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Found 125 results

  1. Serendipity led me to Bryan Voltaggio's blogfor his upcoming restaurant Volt in Frederick, MD. It appears that they are targeting mid-July for an opening date. I only had lunch once at Charlie Palmer's when Voltaggio was there and my friend and I had a very good meal, but nothing exciting. I have to say, though, that his blog makes me excited for Frederick. They need this place, so I hope they support him. Check out the cheese they're planning on using! Someone needs to give the Tasting Room a kick in their ass b/c I think they became complacent a while ago. If you go to page twoof the blog entries you can see a video of the space post-demo and pre-construction. It was neat to see the inside of the bay window that I longed to be part of my apartment; looks like it'll be used as a private party room for 10 people. In general, it looks like this place will be small. The video said the restaurant will seat 38! They'll have to have a pretty high price point to pay for the real estate and renovations to this place on top of the high quality of ingredients and staffing I'm sure he has planned. The Tasting Room thrives b/c the swanky fishbowl environment draws in the trendy drinkers who like to be seen. Volt won't have that to fall back on. They'll just have to knock folks' socks off with damn good cooking in a cool, seemingly more quiet atmosphere. Best of luck to them and I look forward to making the trip back up 270. ETA: Looks like the total capacity is more like 100. Pax, Brian
  2. Ricciuti's is located in the historic Olney House, on Route 108, just off Georgia Avenue in Olney MD. It started out years ago as a pizza and Italian sandwich restaurant, but over the years has transformed into a nice restaurant with great wood fired pizzas and a fine dining menu (Italian for he most part) with a very good wine list, especially for Montgomery County. (They have a Wine Spectator award) The core of the restaurant is still the wood fired pizza oven. Pizzas come out crisp and hot, with lots and lots of toppings available. While they are not cheap, the pizzas are nothing like what you get at the usual Pizza joint. The restaurant is located in the Olney House, a large historic house in Olney, MD. There main dining room is upstairs, with two smaller dining rooms, a bar, and the carry-out space on the first floor. The food is excellent, reasonabley priced for the type, and the service is pretty efficient. There are always specials, and the chef has a nice list of standard fare that is very tasty. Most of the menu is Italian but I have enjoyed some excellent soft shelled crabs there when they were in season. My wife loves the eggplant Parmesian, but the star, and biggest draw, are the pizzas. They have a long list of speciality pizzas and you can compose your own. They never have a problem substituting toppings for you, and the list of toppings avialable is about thirty items. The wine list is excellent and for the County, very reasonably priced. There are always 7 or 8 wines by the glass, some half bottles, and full bottles that range from the ordinary to the sublime. Stemware is very good, not those little glasses that so many places use. Wine service is professional and discrete. Nobody tries to keep filling your glass when you don't want them to. They are on OpenTable for reservations. They get very crowded on weekends, so make a reservation. If you live in the area, you already know that they do a huge pizza carryout business. In the summer they have a soft icecream window outside. On nice days you can eat outside on the patio in front of the restaurant. Parking is ample behind the restaurant.
  3. Sep 30, 2019 - "The Chef of Nina May Wants You To Scrap the Menu and Let Him Cook for You" by Laura Hayes on washingtoncitypaper.com Looks like Colin's moving on to his own thing! He's a talented chef and a legit good dude to boot.
  4. How about Equinox? Who has been there and what were your thoughts? I have searched this forum and haven't seen mention of it.
