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Found 63 results

  1. Cosme is probably one of the hottest openings of late 2014, and one of the 2 or 3 best openings of last year in NYC. This week, the Times' review hit, and it's a 3-star rave up. The New Yorker review also hit this week. Adam Platt in New York/Grub Street grudgingly gives it 3 stars. Time Out New York - utter rave. And this nebbishy Jewish kid from Long Island liked it too...Tasty Travails.
  2. Stan's Restaurant is in the MacPherson Square area, and is a worthy addition to the Dining Guide. A friend and I both tucked into a club sandwich, which thanks to Mario Batali in Lucky Peach a few years ago, I usually order at my first time in a restaurant because, as he says, "the club sandwich is the most interesting, most telling dish about how hard the kitchen is trying." And so it would be at my first visit to Stan's.... The club sandwich here did not disappoint. The combination of ingredients hit the spot. Filled to the edges of the four triangles, the lettuce was fresh, the bacon was fried in-house, the tomato was fresh and maybe local, the architecture was sturdy, and the satisfaction quotient was high. I had the fries as the side, and almost to my surprise, they were crisp on the outside and soft and hot in the middle. This place is a bit of a dive and somewhat loud, but I can't think of too many reasons not to return when I'm in that neighborhood.
  3. "I like to watch" - perhaps one of the most memorable lines ever uttered by Peter Sellers. I agree that the Columbia Room deserves some investigation. Derek's running a "Shaking vs Stirring" session on Wed 3/24. Drinks include Dry Martini, Gimlet, Ramos Gin Fizz, Sazerac and Golden Gin Fizz.. This has a great deal of appeal to me (as long as I work doesn't take me out of town). Anyone else interested?
  4. So I'm sitting at Teatro Goldoni the other evening, watching someone eat the largest cheeseburger I've ever seen, and in walk couple-about-town Fellato Riminovich and Putana Harlotski. They ordered some bruschetta, wolfed it down hungrily, blew some air kisses, and then disappeared into the night. And I thought about a conversation I once had. "You're too much of a foodie," my friend once told me, shortly before heading to her shift at Cafe Milano. "I am not," I protested. "I just don't like things that suck." "Cafe Milano doesn't suck." "It does suck." "You need to understand: bars and restaurants aren't always about food." "How can a restaurant not be about food?" "It's no Tosca, but people enjoy it." "People enjoy Cheesecake Factory too." <glare> "Look: the customers at Cafe Milano might not know anything about food, but they know what they like." And I sat there, blinking. Then I came back into the moment, my thoughts turning toward the pizza in front of me at Teatro Goldoni, the uneaten pizza, the undercooked piece of dough with harsh dried herbs sprayed on top of it, seemingly from a firehose, and wondering to myself if I should just try and enjoy the pizza for what it was. And then I left and went to Palena.
  5. I saw the application for a liquor license across from the newly opened Elephant and Castle on 19th Street (b/w I and K St) for a new restaurant called Cities. They are supposed to have sidewalk seating and a garden. I wonder if this is the place from the owners of Teatro, or a reincarnation of the spot that used to be in Adams Morgan. Anyone know anything about this? I am excited for the edition to my neighborhood!
  6. Lipstick lesbians sipping cocktails next to Narragansett-drinking Lumbersexuals. Dim lighting, dark wood, low slung couches, big glass windows overlooking the street, and a scent that I would describe as Dune Spice. Cocktails come with a kick and a friendly vibe. I suspect that late night could get a little Williamsburgy, but early in the evening an enjoyable place to meet up with friends before heading out to dinner. Dram 177 South 4th St. Brooklyn NY 11211
  7. Should be pretty interesting to see how it is received by the community. "A Sushi Bar Fit For Adults" (WTOP, 4/26/13) "Preparations Underway For Upscale Sushi Bar in Del Ray" (Del Ray Patch, 4/9/13)
  8. "Where's your brother?" I demanded, looking directly into his eyes, my hand impatiently tapping the bar. "I don't know." "WHERE IS HE?" "I DON'T KNOW!" I put down my glass, and inched closer towards him. "Is it open?" "Is what open?" "IT!" He shrugged his shoulders, and muttered something. "Maybe. I don't know." I took my pen, and instead of gouging it into his eye, signed my check (2007 Chateau Magneau Graves Blanc, $8), walked out the door, turned left, and headed up the street to find his brother. --- Salad Days Sour ($12) - Celery-infused Macchu Pisco, Lemon, The Bitter Truth Celery Bitters, Burnt Cinnamon Rhum Manhattan ($14) - Neisson Rhum Agricole Reserve, Carpano Antica Formula Sweet Vermouth, Walnut Liqueur, The Bitter Truth Orange Bitters Sazerac ($8) - Old Overholt Rye, Peychaud Bitters, Kubler Absinthe. Cheers, Rocko.
