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About no1uno

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  • Birthday 01/19/1955

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  1. Bill is aMAZing, we were shocked and saddened when he left Komi, but oh so happy to learn he'd dived into this new adventure. Which, ahem, seems to be working out okay. Obviously we'd been enjoying Jon's mastery for years at Komi, without knowing it -- but at TUG he's been revealed as a genius in his own right. We're scheduled for 19 May & we're psyched!
  2. I just retired (yay), and once the various financial wheels turn and spit out my retirement money, we're going to do some traveling, domestic and some Europe, focusing on art, architecture, and food. But first we're going to start at home, DC, for food. We're huge Komi fans (in the day, we were huge Laboratorio fans), but want to also try 3 or 4 other extraordinary dining experiences. (We'll also do some great-but-not-tasting-menu dining.) Minibar is an obvious choice. We went to Minibar maybe 15 years ago, which was fun. At some point later I checked and the price had gone crazy high, but now there seem to be a merely-high option (Chef's Counter, $275 + $115/$195/$500(!) pairing), which sounds like what we did an eon ago, as well as crazy-expensive (Private Dining at Jose's Table, $565 including pairing). I have 3 questions: Anyone have a basis to compare the $115/$195 pairings (I can't consider the $500 one), is the former great or meh, the latter definitely worth it? Any personal experience comparing the Counter to the Table, latter worth it? Re The Table, the website says it is "designed for a single party of up to six guests," but the site allows you to make reservations for 2 -- does it diminish the experience of this lovely meal to share the table with 4 strangers? (I found the Counter experience, like the Roberto's 4/8 counter, to still be fairly personal.) Thanks for any advice based on actual experience -- Monte
  3. We were blessed to be at the soft opening as well (same disclosure), and were very impressed -- and so happy to see Bill again after missing him at Komi New Year's eve. We enjoyed everything: rabbit sausage, charred chocolate rye with salt-crusted sardines, stracciatella, cavatelli, whole stuffed porgy, and a couple of yummy desserts -- the last the only item I thought to get a picture of. We shared each course, and ended stuffed. Menu is here. We'll be back soon!
  4. We went again Friday. Johnny's and Basheer's beards are gone, lollipops are back. The veal chops were accompanied by a new veal sausage that was deeply sublime. Johnny always bring one of the courses, but he brought three that night -- either we're special or he was helping out more.... (Shoot, even Anne was working Komi, she usually presides over Serow.) Kyle, Bill, Basheer, and Megan were all so delightful. (And Mike-the-new-guy.) Oh, right, the food and pairings were wonderful too!
  5. They ask at the beginning -- we last experienced this last Friday, last October, last June, and ... (we're fans; see above). I believe the table has to agree on the main course. We weren't that thrilled by the sea bass, but really really loved the red snapper, got it twice in a row.
