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Found 6 results

  1. I can't find an existing thread. If there is one, please merge. I did not go here, but my wife did, for lunch. Here's what she said 'And I had an absolutely AMAZEBALLS lunch today. AMAZEBALLS. Did you see the picture I texted you? It was horribly expensive for lunch though. But daaaaaamn!' You have to understand, she's in publications and just doesn't talk like this. Apparently, it was a really good lunch.
  2. I'm amazed that there's still no thread for Fig & Olive, a week after opening! Well, time to correct that. I can report that their second public evening, June 26, was a huge success--in contrast to Space-X's Falcon 9 launch that morning. My wife made a reservation for us a few weeks in advance. Good thing, because our excellent bartender, Carlos, informed us that they had 500 reservations on opening night the day prior, and the place was nearly full at 6:30pm despite some of the most torrential rains I've seen in a while. For a few more days they open a 4pm daily, but soon they'll be open for lunch--I think starting July 6. Background: You can read about the restaurant group's concept on it's website, but in short it's "Mediterranean cuisine" and features, fresh, seasonal ingredients and olive oil cooking. The menu has dishes inspired by Spain, Italy, Greece, and so on. They make a point that they don't use butter in the kitchen (except for a puffed pastry dessert). They focus on fresh ingredients and slowing things down. To that end, there's a liberal array of pillows and comfy chairs and couches set up for dining on the first floor, in addition to the main bar. They also pointed out power strips under the bar, saying it's to encourage getting some work done (likely not during happy hour!). There's a patio dining area, which is on the Palmer Way and is shielded from main streets by the City Center buildings. On the second floor is a more traditional dining setup, with pillows and a second bar. The decor reminds me of upscale Pottery Barn, but not in a bad way. There's also a private dining room, where Ashton Carter and wife (and security) enjoyed an early dinner before we spotted them on the way out. Bar: The bar service is fantastic. Crostini! Ok, couldn't write any more without saying it. There about 10 crostini options, available in 3 or 6-piece orders. They are hands down the best crostini I've ever had anywhere. I would eat 3 or 6 of every one I tasted. We spit 6, asking for chef's choice (as long as we got the Burrata). Each one comes on a toasted piece focaccia about 3x1.5" and nearly .25" thick. You can cut most in half to share. One of the most interesting was "heirloom carrot, shaved thinly, with spicy charmoula and tapenade. Amazing. So was the Burrata, Prosciutto, Pata Negra, Shrimp & Avocado, and others. Carlos told us the staff had been training for about 2 months, and he was familiar with all the menu items which we asked about. I enjoyed a seasonal cocktail which started with muddled celery & arugula, added lemon juice, rum and fresh pepper. Very refreshing. My wife enjoyed Champagne. They have four beers on tap, one of which is Port City Optimal Wit. Kudos to Bill Butcher for landing that. Dinner: When we sat for dinner we had attentive, competent, knowledgeable service. The "spring" menu is great, front and back. I had the Paella del Mar (looks smallish, but filling and delish), others had Chilean Sea Bass (marinated w/ lemon thyme, carrot, asparagus, celery root purée, roasted potato, charmoula mascarpone harissa olive oil emulsion) and Truffle Risotto. The Sea Bass was probably the best. The presentation of Rosemary Lamb Chops is notable. They arrive sliced on a plate under glass, which is then removed to great fanfare, allowing the aromas and some steam to escape. Focaccia bread is served with dinner, accompanied by three olive oils: a Spanish, an Italian, and a Greek-style (which is actually from California), all available for purchase. Wines: You can review the list here. By the glass feature mostly European wines with a few from CA. Oddly, the upstairs bar was adorned with quite a few bottles of Dom Pérignon. A DP Rosé (2003) is available for $625. Desert: I can only remark on the Caramelized Apple Tart; it was very good but merits no more discussion. My only complaint was that the coffee (normalé) was marginally warm. A refill was so tepid I asked for fresh, which was soon brewed. Still not as hot as I'd expect but ok. Espresso-drinks are prepared in the largest Nespresso machine I've ever seen, by the upstairs bar. I would normally scoff at this, but I recently read coffee uber-brain James Hoffman's piece on how specialty coffee can no longer just scoff at Nespresso. So it was interesting to see that kind of equipment in a place like Fig & Olive. Final notes: All in all, this is a different experience from most DC dining. We had a great time and plan to return soon. My main concern now is getting a reservation. When I need to write at some point in the future, I look forward to hangin' at the bar writing with a Manhattan, rather than a latte in a coffee house. Another interesting note on atmosphere: a DJ begins spinning tunes in the lounge about 8pm. Very tasteful and cool vibe. The music doesn't intrude into the upstairs.
  3. Has anyone tried Mango Tree yet? The WaPo review was pretty good, but Yelp seems to be mixed. I'm trying it tonight with some girlfriends and was looking for ordering guidance. Looks to be quite expensive for Thai, but supposed to be great decor.
  4. I've never had a sweet tooth. Just ask eatruneat. When she and I go out for dinner I typically ask the server if any of the deserts are tart. Well, if she doesn't beat me to it. Thankfully I discovered Dolcezza's Lemon Opal Basil sorbetto, which is fantastic for those of you out there who are looking for something tart. I'm seriously considering doing some major hoarding since it's only around for a brief amount of time in the summer. Walking back from scoring my sorbetto from the Dolcezza at City Center it was Tuesday, which means the farmers' market is out with all their goods. I happened past the stand for Black Rock Orchard and was informed - by who my colleague and I refer to as the "Apple Lady" because she's always handing us samples of their delicious apples - that they had just picked the first round of sour cherries for the season and that she brought in as much as she could keep the staff from eating. She knows my taste in apples and she said that I would really like them. Of course she gave me a sample and was she ever right. The cherries are thin skinned, small pitted and have a nice sour flavor to them. Score some at a farmers' market near you while they last.
  5. It's not late summer yet - technically I don't think it's even summer until Sunday - but Pinch Dumplings have made their debut at the Tuesday farmer's market at City Center. A set of six comes either steamed, fried or combination of the two for $8.50. I elected to go with the pork & cabbage and beef, onion & cilantro. You can certainly tell that the dumplings are made by hand because of their odd, inconsistent shape. I typically prefer fried over the steamed, but in this case the steamed pork & cabbage won me over. The cabbage was surprisingly crisp considering the dumpling was steamed and the pork had just a hint of spiciness. The beef, onion & cilantro were not without their charm, but I couldn't taste the cilantro and the onion was almost nonexistent. I also got a side of the 'Asian Slaw', which consisted of carrots, cabbage and green onion in ginger scallion type dressing. It was a nice accompaniment and worth the extra dollar fifty.
  6. Pretty cool wonder who it will be. Hopefully we agree with the developer's definition of "speciality merchants".
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