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Found 492 results

  1. Kingbird is now the answer to any question about dining near the Kennedy Center. If you can get past the absolutely shameful high prices on the wine list (a long list from $90-$500, but only one or two bottles priced at $40-$50; I wouldn't recommend coming for drinks after happy hour), the service is friendly and we all enjoyed our meals and the atmosphere. Scallops, beef tartare, and pommes frites were all fantastic starts to share before the main courses. They also serve gratis curry popcorn that is very good. We had pork belly and veal bolognese for entrees, which were both okay. I finished with some kind of deconstructed tiramisu with coffee gelato, I think shaved coffee beans on top, cream, and chocolate. As much as I'd want to protest ever going back to this place based on the prices of the drinks, our appetizers and dessert served by our friendly waitress really won us over. They also gave us gratis lemon macaroons at the end, which was very nice. I didn't see a thread yet on Kingbird, and I usually don't like to start new threads for a restaurant like this on my own, but I'm sure Don will start one based on this post.
  2. Here are scenes and some info from the ribbon cutting yesterday. "Del Frisco's Grille Ribbon Cutting" by Amaris Pollock on phillygrub.blog
  3. I hadn't seen my husband (or eaten a decent meal) in a week, so we decided to try something new for Friday's date night. We headed over to NoPa with high expectations, having all of our wonderful experiences at Rasika in mind - clearly, we knew that the food would be different, but I think we figured the "bones" would be very similar. I wasn't completely disappointed, but in my mind, NoPa still has some tweaking to do. We sat at the bar, which is pretty small, but we found two seats relatively quickly. Service at first was attentive-bordering-on-clingy - we barely had time to look at the cocktail menu before he wanted us to order. I started with a very good "brasserita," which was spicy and tangy and really tasty. Jason had a gin and tonic of some sort, but I'll let him post separately about what he thought. I also ordered a strawberry-basil-vodka cocktail that usually comes with soda in it, but the bartender was happy to leave the soda out (indicating that it wouldn't make a difference overall), and it was very fresh. I probably should have ordered it with dessert. We got a bread basket early in the going, which had decent "regular" bread and some delicious rosemary pull-apart rolls. The butter served with the bread was the proper temperature (yay), but it was unsalted (boo). For our first round of apps, we tried the twice-fried chicken and the smoked salmon croquettes. The chicken, for $10, was a drumstick and two thighs of delicious, perfectly fried chicken that was crispy (and NOT greasy) on the outside and moist and juicy on the inside. All it needed was a little salt, and it would have been among the best I've ever had. The homemade ketchup served with it was quite good, though. I thought it was a great value. The croquettes were technically well done, but they had more of a dill flavor than a smoked salmon flavor, which thrilled my husband and disappointed me. Second round, we ordered the olive oil poached octopus and the duck confit. The octopus was tender and cooked nicely, but it had way too much olive flavor going on, and I am not a fan of olives, so it was definitely not something I went back to over and over. On the other hand, the duck confit was amazing - crispy on the outside, tender on the inside, and PERFECTLY seasoned. There was also a sour cherry mustard sauce that went perfectly with the meat (when we weren't just sucking the meat directly off the bone like animals). Fantastic. Jason had some beers and I had a glass of sauvignon blanc (neither were anything to write home about - didn't think their selection, at least draft/by the glass, was particularly exciting), and we noticed that service had definitely taken a turn for the slow. Empty plates would sit in front of us for much longer, and other than the occasional, "Everything good?" there really wasn't much engagement. I already knew, from research, that I was interested in dessert. We ended up trying the fried strawberry pies and the maple pecan sticky bun. YUM to both. They each came with ice cream, but Jason will have to tell you about those - I was definitely only in it for the pastries. The strawberry pies were filled with fresh strawberry filling that was naturally sweet, so it was great that the pastry itself was more neutral and you didn't get that super sugary donut-esque cavity-inducing thing where the dish as a whole is just too sweet for more than a few bites. It was nicely balanced, and I would like to make some myself. The sticky bun was just decadent. Soft on the inside, though, and gooey and sticky and divine on the outside, with a few candied pecans sprinked on top for good measure. It would be the perfect breakfast pastry, if it wouldn't give you an epic sugar crash about an hour after you ate it. It made me think of my grandpa, who could never say no to a big ol' pecan sticky bun - he really would have liked this one, and I smiled while I was eating it because it allowed me to go back down memory lane and think of all the sticky buns we shared while he was alive. So, 4 apps, 2 desserts, 2 cocktails and a glass of wine for me, and then I think 1 cocktail, 2 beers, and a glass of port for Jason, and the total before tip was $139. I gave the overall experience a B-/B. Dessert was a real surprise highlight for me. With a few service and seasoning tweaks, this could be a great repeat place for us (ya know, not every week, at those prices, but for more special occasions). Has anyone else been? I'm sure Jason will pipe in shortly.
