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Found 117 results

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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).
  4. It is truly amazing how much the area of S. Van Dorn Street, S. Pickett Street, and Edsall Road - all part of Alexandria near the Van Dorn Street Metro station - has been built up in the past few years - I had absolutely no idea a Red Lobster had opened up on S. Van Dorn Street, which shows just how long it has been since I've been here. In one of the self-contained complexes rests the Portner Brewhouse, opened by the descendents of Robert Portner. Having tried three different beers here, I wish I could say that the beer lived up to the romance, but both the atmosphere - which is cold and corporate-feeling (this brewery was obviously very well-funded) - and more importantly, the beers themselves, looked and tasted full-on industrial, even though the fermentation tanks are easily seen through windows behind the bar. I wanted to try the house staples and standards, so my friend and I had the following (we arrived during Social Hour, so prices were a dollar off): Hoffbrau Pilsner (20-ounce draft, $5) - despite it's 5.9% ABV, this was a glass of generic nothingness. Vienna Cabinet Lager (16-ounce draft, $4) - the word "copper" in the menu description caught my eye, as this is often a sign of an Amber Ale, a Scotch Ale, or a Red Ale - at 5% ABV, this was marginally my favorite beer of the three, (remember, my palate has a preference for malt over most hops), but I wouldn't return just for this. My friend didn't care for either beer, so I was "forced" to drink the above two - however, the words "orange peel" and "coriander" intrigued her enough to try this: Jaxson's Wheat (16-ounce draft, $4.25) - cloudy, and with more citrus and resin than the first two beers, but still with a palate presence of Anywheat from the grocery store. The problem with all three beers is that there was very little nose, virtually no depth, and a clipped finish - this was a forgettable experience in a forgettable atmosphere that felt like something you'd find inside a shopping mall. If I lived here, then maybe, but I just can't see making an effort, and I'm really sorry to say this, too, as this is the type of place I pull for.
  5. 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.
  6. Did you know that The Royal Restaurant is the third-oldest in the DC area, having first opened in 1904? 😲
  7. John's Grill is a pretty good restaurant. The bar is small, and so is the rest of the place, but scoring a seat and settling in is one of the better ways to enjoy a feeling of old San Francisco. First, let's get some history out of the way. It was the backdrop of The Maltese Falcon, and its walls are covered by celebrity pictures of those who dined here over the past 110 years or so. Think of a place where the Postal Service rolled out its commemorative Humphrey Bogart stamp here, with Arnold Schwarzenegger joining a rendition of "I Left My Heart in San Francisco" at the ceremony. I've eaten (and drank) at John's on every one of my annual visits over the years, and the food is quite good. This isn't fine-dining, but for those of us from the Washington DC area who enjoy the The Monocle on Capitol Hill, Martin's Tavern, Old Ebbitt Grill, or the Occidental Grill, it's somewhere in between all of these sorts of time-worn establishments. I've had an absolutely perfectly executed Negroni at the bar, and I've enjoyed some truly great Cioppino in the dining room. This is also a good restaurant for steaks and burgers, at a good price. And a club sandwich for lunch one day was worth ordering again, as was the perfect side of fries, hot out of the fryer. I'll continue to frequent John's whenever I'm in town. The ongoing subway construction is an impediment, but if you're on foot, it's not much of a problem.
  8. The Philadelphia food critic is not a fan. "Founding Farmers May Have a Good Story and a Good Mission. But the Food ..." by Craig LaBan on philly.com --- See the extensive Washington, DC thread here.
  9. Exciting news on King Street! The folks from A la Lucia (namely Michael Nayeri) have announced that they will be opening a new restaurant in the space at 1106 King Street. The news was announced on the A la Lucia Facebook page, as well as in a recent e-newsletter. It will not be a second A la Lucia location. They're hoping for an opening in early 2015.
