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Found 19 results

  1. I was a bit surprised to see that there were no posts on this restaurant, as Fabio has historically been a figure that has sparked conversation on DR. My wife and I went last night to a mostly full restaurant that is styled very similarly to Fiola Mare, although this space is much larger than Fabio's place on the Georgetown waterfront. Our first observation is that there are a lot of people working on the floor at Del Mar. Including the 2 women working at the host stand, we interacted with 6 different people in our first 2 minutes after being seated. Some people find this style of service attentive; my wife and I feel smothered. My feeling is that if I haven't even opened my menu, any question other than the type of water that I would like is premature. Especially questions about wine from the sommelier before I have been given a wine list, but I digress. After the service staff dispersed, I delved into the menu, which was organized by rather short sections of 3-5 dishes by different types of raw and cold dishes, hot dishes/appetizers, mains, and plates to be shared. We kicked things off with 6 oysters from New Jersey that were described as "briny and succulent", which is right up my alley. Unfortunately, while the oysters were succulent, I would definitely not describe them as briny, as they were a bit flat and not woken up by the Escabeche Vinaigrette. Another sauce was also delivered with the oysters, described as an "aioli", which was interesting as I have never heard of anyone having a mayo-like dip with oysters. This sounded awful to me, but my curiosity was piqued, so I tried it to make sure I wasn't missing anything with one of my oysters, and it was just as poorly paired and bad as it sounds. I'm assuming the inclusion was a mistake, as I can't imagine anyone liking what I tried last night. Shame on me for not using my better judgment, I guess. From there we went to hot appetizers, where we chose the Sopa de Castana y Cangrejo and the Scallops, Sea Urchin, and Black Truffles. The soup was far and away the best dish of the night, exactly what we were looking for on a cold night. It felt vintage-Trabocchi, very rich and flavorful, extracting flavors from ingredients and appropriate spicing to deliver a rich, well-balanced dish. We wanted seconds. The scallops were also nice, well paired with the vibrant sea urchin, but this would have been a better warm weather dish as it was very cold and very light. For our main, we got the Arroz Negro de Calamares en su Tinta. I should note here that we have had paella and arroz negro many times on trips to Spain and at restaurants in the US. We have had a couple versions that we really liked, but we often feel underwhelmed by these types of dishes. Maybe we don't love paella (or Spanish food in general)? I'm not sure, but I figure that I would point this out before saying that we were massively disappointed in this dish. It came out and was plated well by our waiter into large portions along with a side of lemon and, yet again, aioli. I asked the waiter about the aioli, to see if there was a particular way to eat the arroz with it as I have never seen it presented this way. He said that it was how "everybody" ate the dish, which confused me because I have had paella in Mallorca and Barcelona and have never seen it come with any sort of mayo substance. Is this normal? Again, I took the bait and put a dab of it on the side of my plate, dipping a bit of calamari and black rice in to take a taste. No. I can't believe that "everybody" eats this dish this way, as it became gooey and added nothing to the flavor palate. I ignored it for the rest of the meal, but again I must not be getting it, because I found the arroz to be bland and rather uninteresting, even with a copious amount of lemon squirted on top. Also, the calamari was somehow grilled and very chewy on the outside, but slimy and wet on the inside, combining both ways that I don't like my calamari cooked into one bite somehow. We were starving, but both of us still left a lot on our plates, as this just did not work for us on so many levels. We were a bit disheartened after the arroz negro, so we decided to pass on dessert and get the bill. For 2 glasses of Cava Brut, a middle of the road bottle of Ribeiro ($65), and the food listed above, the bill came to $232 after tax. I had to look twice, as this was more money than we had spent on any meal since our last visit to Komi, and far from extravagant or particularly satisfying food. At this price point, I can't possibly see us coming back here, but again maybe we just don't like this style of cuisine or we could have ordered better (cold crudo on a 40 degree night, yes that's my bad). I'll be interested to see how this place does over the years, as it really is huge, very expensive, and in the hot new high-rent district of DC.
