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lotus125

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About lotus125

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  1. Any recent meals at Kobo? I'm curious to know how they're doing since the chef left.
  2. Ever since trying Johnny Spero's short lived Suna, I've been excited to see when he would again open his own place. (FWIW, I liked the Suna concept and had some good food there, but thought the dishes were high variance and not all enjoyable). I enjoyed his run at Minibar and Columbia Room, but obviously not the same as creating his own menu. After several mixed reviews, we kept delaying our plan to try Reverie. But when friends had to cancel plans elsewhere at the last minute, we dropped by. While Reverie is probably not for everyone, we really enjoyed it. It veers in the new-nordic direction, with the occasional dollop of obvious Spanish influence -- a mashup of foodie favorites. The space is lovely, and the service is great. The staff accommodated with grace our walking in without a reservation on Saturday night. A host and a back waiter appeared to remember us from meals at other restaurants -- a sign of good staff. And our waitress gave great advice in guiding us through the menu and selecting a bottle of wine that was a perfect fit for the food and our quirky wine tastes. As for the food, it ranged from good to great. And in contrast to my take on most restaurants, the food got better as the meal went on, i.e., the desserts were exceptional and the entrees were better than the appetizers. We started with a scallop crudo with buttermilk and dill (very nordic and solid); a seeded, dark nordic bread served with seed miso and cheesey butter that was cultured with epoisses (the gf would have preferred a different type of bread, but we both loved the butter and miso); and peas with verbena, fresh cheese, seaweed, and I think some kind of vinegar gel (probably the best of the three). For entrees, we had a grilled kanpachi collar with peanut miso, kosho mayo, and herbs, and an agnolotti that was effectively filled with cooked fish roe and in a cream sauce with more roe. Both were great. Overall, the kanpachi was probably just a bit tastier. The gf described it as the perfect, sophisticated barbecue. But the agnolotti was delicious -- like a mix of taramasalata and stuffed, al dente pasta -- and the more creative of the two. The wine list steers in the natural direction and seemed to be fairly priced, based on a few reference points I recognized. We tried all three desserts, and they were spectacular. A birch ice cream (surprisingly smokey); a chocolate and sunchoke dish with olive oil that evoked cocoa pebbles; and a cherry granita with marshmallow and berries. This kind of food isn't for everyone. And don't expect it to be Noma or Amass. But this is an exciting addition to the DC food scene. I'd be pleased to go back, and I look forward to watching this restaurant grow.
  3. What a pity. Every time I went, I thought (1) this place is very good; (2) this place is not very full; I hope they're doing ok. I hope that the chef sets up somewhere else.
  4. I'm happy to say that 2Amys seems to be back at full strength. There are now multiple special pizzas and hot kitchen specials every night. And the wine bar specials is back to its pre-flood length. They've also added a champagne section to their wine list. It's on the expensive side and doesn't seem to have the amazing low/no markup pricing that was sometimes on the old "reserve" list or that Etto had/has for champagne But it's a nice addition. I haven't noticed a change in table spacing. The unisex restrooms strike me as a good solution to the fact that one restroom typically had a wait while the other did not. But it does turn the stall + urinal men's room that accommodated two people into a restroom for one. The former men's room, which still has a urinal and separate stall, now has a sign telling people to lock the door behind them. I gather that people wouldn't be comfortable with using it as a unisex restroom for two, i.e., with a urinal outside of a unisex stall? But that would increase the number of people who could use the restrooms at a time.
  5. Well after 5. There were no hot specials or special pizzas, i.e., the other side of the specials list, but there was a note that these are coming soon. And the wine bar side seemed just a touch shorter than I was used to. Otherwise, save a few changes on the regular menu (with customers like me grousing about any old favorites that were changed), it's pretty much the same. Happy to have them back!
  6. Unfortunately, Peter Chang's has always been high variance. I've had the occasional let down meal, then gone back a month later and been blown away. HKP (and, in my view, Panda) are a bit more predictable.
  7. I think that part of JCA's point was that because the kitchen closed immediately after their reservation time, the 'try a few and reorder as necessary' strategy wasn't an option. Obviously how much of a menu should be light or heavy is a matter of taste. And, as dslee observed, for brunch there are the additional, and overlapping, splits between sweet or savory and "breakfasty" or "regular menu." I happen to veer towards the savory and light. And I think that for brunch, where diners are looking for very different things, it's especially important to have breath and variety. If I were craving a salad, an all-heavy menu would not satisfy. And if I were craving a burger or waffles, a bunch of salads probably wouldn't work, no matter how I much I ordered. But I gather that JCA's concern about a mostly heavy and carby brunch menu was compounded by the timing issue. They couldn't order a few seemingly heavy items and then evaluate if those dishes were lighter than expected or otherwise worth reordering, if they were full, or if they should go elsewhere for a further snack/drink/second brunch. I gather that JCA wasn't down on Hazel itself, just noting a disappointing brunch experience for like minded diners and saying that some people may prefer Hazel for dinner. That seems like a helpful flag.
  8. In the mood to try something new, we dropped in on Saturday night. The place was quite full but had a few seats in the bar and at the kitchen counter. The short version is good space, good service, high-variance food with several stunners and lots of potential. We ordered: -Broiled Oysters, horseradish glaze, rutabaga kraut, brown bread crumble. Absolutely delicious. They hit the magic spot where you can still taste juicy, briny oysters, but there is a ton of warm, flavorful goodness. Best broiled oyster I've had in awhile. -Cobia Crudo, avocado, Thai chilies, lime, fish sauce, crispy shallots, puffed black rice. Great fresh fish. The puffed black rice added a terrific nutty flavor that contrasted well with the fish and spice. We agreed, however, that the avocado should come off. It seems like a nod to so many asian-flavored crudo dishes that aren't as good. And it added no flavor. (It was also slightly underripe, but I'd feel the same way if it were riper.) -Roasted Kabocha Salad, green apple, watercress, arugula, pepitas, cider vinaigrette. This was an unfortunate fail. The squash was almost inedibly starchy. I've had kabocha many, many times and never seen anything like this. Either the squash was underripe or undercooked. But it was tough and mealy. (Also unfortunately adding to the dish was our discovery, after we stopped eating it, of a short, translucent worm-type thing swimming in the dressing. No big deal. It happens, and our server handled it with grace.) Hopefully just a one-off glitch. -Roasted Kaleidoscope Carrots & Parsnips, vadouvan labne, dill, crispy amaranth. Delicious labne that went well with the root veg. -Maine Scallops, celery root, pomegranate relish, wilted greens, celery salad. This was generic. The scallops were cooked well and went fine with the celeriac. But the dish just didn't come together for me. -Roasted Cod, papadam, coconut, fenugreek, curry leaf, ginger greens. Great dish. The fish was perfectly cooked and covered in a thin crust that gave it a nice texture. The curry was delicious and just a bit spicy. -Russet Potato Gnocchi, smoked king trumpet mushrooms, kale, black pepper, pecorino. Ok but not great. We didn't get any smoke flavor from the mushrooms. Maybe slightly undersalted.
  9. We had a good dinner a few weeks back. The menu is short, but the food is good. The much-discussed french onion soup is the best vegetarian version I've ever seen. And the seafood stew is excellent.
  10. Izakaya Seki has a delicious uni and quail egg dish.
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