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Everything posted by Keithstg

  1. I hear you - I still remember being offered still or sparkling water at Il Laboratorio and being annoyed at a rather arbitrary water charge at the end of the evening (all bottles were shared among tables - I guess the charge was split?). Last month we could pick however many cheeses. Would be a bummer if that's changed, or not consistently applied. Cameron was much less engaging on our last trip, though. Maybe having an off night.
  2. Should have gone to La Casita last night. Had a serviceable half smoke from Ben's instead. I do love the fact that apple pay has become so prevalent at the stadium - I think concession lines are noticeably faster.
  3. But.... you can have as many cheeses as you would like. Not quibbling with you about prices, but the lack of restriction does provide some more value.
  4. Keithstg


    Agreed - Resy recently acquired Reserve, which probably doubled their restaurant base. Resy is a great app.
  5. Small private club in rural Loudoun County seeks Chef to revitalize our culinary program. Responsibilities include: - Menu design and execution for Lunch Service, Tues-Friday, Dinner Service Tues- Friday, Brunch Saturday - Sunday - Inventory purchasing and control - Design and execution of special events - Management of food service & bar staff - Accountability for food/ beverage budget goals, overall culinary P&L Requirements: The Board of Directors seeks an experienced chef to partner with in order to enhance dining experiences for our members. The successful candidate will view the opportunity as running his or her restaurant, located in a private club. The ideal candidate will have diverse experience, a hands-on approach, and attention to detail and customer satisfaction Benefits: Our club offers a comprehensive benefits package including fully paid healthcare, retirement account contributions, continuing education reimbursement and the opportunity for revenue sharing/ bonuses based on quarterly goals (revenue and member-satisfaction based). Contact: Please send me a PM and we will take it from there!
  6. .....And Brad Spates is OUT at the Ashby. A Chef named Jonathan Leonard has taken over the kitchen. Reserving judgement for now. Relatively few people on here may have had his food, but man do I miss Tom Whitaker. He did an incredible job and was criminally underrated.
  7. As the topic states, what DC restaurant would you most like to see return? Jessica Sidman tweeted this question recently and I find the answers fascinating. For me there are two at the top of the list: 1. Citronelle 2. Palena Honorable Mention: Nectar --- [Edit - Here's a built-in, 13-year-long, running answer with 500 replies and 50,000 views. DR]
  8. Guess you haven't been to either Daniel or Gramercy Tavern lately. It can be done, just hard. I'm of two minds here - I understand your broader point, as well as the mantra that expansion = bad. But each outpost from the chefs above provides a platform for up and coming chefs (Andrew Carmellini, Dave Chang, Lee Hanson, Jonathan Benno, Francois Payard, and Johnny Iuzzini from the Daniel universe alone, and Gail Simmons from the FOH) as well as lots of jobs. Often the restaurants in other locations aren't the same as the originals, and that's ok as well. I think Dave Chang in particular has done a good job of empowering each chef and having them put their own spins on the menu. No reason Kwame can't do the same, assuming he puts in the work.
  9. IDK, seems like Daniel Boulud, J-G, and Danny Meyer (to name a few) have done ok running "a bajillion restaurants".
  10. Had an absolutely phenomenal meal at L'Atelier in Chelsea last week (and yes JoeH, I have been to the original in Paris ). Absolutely fantastic meal and experience and well-deserving of its two Michelin stars. Christophe Bellanca and his team are doing exceptional work and our menu was both interesting and rooted in French tradition. I think that L'Atelier is a bit overlooked in the busy NY dining scene, but this meal was roundly better than my last meal at the Inn at Little Washington (***) and at Per Se (***). Not cheap, but well worth it and the final dessert was right out of Mario Kart. Wine service was excellent and the list was not ruinously expensive. Looking forward to a return in short order. Menu below:
  11. I would reach out to Nick Greer (http://www.greersconservation.com/) and tell him what you are looking for. He likely isn't your guy, but is easily the most skilled woodworker/ refinisher I've ever come across and could point you in the direction of someone who works on more commercial projects and meets his seal of approval...
  12. This whole thing has been a debacle (as predicted). I've shifted my corporate travel from SPG, where I was a Lifetime Platinum, to either Four Seasons or IHC - specifically Kimpton. The transition from SPG, Ritz Carlton, and Marriott Rewards was always going to be complex, and devaluation was to be expected. What transpired has been worse than I'd imagined in terms of point devaluation and program erosion.
  13. Fair enough. That said, I'd hope that the current staff could function well enough in his absence to produce consistent meals, if not ones to inspire the wild hyperbole upthread.
  14. Beef tendon was sliced thinly and the puffed rice was fried (?) around it. The order was probably four large puffs. Somewhat challenging to eat as the rice sort of shattered around the tendon when cut.
