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Everything posted by Rovers2000

  1. What started as a project to put in an outdoor kitchen turned into an outdoor kitchen, new patio, replacing the deck with a three season room, and installing an outdoor fire pit area. As I said above we used BOWA and if I had to start over again, I’d make the exact same choice. Jim Harris, Mick Spring and Ethan Boudreau were a tremendous team to work with and it felt like a true partnership. Did it take longer than I’d anticipated from start to finish? Yes. But given the world we live in right now I think that’s going to be the norm for any of these types of projects. You do pay a premium for BOWA, however their work (and that of their subs - particularly the guys from Prestige on the carpentry and paint side) was impeccable and in my mind it was a premium worth paying. In the outdoor kitchen I ended up prioritizing lots of counter space and forgoing a traditional gas grill in favor of the Big Green Egg and a Gozney Dome Pizza Oven. We built in storage for pizza peels etc as well as an open space to stack wood for both ovens (as well as wood for the wood burning fireplace in the 3 seasons room).
  2. Visited for the first time last night - we sat outside under the covered tent looking out towards the garden - and we'll return as I thought it was wonderful. A couple things regarding the space outdoors: Given it was a warm evening, I was really impressed with the setup they had inside the tent. They had 6-8 fans positioned in the rafters of the tent, which were set to create a very mild cross-breeze which created a great temperature without being distracting in any way We had a 715 reservation and it was beautiful watching the sun go down. Genuinely one of the prettiest settings I've experienced dining out in DC. In terms of the food: I'm unsure if its the giant garden they have set up and apparently get some of their produce from - but I thought everything was well done and even the simple mesculin salad (dressed with a really nice vinaigrette) was well composed My wife had the trio of salmon (caviar, smoked, rillettes) and I the escargot - both were excellent For entrees I had the lobster in sauternes sauce and my wife had the parmesan crusted halibut. I felt the lobster dish was far superior, the slightly sweet sauce going nicely with the lobster. The halibut was fine and my wife enjoyed it but she admitted that she'd probably venture into something more interesting next time The wine list was small, but we enjoyed a nice chardonnay with the meal. I meant to inquire if they allow corkage but forgot I would also call out how nicely (leisurely) the meal was paced out - it was wonderful to just sit outside in such a beautiful setting and hang out with my wife kid free As we moved out to Great Falls last June - I'd wanted to try Chez Franois simply as its up the road from my home. I'm really glad we did and I'll be returning, particularly in the fall as I would imagine the setting will only get better with some autumn colors.
  3. Thanks for checking it out - as this is at the ground floor of the office I work in, I'm looking forward to hitting it up when I'm downtown next.
  4. Appreciate the advice. I interviewed a number of folks, including Case and BOWA and ended up going with BOWA for a number of reasons. Signed the contract yesterday so I'm looking forward to the design process.
  5. As I perused the above - I wanted to see if anyone had a specific contractor they'd recommend. While my current kitchen (we moved into our new Great Falls home in June) is fine and a big step up from what I've had previously - I'm in the very early (i.e. planning) stages of scoping out a project that largely entails ripping off the current deck, replacing it with a "3 seasons room", adding an outdoor kitchen and redoing the exterior patio. The first contractor I'm meeting with is Case Design but I'm struggling to dig up reliable recommendations on others to engage. As the outdoor kitchen is a substantial component of it - I think I can fit it into the kitchen remodel page
  6. This is a good point. I've done a couple of "big" 16' pies and they're pretty tricky once you start getting near the top end of the capacity of the oven. I scorched a couple crusts early on until I figured out how to really work the oven on the temp side. My MO has been to get the floor of the oven up in the 750-800 degree range, launch the pie and throttle the internal flame down significantly to "set" the crust. Then I push the heat back up and "spin" the pie around to finish it. That said - my advice to anyone looking to take the plunge would be to go with the 16. Its big enough that I feel like I can crank out what I need but still compact enough that I pack it up and store it in our garage until its time for its next use. The device has saved me a decent amount of money as I'd strongly considered building a "true" pizza oven when I build my outdoor kitchen...now I think this is probably good enough.
