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Found 11 results

  1. Everyone, the first DC pop up of the Thali Llama Regional Indian Pop Up Series was a big success last week. Featuring the cuisine of Goa, it was a really nice introduction for these New Orleans-based chefs to the DC scene. Many thanks to Bar Bullfrog for welcoming them and creating a fantastic cocktail pairing menu for the evening. They are doing it again on Tuesday and Wednesday, September 17 and 18, this time featuring the dishes of Rajasthan. They are doing a tasting menu, $55 for the menu, $45 for a vegetarian version. Menu cost includes service; alcohol and its service is separate and goes to Bar Bullfrog, who will again be creating cocktails for the occasion. Check out the menu and tickets on their Eventbrite page. Thanks for your support.
  2. 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."
  3. Chef RJ Cooper will open his first independent project, Rogue 24, in the Mount Vernon Square neighborhood of Washington, DC. Projecting a winter, 2011 opening, Rogue 24 will be located in Blagden Alley at 1234 9th St., NW. Executive chef/ owner RJ Cooper, a seasoned veteran chef and James Beard Award winner, is thrilled to bring this landmark restaurant to the developing neighborhood of Mount Vernon Square in Northwest Washington, DC. The 2,600 square- foot restaurant will be tucked away in one of the vacant buildings in Blagden Alley, currently a trendy alley that houses experimental art exhibits. Blagden Alley, located directly west of the Washington, DC Convention Center, is in engaging new epicenter of revitalization. The project leadership of Norman Jamal of Douglas Development has lead a wave of recent development, from multi-million dollar condominiums to established art galleries, as well as a burgeoning social scene of coffee houses, bars and restaurants. This recent rehabilitation makes the neighborhood an excellent locale for the first fine dining restaurant in Blagden Alley. "The space is a perfect fit for the intimate, yet edgy experience of Rogue 24," says Cooper of the Blagden Alley location. "I look forward to joining the current and future independent retailers, artists and residents alike in developing this section of Mount Vernon Square as a distinct destination neighborhood." Celebrating Cooper's stylized urban fine-dining cuisine, Rogue 24 will exclusively offer an interactive 24-course tasting menu. Guests will be served a progression of small dishes that excite the senses, tantalize the palate, and awaken curiosity. The multi-course meal will offer a place at the table where guests can dig deep into a culinary team's philosophy: exploring their suppliers, cooking techniques and sources of inspiration. Rogue 24 will provide an effortless space for the diner to enjoy the imagination of Cooper's menu. The avant-garde beverage program will house a beverage director that will serve as both sommelier and mixologist and will prepare all beverages at a tableside cart, providing innovative pairings that will stimulate the entire experience. 8 beverage (a combination of wine, cocktails and beer) pairings will be offered throughout the 24- course meal. "It is my vision that Rogue 24 will provide an emotional experience. That is what creates memorable meals"”more than the food, the wine, and the service, the overall culture of the restaurant must evoke emotions in its guests." Working alongside Cooper, Harper McClure will serve as chef de cuisine. McClure hails from Atlanta's renowned Bacchanalia restaurant and previously worked with Cooper at Vidalia as his sous chef for nearly five years. The two chefs look forward to reuniting for this groundbreaking new project. ### Situated in the center of the 52-seat dining room, the state-of-the-art kitchen will showcase Cooper's creativity and desire to interact with guests. This architectural design will allow every guest to have an individual chef's table experience. Cooper has enlisted architects Brian Miller of edit and Lauren Winter of Winter Architecture, the famed duo behind Washington, DC's most creative and functional spaces including The Gibson, U Street Music Hall and Dickson Wine Bar, to execute this vision. Rogue 24 will be open for one dinner seating Tuesday-Thursday two dinner seatings Friday and Saturday evenings. The fixed menu price is $130, $140 for non-alcoholic beverage pairings and $170 for alcoholic beverage pairings. About Chef RJ Cooper and The Kid Can Cook, LLC Chef RJ Cooper's Rogue 24 will be the first of several restaurants as part of his and wife Judy Cooper's umbrella restaurant group, The Kid Can Cook, LLC. Rogue 24 will be followed by a variety of projects, including a more casual concept, Pigtails, to open in Washington, DC. Cooper is a seasoned veteran chef who has worked at some of the most prestigious restaurants in the nation, and has served as an integral part of the development in Washington, DC's fine-dining culture. Notable accolades include the prestigious James Beard Award for Best Chef Mid-Atlantic in 2007, as well as recognition from starchefs.com, as the 2006 Rising Star Chef. Cooper also works with the national non-profit organization Share Our Strength®, as a longtime advocate in the fight against childhood hunger. Cooper is the Chair of Share Our Strength's Taste of the Nation's® National Culinary Council, is the founder of Share Our Strength's Chefs on Bikes program and in 2008 was recognized with Share Our Strength's Leadership Award for Chef of the Year. Chef Cooper also serves on the Advisory Board of the startup, DC-based non-profit organization Chefs as Parents that is working to transform DC-public school nutrition programs.