  5. I'm the first, really? Maybe my post can moved down below the positives which will be coming. I'll start with the fact that I'm not an oyster or a clam kinda guy, so take the review with that grain of (sea) salt. My mom was in town, so Mrs DrXmus and I made a reservation through Open Table for 6P last Friday night. Brine had been open for a little over a week, I think. Every time option was available, so I assumed the place hadn't been slammed yet with people interested in the new food joint in the Mosaic area. The seats were about 1/4-1/3 occupied inside and about 1/6 occupied outside. There are about 10-15 outdoor small tables. We were seated quickly by very nice hosts. Complaint number one, IT'S CRAZY LOUD INSIDE!! Note that I said the place was about 1/3 full. I got readings of 87-90 dB on my Decibels app on my phone. Two days later in Fairfax, we happened onto the parade of motorcycles heading into DC for Rolling Thunder. We were 20 feet away from the bikes and my app was reading 90-93dB. I saw absolutely no move to deaden sound in the restaurant. Admittedly, this is a soapbox issue for me, but the noise will keep me away from Brine and its noisy ilk. The beer list is very good. It draws from mostly local breweries, which is always nice to see. We wondered aloud whether Brine would serve bread. I expounded about how bread service is going the way of the Dodo and other things I've learned on this board. About 10 minutes after ordering we received a metal bucket containing 5-6 freshly baked, soft yeasty rolls brushed with butter. They were delicious and much-appreciated. Good job Brine. As a knock, though, they were quite late in arriving to the table and one of the runners (who admitted it was her first day when there was some confusion about a side dish) took the bucket away with a roll still inside toward the end of our meal! This is like taking away my beer glass when I still have a swallow or two remaining! Server foul! We didn't get apps, but as you can assume, there are a number of raw shellfish options for your choosing and some shrimp. We were disappointed the menu isn't what's posted on their web site. Alas, no fish and chips. Personally, I think this should be a staple on the menu. My mom had a crab cake on a little bed of greens. Her take is that it was "OK" and my Baltimorean wife's take was "it's not good". My take is that it was a single, medium-sized crab cake for $16 with no side dish. Oh, so about the sides, they're extra, although the asparagus we got was quite a large order - plenty for two, too much for one, but not quite enough for 3. Mrs DrXmus had a dish which was called something like "seared scallops with something greens and something or other mushrooms". Because of the description, she didn't get a side dish. It turns out the non-scallop things were garnish only and she should've gotten a side. I had a special of rotisserie roasted croaker, 3 oysters and 3 clams. The oysters were fine. The clams were bitter (are they normally?), small and had to be mutilated to get tiny pieces out of the shell to eat. The croaker was cooked well, but Jesus was it unpleasant to eat. I thought I was doing pretty well separating bone from meat, but let's just say I'm better at other things than this. By the third and final croaker, I was disgusted and frustrated and just wanted to quit. Now, I'm happy to admit I may have ordered the wrong thing and I would've been able to enjoy something else, but I didn't enjoy this dish in the least. In fact, I got tired of the oily/herby drizzle during the meal, too. I had some small mouthfuls of what I thought was all fish that was a high percentage of bone that I ended up spitting into my napkin, which I feel terrible about but after swallowing and chewing many bones already, I started to freak out that I would end up in the hospital with some bizarre croaker rib intestinal perforation. I eventually gave up after 2.5 croakers. As the raven says, nevermore. No dessert for us, so I can't comment. It was getting louder as the seats filled and I was just done with eating. I trust they'll work out the kinks in service and table-busing (there were other minor problems with the busing), but as for the menu and food and ambiance, I'm not inspired to return.
  6. I first saw this soon-to-be open announcement courtesy of Penn Quarter Living and only really saw how >close< it was to the PQ Farmer's Market, after my trip there today. According to the two gentleman right outside the restaurant and assuming they are employees, I asked when they are opening. Their response was Monday, May 11. Keep your eyes open, I guess!
  7. I was thinking about this restaurant the other day, knowing that it was supposed to open in the Spring (but figuring that it would be delayed) and realized that we went the whole summer with no news on when exactly it will start service. I figured I would come here to see if cheezepowder or any other members had heard any rumblings and was shocked to see that no one had posted a thread about it yet. There has been quite a bit of buzz on the internets for over a year now, and dare I say that if David Chang and Eric Ziebold did not have anticipated openings this year or early next year that this would be the hottest reservation in town when it opens. I'm sure everyone has at least heard in passing about it at this point, but wanted to see if anyone had any more insight into what sounds like a very cool new restaurant. Website / @thedabneydc on Twitter "Jeremiah Langhorne's Restaurant, The Dabney, Will Open in Blagden Alley" by Missy Frederick on dc.eater.com "Meet Jeremiah Langhorne: Picking Composters, Pigs, and Potential Line Cooks" by Tim Carman on washingtonpost.com
  8. Scored a reservation for four this Friday, and I'm certainly looking forward to it. A friend of mine ate there two or three times before the place became well-known, and he thoroughly enjoyed it. It's a bit of a drive, even from Ashburn, but I know it will be great. Haven't read anything here--has anyone been?
