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About RWBooneJr

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  • Birthday 10/19/1973

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    Washington, DC

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  1. I'm guessing that none of you advocating for the bus are 6'3". If you are, it sucks. And you can get a ticket for the train, the last humane mode of transportation, for $50 if you plan at least a month in advance. That said, if I have to get to DC on very short notice, I often drive or take the bus. But I definitely prefer the train, even at the non-discounted rate of about $130 (it jumps up to like $300 if you book right before the trip, which is ridiculous). And if I'm not paying, I take the Acela. Flying has always struck me as kinda stupid, but I'll probably try it eventually.
  2. Le Bernardin and Aldo Sohm are very different animals. The latter would be kind of pointless if that were not the case, but I can see how someone might be disappointed by the differences. They aren't really aimed at the same audience.
  3. This is almost always incorrect. Your insurer generally has the right to settle whether you want to or not. Liability obviously factors into the insurer's valuation of a case, but it is only one consideration. Often, litigation costs factor in more. Even at insurance defense rates, this type of litigation will cost the insurer anywhere between $200k to over seven figures to get to a defense verdict. The insurer wants to discourage nuisance suits and plaintiffs always start out with an overly optimistic idea of what a case is worth, so most cases will get pretty far along before settlement is even a possibility. But, after a point, if the insurer knows that the remainder of the litigation will cost more than the plaintiff wants to settle the case, it will settle. And that settlement is nothing more than a business transaction.
  4. Despite the name, in the end Cafe Istanbul was primarily a pizza place, at least in terms of menu space and what most people appeared to be ordering at lunch. Pizzaro also has a remarkably similar Turkish menu to this archived one for Cafe Istanbul and nearly all of the dishes in common have identical names. However, the first Yelp review for Pizzaro is dated 5/12/2012, which is before Cafe Istanbul's closing (and my original post). Cafe Istanbul's first Yelp review is 9/27/2010. I would bet it has, or at some point had, the same or closely related ownership.
  5. Mole literally means "sauce," so there's no real definition. Olvera's mole doesn't have chocolate in it, so it's not mole poblano. But that duck dish is definitely good.
  6. Caviar is the best delivery service there is, but it's not cheap. The prices are higher than what's on the menu and they charge you a fairly large ($5-10) delivery fee on top. However, in NYC it has all of the good restaurants and almost no restrictions on delivery. Basically, if the restaurant is in Manhattan and you're in Manhattan, they'll bring it to you. Does anyone know if it's the same in DC?
  7. Torishin is definitely worthy of the three stars Wells gives it. Here is a slideshow from last year of the smaller omakase, which was a lot of food.
  8. The NoMad isn't terribly far. It's not like Corduroy, but it would probably work.
  9. Once, nobody really spoke about restaurants, at least not in the way they do now. Nobody debated the merits of each dish, no one cared what farm their steak came from, and restaurants were more about hospitality than cuisine. That time is long gone, but shards of it remain. One is a few short blocks from my front door, and I'm sure to go every chance I get. Some restaurants transport you to a different place. This one promises a different time. Martin Donohue opened Donohue's Steak House in 1950 on Lexington Avenue near 64th, where it still is today. His son Michael took over a few years later and ran it until his death in 2000. The restaurant then passed to Michael's daughter, Maureen Donohue-Peters, who still owns Donohue's and is there almost every night. None of them ever changed the place. Not one bit. Why would they? Donohue's is a single room paneled in brown wood with a checkerboard floor. The front is dominated by an Art Deco bar. Beyond it is the dining room, which has three small tables at its center and five tall black booths along each of the side walls. The back wall has a "specials" board which almost never changes, and probably never has. I can't attest to the authenticity of everything in the place. But I'd wager it all looks almost exactly as it has for nearly seven decades. The button-tufted booths are flanked with coat racks and a few age-tarnished paintings hang above. The tables are covered in red tablecloths with paper Donohue's mats at each seat. Instead of a rollup, the silverware is still laid out on each mat with a white cloth napkin folded between. Nearly all of the menu dates to the Eisenhower administration as well. Steaks are all familiar cuts like NY Strip or filet, with gentle prices that betray a lack of pedigree. The fish would have been equally familiar decades ago, when baked salmon or scrod were in fashion. Everything else -- hand carved turkey, baked chicken, shepherds pie -- is straight from grandma's house. I typically go for the burger, which is first rate in an "old school" kind of way and served with decent steak fries. I like the meatloaf and gravy too -- one of the permanent specials -- which, with sides of mashed potatoes and peas and carrots, reminds me in a good way of the Salisbury steak TV Dinners of my youth. I also always sit at the bar, over which Tom the affable bartender quietly presides most nights. Tom seems like he's been there 30 years, though I strangely haven't the courage to ask. Regardless, he's certainly not trying to reinvent the wheel. Aside from a handful of flavored vodkas, if you couldn't get it 60 years ago, you can't get it now. In this regard, a Maker's Manhattan is occasionally nice, but bottled Budweiser usually does the trick. After all, you're not here for fancy cocktails. Or amazing food, for that matter. It's good, but that's not really the point. What you're here for is the history and the perspective that comes with it. Donohue's is a living museum. Most patrons know the staff by name because they've been coming for 20, 30, 40, or even 50 years. One even left his two favorite servers a $100,000 tip in his will. The old guard mostly stay in the dining room where they seem to know everyone already. Still, a "newcomer" can usually find a few regulars at the bar to chat with. Often, whether you want to or not. Either way, there's always a good story to be told. There aren't many places like Donohue's left. Places from a time and a city that disappeared before most of us were born. I'm glad to have this small piece of it.
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