  2. Kwame Onwuachi will be back this fall with his newest restaurant Kith and Kin inside the Intercontinental Hotel at the new waterfront being built in Southwest DC. Anyone have any insider information other than what is in the article? From dcist.com
  3. Cathal Armstrong's new restaurant Kaliwa is opening possibly tomorrow at the Wharf (751 Wharf St, SW, DC) (via Laura Hayes' tweet). More info about the restaurant at Washington City Paper: "Kaliwa Brings Food with Full Funk and Fire to the Wharf when it Opens Next Week" by Laura Hayes on washingtoncitypaper.com
  4. Not sure if this should go under the Stores Guide or Restaurant Guide? http://www.captainwhitesseafood.com/ Menu is best found by searching for images. Last night we went to Captain White's to pick up some food to eat before a concert at the Anthem. We got: Fried shrimp, hush puppies, MD crab soup and fries. I thought the Maryland Crab soup was the win of the group. It had really good flavor, I should have just gotten a large and some hush puppies. The hush puppies were fine, I think they are likely better on a day that things are hopping down there, due to the weather it wasn't a prime choice last evening, but they weren't bad. Hubby wanted some melted butter with them, I thought they were fine plain. I think he prefers smaller hush puppies, but he is more into them than I am, I like plain cornbread, so I am fine with a large hush puppy. The fried shrimp were fine, nothing bad, nothing special, fine, a nice portion for the price, fried fresh to order. The I think Ken's brand cocktail sauce they give you is really sweet- I normally make my own, so maybe commercial cocktail sauce is sweeter than I expect. Anyway, we got our meal and went up and stood at one of the tables up by the falafel shop, which worked well. We weren't really in the mood for a sit down meal, and this worked well so we could get in and get good seats for the show.
  5. The Requin pop-up is opening on Dec. 11 at the former Gypsy Soul location in the Mosaic District before it opens in its permanent location.
  6. Jul 23, 2018 - "Michael Deltette, Director of Catering and Events, Mandarin Oriental, Washington, DC" on passportmagazine.com
  7. I was asked to comment about DC's Best Dining Neighborhood by my friend Warren Rojas. With due respect to other restaurant writers, some of whom are seduced by the new, the popular, the televised, and the highly publicized, I'm telling you right now that The Wharf will be to Washington, DC what The Inner Harbor is to Baltimore: A destination for tourists, but a place where locals will never go, except once a year when they're hosting out-of-town guests. The smartest thing The Wharf could do would be to charge $10 for parking to anyone with a valid DMV driver's license. You heard it here first. Sorry I'm not more popular - proclamations like this are why - but even though I'll never be famous during my lifetime, I sleep very well at night (actually, I don't, but it's not because of this). --- PS - One of my New Year's resolutions is to write one, solid review per week. I've had many false starts in recent years; not this time, not if I can help it. Just think of me as the fugue in Beethoven's Hammerklavier. Cheers, Stable Genius
  8. For many years I'd been chasing my memory of the Zarape de Pato I'd had during Santibañez's reign at Fonda San Miguel in Austin, sublime stacked enchiladas with spicy shredded duck between the layers, and a chile cream sauce.. I even purchased the restaurant's cookbook to try recreating it at home, only to discover that the cookbook was published after he left the restaurant and the recipe in the book was distinctly different. I searched the menus at Rosa Mexicano because he founded the original NYC restaurants, thinking its presence would justify a visit to the DC outpost, despite, um, you know...No dice. I'd given up on the fruitless quest when, a few months ago, I realized he had a new restaurant at The Wharf. It is on the dinner menu (only) at Mi Vida! Reservations are hard to come by, and I'm not typically down near there at the beginning of dinner service to score a walk-in table. So, rain or not, my husband and I took the Circulator down last night for the reservation I had finally snagged. We were rewarded with a window table at the top of the restaurant, with a beautiful view of the water and boats shimmering in the rain. Memories being what they are, it was different than I remembered. For one thing, this has a habanero cream sauce, and I'm pretty sure the older version was poblano. The tortillas are smaller. It's overall smaller, though it's listed on the "sharing" portion of the menu. Perhaps that is because it is so rich (the price is pretty rich too: $15). The consolation prize is that it's closer to the original than any approximation I'd encountered. My husband enjoyed the bite I let him have. It's all but certain that I'd have enjoyed it more if I hadn't been searching for it for 15 years. Finding it was more satisfying than eating it, if that makes any sense. I imagine that next time I order it, my expectations will have realigned and I will enjoy it more. There was other food! Because I almost always order nachos when I see them and their $14 Tatanachos looked good (Crispy Tortillas, Black Beans, Melted Chihuahua & Oaxaca Cheeses, Crispy Ancho Peppers, Pickled Jalapeños, Salsa Verde, Crema, Cilantro), they rounded out my order. They were arranged beautifully on the plate, something my husband commented on a few times. Those were also on the sharing menu and actually got shared. While I stuck with the sharable starters, my husband wolfed down the main course of salmon he ordered, which didn't get shared. (SALMÓN EN SALSA DE PIÑA $26 Pumpkin Seed-Crusted Wild Salmon, Sweet Potato Mash, Pineapple-Tomatillo Sauce). He really liked the salmon and sweet potato pairing. There is much more of the menu to explore: tacos, ceviche, guacamole (whoa, was the server pushing that)...plenty of things to try when the whole enchilada isn't chasing a memory. I hope we can get that table again .
