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I'm very much looking forward to a French place. I've heard Chez Billy Sud is an excellent restaurant. Hope they bring that mojo to Arlington.
I see from today's lettres that Mr. Rockwell was at Cassatt's recently. I fervently hope that he wasn't there Saturday night, as every time the band stopped playing would be the exact moment that I would say something shameful that would suddenly carry across the restaurant. The meat pies were indeed very good and there are easily 7 or 8 to choose from. My beef and cheese was great until I hit the occasional bits of gristle. The steak and mushroom pie didn't have that problem and was perfect for a cold night. The lamb kabob and the grilled tilapia were fine, but you can get those elsewhere AND those unfortunate souls who ordered them were forced to borrow my mango chutney. I protected it like an enraged giant weta. We came because of their inclusion in the Neighborhood Eats on WETA (which is different from a weta; look it up) and because New Zealand has always been the escape plan if we had to flee the country, so it would behoove us to see if we like the food. Has anyone else been? Is the food small "a" authentic?
Most of us know him as "the chef at Grapeseed who makes your hand disappear when you shake his," but in his previous life - which now must seem an eternity ago, Jeff played for one of the most legendary high school football teams in the history of the Washington, DC area, the dynastic Seneca Valley Screaming Eagles of Germantown, MD, who hold a record 12 Maryland State High School Football Championships, even though the school opened fairly recently in 1974. During Heineman's time at Seneca Valley, they won the Class A State Championship his freshman and sophomore years, 1979-1980 and 1980-1981, going undefeated at 12-0 his sophomore season. Heineman was listed as 6'4", 275, and was a two-way starter, at Center and Offensive Tackle on offense, and Defensive Tackle on defense (whew!) He was All-County in the Montgomery Journal (since absorbed into the Washington Examiner). He was an Honorable-Mention All-Met in the Washington Post, and was named one of the Top 100 Linemen in the Nation in USA Today, as well as being named one of George Michael's "Golden 11" Football Players (here's an example with the 2006 list). He is in the Seneca Valley Athletic Hall of Fame, and was recognized as the Best Defensive Lineman at Seneca Valley in the 1982-1983 season. However, his football career was not yet over. Oct 11, 1986 - "Unlikely Indians: 4-0 and No. 5" by Neil H. Greenberger on washingtonpost.com With Heineman a four-year starter at defensive tackle (he started one game his freshman year), the William & Mary Tribe in Williamsburg, VA was an NCAA Division I-AA Independent school during his tenure, but they made the Division I-AA Playoffs for the first time in school history, in Dec, 1986, his final season, with only 16 teams in the country qualifying - they ran into a juggernaut, losing to the University of Delaware in the first round, 51-21, but their football program was founded in 1893, and Heineman's squad broke a 93-year drought of no post-season football. I suspect the win over the University of Richmond, one week before, in what was then known as the "I-64 Bowl," (now called the Capital Cup) was Heineman's sweetest, with the Tribe defeating the Spiders on their own turf for Heineman's final football victory of his career. Heineman's athletic career was still not over after football, however, as he dropped 30 pounds and became an international rugby player. After his football career in college, Heineman played Club Rugby, and was named All-East Coast in 1988. He then moved to New Zealand, and made the All-Province Team playing Second Row (that's a position) for North Otago in 1990-1991. I suppose at some point he realized he was going to have to work, and so after stints in various restaurants, he opened Grapeseed in 2000, and they just celebrated their 16th anniversary last week, on Thursday, Apr 7, 2016. Congratulations, Jeff, on having wedged two very successful lifetimes into one.