  9. What is the story behind reservations at this restaurant? Phenomenal popularity? A secret? For the next month, they show availability for only a handful of weekdays, for seatings near closing time. I have encountered a similar roadblock at Woodberry Kitchen in Baltimore, though at the opening bell it is not that difficult to find something in the bar area. It's discouraging, though. (And making the journey to Spike Gjerde's award-winning kitchen is expensive and not always quite as transporting as it used to be.)
  10. I'm surprised there's not a post yet about Hummingbird. As far as I know, it's not quite open, but should be soon. It's the latest from Cathal and Meshelle Armstrong, Todd Thrasher, and the Eat Good Food Group: the restaurant/bar at the new Hotel Indigo on the Old Town Alexandria waterfront. The bright and airy interior space looks really nice and there is a great patio area, as well. The menus are still in progress, but it sounds like there may be a seafood slant, with the occasional Irish touch, too. Some additional info at Zagat.
  11. Boundary Road hosted a pop-up this past Sunday night, and SMN just killed it. I am really looking forward to the opening. Chef Sam had a couple other guys helping him out for the pop-up, including Chef Brad at BR and Chef Erik from TU/Maketto. They offered about 7 small plates and 2 desserts, my friend and I ordered the entire menu. Braised goat in a smoked pepper raita was the standout for me, as was the poached sablefish with escabeche. Veggies were also a large focus of the menu, I particularly liked the pan roasted radishes. Desserts were also excellent, a carrot and orange ice cream SCOOP (not quinelle) with a maple pizzelle, and a flourless almond cake in pear compote. Plateware was thoughtful, similar to R'sL. Pickles and acid play a consistent theme in the dishes, but always playing a complementary role to the main ingredient. The fingerling potatoes in pork fat, for example, look just like little sausages served over the sauerkraut, that dish worked really nicely for me as well. Currently, H Street NE has a couple of excellent restaurants, a smattering of fine ones, and a deluge of okay places. With the almost concurrent opening of SMN and Maketto, I hope that more venues with focused concepts will try to hang a shingle in the neighborhood, and help create a brand of thoughtful restaurants on the strip.
  12. "This is it," I thought to myself. "This is the best taco I've ever eaten in my life." I had read about the lines at farmer's markets for Suzanne Simon and Bettina Stern's taco stand, but didn't really know much about it. The other day, I decided to go see for myself, and I am *so glad* I found out early on about Chaia. First, the location: Chaia is on Grace Street, which is just a few feet off of Wisconsin Avenue in Georgetown, south of Georgetown Park Mall - it's *right there* off Wisconsin, and even has a little sign directing pedestrians to "tacos and beer" - don't let the words fool you. Having read their website before I went, I had a pretty good idea of what I was in for, and I also had a pretty good idea of what I was going to order. One thing of great importance: Chaia is a daytime-only taqueria: Tuesdays through Saturdays it closes at 8PM, and on Sundays, it closes at 6PM - it's closed altogether on Mondays. Please don't forget this, or you're going to show up and find a closed taqueria. And they serve beer, too - in keeping with their "hyper-local" theme, the two breweries they sell are Port City Brewing and Atlas Brew Works. Don't make the same mistake I did: Donnie Boy just *had* to have a beer with his tacos, and for no particular reason, so I started off with a plastic cup of Atlas Brew Works Rowdy Rye ($5). Why in God's name I did this, I don't know - Chaia sells cold-pressed juice from Misfit Juicery and seasonal shrubs, and non-alcoholic beverages are what you should be paying attention to here, unless you *really* like hop-laden beers at the opportunity cost of something truly special. Read on for another reason not to succumb to the temptation of ordering a beer. I got the Market Trio ($11), saving all of twenty-five cents from the í la carte taco prices