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About hmmboy

  • Birthday December 6

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  1. I know this is a bit random, but I wanted to give a shout out to the pesto pasta at Pete's in Friendship Heights. This is a place we visit occasionally with my little nieces. Though their pizza, salads, etc. never call to me, their pesto is one of my favorite versions of this classic sauce. And I think it is $10 for a bowl (sans the distracting shrimp)!
  2. Inspired by Tom Sietsema's rave about the gabure soup in Wednesday's chat, my wife, brother and I stopped by last night for dinner. I was impressed. The 3 starters - the gabure, salmon tartare and a particularly luscious cauliflower soup - were all strong. Similarly, the main courses - a well seasoned, simple, moist, grilled half chicken, a melt in your mouth steak frites, and my delicious, homey, wintery beef daube - all really hit the mark. Similarly, the apple tart and homemade vanilla ice cream were excellent. We also shared a perfectly fine, though uninspired, Ceasar salad and chocolate fondant. When We are eating close to home we go to Palena, 2 Amys or Et Voila 90+% of the time, but last night's meal will definitely warrant further exploration of La Piquette - a very welcome neighborhood addition.
  3. Really enjoyed a pastrami sandwich here this past weekend. No noticeable drop off from the Baltimore flagship. The pastrami is a different animal than Chef Stachowski's and Chef Anda's, both of which are excellent as well. This is more the Jewish deli pastrami I grew up with, and while its not gonna transport you to Katz's by any strech, I am thrilled to have it as an option in my hood. The stuffed cabbage was also enjoyable, albeit a bit underseasoned. And really good 1/2 sour pickles!
  4. I am in love with the burger at Et Voila!! And the side of crispy fries and salad it comes with make for a delicious lunch or dinner.
  5. The Source and its great Chef Scott Drewno (Wolfgang who?) have been among this city's very best since opening 6 years ago. Palena and 2Amys are the only restaurants (save my own) I frequent more, and that is because they are much closer to my home.
  6. Thanks Rocks but I have to take exception with one thing. It's the great Haidar Karoum. If there is another Chef in the city running three disparate kitchens - and by running I mean on the line at all of them throughout the week - with the quality and execution level of Proof, Estadio and Doi Moi, I am not aware of it. My success is and always has been a result of Chef Karoum's work, and that of the amazing senior FOH and BOH staffs we have been fortunate enough to assemble and retain since I embarked on this crazy adventure.
  7. Not to take anything away from the several fine versions identified above, but I am going to nominate Restaurant Eve's as not only the best version I have had in DC, but the best anywhere in my life. Definitely one of my 5 favorite dishes in the area and the singular dish my pregnant wife talks about having in the hospital after she gives birth.
  8. I am gonna have to disagree with my friend David and give a huge shout out to the chicken parm sandwich here. It was by far the best I have had in this area and rivals some of the best ever (in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn). My sandwich was packed with chicken, the porky tomato sauce spooned on judiciously, and the bread - what a fantastic sesame seeded sub roll - again the best I have had in this area and reminiscent of those found in Brooklyn Italian bakeries. I cannot wait to return, and while I would like to try some of Chef Izzy's other offerings it is hard to imagine not getting the chicken parm again.
  9. Earlier this week I stopped by DGS for lunch. I have been dreaming about their sublime chopped liver since devouring about 3/4 lb when I visited earlier in the year. The liver was as good as I remembered, and the pastrami was also very good, but the chicken matzoh ball soup was the star this day - the best I have ever had in a restaurant, and frankly on par with the best versions turned out by my mom, my bubbies, and assorted aunts. Really great stuff.
  10. I had dinner here Friday night with my daughter. As usual, I ordered the chicken but instead of my typical caesar salad starter I opted for the goose egg ravioli. I believe Chef Ruta has been serving this dish now and then over the years but this was my first experience. Bathed in a butter sauce with pieces of morels and ramps floating in it, this is the best dish I have had in 2013. The kind of dish that elicits moans with every bite. Go now.
  11. I will say this - it is my favorite place to eat Thai (and Tai Lao/Lao Isan) food in the city - by far - at least among restaurants where I'm permitted to choose my own dishes ;-) In fact, I have preferred my meals there to those I have eaten at the standard bearer of Thai/Tai Lao cuisine in the USA - Pok Pok. So I dont think it is going out too far on a limb to say it is among the country's best at these cuisines. If you accept that, I don't think Jonathan's evaluation is implausible. I am convinced that 2 Amys is one of the "very best restaurants in the country" but I suspect that evaluation would be scoffed at by the JBF. In my interview with Todd Kliman last month regarding the opening of Doi Moi, I talked about the bias faced by Asian restaurants. Here is what I said and I will throw it out to the group for discussion: "I think in the past there has been an economic bias against regional Asian cuisine—not only in DC and but in the country as a whole. It was fine to spend $30 on a bowl of noodles and shrimp at an Italian restaurant, but an Asian restaurant should offer strip-mall pricing on a comparable dish. Yes, there were Asian “ fusion” restaurants that attempted to elude this strip-mall mentality, but without the foundation of authenticity their success was generally hard to sustain. With the recent commercial and critical success enjoyed by restaurants like the Slanted Door, Fatty Crab, Pok Pok, Little Serow, and several others, restaurants serving authentic regional Asian cuisine are starting to level the economic playing field with other mainstream ethnic cuisines. " [Continuation of discussion here]
  12. Swung by on Tuesday night to check the place out. Had the Tom's Punch, which I loved (it could become habit forming) and a delicious bowl of ramen - not a huge bowl but it was a steal at $9 with rich broth and fantastic pork. I enjoyed the chill vibe as well as my chat with talented bartender Danny. They serve food on weeknights till 1AM - there is very little anywhere downtown at midnite of the quality level of the bowl of ramen I had so I expect this to be a very busy bar, with a healthy late night industry contingent. Very impressed.
  13. First time here tonite and this not so nice NYC Jewboy loved it. Four dishes. An excellent matzo ball soup. I'll admit it - and this is for your benefit Rocks - I like my balls harder, but it was still delicious. Chef Koslow was kind enough to allow me a taste of the pastrami (as you will see below, I was too stuffed for a sandwich). I really enjoyed the heavy spice rub and the meat was flavorful and cooked to perfection. I thought the kasha vanishes were awesome - this is one of my favorite traditional dishes that Chef Koslow elevated to new heights. I wrote Abam Bernbach after dinner to say how much I liked this dish, but that it was not for an "Alta Cocker"(which literally translates to "old shitter" in German but in colloquial Yiddish means fussy old man). In addition to a big flavor profile, this vegetarian dish has a healthy dose of heat (housemade harissa), not something you find in traditional Jewish cooking or that prior generations are used to. Adam wrote back reminding me that I was an alta cocker. He is now looking for a job. The piece de resistance was the much ballyhooed chopped liver. I was dubious but it lived up to all the accolades and then some. 50 years ago I would help my mom make chopped liver. For large gatherings, like Passover, we would make it in a cast iron hand grinder that clamped onto the table. But more often I would hand chop it in a wooden bowl. I lamented the fact that no deli chopped liver, and I include all the great NYC delis in this indictment, as well as the new wave delis like Mile End and Wise Sons, could approach my moms. Frankly, none was really that great. DGS's chopped liver is great - better than my mom's - and the alta cockers would agree. I think I ate a pound of it tonite. Looking forward to returning and eating my way through the rest of the menu.
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