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Found 12 results

  1. Cathal Armstrong's new restaurant Kaliwa is opening possibly tomorrow at the Wharf (751 Wharf St, SW, DC) (via Laura Hayes' tweet). More info about the restaurant at Washington City Paper: "Kaliwa Brings Food with Full Funk and Fire to the Wharf when it Opens Next Week" by Laura Hayes on washingtoncitypaper.com
  2. Ladies and gentlemen, your number 1 cocktail bar in Baltimore. The original establishment from Lane Harlan - who also owns Clavel Mezcaleria - WC Harlan is a cocktail joint that really does do a far better job at the speakeasy vibe than most places that would actively market themselves as speakeasies. The focus here is on amari, with an extensive menu of familiar and rare bitter spirits, and stuff that I'm amazed they procured. I need to plan a visit so I can take advantage of the amaro-tasting options. Seats can be hard to come by during peak days and times (weekend evenings primarily) owing to the fact that a lot of people go here to grab drinks while they wait for the call from Clavel. Nearly all cocktails are great, with the occasional miss (fiancee recently got something that was effectively borscht in a glass). Harlan's is non-descript but arguably one of the earliest forces in the rapidly accelerating development of Remington.
  3. So I did not see this (Voltaggio Brothers Steakhouse) listing and figured it may help those when planning a visit to the area. Reservations here non-existent two weeks out so we did the next best thing and got there about 4:45 (they open at 5 PM), and scored a table in the bar area. If you are OK eating in a "lounge" type environment it is fine; chairs are cushy and tables are low. The wait staff was attentive, but not overbearing and knowledgeable. My only gripe was it took about 30 minutes to get our drinks (mixed and wine, so nothing complicated) when we got there, but after that the food from salad and apps to dinner was timed properly without issue. Caesar Salad (interesting twist with the anchovy hushpuppies) Beefsteak Tomato Heart Salad Oysters Rockefeller - Since they were green the presentation was inspiring, but flavor was excellent) Parker House Rolls and Cheddar Biscuits - if you remember the Parker House rolls from CitiZen, they are not that good, but good in their own right. Filets - Wagyu beef was very flavorful. Scalloped Potatos We did not have dessert as we were catching a show and ran short on time. I would go back, when we have more time - plan on spending ~$100/person with a drink.
  4. No, Wet City is not a strip joint. It is, rather, Baltimore's best beer bar. Don't @ me bro. Featuring a frequently rotating list of craft beer kegs on tap---as well a list of kegs that are on deck (!)---it is apparent that the owners of Wet City are beer nerds with deep knowledge and want to make sure you share in that passion. Though Wet City primarily features domestic craft brews, a variety of import craft beers make the list as well. The kitchen is no weak link here either. Often seasonal fare, the kitchen demonstrates thoughtfulness and care in its dishes, which run from the Nashville Hot Chicken to pork rinds to deviled eggs. The spare is bright and airy, which is appreciated given that a lot of beer bars revel in dankness (e.g., the late Brickskeller in DC). White cinderblock walls, wood floors, and light-colored wood table and seating choices set in a minimally decorated space, save for some plant life tastefully arranged throughout. The open space works well so the bar feels bigger than it actually is. Many times, I've been surprised that the place isn't more packed, but I'm happy that it isn't.
  5. Cristina and I ducked out of a business cocktail thing early and took advantage of the fact that we had a sitter, and stopped into the relatively new Star Fish on Heights Blvd for a drink and snacks. The chilled seafood tower did not disappoint. Drinks menu is extensive, and will reward multiple return trips to make my way through the various martinis, gin & tonics, and sparkling wines. The "Saltwater" G&T, with star anise and "ocean water tincture" was delicious...a hint of brine, but nothing crazy.
