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Kibbee Nayee

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About Kibbee Nayee

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    Mayor of Springfield Dining
  • 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. I didn't see a thread for The Lafayette, so let's start one. My boss took a few of us to lunch last week, and it was my first meal at The Lafayette. It was exceptional, if pricey, but he picked up the tab for seven of us. First impression, this is a beautiful restaurant overlooking Lafayette Park and the White House. The tables are linen covered and the attentive if slightly overbearing waitstaff was uniformed to precision. The food was excellent, but portions are on the small side. My starter was the carrot and ginger soup, which was a special. It was delicious, served lukewarm for whatever reason. My main course was the braised veal cheeks, and they were a treat. They came as three medallions of 2-3 bites each, on a bed of grilled vegetables. I can't say enough about the flavors of this dish. But at $35 it will set you back. But I have to write this in italics -- conversation is easy! This is not the noise box that most restaurants have become. I give it high marks for being a place where you can actually go and talk with someone across the table without screaming. The neighborhood contains The Oval Room, Bombay Club, Equinox, and a few others on the high end of dining, and The Lafayette can hold its own with all of these places. (Almost unrelated, three days later, in Charlotte, NC, I ate braised pork cheeks at Legion Brewing. That would mark the first time in my life I ate braised cheeks from two different animals in the same week.)
  2. I'm too lazy to look it up on another thread, but Helen Thomas was dean of the White House press corps, and she had a private table reserved for her at Mama Ayesha's. Helen Thomas was of Lebanese descent, and Mama Ayesha's was her place. When she died in 2013, Mama Ayesha's held a memorial for her at the restaurant, which was well attended by dignitaries. Lebanese Taverna's flagship is the original location in Westover in Arlington. I was going there regularly when I moved to the area in 1980, before it expanded to include the place next door. It is and always will be the original.
  3. Mama Ayesha's on Calvert is a solid taste of Middle Eastern food in an establishment that oozes history, right down to the mural of the presidents on the outside wall. I would go there before I would go to the Lebanese Taverna around the corner, but having said that, I would go to Lebanese Taverna in Arlington and Tysons Galleria before I would go to Mama Ayesha's. But any discussion of serious eating in this area has to include Mama Ayesha's.
  4. That was too easy, wasn't it? I have to say that Village Chicken is a classic example of wonderful food in a total dive atmosphere. I love the food here.
  5. About as far north as you can get and still be in Springfield, there's a passable Yemeni restaurant named Marib. No alcohol, but uniquely Yemeni. The menu includes breakfast items as well -- it opens at 10:00am.
  6. From their Facebook page: The results are in, and we won two Bronze Medals in the Golden Bean Coffee Roasters Competition!!! Our Ethiopia Yirgacheffe won Bronze in the Filter category, and our Quixote Espresso blend won Bronze in the (milk-based) Espresso category!! We were competing against 198 different roasters across North America and over 1,300 coffees total submitted!! Make sure to come by the roastery or order online to get your award winning coffees!! #gbna #goldenbean #northamerica #bronze #medal #competition #ethiopia #yirgacheffe #quixote #espresso #blend #singleorigin #coffee #artisan #roaster #dc #virginia #caffeinatethecapital #nashville #tn #paisa coffee llc @ Cervantes Coffee
  7. I'm a fan of Pan Bagnat. I have used Jacques Pepin's recipe often.
  8. I was pleasantly surprised by my last visit to Jackson 20, in the Alexandrian Hotel. The al fresco dining right on King St. is a draw on days when the weather is pleasant, and that adds to the meal. The menu is trying to go seasonal and local. I've had good burgers here and very good Amish chicken, and a recent side of watermelon slices topped with crumbled feta and peanuts was a hit. Happy hour wines and beers are $4, if you pick from a house list.
  9. I had a nice father-daughter day at the Lebanese festival yesterday. Very nice. What I enjoy about these kinds of cultural events, and why I recommend them, is that the food is from the hands of mothers and grandmothers, and not from restaurants. The distinction may be minor, but it shone through at the Lebanese festival. The hummus was beyond silky-smooth-delicious, like nothing you'll find at most restaurants and certainly not at supermarkets. Everything tasted as if it was out of your Lebanese grandmother's kitchen, that is, if you have a Lebanese grandmother. Even the mu'jadarra, a rice and lentils dish, was spectacular. We are blessed by these cultural events in the DC area.
  10. I'm curious about the backstory. Driving past it numerous times -- my dentist has an office right behind it -- it looks presentable if a bit tired on the outside. I'm sure the owner(s) decided it needed a re-do and refresh. As some of the episodes I have seen foretell, the owners will get a chewing out, and will cry or break down on camera, and someone will come clean about mismanagement, and the chef might be fired, and so on. Of course, what will be fun for us locals will be to visit it immediately after its relaunch.
  11. I'm not really a fan of the show, nor have I eaten at FoxFire Grill, but step right up for a volunteer opportunity to rebuild a restaurant. https://thezebra.org/2019/09/09/restaurant-impossible-is-coming-to-alexandria-va/
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