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Found 11 results

  1. When I moved to the DC area in 1997, one of the first "serious" restaurants I went to was Jaleo. I was just back from nearly a year in Europe with over a month of that time in Spain, so I was hankering for a tapas bar. I was prepared to be disappointed with Jaleo, but instead found myself returning every few weeks over the next couple of years. I intended to go to Cafe Atlantico last night, but the bar at Jaleo looked tempting. And for the first time in a long time, it looked like there were a few free seats. I started with a couple of scallops in Romesco sauce. I enjoyed the sauce, and the scallops were a bit past their prime but still decent. Queso de Tupi "Abuelo Tunica" was a surprise. This was a soft cheese that had been mixed with some sort of Spanish liquor served with bread and fig puree. It had a boozy sharp flavor that hit the spot. I also tried the Ensalada de Remolacha which consisted of beets, orange segments, walnuts, mixed greens and Cabrales-- one of my favorite cheeses. This was tasty, though the beets just didn't taste super fresh. I wouldn't go so far as saying they were canned, but they had definitely been around a while. I finished up my meal with a variety of sliced Spanish sausages: Chorizo, Soria, Butifarra, and Salchichon de Vic. All the meats were great, but I didn't care too much for the whole wheat toast points that came with it. Everything was washed down with a Garnacha, Carinena, Syrah, and Merlot blend called Perlat. I'm glad I stopped in. It had been too long. If I'm in the area, and it's still early enough in the evening to get a seat at the bar, I'll be back. Soon.
  2. José Andres' new restaurant in Beverly Hills, called The Bazaar, gets a 4-star rave review in the L.A. Times: It sounds like an upscale amalgam of Mini-Bar and Jaleo. "A Rare Four-Star Review: The Bazaar by José Andrés" by S. Irene Virbila on latimes.com
  3. I think I'm going to like the concept. An accomplished foreign chef, like Jose Andres (or Jacques Pepin) comes to America and falls in love with our regional ingredients and traditions, and then gives them center stage with a slight uplifting from his culinary heritage. I'm going to like this a lot....
  4. Tom Sietsema declared this to be the best seafood restaurant in DC! I beg to differ. I would have to assume that Tom got special treatment because every Jose employee is probably required to know his face. First, no geoduck, no sea urchin, and no hush puppies. I didn't realize that hush puppies need to be sourced like other pristine seafood. So we started with some scallop crudo, which should taste mild and sweet. Ours tasted slightly fishy, which made me want to hide the flavor by ingesting the celery in black pepper giardiniera. Next, roasted oysters, served with a side of Fresno chili butter sauce. One of our 5 oysters didn't pop. I complained and they replaced the order with 5 shucked oysters roasted with the sauce, which actually tasted better. Lastly, lobster jambalaya. The rice was slightly crunchy, and if you don't dig out the lobster immediately, it will become overcooked. I wouldn't say the lobster was perfectly cooked when it arrived at our table, but waiting will make it much worse. The flavor wasn't anything special. Nate Waugaman didn't shine at America Eats Tavern, why would he all of a sudden become the chef at DC's best seafood restaurant?
  5. Here's Tom S's input from the Post. There are only 4 comments. 3 positive and 1 negative, but it made me laugh: "he should stick to spanish tapas...even jaleo sucks and now he wants to venture into chifa?" It's rough out there!
  6. Looks like a new cocktail bar coming from Jose Andres. Intrigued, but not if it is in the price range of minibar. https://vimeo.com/58931696
  7. I'm starting a dedicated topic about Zaytinya because it doesn't appear to have one. It's on my mind right now, mostly because a friend is going there tonight and her pronunciation cracked me up. I have zero idea of I myself pronounce it right (Zay-TEE-nyah), however I am completely certain that she wasn't even close. The number of variations I see on the spelling of the name also astounds me. My most recent visit was two weeks ago for lunch. I find lunch to be a pleasant time to visit the place - less crowded, particularly in the bar area. That said, when my friend and I arrived and asked about a table for two, we received blank stares from the two hostesses (in spite of it being after 1 pm, and there being quite a few vacant two-tops scattered here and there). We took matters into our own hands and sat in the bar. Service was prompt (until it was check time) and the food was very, very tasty. Although...as I am sitting here typing, I realize that our carrot fritters never did arrive. Hmm. We had the stewed lamb with eggplant puree, asparagus, chicken with orzo and tomato sauce, and hummus. My new-to-town friend, originally from Wales by way of NYC, was suitably impressed, particularly when the bill amounted to about $30 with tip.
