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Everything posted by monsterriffs

  1. Bahahaha, Desus & Mero (formerly of Viceland, now of Showtime) were all about this a few months ago.
  2. This doesn't surprise me. The guy wouldn't even hire a CEO. It's a little misleading or, perhaps, Carman and Judkis are assuming that their target audience, i.e., well-educated DC area types, know the distinction between Chapter 11 and Chapter 7 bankruptcies. But, it's likely because the headline is clickbaity.
  3. From ‘Top Chef’ stardom to bankruptcy: The rise and fall of Mike Isabella Carman and Judkis doing a deep dive, including an interview with Isabella. One of the biggest takeaways is that Isabella just. doesn't. get it. Or, perhaps more accurately, he does not want to. Choice quote: In other words, "I want the latitude to continue being a chauvinist and a prick because I came up during a different era where it was acceptable or wasn't questioned." Other choice info include the fact that his investors were pushing him to hire a CEO to manage the expansion and Isabella refused to because, seemingly, he didn't want to relinquish control: (emphasis added) I have no love for Isabella, but I did appreciate Kapnos. To my mind, other than Komi, those restaurants were doing really good things for Greek food in the DC area. My late father, who was notoriously finicky about restaurants (he didn't like going out to eat), actually enjoyed the meal we had at Kapnos Kouzina and, in fact, days before he passed, took my mom out to that same restaurant for her birthday. So, notwithstanding it's affiliation with Isabella, I hope that restaurant manages to survive this shitstorm.
  4. As I was in a bit of a "treat yo'self" mood last night, I decided to check out Mike Isabella's new place Kapnos and apply some strict ethnic scrutiny to what he is offering to the DC-area bourgeoisie as Greek food. The focus Kapnos (meaning 'smoke') is grilled foods from Northern Greece, although many of the items of the menu are classic Greek dishes regardless of their local origin within the country. Not wanting to BS around with the shi-shi items on the menu, e.g., kohlrabi crudite (I'm fairly sure the average Greek does not know what kohlrabi is, and certainly not in this economy...) or duck pita (duck phyllo pie on the menu), I lined up some of my favorite foods and those that I thought would most representative of Kapnos' focus. Tyrokafteri "“ Too much tyri (cheese) and not enough kafteri (spiciness). Tyrokafteri should really bring some heat, and I thought the sparse and thin slices of hot pepper could not provide enough heat to balance what essentially was a large plate of whipped feta with olive oil. The fresh-baked pita was really nice though; I always liked that at Zaytinya. Patates tou Fourno (aka Fourno Patates on the menu) "“ My username on this site also happens to list two of the basic ingredients for patates tou fourno (oven-roasted potatoes): ladi (oil) and lemoni (not surprisingly, lemon), oven-roasted potatoes have always been one of my absolute favorite dishes since I was a kid. So, you can imagine they hold a special place in my food life. Isabella's version is good, and more importantly, the dish does not try to do anything clever; they are simple and rustic. The potatoes themselves had that nice golden appearance with some charring, and were neither too mealy nor undercooked. However, in Greek cuisine, you can rarely have oil without lemon, and unfortunately, that's what was lacking from these potatoes. A bit more lemon and this dish will be a standard plate for every table at Kapnos. Charred Octopus "“ This was the big winner, and I could tell from the moment I sunk my knife into the first tentacle. Octopus is tricky to cook (as I learned first-hand recently), so I commend any chef who nails this. This was tender, not chewy in the slightest, and had that great roast flavor. Plus, the green harissa was a really nice addition to the dish. Overall favorite and this should be a standard plate for anyone dining here. Roasted Goat "“ So close, but not there yet. The goat is quite tender and has all the characteristics of delicious spit-roasted meats. However, like the potatoes, it was lacking something to balance out all that meatiness. I would have liked another herb or perhaps a tad more salt on the goat itself, because the harissa + yogurt combo on the plate was not enough to balance. But, I can see this dish improving over time as the restaurant evolves. Overall, I'd say that Kapnos earns a solid B+ right now. Since the restaurant is so new, I imagine the recipes will be worked and re-worked until they hit their peak. However, it's a worthwhile entry and I'll be keeping an eye on its progress over time.