  6. Since opening five years ago, Chris Shepherd's Underbelly has been a self-appointed beacon for the evolution of Houston food. The menu has a half-page thesis on why Houston is the most interesting culinary city in the country, there are dozens of celebratory links to *other* Houston restaurants on their main webpage, and Bun B is quoted on the wine list. From afar I've found the chest-beating a little too much, but I can appreciate a chef who wants to represent his city -- especially in a time where many owners are happy to replicate restaurants from other cities. And being such a vocal proponent certainly helped Shepherd win the James Beard Award for Best Chef: Southwest. But hey, what about the food? Head-on Gulf shrimp with buttermilk dill panna cotta, pickled beans ($24). Plump and sweet, this was a great showing for Gulf seafood. The panna cotta was a nice compliment. Hand-torn cornbread pieces and pickled beans were both sort of throwaways. Seared soft-shell with eggplant curry ($24). Shepherd recently made a big PR announcement about getting away from beef and pork, which meant a larger focus on seafood. Soft-shells are among my personal favorite foods, and this was a very good one. The eggplant curry was nicely done with a touch of heat; Shepherd is a fan of moderate-to-significant spice (if you're not, be aware, as it permeates the entire menu). Vinegar pie with salt brittle ($9). Previous savory dishes were not coursed (nor labeled as appetizers or entrees; guess by price) so I was rather full after two. Still curious enough to try this dessert, which I believe has been on the menu since 2012. It's not scary at all; more key lime in flavor than sour or acidic. Overall, a quality showing by Shepherd and his team. I didn't fall in love with Underbelly, but it's worth visiting for anyone who appreciates loud flavors with global influences -- basically the "Houston creole" cuisine that the restaurants trumpets.
  7. Rounding out the top 3 current cocktail spots in Baltimore is Sugarvale in Mt. Vernon, from the owners of Dooby's. Rather than focus on a particular spirit or theme, Sugarvale's cocktail menu takes a light-to-dark approach in terms of the strength and flavor profiles of its drinks. So there is a menu of classic cocktails, as well as menus devoted to lighter sipping drinks and spirit-heavy concoctions. Though it's been a minute since I've dropped in, memory recalls consistency over multiple visits. The space is seemingly built out of a basement apartment, and does a good job of maintaining the cozy vibe. Good menu of bar snacks, including some Korean-inspired ones due to the Dooby's connection. You could easily do the Charles St. sweep on one evening starting at Brewers Art, getting dinner at the Helmand, and wrapping up at Sugarvale.
  8. Hampden recently got a proper cocktail bar, the Bluebird Cocktail Room, which took over a former art gallery space that sits above the De Kleine Duivel Belgian beer hall. The space itself is extraordinary. To enter the establishment, you walk through the heated patio that has been outfitted with bench swings for those longer, summer days, up a flight of stairs and through a hallway at which the space opens up in front of you. Marble tables anchor the center of the room, while a long marble bar features to the left of the space and cushioned benches ring the remainder of the room. Cocktails here vary from poor to outstanding, but there are more misses than hits. The price point is, dare I say, far too tied to DC prices and should really come down a couple of bucks across the board. Nevertheless, the liquor selection is excellent, but lately, I have stuck to the Old Fashioned because it is potent and delicious, and is something the bartenders can consistently produce. Bar snacks are also not an afterthought here, and some of the more noteworthy items from the kitchen have been a merguez sausage and a salmon crostini. A batch of fries recently, however, was forgettable. I'm happy to have this space here, but I'd like to see less silliness and more consistency across the board with regard to the drinks.
  9. My husband and I were walking in Clarendon Saturday night looking for a place to stop for dinner (we had planned to get a salad at Northside Social, but squatters who weren't eating were still taking up tables for work at 7:30 p.m.). We walked past Bar Bao, which we've been looking forward to trying once they opened, and saw activity inside. It turned out they were having a soft opening and it was their second night open. Because it was a soft opening, I won't report in any detail other than to say we enjoyed our meals thoroughly. (We liked the music, too - it was loud, but it was not EDM which can set off headaches for me, but rather a good mix of some '80s/'90s/'00s energetic music). They had a more limited menu than they will for the true opening, but there were still plenty of things on it and we were quite happy. It's mostly Asian-inspired street food / bar food (including several kinds of bao, steamed dumplings, and at least one vegetable side). We had one of the nicest and most attentive (in a non-annoying way) servers we've ever had, too. We definitely plan on going back and may become semi-regulars.
  10. With its nice long bar and large sunny windows, The Vanderbilt is the kind of place you want to go to for an afternoon drink. We enjoyed a glass of the Forstreiter Gruner Veltliner 2013 ($9) and the Aizipurua Getariako Txakolina 2015 ($12). They were serving a limited prix fixe menu because of Mother's Day but we did enjoy our plate of cottage fries ($6). The vibe of The Vanderbilt is more upscale neighborhood restaurant with prices to match. But not a bad place to spend an hour or so on a late Sunday afternoon after wandering around the Brooklyn Museum.
  11. Friends and I are trying to watch basketball tonight but can't think of a place that has both TVs and decent drinks. Somewhere in Logan/Shaw would be ideal, but relatively flexible. Ideas? Only place we could think of was Riggsby, but that's not really a sports bar.
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