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Found 478 results

  1. [Please don't hide this hidden gem in "Multiple Locations" because it might be the best restaurant in Tysons Corner!] I had lunch with two colleagues at Nordstrom Cafe today, and I can't recommend it highly enough. This place is knocking out some of the best food in Tysons! First off, it's a cafeteria style, where you get in line -- and it can be quite a line at noon -- and order at the far left, pay at the far right, and the food is brought to the table when ready. There was an affable chap out front handing out menus and plenty of gratis tastes of today's fare. Inside, the decor is nicely not cafeteria-ish and there is comfortable seating for 100 or so. Ah, but the food....wow! Today I enjoyed the best bowl of she-crab soup I've eaten in a long time, if not ever, and the salmon salad nicoise was an amazing rendition. The she-crab soup was loaded with crab flavor and was really rich with cream and aromatics. I would order this soup over an over again. But let me pause to laud the salmon salad. Everything was perfect, and the roasted potatoes stood out with yummy caramelized crunchy surfaces. The salmon itself was cooked perfectly, with caramelized surfaces and a medium rare center, and it was melt-in-mouth delicious. I looked around the dining room while I was enjoying my food, and I was watching some beautiful compositions coming out of the kitchen....and a lot of empty plates returning. Notwithstanding the cafeteria style, service was excellent, from the gregarious greeter to each server along the line to the cash register team to the servers and the managers. This is a well staffed operation, and whatever gets emptied on your table is cleared in seconds. Oh yeah, and at the register you can get wine by the glass, or beer by the bottle. I went about some mall business after lunch, and on my way back to my car I passed the Cafe again. I grabbed a Margherita pizza to go....you know, in case I got hungry on that long ride back to Springfield. I ended up eating half of it before picking up KN Jr from high school, and he ate the rest. He typically complains about anything that doesn't come from McDonald's, but I never saw him eat half a pizza to fast. Since Inox and Michel closed in Tysons, I think this cafe can go toe-to-toe with Nostos, Shamshiry and Chef Geoff's when it comes to quality of food. I encourage some of you to check it out.
  2. Across the street from the Charles Theatre, the Lost City Diner finally opened after sitting for years almost finished. I went there this weekend before seeing the new Almodovar film and found a seat at their counter. The restaurant is designed like a 50's diner meets old B sci-fi film. The menu looks like an old comic book. I was surprised to find a lot of vegetarian/vegan options on their menu of sandwiches, burgers, salads, and dinners as well as ice creams/shakes/sundaes that you could substitute with soy options. I had their turkey burger that had brie and fried apple rings on top. It was pretty good. Great fries. They offer the fried apple rings as a starter on its own. My friend had the vegetarian muffaletta which she let me try. It had the right flavors of a muffaletta but in a pita- since she was vegetarian, she was excited about a diner where she had lots of choices.
  3. According to Eater, this Shaw joint just opened. The head chef previously worked at Le Bernadin and Guy Savoy. Being super hip and cool, we will be checking out their early-bird specials soon.
  4. From what I've read here, this is coming from the owners of the Limerick Pub, Squire's Rock Creek Chop House is opening just across the street on Price Ave in Wheaton. The concept reminds me of Ferdinands. I don't expect a destination restaurant, but perhaps a local watering hole where family can gather? Will be interesting to see how it is priced as well.
  5. The outdoor patio is expansive, and the water view probably the best on this side of the Lake Anne (Plaza). The family-owned restaurant has been here for many years, and in the business (not here, but in the NoVa area) for many more. There are large umbrellas to help ward off the sun, but the setting is 1970's concrete and brick with a running fountain at one end. The food is decent, some of their specials better choices than regular items. We have never had a bad meal here, and the service has improved significantly, now they have modernized the ordering process. There is a sports bar with 30 TVs so if you want a local place to hang and watch games with friends, it is easy to do that here. It is not a large space, so it can fill up quickly. We were told they recently got a new pizza oven from Italy, but were still getting the hang of it (cooking temps). I am sure it is up and fully functional now, since that was several weeks ago.