  6. It's probably boring to read my oh-my-how-we-love-Komi posts, but, darn it, we do. (Hey, we like Roberto's 8 too!) Our October venture (for Julie's birthday) was so amazing, we decided to do a combined Xmas- and my-60th-birthday-present and went last night. (I wrapped it, and it was under the tree!) Food: lots of new items, virtually all wonderful. My fave was grilled octopus on grits. This is their first time using grits -- being a grits-head I inquired, and indeed they're using Anson Mills grits, which we've loved for decades (we currently have 4 varieties in our freezer -- they grind them fresh, and the wholesale buyers can order the ones being ground and shipped the next day). If you're a My Cousin Vinny fan, you have to love the scene where he discredits a witness: "So, Mr. Tipton, how could it take you five minutes to cook your grits, when it takes the entire grit-eating world twenty minutes?" / "I don't know. I'm a fast cook, I guess." Well, Anson Mills grits take an hour and a half.... (I wrote "virtually all" only because the mortadella on the toasted sourdough was, um, so subtle it was ... boring.) Johnny always brings one of the courses, and he brought the macaronia, long flat noodles with a goat ragu "“ he has a full beard going, which others agreed reminds one of late-era Jim Morrison (tho Johnny referred to it as "fat Jim Morrison", so I doubt it'll last long...). The deserts have gotten so much more interesting that I had to inquire, and it turns out that Ben, who wasn't available to laud in person, has been experimenting. Well, major kudos, I hope he's retained and encouraged, because the desserts are now on a par with the rest of the food and the wine pairings (of which I gushed last time so needn't again). I was thrilled to resolve a longstanding misunderstanding with my wife -- since the previous time we ordered the suckling pig main course, several years ago, we hadn't ordered it again because Julie doesn't like the crackling skin. Turns out, she loves the rest of the meat, and doesn't mind at all that I get all of the crackling! Dang, is that yummy stuff! Humor: if you google Komi and click images, you'll see pics of Obamas (we were again at the "Obama table"), and Drew Barrymore. Some stories get it wrong ("The couple looked gorgeous as they left KOMI restaurant. Prior to having dinner..."), but the truth is they just showed up at 9pm for dinner and were turned away. So I asked sommelier Bill who did that, and he said it was he "“ they showed up with an entourage of like 8 people, and left when told it was impossible "“ Bill said she was very gracious about it, said she'd heard wonderful things about Komi, and ... "somewhere out there Drew Barrymore has my card." (Another aside, Maryland Guv-elect Larry Hogan was at the next table to us, very low-key and unobtrusive -- there was a bulky security guy there for a bit, who checked things out and then vanished.) As always, they were all so sweet, embracing Julie and wishing me happy birthday ... c'mon, lottery, make this available to us more often! P.s.: forgot: Kat was there! For her own birthday dinner, it was great to see her again. (She'd just arrived as we were leaving -- we like the discounted Early Bird Special....)
  7. You get used to having that amazing gem just a quarter mile from your house, it was so devastating to find it gone this morning. Dangit. Drat.
  8. Bliss again! After my foto-mania the 1st 2 visits I've forsworn the camera, but it was a delight as always. (Alas for the other guests, the Chef gave the Brös only to us; I gather it's his private stock -- but it was as wonderful as we recall from the Lab -- he's so sweet.) (Isn't it odd when you are experiencing a truly transcendent gastronomic experience, savoring each extraordinary bite, which you can do only rarely because of the cost ... and the couple next to you are on a "date" and spend the entire meal chatting noisily nonstop, apparently impressing the heck out of each other, with no attention to the food, leaving much untouched? (The horror, the horror!) This happens all the time at Komi as well, and likely everywhere (these 2 restaurants are our foci for our once-a-year fancy meals). In "It's a Wonderful Life", a character says "Ah, youth is wasted on the wrong people" -- true too of wealth....)
  9. Another evening of bliss -- and humor! When the next course came after the yummy little garlic knots, I said we'd like a basket of those please -- we all chuckled. Soon, Johnny himself comes to the table with a small plate with 4 more knots! I protested mildly that I had been joking, and he deadpanned, "We never joke about garlic knots." Later, we were talking to sommelier Bill about how wonderful the Eden Ice Cider was, and coincidentally we'd had a bottle just the week before (brought by a brother living in NH), and I commented about what a PITA the bottles are, taller so they don't fit on the shelf with the other bottles, and so skinny you worry about knocking them over. He laughed and said that sommelier Basheer really hates them, and brought him over to express his true feeling on those dang bottles -- not fit to print here, but it was hysterical. IMVHO the wine (and beer and cider) pairings just keep getting better and better. Johnny agreed and said that's very important to him -- kudos to Kyle, Bill, and Basheer! (It was also very sweet to have Kyle greet us when we arrived and note he'd seen us a couple of days before when we were waiting in line for Little Serow. We've gone 8 times since June 2009, and they always make you feel like it was just last month.) -- Monte
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