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About melogranato

  • Birthday 10/14/1979

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    Wine & artisan cocktails, honest food well executed, concept food well executed. All food that's well executed. Canning, pickling, fermenting, and distilling. (Shhh) Baking and coffee, of course. In the winter, braising and roasting. And when I'm not in the kitchen or the restaurant I play with a camera, spend time on the sides of mountains, bury my nose in a book, or dance 'til the morning light.

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  1. Not to hijack the thread, but where would you recommend for good Peruvian? This has been a topic of much conversation over the past week in my household.
  2. Just back from a weekend in Ojai and SB with some old industry friends and have to put in plugs for Les Marchands and Handlebar Coffee Roasters. Handlebar was a great little diversion when we landed in town a little early. They're roasting some nice coffee and pulling a mean shot. Sunny little courtyard, gluten free options as well as standard pastries and a very friendly attitude. Reminded me of Albina Press in Portland back when Billy was still pulling shots. As always I don't understand a third wave shop that doesn't have simple syrup on the bar, particularly when they have a hot plate but that was my only complaint. Definitely recommend. I hate 'curated' as an adjective but it's applicable to the selection at Les Marchands - nice esoteric wine shop with items to please any wine nerd on your list at good prices. They'll open any bottle for $10 corkage in the cafe side, and they have some very tasty little bites. We tried almost all the small bites from the delicious charcute board to the homemade onion dip with house chips. Really nice space both indoor and out of the sort you just don't find done as well out here on the East Coast.
  3. I work out in Tyson's on occasion so have been more than a handful of times. Must say that other than Jesus's taco truck on 14th these are the best tacos I've had in the DMV. On par with what I used to get in the Willamette Valley and LA? Nope. But that doesn't mean they're not tasty and a helluva lot better than everything else I've tried - which, full disclosure, isn't exhaustive Food quality and execution is consistent. Overpriced? Sure, but what isn't out here. Agree with Eatdceat that the specialty tacos are generally more interesting than the traditional, but the lengua and carnitas are well done.
  4. I don't see that Sibarita is mentioned in the forums anywhere, and as I had a really enjoyable meal there the other night I wanted to mention it. Apologies if my search-fu is simply lacking today and I'm duplicating. Sibarita is located on the south side of Washington Blvd just down from 10th/Pershing in Arlington. It's a relatively small venue; a little bar with some seating in the front, and a larger dining area in the back. We were a party of four that grew to six and had the entire back of the restaurant to ourselves, sadly, though it did appear that there were a couple of parties that moved through the "bar" during our tenure. The service was fantastic if occasionally slow - we took a long time to decide what to order and I think our waitress got distracted after the third request for more time. That said, she was incredibly helpful in suggesting what to order and very friendly. We spoke Spanish because I'm always looking for the excuse, though her English was great. We ordered the silpancho de res, pescado a la parilla, and the mini parrillada, as well as a side each of fried and grilled plantains, neither of which were specifically on the menu as sides but both of which they were happy to bring for us. I've never had Bolivian cuisine before so I can't speak to the authenticity but I really enjoyed the entire meal. Despite our concern, we had plenty of food even when our party grew to 6 after we'd ordered. The silpancho was just the right amount of crispy and came with over-easy eggs instead of fried. The rice was nicely cooked, the tomatoes and onions had a good balance of sweetness and bite, and the in-house green hot sauce that was on the table in a ketchup bottle added the final heat to bring everything together. I would happily buy this sauce if they sold it retail, my "hot tooth" found it addicting. Potatoes came the way I remember potatoes always coming in Spain - not particularly crispy but somehow still pleasing in their softness. The fish was tilapia, well seasoned with some spice rub, well cooked. Not particularly remarkable, but tasty. The mini parrillada isn't on their online menu; it was $25 and was supposed to serve 2 but easily served three. The sausage had some kick, the shortribs were juicy with nice crisp fat, the chicken was beautifully not overcooked. I don't recall there being any morcilla on the plate, nor heart or tripe. The side salad was also good, a version of the topping over the silpancho but with a queso fresco and jalapenos. All in all an enjoyable meal. Total came to $70-something, and included several beers and an Inca Cola.