  6. It looks like Agraria's second location will be Founding Farmers, at the IMF building. See links here and here.
  7. With all the news about restaurants closing in Clarendon, here is a piece about one food and drink emporium extending their lease in Clarendon; the redoubtable Clarendon Grill I couldn't find a thread on Clarendon Grill. That is understandable. Its not exactly a fine dining or specialty food destination, but if one goes to their website one will find actual food on their menu!!!!! The article references that they opened in 1996. Twenty years while facing tremendously escalating rents. They may not be a destination for dining but they are doing something right to stay in business. Of course one doesn't know about the specifics of their lease. They could have a pristine record for paying rent and working easily with the landlord. They are probably paying umteems more now than they were paying in the late 90's and early part of the 2000's. The property owner is getting far more rent than years ago, and if its the same property owner over these 20 years, probably far more in rent than he/she imagined. Possibly they got a relative "helluva deal". If you renew the tenant, you don't suffer from vacancy. We simply don't know. Okay...that means there is one place in Clarendon with the same trusty, well known mediocre menu....and DRINKS.
  8. Went to matchbox tonight "on a whim". Try the white pizza with prosciutto. But instead of prosciutto, have anchovies on the side. Mmmmmmmm.
  9. I wound up running late for my 7:30 curtain last night (tenor Ian Bostridge, program of Schubert Lieder, for the curious ) and left my ticket at home requiring a trip to the box office to get a replacement. So, rather than try Notte Bianchi as planned I risked a meal at the bar at the Roof Terrace Restaurant. The two appetizers, while edible, were among the most haphazardly plated offerings I have ever had set in front of me and very poor value for the prices they are charging. The Roof Terrace year after year tries to present itself as a convenient fine dining destination. It's convenient if it's right before curtain and you have no other options, but that is the best that can be said of it. Baby beet salad arrived as a tangle of frisee next to chunks of quartered beets and a small wedge of nearly flavorless goat cheese. Beets and frisee were underdressed with a lackluster vinaigrette, and sprinkled with a few chives that added color rather than herbal sharpness. $12.00. When I compare it to the beet salad at Corduroy it makes me want to cry. Smoked Salmon with caper mayonnaise Four slices of smoked salmon, baby romaine dressed with not quite enough vinaigrette, and a blob of caper mayonnaise, slapped on a plate. $14.00. I have had better, tastier smoked salmon at Bagel City. The bread was spongy and full of sunflower and flax seeds and the unsalted butter was the right temperature but also flavorless - a theme for the whole meal. I drank a half bottle of Latour Puligny-Montrachet. Total bill $80 including tip. A ripoff, especially with far superior food two blocks away. Edit: Wrong forum. Could someone move this? Thanks.
  10. Not really sure where to put this...North East is pretty far north of Baltimore and for those of us from the DC area, the relevant feature is the proximity to an exit from I-95. The Port House Grill is one of those places that: - Has a smallish menu of standard American fare (salads, burgers, sandwiches) - Yet seems to take great care with each element on the plate - Is casual and affordable These things make it perfect for families, travellers, etc who don't want Burger King but also don't want a full, formal meal "process". It reminds me a bit of a somewhat less ambitious version of Family Meal sans a waitstaff on the floor. For instance - the fries are fresh cut and nicely seasoned. They aren't as heavy on the salt and seasonings as Family Meal. The potato salad is likewise fresh (the diced onion still had snap), goes light on the mayo and comes with a sprinkling of seafood seasoning (which I LOVE on potato salad). I enjoyed the portabella mushroom burger, served with a zucchini/squash filling on a brioche bun. My wife had the chicken sandwich, and the kids had quesadillas. The folks are nice. You might say the downside is the layout - a square room with about 12 tables and a counter at the back. You order, pour your own soda and sit and wait for the food to come, a la Noodles and Company. But...if you're travelling and want a decent meal but not a long wait for the waitstaff to take your order and bring your check- this is the ticket. Note that the online menu is pretty accurate in terms of what they offer but I think the in-store prices are a higher than what you see online. Not much, but a little.
