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About Ericandblueboy

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    Boo Boo
  • Birthday September 1

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  • Interests
    Eat and travel.
  • Location
    McLean, VA

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  1. We've gone to Boar's Head Resort in Charlottesville and Bavarian Inn in Shepherdstown. In retrospect, I would feel safer renting a place out and bring my own pillows.
  2. The problem is we don't know who's staffing the kitchen. Chinese joints in my normal rotation are hit and miss these days as a result.
  3. End of staycation = eating out. Eating out + pandemic = eating outdoors Outdoors + summer in DC = hot & muggy Hot & muggy outdoors requires shade + refreshing food All that led us to Nina May last night (Wed 7/8/20). Nina May has plenty of outdoor seating, with ground floor tables and covered rooftop tables. We sat on the covered rooftop and a large oscillating fan kept us from burning up. To start, we ordered 2 Little Neck Clams with Wild Watercress (shaved radishes, herb butter, chard tomatoes) and Spring Onion Focaccia (with pickled pickled ramps and whipped ricotta). So each clam order came with 1 slice of foccacia. So we really didn't need a separate order of focaccia, but we didn't know just from reading the menu. The clams were fabulous even if a little on the salty side, especially with the herbs. They's gone in 60 seconds. The focaccia themselves were okay - I wouldn't order them again by themselves. Next we had 2 salads from their vegetables selection. Maryland Cherry Salad with Fresh Arugula (toasted almonds, marinated cucumber, balsamic vinaigrette) and Bob’s Grilled Romaine Lettuce with Shaved Parmesan (cured egg yolk, herb focaccia croutons, anchovy vinaigrette). I really liked the former, was ambivalent about the latter. I never thought cherries would go well with arugula, but the vinaigrette balanced both out. The grilled romaine had that charred taste which was not my favorite. To make sure we leave stuffed and happy, we finished with Prosciutto Wrapped Rabbit Porchetta (rabbit sausage, fava bean salad, mustard vinaigrette) and Ramp and Ricotta Agnolotti with Spring Lamb (fava beans, forest mushrooms, crispy shallots). Both were excellent. The rabbit being rabbit looked a bit dry but had great flavor. The agnolotti were al dente. Both were served with lots of delicious veggies so we probably could've just skipped the salads. We'll know better next time. Even the kids didn't want dessert after that pig-out. P.S. I don't want to get sick but I still want to eat some great food. Eating outdoors is my compromise. I can heartily recommend St. Anselm, Albi, Cranes and Nina May.
  4. The infinity pool is nice but the disappearing edge is actually quite small, maybe 15-20 feet in width. That's where most of the adults with beverages hung out. So the kids kind of got the pool to themselves. We enjoyed our lunch in the garden of Mecklenburg Inn. Small food menu but we enjoyed the burger, hot dog, grill cheese and cheese fries. In contrast, the food at Bavarian Inn was pretty mediocre. We had the sausage sampler (3 slices of each sausage), fried calamari (super tender but felt greasy and were served lukewarm to almost cold), pate, and wiener schnitzel. The schnitzel was really uninspiring - the breading fell off, the meat wasn't tender, the whole thing felt dry and somewhat flavorless. We stayed in a chalet with a view of the Potomac. The bathroom was updated but the bedroom felt worn. The AC unit was loud, the bedding too thick for the summer. The beds were comfy enough though.
  5. Going to stay at the Bavarian Inn tomorrow. Infinity pool overlooking the Potomac sounds nice.
  6. July 3. The area surrounding Cranes is devoid of both motor and pedestrian traffic. We were able to park right in front of the restaurant. Set out in front of the restaurant on the sidewalk were 4 tables and 8 chairs. We occupied 3 tables and 6 chairs. There was a party inside the restaurant, but no one went in or came out while we were there, from 6 to 7:30ish. The current menu is copied below, I bolded those that we ordered and underlined the best dishes. Since they weren't busy and we ordered alot of food, I asked them to course the dishes so we can have leisurely meal. First to come out were the oysters with ponzu as the dominant flavor. There may have been a drop of evoo on the oyster but I didn't look for it nor did I taste it. Next were the jamon with tomatoed bread. The shiitake croquetas were 4 balls, 1 order was enough for us to share. These were cream of shiitake encased in spherical shells. The shishito peppers were enhanced with shaved bonito flakes. The maitake tempura is fabulous, possibly the best tempura I've had (alas, I haven't been to Japan or even even NYC just for tempura, but I've been to Jose Andre's tempura counter at Fish in MGM which I thought was mediocre at best). The duck gyoza was made with pre-cooked shredded duck meat and I didn't feel any crunchy water chestnut. An order of yakitori came with 3 skewers, the kids loved them so much I had to order a second. The gambas (pictured below) were not traditional but perfectly cooked. The arroz came with inch long fried whole baby squid with the rice cooked al dente. Finally