  5. There should be a thread for Dylan's, which should be regarded as the best (or a top 3) restaurant in Hampden. Spotlight here is on oysters, naturally, but easy to say that the remainder of the menu often steals the show. Bar program is high-quality too, with an emphasis on whiskies (the main bartender is a serious whiskey nerd). Highlights over several visits have included: - Coddies - basically giant cod croquettes; these are must haves - Fish sandwich - rotating selection of delicious fried fish on sesame bun with added hots. - Ramp toast - a seriously loaded-up roasted ramp and ricotta (I think? this was in the spring) toast. They occasionally have a burger special, which is supposed to be fantastic, and there is a rumored off-menu item called a "Smasher," which is essentially a coddie with the fish sandwich bun and accouterments. Sidewalk eatin' is great here too with an fun view of the busy intersection of Chestnut Ave. and 36th St. (aka "the Avenue").
  6. Sigh. Just came across this on the Eaters - Ready for Dress Code-Required Ramen? D.C. nightclub vets are assembling the fashionable noodle shop of their dreams I don't know why this is getting me so amped up, but it's probably the idea of taking ramen, a generally humble, salaryman's meal, and trying to shoehorn it into a club environment. Also, the last thing I want to do in my nice clothes is eat ramen, because there's bound to be some splashing, etc. Don - feel free to edit the thread title, but my point stands.
  7. Hey, look! Hampden is getting another unnecessary restaurant, this time a sushi place where you get to sip on awesome "Asian cocktails", eat awesome "upscale" sushi, and slurp on awesome Korean ramen (BUT NO PORK BROTH, SO DON'T ASK)! There's already a decent, Americanized sushi place nearby at Yama Sushi, and 18-8 Sushi also just opened up in the Rotunda if you need to satisfy your craving for over-the-top rolls. But this? What's the point when Hampden (and Baltimore generally) lacks high-quality Indian, Southeast Asian, or East Asian food at large. Sigh...
  8. I hear you on that --- unfortunately, those two spots you mention are probably the two worst outposts in all of R. House. It's worth a return visit to check out BRD, BeBim, Ground & Griddled, and Stall 11. I don't eat at the Mediterranean place because I can do that just fine at home, and I have zero interest in poke. The pizza place is reasonable too.
  9. Sure. But what about BeBim in R. House, among other spots?
  10. Bahahaha, is this Chicago Manual of Style or MLA Style? Also, the same mentality that brought us Mr. Yogato and about 8,000 other silly frogurt shops.
  11. Why don't you head to R. House for their Brunch House? It's also super kid-friendly in there; I see kids running around at all times.
  12. Latest news is that Papi's will be opening a second location in Hampden soon, taking over the old Dimitri's space (thank god; that place was sketch). Papi's is reliable, but given the proximity of Clavel, I'm not certain this move makes a ton of sense. I think it makes sense only for Hampdenites who literally want to go no further than two blocks away.
  13. Qualia's future in Petworth put into question with 2019 lease expiration. All options appear to be on the table, but Qualia may or may not stay in its current location past 2019.
  14. This should not come as a surprise. There were constant rumors of staff dissent and turnover, and frequent unexplained closures during the week. Current word on the street (from my neighbor, who I would not say is the most credible source...) is that the head chef on the Charcuterie side will be taking over the establishment and rebooting. We'll hear more soon, I'm sure.
