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B.A.R.

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About B.A.R.

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    brianreymann@gmail.com

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    Fairfax, VA

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  1. Congratulations to Jonathan and Jessica! Seylou took Best Overall and Best Whole Wheat in the Tiptree World Bread USA competition last evening. If you have not gone yet, go. Extraordinary bread and well deserved accolades. BEST IN THE COUNTRY!!!! http://www.worldbreadawardsusa.com/competition/winners/
  2. I am guessing it changed owners. I have not been in a year (or maybe two?) and the gentleman who was always behind the counter, and another who was almost always behind counter, were not there. The staff is all wearing t-shirts with a graphic blue ocean logo, also new. The dining room is quite literally plastered with copy paper color pictures and advertisements of dishes, and specials, and sake, and just an ocular onslaught of detritus. It strongly resembled Carrie's dining room wall in season two of "Homeland". Seriously. We ordered Octopus sushi, Horse Mackerel sushi, Fatty Tuna and Scallion roll, crunchy Yellowtail roll, Pickled Radish roll, ETA roll (eel/avocado/tobiko) and appetizer size veg tempura. The sushi was served on a little white square plate, and all the rolls were served on round, white salad plates. Never seen presentation like this at a sushi bar...it was very plain and odd. The fish itself tasted of nothing. Too cold. Zero flavor. The rice was average. If I were blindfolded, I would only be able to make out the crunch and tobiko. We never received our tempura. The two staff members who took care of us were very pleasant, attentive, and kind. They apologized for the forgotten tempura and offered to quickly make it, which we declined. I used to love this place, and I wish them only success moving forward, but my meal last evening was not good.
  3. Additionally, it now is not very good. edited: because I was unthoughtful and unnecessarily harsh
  4. I'm not that smart! If I am being honest, the reason I have not been to Thai by Thai in years is because my last few meals sucked....like just shitty strip mall Thai. I was only planning on getting a lunch Pad Thai because I didn't want to spend more than $10 and had a craving. Since I have become a stay-at-home Dad, my days of Omakase at Sushi Taro and leisurely lunches at Fiola Mare are OVER! I read through the entire menu because no one was at the counter to order, and just decided to take a flyer on these two dishes and spend a little more than anticipated. I am still thinking about them. I am by no means a Thai food expert, but I do prefer Thai, Vietnamese, Malay and other SE Asian cuisines. Three days later I am still thinking about these two dishes and hope to go back in the next few weeks and order them again, although the Khao Sol (!!!) was on a piece of paper at the register, like a daily special, so who knows.
  5. I have not had a more enjoyable meal since the old "secret" Lao menu at Bangkok Golden when Seng Luangrath was at the helm. Two dishes, both sublime. Running errands through Fairfax and had a craving for something other than Bun Cha from Viet House or the Bibimbap Hot Pot at Super H. Remembered that Thai by Thai started advertising their "secret" menu a few years ago so popped in. Parking and access to the little shopping center continues to be a shit show. I walked ina little after 1 and only one 3-top was in the small, sterile dining room. From the Street Food menu: Kao Tod Nam Sod - fried rice balls, crumbled atop romaine lettuce, tossed with pickled pork, red onion, peanuts, chilis, fish sauce, lemongrass, etc, etc. HOLY SHIT. Soooo good, each bite encompassing all the spicy/sweet/salty and sour flavor with the sour coming from the pickled pork. I have had maybe 10 versions of Nam Sod and this was better than all. From The Regional Special Menu : Khao Sol - the most enjoyable Thai dish I have ever had. Egg noodles, chili, sour cabbage, fried wonton flakes, pork, red onions, red curry. The blend of textures and depth of flavors were really, really impressive. A tour de force. These two dishes ($22 total) were enormous and this was the BEST Thai meal I have had since maybe the second year of Little Serow. Can't vouch for other locations....but the TWO people who were working on Tuesday lunch were just KILLING IT.
  6. WTF was amazing. WT was "meh". I actually like CCF, and the loss between WT and CCF isnt nearly as great as the loss of WTF
  7. Seylou is one of the most important food service operations in the DC area. I've been on this board since its inception, and before that eGullet, and before that Chowhound, and almost everything that has been discussed in those 18+ years about what may be "lacking" in DC, or whether or not DC is truly a world-class food city, is represented in Seylou. It's success and future depends on DR.com and other like minded and passionate people to support it, either monetarily or on social media. Seylou literally checks all the boxes: local, organic, sustainable, free-standing, independent, world-class quality, unique, community, I could go on and on. The owners, Jonathan Bethony and Jessica Azeez, work tirelessly and uncompromisingly to put out some of the best breads and pastries in the world. Yes, I said world. Jonathan, who ran the Washington State Bread Lab and started the bread program at Blue Hill for Dan Barber (started as in did everything from selecting the specific wheat, growing, harvest, mill, bake) is doing the same out of Seylou. Nothing here is inexpensive, but it is all reasonably priced. A loaf of bread made from freshly harvested grains from a local Amish farm, milled in full the day of baking, does not come cheaply. But that $11 loaf of pain au levain will last two weeks and is massive, not to mention delicious. So certainly price point is a barrier to entry for most, and Seylou knows this. If you are on SNAP, the discount for bread at Seylou is 50%. Another challenge is the physical appearance of the breads and pastries, specifically the color. Everything is brown to dark brown. It looks burned beyond all hope. The croissants appear as if a single bite will cause the pastry to crumble into dust. There is no "golden" colored anything. The color comes from the whole grains and oils from the entire wheat kernel. That deep brown croissant that looks dry is "OMG this is the best crossant I have ever tasted" as my lovely wife stated oafter her first bite. Cut one in half and it is extraordinary in its lightness, with hundred of airy pockets in between buttery (Trickling Springs) rich dough. Just amazing. You can say the same about the cookies, bialy's, financiers, foccacia, etc. The District is incredibly lucky to have Seylou, and it is a bakery worth a special trip into DC, just as Metier or Komi are. Go. Buy a loaf of bread or as much as you can afford. This place should be a landmark in DC for years to come.* *Climbs down from soapbox.
  8. "I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man he brings math into a discussion of wine lists!" You can take that math shit to the math thread, which existed 9+ yers ago between @DonRocks and was solved by @jparrott and I cannot find because I am barely computer literate.
  9. Sure does, but throw in sparkling and BTG and you are at 100+ selections very quickly
  10. Off-Topic: Olé Imports/Obrigado Vinhos has a phenomenal selection of wines from Spain and Portugal - a virtual guarantee that the wine will be of high quality. On-Topic: However you want to define a "micro" list, having a list with sufficient breadth of styles and price points is virtually impossible with less than, say 80 selections. Now, I did say virtually impossible. Those that succeed usually focus on a single country (Italy/Spain) or better yet, region and mine the nuance and depths of the area and winemaking styles. This takes tremendous skill and discipline on behalf of the sommelier, but it can certainly be done, with as few as 40-50 bottles. The perfect size, as far as I am concerned, is 150 give or take, as I don't want to spend all night pouring through the list. Also, please do not whore me on the pricing. There is nothing that ruins my evening more when I cannot bear to even order a bottle of wine because the pricing is so egregious. 3x wholesale? Sure. 3x+ Retail? Go fuck yourself. Additionally, although I don't mind spending more than what most people are comfortable with on a bottle of wine, there should be plenty of really good wine under $50 on your list. If there isn't, it reflects poorly on you as a restauranteur, and how you feel about your clientele.
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