted to eat there and nobody with whom I've dined has ever suggested going there. What exactly makes this a James Beard American Classic?
  8. Patricia Murphy's was my first "fine dining" experience. We had moved from Yonkers to Rockland County in 1962 (talk about rural) but went to Patricia Murphy's once a year in the mid '60s for a "special" dinner. I moved to DC in 1978 for law school. My first real fine dining experience (and the first time I spent over $100 for a couple for dinner) was at Cantina D'Italia, which I definitely could not afford. I still remember that meal (and my date, who has been my wife for over 35 years).
  9. I've been to Roda - good stuff across the board. You'll enjoy it. (Sorry for the thread drift.)
  10. Interesting that you say that. Rioja is generally my fallback as well.
  11. I like well planned micro-lists and really dislike the massive volumes at some places (I went to Bern's several years ago and, while there were some great finds, I would still be there if I didn't just pick something). Mark's comment highlights the two big issues for me, though. I don't want some trendier than thou wine list that has nothing to do with the food. I don't care if the sommelier likes orange wines or can get Trousseau from the Jura or Arinto from the Azores if it does not go well with what is coming from the kitchen. On the other hand, I don't want a list that just caters to the lowest common denominator. Regardless of how popular they are or how well priced they may be on the list, I don't want to see Meiomi or Silver Oak Cab on a micro-list for an Italian restaurant. A nice mix from various regions of Italy, some well known and some less so, is what I'm looking for. (That being said, I've got no problem with Pinot and Cab on big lists at Italian places that want to have something for everyone.)
  12. I was not a big fan based on the few times I went so this has no real impact on me. The political angle is such a load of crap, though. The Chicago locations both opened after the alleged Trump meeting fallout. If it was suffering a loss of business, why expand? DaveO got it right. The money people and the operating people were not on the same page. The business didn't have enough promise to have the money people keep the millions tied up and they left. Simple as that.
  13. Depending on how the investment is structured, in most situations like this SEC rules prohibit a general solicitation of private placements such as you described. The investment firm that sent you the email likely violated the rules just by sending the email. In any event, before you invested the firm would have to ensure that you are a "qualified investor." The number of people in this area who can invest $100,000 in a private placement is actually quite large and those investments happen every day. Some pan out and some don't. They are not for inexperienced or small investors, however (hence the requirement to be a "qualified investor"). Restaurants, in particular, can be risky, but sometimes pay off. As Ericandblueboy noted, though, funding becomes easier with Top Chef celebrity (have we forgotten Shaw Bijou already?). Back when I was in private practice, my firm represented a well-known local chef in setting up the corporation and raising capital for his first restaurant. The chef opened a couple of others but wisely did not take on too much. While not making a fortune, the original investors did okay.
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