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  1. They've been open for about 10 days, according to a sign in the parking garage. Someone who works in another business in the building told me that the owner originally wanted to call the restaurant "Black Pearl," but there were issues with using that name. I was hoping it would be a good alternative for lunch as I work nearby, but the menu seems a little too steep for my budget.
  2. 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.
  3. 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!
  4. 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?
  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. 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.
  7. District Dumplings: Jun 6, 2018 - "District Dumplings Set To Open New Location in Arlington Ridge Shopping Center" by Alex Koma on arlnow.com
  8. 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!
  9. 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
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. I didn't find a thread for this spot. Met up for a drink and a bite here at the bar last Wednesday evening. The place has an industrial/warehouse-y decor and it was busy but not crowded when we were there. Because of the association with Red Apron, it's a meat-focused menu with craft cocktails. We both got the "I Don't Even Know Myself," a tasty frothy bourbon lemonade type drink served in a stemmed martini glass, and split some beef fat fries with aoili which were nicely crispy and flavorful, Roman gnocchi with mushroom ragu (my favorite -- more of a custardy polenta cake prep than a traditional potato gnocchi) and the pork meatball, which was a good, competently made meatball. The bartenders were friendly and efficient and knew the menu well. I also had a glass of an interesting Greek white wine recommended by the bartender which I enjoyed. They also offer a sort of build your own charcuterie platter where you check off choices as on a sushi list. We didn't try that but it looked interesting.
  13. 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.
  14. 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:
  15. 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.
  16. 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
  17. This will be a list of restaurants that will be turned into a poll. After the list has been completed, we will vote on the poll, and the restaurant who gets the most votes will be reviewed with my best effort. This is not going to be an "annual thing," or a "monthly thing"; it's most likely going to be a "weekly thing," but let's see how we do on this first go-round. Since it takes members who have written 10 posts to suggest a restaurant (the same ones who have access to our Dining Guide), I'm going to ask as many members as possible with 10 posts to suggest a restaurant they'd like to have reviewed. If it doesn't make it the first time, I'm certain that diligence will pay off in very short order. Let it begin, and please participate. I'm taking quite a risk by doing this, and I need your help in return. I don't care if it's high-end dining or fast-food - there's room for everything. Although we're going to be voting on *restaurants*, there's no reason you can't at least mention individual dishes in your post (I will take note). Thank you to our participating members for all you've done for this wonderful community. Let's start of with the DC area (within a one-hour drive), and we can slowly spread it out in the future. Cheers, Rocks PS - Once a restaurant has already been suggested in this thread, it is going to be on the poll (in alphabetical order) - there's no need to repeat a restaurant that has already been named. It's the voting in the polls that will determine who gets reviewed; this is merely to come up with the candidates in the first poll. And don't think I haven't thought about member-based restaurant rewards: dcdining.com "Best Of" restaurants in a multitude of categories. I'm also thinking - whichever restaurants don't "win" the poll, will automatically roll onto the next poll, so people don't need to keep nominating them over-and-over. After each review, feel free to nominate one additional restaurant as well, so basically, "the more you play, the better your chances of winning."
  18. Arielle Shoshana Scented Luxuries is a fragrance shop located in the Mosaic District at 2920 District Avenue along the street where stores have recently appeared to the left of the movie theater. The shop offers harder to find colognes, perfumes, bath products and candles. The scents are arranged by type of fragrance such as clean, floral, beachy, spicy etc. I found the layout really useful. The staff was extremely helpful - both friendly and knowledgeable, and not at all pushy. They showed me lots of samples without spraying it on me first (which I hate!) There were a few things that interested me. I found when I got home they gave me samples of the fragrances I was considering, but didn't buy. This shop is a great addition to the Mosaic District. Alice Lieberman
  19. Has anyone thought that these "villages" that are being designed and built today are equivalent to the "malls" of last generation? Mosaic is Tysons Corner (the old Tysons Corner) Pike & Rose is White Flint. Or would they be more equivalent to "planned communities" such as Columbia and Reston, except on a much denser scale? I guess Metro has made these possible, and future generations will become less dependent on owning automobiles. Hard to believe, but I see that fundamental change coming. Well, I suppose it couldn't be any *worse* than spewing out carbon monoxide and driving to Wal-Mart. But I just hope there are plenty of parks included in the plans because nothing replaces greenery. Except, of course, green - my impression is that both of these developments have way too much pavement, and not nearly enough grass and trees. Without having checked to see if "Mosaic District" and "Pike and Rose" have the same general contractor, it seems they have similar website design: Where are the black people in that Mosaic picture? Pike & Rose gets credit for being more inclusive.
