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Found 10 results

  1. Alta Strada opened three weeks ago and MichaelBDC and I have already stopped in twice for two very good dinners. After returning from a quick trip to New York, starting a new job, and facing an empty refrigerator, I convinced MichaelBDC to go to Alta Strada for opening night. We were surprised that the restaurant was only half full, but one of the GMs told us it was by design in order to allow the restaurant to ease into business. Michael Schlow was on hand to expedite and do some quality control. We started with the grilled octopus with chickpeas, calabrian chiles, and parsley. About 80 percent of the chickpeas were blended with the chiles to form a hummus like consistency and spread in a crescent shape on the plate. This was topped with the perfectly cooked octopus (which was poached and then grilled) a few whole chickpeas, and parsley. MichaelBDC and I both enjoyed this dish, especially the spice from the chiles. We also had the crunchy meatballs to start. MichaelBDC enjoyed this dish a bit more than I did, though I thought it was very good. I agreed with him that the outside of the meatballs were very crisp but did not result in a dry meatball. The restaurant also gave us an order of whipped ricotta to start. This was a luscious and great dish MichaelBDC and I both enjoyed. The only downer was the gratis bread and olive oil. The Italian sesame bread was average and the olive oil needed some salt. But since MichaelBDC and I enjoyed the starters so much, it was easy to overlook this part of the meal. We were already pretty full after the appetizers but had already ordered the Maltagliati with rabbit, fresh fava beans, and pecorino. This was my favorite dish of the evening. I really enjoyed the bits of rabbit and the fava beans. The pasta was lightly sauced, enabling the ingredients to shine through. We also ordered the broccoli rabe and spicy sausage pizza. It was good but not great pizza. There was nothing wrong with the dish, I just felt that the other items on the menu were much better. However, the pizza is perfectly good for an Italian place trying to offer a bit of variety. MichaelBDC and I each had a slice and asked for the rest to go. Last weekend, my brother and cousin were in town to run the Cherry Blossom Ten Miler with me and we decided to have our pre-race dinner here. We ordered everything that MichaelBDC and I had at our previous dinner minus the ricotta and added an order of tagliatelle bolognese and local striped bass with rosemary, white beans, escarole, and lemon. I only had the tagliatelle and thought it was very good. For dessert the table split the lemon sorbet, which was delightfully tart, and the nutella tarte, which was delightfully rich. MichaelBDC and I had two very successful visits to Alta Strada and are looking forward to more. It's so great to finally have a solid and decently priced Italian restaurant in the neighborhood.
  2. For New York style pizza, Upper Crust on Pennsylvania Avenue (next door to Roti) is pretty good. Not like Giuseppi's Pizza was back in the day in Rockville, but close.
  3. Lunch today at Legal Sea Foods in Montgomery Mall. My companion and I agreed that the servings seemed fresher and more substantial than equivalent fare at the K St LSF. We also like the one at the airport and are neutral about the one on Rte 1. Yes, I know it all arrives from Boston on the same truck, but the outlets are so different that it doesn't seem like a chain. I had a dozen cherrystones with LSF's unique mignonette sauce -- green, tart and chunky, miles better than that awful ketchup-based stuff. I would gladly buy a jarfull if it were available. The clams were fair-sized and shucked to retain the fluid. They were tasty but I'm not sure I prefer them to the top necks I get at Sea Catch. Then I had grilled scallops with couscous, a green salad and Boston cream pie. Everything was good, and FWIW the waitress was really pretty. She packed me up a container of the mignonette, which I will traitorously carry with me to Sea Catch next time.
  4. Bertucci's declared bankruptcy Chapter 11. Back in the day, and I don't recall which "day" or how far back, I found Bertucci's an acceptable restaurant. As I recall its a chain out of New England that at one time had a fair number of restaurants in the greater DC region. I think that number has been shrinking for years. Expect more shrinkage.
