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  1. They've been open for about 10 days, according to a sign in the parking garage. Someone who works in another business in the building told me that the owner originally wanted to call the restaurant "Black Pearl," but there were issues with using that name. I was hoping it would be a good alternative for lunch as I work nearby, but the menu seems a little too steep for my budget.
  2. I don't know if I went on an off-night, but I thought Kee was terrible. Or I ordered the wrong stuff - seafood - I felt like I was chewing on rubber.
  3. For those of you who drive through the 28/29 area, you know what I'm talking about. They've literally been constructing at that site for years. The only signs say "Cooley Electric." My wife called the Cooley phone number and they said it will be a mexican restaurant. I've heard a rumor that each level will be progressively higher scale than the one below (there are three levels). It's built to have views of the mountains in the far distance with balconies on level two and three on the west side. Is any of this even true? Any idea when it will open, what it will be called, if it's local or a chain, or anything at all about it?
  4. So a place called Acqua al Due is coming to a space across 7th Street from Eastern Market formerly occupied by two clothing stores. (Just up the block from Montmartre.) (Here is a blurb.) Has anyone eaten at this place, the original of which is in Florence and an outpost of which is in San Diego? I can't imagine this is bad news, given that neither Dottie's nor A&A Athletic had attracted my disposable income while they occupied the space. But how good is the news?
  5. a clever plant in ts chat about willow. i don't know what's up but i think maybe its tracy mcgrady's new venture. --- RE: Your Fantasy Restaurant Job: Recently defunct Gaffney's in Ballston is in the process of being reincarnated into "Willow"- I work in the building and have spoken a couple times to the two women owners- they've both worked at Galileo, one was at Kinkead's for a long time the other was one of the originators at Firehook Bakery and spent a year in Tuscany. Their intent is to have EXACTLY the sort of place you describe. I can't WAIT for them to open! Tom Sietsema: Wow! (And good gossip. I'll have to check out the details.)
  6. Having heard of Prune through its chef's popular cookbook ("Blood, Bones and Butter"), I hadn't tried it before coming here on a cold, rainy Sunday for brunch this weekend. Brunch is a hard time to judge a restaurant - I'm sure the staff would rather be elsewhere and often many of the customers would rather be at home in their beds (particularly with the aforementioned weather), but the 30 minute wait outside suggested that enough people thought this was worthwhile. Sitting at the bar, the bartender was amiable and efficient and could make an excellent Southwestern Bloody Mary ($12) - one of 8ish bloody mary options on their beverage menu. Its always odd to see bars in New York line up customer orders for a half hour, just waiting to deliver our needed libations at 12:01pm due to an antiquated blue law. I ordered what was the finest Huevos Rancheros I've yet eaten - two eggs baked into the tomato/chili sauce with a light topping of white cheese, served with black beans and a little avocado ($15). +1 received what appeared to be a technically perfect omelet with cheese and bacon, though it seemed to lack a certain penache, and the +2 ordered an omelet with fried orders that looked, and I was told was, delicious. The Monte Cristo's coming out of the kitchen made me wish I'd had my cardiologist on call so I could have ordered one... All in all, a very pleasant meal that made me want to return for dinner. One note - this place is small. Small to the extent that I found my 6'3" frame grew to be uncomfortable relatively quickly. Maybe this helps turn the tables at a popular spot faster, but definitely not a location I wanted to linger after brunch. (We paid in cash as our local +2 suggested they may not take credit cards - probably worth confirming if you're planning a visit...)
  7. Kay and I took a rare date night off tonight. In fact its the first night we have taken off together with the restaurant open since June! Before the opera at the Ken Cen (Flying Dutchman by Wagner with the insanely wonderful Alan Held -is there a better baritone today?) as the Dutchman, the amazingly effortless sounding (although I am sure the efforts to develop that effortless feel are equally amazing effortful) Jenifer Wilson as Senta and someone else whose name I forgot already who was lustrous as Erik in as ridiculous a staging as could possibly be imagined AFIK... alas, last performance). Back to dinner.... our old warhorse favorite of Sergio's in Silver Spring in the Hilton on Colesville Road. It was simply wonderful. Not the food per se, the Zuppa di Pesce appetizer was super and the mussels in white wine & garlic were yummy, the entrees of rockfish with arugula and the lamb chops scotaditta just good although the roasted potatoes were wonderful & drench in olive oil and roasted till crisp on the edge of being burnt but not burnt. But the family welcome was wonderful. The pampering was wonderful. The too strong Campari & Sodas were wonderful. Having Sergio kiss me on both cheeks was wonderful. And they got us in and out in 45 minutes which left us just enough time to get to the KC from Silver Spring despite the traffic gods being against us. It was good to be at Sergio's tonight.
