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tastedc

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About tastedc

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  1. Not really too familiar with these 2 food bloggers who became film makers, but this is a pretty neat "slice of life" film (short) on arepas being made in Venezuela - http://www.abbottandwest.com/show/the-innocents-abroad/?episode=arepera-guacuco-the-arepa-mariscada
  2. It's been awhile since I've been on DonRockwell, but Don said I should post this (FYI..TasteDC re-launched in January, 2013 - it's a slightly different concept - we post ALL food and drink events..): Neighborfood - H St. NE Foodie Tour June 29th (Saturday), 2 - 5 pm Smith Commons 1245 H Street, NE Washington, DC 20002 Neighborfood Event Page *** Special Discounted Tickets - 50% Off Normal Price *** Neighborfood: 1 Day, 8 Restaurants, 100's of People, 1 Neighborhood.. Neighborfood is an afternoon celebration of food, family, and the community we live in. Current Featured Restaurants: Smith Commons, Sol Mexican Grill, Tru Orleans, The Queen Vic, Hikari Sushi, H & Pizza, Rose’s Deja Vu and more.. Tickets Are $30/person (with Special Discount) for Entry and 10 Food Tickets Purchase Tickets Online Current Featured Restaurants (these may change..sorry, they probably will!!): 1. Smith Commons 2. Sol Mexican Grill 3. Tru Orleans 4. The Queen Vic 5. Hikari Sushi 6. H & Pizza 7. Rose’s Deja Vu 8. TBA! *** Note: Event is Rain or Shine *** Neighborfood is an afternoon celebration of food, family, and the community we live in. A neighborhood is defined by the community within it, so, for one afternoon, we will be inviting your neighbors to live it, love it, and eat in it, because as Virginia Woolf said “One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.” On Saturday, June 29th, We will be dining at 8 different restaurants along the H Street Corridor which are all within walking distance. Your ticket will include food at each participating location, with drink specials to be offered. We will be donating a portion of the proceeds to local nonprofits. Let's celebrate the community and help it out, too! How does it work?: A ticket is your invitation to dine at all 8 participating locations. During check-in, on the day of, you will receive a dinner map, which shows you all the places you will try and love. Are tickets available day of?: Yes, but they will be $15 at check in, right now they are $10. Food and beverage tickets will be available the day of for $5. I’m a Vegetarian: We love and respect vegetarians, and there may be vegetarian dishes at various places, but, we cannot guarantee vegetarian options or any other dietary restrictions. *** Cancellation Policy: Cancellations are taken within 48 hours advance notice. All Dishcrawl events are rain or shine. *** Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ): -Are kids welcome? Yes, we love kids! Although, participating locations have the right to refuse service to anyone. -Do kids need a ticket? No, they only need a ticket if they are eating. Your ticket entails you to just one dish at each participating location. For our younger neighbors, we recommend one ticket for two kids to share. About Dishcrawl (We curate experience!): Here at Dishcrawl, we are proud to say that what started off as a simple idea to explore different foods, restaurants, and neighborhoods in our local area has blossomed into who we are today, a company that is dedicated to re-imagining the way people experience food, drink, and their local communities.
  3. FYI- most of the meat for LMOTA comes from Fauquier's Finest in Bealton, VA - I know the FF owners if you want the scoop. All VA raised animals, all natural (unless told otherwise), all part of Virginia's Finest "Buy Local" program and all slaughtered on premise.
  4. I've been collecting fine wine for about 10 years now and I have learned alot about finding rare and hard-to-find wines, buying Bordeaux both in bottle and en primeur (making some nice returns!), and wine storage issues. I'm not an expert, but I think with my wine background and pretty good interview skills, I could make a book of this! So looking for help/advice on writing a wine collecting book: who should I contact, do I need an agent, what publishing houses does this make the most sense for? The current "plan" for the title is "Wine Collecting 101" - I also teach a class with the same name here in DC. What would also be of interest are comments on existing books about wine/wine collecting, what you think is missing, maybe some ideas for approaching this....also, I would like to interview various wine collectors from novice to old kindred, I would like the book to have anecdotes and stories as well!!
  5. I agree with you Mark - who thinks twice about a woman sommelier?? Hey, sommeliers have gotten rid of the Tastevin lugging around their neck, anyone with a good attitude should be welcome by any diner! And the last bit about the complaining couple only brings up the point that people who dine out can be difficult - particularly if they lack wine or "dining" knowledge - this couple was committed to a particular wine - they wanted their Moscato, and nobody was going to change their mind - YESSIREEE BOB!
