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Found 11 results

  1. For me Charleston still sits at the pinnacle of "fine dining" in Baltimore. For better or worse, the East Harbor location is now ultra-trendy, close by the water (ask to sit in the front if you want a view) and steps from several other chi-chi restaurants like Roys and Flemings and all that is Fells Point. Inside is serenity itself: richly appointed, comfortable and refined. Do not bring young children. Don't even think about it. The menu is split between prix fixe and a la carte. I enjoy Cindy Wolf's cornmeal crusted oysters - six or seven for a first course with lemon-cayenne mayonnaise are reason enough for me to go. The cornmeal fried soft shell crabs are amazing too. Sauteed and served in a bright lemony brown butter, they need and get nothing but the few dressed greens upon which they perch in oozing glory. Grilled gulf shrimp with Andouille sausage and cubes of salty tasso ham over stone-milled grits are a perennial menu favorite. I'm no Southerner, grits ain't me, but these grits is great! The fried green tomato "sandwich" (ok, stack) with lobster and lump crab hash includes tiny perfect cubes of Yukon gold potatoes and a healthy pinch of curry. Oh yes. Entrees are wonderful, but this time it was straight to dessert. Cheesecake with apricot compote. A ramekin-size light cheesecake on a bed of roasted chopped pecans was very good, but apricots are my favorite fruit and the intensely tart/sweet compote surrounding the cake was the best I've had.
  2. Alison Cook has listed Roost in her Top 100 for a few years now, placing it at 29 in this edition. From reading about the restaurant, Chef Naderi introduces a new menu monthly, highlighting local and seasonal ingredients with little regard for staying in one particular "lane" of cuisine. Cristina and I had a quiet and pleasant dinner the other night. Top-line assessment: Pleasant enough to be a neighborhood fave, but in a sprawling food town like Houston, it would be tough to recommend traveling for a special visit. We started with 2 appetizers: the much lauded fried cauliflower with bonito and miso dressing, and the "bread service" of a Slow Dough giant (GIANT!) pretzel, with 3 spreads (marinara, pimento cheese, and furikake butter). The cauliflower was indeed tasty, reminiscent of takoyaki. The only thing I would say is that after a few bites, they became a little dull (as in, not sharp), and could've used some sort of acidic element to brighten things up (capers maybe? a squeeze of lemon? I don't know). The pretzel itself was massive, warm, buttery, and delicious. The spreads...eh. The marinara was totally off-putting in a way neither of us could put a finger on, but it went completely untouched. The pimento cheese was a totally straightforward take, without any noticeable spice. The furikake butter won out, mainly because it was butter. This dish seemed like an afterthought. I moved on to the "Country Captain" chicken - pan seared, along with deep fried wings, and topped with a vaguely curry-ish sauce with raisins. All in all a nicely cooked, but standard take on a Lowcountry classic. Cristina had fried quail served over black eyed peas and greens. I much preferred this dish, mainly for the delicious peas. Earthy and with just enough bite to them. We drank a South African Cab blend (2013 John X Merriman Stellenbosch) that played well with everything we ordered - medium bodied, with a good amount of earthiness that I enjoy. Roost has a small but nicely curated wine list and a number of local beers on tap. Given that the menu changes monthly, I think it's probably worth another look down the line, but for now I have it in my good-not-great category.
  3. While the food was reliable and capable and decent...But the service and the singing waitstaff (seriously, they sing operatic arias, etc) is what makes this place. The Victor Cafe. Had a blast there last year with friends.