  11. Linda's Cafe is out on Rt. 29, not far past the Glebe intersection and the Heidelberg Bakery, on the corner of Edison St. and Lee Hwy. This is what I saw outside that made me pull over: 1. A neon sign that said "The Best Burgers." 2. An exterior done in red paint that was so thick it looked sticky to the touch. 3. Limited parking in the sort of minimall that could earnestly include a stamp and coin collecting shop. Once inside, this is why I stayed: 1. The elderly black host/waiter/sometime cook who was wearing a huxtable sweater and baseball cap. 2. The latina waitress who sang softly to herself as she bussed tables. 3. The silver-haired Greek cook with the hair on his hands singed short from constant proximity to the grill. 4. The menagerie of customers you get at 10:30 on a Friday morning, which is too late for a respectable breakfast and too early for a respectable lunch. Bedraggled hipsters, mechanics, some elderly men reading the paper, a knight, the Pardoner, the wife of Bath, etc. Characters. People with stories worth eavesdropping on. Afterwards, this is why I'll be back: 1. The burger (the Linda Burger) with grilled onions and mushrooms could likely compete in the "best" category with Five Guys, In-n-Out, etc. Not Palena or other boutique burgers, of course, but this isn't the sort of place that uses brioche for a bun. I take burgers VERY seriously. Even the waitress stopped what she was doing to watch it cook, then turned to me and said, "doesn't that look delicious?" It really did and I said so. 2. A fairly comprehensive diner breakfast, reasonably priced, that looks like it's worth a shot. 3. Regulars actually send this place postcards from vacation. There are wedding photos on the wall by the cashier, plus graduation portraits, and a glamor shot of the waitress (could she be the eponymous Linda?) 4. The sort of food that McDonalds and Subway neutered and rendered safe, the American greasy spoon menu, still exists here. My wife will shy away from this place, say it's too greasy, and then we'll go get roti slathered with ghee in an Indian restaurant. No, honey, no more excuses. I like grease. I like my burger with a side of cheese grits. I want four, maybe five, different fried potato products and I'm going to put hot sauce on all of them and the healthy way we live our lives means that this is a more enjoyable eating adventure than Mexican/Asian fusion (screw you, Zengo, you're too hip for me) will ever be. 5. The Clarendon corridor has reached a saturation point. Some day, all of that will come marching down Lee Highway (four dollar gas might get metro stops in lots of unlikely places, you know) and then where will the dives and diners go in the face of property values that can't be stopped? Eat here, enjoy it, because there's a sense of permanence in a place like this that is actually very fragile. Detractions, of course, exist: 1. No desserts. The waitress said it was because she has a sweet tooth and wants to watch her figure. On the one hand, that's sensible. On the other hand, where's my damn apple pie? 2. If there were more than a half dozen people in Linda's at 10:30AM on a workday, I can't imagine the tiny parking lot working out very well during sensible dining hours. There, that's twelve good reasons minus two bad for a grand total of ten give this place a try points.
  12. Greetings Rockwellers, Just got off the phone with Patrick Bazin, the former executive chef at Occidental in D.C., who is poised to welcome guests to his new namesake restaurant tomorrow evening. Bazin has about two dozen dishes on his debut menu, including items like a Southwestern chicken soup with black beans and grilled radicchio, ricotta ravioli in a Meyer lemon sauce and a "double thick" Iowa pork chop served with vanilla sweet potatoes and braised Swiss chard. Most appetizers appear to be under $10 and the entrees top out at $26 for the crab cakes. The restaurant is located at 111 Church Street NW in Old Town Vienna and doors open at 5 p.m. for dinner. Just thought you'd like to know.....
  13. I just had brunch at BRX, an American Bistro in Great Falls, VA (www.brxgf.com/). Having eaten here for lunch and dinner, sadly I had overlooked this local establishment for brunch. This place is nestled in the small shopping center along Route 193 (Georgetown Pike) and Leesburg Pike (Route 7) at the traffic light. They are locally owned and have an excellent menu and specials weekly. Brunch was excellent - all their food is made to order and from various eggs benedicts to pancakes, crepes or omelettes you cannot miss. Because they are situated in the corner of the plaza you have to look for it. The decor is nice and the bar area separated by glass from the main dining area. When the weather is nice, you can be seated outside. The staff is accommodating and the owner is often visible and interactive making sure your experience is to your liking. The have a great wine selection as you will observe when you enter there is a wine locker area that appears well utilized. If you are looking for a nice, consistent locally-owned restaurant with comfortable atmosphere, check it out.