  8. I didn't see an Oyamel thread so my apologies if I'm being duplicative. I visited last night with a group of friends for the first time. While we had terrific service, the consensus opinion was that the food was good, but not great. This same group had recently been to the Crystal City Jaleo and Zaytinya and left Oyamel feeling just a bit disappointed. The restaurant was moderately full for a Sunday night, with no wait. We ordered 10 small plates and 3 desserts and shared them all. We had: two kinds of tacos Tacos de pescado frito al estilo San Cristí³bal de las casas Fried Tilapia Chiapas style with a light tomato sauce, Mexican salsa and hand made tortilla $5.95 Rabo de buey al pastor con lí¡minas de pií±a Ox tail marinated in spices with shaved pineapple, onions and cilantro $7.95 The Ox tail was the preferred of the two. Very flavorful. Three CEVICHES Cí³ctel de camarí³n y jaiba* Traditional shrimp and crab cocktail with tomato sauce, red onion, avocado and "˜totopos' $9.50 Ceviche de salmí³n con maracuyí¡ y epazote* Salmon ceviche with passion fruit dressing and epazote oil $6.95 Ceviche de cayo de hacha con naranja agria* Scallop ceviche with citrus-roe dressing, jicama, orange, guajillo oil and chile piquí­n $7.95 Hands-down the shrimp and crab ceviche was the favorite. The scallop ceviche is served on three shells and thus was a bit difficult to share amongst five people. The salmon was sent to us accidentally....but was enjoyed greatly by all. ANTOJITOS' FROM THE GARDEN Alabanuxtzotzil Native Tzotzil salad of pork rinds with serrano chile, tomato, onion and radish $4.95 Ensalada de palmitos Hearts of palm, orange, radish and avocado with tamarind dressing $5.95 Enmoladas al queso fresco de Chiapas con cebollitas Cambray y rabanitos Mole enchiladas with fresh cheese from Chiapas, Cambray onions and radish $4.95 Gorditas de hojas de aguacate rellenas con queso Oaxaca y guacamole Masa puffs seasoned with avocado leaves and stuffed with guacamole $6.95 Of these four "from the garden", the group was most impressed with the masa puffs and the hearts of palm salad. The mole enchilada was disappointing with the mole overwhelming the tortillas and the seeming lack of cheese. The pork rinds received mixed reviews with some comments that the rinds themselves were too tough. MEAT "˜ANTOJITOS' Conejo con huitlacoche y maí­z Braised rabbit with huitlacoche sauce and fresh corn $6.95 There was also a special steak antojito that was terrific. It was cooked rare (as requested) and very well flavored. The rabbit was quite good, despite some of group being a bit squeemish about dining on flopsy, mopsy or cotton-tail. For dessert we had: Mole Poblano caliente de crema de chocolate con helado de vainilla Warm Chocolate cake with mole crema, spiced hot chocolate and vanilla ice cream $ 6.95 Cajeta tradicional y moderna Goat milk Cajeta with crumbled shortbread, cinnamon and mango $ 6.95 Café de Olla Milk Chocolate Flan with espresso, piloncillo and spice $ 6.95 The Cajeta had some passionflower sorbet which made me incredibly sorry I hadn't just ordered that instead. The Chocolate cake was decadent and the serving dish was licked clean. The flan was lovely but a bit over-powered by the anise flavored ice cream which accompanied it. Two at the table had coffee but complained that the pitchers it was served in do not keep the coffee hot enough. Also, one of the coffee cups (a glass mug held together by a metal, detachable handle) basically fell apart on one of our party and caused coffee to be spilled all over the table. Our engaged and knowledgeable server indicated that they are in the process of correcting both the mug and pitcher problems. A good experience in total, but I'm not sure I'll be rushing back when Jaleo, which I much prefer, is right next door.
