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Found 41 results

  1. La Favola opened recently in the old Ovvio space. The menu has pizza and mostly uninteresting Italian dishes. It's not red sauce Italian...I don't know what it is.
  2. I wanted to post this in case anyone had a chance to check this place out tonight and report back. The advertisement and initial report in the Chinese newspaper made it sound wonderful and a great replacement for what Bob's 88 Shabu Shabu could have been. The newspaper reports that this place is opened by Mr. Liu of Chengdu Xiaoguan (Cheng du little cafe), but I can't recall if this is the chinese name of Hong Kong Palace right now -- could someone verify? Anyway, the newpaper reports that all the stocks are homemade and there are various stock options to choose from (chicken, fish, red meat-based). Also lots of spiciness involved. The hot pot is from 3:00pm onwards, but no price is given in this report. The newspaper also reports that the owner went back to China last year for two month and ate at various hot pot place in Chengdu and Chongqing. Chinese name: Old Liu's Hot Pot City (Lao Liu Huo Guo Chen) English name: Uncle Liu's Hot Pot 2972 Gallows Road Falls Church, Virginia 703-560-6868 Buffet from 11:00am to 3:00pm Hot pot from 3:00pm to 12midnight *Don - if this is posted anywhere, could you merge it? Thanks.
  3. 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.
  4. I had read about this restaurant in NoVA Magazine. Since the menu didn't look more interesting than the decor, I had no intention of visiting. However, today is the second day in a row that I showed up after 11 and was confronted with a "closed" sign in the door of Caribbean Corner. So I walked around a bit to look for a place for lunch. I noticed right next to Caribbean Corner is Le Mediterranean, Driss Zahidi's new joint - open but empty. Another door down is Sisters Thai. I ordered a lunch special of stir fried veggie & tofu with basil, which came with spring rolls. I added chicken curry roti to flesh out my lunch. The spring rolls were thin and crispy, filled with a little cabbage and carrots. In general I find them so-so, and the version here is typical of what I've found. The chicken curry had nice flavor but the curry was too salty; however, the rotis are buttery and light (better than Elephant Jump). I did like the small plate of stir-fried veggies - there was discernable heat in the dish without any prompting on my part. There is a board of Thai items with no translation. I'll post a picture later, maybe Fishinnards can translate!
  5. Desperate for something good after a week of really bad wine at a bad resort, we decided to try somewhere new to which we could bring our own bottle. We decided to try the recently opened Parc de Ville in Merrifield. This is a self-titled French Bistro and Wine Garden from the owners of Chez Billy Sud, located in the ill-fated former Gypsy Soul and Requin space. While they've tried to give it a slightly more bistro-ish feel, the space doesn't look much different from its days as Requin. While the menu is still in a little bit of flux relative to what is on the website, things were handled much more efficiently than I would have expected for a restaurant opened only one month. Service was very good, attentive without being oppressive. Staff was friendly but not over familiar. Timing worked well, even though I dawdled a bit with my appetizer. The food was very good for a bistro type of restaurant. This is not trying to be fine dining but that's not what we were seeking. My wife really enjoyed her onion soup, a touchstone for her which has been disappointing in a number of places recently. She opted for an omelette for her main which she thought was a very good lighter menu option. I started with a chunky meaty pate which was just what I wanted - very tasty. I had really been hoping for the lamb shank that is the online menu but, alas, it is no longer available with nothing comparable as a replacement. The steak frites was actually very good, the NY strip a better cut than you normally see in that dish and cooked exactly to order, but it was really a second choice and was picked largely because of the wine I brought. Several people near us had the duck confit which looked very good and will likely be my or my wife's order on our next visit. The wine list is largely bistro level, not bad but nothing really exciting. The roughly 3x retail mark-up will probably lead me to keep bringing my own ($25 corkage, nothing on their list, which is not online). Overall I'd give this a solid B+ at this point. It was an enjoyable meal at the level advertised with good food and service. I've never been to Chez Billy Sud so I can't give any comparison to that. We will definitely be back.
