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About DonRocks

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  1. An early dinner at 2 Amys last night featured the restaurant in high gear, at its most ambitious and creative self; still, it was slightly different than any of the many dozens of meals I've had here in the past. With only a couple of tables left, 2 Amys was kind enough to seat us near the window, where a friend could stretch out a recently strained knee. 200 ml bottles of San Pellegrino Aranciata ($2.50) got us through the entire meal. I'd gone to wash my hands, and on the way back, glanced at the bar to my left - on it sat something that was the length of a loaf of bread, but the circumference of a basketball, and I knew it was in my immediate future. Sometimes, 2 Amys puts exclamation points on their daily-specials menu, and last night was no exception. The Roman Artichoke !! (Carciofi alla Romana, $8) was a capitulation to the kitchen, as there was no description for it, but with two exclamation points, it must be good, right? It was. A single, majestic artichoke, presented on a plate with some olive oil, like a gigantic Hershey's Kiss, gave no indication of its stuffed, inner self. The bottom half was stuffed with a green, pesto-ish hash of what seemed to be parsley, lemon, and possibly mentuccia. Beautiful in its simplicity, this extremely mild dish allowed nature's basic ingredients to take the bow, and served as a much-needed counterpoint to its partner dish. Porchetta with Farro and Green Sauce !!!!! ($17) was a five-exclamation point dish, both in name, and in ambition. This was that huge, basketball-thick roulade I saw when I glanced over towards the bar, and was the result of a cook's psychedelic fantasies on steroids. The rolled-up pork monster was multi-layered, with some of the layers being nearly lard, and this was the richest dish I've had in recent memory - two of us could only finish half of it; if we'd gone any further, any hope of enjoying our pizzas would have been lost. I'll be cursed (literally, cursed, and cursed *at*) for saying this, but my endless respect for this porchetta, and the creative energy and labor that went into making it, mostly ended on the plate - it was so rich that actually eating it became an exercise in theory, and I felt guilty for taking the portion from whichever hungry NFL linebacker missed out on it later in the evening. The spicing was subtle and suave with whispers of clove and vanilla, the little rectangles of skin, tooth-breaking, the "green sauce" something like a pesto (slightly darker, and with a bit more verve than what was in the Roman artichoke), and the farro, curious. I had some for lunch today, and I'll have some for dinner tonight (simmered down in a previously vegan, homemade blistered-red pepper soup (*)) - bravo to 2 Amys for offering this dish, and for having taken the time and effort to make it: There's nothing else like this being offered in the DC area. As many times as I've been here, over the course of what must be close to 25 years, I don't ever remember having ordered the Pozzuoli Pizza ($14.45) before. I forgot to order the pizzas "well-done," and I'm curious to see what they'll be like if I do. Remember, 2 Amys is no longer DOCG-certified, and that may have shown last night in the pizzas - they were unlike any I've had here in the past: not better, not necessarily worse; just different, very thin in the center, with a thicker crust at the periphery, blistered and charred, with a fine flavor, but also markedly more bready in the interior of the rim. The Pozzuoli was made with tomato, Fontina, 2Amys sausage (!!!!!), grilled peppers, "hotties" (only in appearance), and parsley. I wish I could purchase this sausage in bulk - to have with breakfast, to freeze, to put aside for the nuclear winter: It was as good as sausage can possibly be; the Fontina was somewhat assertive and rind-y: a slightly riper version than I was expecting, but not at all overripe - although this isn't a spicy pizza, the ingredients aren't shy, and it seemed wise to use a cheese on that half of the spectrum. I look forward to getting this again (note: We asked for the pizzas to be sliced). The second pizza was a daily special: Burrata di Bufala, Squash Blossoms, Tomato Purée, Cherry Tomatoes, and Parsley ($16.45). Served with a half-orb of Burrata in the middle of the pizza, this was a self-service spread-around - necessary to prevent the pizza from becoming soggy (as it was today for lunch). If you're familiar with 2 Amys' pizza, and can picture how the crust was different on this evening, then you know exactly how this pizza was - the tomato purée was sweet and terrific, the Burrata making it milky and homey, and this was a fine foil for the Pozzuoli. Yet another "imperfect, but perfect" showing at this monument to rustic Italian dining. --- (*) ETA - It was *magnificent* in the soup, both the meat and the farro.
  2. DonRocks

    Saturday Lunch

    We all look forward to a full recap - I haven't read a review of Gagnaire in quite awhile. Also, please let us know what other restaurants you tried in a separate post (I'll split off the Gagnaire report into a separate thread).
  3. DonRocks

    Wine in a Can

    I was caught drinking wine in a can once - damned janitor walked in.
  4. If you liked "A Fish Called Wanda" and "In Bruges," you'll like aspects of "Brazil." Terry Gilliam directed this 34-year-old, wants-to-be-classic film about a totalitarian state "sometime in the 19th century." "Brazil" is a strange mixture of "Modern Times," "Metropolis," and "1984," all seasoned with the comedic absurdity of Monty Python. At first, without taking itself *too* seriously, it comes across as an extremely powerful, disturbing, effective satire against the oppressive state. Then this film ultimately collapses under its own weight: Rambling and lost, it becomes tedious and pretentious, and tries to be arty for the sake of being arty, sacrificing all semblance of plot for imagery and tone - it's as if the entire last-third of the movie was written on-the-fly. "Brazil" is a good movie, but there's a reason you probably haven't watched it before - someone spent a whole hell of a lot of money making this, but for me, it was a chore to finish. I'm certain there are people who love this film, and I'm curious to hear their thoughts. There are apparently three versions of this - I watched the 2'15" version with Gilliam's original ending, which is more than disturbing.
  5. Curious about hardcore 2nd Amendment supporters and a potential "tyrannical government" in the USA ...
  6. In the Literature Index and especially the Art Index, I have sections called "Expositions." I use expositions instead of "Exhibitions" because I'm running a private joke, that only I will laugh at. In French, a faux ami is a "false friend" - an English word that you assume will be the same in French. "Exhibition" is one of them - I found out the hard way, and was mocked by my teacher. When you "put on an exhibition" in France, you essentially get drunk and dance around with a lampshade over your head; the word for an "art exhibition" is "exposition." Anyway ... "20 Common False Friends To Watch Out for" on fluentu.com
  7. Nov 16, 2018 - "Nancy's Hustle One of Best New Restaurants in America" by Greg Morago on houstonchronicle.com
  8. It's Bryan Rosenblatt's favorite restaurant. "Inside the Mind of a NYC VC: Bryan Rosenblatt of Craft Ventures" by Reza Chowdhury on alleywatch.com Be aware: Piccolo Angolo is cash-only.
  9. In the Dunbar HS Thread, I added a trailer to the ESPN documentary, "Baltimore Boys," which features the only high school team ever to feature *four* future NBA players.
  10. Welcome, TwentyTables, and thank you for joining us (note to readers: I asked TwentyTables to join our website, and to provide us with more information - feel free to post your thoughts and questions here). Cheers, Rocks
  11. Why don't we have a fundraiser for Mr. Mannan? We could have a dinner there, or I could even do a GoFundMe page, with every penny given to him in the form of "do what you want" cash. I'm leery about the latter because I've never done one before, but I'm open to it.