  4. I normally don't cut-and-paste press releases, but then one says all you need to know. That said, while this may technically be "Shaw," it seems to be the centroid of Shaw, Convention Center, Mount Vernon Square, and Logan Circle, so I'm not sure exactly where to put this in the Dining Guide. Congratulations, Ron and Sherman! --- WASHINGTON, DC - August 21, 2013: Bringing new flavor to 9th St. NW in the Shaw neighborhood of Washington, DC, Thally serves Modern American Cuisine created by Chef and Co-Owner Ron Tanaka, along with a rotating list of wines and craft beers, custom cocktails, housemade sodas, and unique spirits in a 70 seat restaurant which includes a 14 seat bar. The restaurant hopes to open on or about Tuesday, August 27th. A Dream Realized Thally is the brainchild of two good friends who have been talking about opening up their own casually elegant restaurant in Washington, DC for years. Chef & Co-Owner Ron Tanaka and General Manager & Co-Owner Sherman Outhuok finally found the perfect place, on a burgeoning block of 9th St. NW near the DC Convention Center, and Thally was born. Thally was conceived to be a comfortable and inviting neighborhood restaurant, as well as a destination worthy of Washingtonians crossing the city to discover our mouthwatering cuisine. Our name pays tribute to our Shaw neighborhood as well as our families: "Thally" refers to the Tally-Ho Stables (built in 1883) located in Naylor Court directly behind our restaurant, as well as to Thalia, Sherman's daughter. (Thally is pronounced without saying the "h", as in Tally-Ho.) The interior décor also reflects the character of Thally's surrounding neighborhood. Design details include: exposed brick, reclaimed wood, vintage barn-door hardware, blackboards, antique pipe fittings, leather seating, substantial wood and steel tables, and a 28 ft. absolute black granite bar with leather-finish. Our logo and the custom wall graphics created by local graphic designer/ artist Matthew Hlubny for Thally's dining rooms and bathrooms feature images of the antique stables, row-houses and carriage houses that are characteristic of the Blagden Alley-Naylor Court designated historic district in the Shaw neighborhood, contained between O and M Streets and 9th and 10th Streets. MENU Simple, Fresh, and Flavorful"¦ all of Thally's dinner dishes have been carefully created by Chef Ron Tanaka with those three words in mind. FIRST COURSE chilled cucumber soup "“ greek yogurt, celery, cumin, dill, mint romaine salad- capers, grapefruit, worcestershire croutons, buttermilk vinaigrette salad of grilled peach, crisp prosciutto, spiced cottage cheese, bibb lettuce, balsamic watermelon, heirloom tomato, herbed goat cheese, pickled radish bacon, lettuce, tomato, avocado, avocado vinaigrette, pain de mie toast crab roulette- peekytoe crab, cauliflower/tomato salad, dill carnitas sope- pork shoulder, red chile sauce, epazote, radish SECOND COURSE swiss chard- tarbais beans, fennel, mushrooms, shallots grilled branzino- eggplant caponata, basil, piquillo jus pan seared rockfish- corn salsa, filet beans, tomato, tarragon roast duck- artichoke, greens, black olive sauce grilled pork t-bone, mustard brined, pinto bean puree, mustard greens, ginger, grilled scallion grilled delmonico steak- baby spinach, coffee dust, bordelaise sauce BEVERAGES WINE: Thally will serve 24 wines by the glass, with a rotating list that switches out 6 wines by the glass per week! DRAFT BEER: Our bar has 10 craft beers on draft. DRAFT CIDER: We're cider fans, and will always have 2 ciders on tap and a few by the bottle. THALLYTAILS: Custom cocktails created by Co-Owner Sherman Outhuok. HOUSEMADE SODAS: In lieu of serving traditional sodas squirted from a soda gun, Thally will be making its own sodas and colas. OUR TEAM Thally is co-owned by Chef Ron Tanaka, Sherman Outhuok, and Paolo Sacco. Ron Tanaka, Chef & Co-Owner A native of San Diego, Chef Tanaka began his culinary career in the mid 90s when he came to DC and began working in the pantry of the Morrison-Clark Inn under the tutelage of Susan McCreight-Lindeborge, who was a great inspiration to him. He was then spirited away by well-known Michel Richard who hired Tanaka as a line cook when he opened Citronelle. He continued to refine his cooking talents and techniques while working for Frank Ruta at Palena and then Eric Ziebold at CityZen. When Cork opened on 14th St NW, Tanaka was hired as Executive Chef, putting the restaurant (and himself) on DC's culinary map. Excited for new adventures, Chef Tanaka left Cork to reinvigorate New Heights in Woodley Park, quickly making it a must "“go dining destination, and earning it accolades on Washingtonian's "2012 Very Best Restaurants" List. He is excited to now open his own restaurant which dedicates itself to Simple, Fresh, and Flavorful Modern American cuisine. Sherman Outhuok, General Manager & Co-Owner A longtime fixture on DC's bar scene, Sherman Outhuok was a managing partner for a number of years at Posto restaurant on 14thSt. He then went on to open Maple in Columbia Heights as the Bar Manager /AGM. He makes his own "Cello" (sweet and citrusy) liquors, inspired from his time at Posto. You'll regularly find Outhuok behind the bar mixing up new batches of Lemon, Tangerine, Orange and even Grapefruit Cello. You'll also see him front-of-house, greeting guests. Paolo Sacco, Co-Owner With more than 20 years of experience in Washington, DC, as well as substantial culinary work throughout Italy, London, and New York, Paolo Sacco is highly regarded as a dynamic leader in the restaurant and hospitality industry. He is the well-known and admired Owner of Ristorante Tosca, Co-Owner of Posto, and now a Co-Owner of Thally. Sacco's hard work, dedication, and mission to always provide the highest quality cuisine and service to his patrons have placed him among the elite of Washington's restaurateurs. Sacco's career in DC began when he became the maitre d' at the very trendy Bice Restaurant from 1993-1995, where he was responsible for the operation of the dining room, as well as creating unique menus with the chef. Since its opening in April 2001, Ristorante Tosca has firmly established itself as a mature player and premier Italian restaurant on the Washington restaurant scene. Sacco's trattoria-style restaurant, Posto, has followed that same path "“ albeit on a more casual level, as it is quickly became a cornerstone on 14th St.'s restaurant row. With Sacco's guidance, Thally is poised to lead the charge in making 9th St. NW a culinary destination. LOCATION, HOURS, AND CONTACT INFO: Thally is located in the newly thriving 9th St. Corridor in Shaw, immediately adjacent to Seasonal Pantry and A&D Neighborhood Bar, in the middle of the block between N and O Streets NW. 1316 9th St. NW, Washington, DC 20001 202-733-3849 info@ThallyDC.com www.ThallyDC.com Facebook.com/ThallyDC Twitter: @ThallyDC Open Tuesday "“Sunday: 5pm -11:30pm (bar), 5:30pm - 11pm (kitchen) Closed Mondays Private Dining Thally is able to accommodate parties of up to 25 people in a separate, semi-private dining room. In addition, Thally is also available on Mondays for full restaurant buy-out to accommodate 70 people.