  8. We used to like Thai Derm on Bonifant. Mandalay moving in across the street didn't kill them, did it?
  9. Does anyone else subscribe to/purchase Saveur magazine? What do you think of the redesign that has happened in the latest issue? I just got it yesterday so haven't thoroughly looked it over, but my first reaction was blechhh! I love that magazine partly because of the (old) design. I love the articles and the pictures and the little sidebars and the extra info in the back about techniques or where to buy ingredients, etc. I always feel like I've been somewhere after I finish reading one of their stories, like the one in the March issue about the old family home in very Southern Switzerland near the Italian border, with that recipe that paired a fried egg with fresh asparagus....mmmmm! Seems to me like they messed with a good thing and the change wasn't an improvement, at least visually. I don't think the quality of the content has changed, but it just might not be as fun to read . What other publications do DR'ers like to check out? (Food related, of course!)
  10. Just received this from a colleague at work: Get ready for DC's newest restaurant from Bob Kinkead! View this email in your browser Coming soon from Bob Kinkead! Washington DC's James Beard Award Winning Chef Bob Kinkead announces the opening of his newest Italian seafood concept, Ancora. The pop-up concept located in the Watergate complex at 600 New Hampshire Ave NW, Ancora is Chef Kinkead's vision of an Italian Trattoria. Boasting house made pastas along with Chef Kinkead's famous seafood delicacies, Ancora will offer antipasti and sharing platters of salumi and crudo. While featuring the fresh fish and shellfish Kinkead has become famous for, Ancora will also include preparations with an Italian/Mediterranean flavor. Ancora is certain to become a destination not to be missed in the capital's dining scene. Ancora's menu will change frequently to reflect seasonal, locally sourced, impeccably fresh seafood and produce. Executive Chef Jeffery Gaetjen, formerly of Kinkead's, will be at the helm of this kitchen, assuring the same attention to quality and consistency that made Kinkead's a Washington DC landmark for 20 years. Ancora's bar program will focus on classic cocktails and will feature modern interpretations of libations utilizing Italian aperitifs, wines and spirits. The wine list will consist of mostly Italian wines, featuring varietals from some lesser-known Italian wine producing areas and selections from Europe and the United States. With it's unique location directly across from the Kennedy Center, Ancora will be the perfect place for pre and post theater dining. As the weather warms, the expansive patio overlooking the Potomac River will be the perfect spot for happy hour with friends, or to catch up over a lovely dinner with a beautiful view. Stay tuned for an opening date coming in February. We can't wait to see you at Ancora! 202.333.1600 info@ancoradc.com www.ancoradc.com (coming soon!) Copyright © *2013* *|Ancora|*, All rights reserved. You are receiving this email because you are a loyal fan of Chef Bob Kinkead! Our mailing address is: *|info@ancoradc.com|* unsubscribe from this list update subscription preferences
  11. Full disclaimer Scott is a great friend. I was there the first day he opened and have lent a hand as well as from time to time over the years. Helped hang some TVs, bar backed when he was swamped, worked the fryer, been on runs to Restaurant Depot, etc. All of that being said, Scott is a great guy (I knew him back when we were kickin it at Syracuse University) and he runs a heck of a sports bar/pub. I have always been a fan of his food and thought that his wings are the best in town (even though I am highly biased). It warms my heart that Tim Carman gave him such a nice review today in the Washington Post. Scott has pumped blood sweat, and tears into Ventnor for almost 10 years. Over the almost 10 years he has worked more hours than most in a lifetime. I know of him taking just one week off since opening. All of his hard work really shows in how he runs his operation. If you have never visited, I suggest you stop by. Scott will most likely be there, and he is always willing to chat you up if you are in the mood. Ventnor Sports Cafe
