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I thought it would be interesting to see if there were restaurants that don't come up in this (or many other) forums -- either because they stink or because no one knows about them -- or maybe some third reason, such as Rockwellian intervention.

One I'm specifically thinking about...

About four years ago -- before I really got into food -- I went with a bunch of college friends to Serbian Crown, a Russo-Franco restaurant out in the hinterlands of Great Falls that had an interesting -- and rather strange -- game menu. When we went they were out of both bear and lion (is serving lion even legal?) but I had a chance to sample platypus (leathery), antelope (not as good as venison) and suckling pig (delicious). From my vague, vodka infused memories, I remember thinking everything was drenched in too much sauce, but the experience itself was kind of fun. We were all inexperienced at fine dining, so it was a good laugh.

Now, searching the internets, I find few mentions of Serbian Crown. There are some scattered reviews (mostly negative, it seems). Nothing off of El WaPo and no mentions on eGullet or this forum. I wonder: is it because the restaurant isn't worth discussing, because its out in the sticks, or what?

Add to this list of restaurants people are silent about... Obelisk, Indique, Spezie, Palena (just kidding)...

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or maybe some third reason, such as Rockwellian intervention.

[Never.

And THANK YOU for bringing up this topic. There are endless numbers of restaurants I wish had their own thread, and nothing makes me happier than to see a new thread pop up for a place not written about here. This is what I like about Chowhound so much - they'll have ongoing discussions about holes-in-the-wall that nobody seems to discuss here or on eGullet. And not just holes-in-the-wall: Gerard's Place, Nora, Heritage India, Kaz Sushi Bistro, etc.

Please, discuss the restaurants in this thread if you'd like, but if you're going to issue a full-fledged essay on an establishment, consider beginning a new thread and linking to it here.]

The following posts have been split into separate threads:

The Flaming Pit (hm212)
Faryab (porcupine)

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New Heights in Woodley Park seems to never come up at all. I have never eaten there, but the place is always packed and I don't think it is just with tourists from the local hotels.

It looks like a lovely place and I am also told that the old chef has gone on to grander things here in the City.

What is the haps with this place?

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I never see Da Domenico's mentioned very often. This mainstay in the Tyson's area has what I believe to be the best veal chop in town. I think it is their signature dish. The place is quite popular.

And I never see much discussion of what I will describe as the "old guard" in the Old Town area; places such as Le Refuge, La Bergerie, Le Gaulois.

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Shout out to the legion of DC hotel restaurants with $20+ entrees that may as well not exist as far as critical attention is concerned (deserved or undeserved):

14K
The Federalist
Lafayette
Twigs
Panevino
1919 Grill
Regatta Raw Bar
1331
Café on M

(and that's just the beginning)

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This kind of brings up the idea of doing a, perhaps once-a-month, Discovery Safari. Pick a restaurant that is either not represented, or severely under-represented and, for better or worse sample its wares. Shogun's Woo Lae Oak is a neat call. Not particularly inconvenient to get to. Have any of us ever been there? It might be fun to hit somewhere that none of us have been to so we have absolutely no expectations.

Meanwhile, sticking with the theme of this thread, one place I'd recommend that I've been to two or three times, but I've never heard anyone else say they've tried is Trattoria Liliana on Conn. Ave./Van Ness.

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This kind of brings up the idea of doing a, perhaps once-a-month, Discovery Safari.  Pick a restaurant that is either not represented, or severely under-represented and, for better or worse sample its wares.  Shogun's Woo Lae Oak is a neat call.  Not particularly inconvenient to get to.  Have any of us ever been there?  It might be fun to hit somewhere that none of us have been to so we have absolutely no expectations. 

Count me in for Discovery Safari.

I will not be wearing a pith helmet.

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This kind of brings up the idea of doing a, perhaps once-a-month, Discovery Safari.  Pick a restaurant that is either not represented, or severely under-represented and, for better or worse sample its wares.  Shogun's Woo Lae Oak is a neat call.  Not particularly inconvenient to get to.  Have any of us ever been there?  It might be fun to hit somewhere that none of us have been to so we have absolutely no expectations. 

Meanwhile, sticking with the theme of this thread, one place I'd recommend that I've been to two or three times, but I've never heard anyone else say they've tried is Trattoria Liliana on Conn. Ave./Van Ness.

That was part of the original concept behind the $20 Tuesday thing, but this may require more than $20/person.

Anyway I would be up for the adventure. :lol:

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So...anybody know anything about Woo Lae Oak Korean restaurant behind Pentagon Row in Pentagon City? :lol:

This is a lot more expensive than its Anandale counterparts, and while I did not find the service more unfriendly than anywhere else (which doesn't say much), it does tend to get more crowded. I too would stick to Hee Been and Sorak Garden.