  5. Tom wrote a first bite about this in the Post in early March. Esquire featured an article entitled, "Found: the incredible restaurant in the middle of nowhere that nobody knows about." Despite the distance this is a serious restaurant that Washingtonians should be considering for a destination. Simply, it is Rose's Luxury with seven tables and a total of one person in the kitchen: the gifted Ian Boden. I would actually suggest in the weeks to come this will be the most difficult table in America to find a seat at. An excellent video: My little essay about it: The early 19th century insane asylum, Western State Hospital, in downtown Staunton, is now a condo called the Villages. For its last 15 or so years it was a penitentiary. The small one hundred + year old graveyard with individual crosses on the graves of inmates is outside a building's window. Condos. The guard towers still stand. Across the street is Wright's Dairy Maid, a small town '50's hamburger and frozen custard stand that is still popular with families and teenagers camped out by their cars and sitting at picnic tables. A hundred or so yards from the guard towers which no longer need to be staffed. Whatever contrast the image of an American Graffitiish drive in across the street from a former institution for the criminally insane conjures actually doesn't approach the reality of sitting in the primitive, spartan Shack that James Beard semi finalist Ian Boden now holds forth in a few blocks away. He opened this three or four months ago after moving back to Staunton from his stay at Charlottesville's Glass Haus Kitchen which was built for him. This is, literally a shack. An outpost in a small town of character presenting itself as an affordable Charlottesville. But with a dinner destination that would be worthy of Barracks Row or anywhere in D. C. Or New York-where Chef Boden was trained. Open four nights week, wednesday through saturday, with a $55 four course prix fixe menu on weekend nights this is as extraordinary of a dining experience as I've had in America considering the setting. Rose's Luxury in a small, literal wood framed hundred year old shack. A total of three staff including the chef who stands alone in the closet sized kitchen. You are literally having dinner in his "house" even if it is a shack. And no reservations. First come first serve. They open at five. This is an individual expression of a man's passion who happens to be a world class chef. I would write about what we had but the menu changes every night and there is no telling what you'll find on it if you visit. I will say this: one of my wife's dishes included the hamburger mentioned in the above linked video. I took several bites. Perhaps the best explosively juicy first bite of a hamburger I have ever had. But that was only the start of an extraordinary small town adventure: flavorful textured ramen noodles with razor clams, rabbit gnocchi and three or four other dishes that I never expected to find in Staunton. If I had had them in D. C. I would still react the same: they were creative and delicious. Depending on traffic Staunton may not be any longer of a drive from Reston than downtown Washington. Even if it is, the Shack is certainly worth the effort. It may take a few years for panelists to make the pilgramage but he'll win a Beard award, holding court in his shack in Staunton. Chef Boden's twitter site: His tweets can build an appetite.
  6. Is Kevin Sbraga going to be opening an outpost of Sbraga in Washington, DC? Source: Eater Philly Eater DC is reporting that Philly Top Chef champ Kevin Sbraga is opening an outpost of Sbraga in the nation's capital. Apparently Sbraga & Co. are looking at sites in D.C. proper for the restaurant, with the hope of getting something signed before 2013 closes out. In the meantime, Sbraga is finishing up work on The Fat Ham, his ode to Southern cuisine in UCity. Read full article >>
  7. Bibou French BYOB close to the Italian Market It's not that the food wasn't great. It was. But Bibou was more a revelation in the atmosphere it produced; homey and intimate don't nearly encapsulate the feeling we had by the end of our meal. If the words don't do it justice, well, use your imagination. Here are a few snapshots from the night-- Our sexagenarian server in an amusing French accent- "I have one order left of the last oysters of the season. West Coast. Very briny." Later on a lamb special- "We also have lamb chops from Colorado. Very expensive." (They were $45). After reading some of the reviews I thought I could prepare myself for the bewitching effects of charm but the earnestness and honesty of the place resonated deeply. We started with the oysters (which were more briny than I'm accustomed to from the west coast), a first for my dining partner. Overhearing us Charlotte (Chef Pierre Calmels' wife) came over and told us how she didn't try oysters until she was 29. Tonight was my lady's 28th birthday. More traditional foodie note-The mignonette they served with the oysters was mild enough not to overpower the Pacific ocean. Next up was the escargots in a bordelaise sauce with trumpet mushrooms, fava beans, tarragon, and plenty of diced shallots. Really delicious and wonderfully different from the classic butter-garlic version most are accustomed to. We cleaned out the snail shaped bowl with our bread. I was able to talk my partner into the veal bone-marrow, which came next. It was decadently rich and served in the bone. It resembled stuffing but was so concentrated I actually asked my adopted papi/server why he brought it out before the fletan (halibut)--he replied "We just wanted to slow it down for a nice dinner." Maybe I've eaten in and worked at too many bistros but a novel concept like "slowing down the meal" really floored me. The halibut didn't blow me away, but that was a good thing following the bone-marrow. Served with an English pea puree and orange Sicilian veal jus it was a model of restraint. The fish itself was expertly cooked and flaked under the pressure of a fork edge. This was all despite the fact that they split the dish, unrequested. As advertised Chef Calmels did indeed stop by the table. Maybe it was the wine, which by the way was the only disappointment of the night (thanks in part to the terrible selection of Philly's "premium" PLCB stores), but I blurted out something like "If I were a writer I'd say we are full in belly and spirit." Ugh. Might as well have just drunk texted him.. The [less feminate synonym for magical] evening wrapped up with one last bit of grace-- while we posed for a self-shot outside of Bibou a busser/food-runner (who had early recognized my dining partner from her work at a tavern he frequented years back) came outside and took the picture for us. I've had some fantastic dining experiences in Philly over the years (Tinto, Morimoto, etc.) but Bibou would be the very first place I would return to.