  5. Dinner for a friend's birthday on a Sunday in the past month was incredibly disappointing, and I'll be honest that I approach most restaurants in the area with high hopes but low expectations. I know, I know: Sundays aren't the best time to judge quality, but the missteps were fairly basic. I wouldn't have necessarily minded the slug wiggling around next to my greens - means they're fresh, right? - except that they were so overdressed they lost whatever brightness that freshness brings. They came as an accompaniment to an incredibly sweet and strangely foamy chicken liver mousse heavy with an equally overly sweet gelee, and that set the tone for the entire meal. The details are mostly uninteresting and sound nitpicky when I write them out- the confit was too salty to be eaten while conversely the frites came without salt, the mussels were lukewarm at best and served without a fork, the duckfat fried potatoes had no color or crispness, the wine had been stored improperly, the stemware was thick, our server was sweet but not terribly competent, etc etc. Perhaps this is all an artifact of the low prix-fixe Sunday meal, I can't say. I just know it was one of the most humorously bad meals I've had in a long time and there was nothing in it to make me think giving them a second shot would make any difference.
  6. Just back from a trip home and would like to recommend smallwares to anyone traveling to PDX in the near future. Went with a friend who, full disclosure, works with ChefStable, though I don't think that altered our service. The scallop sashimi, den miso, shallot, puffed rice was perfect start to the evening: sweet, buttery, and tangy, and the crunch of puffed rice worked really well instead of distracting as feared. The squid salad was equally beautiful with excellent texture and just enough heat. I was skeptical of ordering the cured steelhead but it melted in the mouth in the best way possible. The kale salad was a touch boring, ultimately, though as satisfying as a big bowl of raw kale can be. I thought the quali missed the mark, pretty underwhelming. The rapini was nicely bitter, and the oxtail curry seemed heavy compared to everything else we had. The kitchen sent out an order of the mushrooms that are now on the menu but weren't at the time, and the poached-egg-as-sauce was one of the better examples I've experienced. The chicken lollipops were pure crack: crispy and fatty in everyway you'd desire, and who doesn't love siracha mayo? There was an additional dish involving heavy amounts of bean paste which is no longer on the menu; good for them as it was overly salty and one dimensional. Dinner for 3 with, oh- say, 3 glasses of wine and 6-7 cocktails? I can't quite recall- was $175. I personally didn't think their cocktails particularly shined, and given the glass pour options I'd advise sticking with wine or beer.
  7. I don't see that anyone has mentioned Jesus's special "relish" - relish in quotes as I'm not sure just what to call it. Sliced onions, diced habaneros, dressed in lime juice for a quick pickle: the heat is just gorgeous, not very hot but nicely warm, the onion is sweet, and the lime gives the perfect tang. It isn't left out for you to help yourself but if you ask for it he generally seems to have it on hand in the back.
  8. I feel guilty for not having been a more active member - I just moved here from PDX and would have recommended St Jack, the perfect PDX mix of well executed French bistro done seasonally with local ingredients, killer cocktails, and a laid back atmosphere. Also EAT for one of the best selection of West coast raw oysters, and Barista or the Red e for your best coffee fixes. I have found no good bread in DC - but there's Ken's Artisan Bakery, The Pearl Bakery, & Nuvrei in PDX. Be still, my croissant-loving loins. Little Bird over Le Pige, Laurelhurst Market & Pok Pok definitely, Grain & Gristle & Andina are totally worth skipping. Hopworks' Bike Bar & the Green Dragon for the best beer's in town, Podnah's for BBQ- I think they just got a nod from the NYT but don't hold it against them, they're insanely good. Too little & too late, but hopefully someone else can benefit!
  9. Hello from the West Coast! Who was it that said, 'introductions are odious'? Google Books pulls a passage from Rosenmeyer discussing Milton, but somehow it sounds to me like a Gertrude Stein quote. Regardless, my name is Camas, from the pacific northwest wildflower and not the Spanish for 'beds.' I'm just about to uproot my comparatively bucolic life in Portland, OR and head to DC for work. Being, of course, terribly spoiled when it comes to farmer's markets and serious coffee I have to be honest that I've been a bit apprehensive. A quick perusal of this site has alleviated most of my fears and made me jealous of how much further along you are in the growing season. Corn? and sour cherries? Be still my heart, we've just seen the first of the shell peas. Looking forward to joining in more actively when I've got feet on the ground.
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