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  1. Was there last night!! We were seated in the main dining room...very romantic. We used the coupon, although most of us ended up eating the rack of lamb and filet so we had to pay an extra $10...which was definitely worth it!! The appetizers we ordered were: Scallop margarita: I thought it was the best ceviche I have had in DC. Way better than ceiba. Mussels: garlicy and finger linking good... Steak tartare: good but we didn't see the arugula mentioned on the menu. Just a mix of mache or baby greens. Escargot: good Softshell crabs: If you think you like Corduroy's version, try the ones at 1789. The citrus sauce drizzled on the top was amazing!! I didn't care for the tempura dipping sauce because it was good as is!!! Main courses: Filet: I had this dish. The beef was cooked to perfection...good...but not like Ray's...can't wait until I get by Ray fixings tomorrow!! I didn't understand what the eggs were supposed to do. Rack of Lamb: Some of you may think it is gross...but I stole the bones from my husband and nibbled on it...all four of them!! Sorry, but that's the best part!! Pork Chop: good. Desserts: Cheese plate Chocolate tarte Lemon something... Sorbet I encourage all of you to try it.
  2. Edan Macquaid, long-time pizzaiolo at 2 Amys, is partnering with the owners of 2941 to open a pizzeria in downtown Falls Church. The name is to be determined, and the location is best kept off-the-record for now. This has been in the works for some time, and, at least on paper, has the potential to be one of the most exciting restaurants to open in 2008. Look for Macquaid back in action as a full partner, serving up wood-fired Neopolitan pizza - possibly with DOC status - antipasti, a full selection of beer and wine, possibly a liquor license, an exhibition kitchen, and seating at the bar. Not all details have been resolved, and I don't wish to overstep my bounds, so this is all I feel comfortable saying for now. Congratulations to everyone involved, and we'll see you soon. Cheers! Rocks.
  3. Did you have the onion rings at Quarry? I keep hearing they are excellent. Both the Half-Moon BBQ and La Bamba are also good places to eat. Both are directly below the (ex?) Napoli, and both are IMO better than any of the formula places that have invaded Silver Spring.
  4. 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.
  5. For your next challenge, you need to plunge into the raw bar at the Old Ebbitt. Half price from 3-5 and 11-1.
  6. Any guesses on who's going to come to DC for the latest offering from the Kimpton Group? Or are they going to find someone already here?
  7. I've kept this quiet for weeks out of professional courtesy, but you'll hear about it very soon anyway, so you may as well hear it here first. Breaking News: Brian Zipin will be GM (and a partner) of Medium Rare, a sub-$20 American-style steak frites restaurant opening in late February in the old Yanni's space. Behind the operation? Mark Bucher of BGR was one of the creators, and none other than Michel Richard was (quietly) involved with developing sauces and desserts, but Brian and Tom Gregg (past President of Cuisine Solutions) are involved as non-silent partners. Cheers, Rocks PS Don't ever underestimate Michael Landrum - the guy gets around. But I've been told ... no sous vide (and I asked "are you sure? about ten times). So you weren't quite right, Michael!
  8. How about Equinox? Who has been there and what were your thoughts? I have searched this forum and haven't seen mention of it.
  9. So far as I know, all of the places down there on the waterfront suck (with the possible exception of Agraria and the jury is still out on that one). Sequoia is on its umteenth owner and probably only turns a proft from the Miller Lite in plastic cups it serves by the gross at its outdoor bar in the summer. That whole area seems to close up after the weather turns chilly in the fall and after the interns all go back to school. The 2 areas in the middle, Tony & Joe's and Nick's are both owned by the same people. ETA: But that doesn't mean I don't go down there once in a while for cold cup of beer and a cigar.
  10. 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.
  11. Did anyone make it out to Meridian Pint's Grand Opening today? My friend & neighbor is part owner, but I wasn't able to attend, so was wondering how it went. Check out the photos of the table taps, restaurant/bar & visit by Founders of Sam Adams, Dogfish, etc.
  12. 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.