  9. I got the last seat at the bar at a crowded Riggsby, and immediately got an odd impression about the bartender. This was going to be an unusual evening - I felt it. He handed me the cocktail list, full of ordinary wines a touch too expensive for my blood, but I flipped it over, and there were some graphics showing some of the more upscale drinks; the problem, is that both the graphics and the text were so faded that they were barely readable. Strike one. But I wanted a Gin & Tonic, and that was the one list in the top-right corner, touting that it was made with Hendricks Gin and Fever Tree Tonic Water - I don't love Hendricks in my G&Ts, but I can live with it, so I ordered it. You're out of Fever Tree Tonic Water? Oh. Normally, I'd say Strike two, but you'd just been First Bitten the day before, so, no pitch. And plus, you told me you had their Ginger Beer, so I looked below it at their Moscow Mule. A picture of a beautiful copper tankard was accompanied by the description that the drink was made with a "high-quality" vodka with Fever Tree Ginger Beer, a little lime juice, and a wedge of lime - sounded good to me, so I went with it. Oh, you don't serve these in copper tankards like you have them pictured? Well, I'd say Strike two, but that's not really you're fault, so no pitch. Sure, why not. So I started my meal with a Moscow Mule ($8), and the vodka he used was pulled up from under the bar and poured like he was trying desperately to empty the bottle. The lime juice was measured, however - I thought it was supposed to be the other way around? It was a *strong* drink, but it didn't taste bad, and after all, it used Fever Tree Ginger Beer. But what was that vodka? It was in a blue bottle, and I became curious. I nursed my drink while perusing the menu, and by the time I got to the bottom, I was ready for another, and when he asked me, I asked him what type of Vodka he used in that first drink. He pulled the bottle up from underneath the bar, and held it before my eyes: Skyy. Strike two, my friend: this is a $14 bottle of rot-gut, and it's no wonder you were trying to get rid of it - what happened to the "high-quality vodka" in the description? Well, at least it was an $8 drink. He told me I could have it made with any of their shelf vodka's ... Tito's, Ketel One, Grey Goose ... okay, better. This one, I got with Ketel One. And he measured the vodka, and short-poured me - filling the measuring cup only about 3/4 of the way before taking a scoop of ice so large that there was ice 3-4 inches above the top of my glass which needed to be whisked off. The rest of the drink was made normally, but it's amazing how small of a cocktail you can get when your glass is absolutely full with small ice cubes. It tasted like a mocktail with no alcohol in it. And damned if I didn't get charged $12 for the drink. Strike three. He knew what he was doing; he was just anti-customer, or so I thought. I ordered my meal, a Schnitzel "a la Holstein" ($29), and asked what it came with - "warm, German potato salad," he said. Okay, it sounded potentially acidic, but I took my chances, and with it, I ordered as a second side order, something from the bar menu: Chorizo-Stuffed Mushrooms ($7) which took him aback - I guess people aren't ordering these things as sides with their meals, but it sounded like it would go just fine with my meal, so I verified with him, yes, I'd like it with my meal; not as an appetizer. No problem. A short while later, everything arrived from behind me, and I could see why my bartender had raised an eyebrow - my entree and its "German potato salad" had been cooked to order; my chorizo stuffed mushrooms were made earlier in the day and reheated - they were dried out, and really did look like pass-around canapes, or bar snacks. But the flavors were all there, and they did, in fact, go with everything else. The schnitzel itself was delicious, but pounded more thinly than I've ever seen a schnitzel presented before - I was hoping for something nearly twice this thick for $29. So they not only get you with a high price, but also with deceptively small amounts of meat. Still, the batter was delicious, the schnitzel was cooked very well, and it came with some anchovies (for some much-needed salt), capers, and a runny egg. Every so often I'd spear a new potato from its iron skillet sitting next to my plate (this was my "German Potato Salad" - it was halved new potatoes, with a little onion on the bottom and cooked with some jus, perhaps from the schnitzel, and they were *delicious* - a nice surprise in a meal where I felt like I was getting nickled-and-dimed. Likewise, I did the same with my chorizo-stuffed mushrooms, which were about the same size as the potatoes - yes, they were older and dried out, but when put on my plate and cut in half, they went very well with my other two items. Right when the food came, my bartender asked me if I'd wanted another drink, and I told him I was thinking about a glass of wine. He thought for a moment, and said, "I've got something for you to try," before pouring me a generous glass of Vermentino ($11), which is exactly the wine I would have chosen for myself. I complimented him on his call, and he began to warm up. So I enjoyed my rather expensive meal (the final bill was $73.70 before tip), then asked for the check. I reached for my wallet and mouthed the words, 'Oh, my God.' He saw me do this, obviously read my lips, and knew something was wrong. I had forgotten my wallet in the car. Embarrassed, I explained this all to him, and handed him my keys and iPhone, saying I'd be back in five minutes. (I did have the wits about me to take my car key off the ring.) No problem, he said, and I showed up a bit later, left a $15 tip, and all was well. "I could tell something bad had happened when I saw your face," he laughed. So, all's well that ends well, and I enjoyed my meal even though I was out $88.70. And the bartender wasn't such a bad chap after all.
