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Found 5 results

  1. I remember so well when LeftBank opened - it was actually a nice little spot, something like Leopold Kafe & Konditorei in Georgetown. Then, it closed - out popped Slaviya (here's a DCDining review of Slaviya), and even though I enjoyed my visit there, I pretty much knew that if LeftBank wasn't going to make it there, neither would Slaviya, "bar"ring some sort of late-night coup de hookah. Don't forget, this space started out as the very good Cities, so we've seen a steady decline with each new opening. So, now Slaviya's gone, and we had Taste of New Orleans ... for about a week ... then Slaviya again. (PoPVille is awesome when it comes to methodically reporting openings and closings). This time, it managed to stay open until early this year, but finally, the ax fell. (Thanks, SF) And now? The single largest venue in Adams Morgan has become The Bicycle Space, and my initial impression is that this 180-degree change is a really good call. I hope you guys keep rolling for years to come - if for no other reason than it will make the hellish job of keeping up with the goings-on at 2424 18th St. NW a bit easier.
  2. Meanwhile, I hear there's a Polish hole-in-the-wall some place in Wheaton that does a fabulous kielbasa thingie.
  3. Barbara and I popped in tonight about 7 PM. The place was empty except for one manager/server up front and an unknown number in the kitchen. No customers. That's not encouraging, but we were welcomed warmly and advised to sit anywhere. We took a table in the corner and after examining the menu, ordered the mixed grill for two, $30. This was a generous portion of steak, chicken, veal, and cevapi sausages and grilled vegetables (zucchini, carrot, and bell pepper) with bread to mop it up. The meat had been pounded thin, was quick-grilled so it got some sear on the outside and wasn't dry despite being thin. The rest of the menu is similar to other Eastern European restaurants in this area (like Cosmopolitan) with a mix of familiar German schnitzels, less familiar dishes from the Balkans, and an occasional totally American dish. The decor is very sleek and lounge-y in front, with a more traditional dining room in back. Hopefully they'll be able to get their wine and beer license soon, because I can definitely see hanging out here with a glass of wine and a snack at the bar. I'm glad to see a place that isn't a chain opening here in South Alexandria. (South of Old Town = SoOld?) Our host gave us several menus to give to friends. I'll scan one and post it up here.
  4. My lovely and accomplished daughter came up to Philadelphia on Sunday. We celebrated my birthday just a block down 16th Street from Monk's at The Warsaw Cafe. Unusual place that has served Eastern European (yes, Polish) food with a continental flair since 1979 - borscht, chilled berry soup, Russian crepes (stuffed with smoked salmon and topped with caviar), wiener schnitzel, crab cakes were all delicious. After walking around the Rittenhouse Square area, we went to Old City for ice cream at the Franklin Fountain, an old-fashioned ice cream parlor that serves homemade ice cream just down the block from the Continental. Wonderful way to spend a summer evening.
  5. Eastern European cooking seemed a natural follow-up to a film by Czech avant-garde animator Jan Svankmajer at the National Gallery last month, so we boarded a 70 bus to the fairly new Bistro Bohem. The small and inviting restaurant is located a block away from the gloriously revived Howard Theater and is an encouraging addition to Le Droit Park, which is looking particularly good these days, not counting the incongruously monolithic Howard University Hospital looming over its shoulders. (In pre-gentrification days, when these streets could turn unexpectedly mean, the proximity of the hospital was a good thing for stalwart neighborhood residents who had just been bludgeoned.) We had read enthusiastic things about Bistro Bohem in the newspaper and had heard similar praise from friends, so what unfolded was a bit of a disappointment. I won't blame it on Svankmajer. Although food plays more than a bit part in his movies, it is a source of mayhem, as it was in what we had just seen -- "Little Otik" -- where babies being fished out of briny water are delectably pink and you can see why customers are lined up for them. Savory soups and stews are brought to the table throughout the dark proceedings, and they appear fortifying, though unfortunately not enough to sate the enormous appetite of a rapidly flourishing tree-stump baby who has been brought to life by a hopelessly barren couple. Finally confined to the basement of the disconcerted parents' apartment house after devouring the mailman and a social worker, the temptation of a courtyard patch of cabbages is Otik's downfall, an ending out of the folktale on which this is based, a chronicle of an insatiable appetite running roughshod over the countryside. If I lived in its neck of the woods, I would visit Bistro Bohem often for its drinks and beers, but I would tend to stay away from the food unless I was famished. Sharing appetizers and small and large plates, we felt a bit like Otik, devouring our food but never finding anything that was truly satisfying. Garlic soup was mostly all salt, though the interplay of garlic and toasted bread revealed an intriguing affinity in flavor. Flecky in texture, melted Gruyere provided a reminder that this was a poor man's version of French onion soup. Pierogi with a potato and cheese filling were light and supple, steering things in a happier direction, except that there was some undercooked flour in the bechamel-based sauce on which they rested. Home-made potato chips were ridiculously bad, dripping in oil, some half crisp, others totally soggy, a few with raw centers. And a potato pancake was gummy, covered in a dark gloppy sauce, along with small orange knots of hard chicken. The menu advises that the kitchen is small. Clearly it was wrestling with the food the night we visited. Maybe it was just our dumb luck that the wrong person was cooking. Why go to Prague for food, when you can go to Paris? Bistro Bohem raised but did not answer that question for us.
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