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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?

I had a relatively poor experience there the one time I went (Fall 2003). Service was great (waitor seeing from the expression on my face that the overcooked pork tenderloin was like chewing on old shoe leather). The wine pairings for each menu item are nice. The food had potential, but absolutely everything was way too salty.

It may be time to give them another chance as it is one of the few places in Bethesda to even attempt reaching a high level.

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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?

What about Persimmon in Bethesda? Anyone ever been there? I never hear anything about it.

Edited by cjsadler
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I tried Persimmon for lunch about this time last year. I don't remember many specifics - I had a salad and a dessert. I remember enjoying the place and wanting to go back. It's small, but very friendly. I may have to pay them another visit soon. Although I don't remember much, I definitely enjoyed myself there.

BTW, I really dig the DR.com invasion of the less-talked about restaurants idea. Kinda like a book club! But tastier.

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There never seems to be much discussion of Bistro Lepic which otherwise has a great reputation.  From their website, I see that they have a wine tasting at their wine bar on Tuesdays from 6-8, plus 20% on bottles of wine at the wine bar.  Does anyone know if they have a bar menu?

Yes, they do have a bar menu. I don't recall the details though as it's been a while. I did have some pig's feet though!

It's an attractive space in the wine bar. If it was more convenient for me, I'd go more frequently.

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  Noone ever talks about MontMarte on the Hill. Although I haven't been in quite some time, I think it's quite good.

Montmartre is interesting because though it always comes up as a suggestion to the question "I'm on the Hill, where should I go?" it doesn't really have a consistently going thread...

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Montmartre is interesting because though it always comes up as a suggestion to the question "I'm on the Hill, where should I go?" it doesn't really have a consistently going thread...

It has a thread here. There have been a few posts recently, but it's true that it deserves more activity.

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We could probably start a long thread of Really Crummy Restuarants on the Hill. Park Cafe would be my first entry. A few restaurants would not make that list - Montmartre being one of them.

One of my old roommates worked as a waiter at the Park Cafe and really, really didn't enjoy it. The number of times he came home on weekend nights with less than $40 in his pocket...

Oh, and he was convinced there was something shady going on at the restaurant behind the scenes. I have no evidence either way; all I know is that for an attractive space, the food sure is over priced and bad. You think someone smart would want to do something with that...

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We could probably start a long thread of Really Crummy Restuarants on the Hill. Park Cafe would be my first entry.

A few restaurants would not make that list - Montmartre being one of them.

I'm STILL angry about my one experience at Park Cafe from almost a year ago. It fucking sucks! I don't know how they even stay in business. It rarely has a crowd, and anyone I've ever spoken with who has been hated it.

Starfish Cafe can bite me too.

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We could probably start a long thread of Really Crummy Restuarants on the Hill. Park Cafe would be my first entry.

A few restaurants would not make that list - Montmartre being one of them.

Well that's for sure. What's even more unfortunate than a bad old place like Park Cafe is the spate of bad new places that have moved into the revived 8th street corridor (Starfish Cafe, Ugly Mug, various pseudo Irish-pub-sports-bar monstrosities, etc.). Old Siam, the new Thai Place, I think is an exception, as is Belga; I've enjoyed my meals at these places. Then of course there is Montmartre and Sonoma. Overall the Hill has made a quantum leap in the past year alone. But it is still fighting a rearguard battle against a long tradition of bad food.

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Oh, and he was convinced there was something shady going on at the restaurant behind the scenes.

That doesn't surprise me. It just lingers on and on - and it's unclear why. It's a shame too - it's a great little location and a cute space. If the atmoshpere were a little livelier, the food a little better (ok, maybe a lot better), the prices a little more reasonable and the service a little more on the ball, it would be a hit.

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You think someone smart would want to do something with [Park Cafe]...

I live a block away from it. I can't tell you how many people on our street alone would flock to the place if it were decent; problem is, it would have to be pretty kid-friendly, as there are many families with kids around here who take advantage of Lincoln Park. (Actually, given the parking situation, I'm not sure the location is as attractive from a business standpoint as it might look.)

Maybe we should organize a DR exploration of Hill restaurants that are worth the trouble, say lunch at Sonoma one day, dinner at Belga the next, lunch at Montmartre as a Gran Finale. Perhaps Bistro Bis and an ethnic place like Siam as well. Just a thought...

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From eGullet 8/04:

feel hungover this morning. Yes, I had a bit to drink, but this is mostly a hangover due to remorse-- remorse over my lack of judgement.