  6. tastedc

    Uzbek Cuisine

    Here is a menu of Uzbeki dishes that I had catered at the Embassy of Uzbekistan a few years ago: -Dim Sum -Plov: Traditional Uzbeki rice dish with carrots, onions and various Central Asian spices -Samsa: Traditional Uzbeki fried dough filled with either pumpkin or meat and onions -Monti: Traditional Uzbeki steamed or fried dumplings filled with either pumpkin or with meat and onions -Gamma: Traditional Uzbeki fried dumplings filled with meat and potatoes Note - Dim Sum is really Asian cuisine, but Uzbekistan is geographically located between at least 3 major cultures: Asian, Middle Eastern/Persian and European. The food reflects a certain hardiness in comparison to Asian and Middle Eastern cuisine which may reflect the living conditions in the area? One thing I learned without a question - beef is always served well-done and meat is cooked all the way through - I've also noticed this in Middle Eastern culture, possibly it has to do with either the quality of meat (lack of refrigeration?) or some other preference? When I was in a Marrakesh bazaar, meat was served "fresh" in other words, before rigor mortis set in - vendors show their meat to shoppers as bloody and fresh - just the opposite of "aging" beef!
  7. I've been to all three, but I had great experiences at all of them (twice at Komi!)...Il Mulino seemed like a mess - from the time I walked in until the time I left, it was a bizarre experience - PLUS it's located in NoWhereville on Vermont Ave., NW - but if I were to focus on food to the exclusion of service (is that possible?) - my answer would be "No" - when I pay the Big Dollars, I like multi-course and touches and flourishes of ingredients, interesting combinations, suggested wine pairings - I mean at the Top of the Game, restaurants offer that...to be fair, you might want to put Il Mulino in the Expense Account/Steakhouse Genre which I don't care for but even then, I want impressive service and food - I don't feel any reason to give the place a second chance!
  8. Wait, to top it all off (sorry, I almost fell asleep when I posted last night, must have been the grappa!) -- I asked the server for a menu to take home with me - they're printed on paper - he said NO!! I mean, I would have accepted simply the dishes written down on a piece of paper, but when he looked me seriously in the face and said "No Way" - I put up the white surrender flag and scurried out...
  9. I ate at Il Mulino tonight - Thursday, March 29th and all can say...it was Surreal! 8 PM Reservation with my sister, we were a few minutes late - a very New Yauk guy was complaining about his 15 minute wait and how this would never happen in NYC...there were maybe 10 full tables and 25 empty ones, the place was pretty empty! I sort of ignored the guy because he was complaining pretty loudly an it took about 5 minutes to get a table...tons of servers/sommeliers and who knows what scurrying around....except...they FORGOT US!!! We got the salami, breads (very good, the garlic bread was some of the best and some crispy bread was truly decadent!) and the Parm Reg was excellent - soft and crumbly but amazingly flavorful - but nobody took our order or introduced themself or asked if we wanted a drink...for 1 hour - YES 60 MINUTES!!! We couldn't even figure out who to ask, it was like the flying Karamazov Bros. or something, we were stuck in Hell!! Finally, I looked around and blocked one of the servers with a question and we finally got the wine list and the menus - 9:15 or so, over 1 hour into the meal...the server offered us free Prosecco's because of our long wait which were very nice and then I ordered a decent 2001 Barolo, Cannibi from the wine list - fruit forward not too tannic - at $150, probably priced about right - then things seemed to smooth out...the server mentioned what was good, also about 1/2 portions (it would be too much to order a pasta and a main course, they are very large portions) being OK and acceptable....I didn't get a menu, but my sis had the asparagus in I think Hollandaise, and the 1/2 portion of ravioli...I started with the Spaghetti Bolognese (very earthy and delicious) and had the veal scallopini I think Milanese - with fresh tomatoes and parsley on top, it was decent, the flavors were nice, it was a tad dry overall... So we're feeling better and we had the wonderful tiramisu with sabayon and whipped cream that was very good and then they did the honors of pouring the free grappa with dessert - the bill comes - $300 plus/plus AND THE ALLEGEDLY FREE PROSECCO'S WERE ON THE BILL....we considered having them taken off, but it was late and we just paid the bill. Conclusion: if it's this empty on a Thursday night this early in their opening, something's gotta be wrong - maybe a bad review, or some bad initial press, but things are not looking very good...too many people running around with no clear objective and too many hungry people waiting...I don't think I would go back again very eagerly ...
  10. The article wasn't clear - what about "leftover wine" - meaning something that's been opened, oxidized and put in the refrigerator for a few weeks (months!) and then used to cook with? So it's "drinkable" wine that's become "undrinkable"...my experiments have been successful - even inexpensive 1/2 finished bottles of wine, red or white pulled out of the refrigerator have added nice acidity and flavors to a myriad of dishes. My conclusion is that wines as they oxidize, lose some fruit and seem more acidic, and thus you may want to reduce/adjust the other acids being added to the dish such as lemon or vinegar. Overall - I don't cook with oaky white wines - I was told that the oak reduces down and gets concentrated giving "off" flavors in the final dish - but it seems like I need to put this to the test - Onward in the name of Science!!
