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About Demvtr

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  1. McLean is a fairly nice locale with a dearth of particularly good restaurants. Aside from one entree salad at J. Gilbert's that I happen to like, there is nothing in McLean that makes me want to head there for dinner. Or, at least, there wasn't anything in McLean worth the trip until Friday night. Assaggi Osteria in McLean (in the same shopping center as the Balducci's), related to the Assaggi Mozzarella Bar in Bethesda, is conducting its soft opening this weekend. One of the people involved in opening the McLean location is a client of mine, and I scored an invitation to the first night of t
  2. The butternut squash soup at 2 Amy's on Sunday night had the slightly odd consistency of baby food, but it was sweet, slightly spicy, and completely satisfying. The Minestra pomadaro (tomato soup) at Pinzimini on October 30 was like a bowl full of butter chicken sauce from Delhi Dhaba, and I mean that in the best way possible.
  3. The kabocha squash soup at the Source is worth every cent of the $12.00 I spent on it last night. Easily the best soup I've had this year.
  4. A bowl of butternut squash soup at Jackson 20 on October 29 was rich and flavorful, good enough to order again (though not so amazing as to warrant a soup pilgrimage). Carrot soup at Restaurant Vero on November 14 was exactly as it should have been; not too thin, not too thick, savory with a hint of sweetness, and just the right amount. If you like carrot, you'll like the soup. Pumpkin soup at Black's Bar and Kitchen on November 15 was not as great as it read on the menu, as it lacked flavor, but the duck confit fritter swimming in the bowl saved the dish from being totally pedestrian.
  5. My fiancée and I ate dinner at the Arlington Astor Mediterranean last night (2/13/08). We arrived around 8:40 p.m., and we were the only customers there for a time. The restaurant presents as sort of a deli/fast-food restaurant, with much of its fare on display in glass units sandwiching the cash register. Orders are placed at the counter, and patrons can then get napkins, silverware, and condiments from a central location before grabbing a table. Our entrees were brought to the table for us, though I do not know if this is regularly the practice or if the employees did this just because the p
  6. I've shunned the Amphora for years because of eating there (the Vienna location) about a thousand times as a kid. My father still loves it. But I have, in the last two months, been there three times, and each time had the Caribbean salad. It's a huge salad consisting of a pile of mixed greens tossed with slices of avocado, mango, pineapple, red peppers, and oranges, along with a handful of walnuts. The dressing is a very pleasant citrus vinaigrette. The salad, along with a warm roll, makes for a satisfying light meal.
  7. My fiancée and I had dinner at Ravi Kabob last night. I had the punjabi curry, which featured pakora swimming in a creamy, spicy, but oddly flavorless sauce. Not bad, but not good enough to get again. The side of chickpeas was outstanding, and the naan was very, very good, though not amazing. The samosa we started with were surprisingly spicy, which I appreciated, though they had obviously been reheated and had a somewhat unpleasant chewy texture. The experience was sullied by something I saw in the kitchen area. As noted above, I ordered the punjabi curry, a vegetarian entree. When m
  8. My girlfriend and I ate dinner at the Crystal City Jaleo last night (10/25). I hadn't been to Jaleo in, literally, years (and therefore had not been to the Crystal City location), but it is back on my restaurant radar with a vengeance. We started by sharing the "classic" gazpacho and the "traditional white" gazpacho. The classic gazpacho was, as advertised, a straightforward take on the simple cold soup, and it conveyed a fresh, rich flavor, given body by olive oil. While the classic gazpacho was all we hoped for, the white gazpacho was nothing less than sensational. The bowl landed on my
  9. Me Jana's name conveys the Lebanese restaurant's desire to make its customers feel like family. Diners are greeted with a kind word and a basket of warm pita at the table akin to the soft, pillowy bread served at Zaytinya. A small plate in the center of the table contains olives, zatar (a spice), olive oil, and labneh (a thick yogurt), and the pita is well-served by a quick swipe through the olive oil and a dip in the labneh. Me Jana's interior suits its neighborhood. Red walls, glossy wood floors, and dark wood tables set a hip, stylish tone. Black cloth napkins, candles on the table, and st
  10. My mother is Peruvian, and we both like Granja De Oro in Falls Church and Pollos Inti in Sterling. Costa Verde in Arlington is well-regarded, but I have never been impressed with a meal there. My mother and I had lunch today at Pollos Inti. I had the best fried plantains I've had all year, and I've had them in at least a dozen different places. The fried yuca were hot and crispy, and the papa a la huancaina was creamy and satisfying. With an Inca Kola, a salad, and a tamal salvadoreno, our whole meal came to less than $20.00.
  11. Urbana in Dupont Circle has a sophisticated, hip atmosphere, an adjoining wine bar, and good-to-really good food. The restaurant has a great semi-private room with a rectangular table appropriate for a group of 10. Ask for "Joseph" as your server; he was super-pleasant the two times I've dined at one of his tables. I have also taken large groups (8-12) to the following restaurants, all of which seem to meet your criteria: Tabaq Bistro (ask to be in the upstairs area with the glass ceiling); Viridian; and Zola. I have also seen large groups in the upstairs section of Cafe Atlantico. Fina
  12. My girlfriend and I had a Restaurant Week dinner at the Oval Room last night (8/9/07). The appetizers were outstanding. My girlfriend's corn custard, which was slightly more liquid than solid, with peach and jalapenos (the latter of which did not have an overwhelming kick) was delicious and satisfying. My scallops appetizer consisted of two small scallops, perfectly cooked, surrounded by concentric circles of a vanilla sauce that was not quite foam but not quite cream and a mint oil of some sort, plus crunchy ginger, a nice texture touch. The scallops were very, very tasty, with the vanill
  13. My girlfriend and I have ended up at Asahi Kaiten Sushi for dinner twice in the last year, and liked it a lot both times. The fried california roll is outrageously good (if a bit of a traditionalist's nightmare), and the straightforward sushi (e.g., salmon avocado) was perfectly good, if not amazing. The avocado and asparagus salad is one of the best salads I have had at an Asian restaurant; the avocado is ripe, the asparagus is fresh, and the dressing is something sweet and citrus-y. The tuna and avocado salad is quite filling, particularly in light of its price ($10.00), and the wasabi ai
  14. I happened to end up in my building's elevator with a Sala Thai delivery guy this evening, and I asked him about the closing of the Courthouse location. There was a bit of a language barrier, but he seemed to say that the Courthouse location was just too close to the older location (at N. 10th and Washington Blvd.), and the new location in Courthouse was not getting enough business. (And I bet the rent was on the high side.) The delivery guy said that the older location is expected to stay open for the foreseeable future. I suspect that part of what happened is that if one lives in Courtho
  15. The relatively recently-opened Sala Thai at the corner of Clarendon Boulevard and N. Adams St. in Courthouse is closed. There's a large sign in the window advertising a new restaurant: "Me Jana." The sign states that the restaurant will feature "Fine Mediterranean Dining." Some quick Googling didn't turn up anything relevant for "Me Jana," though there seem to be one or more Mediterranean restaurants in other cities called "Mejana."
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