I should have known better when I walk up to the restaurant with my GF and only one table is occupied at 8 on a Saturday night. I should have known better when the waiter asked if we had a reservation despite the space being virtually empty. I should have known better when the waiter immediately started pushing the bottled waters (I like DC lead in my water, thank you very much).

It's such a shame. It has such potential to be the neighborhood joint a few blocks down from where I live. As it stands, maybe I'll go back in a year to see if it's changed at all. The first thing I'll do then is look at the prices on the menu and decide whether or not to stay.

I can't believe how much $$$ we spent last night-- at THAT place. And for what? The risotto was fine, quite good in fact. But it wasn't as though there were exotic ingredients and we had only a few tablespoons worth of it for $12. I didn't think that was too bad, but the entrees just seemed to have even less value. My GF's filet mignon consisted of a few 1/4 thick slices of beef atop a small pile of vegetables with a narrow line of mashed potatoes and a handful of strips of sweet potato chips. It looked nice, most of it tasted nice, but it was meager at $25. Especially when we saw someone at another table get the same dish with what appeared to be 50% more meat. For kicks I had ostrich. I was happy with the flavor and amount of meat but it was accompanied by what amounted to 1/3 of a baby artichoke, the better part of a small yellow beet, and the odd piece of this or that sitting somewhere on my plate. And their chocolate mousse would have been better had they left the stale old whipped cream off the top.

I can think of many places in town that would have knocked our socks off for the same amount of dough-- Nectar, Palena, Cafe Atlantico, etc. Hell, we coulda probably sat at the bar and had a fine introduction to Citronelle.

Oh well, live and learn.

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As mentioned here I think the Great American Restaurants (local chain) gets very little talk. The places serve up decent food for the volume that they do. While not a foodie paradise I have enjoyed many good meals at Artie's and Mike's.

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I'm also surprised that the great Ethiopian places in DC don't come up on these forums. Right now my favorite is Sodere, though I've heard good things about Etete as well. Dukem is good, but not as good as it used to be; I generally pass on Meskerem and opt for Little Ethiopia nowadays...

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I don't hear much about Colvin Run Tavern anymore.

Don't hear much about Cafe 15, 701, Occidental, Palette, Gabriel, the City of Bethesda, Signatures, Ella's, Obelisk, The Oval Room, Taberna del.. Maybe there's good reason for that or...?

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I don't hear much about Colvin Run Tavern anymore.

Don't hear much about Cafe 15, 701, Occidental, Palette, Gabriel, the City of Bethesda, Signatures, Ella's, Obelisk, The Oval Room, Taberna del.. Maybe there's good reason for that or...?

As for Taberna - I remember some recent unpleasntries exchanged over the quality of the paella there.

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What about Cashion's Eat Place? Don't hear that much about it these days either.

Cashion's is about a five-minute walk from us. When it first opened, it was our "go to" place in the neighborhood and we would take people there as a treat. However, we became less and less enchanted with the food and, after a not-good meal there, we haven't been back. We also went to Johnny's Half Shell ONCE and won't go back. (That experience did, however, encourage me to make shrimp and grits myself. That bottle of Tabasco sauce on the table should have alerted us.)

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Cashion's is about a five-minute walk from us.  When it first opened, it was our "go to" place in the neighborhood and we would take people there as a treat.  However, we became less and less enchanted with the food and, after a not-good meal there, we haven't been back.  We also went to Johnny's Half Shell ONCE and won't go back.  (That experience did, however, encourage me to make shrimp and grits myself.  That bottle of Tabasco sauce on the table should have alerted us.)

Make sure you get hominy grits. They are harder to find but well worth it. They are toothsome unlike the quick grits you find at most grocery stores.

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I truly enjoyed the Hitching Post on Upshur St upon my first and only (to date) visit. The neckbones & beans were a revelation but they were out of greens! {sob} The fried chicken (to borrow a phrase) didn't suck either, nor did the mac & cheese. Waitman will have to describe the service since I don't have the words to do it justice. I will return and I have to say that I was thinking of keeping this place to myself.

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I know someone who has had them caterer events to good results.  It's on 8th on the other side of the highway, close to the Navy Yard.

Do you know how long it's been there? Is it part of the 8th street revitalization (even though it's on the other side of the SE/SW Expressway) or has it been around for a while?

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Do you know how long it's been there?  Is it part of the 8th street revitalization (even though it's on the other side of the SE/SW Expressway) or has it been around for a while?

Not sure but I know they have another branch in Prince George's County that predate the one on 8th...

I seem to recall finding a website somewhere...and now I can't find it...

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