  6. In the same shopping center as Elephant Jumps, Dominion Deli has proven to be an extremely useful breakfast quick-stop for 6 AM treks out to Woodson High School. Phone in your order, and it will be ready when you get there (and if you want slightly better coffee, Starbucks is right there also). For $3.50, the Huevos Rancheros (which I got last week) is large, too centered on the pita, and in desperate need of tabasco; I prefer the Kielbasa Eggs on a kaiser roll for $5.25, and so will you. There is a surprisingly large outdoor seating area here - I've never had lunch or dinner, but have had breakfast (and have bought Matt breakfast) numerous times. Think: short-order, flat-top grill cooking, and that's about what it is. It serves its purpose for us - it's also my independently owned rebellion against McDonald's, just a block further down Gallows road. Yes, it costs more, but at the end of the day ... does it? Cheers, Rocks
  7. (I just know this is going to become its own post) [ DR] I ate at Open Road tonight. I had the burger (quelle surprise) while my friend had the hanger steak salad. In retrospect, both the pizzas and the fish wrap looked rather good, and might be the go-to if/when I give this place it's second shot. The burger was cooked rather well - the first time in quite some time I've ordered a burger medium and actually *gotten* it medium. The downside was that it didn't have a tremendous amount of taste or seasoning to go with the overabundance of juiciness - the "scallion mayo" and even the addition of bacon didn't help. Next time I might ask for more of the mayo and sprinkle some pepper on there. It's also served on a brioche bun - and unfortunately...meat juices and brioche do not make a harmonious pair. The hanger steak salad looked rather basic - not very vibrant in color - just steak sitting on a bed of mixed field greens with a minimum of garnish (she swore they forgot the potatoes), but the steak was cooked beautifully and had a good taste. My friend remarked to the server that they seriously need to make an entree based on the hanger steak, a la Jackson's, since it outshines the salad considerably. The menu itself reads like an exercise in "making simple sound needlessly complex." The place seems rather targeted at three relatively nearby establishments - the aging Grevey's near INOVA Fairfax and its open-air bar, Glory Days Grill in Fairfax, and Blackfinn Pub. They even have half-price burgers on Monday to compete directly with GD. I wish them luck with that, as Blackfinn is in the middle of a residential complex with covered indoor parking and a short walk from the Metro and a Doubletree, and Glory Days has more parking than ever would be necessary. I also question the logic of a nine dollar hot dog, regardless of whether it's made with Boar's Head. We skipped dessert, as aside from the "Seasonal Crisp," there's nothing available you couldn't get much cheaper elsewhere. Also, the inclusion of the "Old School" treat/snack menu had us wondering just how many Oreos or Twinkies you get per dollar spent. This place is going to make a fortune on booze alone, though...as Happy Hour lasts until 7pm...that is, if you can find a spot. The parking lot was jam-packed yesterday evening ~5:30pm, but the interior had ample seating - most of the customers were sitting/standing in the outdoor bar area (the place has two bars, and the interior one is well-stocked). Once the Italian Deli and the "TRIO Grill" opens up, I really don't know what they're going to do - there's not enough parking by far, and if they're not careful, they're going to cause accidents on Route 29 since there's only one entry and exit for traffic despite a feed-in lane. You could take your chances parking in the adjacent Sunoco station, but seeing as they generally have tow trucks sitting around, I wouldn't advise it. The location is also just far enough from the Dunn Loring metro station that a 'leisurely walk' becomes more of a "burn off dinner" affair. The Italian Market between Open Road and TRIO looks to be just a glorified deli (sorry DrX) based on the modicum of time I spent looking in the windows at the 'menu boards' on the back wall behind the deli counter. There are two rather large beverage coolers on either side of the space, and I'm looking forward to getting a look at what's inside them, since I'm always curious about new sodas, beers, and drinks. Brass tacks: Did I feel adequately fed? Yes. Was the wait staff attentive? Incredibly - almost to the point of fastidiously obsessive. They even collected the straw I didn't use for my iced tea. Was the food good? Decent enough, but I honestly think Blackfinn has the better burger unless they burn the hell out of it like they did on my second visit there. Would I return? Yes, but I'm not exactly in a hurry to do so.
