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Found 7 results

  1. I was in Arrowine (Lee-Heights Shopping Center in North Arlington) last Saturday, buying some wines, and going a little crazy stocking up on cheeses and charcuterie. As soon as I walked in, I saw some magnums of Terry Triolet Champagne on my right, and then Arrowine President Doug Rosen noticed me and came over to say hello. I also saw and said hello to Vice President Shem Hassen. I told Doug I was going to be needing some cheese, and he walked me over to an eye-popping, new cheese section, twice as big as it used to be. “My goodness,” I said. “This place is huge.” Doug replied, “We’ve doubled the linear footage of our cheese section – it wraps all the way around down there, by the register.” “You have the best cheese selection in the DMV,” I said. “We have the best cheese selection in the United States,” he replied. “Or, we will, soon enough.” I leaned over and whispered in his ear: “The most expensive, too," I joked. But you know what? Doug just may be right, and I’m pretty sure I’m wrong: Arrowine has the type of cheese selection that Fairway in New York *used* to have when Steve Jenkins was running the program (Fairway has since declined in a big way). And yes, it’s expensive, but considering the selection they maintain, and the shape they keep the cheeses in (they’re in immaculate, pristine condition), they aren’t all that expensive. Arrowine has long had the best wines in the Washington, DC area, but now, their cheese selection is as good as any I’ve ever seen in America. Have a look for yourself, and make sure to ask for Cheese & Charcuterie Manager Scott Freestone (and while you’re add it, if you’re looking for beer, ask for Beermonger Nick Anderson – also as good as anyone in the DMV). This place is an embarrassment of riches. I couldn’t capture the entire cheese selection in one photograph. .
  2. Uptown Market opened this weekend in the large apartment building which houses Sfoglina in Van Ness (across the street from Bread Furst). It takes over the Soapstone Market space. Uptown Market is owned by the folks who run Butchers Alley and Pesca Deli in Bethesda. The new market underwent a very nice renovation. Soapstone always looked rather slapped together and bare bones. Uptown Market has a butcher (nice looking meat), a small fishmonger area (on offer was salmon, monk fish, swordfish, trout, as well as shrimp, calamari, clams, oysters, and mussels), a prepared food section with salads and sandwiches, and hot food with pizza. There's a small produce section (not that impressive), and a varied selection of Spanish oriented goods (olive oil, canned fishes, sweets etc.). They had not yet stocked the beer and wine sections. It fills a niche in the immediate Van Ness area - for higher end goods you usually need to go to Whole Foods or Rodman's. Price wise, it is what you would expect from a small specialty market in an upscale area. The seafood prices are Whole Foods level. It's a place you can do some serious damage real quick. We ordered a nice prepared wedge of Spanish tortilla (which was actually priced well at $5.50) and picked up some other tasty treats. They were still working out the kinks and weren't fully stocked, but pretty good first impression.
  3. I like the combination wine shop and tasting room/restaurant concept. However, the expectation at a place like this is that they'll have some interesting wine selections that you might not find everywhere else. Unfortunately the shop bottles and the tasting list here (3oz, 6oz) tend toward fairly common wines, such as E. Guigal Cotes du Rhone (a wine that I like, but...). The kitchen was at one time overseen by Jeff Heineman from Grapeseed, but I'm not sure if that's the case anymore. The food was pretty disappointing, though. The entrees we had were bland: monkfish with a wine-tomato sauce and vegetables and a lamb ragu over corkscrew pasta. The bartender at the Idle Hour, where we stopped afterwards, raved about the place and told us we needed to try it again. To me it was a collection of trendy ideas (small pours, industrial interior, truffle oiled this and that, etc) done poorly. Anyone else been?
  4. Had dinner with the wife and friends at Grandcru-Wine, which is located next to big buns and behind the Westin in Arlington. It is a store restaurant combination with an interesting concept. You can buy a bottle and enjoy it with dinner for a $5.00 corkage fee. The wine selection is interesting and all over the place. For me there seems an overall lack of direction in the collection. We found a decent Burgundy to settle on, after looking for a while. We had a few apps before dinner and had a hit with the mushroom tart and a major miss with the cheese and meat tray. It was a misdirected combination of hard cheddar, smoked Gouda, and salami, all could have been purchased at the local Safeway. By far the worst I have ever had. For dinner the wife had the white truffle orzo, which was well prepared and flavorful and well priced at $10.00. I had the duck breast with sweet mashed potato. The duck was well prepared, tender and flavorful. A simple well prepared duck breast is hard to find, they did it well. For desert we had port, which they let us sample before we purchased and the chocolate fondue, it was decent, but not great. Overall the food was good with some major misses along the way. I think if you are careful with your selections it could be a decent experience. My hope is that they tighten up their wine selections and provide more focus.
