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I thought there was a topic for this but apparently there isn't. Mel Inman has sold the business. The new owner/name is S. L. Mendoza Market Poultry. Despite being in the market a lot, I hadn't stopped by there real recently until today, but I had heard during the summer (and then gotten confirmed during the summer) that it was being sold. One of the people told me it was being sold to someone who worked elsewhere in the market. The last time I had been there, Mel was the only one working. Today, it wasn't busy but there were multiple employees present. I can't say the service was great, but I don't know how long they've been up and running. Whether they will continue to have more exotic birds or not, I have no idea. Some of the signs looked the same (and they had the Redskins game on the TV), but other things looked different. People who go there a lot undoubtedly know this, but FYI.
Had the chance to eat at The Bird recently. What a cool space -- the entire restaurant is decorated by local artists. There are four distinct parts of the restaurant themed after each of the seasons, complete with a "summer" patio outdoor space on the second floor. We both started with the Charlie Parker cocktail ($13) (rye, apple brandy, madeira, peach, pomegranate, bitters). It was fantastic and a boozy sipper. My wife and I elected to try some small plates to share, so we didn't order any of the main courses, despite being very tempted by the spicy fried chicken ($17). The triple fried Korean-style wings ($10) were topped with a soy-garlic style glaze and were fantastic. My only complaint about them is that there was so much sauce that the dish was a bit overwhelming and intense. The duck meatballs in spicy tomato curry ($9) were fantastic, and the spicy tomato curry made for a bit of a break from all the heavy fried-style food. The curry was spiced well and in a very balanced way. These came with a creamy yogurt to cool the dish down. The Hudson Valley foie gras torchon ($14) was spectacular, especially for the price. It came with walnuts, berries, and toasted bread. It's hard to go wrong with foie and fruit on toasted bread for me, and this is no exception. The flight of the egg ($9) consisted of three eggs: an organic chicken egg-pickled in tamari with gold rice, a deviled duck egg with duck fat mayo, duck pastrami, and toasted caraway, and finally a quail “scotch” egg soft poached, encased in sausage, breaded & fried. My wife's favorite was the chicken egg with gold rice - simple with a tang from the pickling; mine was the duck egg - decadent deviled eggs with some truly flavorful duck pastrami. The quail "scotch" egg was very good as well, though it's more of "fried sausage" than an egg, given the sizes of both components. We also had a side of Brussels sprouts ($7), which were a good diversion from the heaviness of the poultry dishes. Like at The Pig, their Brussels sprouts are cooked perfectly in a way I never seem to be able to at home. We finished sharing a miso caramel gelato ($3). This was just sublime. Imagine the best salted caramel ice cream or gelato you've ever had and make it a little bit more umami. The quality-to-price ratio is out of this world here. We expected this would be just enough food for us due to the plates being small, given the prices. This was not the case - this was SO MUCH FOOD. You get at least 50% more foie than you expect for $14. You wouldn't expect 6 large duck meatballs for $9. You certainly wouldn't expect a huge scoop of gelato for $3. The customer service here is truly impeccable. We arrived not terribly long before they closed, and asked if the kitchen was still open, fully expecting to leave and get some pizza or something. Our waitress checked with the manager and ushered us to a seat. We ordered quickly out of courtesy to the kitchen staff, but were told we could take as long as we like. We were so concentrated on the food that we had neglected our cocktails a bit, and our waitress asked if we didn't like them, offering to take them off the bill or have something else made. I'll definitely be returning -- very very impressed.