  4. Dec 7, 2014 - "At Alphonse Market and Nonna's Kitchen, There are Two Sides to Italian Cooking" by Tom Sietsema on washingtonpost.com From the article: "I wouldn't have predicted it, but recent dinners at Nonna's Kitchen, romantic in red and a mere 24 seats, suggest there's a future for fine dining in the neighborhood." Want to know a secret? Nonna's closed - quietly - at the beginning of August. Supposedly, they were going to reopen, but I tried to get a reservation in September, and cannot. Word on the street is that the market for chefs is crashing in DC, but I don't think too many people want to hear that just yet. *Lots* of young people out there who want to "run a restaurant" but haven't paid their dues ... the market is starting to come into equilibrium, and it's not a pretty sight to see ... when the absurd becomes the norm, you're in a bubble that's about to pop. My advice: If you have a good job right now, clutch onto it with your life: It is *not* a good time to be getting cocky. We are witnessing the end of an up-trend - it happened in 2008, and when the market, ahem, "recovered," the entire landscape of DC Dining changed. Don't worry if you don't remember, because you may well get a chance to see it all over again. cheezepowder's amazing research has provided the public with an important historical document about a subset of Washington, DC's economy. Everyone seems to think Washington, DC is on fire as this booming restaurant town. And it is: It's on fire, and it's about to burn out. Was it George Orwell who said a lunatic is a minority of one? I'm sorry to piss on this party, but the party is winding down.
  5. Can't find a thread on this, but I thought I remember SeanMike posting something. We went here for Valentine's Day. Bless their hearts. This could be a really cool restaurant, but it is just trying to hard. Genuinely, nicely trying too hard, which breaks your heart because it just needs some changes. First off the space- it was really cute, but it got really cold inside the restaurant that night. The service was over the top, but also sloppy in a way. They way over utilized rose petals for Vday (especially as it was mostly friends and families there). They got us water then didn't ask us about other drinks the whole evening. We had two glasses of champagne with the menu, but after we drank that no mention of do we want something else. But they did bring out food frequently, check on how it was and refilled our water after a couple sips had been taken. They had a Valentine's tasting menu, then their normal tasting menu. But one was 6 courses and the other 11. They didn't have a vegetarian or dim sum option. We were kind of struggling to figure out what to order. Hubby wanted the 11 course, we wanted the 6, they said we could do that. Well then the timing was kind of all over the place, which is why we hesitated in the first place on doing that, but we had my cousin who is 17 and from a rural area and just trying new stuff. There was an egg drop soup that was forgettable and just bland (do you have to put dyed rose petals in the food, I don't want to eat a dyed rose petal), the soup dumplings were placed on top of some sort of paper, but it wasn't non-stick enough, so two of mine fell apart with me just trying to not eat the paper attached to the bottom, I think part of this may have been they had congealed a bit. They served mine and my cousins dishes on a shared middle plate, and then we had to ask for small plates, and those weren't always cleared and replaced. I would have prefered just two separate plates as the plate in the middle made it hard to eat. The XO scallops were good, but their XO sauce wasn't quite as addictively good as other versions I have had and the scallops were so big and slippery even I found them really hard to eat with chopsticks, they brought spoons after they saw us struggling. I thought the lamb chops were great, but my cousin found them a bit too spicy and gamey. These came out with foil on the top, we only had chopsticks so we ate these with our fingers, but it would have been nice for them to indicate they were intended to be eaten with fingers, but would bring forks and knives if preferred. The dessert was durian ice cream, which was interesting, but the dish could have been more complex or had some other elements. There must have been another dish, but I can't remember what it was. MK's menu had a few more dumplings, and he really liked some of the items, but others he also thought were bland. I feel like if this restaurant would 1) offer a few more options on the tasting menus so you could tailor it a bit more to one's tastes and dietary restrictions that would be great 2) do more small plates a la carte 3) just taste and tweak some of the items 4) work on service that this place felt like it had so much potential, but was just failing to reach that potential. That is always what I really hate when I go to some restaurants, you can feel that it could be really good, but it isn't there. This is one of those places that needs to hire a consultant just to tweak things.