  4. 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.
  5. What's wrong with the Cheescake Factory? I am not saying the quality is good, however many people enjoy the food there. Is is really fair to pick on chains? They do serve a purpose to some, and are not all that bad.
  6. Last week, I went to the Rye Street Tavern, NoHo Hospitality Group's latest foray into Baltimore. It was on a Sunday evening, so we naturally gravitated towards their "Southern Fried Sundays" - a fried chicken dinner, served family style. Keep reading, because I'm going to tell you a little secret about ordering this meal that wouldn't be at all obvious to a first-time diner. and it will make the difference between you "liking it," and "loving it." The cocktails were somewhat expensive, but were well-made and delicious: And a little loaf of cornbread comes out just before everything else arrives: Then, the family-style dinner: Everything about this meal screamed "Repeat!" - everything, that is, except the price: We paid $70 for those two little assemblages of food that you see just above (plus the cornbread). "Geez," I said, "$70, and we got *four* pieces of chicken!" I mean, it was great and everything, but as you can see, there are three starch-heavy items: the cornbread, the biscuits, and the potatoes, and we both paced our dinners so that we finished everything at the same time. We were mildly full, and yes, the richness of the cooking made everything satisfying, but come on! I wanted more chicken, darn it! So, just as we were winding down, our server came up to us, and said, "Would you all care for some more chicken, or side dishes?" "Wat?" Okay, so ... spending my money so you don't have to ... we asked for some more chicken, potatoes, and collards (made with delicious bacon, btw), and got a healthy second portion; the rub is that we had *no idea* it was coming, so we filled up on starch, when we would have really preferred a better balance with another piece of chicken. Remember: Those second portions are coming your way, but not a word was said about them until we had almost finished the meal - if you take *that* into consideration, and use it to your advantage, then $35 is a very fair price for this meal. Also, the restaurant gave us two spice muffins "to have with breakfast the next morning," which is always a nice touch. To Rye Street's full credit, they offered to box up the second helping which we couldn't finish - we felt sheepish about this, since boxing up all-you-can-eat meals is something of a shady practice, but they would hear nothing of it. Keep in mind: I don't know if this is all-you-can-eat; I suspect you get two helpings, and *maybe* a third helping if you really do a number on everything, but I wouldn't count on that. Still, in no way did they seem like they were trying to skimp on things, so this was merely a lack of knowledge on our part - learn from our mistake! Go here on a Sunday night, get this exact same thing, and *remember* that it's essentially all-you-can-eat - I can't guarantee we'd have gotten a third helping, but who knows? There's no need to stuff yourself with carbs, merely so you don't leave hungry. Furthermore, the restaurant, and the grounds it's on (it shares acreage with a distillery) is beautiful - there's even a battleship in the background! And that is damned good fried chicken!