  9. We had an amazing experience at Cafe Mozu this winter, with a great selection for RW and impeccable service. Ceiba was atrocious. The service was, well downright "ghetto." When it came time for desserts the waiter recited- "bread pudding, chocolate cake, or ice cream." I asked him if that was it since it didn't sound too appetizing and he said yes. The dessert was delicious, but the lackluster description kind of killed our buzz. Later, we were able to read the dessert menu (outside of the restaurant in the little case) and we saw that the written descriptions were lovely. The rest of the food was mediocre, with a pretty limited selection of starters. The conch chowder was a mystery. How they could turn something that is normally so good into something so bland is beyond me. Vidalia had decent service, if not a little rushed, but had some misses on the menu. The catfish was a real loser, but everything else was good. Not the best southern food I've had, but alright for restaurant week. While not everything was available for RW, you could pay a little extra to have entrees and starters that were not included ($4-$8).
  10. This much needed sit-down restaurant officially opened tonight across from the Waterfront metro station. I arrived within an hour of opening and it was packed. My squeezed in seat at a corner of the bar made me not very visible to the bartenders, so it was a bit challenging to get service. The service I got was very good. After some chitchat with local residents (who seemed to make up a large percentage of the customers) and a couple of beers, I ordered the Iceberg and bleu salad and a burger with fontina. The delivery time for food seemed to be a bit uneven. Someone next to me waited a very long time to get his food. Comments from those who had gotten their food were so-so. It seemed that most people got something that was good and something that didn't quite make it. Not terribly surprising on a restaurant's opening night. All of the customers I talked to were so thrilled to have the restaurant nearby that they weren't complaining. My salad seemed to need a little more dressing or a wetter dressing. I liked the burger but didn't eat a whole lot because I started with the salad and fries and filled up. Liked the fries but they were nothing exceptional. I like fries, and these met at least my minimum standard. The interior of the place is gorgeous. The lounge next to the bar is pretty cool looking and was full. They have something promising here. I'm not that thrilled with the lips part of the logo, but otherwise the look is nice. [Disclaimer: I know both of the partners in this place, but that didn't get me any preferential anything. That phrasing doesn't sound quite right, but, I mean that, while I talked to them, they didn't comp me stuff.] ETA: Their website.
  11. This Saturday, a group of us will be down by the waterfront and will need a place to go for lunch where we don't have to be dressed up -- in fact, we're likely to be sweaty and perhaps even slightly dissheveled. We will be close to Cantina Marina, and I had heard decent things about this place when it first opened, but nothing in recent years. So, any opinions one way or the other?
  12. Try Artechouse with the kids. Saw some pretty neat augmented reality exhibits there. That plus a lunch makes for a great afternoon. Plus you can pick up seafood to bring home.
  13. Wow. This place was bad. We were there for Fourth of July so we could watch fireworks. That is perhaps the only redeeming quality of this spot. Surly bartender. Salt and pepper squid rings? I was expecting what I would usually get at a Chinese restaurant, nice bits of sea salt and cracked peppercorns with thick white rings of squid. I got thin rings that could easily have been rubberbands with some terrible batter that I don't think came within spitting range of pepper. That was the only thing I ordered, but with an app that bad, I can't even imagine what the other food must taste like.
  14. Wash Post on Todd Thrasher's plans for a rum distillery and modern tiki bar on the SW Waterfront. Bar menu by Cathal Armstrong. Opening September 2017 (but you know how that goes).