  6. I am over tasting menus as well. They are only done truly well by a few - and it is hard to know if a new to you place knows what they are really doing. These days, I far, far prefer picking what I want and how much I want than leaving what I get to the chef or through a limited choice. I still CRAVE the days when Frank Ruta's Palena had a folded over menu where you could mix and match almost anything to a 3, 4 or 5 course menu of your choosing. A recent example of a really nice meal where I shunned the tasting menu idea was at Cityzen - wow it was tremendous. That said, I'm going to be here tonight to check things out with my wife and some friends. Looks like I will probably have options and a good time.
  7. This is from a poster using the screen name "Professor Salt" and was posted in 2007 on Chowhound. I found it interesting and thought some here might also. I know many here have real expertise and experience with Japanese cuisine so please just ignore if you do. Hillvalley's 'last meal' post just got me looking around and, when I found this, I thought okay to share. Answers the question: What's the difference between kaiseki and omakase? ------------------ "Two different things entirely. Real traditional kaiseki cooking is hard to find in the US for reasons I'll describe below. "Omakase" is short for "omakase shimasu", which means roughly, "I trust you [the chef]." In its American food usage, it's mistakenly interpreted as a tasting menu at a sushi restaurant, but it's deeper than that. It means you're placing what courses come out to the chef's judgment, based on 1. what he's got that day that's really good and 2. his rapport with you and your preferences on what you find delicious or not. Your prior relationship with the chef (if any), his ESP-like ability to read your reactions to his food, are all part of his skill in delivering an outstanding (or not) experience. The chef can adjust which courses he serves based on that immediate feedback, which is different from the Western notion of a tasting menu, where the chef can't watch your reactions. The omakase style of dining happens not only at sushi restaurants, but also other Japanese types of cookery, like kushiyaki (grilled skewers) or kushiage (fried skewers) to name but two. In these cases, a course of two or three skewers are served as a set, and you can say when you've had enough. If you keep going, the chef will serve the couple dozen items he thinks you'll enjoy, and the menu will repeat until you explode. Another aspect of the omakase style of eating is that prices aren't (traditionally) listed on a menu, it's market price and you'll get your bill at the end. This practice isn't as common in the US because it's not the way Americans do things. However, if you're going to Japan, it's still done. This is an aspect that makes many people feel uncomfortable. If you don't feel good about trusting the chef with the entire experience including the value vs. cost part of it, I'd say don't do it at all until you're comfortable with that chef's abilities to deliver a meal you'll enjoy implicitly. If you can't trust, you're missing the spirit of the whole experience. Kaiseki dining is super-traditional formal dining with a set course of menu items, served with a rigorous attention to detail. You'll have private screened off room for your party, and "sit" Japanese style (zaseki), kneeling on mats on a tatami floor at a low table (if you're old school and super formal about it). Foods are prepared in the kitchen, and brought in succession by formally dressed servers. There's no direct customer to chef feedback as you'd have at a sushi bar. You get what you get, and that's that. A key principle of kaiseki cooking is to use only seasonal ingredients from the local area. You should not find ocean fishes served at a kaiseki restaurant far from the sea, for example. You will find fishes caught in nearby rivers, or produce gathered from the local forests. These ingredients are then prepared with precise knife techniques to make them look beautiful before they're even cooked. They're then prepared with the five fundamental methods of cooking, so you'll get courses which are steamed, simmered, fried, grilled, and raw. Because of the emphasis on local ingredients and hyper-freshness of seasonal items, as well as low demand for the formality of the whole experience, it's hard to find kaiseki restaurants in the US which really toe the line of tradition. Hope that helps with a basic description."
