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dr.com $23 Four-Course Dinner at Radius Pizza


DonRocks
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Thursday, October 8th: Radius Pizza featuring a family-style four-course meal (mussels or salad, homemade pasta course, pizza course, homemade dessert) for (say WHAT?) $23 by new Chef-Owner Todd Wiss. Cash only, tax and tip extra, vegetarians welcome, drinks not included, limited to 15 people.

Okay, based on my meal last night, this is going to be a terrific dining value. Remember that before buying Radius, Todd Wiss was Chef de Cuisine at Black's Bar and Kitchen, so this dinner is being produced by an accomplished chef, eager to earn your future business. Please feel free to start RSVPing, and if it goes past 15 people, we'll need to use a lottery system. Maximum +1 guest per member, please (if you want to bring more guests, just have them become members).

Please reply on THIS THREAD if you wish to RSVP, and don't send me a PM because they'll get lost in my inbox (I get about 20 a day).

Todd will chime in with the final menu later today or tomorrow.

Cheers,

Rocks.

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October 8th Don Rockwell Dinner at Radius:

Served Family Style

Prince Edward Island Mussels

Jersey Tomatoes, Smoked Paprika Aioli, Croutons

Panzanella Salad

Organic Greens, Honey Crisp Apples, Grilled Ciabatta,

Gorgonzola, Cider Vinaigrette

Heirloom Pumpkin Ravioli

Walnut Brown Butter, Sage

Fig & Feta Pizza

Baby Arugula, Basil

Fall Pizza

Kabocha Pumpkin Puree, Ricotta, Feta, Caramelized Mushrooms, Red Onions

Ducati Pizza

House-Ground Italian Sausage,

Roasted Red Peppers, Red Onions, Mozzarella, Red Sauce

Cranberry Panna Cotta

Tahitan Vanilla Bean, Orange

Todd Wiss

Chef/Owner

Radius Pizza

3155 Mt. Pleasant Street

NW Washington, DC 20010

www.radiusdc.com

202-234-0808

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I originally said we'd have a lottery, just in case there was an initial flood of responses (I didn't want people to be shut out). But since there has been a slow, steady trickle over a few days, enough people have had a chance to sign on and read the thread where I think we'll just take the first 15, and start a waiting list after that.

We're currently at 11, and have room for 4 more. If you can't make this event, there will be more inexpensive ones coming in the future.

Cheers,

Rocks.

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I originally said we'd have a lottery, just in case there was an initial flood of responses (I didn't want people to be shut out). But since there has been a slow, steady trickle over a few days, enough people have had a chance to sign on and read the thread where I think we'll just take the first 15, and start a waiting list after that.

We're currently at 11, and have room for 4 more. If you can't make this event, there will be more inexpensive ones coming in the future.

Cheers,

Rocks.

Currently at 12, with room for 3 more.

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By the by, what time is this dinner starting?

Dinner proper starts at 7 - but the bar is open anytime if anyone wants to meet up for a brewski beforehand.

I'm not trying to pimp Radius as anything more than a great little neighborhood place, but this event puts Restaurant Week to shame in terms of "value for the money." Is this event really not going to sell out?

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Okay, we're at 14 people - next one gets it (if someone wants to change their +1 to a +2 at this point, it's fine!)

Bring CASH please, and tip well. :(

And can someone bring a camera?

sphere777

GennaroE

KMango + 1

catharine + 1

Merry Mary

lekkerwijn + 1

silentbob + 1

Koolpaw

AlexC

goodeats

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It is going to be ridiculously hard to top this event. The food was fantastic (and overwhelming for some at the second table), and the fact that we got goodie bags was just bad ass. More specifics to come when I type up the official post tomorrow. And look out for tons of pictures from goodeats.

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I don't think thank you is enough for the hospitality given by Chef Wiss and his lovely missus. A few of commented that this dinner was super gracious in portions and quantity, while a few others stated that they felt like they were at a 5-star restaurant. I really, really hope that others at the dinner will chime in more on their thoughts and descriptions. What is truly amazing is Chef Todd Wiss, is, as he puts it, a "one-man show." If so, then I hope this one-man show keeps going because even the pumpkin bread, sent with in our goody bags, are worth a light saber duel over.

In the meantime, enjoy the teaser below. For the full viewing, please click on either the slideshow version or with descriptions.

Prince Edward Island Mussels

post-2127-125510617768_thumb.jpg

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Plenty of people who got to take part in Thursday's event have already mentioned dishes here and there, but I figure I should still post a comprehensive description of the dishes for those who missed out. Of course, goodeats' pictures are about 10 times more effective than any words I could choose. At any rate, here's the rundown...

Amuse

Kabocha Squash Soup: A creamless soup that somehow managed to be creamier than any bisque I've ever had. It was finished with a drop of rosemary oil, and when I reached the bottom of my small cup I found myself wishing I had a whole bowl. Chef Wiss mentioned that he'd used just one pound of butter to make three gallons of the soup, and not a drop of cream. I find this incredible, and have to rank this as one of the best dishes of the night.