  13. I was hesitant to start a new topic just for a negative viewpoint, but seeing as how Joe Allen's is so widely known... Joe Allen's is what it needs to be - they have a bar, they serve food, they have a good location, and they are 'famous' among New York theatre-goers. I've eaten here a number of times over the years, largely due to my wife's sense of nostalgia. The most recent experience, from last weekend, mirrors most others. 3 out of the 5 mussels I tried from my appetizer were spat out for being foul. The side of roasted brussels sprouts was both burnt and undercooked at the same time. And I've never understood servers who think its ok to make fun of other customers to current customers - just makes me wonder what you'll say about me after I leave. This bartender was more concerned with the random french tour guide wandering the room than asking why my food was uneaten or if we needed another drink. All is not lost - the banana cream pie was quite enjoyable and big enough to share. With a better bartender, I could see stopping in here for a drink and dessert after a show. But never come here pre-theatre, its like dining during Restaurant Week every night of the year. And never order the mussels. Side note - brunch the next morning at Marseilles around the corner up on 9th Ave caused me to add it to our short theatre district dining list for the future. Not anything revelatory, but solidly good food at not terrible prices with prompt and pleasant service. In this neighborhood, that makes it stand out.
  14. 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.
  15. We happened upon the now open Monaco Old Town when we couldn't find enough seats to eat at the bar at Eve. The restaurant and bar areas were both packed and it was pretty late so we just picked our way through the bar menu. The shrimp corn dog was lightly breaded and much better than it sounds. The crab cake, fries, fried apple pie/turnover, and vanilla ice cream were not. The space is modern and maybe a little overly hip. They do have 20 bottles of wine at $20 a piece and a couple VA wines (Barboursville) available by the glass. I'm not sure I'll rush back, but it looks like they've already developed a pretty good following. Some more details here.
  16. I go through reservation websites all the time, hoping to find a new restaurant with outdoor dining. That's how I found Ruthie's All-day on Opentable. And then I read a piece on the restaurant by Eater. They also have free parking - that clinched the deal. So I ordered Wood Grilled Oysters with yuzu kosho butter. I had no idea what yuzu kosho butter is but what the heck! It turned out to be delicious - I only wish the oysters were bigger. The Wood Grilled Striploin with chimichurri was less magnificent (not a great piece of meat compared to the ribeye I've been buying at Balducci's). But a good selection of sides. I chose broccolini and braised greens just to make sure I got enough fiber. It's priced to be a neighborhood joint so there were families with babies and young children.
  17. Welcome to the board Marty! Would you care to expand on your admonition? Cafe Deluxe doesn't get much attention on this board, but I find it to be a perfectly acceptable, even very good lunch spot, and they serve Sunday brunch starting at 10:30 am. I particularly like their roasted tomato soup and their roasted lamb and goat cheese on sourdough sandwich. BlakeG can probably expand more on what's good there too. I really enjoy 2Amys, but it can sometimes be crazy busy on Sundays.
  18. On the spur of the moment, we decided we wanted to go out to dinner this evening. I got on OpenTable and made a reservation at Mrs. K's Toll House in Silver Spring, someplace I had never been. The restaurant has been there since 1930 (as a restaurant, it was a toll house in the early 1900's) and I don't know how I've not managed to go there at least once in the last 25 years. Our trip started on a sour note, the people who entered the parking lot in front of us parked in the last handicapped parking space (they did not have handicapped plates or a placard) forcing us to find a place further away (my wife recently broke an ankle and has a temporary placard while she is healing). However, when we entered the restaurant things got much better. The house is lovely, and larger than one would think. (there is also a lovely patio and gardens that are used in the summer). We were shown to a very nice table and given the menus and wine list. And what a wine list, it is huge, abet fairly expensive (but it is Montgomery County) but has wines in all ranges. There were 5 or 6 vintages of Ridge Monte Bello available (outside my price range unfortunately) as well as several pages of Bordeauxs and a 1979 Petrus, which did not have a price (but obviously well outside the price I was looking for) It was difficult choosing. After deciding that we would order a glass of Pinot Grigio for my wife to go with her fish, and a bottle of a red for the steaks my son and I were having, I settled on a 2001 Worthy Sophie's Cuvee, but the server came back and said they couldn't find it, but did I want the 2004. I declined and asked for the list again and ordered a 2003 Chateau la Nerthe CNdP. About 10 minutes later the server came back with two bottles in his hand and again said they could not find that vintage. He