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About jpbloom

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  • Birthday 03/25/1956

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  1. 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?
  2. 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.
  3. 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?
  4. 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).
  5. I've been to Roda - good stuff across the board. You'll enjoy it. (Sorry for the thread drift.)
  6. Interesting that you say that. Rioja is generally my fallback as well.
  7. 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.)
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. Last night's dinner at San Lorenzo gets a resounding "eh." While everything tasted good enough, each course was missing something. Even a little salt or pepper would have helped. My wife enjoyed the squash blossoms but found them fairly average. While you could notice the basil in her gnocchi, it definitely did not "scream" basil like it did for Tom. Similarly, I would have loved the rabbit ragu on my papparadelle to be as "herby" as Tom's. Mine was quite bland, as was my Branzino, although that could be because it did not have the promised olives, which would have helped immensely. The crostata was good with flavorful peaches and blueberries, although the crust was a little heavy for the dish. Service was generally good, perhaps a little too attentive at times, but quite rushed. Our first courses arrived before the bread and dishes were whisked away the second utensils were put down. The tables are very close, so it's difficult for the servers to maneuver. It is quite loud, particularly as the bar fills up with people waiting for tables or dining because they could not get a table. I am glad we were seated in the small room up the stairs. I could see the tables in the bar area getting quite uncomfortable because of the noise and the bar crowd standing nearby. I'm not sure I get all of the comments about value. Sure, this is priced lower than fine dining establishments but that is not what it's trying to be. The pastas, for example, are priced like full size portions although they are appetizer sized. Mains are priced reasonably but are not bargains. With no drinks and a reasonably priced ($45) Chianti, we came close to $200 after tax and tip. The evening was enjoyable enough but with several really good options within a block or two, I can't see myself rushing back.
  11. Not meaning to sound like a Total promoter, and I have no idea what they actually did, but isn't this what any start-up and even established importer would and should do? Kermit Lynch established or at least popularized the model. If they are selective and bring in quality product, that's a good thing, such that you can count on the importer's label as being a sign of quality. If they just bring in dreck based on volume, that's a different story. Assuming this is different from the Winery Direct wines, I have not had any experience with a Saranty import, so I can't express an opinion on how Total did it. Some of the Winery Direct wines can be very good, however, and can be sold by Total at a very reasonable price, particularly when using the coupons. I saw two totally (no pun intended) diverse views from the producer side during a visit to the Piemonte last summer, though. Mauro Veglio, a modernist producer in Barolo, loves his relationship with Total. Total takes his full line-up of wines (except some very limited production things he doesn't offer them) and they pay timely. Giuseppe Cortese, a more traditional producer in Barbaresco, on the other hand is moving away from its relationship with Total. It has concluded the typical Total buyer is not the market it is looking for. Both valid and reasonable positions. I happen to like both wines and buy them at Total (always with a coupon ) but can get them elsewhere.
  12. I used to eat lunch at Mister Days frequently in the late '80s, but I really liked Captain Days, their short lived seafood restaurant. Clearly not many other people did, because it was always pretty empty.
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