  7. I like the combination wine shop and tasting room/restaurant concept. However, the expectation at a place like this is that they'll have some interesting wine selections that you might not find everywhere else. Unfortunately the shop bottles and the tasting list here (3oz, 6oz) tend toward fairly common wines, such as E. Guigal Cotes du Rhone (a wine that I like, but...). The kitchen was at one time overseen by Jeff Heineman from Grapeseed, but I'm not sure if that's the case anymore. The food was pretty disappointing, though. The entrees we had were bland: monkfish with a wine-tomato sauce and vegetables and a lamb ragu over corkscrew pasta. The bartender at the Idle Hour, where we stopped afterwards, raved about the place and told us we needed to try it again. To me it was a collection of trendy ideas (small pours, industrial interior, truffle oiled this and that, etc) done poorly. Anyone else been?
  8. Something I once had to say about Chef Geoff's which still is the worse place/meal I've ever had in DC: In most cases, I alert restaurant staff when I'm unhappy about something and see how it's handled and that often paves the way for a future return. But in some cases that's impractical: "Those curtains are vile. You must change them!" Or it's not even worth the bother because of a combination of things. Or the complaints are about things that are so basic that if they can't get them right without you mentioning it to them they've got serious issues. Or you just don't feel like it, because you shouldn't have to. Today I visited Chef Geoff's Downtown for lunch, and it falls into the latter categories. The hostess looked befuddled when I, as a party of one, requested to be seated for lunch today at nearly 1:30 p.m. Plenty of available space. For some reason though, the welcome was less than welcoming. Music. They were blasting Bruce Springsteen. I'd expect that in a bar/tavern, or even some restaurants without tablecloths! Sometimes music in the restaurant can set a mood, particularly if it's light and in the background. Or sometimes, District Chophouse as an example with its '40s music, it's trying to set a scene. But this was none of that. I ordered Snow Pea Fusilli: Defined on the menu as tomatoes, onions, summer sprouts, asiago, and pea coulis. The quantity of things wrong with this dish probably exceeded the quantity of ingredients. To name a few, the pasta was overdone, boiled to death. The vegetables (save for the grape tomatoes) were over done, sautéed to death. There were cucumber slices (or were they zucchini? I couldn't tell) that were just shy of wilted mush. They had only enough structural integrity left to allow me to tell that it had been a green vegetable at one time. The dish was sauced to death with a cloying sweet and acidic vinegar mixture that overwhelmed and overpowered everything (save the grape tomatoes which had enough of its own flavorful acid to fight through this mess). The asiago cheese on this dish looked like it had come from one of those plastic containers of shredded (as opposed to grated) parmesan at the supermarket. The closest approximation I can suggest for this dish is: Visit your local supermarket. Go to the prepared foods section. Get the plastic container of "Pasta Primavera" or something similar. Nuke it until just warm. This is a true approximation and not an exaggeration. This is where I should have spoken up. But my server came to ask how everything was only one forkful after another server delivered it to my table. Only enough time for me to say, "I don't like it" and not explain why I don't like it, which is essential for me to send something back. So I nodded while I chewed. She didn't return again until it was clear that I had eaten all I was going to eat. I declined the coffee and dessert offer. When it came time for the check ($19.47 including tax and an iced tea), and I left $30 so I can have proper change to leave a tip. She brought $10 back to me instead of $10.53. I would understand this (rather small) oversight if the place was busy and she was swamped, but at this time I was the only customer there. Your mileage may vary, but I can't think of any redeeming qualities that would make me want to return or consider another chance for them. After all, I paid $20 for that experience and boy do I feel taken. Perhaps it's because I'm spoiled knowing what a $9 chicken can taste like! The place gave me an "aura of bad feeling." I can safely say I will not return there.
  9. Northside 10 opened up this weekend, it took over the Chez Andree space on Glebe Rd. Brought to you by the Southside 815 folks. Drove by and saw that it looked open, and wanted to watch football. So, instead of packing into Pork Barrel, stopped by here. It was pretty crowded. Decent draft list, including Deschutes Fresh Squeezed IPA. They had a bunch of TVs playing the playoff games (go Packers!) and a lot of the crew were familiar faces from other Del Ray restaurants, as were many of the guests. Lady got the burger, asked for medium, probably more medium well, but she loved it. I got some pretty darn good wings. Found out we had accidentally stumbled into Friends and Family soft opening, so they didn't charge us for the food. Oops! Paid for it anyway with a big tip. Although kind of a weird location, I think it's going to do well. Very residential area, lots of family's can easily walk to it.