  11. The most popular wine at celebrations tends to be sparkling wine, particularly Champagne. Is there any way you can get that poured before the meal at Reception time? Even if it's an inexpensive Cava or Prosecco, people LOVE the bubbly!! I don't even have an opinion of the white and red choices - everyone has different tastes with wine, especially now with all the available choices, it would be hard to go wrong!
  12. King Street Blues - Haven't been to King Street Blues in years but this is comfort food served in Southern Roadhouse style! Kids should love it, parents too! I seem to remember the garlic mashed potatoes are great, and the portions are Big - come hungry! A little Foodie Aside - the Old Town Whole Foods is worth a visit - it's bigger than most and has really great prepared foods, you could visit it and have lunch there. The bad news is Old Town is still full of touristy average restaurants, but upscale dining is very good. Oh, and Tapas, you can go chain La Tasca, or homegrown Las Tapas - I would prefer the latter, they have darn good Sangria and during the week I think they have a Flamenco night? Here's a pretty good restaurant guide: Old Town Crier Restaurant List - have fun!
  13. A little different perspective: Of course consider the financials and the tax returns, but investing in an on-going business is not like investing in a stock or an investment vehicle - you are purchasing, the assets, goodwill and frankly the headaches of running a going concern. So what causes most of the headaches? Take a serious look at the equipment and the physical plant - does it need fixing or will it need to be replaced soon? That should be discounted from the value/price. What about the baker - any "personal" issues that might take him/her away from this wonderful "investment" - don't purchase until you have an emergency plan to replace the baker if need be, maybe do a little looking into the job itself and skill level - how long would it take to find and train a baker replacement if this one is no longer working there?? Why is the bakery being sold - that usually suggests a problem - not to be paranoid, but most businesses are usually sold when there's a problem. What is the upside of this business? It takes about 2 years of running a business before you can really understand all the ups and downs - maybe the owner will stay on board for awhile and train you how to handle things? Finally why? Why invest in a relatively risky business unless there is high expectation of high returns? I give this as an entrepreneur's rule of thumb - first estimate how long it will take for the bakery to make the profit "you expect" and how much is that annual profit? Double the time estimate for your estimated profit and cut the profit in half - NOW would you still invest in this business? IF the answer is "yes", this investment may make sense, if not, be aware of the "dream/manure syndrome" - we always dream about greener pastures, but we often fail to see the manure we're about to step in!
  14. I went to Central tonight with a Foodie Friend and thoroughly enjoyed the meal. From DR I was keenly aware that there might be a service issue or possibly a wait for our Reservation - my friend came a few minutes before our reservation at 7 pm, they sat her at the bar where she had a Belgian Beer. I showed up a few minutes after 7 gave my name and they told me she was waiting at the bar. I grabbed her and went right back to the reservation stand and they immediately sat us - perfect! Table for 2 (it's kind of loud in their, but that is probably my only complaint!) and our server Renee came up to us immediately and went over the menu. Quick and efficient, no problems! Meal: I asked Renee for her favorites - I mean this is a Bistro, the server obviously would know what's good/popular/fresh or just tastes the best! She suggested hands-down the onion tart to start (delicious - very thin almost pizza like with sweet caramelized onions - very satisfying, simple and great!) the gougeres (hey, puffed cheese - not exciting, but alot of fun to eat, kind of like kiddie food!) and the Lobster Burger (phenomenal - a combination of really sweet lobster meat, some type of home-made mayo, tomatoes which were good for the season on a brioche and real crisp, hot salty french fries as a side - she brought over ketchup - I know, I know how American, but c'mon, either that or mayo!!) and the 72 hour short rib (pretty lean cut of meat, probably more so than I expected, very pot roasty, but very delicious beefy flavor and nice steak sauce which didn't take away from the meat, also a nice puree - it had little potato "crisps" in it). For Dessert, she said go with the Kit Kat with Vanilla Ice Cream (we Snickered about that - ha!!) and it tasted like a moussy Kit Kat. All-in-all, a very nice dining experience for about $150 before tip for 2 people with a bottle of wine - pricey for a regular bistro, but I felt this was a reasonable price, this is more artsey food than most bistros have. Only 1 glitch, and frankly it made the evening more entertaining and enjoyable: We ordered a Burgundy Renee suggested, the "Les Orchis" Domaine Henri Naudin-Ferrand Cotes du Beaunes 2000 - it was on the light side but did great with our dishes - perfect - but first and only glitch that I could tell - the Wine Steward came over to us and brought the wrong wine - a Gewurztraminer - which is white and in the long thin bottle - he seemed a bit confused when I told him it was the wrong wine - that was the only glitch, Renee handled it beautifully and I actually kidded her about it a few times - how a restaurant handles a minor error says loads about their service - her diligence was incredible - rarely seen in DC, thumbs up!! Conclusion - I would eat their again, and I would ask for Renee - it's rare you get a server that was so memorable and attentive - Michel is great when he comes over, but Renee was really efficient and pleasant and seemed to really be on the ball!
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