  7. We’ve been using ours weekly for over 6 months and aside from some confusion re: how to turn the heat inside the oven down (you turn the dial “up” strangely) I’ve been beyond pleased with the koda 16. I’ve also enjoyed using it to finish sous vide steaks and to roast Brussels sprouts and other vegetables at high heat. I guess ymmv.
  8. This is insane. I was last at the Inn I think roughly 7 years ago (we'd received a very generous gift certificate at our wedding the prior year). We went during off peak (February) and I remember cringing at the 350/night tariff back then. Its a lovely place, and we enjoyed a room with a fireplace and a wonderful view of the water - but there is zero chance I'd even consider it at that current price point.
  9. I'd echo the comments re: Weygandt. Warren is terrific. I just had him put together a mixed case of some of his favorites - and each has been just tremendous. In particular some of the really crisp Rieslings he put in there have been stunning.
  10. I have the ‘16 Kodi and I have been really impressed with it. I added to my outdoor setup and have largely used the recipes that Kenji Alt-Lopez has posted on his YouTube channel. I’ve done Neapolitan pies as well as NY style and both have produced excellent results. It also allows for a pretty quick reload and given we have 3 kids that depending on the day vary in their pickiness - that’s been helpful too.
  11. I will be getting a pint of each. Will be heading down within a week. Appreciate the post or this literally (sadly) wouldn’t have even hit the radar.
  12. Sweet lord...that Corn Gelato with Polenta Crumble and Blueberry swirl is going to cause me to take a drive in from the suburbs for. Holy smokes.
  13. I haven't noticed the above re: the hinge - though I think the BGE redid their hinges a couple years back. I didn't do a lot of comparison shopping between the kamodo's - so I can't speak to kamodo joe. A couple other egg related things: - I ordered mine from the Organic Butcher of McLean. The prices are largely stable since BGE I think is pretty heavy headed on that - but I've supported the organic butcher for awhile and was glad to spend the money with them. I would advise that wherever you order from, have them do delivery and set up vs. assembling yourself (if you go this route, its a 2 person job) - You can go absolutely bonkers with accessories. A couple I've really enjoyed: Joe-Tisserie (made for the aforementioned Kamodo Joe but the "big joe" version seamlessly fits the Egg) which adds a really nice rotisserie capability - he chickens / picahanna I've made this way have been tremendous. I've also ordered some add ons from the ceramic grill store (based in Texas). The woo ring and the grill expander have been nice on a couple fronts. Having multiple levels has allowed me to run a huge amount of meat (I made some pandemic care packages of bbq a couple weeks back) - think a 10lb brisket, 2 8 lb pork shoulders and 2 racks of ribs at the same time. Additionally the woo ring gives me the ability to lift a pizza stone or pizza steel up into the dome and has really upped my pizza game. - I would recommend getting yourself used to regulating the temperature without one, but eventually - get yourself a fan (I like the flameboss 500) with a Wi-Fi connection. I have no interest in staying up all night to watch the temps, so this has allowed me to run a consistent temp for up to 20 hours so far without hovering over the egg. It was nice to check via the app while I was on the golf course the other day and see it easily holding 225 all day and coming home to perfectly done pulled pork. - The kick ash basket and bucket are awesome (but also ridiculous from an expense perspective for what is essentially two pieces of fabricated steel...alas, I am not handy in any way) in terms of easy of clean up and clean burning - The BGE has a lifetime warranty against cracks etc - just make sure you get the receipt info from whoever you buy it from as you request replacements through the dealer
  14. I've had a big green egg since I moved out to Great Falls in June. I couldn't be more pleased with the purchase. We've done pizza (awesome), pork butts, dry aged steaks, ribs, brisket, clams and lobsters on it - and in my view each has been better from its time over the fire. I don't have a full blown outdoor kitchen (yet) so I bought the acacia wood table for it which has been nice. The big piece of advice I'd give is, if you're going to get one - and you plan on entertaining - get an XL. You won't regret the extra space. As you work on your outdoor set up - I'd welcome thoughts on specific contractors as within the next 12 months I foresee embarking on a similar project.