  15. Had a great time catching up with a friend at Bresca last night. He captured the restaurant perfectly - "kind of under the radar now, but still full". That was the case last night, as the room was full for the majority of the evening. Highlights: Scallop Mi Cuit - one of the better ceviche-ish dishes I have had in a while. The beef tendon with puffed rice was also excellent. Oddities: The "welcome cocktail" was a nice touch, but a bit too much Shrub for my taste. Hadn't seen this before, especially a gratis pour, which is a nice touch. The cocktail list still follows that ridiculous octagonal map thing, which makes reading the cocktails more challenging, nevermind understanding if they were laid out according to some rhyme or reason. Challenges: Our mains were the buckwheat linguine and the tuna. Both were overly salty - and we both enjoy salt! Not salty enough to send back necessarily, but both discernibly out of balance. Overall: Very nice and accommodating service. Well priced, interesting menu and great atmosphere. I found the food somewhat at odds with the glowing reviews above - there was a lack of finesse in the mains as opposed to the nuance found in the small plates. Seems like better QC is needed.
  16. Another quick check in. Had an enjoyable meal at the Ashby last friday, however the restaurant does seem in a bit of flux. Chef Spates is still there, but the longtime sommelier Stuart Brennan has left, and the wine list has been sharply curtailed - it's now two pages, front and back - one red and one white. Apparently the rationale is that the prior wine list was "too intimidating" or something. Whatever. The old wine list is still available upon request. I should note that the wines currently on the "list" represent excellent values. While not my usual bag, we enjoyed an '07 Araujo Eisele Vineyard for $212, which is below current retail. The menu has changed as well - now organized into appetizers, "Steaks & Chops", and "Land, Sea and Air". Side orders are now available, as are a la carte sauces. Everything we ordered was well-prepared and tasty, if a bit unexciting relative to prior meals - up to and including our first meal with Chef Spates in the kitchen. I'm hopeful that Chef Spates will be given more room to create and develop the menu further as spring rolls around. There's apparently still a tasting menu available, but we weren't offered it this time around. I continue to root for the Inn and enjoy my meals there. Hope that the longer-tenured staff and Chef Spates continue to persevere.
  17. We made a trip to the Inn last weekend, as two friends were visiting from out of town and had never been. Due to a last-minute babysitter snafu we were three rather than four, but the staff handled the situation with aplomb and quickly re-set our table prior to us sitting down. One member of our table had the "Good Earth" menu and the rest of us did the "Gastronaut" menu, with some substitutions. The menu was largely, if not exactly, the same as ReedM noted above. I subbed in the scallop with calvados dish, and one of my dining companions subbed in the lobster dish. We didn't take pictures (obviously), but the highlight from the Good Earth menu was the Turnip Tarte Tatin/ Highlights from the two Gastronaut menus were the Bison dish (again, identical to ReedM's) and the lobster. The chocolate hazelnut napoleon fell a bit short for me as there was some unannounced white chocolate in there. Should have gotten the cheese cart. Everyone enjoyed their meal, and this kind of tasting menu (unabashed fine dining, traditional coursing, etc) is becoming harder and harder to find. In that way, the Inn is a bit of an anachronism, albeit in the best possible way. Wines were: Chapoutier: Le Meal (Hermitage) '02 Michel Gaunoux: Corton Renardes '90 RLdH: Vina Tondonia Gran Reserva '80 Wine service was slow and uneven. We waited for several minutes once we sat for a consultation with the somm, and she was fairly concise in her discussion. Once the wine was ordered our glasses were promptly refilled. Service was uneven as a whole. Certainly not European *** standard, though that wasn't our expectation. Rather, we had a similar experience as ReedM - some of our servers were engaging and enlivened the mood (particularly the excellent dining room manager) and others were just kind of there. The person manning the cheese cart was previously a highlight with his udderly terrible jokes, but he spoke so quickly and softly that it was basically impossible to understand what cheeses he provided for our group. It's hard to pinpoint a major issue, or something glaringly incorrect about the service, it just didn't resonate as in years/ months past. Also re: popcorn - I wasn't served it in 2018 across a few visits, or last weekend. Perhaps it's being phased out? All in all, our friends enjoyed the experience, which was the main point. We will return in a couple months, but hope that the service is a bit more consistent and engaging.
  18. That's diabolical. My daughter would have jumped at that drink. It may not be much comfort, but at least this post has kept one child away from these drinks!
  19. Andre has an interesting perspective. As a huge Sampras/ Fed guy this bums me out, but I can see his point. Thought about waking up early to watch the Australian open final but didn't as I don't care for Djokovic or Nadal. Then had to go back and watch once I saw the scores. What a systemic beat-down! Never see Nadal get handled like that. Makes me think Andre has a solid point.
  20. Given the focus on dining and the show I'd recommend the Wharf over the Willard, and I haven't even looked at the Wharf yet!
  21. To Frank Robinson. What an incredible person. We were very fortunate to have him in D.C.
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