the suquet wasn't really a stew and the only seafood is a piece of salmon cooked medium with crispy seared skin. This meal is completely different from the meal we had at St. Anselm, but quality-wise equally good, and obviously much more creative. I would definitely go back soon. Tapas: oysters / 3 ea ponzu / evoo / espelette pepper jamon serrano / 16 coca bread / tomatoes / sansho pepper croquetas de jamón / 6 croquetas de shiitake / 6 patatas bravas / 6 all-i-oli / ketchup with yuzu kosho / chives / poppy seeds shishito peppers / 8 sesame sauce / sesame seeds / bonito flakes maitake tempura / 11 daikon dipping sauce duck & water chestnut gyozas / 10 noisette vinaigrette pork belly yakitori / 5 buckwheat / citrus bao buns / 12 short rib / umeboshi mayo / tobiko Entrees: gazpacho / 12 cold vegetable soup heirloom tomatoes / 12 fennel / creme fraiche / ponzu jelly escalivada / 12 grilled vegetables salad with black olive sauce cold capellini / 14 hazelnut-lime dressing / preserved lemon / tororo kombu smoked hamachi / 15 apricot / ajo blanco / green almonds gambas al ajillo / 22 shrimps / garlic-chili oil / sherry wine arroz de verduras / 17 calasparra rice / seasonal vegetables / idiazabal arroz negro / 21 squid ink rice / baby squid / piquillo pepper arroz de conejo / 28 rabbit / carrots / Brussels sprouts / rice suquet / 19 catalan fisherman's stew with saffron and salmon kurobuta pork / 24 cauliflowers / sansho gastrique / miso carrillera de ternera / 28 braised beef cheek / potato / mushrooms / red wine sauce
  7. I feel like I'm losing a year of my life. There's some work, but not a full load. In any case, my compensation has been reduced. And I can't travel freely and visit the restaurants of my choosing. So what are some good ideas for traveling during pandemic? My thoughts are, rent a place out so you can buy food and cook it yourself. So what are some places that you can drive to that offer outdoor recreational opportunities, great locally grown food, and not catch the Rona?
  8. With family in town, we went back to St. Anselm for dinner. We sat at a table in front of the restaurant that was in the shade because of the setting sun. It was warm, but not altogether uncomfortable. Little Things included the previously ordered curried chicken liver mousse, some blue crab deviled eggs, and snapper crudo with yuzu, cucumber, scallion and fresno chili. I really enjoyed the snapper crudo, chilled fish with a sauce that's reminiscent of XO, felt refreshing in the summer heat. Smalls from Grill included oysters and salmon collar. The oysters, lightly roasted with smoked herb butter were flavorful and perfectly cooked. I'm not sure I've had oysters in DC that were equally good (the Ordinary in Charleston had equally good oysters). Bigs from Grill included butcher's steak with garlic butter and NY strip with au poivre sauce. They do meat right here without charging a ridiculous amount. For sides, we had some grilled broccoli and creamy spinach. If they can just add a seafood tower to the menu....
  9. I agree that Santini can pile more meats on and make their sub much tastier. They probably still make the best Italian sub in McLean though ☹️ ETA: I stopped by this afternoon. The place is tiny - few selections and their Ortiz anchovies seem expensive. Why don't we have an Eataly?
  10. In the midst of the pandemic, Michie's is serving indoors, with every other table available for seating. Monticello is only selling tickets online and you have to reserve an entry time. We stayed overnight at Boar's Head Resort. You can download their app and then use your phone as digital key (bluetooth). However, I couldn't figure out how to check out using their app. We did go to the pool but the kids played by themselves. This was our first overnight trip since the pandemic started - felt more like a hassle than a fun trip.
  11. What's to stop people from demanding that Monticello be torn down?
  12. We went to Albi for dinner on Father's Day. Sat outside on what turned out to be a nice day. We tried all 3 snacks, namely Sfeeha - lebanese meat pies with a pizza like crust that was better than most pizza joints Kefta - wrapped around cinnamon stick, good but I don't think the cinnamon stick added much flavor Arayes - eggplant + squash blossom + kashkaval cheese, reminded me of an eggroll Ordered two apps Smoke pork with hummus - garlicky pita, smooth hummus and bbq pork. I think the hummus is really good but when mixed with bbq pork, gets kinda lost. Yellowfin tuna kibbeh naya - very interesting dish served with lettuce and mint, pickled onions, etc. The tuna by itself didn't have much flavor but when combined with mint and onions, became well balanced. Finally, one entree: Smoke whole Bobo's chicken with corn succotash. The picture only shows half a chicken (I forgot to take a picture until we ate half the chicken). Served with feet on, while interesting to look at, I didn't fancy this dish. The skin was crispy but I didn't care for the sweet sauce. I think this place is fantastic. Would love to see some of the dishes he use to do for M. Isabella.
  13. Thinking about going to Monticello next weekend. Never been. Hopefully it won't be burned to the ground before we get to see it. Will likely grab a bite at Michie - they have beer/wine?
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