Appetizers

Prince Edward Island Mussels: The muscles were in a Jersey tomato broth that was delicious, yet almost cloyingly sweet; but the addition of the smoked paprika aioli completely balanced the dish, and made it extremely difficult to resist reaching for the accompanying grilled ciabatta and mopping up every last drop of sauce.

Panzanella Salad: The word "panzanella" immediately makes me think tomatoes. There were no tomatoes in sight here though, rather, the salad was comprised of "Organic Greens, Honey Crisp Apples, Grilled Ciabatta, Gorgonzola," and "cider vinaigrette." Once again, this dish demonstrated the chef's ability to achieve balance between the ingredients on each of his plates. The almost overpowering Gorgonzola was offset by the greens and the grilled ciabatta, the honey crisp apples added a touch of sweetness and a little crunch, and the cider vinaigrette was not drowning the salad, but rather allowing it all to mesh together. I'd rank this dish near the bottom when compared to the stars of the night, but it was still fantastic.

Heirloom Pumpkin Ravioli: These ravioli blew me away. Served over greens, with walnuts, sage, and brown butter, they were irresistible. As KMango mentions, the walnuts were what elevated the dish from good to extraordinary. Cutting into the ravioli led to a delicious explosion of pumpkin puree, but only when each bite was accompanied by a piece of walnut did it blow my mind. Meanwhile, the brown butter added further nutty richness without overdoing it. While others at the table ate two ravioli a piece, I couldn't help but double this. Plus, I was lucky enough to get to take the leftovers home.

Pizza

All of the pizzas in general showed the same amazing balance that I picked up on in all of the dishes. The crust and toppings went together perfectly, the former making no attempt at crispness, and the latter spread with a generous, but wise hand, kept any of the many flavors at work from overwhelming their carrier or one another. As for specifics...

Fig & Feta Pizza: This pizza was shocking. It was the last one I tried, but it really left a strong impression. As one who doesn't particularly appreciate the flavor of figs, I went in skeptical; after the first bite, I knew that my one slice would be gone far too soon. The sweetness of the figs butted heads with the saltiness of the feta and generated truly wonderful flavor. The pie was finished with baby arugula and basil, but these elements were less important than the marriage of those two key components. If I have any complaint, it's that I wish there had been more figs on my slice.

Fall Pizza: My favorite of the pizzas, just barely surpassing the Fig & Feta, for this seasonal pie the chef swaps out red sauce for Kabocha pumpkin puree, then tops this with ricotta, feta, caramelized mushrooms, and red onions. This pizza was simply addicting; the pumpkin, which leaned more toward sweetness in the ravioli, was made completely savory, and matched with the duo of cheeses and in particular the mushrooms, it was a hit. When I return to Radius I'll be asking for one of these pies, with extra of the mushrooms (they were so good, and there simply weren't enough) and perhaps I'll experiment with some pancetta.

Ducati Pizza: "House-Ground Italian Sausage, Roasted Red Peppers, Red Onions, Mozzarella, Red Sauce." I felt like this was more of a safe choice for those afraid of the more uncommon flavors at work in the previous two pizzas. It was good, but outshone on every level by the other two. The flavor profile worked - though I would have preferred some spicy sausage, personally - and it offered the meatiness lacking in the rest of our pies, but if I had to give up one pizza, it would easily be this one.

Dessert

Cranberry Panna Cotta: I imagine that this dish was beautifully made (I don't have much experience with Panna Cotta, so I'm not the best judge), and it seemed to me that the flavors worked together (The cranberries along with tahitan vanilla bean and orange), but this was my least favorite course. I was just wasn't in love with what was going on like I was after my first bite of the ravioli, or the fig & feta pizza.

Goodie Bag: I couldn't believe that after how generous each and every course was, Chef Wiss and his wife were actually giving us more stuff to bring home. Our bags included pumpkin bread, honey crisp apple butter, and fresh fettucine. I've yet to try the bread or the pasta, but I can vouch for how stellar the apple butter is: I made a sandwich with it and some goat cheese, and I couldn't have been happier with it. It's nice being able to recognize the specific flavor of the apple - you can immediately single out that it is honey crisp, and not just any apple. Considering how good the ravioli was, I imagine the fresh pasta will be fantastic. And as for the pumpkin bread, it seems to me that any dish where Chef Wiss has a chance to use pumpkin is going to be a homerun.

In sum, as I mentioned in my last post, topping this event is going to be damn near impossible. Radius Pizza is a great place (I too was loving the sound track, as well as the overall mood of the space), and the food is more than worth a trip up to Columbia Heights. If I don't get an infusion of Fall Pizza some time in the next two weeks or so, I think there's going to be a problem, so I'm sure they'll be seeing more of me. And for those who didn't get to go, there's absolutely no reason not to hurry up and give the place a shot. Their happy hour is great (a pint and a slice for $5), and the prices in general are totally reasonable.

Thanks again to Chef Wiss and his wife. The food, the price, and the service were all great. I really loved getting to hear about the thought process behind what was happening on my plate from the chef himself, and if the flavors weren't enough to gain my trust, that last touch certainly was. After my surprised love for the Fig & Feta pizza, as well as getting to meet the chef, I'd gladly try any new concoction he happens to come up with.

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