  20. Walked by the restaurant which looks to be under construction at the Mosaic. Anyone heard any news?
  21. Bullet Points on Mosaic: yes I am working on a property in the Mosaic District. why not the city first? Edens and their team are fantastic and it is a different branch for the brand food: think back to vidalia days with less boundaries price point: not cheap but not expensive either size: 5200 sq ft main level 2100 sq ft roof top (140 seats & 70 on roof) Roof top: bar and 3 wood burning grills menus: will be different from roof top and the main dining room cocktails and spirits: hell yes driven and curated by bryan and myself wine & beer: yes when will we open? some time between 1.13-12.13 is it going to be cool? yes not as interactive as rogue but we will not be hiding as well name; GYPSY SOUL why Merrifield: 10 minutes by harley from my house...and the property is cutting edge will we do another property in the city? When we find the right building to buy. Any other information is highly secretive (we are still working out the details)
  22. We had lunch here today. This is a cool place. My Asian chicken breast sandwich was much better than popcorn, and my spouse's blueberry muffin was even better than buttered popcorn. After lunch we saw the new German film "Barbara" followed by a Q&A with the US distributor. This place bills itself as a "film center" and it is very different from a multiplex. Culture comes to Merrifield!
  23. Hi everyone! The Angelika has a great event next Wednesday for wine lovers of all stripes - it's a one-off screening of the documentary "SOMM" (following Master Sommelier candidates) followed by a Q&A with DC's own Master Sommelier Keith Goldston, and moderated by TasteDC's Charlie Adler. The ticket price includes a pre-screening wine tasting of several nice selections, provided by Beringer. Here are the full details: Please join us for SOMM An Evening of Wine & Film at the Angelika Wednesday, June 19, 2013 6:00pm - WINE SAMPLING Select wines provided by Beringer: Beringer Napa Chardonnay Beringer Napa Cabernet Sauvignon Beringer Knights Valley Meritage Red Blend (Must be 21 or over with ID to participate.) 7:30pm - SCREENING OF SOMM followed by Q&A with Master Sommelier - Keith Goldston moderated by Charlie Adler (TasteDC) $25 ticket per person: on sale now About the film: Four men will do anything to pass the most difficult test you've NEVER heard of... SOMM takes the viewer on a humorous, emotional and illuminating look into a mysterious world - the Court of Master Sommeliers and the massively intimidating Master Sommelier Exam. The Court of Master Sommeliers is one of the world's most prestigious, secretive, and exclusive organizations. Since its inception almost 40 years ago, less than 200 candidates have reached the exalted Master level. The exam covers literally every nuance of the world of wine, spirits and cigars. Those who have passed have put at risk their personal lives, their well- being, and often their sanity to pull it off. Shrouded in secrecy, access to the Court Of Master Sommeliers has always been strictly regulated and cameras have never been allowed anywhere near the exam, until now. How much do you think you know about wine? SOMM will make you think again. SOMM takes you on the ultimate insider's tour into a world of obsession, hope, and friendship in red, blanc and sometimes rose. About Keith Goldston, Master Sommelier: Born and raised in Napa Valley, Keith Goldston is one of the world's youngest Master Sommeliers and the proud recipient of the illustrious Krug Cup trophy. His "Have Corkscrew - Will Travel" attitude has found him making sake in Japan, judging wine competitions and teaching wine classes in Korea and China, opening wine bars in India, chasing kangaroos in Australia, crossing the Andes in search of great wine, working for the Culinary Institute of America, as well as teaching and examining for the Court of Master Sommeliers. He is currently wine director at Bryan Voltaggio's RANGE. __________ ANGELIKA FILM CENTER & CAFE 2911 DISTRICT AVE @ LEE HWY & GALLOWS RD | FAIRFAX, VA 22031 www.AngelikaFilmCenter.com
  24. Mediterrafish 2910 District Avenue Fairfax, VA 22031 703-992-7765 http://www.mediterrafish.com http://www.facebook.com/pages/MediterraFish/138691829598547 New fresh fish market opened up in the Mosaic District. We stopped by and checked it out. The owner said his fish comes 3 times a week from the Mediterranean. The branzino, orate and red snapper looked quite fresh. Can't wait to try it out this weekend for some grilling.
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