  8. This Merrifield-based group, which operates out of a P.O. Box, has been identified as an anti-LGBTQ group by the Southern Poverty Law Center. It was founded by Eugene Delgaudio, who also signs their tax documents. Here is his website. Here's their Twitter account.
  9. I didn't have the kabob today, but the Falafel and the Hommos with Shawarma at Raouche Cafe are still the garlicky goodness they have always been, and the folks are so nice!
  10. A husband-and-wife place in Yorktowne Center (Gallows Rd & 50) that offers truly spicy Thai food that they will deliver within two miles. Most dishes are well above average for suburban Thai. Dishes can be made Mild, Medium, Hot, or Thai Hot. And Hot actually is hot. Highlights include the Elephant Jumps Salad - shredded apples, toasted coconut, shrimp, lime juice, and peppers-, the Charbroiled Marinated Pork appetizer, and Crispy Tilapia with Mango sauce. I can't comment on the service since I've only gotten carry out and delivery. If you're in the area it is definitely worth a try, probably sooner rather than later in case they start toning down the spice to suit a larger clientele.
  11. District Dumplings: Jun 6, 2018 - "District Dumplings Set To Open New Location in Arlington Ridge Shopping Center" by Alex Koma on arlnow.com
  12. I am surprised I haven't seen a thread on this place. Has anyone tried it? I checked out the space over the weekend (it is beautiful!) but have yet to eat here. My sister is working here (as a bartender) and went through *extensive* training along with all of the other staff. She is obviously biased but she raves about the food. I heard that Sietsema has a review coming out soon. What say you, DR.com community? Website (I think it would be helpful if they posted prices on their menu.)
  13. bdoughnut.com Portuguese style malasadas & doughnuts by Brian and Pin Chanthapanya at the Mosaic in Merrifield. I stopped by for the first time and enjoyed a quick treat with crab dip bagel doughnut and chocolate creme malasadas. Very tasty!
  14. Bartaco opened at Reston Town Center on Monday. We just stopped by early in the evening and by the time we left it was completely packed with a waiting line. Pretty impressive on a weeknight and so recently since it's opening. The atmosphere was casual and staff were friendly and helpful. Our waiter informed us that they have a order slip which we fill out and then place a small blue card on metal stand on the table to notify them when our order was order and for everything else we need. Our tacos ($2.50 each), baja fish, chicken and pork belly were tasty and surprisingly on the level of a place in DC like Oyamel. The non taco part of our order ($5-9 each), guacamole and chips, and tamales were equally as good. We didn't try the rice bowls or desserts. Definitely reasonably priced and good food, a welcome addition to the RTC. If quality remains this high can see it being a part of our regular rotation. Bartaco 12021 Town Center Square Reston, VA 703-787-8226 4pm - late
  15. Enjoyed a good meal at this new fast casual place in Mosaic a few weeks ago. The three of us each got different meats with sides (lentils, etc). The Naan was well made and buttery. I don't recall all the details, but it was hearty and reasonable. Sauces were not too spicy but flavorful and unboring. I do recall this weird automatic hand wash contraption thing in the dining room. It was awesome.
  16. Ōath Pizza, a Nantucket based pizza restaurant opened their first franchise in the metro area at Mosaic. They have seven locations in the Boston area and plan to open a couple more in DC proper over the next year. We stopped by for a quick lunch and had half a simple salad ($4), half a cheese pizza ($6) and a 11 inch pepperoni pizza ($9.5). They hand stretch and grill their pizza in avocado oil. We throughly enjoyed the good amount of char on the thin crust pizza. Additionally, the 11 inch size was perfect for an adult and the half size was good for a kid. Ingredient quality and taste was flavorful and filling. It's a welcome addition to the pizza scene in DC and definitely jumps into the top ten for the area especially considering that it is fast food.
