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Kibbee Nayee

America Eats Tavern, Moved to Wisconsin and M Street - by ThinkFoodGroup - Closed

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I wish Jose Andres and Marriott the absolute best of luck with their new restaurant.  But, I fear that this may be another celebrity chef restaurant where the celebrity chef never steps foot in the kitchen.

Ya think?

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Wine list: all-domestic, concise but great selections (a good mix of classic and esoteric), with a full 3x mark-up across the board

Food: salmon was cooked perfectly. Surprisingly dainty portions for a restaurant called America Eats, and excessively expensive. Many dishes appeared unimaginative or otherwise unexciting, including all the desserts

Service: bumbling, but it's unfair to judge at this stage

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Had dinner here last night. Cocktails were great, apps were great, everyone at my table enjoyed everything from cocktails to dessert.  Prices were pretty reasonable in comparison to the chain places (GAR, Mon Ami Gabi, Clyde's Group).  A little lower or the same.

Food was cooked perfectly.  The mutton and oysters featured the best fried oysters I've ever had in my whole life, and I love them.  My husband had the fried chicken (they give you half a chicken, basically, and he couldn't finish) and our friends had the chicken pot pie (which we joked was deconstructed before it came... and they deconstruct it in front of you) and the scallops.

The service has not improved.  Our server was actually quite attentive, but it was the touches like water glasses being left empty long enough for me to consider switching with my husband.  Also, the food runner brought the wrong orders to us, and then cleared our bread and appetizer plates.  There was some confusion because one of the meals was correct.  By the time he left, our bread and app plates were gone.  Then the rest of the apps came out and we had to ask the next runner for plates.

There was a bizarre need to clear all the things from the table, which left us in a couple of weird positions.  First, there was the last minute debate over who would have the last oyster.  Then the bread basket was whisked away, half full, after we asked for it to stay.

Appetizers: grilled oysters, oysters Rockefeller, and bread basket.  What I had of the bread basket was somewhat disappointing.  The oysters were fabulous.

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America Eats continues to baffle and befuddle. What could be a great concept is not being executed well.

I returned to the Chicken with Dumplings to see if there would be an upgrade over previous versions I've had here, and also because today was a frigid day that called for Chicken with Dumplings. While I can applaud the kitchen for the perfect dice on the carrots and celery, and the dumplings themselves were as tasty as ever, the broth was ... warm. On a day that called for piping hot, the broth was heated below where it needed to be.

Also in keeping with the weather, I ordered the Vermicelli Mac n'Cheese Prepared Like Pudding. It was a gloppy mess, also below the desired temperature for a day like this.

As to the concept, I still don't get it. WIth the temperature in the mid-20s, where is the decidedly American Eats of a righteous grilled cheese sandwich with a side of tomato soup (at the right temperature)? Or a clam chowder? Or a rib-sticking stew?

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America Eats continues to baffle and befuddle. What could be a great concept is not being executed well.

I returned to the Chicken with Dumplings to see if there would be an upgrade over previous versions I've had here, and also because today was a frigid day that called for Chicken with Dumplings. While I can applaud the kitchen for the perfect dice on the carrots and celery, and the dumplings themselves were as tasty as ever, the broth was ... warm. On a day that called for piping hot, the broth was heated below where it needed to be.

Also in keeping with the weather, I ordered the Vermicelli Mac n'Cheese Prepared Like Pudding. It was a gloppy mess, also below the desired temperature for a day like this.

As to the concept, I still don't get it. WIth the temperature in the mid-20s, where is the decidedly American Eats of a righteous grilled cheese sandwich with a side of tomato soup (at the right temperature)? Or a clam chowder? Or a rib-sticking stew?

I understand the sentiment, but I've always understood that restaurants try and serve food at a temperature that is perfect for eating immedietly. If I ever wanted something served "piping hot", I'd make a special request when I ordered.

Certainly agree with you about the menu in general though.

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I understand the sentiment, but I've always understood that restaurants try and serve food at a temperature that is perfect for eating immedietly. If I ever wanted something served "piping hot", I'd make a special request when I ordered.

Chinese, Korean and Vietnamese restaurants send their soups out piping hot, thankfully. My unstated concern is that America Eats under-nukes a number of their dishes....

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Lunch today at America Eats was so-so. I can safely assert that my Crab Louie salad was delicious, but only a few bites for $19...? Companion had the oyster po' boy, and enjoyed it well enough.

I go here for convenience, but I can't overcome the feeling that it could be so much better if it tried.....

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52 minutes ago, Kibbee Nayee said:

Lunch today at America Eats was so-so. I can safely assert that my Crab Louie salad was delicious, but only a few bites for $19...? Companion had the oyster po' boy, and enjoyed it well enough.

I go here for convenience, but I can't overcome the feeling that it could be so much better if it tried.....

This was basically my experience a month or so ago when circumstances left us out there without a car for two hours. It was fine, and probably the best dining option at that mall, but at the prices charged I wouldn't go out of my way to eat here again. 

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10 hours ago, Kibbee Nayee said:

Lunch today at America Eats was so-so. I can safely assert that my Crab Louie salad was delicious, but only a few bites for $19...? Companion had the oyster po' boy, and enjoyed it well enough.

I go here for convenience, but I can't overcome the feeling that it could be so much better if it tried.....

There's one key word in this review. Do you know which one? (Mouse-over the line below for the answer.)

The penultimate one.

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Restaurant groups have taken over existing leases in the past.  That is how Fuego landed in Clarendon.

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Had a splendid dinner here last night.  Anything smoked including the beef ribs were superb.  grapefruit and shrimp salad was tasty and original.  Jose’s Andres did well.

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On 9/16/2018 at 11:27 AM, MarkS said:

Had a splendid dinner here last night.  Anything smoked including the beef ribs were superb.  grapefruit and shrimp salad was tasty and original.  Jose’s Andres did well.

Had a surprisingly good Restaurant Week lunch there as well a few weeks back. 

Started with the hush puppies, which were as good as I've eaten, had the pulled pork, which could have had a nicer bark, but was nicely smokey and juicy, and a solid piece of chocolate cake for dessert. 

I'd go back for a real meal. 

 

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I'm amazed that this concept didn't take - either in Tysons or DC. I'm sure COVID didn't help any, but seemed like a good concept and restaurant group for both locations.

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