  15. Not to copy our fearless leader, and I'm not going to do it often, but I thought I might copy a post of mine from eGullet after my recent dinner there, just to add to the DR.com literature about Cityzen. I'm in agreement with Sietsema and others on this one. Based on my meal last month I would put Cityzen in the same league as the other four stars. But there is something missing and not quite as special and I can't quite put my finger on it, even after thinking about it for two days. Somewhere above the best three star, but maybe not quite at the level of the four stars. Aside from one OK entree, the food at Cityzen was outstanding - nearly flawless actually. The service was also excellent - friendly but polished exactly the way I prefer it. They pull out all the stops - two amuses, a pre-dessert, a small cookie plate after the dessert - maybe even more than the other places. Cityzen's presentation is more like Per Se (French Laundry has a much different feel because of its setting - like comparing the Inn to Citronelle - just different) in style than any restaurant that I've been to in the city. They even claim to only turn the tables once and that appeared to be the case. But if you asked me which is the better restaurant I'd say Citronelle or Maestro. Maybe it is the confidence coming out of the kitchen or the sense of whimsy on the plate while still turning out serious food. These are things that can, and I think will, come with time at Cityzen, though.
  16. [Posted on eGullet 2003-2004] Approaching the hotel from the northern perspective, one appreciates the scallop atop the majestic batiment, the crescendo of grandeur as one strolls slowly across the trestle, winding across the expansive exterior foyer, disappearing into the frosted glass porticos. Translation: if you're a cheap fuck like me, park across the railroad tracks and check your car insurance beforehand. I went through the majority of the lounge menu at CityZen this evening. Here's the scoop: The drink menu is impressive, with page-after-page of interesting and thoughtful choices, ranging from the affordable (fine selection of quality beers for $6, Bouchard Montagny for $9, a fabulous, traditional Sidecar for $10) to the hilarious ("Jack Daniels is Using his Blackberry in Tennessee" - a whiskey drink made with blackberry puree) to the insane (a $650 glass of Cognac: take your pick from among three of them). Three dozen vodkas, a dozen rums. [note: it's hard to believe so many millions of dollars would go into this restaurant, and they wouldn't pay someone $100 to spend thirty minutes spellchecking their drink menu] The toro of marinated salmon and beef tartare (in the $13-14 range each) are flat-out great, and perfect ordered side-by-side. I cannot rave enough about these great little plates - if you're on a budget, scarf a few handfuls of nuts to fill up on, and then order one of them. The potato crisps that come with the beef tartare are the best thing approaching a potato chip that I've ever tasted and must be tried to be believed - just try and eating a waffle fry at Chick-Fil-A when you've had one of these babies. But contrast these with the porcini soup with Madras curry puree (a dollop of vegetable creme spooned atop the soup, $10), which was a no-holds-barred failure. The proportion of (cool) puree -to- (hot) soup was excessively high, and the puree was overtly curried to the point of being dry-spice gross. This soup will either change or come off the menu in the near future (trust me). Braised ox heart with Bermuda onions ($10 or so) was perfectly executed, and a stunning combination of salt(ox)-and-sweet(onions), fat(ox)-and-acid(onions), earthen(ox)-and-colorful(onions), warm(ox)-and-cool(onions). I was worried about this dish because I've seen similar things in the past that are clunky-gamey and crunchy-thick-oniony, but this was just a perfect combination of a well-conceived recipe supported by great work in the kitchen. Speaking of the (semi-open) kitchen, I smiled when I walked past, looked over, and noticed the consummate professional Ron Tanaka (former saucier at Citronelle), front and center, working the line furiously, hopping and sweating, looking like he was trying to stop a dam from bursting. Everyone that knows Ron likes him, and it's nice to see this hard-working and talented chef here at CityZen, sure to get the credit he richly deserves. At the bottom of the lounge menu, there are four intimidating dishes: three rillettes (low $20s) and a foie-gras ($42), all served in a preserving jar. In no way should you run from the prices of these dishes, as they are enough for two or three people to share, and worth it. The duck rillettes was everything you could possibly hope for, served with cornichons and brioche presented in an interesting nod to (rip-off from? message about?) Citronelle's fries: rectangular prisms, stacked perpendicularly in twos, well... if you've had Citronelle's fries before, you'll instantly recognize what I mean here. After dinner comes the cheese course (if you're quirky and want to go backwards on the menu to order it), and this California Saint-Marcellin-looking disk (I cannot remember the name of the cheese) is baked up in a little ramekin and comes out looking like a small order of hummus, served with terrific housemade pita bread and a pear chutney with pine nuts in it. This middle-eastern riff was clever and cheeky, but it simply didn't work - the hot cheese tasting blue (it wasn't blue) and acrid, and dominating every other component on the dish. Four brilliant plates, two misses, excellent service and atmosphere, great and imaginative drinks (the wines by the glass are merely decent, not great). Not at all bad considering how short a time they've been open, and at the highest heights, this meal was a clear indication that CityZen Lounge is going to be in its own right, apart from CitiZen the Restaurant, a worthy destination for fine dining. Cheers! Rocks. P.S. CityZen Restaurant currently offers 3 courses (app, main, dessert) for $70 or a 5-course tasting menu (app, fish, meat, cheese, dessert) for $90 (nothing on the tasting menu was on the 3-course menu, but the styles of the offerings were similar. My (excellent) bartender told me that he'd see if they could serve me the 3-course at the bar, although I was perfectly content to explore the Lounge Menu instead. They are not booked for next week at this point - as of this evening, they had openings at any time next Wednesday or Thursday nights, for those curious earlybirds among us. P.P.S. The meal this evening got rather extensive, and when I asked for a copy of the lounge menu to take with me, they politely declined, saying it was against hotel policy to give out the menu for now, so I'm recalling all of these plates from memory, with the appropriate disclaimers if I miss something, but I think I'm pretty close to accurate as I was paying serious attention to what came out tonight.
