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Kibbee Nayee

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About Kibbee Nayee

  • Birthday 05/29/1954

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    Eating, cooking, eating, drinking, watching Anthony Bourdain and eating.
  • Location
    Springfield, VA

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  1. Lady Kibbee and I had tickets for The Mavericks at the Lincoln Theater, so we had dinner at The Smith, right down U Street less than a block away. Our normal Izakaya Seki was not booking reservations after 5:30, so we decided on The Smith at 6:00 on a Friday evening. I don't like chains but the menu was Lady KN-friendly (that means lots of seafood and chardonnay) and there are only seven locations between New York, Washington DC, and Chicago. So we gave it a try. The atmosphere was reminiscent of The Oceanaire or McCormick and Schmick's, which was a reasonably good sign, so we grabbed a table and tucked in. First round was the Royale, a medium ($57) seafood tower with oysters, shrimp cocktail, and spicy salmon tartare. It was very good, and since we are big fans of oysters, the oysters on the Royale were a hit. They were shucked perfectly, not a shell shard anywhere, they slipped off the shell into the mouth with ease. We could have stopped there and just ordered oysters, and believe me, we're talking about going back just for oysters. And that salmon tartare was delicious. Then came the mains. Wife had the salmon platter and declared it delicious, and I had the squid ink tagliatelle, with shrimp and calamari, and it was surprisingly sensational. I don't want to overstate this, but coming from a mini-chain kitchen, there was an obvious attentiveness and a decided lack of indifference that some chains are known for. This is not such that kind of chain. We happily noted that our future ventures to the Lincoln Theater would include a visit to The Smith.
  2. Brunch today was disappointing. I consider this area of Potomac to be obscenely overpriced, but my wife and I were hungry and needed a bite before heading back to Virginia. And with Robert Wiedmaier involved, what would go wrong? Well, my general advice is to avoid this portion of Potomac unless you just won the lotto and have stupid money to spend. My $23 breakfast plate wasn't necessarily bad, but it was average at best and consisted of about $3 of ingredients. The two (medium) eggs were nicely cooked over easy and served medium hot, as if they were the last item plated. The split and toasted English muffin was probably from a bag of Thomas's muffins. The potatoes were nicely home fried with good crunch, but might not have added up to an entire potato. The two sausage links were the star of the plate, maybe sourced from a good butcher. The "seasonal fruit" was 3/4 of a strawberry that would be destined for the waste bin at a bib gourmand restaurant. This might have been a great $12.95 plate at Silver Diner or Bob and Edith's, but I expect more from Robert Wiedmaier. But then, this was Potomac. My wife had the salmon burger and declared it delicious. I tasted the fries and they were soggy. But a spanking good salmon burger for $16 should at least be praised for not being a $23 breakfast plate with $3 worth of ingredients. But then, this was Potomac. A few years ago we dined at Renato nearby. It was exorbitantly expensive, and of average quality. I'm think that "expensive and average" is a required description for meals in Potomac.
  3. Maybe it was yesterday's spectacular weather on the waterfront, the al fresco dining, the wonderful company of my lovely wife, or the people-watching of (mostly) tourists, but the meal at Vola's was a really nice experience. Lady KN and I tore into 4 dozen oysters to start -- 2 dozen Chincoteague and 2 dozen James River -- and then followed with peel-and-eat shrimp for her and a lobster roll for me. All around very good eating. The oysters were shucked almost perfectly, with just a bit of shell shard on only 2 of the 48 oysters we devoured. In addition to the high quality of the oysters, plump and juicy and briny, the addition of fresh-grated horseradish next to the cocktail sauce was nice. My lobster roll was very good, with probably 6 ounces of lobster on the traditional roll, and some of the best fries I've eaten in the past year. The fries were hot out of the fryer, maybe even an air fryer, with a dusting of slightly spicy seasoning. Lady KN's shrimp were of the oxymoronish jumbo size, with a coating of spice that was nicely complementary. Old Town on a beautiful Sunday afternoon has many enjoyable sights and sounds, and we vowed to repeat the experience again in the near future before the weather takes away the pleasure of outdoor dining.
