Jump to content

Spoken English, Tachinomiya-Style Eating at The Line DC Hotel in Adams Morgan


Recommended Posts

Most progressive dining experience to date! Innovative flavor combinations make for a super fun and delicious evening!! Beyond excited to see what James Wozniuk, Matt Crowley and Pichet Ong will create next!!

  • KOKURYU 'BLACK DRAGON'
    TEDORIGAWA KINKA 'GOLDEN BLOSSOM'
  • FERMENTED DURIAN CURRY
    Spaghetti Squash
  • CHICKEN SKIN DUMPLING
    Ginger Dipping Sauce
  • BLOOD CAKE
    Cilantro, Peanut, Lime
  • WHOLE ROAST DUCK
    Flour Tortillas, Broth, Duck Confit Salad, Seasoned Hoisin, Hot Sauce, Cucumbers and Scallion
  • SILVER 
    Eggplant, Miso, Fennel
     

_01.jpg_02.jpg_03.jpg_04.jpg_05.jpg_06.jpg_07.jpg_08.jpg_09.jpg_10.jpg

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Four of us ordered 1 of everything from the skewers and small plates portion of the menu, plus the chicken yakitori and a few extra orders of things we especially liked.  Everything was good to excellent with the possible exception of the durian curry, which was the only plate that wasn't returned clean, and the cocktails, which I thought were a bit of a mess. Standouts were the trumpet mushrooms (ordered 2x), the bloodcake, the chicken breast (believe it or not...super juicy and flavorful), the prawn, the short rib skewer (ordered 2x) and the chicken skin dumpling.  Every element of the yakitori was excellent, though I wish they'd grilled the livers instead of making a mouse out of them.  This is a fun space with very much a chef's table feel (you are steps away from the chefs) with enthusiastic service all around.  Though just a word of warning before going in you are STANDING throughout this entire meal...the entire space kitchen included can't be more than 400 sq ft and there is no room for chairs.  

We debated ordering the duck.  $100 seems pretty steep but now that I see dslee's pictures above I'm regretting we didn't try it.  Something to look forward to next time.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

We debated ordering the duck.  $100 seems pretty steep but now that I see dslee's pictures above I'm regretting we didn't try it.  Something to look forward to next time.

$100 for the privilege of eating faux Peking duck while standing?  Has anyone knowledgeable actually spoken in favor of this fowl?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have a lot of faith in James Wozniuk, if past is prologue.  Still, it seems that here, as at all the Line restaurants, the prices are ratcheted up (perhaps not unjustifiably, but considerably more than they would be elsewhere) because of the setting in a swanky hotel.

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Wholesale ducks worth a damn are anywhere from $4.50-$6/lb, weigh 5-7/lb ($20-$30 just for the duck) and there are Pekin, Muscovy or Moulard variables. It is easier and more definitive to inquire as to the type of duck being used than it is to speculate. Then the value of going to a fashionable boutique hotel for the luxury of eating out can be calculated. The Line might compensate their staff well, perhaps the duck demands a fair amount of work and maybe the novelty of standing is worth the premium. If a duck dinner feeds 3 or more, is a quality product and tastes good, then $33/pp might not be worth the fraught deliberation. There are other options

If Mr. Sietsema’s reviews are within the purview of consumer advocacy, the quality & provenance of the ingredients and how well the staff is compensated would help diners make a more calculated decision about where they choose to spend their ducats.

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 5/4/2018 at 11:02 AM, Ericandblueboy said:

I am skeptical about Tom's opinion on Asian food.  I imagine the duck probably tastes pretty good, but twice as good as Peter Chang's Peking duck?  

Curious, those people who won't stand in line for a restaurant, would you go stand up to eat?

Hell no. Oh hell no. OH.HELL.NO.

I do not care how good the food is. No.

It will be interesting to see when the first lawsuit citing the Americans with Disabilities Act hits the courts, too.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 5/7/2018 at 10:47 AM, Poivrot Farci said:

Wholesale ducks worth a damn are anywhere from $4.50-$6/lb, weigh 5-7/lb ($20-$30 just for the duck) and there are Pekin, Muscovy or Moulard variables. It is easier and more definitive to inquire as to the type of duck being used than it is to speculate. Then the value of going to a fashionable boutique hotel for the luxury of eating out can be calculated. The Line might compensate their staff well, perhaps the duck demands a fair amount of work and maybe the novelty of standing is worth the premium. If a duck dinner feeds 3 or more, is a quality product and tastes good, then $33/pp might not be worth the fraught deliberation. There are other options

If Mr. Sietsema’s reviews are within the purview of consumer advocacy, the quality & provenance of the ingredients and how well the staff is compensated would help diners make a more calculated decision about where they choose to spend their ducats.