  17. Thank you. Of course, we are dissapointed we didnt actually "win" the tasting, but like someone else said "different strokes for different folks". I think that statement holds true to most food items, as it is a very subjective matter indeed. As for our chocolates, we hope you all try them out and make your own opinion.
  18. Work overwhelms, phone is ringing, lovesick suitors bore to tears, girl escapes to Eden (Center.) Choosing a place to sit down at Eden Center is like picking a perfect shade of green paint: the problem is that there's only two thousand of them. Weaving through too-dark, too-dingy, too-loud, too-karaoke-infested, we landed at Four Sisters - a bright and welcoming spot smack in the middle of Little Viet Nam known as the Eden Center. The menu is exhaustive as many of these places are. Phorsaking pho, we went for the following: Green Papaya Salad - tart and crisp, full of cilantro and lime. Could have done without a wilted shrimp, but hey, can't have it all. Beef in lime juice appetizer - thin, flavorful slices and again full of cilantro and lime. Personally, these are two of my favorites, so I don't mind the repetition. Pork rice crepes - this dish takes a bit of engineering to be enjoyed fully. Take a slice of pork, lay a small soft crepe stuffed with more pork on top, add a chopstickful of diced carrots, and drizzle with fish sauce. Pray to archangels and cherubs that the whole contraption doesn't collapse. Carefully lift by chopsticks toward mouth. Otherwise it's a bit bland. Short ribs with caramelized onions - yum, so simple, take meat, add heat and a few spices, and a perfect comfort dish materializes. Afterwards, we poked around various bakeries and produce stores to ooh and ahh and open eyes so very wide. I got a bunch of superspringy baby bok choy, some almond cookies and some fish sauce. Also got to marvel at a kinky fantastic miraculous display of every pig part known to man - hearts, kidneys, uteri, tongues, etc. Warning: don't bring the easily shocked and the tender-hearted, they ruin the fun. ("Go back to saving the world," I mumble, administering a mental kick to their vulnerable soft bottoms.) All in all, a fantastic time was had by all and a great distraction when you want to escape from the office and when Cosi just don't beckon any more.
  19. I received a gift card for True Food Kitchen in the Mosaic District. I’ve never been there, but their menu looks interesting. If you’ve eaten there, what would you recommend? Or recommend I avoid?
  20. No, but it's now open, and here are the website and current menus. Note that there's a pop-up window advertising heritage turkey dinners (complete dinners) to go for Thanksgiving this year - they're asking you to order early (note to NRG: That window is showing up every time you click on something on the website - it would be nice if you saw it only once). Dinner: Charcuterie: Beer: Drinks and Wine:
  21. Related thread: Dining in Merrifield The development of the Mosaic District and Halstead Square to its north made me believe that NoVA would no longer be a culinary wasteland. My dream was utterly crushed. The restaurants that came and gave me hope have all sank back to mediocrity. First, Ovvio - I think the opening chef lasted a week. Ever since then, the menu has stagnated and while the food isn't bad, it isn't really all that exciting. Second, Brine. Wow, seafood in NoVA. That menu is stagnate too. Lamb and clam and plankton pasta are good, but not good enough to eat every month, or every other month. In fact, most of the entrees are now land based proteins. Third, Gypsy Soul. I loved that place, but it closed. WTF! Fourth, Requin. Ooh, a Top Chef contestant trained by Eric Ripert! Except she's never there, and I think the food there went downhill fast. To be fair, there are some decent ethnic joints - Jinya, Sisters Thai, Four Sisters but I can get better Asian food elsewhere that's cheaper.