  10. Magnolia's on King - We went just after they started taking reservations. The bar upstairs is WONDERFUL - unique cocktails (range $12-16) I had not tried before with a range that everyone enjoyed something. We though of trying the appetizers upstairs but figured (wrongly) that we could get them downstairs. Know that they do not server the drink or bar menu down in the restaurant (To risky to carry down the stairs was reason given). Bar is well lit, easy seating that can adjust to different party sizes but I can see it getting to full fairly quickly. I highly recommend 'The Cure' black bottle scotch, ardbeg 10 year, domaine de canton, lemon juice, honey. Generous sized drinks and worth the higher pricing. The restaurant has some serving issues but those were all due to being just opened (wait staff not able to answer questions and having to go check), they seemed pretty inexperienced. Wine list is good, cocktails downstairs are pretty simple, but the southerner in our group was pleased to see the multiple Fanta options. Dinner was good but not great, my options were limited because of spice levels (many options are heavy on the hot side). I had the Bison Meatloaf which was good but not great. Others had Catfish (Very happy), Fried Chicken (good but not great (If you want great see my review of Tupelo's )) and Denver Steak. (Range $18-35) portion size was good. Dessert Cobbler was good as was the Smore's bread pudding but neither worth a special trip The Southerner with us said the corn bread was to sweet but the greens were wonderful, though the cobbler should have been double crusted. The chef came out and talked to us for feedback (though later on our Southerner wanted to add some more but there is no email address on the web page) he seemed sincere but also talked down other restaurants when we gave comparisons. Overall I'll be back for the bar and might give the restaurant another try in a few months once they settle in but not sure since so many better options in that area. Well lit and Grandma friendly but not sure will make the list to take her to.
  11. We went to the Russia House for the first time last night after a great deal of urging from some hard-drinking friends. We had Jonny Miles (of Shaken and Stirred) in tow, as he was in town reading from his new novel, DEAR AMERICAN AIRLINES. (Aside: the book is lovely, like his columns and sports writing.) We urged him to cross the river for some Todd Thrasher treats from the bar at Eve, but driving felt too complicated, so we stayed in Dupont. The main lounge at the Russia House was open last night when we rolled in after steak and chicken at Bistrot du Coin, which was reliable. The heavy red curtains and velvet appointments make the place cozy. Some lovely, high-kitsch artwork amused as more and more and the evening wore on. The drink menu is vodka, vodka, more vodka, cocktails made with vodka, infused vodkas, and some Russian and former former-Soviet Union beer and wine. We stuck to vodka, and first focused on the house-made infusions in three flavors: horseradish, strawberry, and pineapple-orange-mango. All were impressive in flavor, and the citrus blend was downright delish. We also ordered several plain vodkas, served on the rocks. The flavors ranged from "Christmas in you mouth" to "a new bag of those rubber fishing worms," both of which were remarkably tasty. We allowed the expert to pick for us, but we could not pass the Bogarduskya, which coincidentally bore the family name of one in the group. (Did it really taste like "the sweat of broken Norwegian dreams"?) The portions were large, served in tumblers, the service was prompt and friendly, and last call came gently at 1 a.m. The drinking crowd was very good for people-watching. Maybe we'll eat a little from the small plates offered in the bar next time. Highly recommend an evening here (even if, like me, you don't usually drink vodka).