  14. I looked for a while but can't find a thread on this place, which seems inconceivable to me, so I'll assume the error is mine. I just want to put in a plug and say that if you're looking to get a drink downtown (specifically near my office) you can do a lot worse that the bar here. It feels old school Washington, and for the past couple of years they have a put in a really good bar program. It's not cheap, but they use good ingredients (and fresh ingredients) and they know what they're doing with their cocktails. You can typically get seats at the bar or one of the bar tables, which you can't always say about Old Ebbitt, you can have a conversation, and they won't do something ridiculous like shake your Manhattan (like Old Ebbitt). I thought it deserved mention.
  15. Jessica Sidman of Washington City Paper reports that Woodward Table and WTF (Woodward Takeout Food), is now open. Has anyone heard anything about the opening Chef de Cuisine?
  16. I'll put in a plug for King Street Blues on S. St. Asaph St. one block south of King in Old Town, Alexandria. The place has been there for years and I don't think their menu has changed one iota since it opened. When it's cold outside and you're hungry, it's hard to beat their meatloaf and chicken fried steak. Both with mashed potatoes and gravy. Either will fill and warm you up. Good beer on tap. Service and environs OK. A good neighborhood spot. Clickety
  17. I had a chance to swing by Family Meal this past weekend for lunch. I was surprised to find it in a pretty industrial part of town and it's essentially a shiny glass island of a building on a huge blacktop so it's easily found if you're not familiar with Frederick. Even though the place is pretty expansive, there was a constant flow of traffic the whole time I was there. The lunch menu is littered with a lot of familiar American classics like deviled eggs, fried chicken, burgers and shakes. But, if you're looking for something a little more interesting, you can also find crispy pig ears and duck poutine. I ordered the heirloom tomato gazpacho, fried chicken and banana split. The gazpacho was a refreshing start which included two generous chunks of shrimp and a dollop of avocado. The fried chicken was nicely crispy on the outside and really moist on the inside. The side of hot sauce was something new for me when paired with fried chicken and gave it a nice additional flavor. The banana split is more like banana slices on top of vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry ice cream. I liked the thinner spoon size slices of banana and the bourbon vanilla ice cream stood out in the dessert. I liked the overall experience of the restaurant but I don't know if I would recommend a road trip just to go there. However, if you're in the area or it's not too far out of the way, then it would be worth your while.
  18. Stan's Restaurant is in the MacPherson Square area, and is a worthy addition to the Dining Guide. A friend and I both tucked into a club sandwich, which thanks to Mario Batali in Lucky Peach a few years ago, I usually order at my first time in a restaurant because, as he says, "the club sandwich is the most interesting, most telling dish about how hard the kitchen is trying." And so it would be at my first visit to Stan's.... The club sandwich here did not disappoint. The combination of ingredients hit the spot. Filled to the edges of the four triangles, the lettuce was fresh, the bacon was fried in-house, the tomato was fresh and maybe local, the architecture was sturdy, and the satisfaction quotient was high. I had the fries as the side, and almost to my surprise, they were crisp on the outside and soft and hot in the middle. This place is a bit of a dive and somewhat loud, but I can't think of too many reasons not to return when I'm in that neighborhood.
  19. When I had dinner at Al Crostino the other night, I noticed that the place next door was also new (well, at least I think so). Creme. It looks like more bar/lounge than restaurant, however our server at Al Crostino said it was in fact a restaurant. Has anyone heard anything about this place or been there?
  20. I did not see a thread for Craft (itself). Wow. I wonder why?!! Been twice and loved both times. Really good food, really good service both times. Great space. I will have to try to dig up photos (I think I have some from both times).
  21. I think I'm going to like the concept. An accomplished foreign chef, like Jose Andres (or Jacques Pepin) comes to America and falls in love with our regional ingredients and traditions, and then gives them center stage with a slight uplifting from his culinary heritage. I'm going to like this a lot....
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