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Found 117 results

  1. After Jake's American Grille was quoting a 30-40 minute wait Saturday night with standing room only at the crowded bar, we hopped next door and had a very pleasant dinner at Terasol. Apparently Terasol was a short lived venture in Chevy Chase Arcade and after a two year search has re-opened at 5010 Connecticut Avenue (across the street from Politics and Prose). The front third of the space is an artisan gallery, selling locally produced pottery, jewelry, paintings photography, etc. The back two-thirds is a cafe serving up French bistro classics - onion soup, pate, quiches, ratatouille, boeuf bourguignon, roast chicken, to name a few dishes. The pate plate was two healthy slabs with a small pile of dressed greens, some sliced cornichons, and a little pot of grainy mustard. The quiche was light, fluffy, and quivering. The rataouille, served up in a medium sized souffle bowl, was luscious. Overall, the food made a very good first impression, perfect for a light lunch or dinner. Service was friendly and well meaning but a little hectic and confused. Open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
  2. A girlfriend and I had dinner in the small dining room up a set of stairs from the entrance at Tersiguel's. Fernand knew me tangentally as a young customer who was in the hospitality industry and appreciative of his restaurant. We ordered a bottle of Chablis from the Les Clos vineyard (producer escapes me) and Fernand stopped by the table. His wife had been battling cancer, and he shared with us their struggles and fear; and that he had built a shrine to the Virgin Mary in his backyard in order to pray for his wife's health daily. The actual details of the conversation have faded over time, but the tone of the conversation, the immense love and devotion coupled with his intense fear and sense of loss, have not. His son had just taken over the helm of the kitchen, and he was so proud of that, despite his obvious pain. And that entire conversation occurred because of a bottle of wine. Got to get to Tersiguel's soon, too.
  3. Maybe I'm coming to the table late with this, but has anyone ventured that far south that they have gone to Pomme? Everything I have read: "Also, the opéra cake on the menu epitomizes what chef Gerard Gasparini is trying to do at Pomme. “My style is classic French cooking with a touch of the chef,” says the French native, “I try to cook things that you used to see on menus in French restaurants that French chefs don’t make anymore.” Style Weekly, Richmond, VA makes Pomme sound like a definite destination restaurant.
  4. It took some digging, but I independently confirmed that L'Hommage Bistro will be opening at 450 K Street NW, just east of Mount Vernon Square. The Chef de Cuisine will be Josh Perkins, who was most recently at Ecco in Atlanta - he has 25 years of experience in the industry. The Mâitre d' is named Mustafa Fairtout (I'm not sure about the spelling of Mustafa's last name), who was a Server at Cafe Milano. This will be a classical French bistro with onion soup, páté, steak frites, etc. The restaurant will seat 175 with 50 at the bar and 80 on the patio. Owner is Hakan Ilhan of Al Dente et al. A bakery will be attached to the bistro, selling French breads, sandwiches, coffee, and to-go meals - the bread will be made in-house. --- I was also sent this article: "Alba Osteria Owner Hakan Ilhan to Open French Restaurant in Mount Vernon Triangle" by Rebecca Cooper on bizjournals.com
  5. I had lunch at Cafe de la Presse, and aside from the prices, it was really good. It looks like an authentic French Bistro because it was built to look that way, and the wait staff all have French accents. I can't remember dining in any place like this since I was in France about three decades ago. The food was good. I had the Salade Niçoise, which was one of the best renditions I've eaten, but at $21 it's one of the more economic options on the menu. Steak Frites comes in at $31, and Confit de Canard at $34 -- these are lunch prices -- so bring a hefty expense account with you. My companions had the lamb stew (very good) and the daily seafood special (good). The positives are the authenticity and the quality of the dishes. The negatives are the prices and, well, if you're outside the Chinatown gate in San Francisco, why eat French? On the other hand, if you're in San Francisco and you absolutely have to eat at a French Bistro, you don't have to fly to France.
  6. I heard from an inside source today that Stephen Starr's restaurant group has signed a lease for the old Q Street Cleaners space at 1601 14th St. NW, and it's going to become a Buddakan. Confidence level? Since I'm relying on a source for this (as opposed to hearing it with my own ears), it can't be 100%, but it's up there.
  7. I eat here with some regularity and keep coming back because they do all the standards well, have an experienced and friendly staff, good parking, a very good wine list and reasonable prices. A good choice for a bustling neighborhood bistro. The table under the stairs is a nice, quiet private spot.
