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About MichelleW

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    Hank Aaron
  • Birthday 06/08/1975

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    my super cute kid, reading, keeping my head above water, thinking about dining out more than actually doing it (see also: super cute kid)
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  1. I think gastropub was kind of what I had in my head and I was a little disappointed to see something that looked more like America Eats. My husband is a burger guy, JBag57, and I usually order something different every time. If the kiddo is along, I try to share because she is allergic to eggs and frankly there are only so many chicken fingers she can eat. I am excited to see what pans out, regardless of the price point or the menu. I have a wedding anniversary coming up and I don't feel like going into DC on a school night.
  2. With all due respect, Joe, family-friendly doesn't necessarily mean casual dining. I think what everyone was hoping for was a menu with a few more entrees south of $20. It also means a place where I can call my parents and in-laws and say "hey, meet us at xyz at 6 on Monday night" and we can have dinner and not necessarily pay $20 an entree (for us, that's Montmartre, but the menu hasn't changed in probably 15 years). Reston is a dichotomous dining wasteland, unfortunately -- split between fast casual places like Chipotle, Cafesano, and the Silver Diner, and Passionfish, Il Fornaio, and Morton's. And most long-time Reston residents don't spend much time at RTC, on top of it all. A lot of families I know here in Reston go out in Lake Anne a lot -- not because the food is particularly outstanding, but the price point (which is just a hair below Red's Table's), is attractive and the Lake is a nice place for families -- who doesn't love a good brutalist playground? I know opening a restaurant is a huge challenge in general and Reston has gotten very expensive (RIP Footsteps and a number of other local businesses), so it's understandable, but it's also hard for those of us with younger families who are busy. All of that said, this looks like a great date night location. The Lakeside space was always grossly underutilized and I'm pleased to see what's being done. I think a lot of us just had a different set of expectations -- after all, that shopping center is where I buy cat food, fill my prescriptions, and buy groceries, so it's a little incongruous. I think we can all, however, agree on the depressing lack of quality delivery food in Reston. Fortunately, there's still a lot of decent take out, even with the departure of Reston Kabob.
  3. Had dinner here last night. Cocktails were great, apps were great, everyone at my table enjoyed everything from cocktails to dessert. Prices were pretty reasonable in comparison to the chain places (GAR, Mon Ami Gabi, Clyde's Group). A little lower or the same. Food was cooked perfectly. The mutton and oysters featured the best fried oysters I've ever had in my whole life, and I love them. My husband had the fried chicken (they give you half a chicken, basically, and he couldn't finish) and our friends had the chicken pot pie (which we joked was deconstructed before it came... and they deconstruct it in front of you) and the scallops. The service has not improved. Our server was actually quite attentive, but it was the touches like water glasses being left empty long enough for me to consider switching with my husband. Also, the food runner brought the wrong orders to us, and then cleared our bread and appetizer plates. There was some confusion because one of the meals was correct. By the time he left, our bread and app plates were gone. Then the rest of the apps came out and we had to ask the next runner for plates. There was a bizarre need to clear all the things from the table, which left us in a couple of weird positions. First, there was the last minute debate over who would have the last oyster. Then the bread basket was whisked away, half full, after we asked for it to stay. Appetizers: grilled oysters, oysters Rockefeller, and bread basket. What I had of the bread basket was somewhat disappointing. The oysters were fabulous.
  4. We have used PeaPod a lot since our 4.5 month old daughter was born and I've been really happy with them out here in Reston. They're also really helpful for things like cases of bottled water that you don't really want to schlep into the house on a regular basis and you absolutely need to have around in this godawful heat. We ordered 10 cases with our last order because we figured we'd drink them eventually anyhow and they were on sale. I've had good luck with the produce, but I think it also depends on the store your delivery comes from. My deliveries come from the Giant over on Elden Street in Herndon. We didn't have as much success with Safeway delivery as we did with PeaPod (even though we typically shop at Safeway) so we've stuck to PeaPod/Giant for our grocery delivery. I run to Trader Joe's for the extra items once every couple of weeks.
  5. My ILs live in Fairfax Station and the delivery options are pretty sparse out there. This place is actually on the rotation and I have to just comment that I am amused to see it mentioned on this site at all. I think the nicest thing I can say is that it's serviceable. Kibbee Nayee, I think it's fair to assume the gyro uses the "masonite meat." Sigh.
  6. Thank you for posting photos! I so wanted to go to this, but I am what feels like 500 weeks pregnant so, instead, my husband and I went to Layalina -- which happens to be one of our special restaurants -- for dinner two weeks ago and vowed to come back after the baby comes (with lots of friends) so we can partake of a similar feast.
  7. It's also the best. Lebanese Taverna is seriously overrated in comparison to Layalina, but I am secretly glad that Layalina stays (just slightly) below the radar.
  8. I have been distinctly underwhelmed by Thai Luang each time I've been in here over the years. First off, the restaurant strikes me as being somewhat dingy, bordering on sticky. I certainly can't say that it competes with Thai Square at its height. My last visit was about six months ago and the drunken noodles were merely mediocre. If I had to take my pick of local Thai spots, I'd still rather go to Sakoontra in Fair Lakes.
  9. Can you use it for lunch or happy hour? It's not that anything I've had here is bad, it's just that it's largely uninspiring for the price point. Even with a gift certificate. Shortly after the place opened, it was fantastic. Now it's a nice value at lunch, but I wouldn't pay dinner prices.
  10. I went in with friends for a leisurely meal last night. It was my first time at New Heights and I was impressed by the way the service struck a good balance of being very good and efficient without rushing us out the door. For my appetizer, I enjoyed the Summer Squash soup with the creme fraiche, and the basil. Due to pregnancy, my sense of smell/taste is extremely sensitive right now and I loved the soup, but it seemed a little overseasoned to me -- just a bit too salty. For the entree, I had the Seared Cobia with the Ham Broth. It was a wonderful combination of flavors and the ham broth added exactly the finish to tie everything together. Easily the highlight of the meal. For dessert I enjoyed the blueberry and thyme sorbet with homemade biscotti. The thyme added a great finish to the blueberry sorbet and was a wonderful palette cleanser. The portions were just right -- just enough food without being too much.
  11. Has anyone had any of the call ahead items on the menu? It's been awhile since we've been to Layalina and I think we need to drive up to Arlington for a visit.
  12. New web person checking in. I'm actually Todd's sister (hence my staying quiet on the various places he's been over the years) and I'll be getting the site up in the next few weeks for Todd and Nicole and building a template so they can easily update the menu online. As soon as it's up, I'll let everyone know. Todd and Nicole have been working nonstop since they took ownership. In addition to Todd's experience, they bring Nicole's impressive front-of-the-house credentials which include Chef Geoff's, Poste, and Tonic at Quigley's Pharmacy. Best, Michelle
  13. That sounds right. My original post was terribly unclear. I used to go to the location in the mall, but I spotted the second location while walking around the area at lunchtime when I worked over there.
  14. Yeah, they've got another location in Arlington, not far from Ballston as well. I used to work over there and get a salad from there almost every day.
  15. Most of the Virginia-based vendors at the Reston town center market have had them for a couple of weeks now, as well as rhubarb.
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