of $3.75. You should ignore this special, and order however many tacos you want, and get whatever sounds good. Still, three tacos were just about right for me, and gave me a chance to try three different versions, the top three on the list: 1) Mushroom with feta, red sauce, and cilantro 2) Smoky Collards with queso cotija, tomatillo salsa, and pickled radish 3) Creamy Kale + Potato with pepperjack, polano crema, green sauce, and pickled onions. On this one taco, I sprung for a fried, pasture-raised egg ($1.50, available weekends only) - I'm a sucker for eggs and potatoes together, since they conjure up memories of diner breakfasts. I'd gotten my beer first, and nursed it throughout the meal. Note that you're not allowed to go out on the patio if you order beer, so if you want to eat outside, keep it non-alcoholic. Wanting to enjoy the egg while it was hot and runny, I ate my tacos in the order 3), 1), 2), and as I was about one-third of the way into the Kale and Potato taco, I paused, and said to myself, "My God, this is the single greatest taco I've ever eaten." I know it's California-style, and that it's vegetarian, but I don't care - this was not only the best taco I've ever eaten, it was the best quick-serve food I've ever eaten (think what that's saying). The corn tortillas are unbelievable, and the combination of ingredients on this taco was perfect. Do yourself a favor and *get the egg* with this - I could not believe what I was eating, and even cheated a little bit by dripping some of the egg yolk onto the other two tacos (only a few drops, as I didn't want to flirt with ruining perfection). Read that previous paragraph as many times as you need to read it - get this taco, and get it with an egg. In fact, get *three* of these tacos, and get *each one* with an egg. It'll set you back $15.50, and you'll love yourself (and me!) forever and ever. The Mushroom taco was next up, and it was fantastic as well, with thinly sliced mushrooms that picked up everything because they were so thin. A few days ago, I complimented the Wild Mushroom Taco at Virtue Feed & Grain - allow me to paraphrase my dear friend Terry Theise: 'I like tortilla chips, and I like truffles, and I also have no problem recognizing which of the two is better.' It's the same situation here: Virtue's Wild Mushroom Taco was tasty bar food; Chaia's Mushroom Taco was a great and profound taco by taqueria standards - there's a huge difference between the two, and if you like mushrooms, get over here and order this - it would also be terrific with an egg. Then came the collards, and this is why I should have gotten a cold-pressed juice: the collards are, by nature, bitter, and the rye-based beer was loaded with bitter hops - it was bitter on bitter, and literally left me with a bitter taste in my mouth, even as I was driving over the Memorial Bridge to get home it was still there, in a pronounced way. This is a *very* collard-greenish taco, and you have to really love collard greens to love this (think about the collard greens you get at barbecue shacks, without any of the pork they usually put in them). I'm not saying 'don't order this,' merely that you should be prepared for a blast of collard greens, and if that's what you're in the mood for, then you'll really enjoy it. As a boxed set, for $11, this was a fantastic meal, and I cannot recommend Chaia enough, both for vegetarians, and also for lovers of California (San Francisco, not Los Angeles) taquerias. This food was fantastic, and I contend that the first taco was the single greatest taco I've ever eaten in my life. I don't like putting pictures into my reviews, because I think it's lazy, and ruins the surprise for the reader when they get to the restaurant. However, in this case I'm going to make an exception, because this food is so beautiful, and tastes so good, that you'll be surprised no matter what I publish. Here you go: Enjoy your meal, and thank me later. Chaia is strongly initialized in Italic, and is one of the very greatest taquerias this city has ever known. It's also quite possibly the best quick-serve restaurant in DC, and happens to be the only one currently run by women. You're going to love this place.