  8. Koo Zee Doo is a charming byob Portuguese restaurant in the Northern Liberties neighborhood in Philadelphia. Formerly Copper, the restaurant is now owned by the husband and wife team of David Gilberg and Carla Goncalves. The latter was born in Portugal, and visits her hometown with Gilberg, where he developed an interest in authentic Portuguese food. The restaurant resides in a cozy former store-front, with an open kitchen front and center. The menu has a selection of about 5 apps, a couple soups including Caldo Verde, several entrees and about 4 desserts. The food is generous, and served family-style. Mr. MV and I decided to give several dishes a try, since dining on authentic Portuguese cuisine is not an opportunity we get around home. We had a fridge at our hotel, so we ordered 2 apps, 2 entrees and dessert. The entrees could easily serve two, and the apps were generous. Shrimp with piri piri brought 4 large, head-on-shrimp in a sauce that was mildly spicy. Chicken gizzards were...a revelation. I'm not that adventurous when it comes to offal, but after reading online about the gizzards at Koo Dee Zoo, I wanted to go outside of my comfort zone to see if I've been missing something good. I have. Whereas I was expecting to masticate squeaky stomachs, the gizzards were meaty, deeply flavored and delicious in a rich sauce. I was really surprised! I'd describe the flavor as the richest, moist dark meat chicken thighs I'd ever tasted. They had the "essence" of chicken. We enjoyed them with slices of grilled bread. Arroz de Pato is a traditional dish of Duck Rice. A smoky chicken breast sat atop rice containing dark duck meat and pork (sausage). The duck breast came cooked to medium, as ordered. I'm on the fence about duck usually. Mr. MV orders it and I enjoy having a taste, but never order it as an entree for myself. I have to say, this duck was amazing. Feijoada de Marisco was served in a semi-cylindrical terra cotta ceramic vessal. The traditional dish had calamari, head-on shrimp, tiny clams, lobster, cod, and another fish which I can not recall right now. Of course there were delicious beans and rice, and a tasty broth. This dish was generous (again, family-style) and delicious. Coconut tart with chocolate covered figs sat upon a chocolate sauce and was topped with a cinnamon creme anglaise. Decaf coffee. With tip, our dinner (including taking away half of our entrees) came to $101. No. Libs is a short cab ride from Center City. If you drive, expect to find parking a bit challenging, since this is a residential neighborhood where most folks park thier cars on the street. If you go, ask for a table by the front window. There, you'll be able to watch life go by outside, and overlook the cooking in the open kitchen. And when I say open, I mean, totally open.
  9. A (very) mildly interesting Zagat take on supposedly 'less obvious' and good-bet tasting menus in DC right now. With apologies to Korby Kummer, and though the food at some of Zagat's picks is better than what I'll suggest here, Kushi is currently offering very good tasting menu value on a relative basis. FWIW.
  10. A huge thanks to Chef Ris Lacoste and RIS for offering: "Quilt In the Capital" tasting menu July 22-28, 2012 A farm-to-table menu with locally sourced ingredients and wine to honor The AIDS Memorial Quilt returning to Washington, our hometown 15% proceeds to benefit The NAMES Project Foundation, caretakers of The Quilt More info + menu at risDC.com Please support RIS and The Names Project / The Quilt and participate! * Full disclosure: I am working for The NAMES Project (mostly volunteer) while they are here in DC.
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