  9. [posted on eGullet 2003-2004] The minibar at Café Atlantico is an amazing experience that anyone serious about food must try once (you folks may wish to get your reservations in now because this is going to be the biggest thing in DC since the Monument). No matter what I say here, you owe it to yourself to go - this is something to experience, to learn from and to make up your own mind about. Yes, some 34 tastes or thereabouts, beginning with a Binaca spray-can full of mojito, and ending with a spoonful of Listerine sorbet 90 minutes later. In between, you'll find rapid-fire courses full of all the audacity and verve that you could possibly imagine. Some work, some don't, and all are thought-provoking and whimsical. There is no sense in breaking down each of these because the depth of each individual item is not the important thing here: the courses come at you too fast for reflection, for scrutiny, for analysis. This meal is a roller coaster, a surfboard riding the waves of flavor, texture and temperature without the time allowed to peak under the water to see what's happening. It's tres macro in that the big picture is what you should walk away with, not minute details of each 90-second course. This was a challenge for me because I like to think about what I'm eating, but this is the cuisine of first impact and slapdash analysis. Only at the end should you think back and reflect. The actual dishes - and I suspect I'll take heat for saying this - are not important. Nor is the concept behind each individual dish important. The important thing here is the concept behind the meal as a whole. Not having been to El Bulli, I have never experienced anything like this before. Once you've done it, you won't want to do it again, at least not for a long while, but everyone needs to do it once. There are 270 million people in the United States, and it will take a good long time to fit each of them into this little six-seat minibar, so Café Atlantico should prepare themselves to be deluged. You have to feel a twinge of pity for any first-time visitor to London that doesn't see the Tower of London, if not for the crown jewels and the contrived whimsy of the Beefeater tour guides, then for the sheer amazement of being there, and it's the same way with anyone serious about food: they simply have to have a meal at the minibar at Café Atlantico. But just as a London tourist wouldn't feel any need to return there (only a masochist would return a second time), I doubt I'll be back to the minibar anytime soon. It doesn't really matter what they're going to do with the harvest this autumn - I already know what the meal is going to be, and at this point, it's just a matter of filling in the proper details with the proper ingredients. And I don't feel the need to find out what strange ingredient will be combined with my squash this fall. Regarding the wines with this meal, the restaurant desperately needs to turn towards Germany for Kabinett-level Riesling (hey guys, Terry Theise does live in this area, y'know!), and also for some lightweight red Bourgognes. Having four bottles open at once would highlight the little tasting game, say a Sauvignon Blanc, an Austrian Gruner Veltliner (preferably with some age), a Pinot Noir from Burgundy and a Riesling from Germany. Absent that, there are so many tastes, combinations, temperatures being hurled at you that you're probably best off drinking still bottled water at room temperature and just riding with the food. So, did I like it? Well, that depends what 'it' is. I loved the dining experience in its entirety, I loved the novelty, I loved the back-and-forth between server-and-diner, I loved the sheer innovation and I loved that I was early in catching this destination meal that is going to be wildly popular, and there's no way it won't be (repeat: reserve now!). Almost every dish brought forth a 'wow, this is really interesting' from me, but not-so-many dishes warmed my soul, or made me want to have them again. I was on my toes the entire meal, but it was a rare moment in the meal when I'd say to myself, 'Man I've just GOT to have another one of those!' Again, I stress that it's the meal itself - not the components - that is the important and radical thing (unless you consider foie gras wrapped in cotton candy important and radical. Well, okay, it may be radical, but it's certainly not important). But did I like it? Put it this way: now that I know what it entails, I would look back two days ago and say to myself, 'yes, this is the one place you need to experience, more than any other place in the Washington area.' Now that I've had it, it would not be in my top 50 for visiting a second time (though I'm Jonesin' to try the weekend brunch). So, you should consider this posting to be a plug for the minibar at Café Atlantico. I urge you, gentle reader, to go, go with an open mind, and by all means make your own decisions which could easily be quite different than mine are. We're in uncharted territory with this place, and it cannot be "ranked" with the other restaurants in the city. Oh and Steve Klc: your mango dessert was indeed brilliant - I felt like fireworks were going off inside my head. Given my advanced sagesse as a result of this experience, you may now call me PopRocks. Cheers, Rocks. P.S. I can honestly say this was the first 34-course meal I've ever had that was followed by two Wendy's spicy chicken filet sandwiches on the way home. (Seriously.)
  10. Sorry I didn't see this earlier, but the teen woudl probably prefer BTS. I loved Beefsteak. It's kind of like Sweetgreen, where you make your own salad, but with veggies instead. The veggies you select are dropped from a basket into a water bath that cooks them perfectly. (like a fryer basket.) I like my veggies with a bit of crunch and this was just perfect. One can either order a pre-set menu combination, or just select as many veggies as one would like. Rice, quinoa or bulgur are added, and then you add your choice of toppings. Too many for me to remember to list here. There are upcharges for premium and proteins, such as avocado, poached egg, roast chicken and salt cured salmon. And then you select your "sauce" to top it all off. With all my allergies I was in hog heaven, and selected any and every veggie I'm not allergic to...and then topped it with lemon juice, avocado, roast chicken AND poached egg. Needless to say I won't be repeating that expensive combo again soon, but will order maybe one premium topping at a time. Total damage was over $16. If I had not added all the premiums, it would have been in line with the cost of a salad combo from Sweetgreen. It was lalso arge enough that I should have eaten half and saved the rest for later. (But didn't)
  11. I happend to be in L'Enfant Plaza at lunch today and the Pepe food truck was there. Being a big fan of Jose Andres, I was excited to try it. The sandwich was very good, but I agreee Mary, the price was outrageous for what I got. I told the person at the window that I had never eaten here before and I wanted to get the best thing they had. She suggested the Pepito de Ternera (seared beef tenderloin, caramelized onion, piquillo pepper confit and blue cheese $14). I got it and it was a very tasty sandwich (lots of interesting flavor combinations) but for 14 bucks it should have been twice three times the size (or came with a drink and dessert). To their credit, it was much better than most of my food truck experiences from a taste/flavor perspective, but I don't see myself going back because of the price. The other thing that struck me a little strange was the lack of drinks. They only had Sangria or Pepe Tonic. No water.
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