  13. Bidwell opened recently in Union Market, and as hard as it was to pass up the amazing smells of Toki Underground (he was serving a Thai yellow curry), we decided on a real-deal sit down lunch. The space is very smartly done, balancing the sterile white of the market with a mix of dark and grey wood. The country music playing was a bit of an odd choice that really didn't seem to fit the mood of the restaurant or the neighborhood. From what I can tell, there are not separate lunch and dinner menus. There were 4 of us, plus the boy, so we sampled a reasonable bit of the menu. Swedish meatballs: We ordered these right as we sat so my son would have something to munch on. No one was particularly impressed by them. Very dense and served in a brown gravy that could've used...something to brighten things up. Lobster tacos: These have gotten a bit of press, but don't go expecting tacos. This is more of kind of an unfried flauta. The lobster filling had a nice texture, not the least bit rubbery, and the avocado-tomatillo salsa was a nice, if a bit too subdued accompanyment. I would call for a good bit more spice, but I tend toward the spicy. I actually think the dish might be improved if the tortilla had a bit of crunch to it to contrast with the lobster. Crispy deviled eggs: Just a standard deviled egg fried with a light batter. The ranch dressing is touted as having roasted jalapeno, but I didn't taste any smokiness or heat. Probably would be a pretty good bar snack with a few beers. Fried oysters with green chile buttermilk dressing: Nicely fried...these went in a hurry, though at $12 I kind of expected 4 oysters instead of 3...YMMV. Raclette grilled cheese: White truffle listed on the ingredient list...pretty mild influence on the flavor of the sandwich. It was nicely grilled, and I liked the poached egg on top. Definitely a knife and fork kind of sandwich. I guess I'm just used to a more pungent cheese in my grilled cheese (Taleggio is our house favorite), but I found this kind of on the bland side. Gin and tonic salmon: This was the clear winner of the day. A lightly cured piece of salmon that was perfectly seared. Quite tasty on its own, and fantastic with the bright slightly creamy lime emulsion. The cauliflower "steak" beneath it was excellent, with tons of great carmelized bits. Definitely a go-to dish here. Our server was great, and they didn't bat an eye at bringing out a high chair for the boy. I'd be interested to hear what kind of dinner service they are doing. We were 1 of only 3 tables during lunch that day. Of course, that location doesn't really lend itself to a bustling crowd for a formal sit-down lunch. Overall, I'd call it a pleasant experience, but nothing that blew me away (except the salmon dish). Of course it's early on, so I'd be interested to hear others' experiences in the next few weeks. We'll be back, given we're in the market multiple times a week...I'd be curious to see if they start a brunch menu, as I imagine they would do a brisk business.
  14. We stay at the Ashby Inn on a regular basis, and were there last weekend. It is far more casual than genteel, although there's a bit of that in horse country. Sitting on the balcony and listening to the cows lowing will quickly convince you that the city is not too close. They recently changed chefs, and have, at least for the moment, shortened the menu because of decreased dinner traffic in this stuttering economy, but the food remains wonderful. I know that they have an eight ounce filet listed, but believe that's the only steak offered. Note, too, that the Inn is quite close to the Sky Meadows State Park, which has very nice hiking trails and beautiful views. One of Paul Mellon's finest contributions to that part of the world.
  15. After reading some rave reviews, I went by for brunch (they say it's lunch, but it's only offered on weekends, starting at 11). The website doesn't actually have a lunch menu, so I wasn't sure what I was getting into. Unfortunately the lunch menu does not have the uni carbonara. But they do have most of the classics. I had the seafood charcuterie, consisting of smoked artic char, potted lobster, whitefish salad, shrimp linguica, and swordfish mortadella. The first 3 were traditional, and pretty good. The latter 2 were freaks of nature and not my cup of tea. I thought both were a bit too fishy, and the firm jello-like texture was weird. I also had grilled rockfish (or was it monkfish?) with braised kale, some kimchi cucumbers, and scallion pancake. I thought the scallion pancakes were so so. It's not Chinese nor Korean, more like American pancakes with scallions. The fish was cooked nicely. Altogether the flavor was pretty good. It's good to have another interesting seafood joint in the city.