  10. Late to writing this up, but was in New York a few weeks ago, and took the opportunity to hit THE GRILL with a few friends. Some background - the Major Food Group team (ZZ's, Carbone, Parm, etc) have basically taken over the Seagram building's restaurants - THE GRILL and THE POOL replaced the Four Seasons, and The Lobster Club replaced Brasserie. Much has been made of THE GRILL so far, particularly the cost of the renovation and the prices on the menu. If the crowd on our visit is any indication of their usual crowd I'd say things are going just fine. The redesign of the space is beautiful and the bar is an incredible showpiece, if not the most practical place to hang out for a drink at - seems as though it would function best as a stop prior to the table. I am a fan of MFG's retro style - the tableside preparations are very nice, and aside from the Jockey Club many moons ago I can't think of a place in DC (or in NY) who offers as many. Our group started with Pasta a la Presse, Scallop w/ snails and steak tartare. I only had a bite of the scallops with snails, but honestly it reminded me of Frank Ruta's gnocchi with snail fricassee that was on the menu at Mirabelle this winter, albeit with scallops instead of gnocchi. Very enjoyable. The tartare was very good, chopped to order and served with an incredible array of accompaniments. I had the pasta a la presse, which is a dish of house-made fettuccine in a sauce made of various game put through a duck press and incorporated into a sauce. The game is put through the press tableside and returned as a composed dish. I thought the dish was excellent, but will likely try the blue crab gumbo next time out to try and keep the meal a bit lighter. Our mains were the larded squab, pheasant claiborne and prime rib. I didn't get a chance to have the squab, but it looked excellent. I had the pheasant Claiborne, which was served in a cast iron skillet closed with a ribbon of puff pastry around the rim. The Madeira and truffles in the braising liquid made for an incredible aroma when the lid was removed! All in all a wonderful dish. Apart from the pheasant, the braised endive that came with it was sensational. Our third companion had the prime rib, which was carved at the table - he had a choice of the end he preferred and wisely elected to maximize the amount of rib cap included. Once carved, the captain came back with a deviled bone as well. We asked about the off-menu steaks on offer - the top end was some rib-eye for just over $300(!) - we didn't inquire about what it included or didn't. Aside from that ridiculous steak, all of the other prices were in line with similar establishments in DC or NY. The wine list, was broad, as you'd expect, and highly marked up, as you'd also expect. There are some excellent picks there for the astute wino, however. We were fully prepared to pay a multiple of what we ended up spending, which was around $65/ bottle for a '09 Raffault Chinon or two. All in all a great experience. We'll be back. Also, we didn't eat at the Lobster Club but headed down there for a drink after dinner. My goodness that place is an absolute scene!
  11. For the younger folk out there, Rosemary Clooney was George Clooney's aunt. She had a remarkably warm and graceful way of singing. She fell out of sight in the 1960s because of some personal problems, but came back strong in the 1980s with some wonderful American-songbook type records. Here (in 1984) she sings one of Irving Berlin's greatest songs, "What'll I Do?". I tormented myself with this song after a particularly painful break-up, but now it's just an old, sweet friend.
  12. We dined at All Set for the first time a few weeks ago. I must confess that I am Friends with the Owner and Chef as well as one of the bartenders. Right at 5 pm on a Saturday, we had the Chick Peas Fries and some Oysters and Clams to start. The fries were good fresh tasting and accompanied by two dipping sauces. The oysters were Wellfleets and they were expertly served. Chef sent me a few others to try but I forget their name. Clams were ultra fresh tasting as well. The point here is the presentation. It doesn't get much better IMO. Care was taken with this. Well thought out and executed. We ordered the Salmon (Norway) and Short Ribs. Both were great. The Short Ribs were classic comfort and the Salmon was perfectly cooked. I really enjoyed the lentils with the salmon ( I was not sure I would). The point so far is that you can tell that they care about what they're putting out! Dessert: I forget exactly what it was. One lighter one with Olive oil vanilla ice cream? and one chocolate peanut butter slice of decadence. I believe the recipes for dessert were crafted by the former pastry chef at Volt. Bottom Line is that we were served fresh food with care in a beautiful and inventive setting. They are a young restaurant and an independent one as well. I would definitely recommend ALL SET to anyone. Even the kids menu is well thought out. Please pardon my lack of detail. Ooh! The bar serves up some fun drinks. I had a Perfect Storm and with dessert a "Grape Drink" the latter of which was my favorite of the two for its inventiveness.
