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B.A.R.

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Everything posted by B.A.R.

  1. I would say his arguments are far from rational. Because of the byzantine and archaic structure of US wine distribution, a significant portion of wine distributors in the US are small businesses. And let's just assume that only 20% of all of these small business mix of sales is European wine. Once those wines get hit by a tariff of close to 100% those sales are gone. Even worse, many of these distributors have already paid for wines, or will pay for them prior to shipment. The value of their investment is now halved. Distribution is a clusterfuck of regulations from city/county/state to state. If you own the distribution rights in VA to 100 Italian wineries, and you want to replace that revenue stream with wines from CA, it's damn near impossible. Once a winery designates a distributor, the only way to change is if the distributor (a) loses license, (b) goes bankrupt, or (c) does not sell a set quantity of your wines for a period of time (like, 2 years). And, because of the same distribution structure, American wineries, in particular small American wineries, will suffer as their distribution may have negative cash flow, attempt to restructure, cut costs, cut payroll, or even worse, fold.
  2. This is potentially devastating to so many small businesses, importers, distributors, wine retailers, and restauranteurs - not to mention terrible for consumers. Absolutely unnecessary. https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/06/dining/drinks/**Censored**-wine-tariff-eu.html Contact info here: https://account.votility.com/enterprise/NAWR/ec/698 and here: https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=USTR-2019-0003-2518
  3. 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/
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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
  8. 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.
  9. "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.
  10. Sure does, but throw in sparkling and BTG and you are at 100+ selections very quickly
  11. 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.
  12. I find the breadth of the CF Menu and portion sizes to be appalling. That being said, I have always been pleased with the quality and freshness of the food I have received. It is light years above any other high-volume chain. The "Thai" lettuce wraps are by no means Thai food, but they are flavorful, fresh, and the appetizer fills me up (far more than my recent $190 bill at O-Ku). I have enjoyed every meal I have had at CF and have no qualms about going back, again and again.
  13. Pretty sure Qupé is and should be easy to find. Have not had a wine from there in 10+ years and dont believe Bob Lindquist still involved but the Bien Nacido Syrah's used to sing
  14. Stopped in for a quick Happy Hour and I really want to love this place but all four of our dishes could have used editing (see quote above). Started with a great Boulevardier, moved on to a lovely Sancerre. The Housemade Ricotta with Fig Compote just had too much compote -overpowered everything. You can pretty much cut and paste that comment on the other dishes. Charred Octopus overpowered by sweetness of BBQ sauce and did not really work for me an or my wife. Fried oysters were perfectly fried, resting atop the creamed spinach and drizzled with a sort of remoulade (wife ordered before I got there so did not read the menu). Had each oyster been perched on a tiny spoonful of the spinach, it would have been sublime (and a better food cost!)...but there was just way too much spinach on the dish which became Creamed Spinach with Fried Oysters. As Al Dente noted above, the Charred Romaine was overwhelmed by the garlic and chimichurri and was too sharp (raw garlic) and too acid...not to mention you could not see the romaine as it was buried under all of the complimentary components. It is rare that I want less on a plate, but all of my dishes would have been much better had there been 50-75% less of garnishes
  15. Have not been in almost 9 months, but this has to be the most underrated, high-quality restaurant that has been open for 20(?) years in DC. Just has always been very good.,
  16. Don, I am sure this is a difficult time for Ms. Zimorski, but I wonder if she would be willing to comment on what she experienced here. It would be so insightful
  17. Because we are generally less scrupulous! I think CMS needs to give a far more detailed account of what happened.
  18. Can someone explain to me why they cannot determine who cheated and who did not? Obviously they know the Master who gave out the information. Who did he tell? That person needs to have the results stripped? Was there an unusual amount of people that passed the tasting? Did everyone pass the tasting? This seems to be an overly Draconian step....and there is NO guarantee that those that passed the test this year, legitemately, could pass the test next week, or four weeks hence. Having tasted many wines blind and gone through numerous tasting classes with profile grids and deductive reasoning....blind tasting is a bitch! Theory is memorization (a ton of it). Service is rather silly if you ask me and too subjective. Blind tasting? Even the most educated of palates need a wee bit of luck* to get through that. *Not luck as in "guess" but luck as in familiarity with the specific vintage, varietal, & appellation
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