  8. "L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon may be the world’s most expensive restaurant chain." Ouch. I don't know what stings more - that line or the two star rating. "A New Link in the World's Most Expensive Restaurant Chain" by Pete Wells on nytimes.com
  9. According to OpenTable, Central Michel Richard is accepting reservations for the 29th of January.
  10. At 1000yregg's urging, we booked a dinner last weekend at Arí´mes, a new spot in Hampden that just opened a couple of weeks ago. Chef Monnier hails from Reims with a résumé that stands on classic haute cuisine spots in Paris and LA, but has chosen to open his small (24-ish seat) operation in a converted rowhouse, specializing in seasonal and local ingredients. Dinner is a prix fixe affair of six courses for $65, or three for $45. Four of the courses are smaller bites to precede the main course, and then you proceed to dessert. Because of the ever-changing menu, it's somewhat academic to repeat what we had, but each course's description sounded simple, unexpected, and maybe even opportunistic, and yet each time what arrived was remarkably integrated, and much more than the sum of its parts to the extent that each component became essential. Also evident was a high degree of technique and care in the preparation. I'm only going to describe a few of our courses, but there wasn't a dud in the bunch. "Beets, umeboshi, pear jam, and lucky plum" combined soft and crisp textures in a small composition of fleshy fruits and root vegetables, plated with a flourish of beet ash. It cleansed the palate for the next course, a little taste of "risotto and scallop chicharrones with Old Bay mayo". I don't know how they struck upon the idea of making chicharrones out of large thin curls of good scallops, but its compelling and concentrated umami was almost unreal, and a worthy match for a few bites of perfectly toothy risotto. The "oyster with green apple and sorrel" was a single oyster on a bed of rock salt, topped with a foam (the only appearance of modernist technique all evening) so you breathed its flavor as much as you tasted it. This course was a bit precious, but whatever oyster they used (it wasn't indicated) was beautifully clean and deeply cupped, almost like a kusshi, which makes me really curious where it's coming from in this region? The chalkboard near the front window held only thank-yous to a number of their suppliers: Vent Coffee Roasters (excellent, btw), Trickling Springs Creamery, Lancaster Farm Fresh Coop, Two Boots Farm, Baltimore Organic Farm, and Liberty Delight Farm. It's not a place for wildly crowd-pleasing dishes like Rose's, and to be honest I think a picky eater wouldn't have enjoyed all of these dishes, nor the menu format. But if our meal was any indication, Aromes is worth the serious diner's consideration, and worth the trip.
  11. Ericandblueboy

    Alhambra in DC

    Website https://www.alhambradc.com/ I saw this place on Open Table. Seems expensive and swanky.
  12. The Guards became Rialto which is now Maxime, under the same ownership as Rialto (via Washington City Paper). Maxine opened on March 26, 2015 (via Washingtonian).
  13. No thread for Chez Billy in Petworth? Ok, I'll go. A friend had been talking this place up late last year, so I wasn't too surprised when my SIL gave us a gift certificate here for Christmas (she lives in NYC, and asked my friend for recommendations). Were there other places I'd rather have been given a GC to in the city? Probably. But, I was also glad to have an excuse to try out Chez Billy. We went on a Sunday night, and the restaurant was never crowded, although the bar had a number of folks. The bar room is actually the more interesting of the two with its high ceilings, but the other room was nice and cozy for a winter night. It was a bit darker than I would like, but maybe I'm just getting old. Service was good. Nothing outstanding, but nothing bad. We started with Tartine Aux Champignons ($12 Sauteed wild mushrooms, grilled country bread, sherry vinegar, duck egg) and Soupe A L'oignon Gratinee Lyonnaise ($10 Classic onion soup), both of which were good. For some reason I was thinking the tartine would be more tart-like, when in fact it was just as described - a piece of grilled bread in a bowl, topped with mushrooms and a duck egg. It was good, but I think I was still thrown off by my own wrong expectations. The soup was excellent. So many times I have trouble with French onion soup cutting through the cheese and bread and eating it in a dignified manner. This was rich and cheesy, but very manageable. Our mains were Confit De Canard ($23 Pommes"Πde terre sarladaise, shitake mushrooms, garlic spinach, roasted duck jus) and Jarret De Porc ($24 Cider braised duroc pork shank, white beans, local kale, bacon). Both meats were falling off the bone, as expected, and both were very good. The pork shank was enormous, and I enjoyed the bean, kale, and bacon swimming underneath. Great wintery dishes on a cold evening. We ended with Plat De Fromage ($8 Walnut raisin toast, wildflower honey), which included a goat, a sheep, and a cow blue (I had been craving a blue cheese that day), and all three were delicious. Although I love walnut raisin toast, I wished there had been a more "plain" bread or cracker or something to let the flavors of the cheese shine through. All in all we really enjoyed our meal and would definitely recommend. I don't know if I'd drive across town, but if you're in the area, it's worth a stop. We even got parking right out front! Beats heading downtown.
