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  1. Oby Lee had a really good coffee shop/roastery in Rehoboth Beach for years. He could make disgusting-sounding flavored coffees taste really good. Their sticky buns were legendary. We heard he lost it in a bitter divorce. Anyone been to his place in Arlington? http://www.obylee.com/
  2. OK, so time has a way of warping your recall. I could have sworn this place was here years ago, but turns out it's new. New Wine Shop Opening in Old Town - Alexandria Living Magazine I stumbled in this past Friday, just to check it out, not really sure what I was up to. I wound up chatting with a knowledgeable man pointing out surprisingly detailed nuances of wine, beer, cheese, meat, and accoutrements. Sold on careful curation, I bumbled back to the hotel and created what is perhaps the best charcuterie board of my life. The recommended Italian Vespolina delivered as promised---jaw-dropping color, non-stop magical moments when the wine does something to the food and the food does something to the wine. This afternoon, I returned to the shop to make sure the employee received a rave review. Turns out he was the owner, making this a family-run small business, another win. Why You Should Go: Approachability. Well-organized, intuitive, inviting you to explore the big world of wine rather than feel tiny among experts. Value: Nothing here will be a dud. Outside of the rare producer mishap, anything you procure reflects meticulous inventory control and delicate handling. Responsibility: Yes, there are a few Spare Me buzzwords via outdoor signage, but have faith. The principles they reflect are not grape-skin deep. This business aims for producers who pursue ethical and ecologically sound ways of operating, no small feat of deliciousness in our cost-conscious world.
  3. Happy to announce that Room 11 Wine and Dessert Bar is now open for business on 11th Street in Columbia Heights. Ben Gilligan is in the kitchen, turning out small plates, paninis, cheese, and charcuterie. Dan Searing is behind the bar and has crafted a selective wine, beer and cocktail list. And Paisley Fig is supplying our desserts. Nick Pimentel was in charge of design and yours truly rounds out the ownership and management team. Drop by to say hello! We can be found on the internets at room11dc.com More coverage Here and Here.
  4. John Brown General & Butcher Shop which once was a gas station and general store has been become one of my favorite spots to pop into on my way to Baltimore. Walking into this quaint shop is like taking a tour through the pages of Bon Appetite Magazine. From the meat case that showcases cuts , to the other case that houses an abundant selections to build a buzz worthy charcuterie board, and there is no shortage of options. As you head back of the building, you will find an array of spirits ranging from wine to liquor as well as local beer. In the few visits that I have made, I have feasted on cold cut subs, hamburgers, house cut french fries, and more recently hot chicken. All prepared in house, and lip smacking delicious. Heading into the warmer months, you can cross the street and pick up flowers and produce at a market stand. Anything you could ever need to prepare a delicious meal can be found at this charming little outpost.
  5. I noticed that there isn't a thread on Ranazul (at least that I could find, mods please correct me if I'm wrong) so I thought I would start one. Here is the website. Ranazul offers a number of small plates, tapas style with a really nice wine program. I would say the food tends to be spanish influenced, but you shouldn't expect your checklist of traditional spanish tapas dishes although some standards like patatas bravas are there. I would like to see a more seasonal bent to the dishes and more frequent updates to the menu, but after having eaten there a number of times, I can say that across the board the food tends to be consistently good. The lamp chop, scallops, and duck breast from the hot tapas are several of my favorites and the fritto mixto is always well prepared. I also think the specials are always a good choice. The wine program is headed by Julie Dalton who has completed level 3 (Advanced Sommelier) in the Court of Master Sommeliers. The wine list offers over 2 dozen wines by the glass and 1/2 glass with many of them being good values. Overall, I think it's one of the better places to eat in the area, with really good food and wine, great service across the board (the regular bartender is especially attentive and friendly), and a lovely decor. I should offer the disclaimer that I know Julie personally as I became involved in a blind tasting group that meets at Ranazul, but I had eaten at and enjoyed Ranazul several times before becoming involved.
  6. 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. .
  7. That’s the title of an article in The Spectator. Here is a quote from it: "Shouldn’t more of us follow the example of the late gastronome Julia Child, who when asked to name her -favourite wine replied ‘gin’?”
  8. 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?
  9. "Six Arrested after €100M Wine Fraud Ring Uncovered" by Phoebe French on thedrinksbusiness.com
  10. It's ridiculous that we don't have a thread for Mark Slater, a personal friend of mine, and donrockwell.com Member #14. Aside from Mark being exceptionally gifted as a a fine-dining sommelier - both in terms of maintaining a wine list, and in establishing a rapport with customers - I have had the pleasure of dining with him on many occasions, and he has an excellent palate. In 2007, he won the James Beard Foundation's national award for "Outstanding Wine Service" while he was sommelier at Citronelle. One thing many people don't know about Mark is that he studied harpsichord in Vienna, Austria, and is an accomplished harpsichordist. Having seen him play many times, I can verify that he is an outstanding sight reader, which is an incredibly difficult and underrated skill to develop and possess. His sub-specialty is early Rennaissance music, but he can handle most any work for harpsichord, and is a good enough sight reader to "fool" the listener into thinking he knows a piece, when it's actually the first time he's ever looked at it. Mark doesn't know I'm writing this, and may ask me to take it down, but I'm not going to - he deserves widespread recognition as one of the most important, influential figures in Washington, DC restaurant history - certainly when it comes to wine. At this point, he is truly the Patriarch of all area sommeliers, and should be recognized as such by all those who follow in his footsteps, both now and in the future.