  12. I searched for a thread on Johnny's but could only find a few comments here and there. Most comments saying how it's gone downhill, not as good as it used to be, etc. Since I've never been, I have nothing to compare it to previously. First attempt at a late lunch, we were turned away from Firefly, so we walked up the street to look at our options, and lo and behold, Johnny's was still serving after 2:30pm. Service was very friendly and unobtrusive, and our meals were fabulous! I ordered the soft shell crab with Old Bay Buerre Blanc sauce atop a corn (souffle?) something, and co-worker had the shallot, beer-battered fish and chips. First off, the bread was just so-so, and the butter was rock-hard cold. I can live with that, since the soft shell was divine. The Old Bay was subtle, and just gave the sauce a "melt-in the mouth" type of experience. The sauce also had fresh basil, which added a nice complexity to the mix. The corn, which I can't recall what they called it, was incredible. I'll try my best to relay...imagine sweet corn just shucked off the cob, still with a bit of a crunch, held together by something that did not in anyway interfere or hide the flavors. It would also have "melted in the mouth," had it not been for the slight crunch of the corn, with sweet juices in every bite. The complement of the sweet corn with the tanginess of the Old Bay was perfect. When I ordered, the menu said "crabs" (plural) so I was a little afraid that I'd have to leave some on the plate...but the crabs were small, so it was a perfect size for me to eat and not be completely stuffed. My co-worker hadn't ever ordered fish and chips before, since he did not like fish in his youth, but thought the perfect time to try it would be here, since he loves shallots and loves beer! He was not disappointed, and said the fish was incredible. I snagged a taste of the very tempting chips---they were crisp and hot, and if I hadn't been savoring my own meal, would have tried to snag a few more! Dessert was shared; an apple crisp topped with fresh cream. It was not "sweet" as most apple dishes tend to be...nice tart apples, no overwhelming flavor of cinnamon. In fact, both of us though we could detect a savory flavor, such as basil? But we asked the waitress and she said maybe it was the type of apples used. She said it was simply apples and cinnamon. Sorry to be so long in the tooth, but FWIW, Johnny's Half Shell is a nice spot, nothing too fancy. In some ways it's good to compare a place to what it was before, but in other ways, those same comments may prevent new customers from giving the place a go. And from my first trip there, I will definitely return.
  13. Finally, the danger to wallet and waist size expands down the coast to our fair city. Eater had reported in late February that an opening was planned for late April or early May. According to their Twitter feed, the Boston location opened in early May, but no updates have mentioned DC since their preview at the annual Sakura Matsuri festival. Can anybody around Georgetown glean an update for us?
  14. Can't believe you people didn't got going on Palena yet. The cafe menu continues to grow and amaze as always. From the latest, bisque with mussels, touch of rice and spinach flan; stuffed Pennsylvania lamb with piquillo bread sauce; and hen gallantine sexed up with pistachios and foie gras have blown my mind. The menu is so familiar and well-loved by now that ordering became a struggle, although not entirely un-looked-forward to. Should I have something new? Or should I get the best burger in NW? Of course, last night I figured had to have my burger fix before taking off for two weeks of caviar therapy. I said it first...Jeff is very dreamy and extremely dexterous with beverages of all sorts.
  15. One that comes to mind for me is Grapeseed in Bethesda. Had a great meal there last month. I find this to be one of the highlights of the Bethesda restaurant scene. There are so many restaurants downtown, but hardly any GOOD ones. Anyone have any thoughts on this place?
  16. Coco Loco. Xing Kuba. Terramar. Cesco back when it was good. Cottonwood Cafe back when it was good.
  17. This thread is one of the few I could find with a reference to U Street Music Hall, so I will place it here: Closed. I saw some good shows at U Street, it will be missed.
  18. There's a ramen shop called Ramen Factory 42 in Falls Church that's opening soon, in the mini-strip with Takumi in the former Smashburger location.