  14. Sunday my wife and I stopped by Primrose for their first night open to the public to check out what has to be by far the biggest restaurant opening in our new neighborhood by Sebastian Zutant, formerly of Proof (in the glory days), Red Hen, and All Purpose. Much like Red Hen, this was a delightfully designed little neighborhood restaurant, with a homey feel and lovely lighting and decorations (check out the bathrooms). Service was touch and go, which is to be expected on an opening night, but everyone was very pleasant and accommodating. The food was nice, if unspectacular, and the wine list an eclectic mix of French producers who I had never heard of before. The menu is very small, with 3 plates of charcuterie, 4 apps, and 5 mains (2 that can be shared). My wife had the steak, which was a nice griddled version cooked very well and accompanied by very thick fries, which were the least French thing that we had all night. I went with the Bourguignon, which was a bit overcooked and less saucy than I like, but pleasing nonetheless. Don't sleep on the Salade Verte, which is a simple heaping mound of mache and paper thin radishes with that salad dressing that you get (and love) in every restaurant in France that serves green salads but I never actually hear the name of since you don't get a choice of dressing when you dine out over there. Congrats to Sebastian and his wife on what should be a very successful effort in Brookland!
  15. I had a wonderful dinner yesterday evening with a couple of other Rockweilers at Marcel's. I don't know whether to begin with the food or the service or the ambiance. All were impeccable. We dined in the bar area so I can't comment on what the regular dining room is like. The bar area is light and airy with high ceilings and a glass front that looks out onto Penn. Ave. The decor is traditional yet modern. The package puts you at ease as you either sit at the bar or one of the tables in the bar area. The service was unobtrusive, professional and efficient, not a single mistake that I noticed. When it became apparent that the 3 of us sitting at the bar intended to dine, they asked us if we would like a table. When we gave an affirmative response, we were escorted to a nearby table and our drinks transported without the bat or roll of an eye. One of our party brought a couple bottles of wine and they were promptly taken away for chilling. The efficient food and wine service were so unobtrusive and efficient as to be almost invisible. I give the service an "A." I only perused the wines by the glass list and we had wine that one of our party brought so I can't comment on the wine list. I had a white burgundy and it was exactly as it should be. The food also was excellent. I started off with the boudin blanc, which apparently is their "signature" dish. The sausage came out with a perfectly browned skin, the crispiness of which contrasted nicely with the almost flan-like texture of the inside which had a light, delicate flavor. It sat atop a pool of what this morning I recall to be polenta. The whole thing was drizzled with some really good sauce. "A" For the entrée, I had the fillet of black sea bass with ratatouille. Damn, was this good. I ordered it primarily because of the ratatouille and because the others had already ordered what I thought was all the good stuff. The fish came out perfectly cooked and atop some pommes mouselline with the ratatouille around the sides of the plate. The mildness of the fish was offset by the tanginess of the ratatouille. "A" For dessert, I had the cheese course. The only thing I can recall was this one cheese that had so much flavor that I think my taste buds were out of commission for about 10 minutes. One bite of it was all I could handle. It was a real stinker. I give the cheese course a "B." The others had "regular"dessert which I now believe are the way to go. They have a soufflé dessert that takes about 20 minutes; if you are interested, put in your order when your entrée arrives (their failure to tell us about this might constitute a "mistake" by the service). Between the entrées and the desserts the "habitué" came over and sat down and chatted with us for a while. Altogether, an "A+" evening. This restaurant belongs on what has been described as the "short list," along with places such as Eve, Palena, Corduroy, Ray's and Firefly. I don't think it would be possible to have a mediocre dining experience at this establishment.
  16. The New York Times' Pete Wells reviews The Beatrice Inn (slideshow). website (which is "under construction" as of May 24th - remarkable considering the restaurant opened last November and has been reviewed by the Times).
  17. And as I said in response - it's easier to drink and laugh with friends when someone will bring you the drink in the first place.
  18. DonRocks

    Pain Perdu

    Hey now, Pain Perdu is made with stale bread. Okay, in theory, it's made with stale bread.