  11. Jill described it as a Cheese and Wine bar, but apparently there's going to be even more good stuff according to Counter Intelligence.
  12. Crave, a restaurant that specializes in sushi, wine and American cuisine, is the latest eating establishment to announce plans to be part of Westfield Montgomery mall's new Dining Terrace. Bethesda will be the first venture into the Mid-Atlantic region for Crave, which has nine locations in the Midwest, Florida and Texas.
  13. Here me out before the gallery starts pelting rocks at me, or revoke my Don Rockwell member card that must have got lost in the mail. Wine in a can will be the buzz in 2018. Curb your snobbery about wine in a can and review this bit. I am a fan. I welcome unpretentious dining & wining for the new year. I hope 2018 brings change in how we think about food and beverage, and return to the goodness of simplicity. The thought that I can bring a six pack of pinot along with a six pack of brewskies to the next DR picnic makes me as giddy as a high school girl. Try it, and report back on your thoughts. I am curious on everyone's take. Wine key not needed, kat
  14. Takoma Trukgarten, Takoma Park’s annual craft beer, wine and food festival, will be held this Saturday, June 1, from noon to 5 p.m.: https://www.sourceofthespring.com/entertainment/takoma-trukgarten-festival-set-for-saturday/
  15. Facebook event is here. Enjoy appetizers + 4 great Neapolitan Pizzas, paired with 5 delicious Italian wines! Featuring Davide Megna from Impero Wine Distributors (formerly of Amici Miei)Price Per Person $39 including tax and service. Space is Limited, RSVP At: wine@pizzacs.com MENUSmoked Mozzarella AranciniRocket - Mozzarella, Grape Tomato, Arugula, Parmesan, Lemon Juice, Basil(Paired with Pinot Grigio/trebbiano Impero -Abruzzo)CS Margherita - Tomato , Buffalo mozzarella, Basil(Paired With Rose` Collevento, Cab/Merlot- Friuli)Sorrento - Tomato, Mozzarella, Parmesan, Soppressata, Red Onion, Basil(Paired With Gragnano Cantine Federiciane- Campania )Sonia - Tomato, Mozzarella, Spinach, Roasted Peppers, Red Onion, Mushrooms, Olives, Basil(Paired with Barbera D’Asti Duelilu- Piemonte)Jonny - Parmesan Cream, Mozzarella, Ricotta, Ham, Basil(Paired with Negroamaro Conti Zecca - Puglia)
  16. I saw a thread for this place in the dining section, but nothing for the wine shop itself. So far it seems promising in terms of selection and pricing, but I've only been twice so can't say too much just yet. Website In any event, I wanted to share that they're currently trying to get rid of some overstock and are offering all of their dry roses for $1 over cost. I went today and bought nearly a case. Haven't had most of the wines so can't speak to the choices although I am pretty excited about the Alexander Valley and Linden roses. Obviously bottles that are cheaper to start are marked down less, but with some of the wines it was a rather large savings ($14.99 bottles for $9-11 for instance). I'm not sure it's worth a long drive, but for anyone in the area looking to stock up on wine for the summer, it's worth dropping in.
  17. Strolling through town on the way to Jaleo last night I came across this place called Proof. The text on the papered-up windows stated that it is a wine-centric restaurant. Anyone have any information on this place?
  18. A conversation about Washington, DC's best wine list: Bigg: "Proof!" Johnson: "Plume!" Bigg: "Proof!" Johnson: "Plume!" Bigg: "Proof!" Johnson: "Plume!" Joe: "Galileo!" --- DonRocks: "Range." Range Wine List.pdf
  19. Sulfur, sulfur, sulfur, I get headaches because of sulfur, does that wine have sulfur in it, red wine has too much sulfur... blah blah blah, i think we all have heard it over and over again. check this out, and have your say , NO MORE SULFUR?
  20. I have now acquired about three bottles of vidal blanc though our wine club (not all at one time, so two different vintages). I need to use them. I am not really a dessert wine kind of person normally. I have a party coming up, could I make them into cocktails, or even better a punch??? If so, any ideas on what to mix with it to help tone down the sweetness?