  5. (Admins/Moderators: feel free to remove this or close this on Thursday) Ace Beverage at 3301 New Mexico Avenue NW (the Foxhall Square building) has free passes good for 2 people each, for an advanced screening of the new Ralph Feinnes movie "The Constant Gardener" for this Wednesday, August 24th, at 7:30 at the Landmark Theatres E St. Cinema (E street and 11th NW) Seats are NOT guaranteed and are limited to theatre capacity and are first-come, first-served. No one will be admitted after the screening begins, either so ARRIVE EARLY. Here's a little info on the movie: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0387131/ No purchase necessary. The passes will be on the front counter, but I hope that any Rockwellians will take the time to say "hi". Sorry to post something so completely unrelated to the topics and themes here, but these passes just arrived, and I wanted to offer the community here an evening's free entertainment. Besides, then you can go out and grab a late bite and post about it here, and especially the wine you had
  6. Potenza Italian Restaurant and Bakery Corner of 15th and H Streets, NW a - they have a full menu, full bar, and Neapolitan Style pizza They just opened Monday- you could try this new place and let us know!
  7. As a deeply conservative individual I can't help but be suspicious of a wine shop that announces itself thus: "a new concept in the nation's capital: a distinctive wine shop combined with a chef's test kitchen so patrons can see new recipes in the making while wine shopping in the Penn Quarter." Seems forced, at best. I mean, have you ever said to yourself: "nice selection? If only there were a chef nearby testing out a new seasonally appropriate locavor grass-fed beef dish in the room, this place would be perfect"? And language like "artfully displayed "great find" wines from around the world....n addition to the striking walls of wines in the shop [which is, natch, designed by Adamstein & Demetriou] , seasonality will be taken into consideration in four "food columns" which flank the space. Here, to help demystify the wine buying experience wine is paired to match specific food types ranging from Asian and Italian to BBQ, as well as seasonal offerings from holiday festivities to special occasions" reminds me way too much of Best Cellars, the wine shop that sells cases of justifiably obscure plonk through a similar "artful display and demystification" strategy. Christ, maybe that's what people need to buy wine in a recession: interior design and cue cards. Those Penn Quarter condos can't be appreciating. On the other hand (he said, shaking off his hangover), proprietors can't be blamed for the breathless prose of their press agents and the insecurities of the wine-buying public. And a shop stocking 400 varieties of decent vino (allegedly " ranging from famous to little known boutique producers, exciting new offerings as well as hard to find cult wines") in Penn Quarter gives the neighborhood an important bit of yuppie infrastructure and a summertime Thursday trifecta -- the Penn Quarter Market, Cowgirl Creamery and, now, Zola Wine & Kitchen. There also will be a comfortable couch for make-out sessions before deciding how much to spend on wine for your date or for perusing Zola-provided glossy wine magazines and cheat sheets that always seem too pretentious and expensive to buy yourself but which you're always secretly eager to page through. And, while the phrase " selection of pre-packaged sandwiches and gourmet products" is today used to describe anything from actual "gourmet" food to shrink-wrapped dreck (the list actually looks like the former, with the caveat that the proof is in the eating) , it appears that we'll no longer be dependent on those soft pretzel and cold hot dog trucks to assemble an on-the-Mall picnic. One hopes that they'll also stock go-cups and cheap plastic corkcrews so we can match the gourmandise with something besides Diet Pepsi without attracting the attention of the Park Police. (Get there early Inauguration Day!). You can rent the kitchen for parties. No word on whether civilians get to play with the cool (earning two paragraphs in the press release, almost as much as the wine) stove. More here Zola Wine & Kitchen 505 9th Street, NW 202-639-9463 M-S 11-8, Sun. (starting soon, call first) 12-6 (Note to Press Team and Zola management: damn hard to find the phone number and hours)
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