  19. Happened to be walking by this weekend and saw that Macon is open in the Chevy Chase Arcade building on Connecticut Ave. We had already picked up bagels with the kids so I couldn't do much but pop my head in, but I'll probably get over there for a brunch soon. I can't wait to try the biscuits and bacon gravy with poached eggs and maybe the "spiced watermelon bowl".... Has anyone been yet? When did it open?
  20. La Madeleine would probably like to stake claim to status as a big chain French restaurant, and the two times I've eaten at one I've been pretty unhappy with the food as being sub par for even what I expected.
  21. To kick off our week of dining out (my vacation), last Sunday we tried Bistro L'hermitage, technically in Woodbridge, but close enough to Occoquan to be considered part of that area. Halfway through our brunch we were already talking about a return visit. The restaurant is beautiful, and very much what I think of as a French country bistro (in my imagination, at least). We were greeted graciously, and service throughout the meal was attentive and professional. I ordered the hanger steak, medium rare, and egg, sunny side up. Both were perfectly cooked and delicious. The mixed greens salad was coated with a delicious vinaigrette, and the fried potatoes were crisp on the outside and soft inside, tasting like . . . potatoes. I loved every bite of everything on my plate. WW thoroughly enjoyed his grilled chicken Reuben with warm potato salad. The potato salad was lightly dressed with a mustard vinaigrette, and the taste I got was a perfect balance of acid and potatoes. I couldn't taste his sandwich, but he declared it wonderful. The menu is filled with tempting offerings, and if all of the cooking is as careful and skillful as it was at our brunch, this is going to be one of our favorites--and we only have to cross the Occoquan to get there!
  22. ClosedChef Driss Zahidi is opening Le Mediterranean Bistro, hopefully in April, in the old Sabzi space at 4008 University Drive in Fairfax. This will be a French Bistro (remember, Driss was the opening chef at Bistro Vivant), with Moroccan dishes as well, as Chef Zahidi is from Morocco. This should mean there will be lots of dishes from Provence and the Côe d'Azur. A sample opening menu can be found here (note the Octopus Kebab). As far as I'm concerned, we cannot get enough good southern French restaurants in this area. Congratulations to the whole team.
  23. Celebrated @MichaelBDC's birthday with some friends at Le DeSales a few weeks ago. We had a reservation on the early side (6:30pm), which worked out well given our leisurely pace. Except for two hiccups, service was attentive and our water glasses were always full. Our party of four started with a bottle of Zinfandel and a mocktail for one member of our party who is nine months pregnant. We also ordered a platter of charcuterie and cheese to share: jambon cru, duck proscuitto, comte, parmigiano reggiano, and prefere des montagnes. This was a decent board of meats and cheeses, but nothing was particularly interesting or unique. The first service hiccup occurred when we wanted to ensure that the cheeses on the menu were pasteurized. The server said she would ask the kitchen but thought they were all pasteurized. When she came back to take our order, we realized she hadn't checked as she had already told us that she "thought" all the cheese were pasteurized. So we had to insist she go back and check with the kitchen. Turns out all the cheeses were pasteurized, but it was a frustrating back and forth. We ended up finishing the bottle of wine relatively quickly and ordered a second bottle, a Mourvedre from France. For our entrees, we wanted to share the other dishes - a mix of appetizer and entree sized plates as well as sides which the restaurant accommodated, but left for a very full table. We ended up ordering: beets with avocado, miso and quinoa; duck egg with paprika potatoes, soup de pain, and watercress; pork loin with carrots and preserved lemon; cod with turnip and clams pesto; bass with cranberries, cashews, celeriac, and chive oil; broccoli with peanuts and mustard; grilled leeks with sunflower seeds and buttermilk; and the fries. Highlights for me were the duck egg dish, the beets (not super interesting but well executed and loved the crunch of the quinoa), and the broccoli (an odd combination but successfully executed and very tasty). The cod, pork loin, and leeks were well executed but not particularly memorable. I passed on the bass and the fries so I can't comment. For dessert we had the deconstructed cheesecake, chocolate tarte, and creme brulee. Again, well prepared and satisfying, but not outstanding. The GM/owner also brought out four glasses of champagne for us. Not sure why we were on the receiving end of such generosity but we appreciated it. By the time we were done, the restaurant was packed and it took us awhile to flag down our server and get our check. Overall, I was pretty impressed with Le DeSales. Food was well executed and some dishes were really interesting and outstanding. Glad to have more French options to choose from.
  24. According to Eater, this Shaw joint just opened. The head chef previously worked at Le Bernadin and Guy Savoy. Being super hip and cool, we will be checking out their early-bird specials soon.
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