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  1. Chef Spike Gjerde has opened his long awaited farm-to-table restaurant in Clipper Mill. The wife and I went there last night and were shocked at the full dining room, given the restaurant's out-of-the-way location. No matter though, we had made reservations and were seated promptly in the loft overlooking the dining room. The renovation to the building is stunning. The exposed brick walls and recycled old-growth lumber that were used are dramatically illuminated, looking both elegant and cozy at the same time. A wood burning oven is the center piece of the open kitchen, and most of the food on the menu seems to be cooked in it. We ordered: Oysters (raw and roasted) Chicken liver parfait Hamburger Autumn vegetables Everything was very good: the food, the service, and the space. We'll be back soon. Woodberry Kitchen
  2. Hopes to open below Perry's in mid-October. This sounds like a great addition to the neighborhood.
  3. Now that the Washington Post has done a full profile on Mr. Bruner-Yang and most media outlets have already broken this news, makes sense to start a thread here. This is yet another really ambitious concept for the area with $300K of the startup money crowdsourced, a chef from Lyon Hall and plans for it to include a full retail mix of apparel, a donut shop, specialty coffee and Range-like stations simulating Asian markets/hawkers with all day/all meal coverage . Great to see and wish it well. If it works, this is big time for DC. Really fantastic the amazing amount of food-related development activity for a city that's relatively small. From the Post here City Paper coverage here Eater's renderings of the space here
  4. If I was a guy and wanted to impress a non-foodie hot girl, I would totally take her here. Because it is probably one of the most romantic restaurants in DC. Period. There are wonderful trees within a courtyard that canopy the outdoor eating area. There's a lovely walkway flanked by tables as a bar area. The interior is reminiscent of the lush lounge at the Tabard. But the two food items I sampled were some of the worst things I've had in a loong time. A goat cheese torte came out in a slab like pate, was pink and came out with roasted red pepper sauce. Not a nice little tart shape as we were expecting. And let me say again... PINK! It didn't taste of anything. The chicken liver pate with green peppercorns was extremely kicky, but was a scatological dark brown and not the unctuous deliciousness that I've had at other places. I'd maybe stroll over to enjoy the atmosphere after a dinner at the Tabard, but that's about it.
  5. I didn't see a thread for Vola's so I thought I would start one. Website Vola's is located in the old Waterfront Market space. They have both the restaurant and outside seating on the boardwalk at the waterfront currently open. I went for lunch yesterday. The inside has that seaside casual seafood joint vibe to it, and I thought it was nice for this location. The outside seating really hasn't changed at all from Waterfront Market. I would suspect that it will do really well. The space is laid out similarly to Waterfront Market with the bar where the service counters were located. I thought the menu had a nice selection of items and will go back and try other things, especially as my office is next door. I don't think they are near as good as Drift, but after one meal, it is not a bad option in Old Town. My server was Donovan, I would go back alone for the service. He was just genuinely nice and warm, but was very professional at the same time. I really enjoyed having him as my server. The food came out in a reasonable time for my lunch break, which is more than can be said for Blackwall Hitch. I had the grouper sandwich. It tasted to me like the grouper was done via sous vide then seared off, but I am not sure, and I don't care if it was as it kept the fish very moist, but also appropriately flavored, but the texture of the fish didn't fall apart, like the salmon I must have sous vide for too long the other night. I really like the sandwich, I thought it had a good bread, sauce, lettuce ratio and nice seasoning. The fries with old bay were delicious and I ate way more than I needed to- although I am quite partial to Old Bay on about anything. The coleslaw was also pretty darn good. It was on the sweet side, but not real sugary like they serve some places down south, I thought it had a nice balance to it and I like the thinness of the sauce. I thought the prices were in line with this part of town for what you got. I am hoping they have a fish taco special every now and then. But I definitely will go try more of the menu. Same photo from the Where did I Dine thread of the sandwich.
  6. Had dinner last night with one of our visiting farm owners at the kitchen table at 2941. The four of us had brought eight or nine wines (allowed in private rooms in VA), and Chef Krinn tasted each one before sending out a dish against it. It was a brilliant meal in a setting that perfectly balances the voyeuristic and practical.
  7. Pretty slick looking (Washingtonian) City Paper Soft opening July 21, debut August 4. Three, five, and eventually eight course prix-fixe tasting menu format. Masseria. 1430 Fourth St., NE; 202-608-5959 "Masseria combines the raw and simple look of an Italian country estate, the industrial grit of the Union Market district, and the undeniable contemporary chic of its fashion-savvy chef-owner."
  8. Hard to believe a restaurant in business since 1977 has no thread here, unless I missed it. Wife and I were in Bethesda tonight strolling around and decided to give it a shot after years of driving by it. Short story - average old school Italian, awful wine list, great service, decent value for what you get. Handwritten receipt - love it. Would rather head here when looking for Italian over Olazzo and other mediocre Italian spots in Bethesda. Not many options here for Italian food, someone save us.