  17. Arena Stage has a new home in SW DC, not directly across from the fish market. Real name: Arena Stage at the Mead Center for American Theater (!). Dinner at the cafe there, Next Stage by José Andrés. I think this production, Oklahoma, is the first production at this building . Someone thought the menu of the cafe should tie in with the current production. I will let the idea of José Andrés drawing inspiration from the traditional foods of Oklahoma speak for itself. State Bird Wild Turkey Noodle Soup free range wild turkey, carrots, onion,celery. At least the noodles were added at service, so they didn'y get mushy. Chicken Slaw Salad spinach stuffed chicken, shredded cabbage, cheese and buttermilk and herb dressing. OK, but too cold. 36-Hour Short Ribs slow cooked in a red wine sauce. Probably the best thing on the menu. Potato Puree with American Idaho potatoes (!) Yes, well ... Oklahoma Succotash black-eyed peas, okra, squash and bacon. Good or inedible, depending on likes or dislikes of ingredients. Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese filling. Plenty sweet. half-bottle 2007 Catena Merlot ($28) (!) Umm.... I will leave the review of the theatrical event itself to someone else.
  18. I think I know the answer but I'm typing out loud anyway. We can take a few hours off for lunch on our anniversary next week but we can't stray far. He's in SW, I'm on Capitol Hill. I'm willing to go as far as 15th Street. I was going to suggest Sou'Wester but I remembered that Eric Ziebold is no longer connected to it. Central is an old favorite but is a little loud. If someone else asked me this, I'd say go to Proof. Except that he didn't like Proof. But I'm pretty sure that was immediately after it opened and I've been back several times and loved it. Am I missing someplace obvious or should we just go to Proof? Thanks!
  19. Sou'Wester is hosting a 3-course Sunday dinner out on their patio for $42, with Eric Ziebold and Eddie Moran manning the grills (which will be outside), and hanging around afterwards. The catch? Bottles of wine are ONE DOLLAR (you choose reds or whites, restaurant chooses the wines, bottles must remain on premises). This is limited to 40 seats, one seating. There's already a dr.com area (or, you can sit privately). In Celia Laurent-Ziebold's own words last night: "For tomorrow, let them know, if you get any requests, to call 202-787-6033 as now availability is limited in terms of tables and I don’t want to overbook." Forget valet parking; there's plenty of free street parking on Sundays if you don't mind walking a block. APRIL SHOWERS BRING MAY FLOWERS The warm weather is here and we are throwing a Sou'Wester "backyard" BBQ on our Patio. This will be the first in our series of Summer outdoor events. SUNDAY, APRIL 29, 2012 5:00 pm First Course POTTED DARDEN HAM SALAD Butter Pickle Spears and Toasted Foccacia or GRILLED CAESAR SALAD Olive Oil Cured Tomato Crostini Main Course BLACKENED BLUEFISH Anson Mills Carolina Gold Shrimp Jambalaya, Spicy Shrimp Emulsion or GRILLED CORNISH HEN Local Asparagus, Red Bliss Potatoes and Meyer Lemon Marmalade Dessert STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE or SOU'WESTER S'MORES $42 PER PERSON You Choose your Menu We Choose your Wine $1 BOTTLES OF WHITE OR RED RESERVATIONS Phone 202.787.6033 Email mailto:sou'wester-events@mohg.com * Wine must be consumed at event, on premises * Valet $9 with validation --- ETA - Sorry I couldn't post these details yesterday. I had to wait until their email was sent out to their customers first.
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