  13. Normally, I wouldn't review a restaurant based solely on their brunch menu and I try not to try out new places with brunch being my first foray. It's a much maligned meal, often an afterthought by chefs. But, being that we are pretty new to Houston and have a long list of places to try, and this is a pretty new forum, here we are. It's New Years Day and people needed brunch (and brunch drinks) The deets: part of Delicious Concepts restaurants, opened in Summer 2016, executive chef Jordan Asher launched the restaurant and left in August, replaced by Albert Vasquez: Aug 1, 2016 - "Surprising Chef Swap: Jordan Asher is Out and Albert Vasquez is In at Ritual Restaurant in Houston" by Phaedra Cook on houstonpress.com The setting: industrial farmhouse vibe, wood tables, exposed brick, wood beamed ceiling, accentuated with lime green chairs (very comfortable). Waitstaff in jeans and striped suspenders. Sizeable bar looks like a welcoming place to spend happy hour or late evening hours and I think they had a pretty good NYE turnout last night judging by the beers that were not available today. Cool points for the cursive neon sign of Pixies lyrics "drive my car into the ocean" and as someone who left their heart in NYC, the huge, Grand Central Station-style arrivals board with beers on offer instead of trains pulling in, is a clever touch. The Meal: we started off with Sourdough hush puppies with jalapeño jelly. Light and airy, these bore more resemblance in consistency to fancy donut holes you find on dessert menus than a traditional hush puppy, (and that's not a criticism). Glazed with the jalapeño jelly that was more sweet than hot, these were delicious and a nice accompaniment to my Bloody Mary. We had read so much about the seafood gravy that we had to try. It came out in a large bowl and our attentive waiter quickly took it back to the kitchen and divided into small cups for us to share. Rich and creamy and dotted with pimentos, it is definitely not to be missed. It would be a great warming lunch on a cold day. Alas, the high today was 74. Entrees were The Standard for our 4yo (yard eggs, breakfast meat, hash brown, toast), chicken & waffles (cornbread waffle, cayenne pepper rub, seasoned maple, house pickle) for the husband (aka Josh, this forum's host), and Ritual Benedict (biscuit, city ham, 63° egg, green chile hollandaise, hash browns) for me. (I do love Anthony Bourdain but I also love Eggs Benedict against his advice) The 18m old, being an omnivore, got some of everything. The apps came out pretty quick, but the entrees lagged a bit long. Our waiter apologized and thankfully kept us updated. Side note-high chairs and kids cups at the ready, despite having no kids menu, we found it pretty kid friendly. Benedict was overall tasty. These next thoughts are very mild criticisms. The biscuit, while good was a bit much...biscuit. The bread component felt a touch out of proportion to other ingredients. Of course, I'm willing to take some of the blame here, having filled up with the hush puppies and the seafood gravy, I was slowing down halfway into the dish. The Green Chili Hollandaise was mild and not discernibly different from standard. Would like to see it punched up a touch. The egg was decently runny but my guess is it wasn't served right away. Thus is the danger of offering a 63 degree egg. Hash browns are served in a block- brown and crunchy on the outside. I'm more of a "scattered" kind of gal, but these were good and understandly more upscale in presentation. Smoky and salty, layered in pink porky ribbons, the star of the dish is the city ham, and rightfully so. Felix Florez of Black Hill Meats is a co-owner. Ritual is a temple to meat, lest you forget. And if you do, there is a huge glass-walled walk-in in the back of the restaurant displaying hanging sides of pork waiting their eventual plating. You won't be bringing your vegetarian friends here. Josh I imagine will weigh in on the chicken and waffles but the bite I had was delicious-a milder version of Nashville hot chicken on a crisp cornbread waffle-a tasty rendition of a southern classic. Brunch here is a worthwhile endeavor, not a chefs bastard child. A great neighborhood place to celebrate day one of 2017. We will be back.
  14. I'm way overdue in writing something about Field & Tides, considering it's become kind of a go-to for us. The food is vaguely Southern in inspiration. I've been 3-4 times, and honestly never had a bad dish. In general, I've enjoyed their starters a bit more than the mains, though that's my experience at most restaurants. Great brunch/lunch menus, and as befits a Heights restaurant, they have great kid options without pandering.
  15. The chef is Howsoon Cham (originally from the Gambia, from what I recall). He previously headed the short-lived Newtown Grill on U Street, and before that a restaurant (can't remember the name) in Dupont that had been BEDUCI (currently Scion), and before that Red Ginger in Georgetwon. I think there was a thread about Red Ginger on here where Charlie Adler touted his skills. I've never eaten at any of his restaurants, so I can't speak to that, but I hope that this does better than the preceeding three.
  16. I hesitate to write this, because I can't even begin to describe how ordinary this restaurant is, but the Dining Guide has no reference to a Joe Theismann's restaurant? Here, in the Washington DC area? Unthinkable. A friend was visiting from out of town and suggested we meet at Theismann's. Silly me, I recall when it was a good place to grab a hamburger in Seven Corners....I had no idea that the only Theismann's remaining in our area was at the far end of Old Town near the King Street Metro. I had no expectations, and they were met....maybe I was thinking that a self-absorbed, overly talkative quarterback would greet us at the door, and I would ask him why there were so many 3rd-and-25 situations when he was the Redskins QB? Anyway, the place is nicely appointed, more or less a sports bar up front and a restaurant farther back. My impression was part GAR, part Glory Days, part Dave and Busters, and part sports-star-named-steakhouse-without-a-lot-of-steaks. We were treated to an affable but overly chatty waiter who had a not very good joke for everything, like when asked where the men's room was, he would answer "Outside, by that line of trees." Service was a little slow and a lot tedious. The menu was uninteresting. It wasn't bad, but nothing really stood out. Standard grub mostly, from the fried calamari appetizer to the filet with mashed potatoes or salmon with basmati rice for mains. (Yawn...) Like I mentioned at the beginning, it's hard to describe how ordinary this place is, but the location is nice. If you're looking for a place at the end of Old Town for beers with friends and flat screens to watch the games, here you go. If you're looking for anything else, you're in the wrong place.