  15. Just realized that there was no thread for Ekiben, which was an oversight on my part. Though I haven't actually visited their brick and mortar, I have partaken of their bao sandwiches at the Charm City Cross cyclocross race (excellent post-race refuel), Hampdenfest, and at the 83 farmers market. The baos are reliably tasty, though frequently overstuffed and unwieldy; I wouldn't be mad if they split one bao into two smaller bites and sold them as a pair. In some ways, Ekiben reminds me of my beloved late Shophouse---similar spice level, flavor, and relative level of accessibility. I do need to stop into the brick and mortar location at some point soon to scratch the itch, but I'm glad that the 83 market has reopened for the season so I can visit them there if I don't make it all the way to Fells!
  16. Ladies and gentlemen, your number 1 cocktail bar in Baltimore. The original establishment from Lane Harlan - who also owns Clavel Mezcaleria - WC Harlan is a cocktail joint that really does do a far better job at the speakeasy vibe than most places that would actively market themselves as speakeasies. The focus here is on amari, with an extensive menu of familiar and rare bitter spirits, and stuff that I'm amazed they procured. I need to plan a visit so I can take advantage of the amaro-tasting options. Seats can be hard to come by during peak days and times (weekend evenings primarily) owing to the fact that a lot of people go here to grab drinks while they wait for the call from Clavel. Nearly all cocktails are great, with the occasional miss (fiancee recently got something that was effectively borscht in a glass). Harlan's is non-descript but arguably one of the earliest forces in the rapidly accelerating development of Remington.
  17. 10 years later, and this assessment of the lengua still stands. I got carryout this past Friday of the lengua, al pastor, pollo, and barbacoa. The latter 3 tacos were tasty, but ultimately didn't stand out. The lengua, however, was a knockout. These tacos are pretty much carried on the strength of the tortillas, especially where the fillings don't shine. I realize that my assessment should come with the heavy caveat that tacos don't always travel well and they are best eaten in-house, but I think the lengua should stand tall as an exception to this rule. I'm really looking forward to taking a seat at the shop and eating, so I can provide a full assessment. Nevertheless, this place should be a candidate for italizication. I'm still thinking about those tortillas today...
  18. Hoo boy, Maura Judkis and Tim Carman with the deep dive: Mike Isabella’s restaurants used nondisclosure agreements to silence sexual harassment accounts, new lawsuit alleges
  19. Haha, why is anyone surprised? Has no one been to Woodberry Kitchen or Artifact Coffee, where you are destined to eat nothing but root vegetables during the entirety of winter.
  20. Forgive me if this has been addressed in another thread, but when I read this, I was wondering if there was a connection between Jen Carroll's sudden departure and the allegations of a hostile work environment detailed in Ms. Caras' complaint.
  21. A Farms store south of Columbia??? Since when?! RoFo chicken is pretty tasty, but if we're talking fast food fried chicken, I'm still going to Popeye's. Either way, having Western fries available pretty much 24/7 across the street from me (RoFo corp. headquarters!) is dangerous. I'm fortunate not to have succumbed to such temptation, but it is nice to have a spot for that stuff plus easy access to Berger cookies.
  22. No, Wet City is not a strip joint. It is, rather, Baltimore's best beer bar. Don't @ me bro. Featuring a frequently rotating list of craft beer kegs on tap---as well a list of kegs that are on deck (!)---it is apparent that the owners of Wet City are beer nerds with deep knowledge and want to make sure you share in that passion. Though Wet City primarily features domestic craft brews, a variety of import craft beers make the list as well. The kitchen is no weak link here either. Often seasonal fare, the kitchen demonstrates thoughtfulness and care in its dishes, which run from the Nashville Hot Chicken to pork rinds to deviled eggs. The spare is bright and airy, which is appreciated given that a lot of beer bars revel in dankness (e.g., the late Brickskeller in DC). White cinderblock walls, wood floors, and light-colored wood table and seating choices set in a minimally decorated space, save for some plant life tastefully arranged throughout. The open space works well so the bar feels bigger than it actually is. Many times, I've been surprised that the place isn't more packed, but I'm happy that it isn't.