  8. The Restaurant Issue of Bon Appetit (Top 5 dining cities issue) was mentioned in another thread. Also in that issue was an article about Vetri. It sounded pretty amazing. The chef there beat out four of our own DC chefs for a James Beard Award (Best Chef-Mid--Atlantic). They made it out to possibly be the best Italian restaurant in the U.S. http://www.vetriristorante.com/ So, has anybody been? Is it worth a two-hour drive? Do tell!
  9. I was lucky enough to land a reservation at Blanca for my 40th and, nearly two weeks later, I'm still thinking about it. Having eaten my way through my share of triple-digit tasting menus, I can safely rank this experience among the top (somewhere alongside Komi and Blue Hills at Stone Barns). Given their strict no pictures or cell phone policy, the only pictures I was able to snap were of the ramshackle courtyard as they lead us from Roberta's into the building housing Blanca and of the control panel for the Japanese toilet seat in the restroom. I had trouble recalling all of the details of each course even just later that night while sipping on a scotch, so I've only provided some of my favorites below. For those who are lucky enough to go, a few tips. There's not much of a dress code (i.e. no jacket required). I wore a collared shirt, v-neck sweater, and jeans, and I'm pretty sure I could've gone even more casual and been fine. They really strike a balance between fine dining and a very relaxed atmosphere. Given its location in one of the historically rougher parts of Brooklyn, use the closest subway or better yet use a car service (we asked them to call one for us as we paid our bill and it was there when we were ready to leave) if you really want to be safe. While I didn't partake in the beverage pairing, it looked just as epic as the meal. A whole slew of variety (cider, beer, wine, sake of all kinds) and a lot of rare sounding stuff. And now (excerpted from my blog post which explains some of the other information) -- It came time to plan an outing for a milestone of a birthday, I started from a very short list. I first started with some regions and got it down to New Orleans, San Francisco and Napa, or New York. It didn’t take long to hone in on New York but still there was some more work to be done. I’ve always pined for a Thomas Keller meal, but Per Se and the French Laundry seem just out of reach for me. Three summers ago, I had one of my all-time favorite meals at Blue Hills at Stone Barns and have always imagined what they would do in different seasons, so this was the fallback plan. The backup plan if we weren’t able to secure reservations to a pretty new place called Blanca which sits in the ramshackle compound of Roberta’s a pizza place for those in the know out in Bushwick. And with a little bit of effort (none of my own doing, thanks to my companion who manned the phone) and luck we secured 2 of the 12 seats available for my birthday night. And for a month the anticipation grew and grew as I read the handful of reviews and reports from the past year since it opened. They ask that you check in at Roberta’s, then lead you through what looks like a cross between a construction zone and a junkyard. But then you arrive at a separate building that is at once austere, serene, yet fully comfortable. Clean, cream colored walls, cushy leather backed stools at the counter facing the steamy, smoky both hi- and low-tech (and always calm) kitchen, and Sticky Fingers blaring from the turntable. Then the relentless begins. I won’t even begin to describe every dish. I couldn’t if I tried. When trying to recount after the fact, at first I forgot some of my favorite dishes. That’ll happen when your head is swirling deep into a tasting menu of 25 or so courses that come like clockwork over the span of 3 hours. Oh, but before I mention a few of the dishes, let me mention the service. It was perfect. The right combination of attentive, informative, conversational, and absent. There and helpful when you need them, and helping someone else when you don’t. Like a great host at a party. The service