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About dinwiddie

  • Birthday 05/09/1953

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  • Gender
  • Interests
    wine, dining, travel, jazz and good books . . . not necessarily in that order.
  • Location
    Near Olney MD

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hammerhead (86/123)

  1. That was not meant as a negative. What I think is wonderful is that it is just like it used to be before the fire. A real (wonderful, authentic, and perfect) dive.
  2. The Quarry House in Silver Spring is now open again. Looks just like it did before the fire. Great beer list, and even better whisky list, but really a dive.
  3. I would have to say that it was a 1927 Domaine Bory Grenache Rivesaltes, which, if I remember correctly, Pool Boy shared with me with the rest of the DC Cru at Proof back in 2012. As to my cellar, currently the oldest wine I have is a 1985 Graham Port.
  4. Haven't eaten there since Tom Hudson owned it. I will have to make sure to stop in when I get the opportunity.
  5. I took my office to lunch at 701 to celebrate a tough year. All I can say is that it was excellent. They permitted me to bring three bottles of wine from my cellar (the normal limit is two per table) because there were eight of us. The table was waiting for us with sufficient stemware and decanters at the side (very good Riedels). I brought three Pinot Noirs, a 2015 Peay Savoy Vineyard, a 2012 Loring Russell Family Vineyard, and a 2009 Patricia Green Marine Sedimentary Ribbon Ridge (opened in reverse order of listing) Appetizers included Spanish Octopus with fresh anise, citrus, caper vinaigrette, and salsify puree; Lamb Meatballs with charred poblano remoulade and paprika, and: a very good mixed baby greens salad. Several of them enjoyed the Wagyu sliders, and three were delighted with the Rockfish with gnocchi, mussel jus, Spanish chorizo, rouille, and tomato confit. Desserts were an excellent panna cotta and a trio of sorbets (strawberry, cranberry and passion fruit.) (I just had three scoops of the passion fruit) A couple of us ended the meal with coffee sherry. I can't say enough about the service we received. We were there for a couple of hours, never felt rushed, and everything was like a well oiled machine. Plates disappeared when they were empty, but not before; silverware was replaced quietly and efficiently; water glasses were always full and the bread basket was never empty. Now I remember why I enjoy this place so much every time I eat there. I guess there is a reason they have lasted for 28 years and counting.
  6. My wife and I went to Black's to celebrate our anniversary. I took a 2014 Kosta Browne Kanzler Vineyard PN with me. It turns out that they have the Sonoma Coast in a half bottle, but had no issue with me opening the Kanzler. They provided a decanter and excellent glasses to go with it. We go to Black's a couple of times a year and have always been pleased. We started with the Gala Apple and Brie Salad for my wife (Belgian Endive, Frisée, Radicchio, Apple Butter, Apple Cider Vinaigrette, Ginger Snap Croutons). She loved it but said that she could have used it as her main, it was quite enough. I had the Wood Grilled Bruschetta (Sliced Prosciutto, Marinated White Beans, Chimichurri) that was also excellent. For our mains Karen had the Pan Seared True North Salmon (chorizo emulsion, potato, pearl onions, sautéed peppers, chorizo, shaved sprouts, almonds) which she finished even though she said the salad had filled her up. I ordered the Linguini Carbonara (black pepper linguini, spinach, mixed mushrooms, pancetta, sous vide egg, parmesan cream sauce) I still haven't figured out how they peel a soft boiled egg, but there was a whole soft boiled egg on top of a mound of fantastic Carbonara. (Anyone who knows me can tell you that I am a sucker for a great Carbonara.) in fact it led to a discussion of a great Carbonara we had at a small trotteria in Monteclio Tuscany on our 25th anniversary. Dessert was shared, a mango/banana tarte with banana/coconut ice cream and passion fruit coulee. I don't normally like banana or coconut ice creams, but this was out of this world. Since I had told them that we were celebrating our anniversary, the plate had Happy Anniversary written in chocolate around the sides. Service was excellent, and once I explained that I would prefer to do the pouring, were not bothered by anyone trying to fill an empty glass. (I hate when they keep trying to do that. I prefer to drink at my own pace and I know my wife's preferences in that regard.) I am glad we made a reservation because the place was packed on a Friday night, both inside and outside on the patio. I asked for a table away from the bar when I made the reservation and they had no problem making sure that my request was honored. All in all, an excellent meal with excellent service that one has come to expect from all of the Black's chain.
  7. Our return trip was every bit as good as our first meal. This time we had the 6 course tasting menu. At $69 it was an excellent value and the food was again delicious. This time I paired it with a 2012 Kosta Browne Kanzler Vineyard Pinot Noir. Fantastic meal, fantastic service, and a wonderful wine.
