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  1. Steel Plate opened recently in Brookland from the owner of Rustik. It's located on 12th between Monroe and Newton (right across the street from Smith Public Trust, which is in it's World Cup soft opening phase). +1 and I went childless last night to check it out, although it's apparently quite child-friendly (high-chairs and what not and we saw 3 kids while we were there). We didn't get to check out the upstairs, but the downstairs space is nice. A bit dark with the dark wood everywhere, but a nice long bar down the right side, booths on the left, and tables up front by the window. Exposed brick wall, Edison lights...not atypical from a lot of new openings, but I liked the space. Our server was also very friendly and helpful with suggestions. It wasn't too busy when we were there (6:30-7:30 or so on a Thursday night with maybe 6 people at the bar and 8-10 at tables). They also have HH from 5-7pm that apparently is good a the tables as well as the bar ($2 off Rose, Malbec, and draft beers). As for the food, I didn't think it was out of this world, but we definitely liked it, look forward to going back, and are very happy to have another "nicer" option in the hood. We started with the Corn Cobblets (miso butter, herbs, mojama - $4) and the Pork Cheek Tonkatsu (tonkatsu sauce, mustard greens - $8). The corn was one cob cut into four pieces and coated with the butter and seasoning. Good summer appetizer with a little twist from the miso flavor. My +1 loves miso and liked this a lot. The pork cheek was two good-sized chunks with Japanese BBQ sauce and some greens on the side. Very rich and meaty with a nice tang from the sauce. We had a hard time deciding on entrees (the waitress recommended the lamb burger and beet catsup, which wasn't up our alley, but apparently is quite good). But we ended up splitting the Sloppy Jose (pork shoulder, tomatillo sauce, chayote apple slaw - $12) with fries and the 'Shroom Ravioli (shitake, bean sprouts, broth - $14). The sandwich was large and good. We couldn't taste the tomatillo really, but the pork and sauce plus the slaw were quite tasty. And the fries were thin cut and hot and crispy. They are served with mayo here (which I believe is homemade) unless you ask for ketchup. I liked, but did not love, the ravioli. 5-6 ravioli in a well-seasoned broth topped with mushrooms, carrots, bean sprouts, and some other veggies, and swimming alongside ginger pearls. Definitely seemed like a good light pasta dish for the season and had some interesting flavor. We had to ask for spoons to get at the broth. Dessert might have been my favorite part of the meal. We split the Uber Chocolate Trifle (dark chocolate cake, milk pudding, hazelnut crisp - $7). Served in a stemless wine glass, this was a rich and delicious end to the meal. The hazelnut crisps (almost like a cross between rice krispies and a brittle) on top were a nice contrast to the soft cake and sauce. Other menu options included Doro Wat Wings, tots, 3 salads (charred caesar, house, and mustard green), chef's board (soft goat, cow/goat blue, and firm sheep with duck prosciutto, camel sausage, and cured catfish), lamb and lentil burger, beef burger, daily flatbread, fried chicken and dumplings, veggie hotbrown, BBQ brisket, spiced catfish, and scallops, and some other sides. Definitely some interesting sounding and eclectic dishes with most things in the $11-15 range and the most expensive being the scallops at $18.
  2. Rustik has been open for a little while now, but we just made it over for the first time on Friday evening. After a little jaunt at the Shaw Dog Park, we took the pup to the patio at Rustik. The patio has about equal the amount of seating as indoors, but on such a nice evening we did have to wait a bit. Service was slow and in attentive, although to be fair, other tables looked like they were getting better service, so it may just have been our waiter that was not quite with it (had to ask for our orders twice, rarely came by the table, app came out same time as entrees, no pen brought with the bill, etc). We "started" with the cheese and charcuterie plate (miti blue, drunken goat and soprasetta - $10), which came with a small bowl of honey, a few olives and a dab of mustard along with 4 small pita points. We could've used a bit more bread because the cheese and meat were generous services, but we made due. Since our pizzas came out at the same time as the cheese, they weren't piping hot when we got to them, but were still tasty. The crust is pretty thin and crispy, and I generally prefer a bit more to it, but it is from a wood-fired oven I believe and has some fresh (if sparse) ingredients on top. I had the Christina ($12 - pears, goat cheese, prosciutto, rosemary) and the +1 had a Vegetable Special ($12) that was topped with all manner of things including potatoes, beets, carrots, green onions, etc. His was better than mine. Mine definitely needed more of all the listed ingredients. It just didn't have enough of any to really come together. The menu is about 6-7 pizzas and a couple of alternative sandwich and salad options. They also have movie nights on Mondays where they show classic choices (Princess Bride and Wedding Crashers have been two recent ones) inside by their bar. I didn't get a drink but I think they have a decent craft beer selection. As with some other area restaurants, I'd recommend it if you're in the area, but I wouldn't necessarily go out of my way. I do like the dog and patio option though!
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