  10. I don't see a thread for Lena's Wood-Fired Pizzas & Tap at 401 E Braddock Rd, near Braddock Metro Station. Friends and family opening was this weekend, and soft opening reported for today. This is said to be a partnership between management of The Majestic/Virtue and the Yates family. The space looks great. Large bar. Extensive outdoor patio with fire pit and gas heaters.
  11. J. Paul's? Isn't this place just the M Street/Inner Harbor tourist trap joint or am I confusing it with something else?
  12. Prince of Petworth on the receiving end of another game of telephone regarding rumors on Joe's Stone Crab coming to DC. (The typo in the title of that post and the subsequent comments are comedy gold). If true this is pretty awesome. We've resorted to next day FedEx of a few dozen claws when we get the hankering when stone crabs are in season. With shipping it ends up being about what you would pay at retail, but any time I've found them in this market they have been less than fresh. If there was a place I could plop down at the bar and get a half dozen or do when the urge hits ... sweet.
  13. Yes, it's going in the former veterinary clinic near the Belga; it will be called Senart's Oyster House, after an old ghost mural that is painted on the outside wall of the building.
  14. WARNING: Shameless plug for Evening Star Cafe & The Wild Grape (JParrot)... This Monday, April 24th, the Evening Star Cafe is hosting Richard Weiss of The Wild Grape at our monthly wine dinner. If you like small production wines from South Africa, this is most definitely a not-to-be-missed dinner. Chef Matt Cordes and his staff are pairing their creations with seven wines from The Wild Grape. Menu Vischysoisse with Parsley Froth paired with a 2005 Louisvale Unwooded Chardonnay (Western Cape) Seared Scallops with Farmer Greens, Fennel & Articoke and a Lavender Vinaigrette paired with a 2005 Monteroso de Franchi Old Bush Vine Chenin Blanc Pan-Roasted Muscovy Duck Breast with Savory Sour Cherry Bread Pudding, Minted Duck Jus and Micro Greens paired with a 2003 Avondale "Amira" Syrah (Coastal Region) and a 2003 Hartenberg "Ecurie" Cab, Shiraz, Pinotage, Merlot Blend (Stellenbosch) Caraway & Herb Crusted Lamb Round with Red Onion, Parsley & Black Pepper Creme paired with a 2003 Le Riche Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot Blend and a 2001 Vergenoegd Estate Cabernet Sauvignon (Stellenbosch) Raisin Tart with Port & Muscat Drizzle paired with a 2005 Vriesenhof Melelo Muscat d'Alexandrie, Tinta Touriga (Stellenbosch) Price is $85 per person (includes tax & gratuity). RSVP by calling Planet Wine at 703.549.3444.
  15. When I was complaining about the lack of good Italian food in Arlington recently, this doesn't sound like the answer I was hoping for. From the owners of A-Town and Don Tito comes, Barley Mac, an "Italian American" fusion tavern with a beer and bourbon beverage program. . . "A-Town Owners To Open Rosslyn Restaurant" on ARLnow.com
  16. Thompson Hospitality (Matchbox, Austin Grill, American Tap Room, Hen Quarter) is opening the Delegate 5 doors down from Corduroy as part of the new Marriott Courtyard at 901 L St. The Delegate features (surprise, surprise:) Chef driven, Brunch and "Crafted" Cocktails.