13 hours ago, Pool Boy said:

Hell no. Oh hell no. OH.HELL.NO.

I do not care how good the food is. No.

It will be interesting to see when the first lawsuit citing the Americans with Disabilities Act hits the courts, too.

See above. You could just ask the restaurant about accommodations for the disabled instead of speculating about ADA lawsuits on the internet. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

24 minutes ago, kmcass said:

See above. You could just ask the restaurant about accommodations for the disabled instead of speculating about ADA lawsuits on the internet. 

That's a hoot. Of course I could. That said, accommodations for the disabled currently do not affect me, so it is of no immediate concern to me personally. And I am free to speculate whenever I feel like, thanks. :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

In Tom Sietsema's chat yesterday he said that you can order off the Spoken English menu at Brothers and Sisters - I thought that was a super good tidbit as the menu at the former was more interesting the but the standing situation was unappealing to me (even as someone who will happily wait in line).

---

[See below - DR]

Edited by DonRocks
  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 5/10/2018 at 11:00 AM, FranklinDubya said:

In Tom Sietsema's chat yesterday he said that you can order off the Spoken English menu at Brothers and Sisters - I thought that was a super good tidbit as the menu at the former was more interesting the but the standing situation was unappealing to me (even as someone who will happily wait in line).

Update from Tom's chat this week - the comment last week was mean to imply the Spoken English menu was available at Brothers and Sisters for people with disabilities (that would prevent them from standing) only.  Apologies for spreading fake news here.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

May 26, 2018

A truly inspiring and innovative menu at Spoken English makes for a super exciting dining experience.  À la carte dishes along with the 8-course Chicken Yakitori dinner ($25) are so darn delightful all I wanted to do was to keep on ordering all night long.  James Wozniuk's cooking is insanely delicious.  Oh my goodness, I can’t wait to return again and again and again.

  • Perfect beginning with wine at the bar at Brothers and Sisters
  • Standing in anticipation of what is to come is thrilling.  So exciting to watch the chefs prepare each dish before presentation to the table.
  • MOREL MUSHROOM 
    Pine
  • GREEN HILL CAMEMBERT 
    Fermented honey, Smoked Olive Oil, Toast
  • LEEK
    Romesco
  • CHICKEN YAKITORI (1)
    Chicken Liver Toast
  • CHICKEN YAKITORI (2)
    Chicken Hearts
  • CHICKEN YAKITORI (3)
    Chicken Thigh
  • CHICKEN YAKITORI (4)
    Chicken Breast 
  • CHICKEN YAKITORI (5)
    Chicken Meatball 
  • {continued in second post}

 

_01.jpg.fb4614622c0a90c1a5d6e7b0b67054a0.jpg_02.jpg.fdb4ad8fe70a7d876f23ba06df150778.jpg_03.jpg.95efcbaf3cf1d835943e533b8c31ab3a.jpg_04.jpg.3a327f9c6b19aa8f5a5dbd2971394fc8.jpg_13.jpg.b22862b7a83b6f74beda86173611a1d9.jpg

 

_05.jpg.d31a153fc8ea4ca48f791cb5f7ad1486.jpg_06.jpg.34134c48116275a3b1e85015f40293bf.jpg_07.jpg.cd4db69f9314f98858e28ef543a250b8.jpg_08.jpg.7f399bb1ee944d7849f6b88fe316e751.jpg_09.jpg.84e090935ab1888415b48367939d238a.jpg

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 6/4/2018 at 7:14 PM, dslee said:

May 26, 2018

A truly inspiring and innovative menu at Spoken English makes for a super exciting dining experience.  À la carte dishes along with the 8-course Chicken Yakitori dinner ($25) are so darn delightful all I wanted to do was to keep on ordering all night long.  James Wozniuk's cooking is insanely delicious.  Oh my goodness, I can’t wait to return again and again and again.