had called the owner and was told to offer us our choice, at the price of the la Nerthe. He then presented a 1999 Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley Reserve and a 1999 Louis Latour Cháteau Corton Grancey to choose from. I was sorely tempted to take the Mondavi, but knew my wife would much prefer a Pinot Noir (she does not like Cabernet) so I chose the Corton. It was fantastic, as only properly aged Burgundy can be. Lots of sweet ripe cherry, casis and plums with fine, well integrated tannins and a fairly long finish. Needless to say, we all loved it. Dinner was quite good too. I started with a grilled Mediterranean octopus salad, then had the New York strip steak served with a wild mushroom cognac cream sauce. For dessert a wonderful bread pudding with whiskey cream. My son started with a grilled portobello mushroom with roquefort cheese and a raspberry vinaigrette. It was followed by a 23 oz. cowboy steak (servered very rare, as requested) and for dessert a huge piece of absolutely fantastic cheesecake. My wife started with the shrimp and scallop ceviche, which unfortunately was fairly bland, needing more spice, but then had a wonderful blackened rockfish. For dessert she had a butterscotch sundae that she pronounced as wonderful. Coffee and espresso ended the meal. Service was fantastic, friendly, discrete, and efficient. When dinner was over, the manager gave my son and I a tour of the wine cellar (pretty cool, and huge, but overflowing with cases of wine since they just got a shipment, which might explain not being able to find things) and apologized for not having the wine we had first ordered. (Like I was going to complain, I got a wine that cost three times as much for the same price, and was fantastic to boot.) All in all, a very good meal, with the added bonus of getting a much better wine than I had originally ordered for a third of the wine list price. We will return.
  19. Went to matchbox tonight "on a whim". Try the white pizza with prosciutto. But instead of prosciutto, have anchovies on the side. Mmmmmmmm.
  20. 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.
  21. One that comes to mind for me is Grapeseed in Bethesda. Had a great meal there last month. I find this to be one of the highlights of the Bethesda restaurant scene. There are so many restaurants downtown, but hardly any GOOD ones. Anyone have any thoughts on this place?
  22. Bar Oysters - $1.35 each. Their menu says "We are Currently Receiving the Freshest Oysters Available on the East Coast," and I have no reason to doubt them. The problem lies with the word "receiving." Figuring the bar oysters would be whatever they had the most of, or weren't selling that night, I ordered a dozen. To my horror, the bartender began pulling preshucked oysters out from beneath the bar. He assembled the platter, then walked it back to the kitchen, where the chef took hold of it, and like the Road Runner pecking at bird seed, leaned down and gave a fake millisecond-long sniff to about four of the oysters. It was the same shtick they put on at BlackSalt, but he wasn't actually smelling them; he was simply putting on a show - it reminded me of what I've recently seen twice at an otherwise great wine bar (Taberna del Alabardero), where the bartender opens the bottle, touches the cork to his nose without sniffing it, and then pours the glass of wine. Please don't bother doing this stuff: It's pretentious and anyone who knows what they're doing will realize you're just going through the motions. The platter arrived, and the oysters looked good and fresh, and when I smelled one myself, there was no odor. That's because icing down an oyster can work wonders in terms of masking its flaws; it's only when you eat it, and the temperature quickly rises inside your mouth to 60, 70, 80 degrees up to a theoretical maximum of 98.6 - that's the moment of truth, and that's when oysters that haven't been freshly shucked reveal their flaws, which lie entirely in the finish and not in the nose, tasting like bad sea urchin. 'How are the oysters?' the bartender asked, after I had eaten one. 'When were they shucked? The first one I had wasn't fresh.' 'Oh, about an hour ago. They shuck them for Happy Hour and keep the extras on ice.' This conversation took place at 9 PM this evening. The Black's Seafood Gumbo was not cooked properly. The shrimp was still cold - colder than room temperature - but the andouille sausage was piping hot. Three bites and done with it. The beer and wine list is laughable. Fifty bucks wasted. Rocks
  23. 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.
  24. Newk's Eatery is apparently opening their 1st location in Virginia (Sterling). FIRST NEWK’S EATERY IN VIRGINIA COMING TO STERLING by Chris Wadsworth, Theburn
  25. The grilled muffins at Bob & Ediths are pretty good as well. I'd never really heard of them, don't think they are on the menu really. Basically they take on of the fairly largish muffins they have, slice it in half (top to bottom), put on some butter, then grill it on the grill to warm it up and make the buttered part just a bit crispy. I'd never really thought to do it and the waitress the last time I was there just asked if we wanted them like that. Never had in the other 5 or so times I've been.
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