  9. I've eaten there in the past, for dinner and for weekend brunch. I haven't been there in a few years because it wasn't that good, but I might give it a try again....it's literally right around the corner from Mediterranean Gourmet Market, so if I'm in that neighborhood, I'm usually there for my MGM fix.
  10. After a spectacular sail last Friday we docked at Ferry Point Marina to explore their restaurant the Point Crab House. At 3pm happy hour was booming as it was one of the first really nice days out and they open garage doors onto the water. We each had a "Backyard Lemonade" to go as it was so crowded we decided to retreat back to the boat for snacks and return for dinner. Drinks were really good and I can see why many folks were downing these as well as the many types of crushes they make. At this time the parking lots was a zoo and a line was forming for the privilege of waiting to eat and drink. Arriving by boat is much better. We were seated outside for dinner and were entertained by folks thinking the pilings are optional to hit when docking their boat. Usually no boat damage but bruised egos from folks who should know better. We each had Crab Cakes and they were spectacular. All lump with no discernible filler. I'm a crab cake lover and one was enough. Certainly compares favorably to Cantlers and Mikes and I think the Point had the best crab cake.
  11. I could not find a topic for Monterey's Pizza in Alexandria. They just opened a new location about a block away from their old location. They are going to have a patio, they have some inside seating (not huge about 7 tables of various sizes). Beer and wine license coming. We have tried DRP, Lost Dog (our previous favorite), Lena's and Monterey's so far has been our favorite delivery/eat in pizza that we have found so far in the Alexandria/Del Ray area. the crust has nice char, I think the toppings are really good. The staff is really nice, delivery is fast. We have eaten in their new location and while not amazing ambiance wasn't bad, we watched baseball and ate some pizza. I think the sauce is better than Lena's, crust is better than Lost Dog, and I am not sure why exactly, but as a whole I find it better than DRP. Anyway, just my two cents.
  12. I heard from an inside source today that Stephen Starr's restaurant group has signed a lease for the old Q Street Cleaners space at 1601 14th St. NW, and it's going to become a Buddakan. Confidence level? Since I'm relying on a source for this (as opposed to hearing it with my own ears), it can't be 100%, but it's up there.
  13. We stay at the Ashby Inn on a regular basis, and were there last weekend. It is far more casual than genteel, although there's a bit of that in horse country. Sitting on the balcony and listening to the cows lowing will quickly convince you that the city is not too close. They recently changed chefs, and have, at least for the moment, shortened the menu because of decreased dinner traffic in this stuttering economy, but the food remains wonderful. I know that they have an eight ounce filet listed, but believe that's the only steak offered. Note, too, that the Inn is quite close to the Sky Meadows State Park, which has very nice hiking trails and beautiful views. One of Paul Mellon's finest contributions to that part of the world.
  14. The relatively recently-opened Sala Thai at the corner of Clarendon Boulevard and N. Adams St. in Courthouse is closed. There's a large sign in the window advertising a new restaurant: "Me Jana." The sign states that the restaurant will feature "Fine Mediterranean Dining." Some quick Googling didn't turn up anything relevant for "Me Jana," though there seem to be one or more Mediterranean restaurants in other cities called "Mejana."
  15. From: The List, Are You On It. Christophe Poteaux, currently Executive Chef / Food & Beverage Director for Aquarelle at The Watergate, will open this new restaurant in Old Town Alexandria by September, featuring a moderately priced, modern French/Mediterranean cuisine with a blend of world ingredients. So does anyone know where and when this is going to open?
  16. In the old Levante's space, which is closing at the end of the year. Planned opening for the spring. Clickety. Even as casual as this seems to be, it could instantly be one of the best restaurants in mediocre-heavy Bethesda.
  17. 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
  18. Silly website aside, I wonder if will be in the same league as his Provence, which was brilliant. Mashed potatoes with a ladle of rosemary-infused olive oil where the gravy goes....mmmmmmmmmmmm
  19. I just got an invitation from the folks who run Trummers on Main in Clifton to their soft opening this week. I plan to go there for dinner on Friday evening. The actual soft opening starts today with the real opening on Monday 7/13/09. The Web site is here: http://www.trummersonmain.com/ and there's a blog site by the owners here: http://www.stefantru.../blog-text.htm. With a chef from the French Laundry, maybe this will be a nice place. I'll file a full report after I visit the place, unless someone else gets there first. The number for reservations is 703.266.1623. One warning, neither Web site above is up to date. clearly the owners have been spending their time making the restaurant work. Wayne Rash
  20. I'm bringing a group of friends to Poste tomorrow night. I haven't been for dinner there in over a year. Anyone been lately? Suggestions?
  21. I don't think people talk enough about the Tabard. Fair notice: I am somewhat of a regular. But they are still putting out some of the best food I've eaten there over the last several years. I had carnitas there the other night that were truly, deeply delicious. And if they ever have short ribs on the menu, GET THEM. Even if you only came in for dessert. Now, I do think their prices are a bit high across the board--beer, wine, and food. And the main dining room is incredibly loud even when it's half full. But even so--the food has just been delish.
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