  8. My wife and I live in the Washington DC area, but her family lives in Philadelphia. We were visiting over the Passover/Easter weekend and because we were staying in Chestnut Hill, decided to try Mica, a small BYOB restaurant a few blocks from our hotel. We are used to fine dining and to be honest, found that Mica could hold its own with some of the best here in DC Chef driven, the restaurant only has about 32 seats. The services was superb, and the food outstanding. We started with a smoked trout salad with marinated fennel that was described as "a taste", but actually a small appetizer. Next came Albacore Tuna Tartar with smoked jalapeno and carrots and a house salad. We shared all three. My wife ordered the arctic char and declared that it melted in her mouth. The vegs that came with it were perfectly cooked and were so flavorful that she wondered if she could order just a dish of them next time. I had the roasted sirloin of beef with smoked potatoes. Cooked perfectly (rare side of medium rare) and the potatoes were so good that I asked how they were done. (Boiled, smoked, fried, then dried) Dessert was a chocolate mousse with caramel and sea salt and a sour cream pana cotta. I brought a 2013 Radio Coteau Savoy Vineyard Pinot Noir with me and it went perfectly with the meal. And the glassware was perfect (not the cheap jellyglass stuff many BYOs give you) We enjoyed our meal so much that I have already made a reservation for when we are back in Phila next week to visit her parents.
  9. We went to Ricciuti's for dinner last night after not having been in quite a while. My wife was very pleased that there is now a gluten free pizza available as an option. She ordered it and said that it was very enjoyable. Makes it more likely that we will be back soon as we have been away because she has to try to avoid gluten as much as possible.
  10. I am not a huge fan of pho, but my wife and son are, so we have eaten at Pho and Grill in Olney many times. (They have a restaurant in Gathersburg too, I think). The pho is very good, and a huge bowl (according to my wife and son). I ordered the grilled steak on a salad that was also huge and very good. Summer rolls were excellent, with a nice dipping sauce. Prices are very good. The folks are friendly and efficient. The dining room is pleasant, clean, but nothing fancy. You order at the counter and the food is brought to you (so be sure to leave something in the tip jar.) Last night the place was packed and our meal still showed up quickly. They also do a pretty big carry out business it would appear. Prices are very good. Two orders of rolls, two orders of Pho, the grilled steak, and a bubble tea (also good) came to under $42.
  11. Better to use an inferior glass than not to drink the wine at all. I have actually done a tasting of Pinot Noirs using two different types of glasses, one designed to deposit the wine further back on the tongue. And yes, you could tell a slight difference, but only a slight one.
  12. I agree. As Pool Boy can tell you, I have availed myself of corkage in DC, MD, and VA, hundreds of times. I was only commenting on the fact that in DC and MD, corkage is only permitted in establishments with a liquor license. Yes. Corkage does save money, but that is not the reason I normally do it. I have a lot of wine in my cellar, most of it very small production stuff that I like to drink with a good meal. If I can bring a bottle of Kosta Browne, Karl Lawrence, Radio Coteau, Loring, etc, with me, and enjoy it with a great meal, so much the better. However, at least half the time I purchase something from the list. That way sometimes I get to drink a great, well aged bottle from my cellar on occasion, and I get to try something that I am not familiar with, or don't have in the cellar, on others. After all, most sommeliers know a whole lot more about wine, and what will go with the dishes the chef makes, that I do. Why wouldn't I avail myself of their expertise as often as I decide to bring my own?
  13. Actually in DC or MD, unlike places like PA and NJ, if the establishment does not have a liquor license, they cannot offer corkage. The law requires that there be a licensed alcohol manager on site.
  14. I can only address wine for the most part. Specific glasses deposit the wine on a different part of your tongue when you take a sip, and thus have an effect on how you taste them. That said, any glass will do in a pinch, but for the most part you need a glass like Don said. However, I would also add that the size of the glass is also a factor. Not saying that bigger is better, but too small of a glass means that the wine fills up too much of the bowl and you cannot get full effect of the nose and flavor.
  15. I can't believe I never commented on Al Carbon (or that nobody else has since 2008). Yes, it is a hole in the wall with a cement floor. Yes, when you go it is usually 4 or 5 Latino guys listening to a soccer game and me and my son. Yes, the menu is not huge. But . . . Yes, the food is very good. Yes, it is inexpensive, Yes, the portions are large and the sides huge. No, there is no deep fried food or long smoked food. This is a wood fired grill place and the food reflects it. Fantastic Carne Azada, Carne o Pollo, and grilled fish. Very good burritos and quesadillas and even a pretty good ceviche I have no problem going there, having a huge meal with beer and getting out of there for under $20 a person. The fact that it is still around is testament to how good it really is.
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