  21. Hi, everybody. I'm relatively new to this forum -- have posted a few times and am really enjoying this bunch. It's so nice to know there is a thriving food and wine community here in Washington, and it's even nicer that you all know a lot more about this stuff than I do. It's a great place to learn. While this question may make me sound like a complete idiot, I swear I actually do know a thing or two about wine. This particular situtation is unfortunate and I am trying like hell to figure out how my assumptions might be incorrect. I'm in denial, and hoping you all can help me. A really lovely friend of mine has been raving about Raveneau Chablis, which I have never tried. Because he is so lovely, he shipped a bottle to me this week with a very nice note about how much he wants me to try it and how he is looking forward to my reaction and detailed tasting notes. Here's the problem -- when the wine arrived at my door, the wax seal protecting the cork had a small crack in it, and it was apparent that some wine had escaped. My brain is telling me that the wine is probably ruined. But I REALLY want to be wrong. I know the only way to be sure is to crack the sucker open and give it a try. But I'm interested to know if anyone has had this sort of thing happen and had the wine turn out OK. To follow -- if it's not OK, does anyone know where I might be able to get a replacement bottle? The distributor that supplies my usual wine shop does not carry Raveneau, and I don't have the heart to tell my friend the wine he was so excited to send me was bad. And I obviously can't give him detailed tasting notes without actually trying it. Thanks everyone. Sorry this was so long... Lola
  22. Lady KN and I were in the Fells Point area and decided to hit Thames Street Oyster House on a Friday afternoon. In fairness, we only had access to the raw bar, as we arrived between lunch service and dinner service. No problem, as we tucked into Malpeque, another local Maryland oyster, two varieties of Virginia oysters and a dozen large shrimp as a cocktail. Everything was fresh and good, and I am definitely going to return to enjoy some of that enticing menu....
  23. Back in 2005, I arrived in DC hungry to meet like minded folks like myself. Little did I know nearly 13 years later this thread is still going strong. Now I’m looking to bridge the gap between DonRockwell.com and Instagram. I talk to Rocks briefly, and he gave his blessing, or he says he’s interested in me leading the way. After all, all social media experiences a wave of popularity that phases in and out. But with all of the great content on Instagram, a lightbulb went off in my head. Why not link the two forums? New updates on Instagram has a feature where you can follow #hashtags. So the next time you post, add the hashtag #donrockwelldotcom. And if you happen to be on Instagram, let me know what your handle is, and Ill follow. This is my first attempt at leading a social media campaign. Please be patient with me, and if you have any other suggestions on how to build momentum, I’m all ears. This too may build our Don Rockwell Community by adding members. I am hopefull. So while introducing yourself, please let me know who you are on Instagram! Looking forward to following everyone’s rec’s!! life_is_a_banquet, ( my handle) kat
  24. Located just off Gunston Road in Gunston Plaza next to the US Post Office, this place surprisingly has 13 locations in the area. The pizza is good as are the subs, pasta and daily lunch specials which are typically $8-10. Service is consistently good as well. Atmosphere is typical vinyl green-checkered table clothes and the Italian flag, tacky Italian inspired, framed pictures and wall paper adorn the walls. Kitchen is somewhat open and the place is always clean and pretty busy for lunch - I have probably eaten here 25 times, and oddly just now adding this post. If you happen to be in Lorton and want someplace easy to park and dine, you have found it; very reasonably priced.
  25. I had lunch at Nostos today, and it shattered two notions that I thought were inviolable. The first one is that Tysons is where good restaurants go to die amidst the indifference of wall-to-wall chains. The second is that Greek food in the suburbs is unrefined and unsubtle -- Zaytinya, Komi and Kellari Taverna belong downtown, while the suburbs get the mom-n-pop family restaurants that dole out gut-bombs in family-friendly settings. I held these two beliefs firmly....until today....when I ate at Nostos....wow! Nostos opened in May, in the former deli across from Morton's on 8100 Boone Blvd. in Tysons. It is nicely decorated in mostly grays and whites, with a beautiful stone wall along on one end of the dining room that has about 20 tables. There is another small section with about 7-8 tables for a more private setting, and a long bar area to the right of the entrance. The food here is really very good. We began with fried disks of zucchini with a tzaziki sauce and roasted beets with a dab of goat cheese on each piece. They were each really good. Then came a seafood sampler of sardines, calamari, octopus and shrimp, and while it was all good, the octopus was outstanding. It was marinated and cold, but it was worth eating over and over again. The waiter told me the grilled version is even better, so that's on the list for the next visit. On to the meats, and first there was the grilled filet, then there was the Greek burgers with tzaziki sauce, and then there was the roast lamb....each morsel was perfection. I remember taking a bite of the filet and looking out the window across the street at Morton's, and thinking that nothing on the menu there compared to the flavor and texture of this little masterpiece. Desserts and coffee followed, and I believe the kataifi was one of the best sweet items I have tasted in a while. Many hours later, I'm still full and will probably skip dinner tonight. As far as I'm concerned, this is the best Greek restaurant in the state of Virginia. But unless patronage increases, it is not likely to survive for long in Tysons. They will need about 80-100 covers a day, and lunch today looked to be about 20 or so. But this is the kind of restaurant Tysons needs, and I encourage everyone reading this to head over there and give it a try. Website
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