  16. Eight of us middle aged types just celebrating life nestled in at Barbuto last March one afternoon from 2pm to about 5pm.and ordered their family style fixed-price menu (plus a few additional add-ins as I recall). We just told them we were hungry and left the rest to them. The food was quite good and the atmosphere was fun. I recall the kale and chicken being standouts, as well as the fish they offered us off menu for an upcharge (Dover sole?). I can no longer remember the beer list, but I do recall half of our bunch drinking beer through the meal, and this tends to be a wine crowd, so that may say something.
  17. Last week, I went to the Rye Street Tavern, NoHo Hospitality Group's latest foray into Baltimore. It was on a Sunday evening, so we naturally gravitated towards their "Southern Fried Sundays" - a fried chicken dinner, served family style. Keep reading, because I'm going to tell you a little secret about ordering this meal that wouldn't be at all obvious to a first-time diner. and it will make the difference between you "liking it," and "loving it." The cocktails were somewhat expensive, but were well-made and delicious: And a little loaf of cornbread comes out just before everything else arrives: Then, the family-style dinner: Everything about this meal screamed "Repeat!" - everything, that is, except the price: We paid $70 for those two little assemblages of food that you see just above (plus the cornbread). "Geez," I said, "$70, and we got *four* pieces of chicken!" I mean, it was great and everything, but as you can see, there are three starch-heavy items: the cornbread, the biscuits, and the potatoes, and we both paced our dinners so that we finished everything at the same time. We were mildly full, and yes, the richness of the cooking made everything satisfying, but come on! I wanted more chicken, darn it! So, just as we were winding down, our server came up to us, and said, "Would you all care for some more chicken, or side dishes?" "Wat?" Okay, so ... spending my money so you don't have to ... we asked for some more chicken, potatoes, and collards (made with delicious bacon, btw), and got a healthy second portion; the rub is that we had *no idea* it was coming, so we filled up on starch, when we would have really preferred a better balance with another piece of chicken. Remember: Those second portions are coming your way, but not a word was said about them until we had almost finished the meal - if you take *that* into consideration, and use it to your advantage, then $35 is a very fair price for this meal. Also, the restaurant gave us two spice muffins "to have with breakfast the next morning," which is always a nice touch. To Rye Street's full credit, they offered to box up the second helping which we couldn't finish - we felt sheepish about this, since boxing up all-you-can-eat meals is something of a shady practice, but they would hear nothing of it. Keep in mind: I don't know if this is all-you-can-eat; I suspect you get two helpings, and *maybe* a third helping if you really do a number on everything, but I wouldn't count on that. Still, in no way did they seem like they were trying to skimp on things, so this was merely a lack of knowledge on our part - learn from our mistake! Go here on a Sunday night, get this exact same thing, and *remember* that it's essentially all-you-can-eat - I can't guarantee we'd have gotten a third helping, but who knows? There's no need to stuff yourself with carbs, merely so you don't leave hungry. Furthermore, the restaurant, and the grounds it's on (it shares acreage with a distillery) is beautiful - there's even a battleship in the background! And that is damned good fried chicken!
  18. For those that are reading this thread, Chez Panisse (the restaurant) is almost as difficult a reservation as the French Laundry. It is not an afterthought but a very real destination that many people on the West Coast and elsewhere build trips around. Quite literally this is Mecca for many who care about the emergence of America and the ascension of a serious cuisine from a country that was once thought of as having good fried chicken and decent charcoal grilled steak. For all that I may have raved about Danko (and the bar if you go at the last minute and arrive BEFORE THEY OPEN!) Chez Panisse is the Holy Grail of American restaurants. It is to America as Troisgros and Robuchon are to France and Santimaria and Adria are to Spain. In the late '70's and early '80's Alice Waters' place was a temple that born again foodies from Vermont to Georgia to New Mexico crossed a country to visit. When they returned to their hometowns America was never the same. What we eat today has much to do with what was started then. And there.
  19. New York Times Travel feature for Luca: "A Pennsylvania Restaurant That's Hot in More Ways than One" by Kathryn O'Shea-Evans on nytimes.com A sister restaurant to Ma(i)son. Luca, unlike its sister, serves liquor. Its nothing short of amazing. Central PA eats, kat
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