  4. Theirs was not always the best in the area, but it was good enough (for someone with the eponymous screen name). The Lebanese cuisine in this area is credible, compared to most metropolitan areas not named New York, Los Angeles, or Detroit/Dearborn. Our selection of Mama Ayesha's, Lebanese Taverna, Me Jana, Mediterranean Bakery, Mediterranean Gourmet Market, Albi's in the Navy Yard, among a few others, is an abundance of goodness.
  5. Springfield's hamburger competition has heated up over the past few months with the arrival of Dyfre's Burger on Fullerton Road near the Springfield Costco. Afghan Bistro still holds the top spot, but Dyfre's has probably supplanted BGR The Burger Joint and Mike's American Grill for the #2 spot. Uber Eats carried my order about a mile to my house. I enjoyed the $12 Elite Burger, a side salad, and the fried calamari with jalapeño slices. The quality was overall good, but perhaps the Sunday afternoon non-prime timeframe or the Uber Eats travel didn't do the items enough justice. The calamari was a bit salty and probably fried past optimal -- they were rubbery -- but the chipotle rioli dipping sauce was exceptional. The burger came in a dark brown bun, which was not called out on the menu. It was good, but a bit flimsy considering the half pound of Angus beef plus cheese, tomato, pickles, onions, and lettuce inside the bun. I ordered the burger medium, and it came closer to medium well, so I chalk that up to the Uber Eats ride. Nonetheless, this was a damned good burger. I mentioned in the title that a bit of Mexican influence was apparent on the menu -- Mexican Burger, Empanadas, Mexican Coke, Corona Extra, Frozen Margarita....the owner is Freddy Vargas, and the Dyfre's website links to La Taqueria DC, at the same Fullerton Road location and with the same phone number as Dyfre's, also owned by Freddy Vargas. Bella Vita Pizza is also part of Freddy's mini-empire. The Dyfre's menu also brags about its hot dogs, which is not all that common among the fast-casual establishments. The Dyfre's Hot Dog and the Classic Hot Dog both look like future menu options for me, and the cooler weather in the coming months would put the Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup on my radar. More reports to come....I'm thinking of a progressive pig-out of Tacos Lengua (x2) at La Taqueria DC, and La Mexicana Pizza at Bella Vita Pizza, and then the Empanadas at Dyfre's would be a decent binge.
  6. Gonzalo and Melina Pardo met at Paradiso in 2003, and they dreamed of opening their own restaurant for over a decade. The Argentine family, joined by their two sons and a chef from New York, recently opened La Fiamma in the former Paradiso space. I plan on giving it a try, but the exterior is nicely refreshed, and the menu has some items like Seafood alla Veneziana, which Lady KN will devour, homemade black linguine and all....and count me in on the veal chop with Barolo reduction. Opening a family-owned single restaurant on the tail end of a pandemic -- with the Delta variant looming -- takes a special set of equipage. I'm rooting for them to succeed, and I applaud their fortitude. I'm thinking this is a cooler weather kind of restaurant, but it's on my list.
  7. The restaurant turnover continues in Springfield, and other places as well. Hot Peppercorn appears to be worth a try. The menu doesn't look to be overly Americanized, and some interesting dishes like duck blood, beef, and tripe in spicy broth, or pork intestine and fish filet in spicy broth, caught my eye. I will give it a try and report within the coming weeks.
  8. My mistake. Still open when I drove past it today. Whatever was next door was closed.
  9. Tomorrow is the 10th anniversary of this Springfield gem: https://www.facebook.com/events/564886621313398?ref=newsfeed Come one, come all!
  10. I like the Lorton Station little faux town center because you can put together a progressive meal. In the former Fireside Grill space will be coming the anticipated locavore stylings of Home Town Grill and Bar. In the former Pane e Vino space just a stone's throw away is Casa Tequila, a not too bad Americanized Mexican restaurant with only four local outposts -- Purcellville, Alexandria, Sterling, and Lorton. The latter has a tequila list that is among the more extensive in northern Virginia.
  11. Interesting development here....in the (hopefully) last stage of a pandemic, a non-chain specializing in "Modern American food from a fresh seasonal menu served along side craft cocktails and local brews" sounds like an adventure. The previous tenant was the very good Fireside Grill, so expectations will be moderately high. Home Town Bar and Grill appears to be not a chain, so it will be fun to watch it sort through its growing pains in a just-reemerging market. Stay tuned for updates.
  12. I don't think Dera has closed. It is right next door to the two empty spaces that will soon be filled by Bonchon Korean Fried Chicken and Makchang Dodook.
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