really is part of the whole package, creating a really relaxed and fun environment. But now back to the menu highlights. It started with a slew of seafood dishes including a plate of 5 different raw preparations, each one better than the next. Needlefish, geoduck, herring, horse mackerel, and sea perch, each with their own garnish. A real microcosm of what the kitchen excels at. There were lightly breaded and fried veal sweetbreads with lime that were definitely the best sweetbread preparation I've ever had. Deep in my memory banks, I’m recalling perfectly tender squid, though I’d be hard-pressed to remember what else was on the plate. Shortly after that there was possibly my favorite savory dish of the night, thinly sliced strips of barely grilled Wagyu in a sweet kohlrabi broth that reminded me of sukiyaki. The paper thin, fatty beef literally melts in your mouth as you eat it. At some point deep in the middle of the evening we were presented with the simplest presentation of the night. A giant king crab leg still in its shell and a large dollop of plankton butter. And a hot towel to clean up with. A perfect dish for a kitchen that tries (and succeeds) so hard to present the most elegant and exquisite dishes and plates and presents them in the least stuffy way possible. There was a string of pasta dishes, including hand-rolled pici with squab and a single ravioli filled with nduja – a spreadable spicy salami. There was a course that was just bread and butter. But of course, it was 4 different breads and homemade butter. After about 15 courses, I thought this was going to be the end of me, but it actually invigorated me for the home stretch. In between some key transitional courses, there were some palate cleansing sorbets and granitas. Most notably, a celeriac gelato with lime gelee that tasted exactly as you’d expect and want. And a buttermilk sorbet with Meyer lemon marmalade. For the meat courses, there was a chicken dish that we watched all night as the whole bird – head and feet included – spun around in the oven for an hour, then was grilled on a yakitori grill – meat and skin separately and served on polenta. Obviously, the skin was the best part. And then another Wagyu dish for the ages. Aged New York strip cooked rare and sliced, served with radish, and a sauce enriched with melted beef fat. Finally dessert was the real surprise of the night. Following a cheese course of runny La Tur atop a lemon jelly, there were just a couple of similarly presented dishes but they might have been two of the strongest dishes of the night. The first is a contender for my all-time favorite dessert and absolutely one of my favorite dishes of the night. An orange sorbet sat atop a rye “foam” that reminded me of a zabaglione with crunchy rye berries sprinkled on top and a surprise dollop of caramel along the bottom. Totally amazing and wholly new. This was followed by an almost equally strong dish of apple ice with a thick sunchoke puree, dehydrated sunchoke chips, and some sort of sunchoke dust. Both desserts were complex, not single-note sweet, and completely unlike anything you’ve ever had before. So I enter a new chapter of my life noted arbitrarily by the calendar, I am thoroughly nourished and possibly changed forever by this meal, now more than 24 hours and a so-so night’s sleep in the past, that still has my head spinning trying to figure it all out.
  10. Izakaya Seki is a small, family-run pub serving casual Japanese dishes along with Japanese beverages. Our kitchen staff is small and the opportunity to learn about Japanese cuisine and techniques is significant. We are looking for a line cook who is available 3-6 nights a week. We value kitchen experience although not necessarily in Japanese cuisine. We are looking for hard-working professionals who are responsible, methodical, and diligent. Pay is hourly and commensurate upon experience. For more information and to schedule an interview, please email us at sekidc@gmail.com or call (202) 588-5841 between the hours of 11am-3pm.
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