  22. It was Restaurant Week in Northern Virginia and on the list was a restaurant I never heard of called Trio Grill. We thought we would give it a try. The bread and herb butter was good, the wine selection for reds was good...about 12 categories with a couple of bottles in each category in the $30s (upper end of my budget). We ordered the tempura shrimp app in addition to RW meal. They were superb although there were only 5 of them for $16. The waldorf salads were okay. My stuffed chicken meal was a bit boring--more of the stuffing would have improved it. My husband, normally not effusive in his praise, declared his Berkshire pork chop the best pork he has ever had in a restaurant! Desserts were too sweet. Service was friendly and efficient. The room was very busy and loud so we had to shout to each other to be heard sometimes. All in all, we liked it and will return. However, during non-RW times, the prices are high, so it will only be for special occasions. Unfortunately, my husband's idea of a special occasion is "when he feels like eating pork again."
  23. Actually, Grevey's in Merrifield does a passable job with their Beef-on-Weck (from what I remember; been awhile since I've had it). Apparently, the salted Kummelweck roll is what differentiates it from the standard roast beef sandwich.
  24. A mere five doors down from the newly opened Four Sisters' in Merrifield is a spacious bakery and espresso bar to enjoy a leisurely cup of joe or tea with a few cases full of pastries and cookies. Owner and Pastry Chef Toni Srour and his wife Samar opened this venture back in March, and it is a nice addition to the lack of bakeries in this area, especially in Merrifield. Of the three things I tried, a Mini Palmier, Lemon Macaron, and a slice of the Vanilla Yule Log, two were a hit and the last was a slight miss. It has been a long time since I've had a palmier that does not leave a lard- or shortening-like aftertaste and I did not taste it with this one. However, the sugar on top was extra-caramelized, which is fine by me. For $1.50, the lemon macaron was smaller in size than what I've seen in other bakeries, but the moist, slightly tart, but lemony flavor right after that initial crunch and break of the meringue part was well-worth it (although I haven't had enough macarons to make a great judgment). The Yule log slice of cake was similar to the moist cakes sold in Asian bakeries, but it was a bit too mushy for me. The buttercream was definitely better than most places, but I really enjoyed the sugar topping (a sugared chimney), as it reminded me of the sugar flowers that once topped cakes in the past. Owner and Pastry Chef Toni said that they bake everything there and they also serve some lunch items. One of the things I'd like to try next time is the Thyme herb Croissant. According to the Post article, it was his dad's recipe. The Pastry Xpo website is basically a shell right now, but Maurice Pastries is a bit better, content-wise. Pastry Xpo 8190 Strawberry Lane Merrifield, Virginia 571-282-4970
  25. Having seen this post asking about purchasing a "long" winged corkscrew it got me thinking about Bars By Bud, or more correctly Bars By Bud Mepham, a very long term local store located in Fairfax. Bud Mepham, as I recall, is a craftsman, carpenter by trade who specialized in building custom bars. I think the specialization and his full business with a retail front is over 30 years old. The store is located in Fairfax in the general vicinity of Merrifield and easily accessed off the beltway. While Bud's specialty is building out custom bars....(pictures below) the showroom retail operation used to carry every single bar tool, bar accessory, wine tool, glassware imaginable, and at all price points. Admittedly I haven't been there in over a decade. Bud, is a straight shooter, very fair guy, and a small local businessperson and craftsman. He and his staff were all knowledgeable about bar accessories and extremely helpful. A classic local specialty business with tremendous staff knowledge. It was a pleasure to shop there. Bud's is still around. Also while its been years I've seen the results of Bud's craftmanship. Impressive. He has to be among the least marketing oriented people. But you can capture some pictures of Bud's craftmanship via some effort at search. It appears at the high end Bud and his team built the custom bar at the Goodstone Inn in 2012. Impressive work. Most of his custom work is far simpler, but he is a true craftsman. And if his showroom carries all the bar inventory in the world (as it used to) its a great resource for any kind of wine, bar, or glassware accessory you might be looking for.
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