  19. Serendipity led me to Bryan Voltaggio's blogfor his upcoming restaurant Volt in Frederick, MD. It appears that they are targeting mid-July for an opening date. I only had lunch once at Charlie Palmer's when Voltaggio was there and my friend and I had a very good meal, but nothing exciting. I have to say, though, that his blog makes me excited for Frederick. They need this place, so I hope they support him. Check out the cheese they're planning on using! Someone needs to give the Tasting Room a kick in their ass b/c I think they became complacent a while ago. If you go to page twoof the blog entries you can see a video of the space post-demo and pre-construction. It was neat to see the inside of the bay window that I longed to be part of my apartment; looks like it'll be used as a private party room for 10 people. In general, it looks like this place will be small. The video said the restaurant will seat 38! They'll have to have a pretty high price point to pay for the real estate and renovations to this place on top of the high quality of ingredients and staffing I'm sure he has planned. The Tasting Room thrives b/c the swanky fishbowl environment draws in the trendy drinkers who like to be seen. Volt won't have that to fall back on. They'll just have to knock folks' socks off with damn good cooking in a cool, seemingly more quiet atmosphere. Best of luck to them and I look forward to making the trip back up 270. ETA: Looks like the total capacity is more like 100. Pax, Brian
  20. Last night they had a valet stand working. Dining room is completely set up. Looks like they smartly added to the bar area
  21. Not sure if my google skills have departed, or if I have really started two threads tonight. We are always looking for a place that is open late. So one night at 10pm, we tried it. The decor is a.... melange of styles and motifs. The meal as a whole was quite nice. It was one of the more plesant dining experiences we have had recently. But when I think back to the actual dishes, noneof them stood out as superb with the exception of a pate but the whole is much greater than the sum of its parts. A decent, small beer list with about a dozin an tap, more in bottle and cans. Wine list did not interest me. I asked the waiter to ahve the bartender riff on a Sazerac, and I got a pretty straightforward Sazerac, nicely done but not outstanding. Kay's Goose Island IPA was very nice. We tried two cured meats {duckbreast and fennel sausage} and the aforementioned pate {pork with cranberry IIRC.} The pate was superb and would have been better still if served with something as simple as a little mustard or mostarda to go along with the pate, a small pile of cornichons and a hunk of grilled bread. The duck breast was fine, but I have had better product from Dartagnan. The fennel sausage had a very odd, crumbly, dry texture that was borderline unpleasant. This was unfortunate as the flavors were nice. A salad of chicories seemed to be a conventional produce item, which surprised at a place that makes all their meat items in house. There was a nice smattering of very good blue crumbles from a US artisan cheese maker, candied walnuts and orange sections. The other dish we ahd was a total miss.... grilled calamari with salsa verde. Not one part of the dish worked. Desserts were a baked apple which was more of a apple shaped applesauce with a brulee crust in a creme Anglaise. I was not a fan of the texture, but the flavors were super. My maple & bacon gelato was shy on both bacon and maple, and was ice cream int he extreme and not gelato, but it was a fun, large portion. Kay's apple came with a large wad of spun sugar and my "gelato" has a stained glass dripped sugar thingie on top. There was more sugar in the garnishes than one person should eat in a week. The spun sugar shattered when I tried to take a taste and it took overnight and several applications of shampoo to my quite bushy beard to get it out. We chatted witht he GM and the Chef di Cusina who were very nice. We cut off our waiter who introduced himself with the line "I'm Jason and I am here to guide you thru the menu tonight" We said we had made our decisions and had a couple of questions... what is your favorite pate and what are your favorite two cures. He had answered at hand which I appreciated. But this is not a menu needing GPS or hand holding to understand. Appetizers, entrees and lots of charcuterie. If I had the free time, or on a night in the future when I do, we will return for a late bite. The dinner was about $70 with tip.
  22. Sooner or later when hanging out on the Upper West Side, one of our group (usually someone who grew up there or used to live there) will always suggest we head over to La Caridad 78 for some sustenance. It is a Cuban and Chinese restaurant founded by Chinese immigrants to Cuba who later fled. This is not a fusion place. Oh, no, this is old school. Half of the menu is Cuban, and the other half is Chinese, and that is really how it should be. This is not a trendy place. It just pumps out solid food in extraordinary portions for the hard working folks (as well as the overpaid) on the Upper West Side. The small dining room could charitably be described as unadorned, but who really cares. The place bustles with local families, cab drivers, and everyone else who passes through the area. The tables are generally filled, but turn over quickly. I tend to favor the Cuban dishes, such as the Chuleta En Salsa De Soya (Pork Chop In Black Bean Sauce). Sure they were not thick, but there were at least 5 pork chops on this plate. Other dishes were similarly abundant. Do not be put off by the menu. Believe me, it looks odd. Almost jarring. Go with some friends. Order some plates to share with a few beers (very limited beer menu). This food is good; not great, just simple, generally well executed, plentiful, and affordable. Do not forget to check out the handwritten specials on 8 1/2 x 11 paper taped to the wall. We tried the Homemade Fried Dumplings and were glad we did. There are some pictures on their Facebook page (in addition to their website), if you are interested. Cash only.
  23. 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
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