  12. I ended up having lunch at STK on Friday. My boss heard about it from someone (young sales rep) and wanted to go. We looked so out of place (I'm early 40s and boss is in his 70s) but there weren't that many people to see it. At 12:30, there were about 5 tables there. The decor is definitely lounge and bar, not so much business lunch. Loud early to mid 2000s pop music was blasting. I don't even know why they are open during the day. The server started out with the "bottled or just tap" water question then tried to push wine. I had an iced tea. The first glass was fine but when the pitcher ran out, they came back with some cloudy old iced tea. The server tried to tell me that it was because they steeped it too long. Right. Rolls came out in a small cast iron pan but it was cold and dry. Chive-garlic dip was tasty and would have been good with non-stale bread. Our sandwiches took a while to come out. I had roast pork with Edwards ham sandwich and a side salad. The salad greens were fresh and crunchy with nice contrasting peppers and radishes. The sandwich was really salty and the roll was completely soaked and greasy. My boss orderd a seared tuna BLT. It looked pretty good but was way too thick for a normal person to bite into. The slab of tuna was not sliced and difficult to cut up with a table knife. At least the shoestring fries were crispy. Dessert was the best part of the meal. I ordered the mascarpone cheesecake. It came with finely diced berries mixed with a little balsamic vinegar. Nice sweet sour combo. The cheesecake itself was very creamy but light in texture and not too sweet. (It was almost as good as the chevre cheesecake Huw Griffiths used to make at Tabard Inn.) I would not have chosen to go there. I definitely will not be back on my own dime. Tom Sietsema's First Bite from May 20th.
  13. Guarapo Lounge closed on Nov. 12 (ArlNow article, Guarapo's Facebook post).
  14. I just got back from Noelia's for lunch and enjoyed it. First, it's location on F st between 13 and 12 hides it from the busier places on 13th. The space is beautiful with dark leather couches and chairs. It also feels vast somehow although it's not particularly huge. The doors to the street were open today, letting in fresh air which was nice. The street is not busy here so road noise was not a problem. I had calamari and prosciutto and melon salad. The menu is not particularly awe-inspiring but I enjoyed the squid and the salad. The melon was really sweet and a nice complement to the very fresh prosciutto. I could have used fewer tentacles in my calamari but I ate all of it anyway. I've had lighter but this was tasty. Meals are served with bread and some sort of very mild tapenade. Maybe I didn't smear enough on the bread. While I would not go out of my way to dine here, it was a very tasty and pleasant meal with an atmosphere conducive to discussion; which was the purpose of my lunch in the first place. Service was perfect and the food (other than the squid) was quite beautiful, including the salad and bruchetta my friend ordered.
  15. Tom mentioned that the chef and pastry chef of Oya had left. Does anyone have any more information? Was there a mass exodus? Where did the chef go? Will there be other changes? Although I had high hopes for the place, it seems like it is being micro-managed to death.
  16. Virtually destined to become an instant and epic temple of cocktail love, The Passenger breaks cover with Tim Carman's CityPaper interview here.
  17. The space housing the failed DC branch of Mandalay has become "a 1920's themed Japanese Restaurant and Cocktail Bar" called Chaplin's. It offers an assortment of appetizers (gyoza, fried chicken, "adult dumpling shooters") and seven types of ramen, and a very long list of cocktails, wines, and beers. The place is dynamic; it was hopping on a Monday night, lots of young people drinking (some of them were eating, too), loud music, friendly servers bustling about. It seems like the kind of place you'd go to hang out for awhile after work, and maybe get a bite to eat, too, while you're at it. The ramen was perfectly acceptable but nothing to rush back for. The Chaplin ("sesame paste and tonkatsu flavour") was actually quite a tasty broth, the noodles slightly overcooked and lacking the springiness of truly great ramen. I had tastes of two other broths and liked them, but can't really describe them usefully. I'm not inspired to write more about the food. This is the kind of restaurant I'd go to if I lived nearby, if I was tired and hungry and didn't feel like cooking and just wanted a bowl of soup for dinner. Perfectly acceptable, but not a destination. Sorry for the vagueness, just wanted people to know it's here.
  18. Interesting piece in the Post today by Fritz Hahn about the new title-holder for most expensive cocktail in the city. And it isn't at barmini. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/going-out-guide/wp/2013/04/03/the-most-expensive-manhattan-in-washington/
  19. Dumpster diving - Cesco moved a year or two ago to the old McCormick and Schmick's place vacating their old space for an expanded California Tortilla. Anyone been since they moved? Is it worth a look for before/after a movie at the Landmark Bethesda?
  20. I've never considered Cafe Asia's sushi anything other than mediocre. CA's a better meet market than restaurant. When the resident sushi 'chef' is from Myanamar, I wonder...
  21. Anyone been to Selam on 15th and U Street? May 11, 2007 - "Selam is Getting into the Groove" by Fritz Hahn on washingtonpost.com
  22. I got a chance to try some of the snacks she prepared at a soft opening of Sidebar [DCist related article look]. The Chicago dog was fantastic, and her tamales are also amazing. The tamales were not too grainy, and the chicken was very moist. Even simple ideas such as flavored potato chips, and the truffled popcorn were great. She also did a very cool tortilla chip made from black rice topped with a little salsa. Housemade bread also fantastic. Lots to look forward to from Diana Davila, I think.
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