  17. "Reopening of Beloved Roper's Restaurant Delights Residents of Flood-Weary Simonton" by Emily Foxhall on chron.com Residents of Simonton, and of Houston in general: You're an inspiration to us all - a pillar of strength and guts. Hearing that you reopened means a lot to me, personally, and I couldn't be more proud of your can-do spirit: You looked adversity in the eye, raised your collective middle fingers, put your heads down, and went to work, reclaiming your lives. The successful reopening of Roper's speaks volumes about all of you. Kind regards, Don Rockwell
  18. I've been reading about the convoluted history behind Delmonico's, and although complex, it's almost funny how historic this institution is: Inventors (or claimed inventors) of Delmonico Steak, Chicken à la King, Eggs Benedict, Lobster Newburg, and Baked Alaska; the first à la carte menu in a restaurant (as opposed to the table d'hôte formula), the first separate wine list, patrons including Abraham Lincoln and Mark Twain, and apparently the first restaurant to seat women in separate parties. Granted, the current iteration has absolutely *nothing* to do with the original, which opened in 1827, but the new owners - currently a partnership called "Ocinomled, Ltd." - have attempted to recreate the atmosphere and feel. Their Wikipedia entry alone is worth a read - I don't know anyone who has actually eaten here, but it seems to still be very popular among tourists seeking a little slice of our nation's culinary history. Given that the location and ownership have nothing to do with the original, it probably shouldn't be included in our Oldest Restaurants List, but how do you leave it off? Ironically, the current website - full of puffery - has the opening date wrong by ten years.
  19. Tim Carman just posted a fairly positive write-up of this latest franchise from the Tennessee-based chain. Having dined at a couple of the Memphis-area locations over the years, my expectations are very high and I will be investigating shortly. It's pretty spicy (but nothing like Nashville Hot) fried chicken and typical southern sides (menu here) in a relaxed atmosphere - at the downtown Memphis location, it was common to see folks waiting on a table with a 40oz bottle of malt liquor from the shop around the corner. Opening this thread in the hopes that someone has beaten me to the spot and can tell me if I should make the trip or just wait until I'm back in Memphis to visit family.
  20. Congratulations to the good people at Del Ray Pizzeria for last Friday evening's opening of Reserve 2216, a 30-seat, reservation-only restaurant directly above Del Ray Pizzeria in Del Ray. I talked with Chef Eric Reid, who was previously at Del Merei Grille, and here's the scoop about Reserve 2216 in Eric's own words (he was prepping while typing, so that explains the brevity): "Reserve is located above DRP. It has a VERY small dining room, 24 seats plus 6 at the bar. It is reservation only - we are on OpenTable. You can still walk in and make a reservation on the spot. We have a 10-foot communal table. All the tables were built by the GM, Darrell Bernard. 5 draft lines, same craft beer program as downstairs. Higher end liquors, rail vodka is Tito's. I'm not a wine expert, but those who are have confirmed that we have a nice selection. Also installed a beautiful wine refrigerator, cabinet, closet thingy to keep the bottles at temp. I'll be changing the menu very often depending on seasonal and personal preferences.The opening menu is 4 apps, 3 salads, 5 entrees, 2 desserts. Food will not be shared between the restaurants, meaning no pizza upstairs. There is also no kids menu but children are more than welcome. We're only open Thursday- Saturday, 6-11 PM, with special events on Tuesdays, i.e.. beer dinners, wine dinners. The owners were very generous with the budget by allowing me to basically do whatever I want up there. Picking out the silverware, glasses, chairs, plates, everything. I am very excited about Reserve because it gets me back to cooking the food I enjoy. I'll still be overseeing downstairs, but will be spending my prime time cooking at Reserve 2216."
  21. 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.
  22. Not sure if an actual thread is started yet (if so please merge), but per this link: "Small Bites: Community Diner Targeting Late Summer Opening in Bethesda" by Andrew Metcalf on bethesdamagazine.com it was to have opened by 'late summer 2016' but I can tell you it is still not open and it is officially fall. That being said, I am interested in seeing it open soon as I would like to check it out. From the construction looks, I still think it is at least 2 to 3 months away though.
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