  17. Roots 657 Market and Cafe is right outside of Lucketts, VA and on the weekend, does a fair business with the vintage crowd and etc. We stopped in for a snack and split the roots salad with feta and sweet potatoes topped with turkey (big chunks, but seemed freshly roasted then chilled a bit). The salad was lightly, but thoroughly dressed and was nice. Mom and I also got some potato chips and glasses of chardonnay. All the food coming out around us (burgers, sandwiches) looked pretty good, and the fries looked fresh cut. They had a small but decent selection of wine, beer and cider and they had some desserts that looked good. We didn't check out the market side, but it seemed to have pottery, wine, candies, etc. Anyway, if you are doing the vintage loop and don't want to go into downtown Leesburg, this is an option, it is order at the counter, find a table and your food comes out. It was pretty busy when we came in, but we had no problem getting a table, and the food came out quickly (of course all our items were cold).
  18. 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.....
  19. Appleby's Hell Was out in Chantilly yesterday for the gun show, and my buddy and I were really hungry so we decided to go to Appleby's only because we hoped it would work in a pinch. So go in and get sat, then waiter who might be about 20 comes to table to take order. We ordered the boneless chicken wings, then both got burgers, one coke and one diet coke. When I asked that my burger be cooked medium and with the barbeque sauce on the side, he tells me that he thinks they have to cook it medium-well, but he will check with the manager. As for the buffalo tenders he goes into lenghty explanation of mild vs spicy. I opt for spicy. About five minutes later, he brings the sodas to the table, asking who gets diet-regular, we tell him. About ten minutes later the burgers come to the table. I looked at him and inquired as to the whereabouts of the buffalo tenders. DEER IN THE HEADLIGHT LOOK. Oh, do you guys still want those he asked, n ot quite sure himself. Yes, I say as I ask him for soda refills for both of us. Start in on burger and notice that sauce is on the side, yet also on the burger! My buddy ordered the same burger and got no sauce at all. He surived. Walking dead returns with the sodas only to auction them off. The kid only had 2 tables to deal with. The funny thing was this was kind of enjoyable to experience, with his 2.3 minute responses. Buffalo tenders come out near completion of the burgers and we start eating them. No more than 4 minutes had passed when Keeanu comes back and asked if were done. A simple no is my response, but I'm thinking that this guy is Agraria/Extra Virgin waiter material. Check is dropped about 10 minutes after that and the bill is $25.34 and "I'll take that when your ready" is gladly optioned to us. We throw down $40.00-2 twenty's and take a bet as to whether or not he is going to ask us if we want change. Personally I feel a 60% tip was a bit much, but who am I to question. Sure enough, he picks up the check and asks the million dollar question--" do you guys need change", trying not to either laugh/grab him by the neck and shake him, I just said Yes. It's always a roll of the dice in these places, and the meal was what we expected-decent for what we ordered. He was no Justin Guthrie, but hey, who is.
  20. ARLnow reports (in a sponsored post) that Tupelo Honey Cafe will be opening at 2000 Clarendon Blvd* on June 1st. The post states they're hiring for a variety of positions. Tupelo Honey is a regional (NC, TN, FL, GA, and now VA) chain based in Asheville. According to their website "We serve fresh, scratch-made, Southern comfort food re-imagined." I haven't had the chance to try it out, but have several friends who are big fans. It'll be nice to have another dining option in Courthouse. * The info on the company website says 1616 N. Troy Street.
  21. My condolences to your friend. My unfortunate brother lives there. There seems to be only one standout restaurant in Crofton, but it really is quite good-- it's almost worth the trip from DC. Christopher's Try the carpaccio! They also make a mean steak and their fish dishes are usually darn tasty.
  22. Just wanted to get myself going. And what better way, than to sing the praises of my favorite spot. Thanks to Tom and his crew for a mgnificent evening of food and drink for our Rocks roast. That mushroom and crab(?) soup just added to my assertion that Chef Tom has the magic touch when it comes to that course. The steak was out of this world good. Someone mentioned elsewhere that it was in the same league as Ray's, and I agree. Spring rolls, Kit Kat bars and ice cream -- all excellent. But of course the piece de resistance was the company.
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