  5. We dined at Not Your Average Joe's in Landsdowne in Leesburg today The manager Ron and our waitress Lauren R made the time enjoyable, she was very pleasant and so was the manager. She made my day by keeping my soda filled and having delicious bread and making a nice little cheese & olive oil plate to dip it in. Upon leaving Ron gave us a lovely parting gift grouping of a paper menu, fridge magnet, $$ off our next visit and more in a lovely presentation - you can get one too! We started with complimentary fresh bread at the table with olive oil and cheese and some spices... Next the New England Crab Chowder which was PERFECT and delicious. It is very rare I may add that I do NOT have to add either pepper or salt or both, this time I did not! For the main course I ordered the spice-rubbed flank steak to quote the menu: It was rubbed with seven spices, grilled and glazed with our pomegranate citrus-reduction, served with red onion jam and sweet potato steak fries. The fries could have been cooked well they were a bit under cooked but the dish as a whole was nicely made. Hubby ordered: the grilled black angus sirloin meatloaf with chipotle peppers, smoked mozzarella, corn and red peppers, served with garlic mashed potatoes, barbeque gravy and sautéed green beans - the beans needed more cooking but overall he liked it too! We ordered a pizza to go since everything was so delicious we thought we'd get something for tonight! It is a goat cheese and sun-dried tomato with whole roasted garlic and basil pesto and they had SO many delicious sounding pizza's on their menu it was hard to pick one. Their site is: http://www.notyouraveragejoes.com/ Other information: 19307 Promenade Drive Lansdowne Town Center Phone: (571) 333-5637 Hours: M-Th: 11:00 am - 10:00 pm Fri-Sat: 11:00 am - 10:30 pm Sun: 12:00 pm - 9:00 pm
  6. "A Brit would say that we’re “Bang On” – excellent, just right." This quote comes from the 2003 annual report of the Canadian company that owns Elephant and Castle pubs, one of which looks like it's about ready to open at Pennsylvania and 12th, NW, in the old TGI Fridays space. (If it hasn't already. I walked by about 2 weeks ago and it looked close.) "We completed a strategic review of the brand in early 2003 and used this to design and implement a series of brand enhancements, ranging from the look of the menu to the staff uniforms. We are proud to offer timeless pub comfort – but timeless certainly doesn’t mean static – and we must continue to be ‘Bang On,’ relevant to an increasingly sophisticated and demanding guest base." I wonder if their servers will need to wear "flair?" Red phone boxes and photos of the queen do not make a great pub. And I'd sooner be tied to a maple tree and molested with moose antlers if I thought this place would serve ANYTHING close to a cask conditioned ale LIKE THEY DO IN AUTHENTIC BRITISH PUBS! "We will continue to evolve the brand to not only retain our current guest base, but to attract new guests. We need to remain “Bang On”, fresh and competitive. It will be our goal to maintain and build upon our status as the premier authentic British pub concept in North America." So they're going to be like Sine and Bennigans...only British! It's bad enough that Americans have to Disney-fy everything and send it all over the world. Now the Canadians are doing it? Actually, it serves us right to get it sent right back at us. /rant
  7. Met Bethesda, the new concept by Boston restaurateur Kathy Sidell, is the latest restaurant to announce a lease at the new addition to the Westfield Montgomery mall.
  8. I'm surprised that there's still no thread on Tico so I'm starting one. I've been there a bunch of times, and it's one of my favorites. Each time I've ordered a fried dish, I've been impressed by how well it's fried. The dishes have been crispy and not greasy (fried calamari, fried manchego, fried oysters). I've also really liked their mac & cheese with ham, duck tacos, salmon ceviche with almonds, and chorizo risotto. The few dishes that I did not care for were their fried chicken taco and black risotto croquettes - both tasted bland to me.
  9. On a hole-y unrelated note, Pernod-Ricard - a French conglomerate no less - just sold Dunkin Donuts for an eye-popping $2.43 billion.
  10. New burrito chain opens this Thursday in the old Baja Fresh space on Elm Street in Bethesda. DC location (19th Street) opens later this summer. http://boloco.com/
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