  15. I thought the Red Hen did a (unsurprisingly) terrific job with their take out. Same with 2 Amy's though obviously not "fancy".
  16. I've been a member at Sequoia Grove for a couple years. I highly recommend their "Taste of Cabernet" tasting - it was informative and a lot of fun. A couple other wineries that I've enjoyed my visits to: Quintessa, Venge, Larkmead, Caldwell (down in Coombsville but the caves are cool)
  17. Agree with genericeric - the use of bourbon / rum / whatever spirit of the day is barrels in beer should be to integrate the flavors of the barrel (vanilla, etc) and the spirit with those of the beer. A good example would be a beer called Sperryville from Aslin (a non-adjunct based stout they bottled awhile back). Its an imperial stout aged in rye barrels. The rye barrel perfectly compliments the 18% (I believe) stout - making the the whole significantly greater than the sum of its parts. I'm not sure if the issue with Hardywood's barrel program is that the barrels they're using aren't good or if they're not letting them sit long enough / sit too long...but whatever it is, their barrel aged beers (with rum in particular seemingly being a challenge for them) lack any of the above balance.
  18. Something has slipped re: Hardywood's barrel program. Their Gingerbread stouts the last two years (Kentucky Christmas Morning used to be one of my favorite winter beers) have been borderline undrinkable to me. Anything they put in a rum barrel seems to come out just disgustingly rum forward. I'm not sure if it was their rapid expansion or what, but its unfortunate. I share your praise of their farmhouse pumpkin though - its a nicely restrained version of the style.
  19. Went for a late dinner after the Caps game (ugh) last night. Really enjoyed it and will be returning. Highlights: - The duck was unbelievable, possibly one of the better renditions I've had anywhere in DC. Great textural contrast with the crisp skin and perfectly cooked meat. Really liked the house made corn tortillas as well. - Taco of the day was goat - nice level of spice. Between this and the duck, the "taco omakase" sounds like it could be a lot of fun - The cuttlefish / shrimp noodles with a coconut broth were interesting, if a little challenging to eat. - Butternut squash with a peanut mole wasn't something I'd naturally order but was really good. It was between this and the charred cabbage and we went with the waitresses recommendation - Crisp octopus was another great combination of flavors - though the octopus may have been on the chewy side. All that said - no "misses" in the entire meal and things trended towards "awesome" vs. "ok". They started off the meal with a gratis shooter of watermelon and mezcal - which simply confirmed that I'm not a mezcal guy though they happily subbed out mezcal for regular tequila my margarita (which was well made)
  20. I would imagine, from an HR perspective, it would be pretty challenging to enforce the non-compete based on the broad generalities (10 miles is relatively significant in this case) making it somewhat easy to argue that it would prevent Frank from earning a living in a meaningful way. Plus, based on the way it appeared, the termination on the front end likely could be viewed as voiding that non-compete unless there was some severance agreement also baked in.
  21. Thanks - I wasn't sure what the tolerance of the drivers in the area would be to the trip there and back. I'm out in SF speaking at a conference and tend to always err on the side of not driving if I don't need to so was debating the "driver" vs. "uber / lyft". Appreciate the perspective
  22. Anyone have any car service's that they've used to get from SF to Napa? Its a day trip and I suppose I can also just grab an uber / Lyft as well - but figured I'd at least ask.
  23. Another great meal at the Grotto last night. Brought along two colleagues who had never been and both had a great time. I will continue to get the soft shells every time I'm there...they are wonderful. Happy on a personal level for Dean but am sad that a place I have so many happy memories anchored to will be departing. I'll be back at least a couple more times. Wine Madness is just nuts - the 2006 Brunello Riserva from Costanti was awesome and a steal at the wine madness price.
  24. Rocket Frog (full disclosure, one of the owners is my neighbor) makes a Gose (Kai Gose to the Beach, named after the brewers son) with pink guava that in my opinion is a perfect summer sour. Crisp with the fruit used to accentuate the tartness of the beer vs. turning it into "juice". I believe Arrowine stocks it.
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