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Tweaked

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  1. Uptown Market opened this weekend in the large apartment building which houses Sfoglina in Van Ness (across the street from Bread Furst). It takes over the Soapstone Market space. Uptown Market is owned by the folks who run Butchers Alley and Pesca Deli in Bethesda. The new market underwent a very nice renovation. Soapstone always looked rather slapped together and bare bones. Uptown Market has a butcher (nice looking meat), a small fishmonger area (on offer was salmon, monk fish, swordfish, trout, as well as shrimp, calamari, clams, oysters, and mussels), a prepared food section with salads and sandwiches, and hot food with pizza. There's a small produce section (not that impressive), and a varied selection of Spanish oriented goods (olive oil, canned fishes, sweets etc.). They had not yet stocked the beer and wine sections. It fills a niche in the immediate Van Ness area - for higher end goods you usually need to go to Whole Foods or Rodman's. Price wise, it is what you would expect from a small specialty market in an upscale area. The seafood prices are Whole Foods level. It's a place you can do some serious damage real quick. We ordered a nice prepared wedge of Spanish tortilla (which was actually priced well at $5.50) and picked up some other tasty treats. They were still working out the kinks and weren't fully stocked, but pretty good first impression.
  2. Sherry's Wine & Spirits has a nice wine selection and a wide ranging beer selection. Plus they have an arrangement with the hotels for store staff accommodation during snow storms so they can stay open. Is Afghan Grill still doing well? We have had nice meals there in the past, they do an excellent Afghan pumpkin dish. And unfortunately "New and exciting restaurants seem to cycle through neighboring Cleveland Park all the time" is sadly not true (at least along the Connecticut Avenue commercial strip).
  3. Enjoyable night at the bar last week. I would say the panino of the day should be given serious consideration. It's been an overlooked part of our ordering and now cursing myself that it was not ordered when they were doing soft shells crabs. Lately they have been serving sourdough with 2 Amy's mortadella, mustard, pickled onions, frisee, and hard boiled egg. Also enjoyed the rabbit done in the style of porchetta.
  4. 2 Amy's was featuring Red Sea Bream crudo at the wine bar earlier this week. Whatever fish it was, it was pretty damn good. They also had Mackerel, and were dishing up small tastings. Also delicious.
  5. Very cool! Make sure you also tour NMWA's permanent collection, they have a couple of Judy's earlier pieces on display. NMWA will also be receiving Judy's visual archive, so the museum will eventual become a real center for Judy Chicago material. They are working with Penn State and Harvard's Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library to create a portal dedicated to Judy's career. Which might be of interest to your Mom. Judy Chicago Portal
  6. White House State Dinner Honoring Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison (September 20, 2019). Although technically not a state dinner since Queen Elizabeth is the head of state of Australia. First Course Sunchoke Ravioli Reggiano Cream Shaved Summer Vegetable Spring Mountain Sauvignon Blanc 2017 Second Course Dover Sole with Parsley Crisps Zucchini Squash Blossom Fennel Mousseline Baby Garlic Rouille Argyle Pinot Noir Reserve 2016 Dessert Lady Apple Tart Calvados Ice Cream J Demi-Sec NV
  7. With only a couple of hours to wander around Charleston on a Friday afternoon, and having never been to Charleston before, and with many of the nationally recognized restaurants only offering dinner service, I walked into Husk for a late lunch. The place was hoping, I put my name on the list around 1:30, and was called around 2pm. Lunch service technically ends at 2:30 and by 2pm they had stopped taking walk ins. So if you want to walk in at Husk for lunch, I would suggest getting there no later than 1:30 or 1:45. I left around 3:30 and never felt rushed, although I was definitely one of the last tables being served. I was given a two top on the second floor balcony. Which was nice, although not totally shaded from the sun on a warm September afternoon. Appetizer offerings ran $9-$12 and the entrees ran $14-$18. I started with the Pimento cheese, grilled crostini, pickle relish, crispy country ham ($11). The order had 5 pieces and pretty much kicked ass. A nice interplay between the pimento cheese and strongly flavored Benton's ham (which was crumbled) and the acid of the pickle relish. For an entree I went with the Shrimp and grits (because when in Charleston, obviously) with sweet peppers and onions and a fennel tomato broth. The sweet peppers and onions didn't add a lot to the dish, but otherwise the dish pretty much kicked ass. The grits were excellent, no doubt made with a lot of butter, and the fennel tomato broth was refreshing. To drink I had the Windy Hill Orchard Ginger Gold cider which is infused with ginger. A tad sweet but otherwise very nice. With the shrimp and grits I had a glass of the Failla 2017 pinot from Oregon, which was fine but nothing special. It was my first time at Husk, so obviously I had not dined when Sean Brock was running things, and Husk now has 4 locations in the Southeast, but overall I was impressed with the cooking, at least at the Mothership location. I'd recommend, especially for a nice late lunch.
  8. Tino's has been open for a couple of weeks and seems to be doing good business. We stopped in on a Sunday early evening around 6pm. Most of the tables were full with families dining. The space is a long narrow-ish room with a counter in the back for ordering. You place an order, get a table number card, and they deliver the food. I'm not sure what the dining term is for this type of service: upscale fast casual? The menu is a handful of salads, about a dozen pizzas, and a couple of desserts. It looked like they had some daily specials posted at the counter. The beer list was mostly DMV area based, Port City, DC Brau, Right Proper, Old Ox, but nothing that you couldn't find at a decently stocked DC beer store. But at least they are supporting local breweries! We started with a nice salad of tomatoes, bottarga, capers, olives, radishes and parsley ($8). All of the produce was super fresh and certainly looked to be local, high end farmer market quality. Although I thought that the salad was rather tame, especially given the the salad included bottarga, capers and olives. Next we had the All Green Everything ($15), a pizza of pesto, charred zucchini, mozzarella, ricotta, and green tomatoes. It was a handsome looking pie, but we both agreed it was bland (bland pesto is no way to go through life!) The crust was also rather limp. I'm not sure if because it was busy their pizza oven temp was too low or what, but the pizza was fine, if underwhelming. If Tino's is trying to challenge 2 Amy's or Paradiso or some of the other wood-fired pizza places in town and in the burbs, they have a ways to go. We'll try again in a couple of months.
  9. Wednesday: Atletico v. Juventus. Felix v. Ronaldo. Could be a fun one for the neutrals.
  10. Reopening as Modena today. New chef John Melfi (Fiola Mare, Oval Room, Blue Duck Tavern, and Fiola) with tableside antipasti cart service.
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