  • Perfect beginning with wine at the bar at Brothers and Sisters
  • Standing in anticipation of what is to come is thrilling.  So exciting to watch the chefs prepare each dish before presentation to the table.
  • MOREL MUSHROOM 
    Pine
  • GREEN HILL CAMEMBERT 
    Fermented honey, Smoked Olive Oil, Toast
  • LEEK
    Romesco
  • CHICKEN YAKITORI (1)
    Chicken Liver Toast
  • CHICKEN YAKITORI (2)
    Chicken Hearts
  • CHICKEN YAKITORI (3)
    Chicken Thigh
  • CHICKEN YAKITORI (4)
    Chicken Breast 
  • CHICKEN YAKITORI (5)
    Chicken Meatball 
  • {continued in second post}

 

_01.jpg.fb4614622c0a90c1a5d6e7b0b67054a0.jpg_02.jpg.fdb4ad8fe70a7d876f23ba06df150778.jpg_03.jpg.95efcbaf3cf1d835943e533b8c31ab3a.jpg_04.jpg.3a327f9c6b19aa8f5a5dbd2971394fc8.jpg_13.jpg.b22862b7a83b6f74beda86173611a1d9.jpg

 

_05.jpg.d31a153fc8ea4ca48f791cb5f7ad1486.jpg_06.jpg.34134c48116275a3b1e85015f40293bf.jpg_07.jpg.cd4db69f9314f98858e28ef543a250b8.jpg_08.jpg.7f399bb1ee944d7849f6b88fe316e751.jpg_09.jpg.84e090935ab1888415b48367939d238a.jpg

What dslee said.  James Wozniuk, Matt Crowley and crew are having a blast (and working very hard) cooking and serving food they obviously love.  It's wonderful, esp. the chicken yakitori "flight."  And unlike B&S and Rake's Progress, which are (understandably) priced for a trendy hotel crowd, Spoken English is a great value--not cheap by any means, but very high quality ingredients and surely worth your $$ (akin to 2 Amys, Seki, Tail Up Goat, Thip Khao, Chiko--i.e., my faves).  The chicken yakitori, for example, is a steal at $25.  I hope Eric B-Y is able to keep the prices at this level, because I'd love to be able to make this a regular haunt. (And yes, I will try the $98 duck soon--James assures that with an order of two or three other, small things, it can comfortably feed four--and it sounds delicious.) 

P.S. Most seating is now by reservation, with limited room for walk-ins--and the kitchen is open 'til midnight!

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 6/22/2018 at 12:52 PM, Marty L. said:

What dslee said.  James Wozniuk, Matt Crowley and crew are having a blast (and working very hard) cooking and serving food they obviously love.  It's wonderful, esp. the chicken yakitori "flight."  And unlike B&S and Rake's Progress, which are (understandably) priced for a trendy hotel crowd, Spoken English is a great value--not cheap by any means, but very high quality ingredients and surely worth your $$ (akin to 2 Amys, Seki, Tail Up Goat, Thip Khao, Chiko--i.e., my faves).  The chicken yakitori, for example, is a steal at $25.  I hope Eric B-Y is able to keep the prices at this level, because I'd love to be able to make this a regular haunt. (And yes, I will try the $98 duck soon--James assures that with an order of two or three other, small things, it can comfortably feed four--and it sounds delicious.) 

P.S. Most seating is now by reservation, with limited room for walk-ins--and the kitchen is open 'til midnight!

Lots of passion, labor and culinary craft goes into every dish.  Chef James' tare for the yakitori is so sublime along with his dipping sauces with recipes rotating every couple weeks are only some of the well executed details that elevate the insanely delicious and innovative food.  I have been watching the stories posted on instagram for Spoken English and excited to see a few new dishes already coming on the menu since my last visit on June 14, 2018.  I look forward to dining again soon and hope that Spoken English will continue to be in my regular dining rotation.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 hours ago, dslee said:

Last night, I stopped by Spoken English to find out that James Wozniuk is now at Maketto and Mario Almeida is now at Spoken English.

Any idea why the flip? I got the sense they were both really excited about the work they were doing in the two places.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 hours ago, dslee said:

Last night, I stopped by Spoken English to find out that James Wozniuk is now at Maketto and Mario Almeida is now at Spoken English.

4 hours ago, Marty L. said:

Any idea why the flip? I got the sense they were both really excited about the work they were doing in the two places.

Regardless of what the "official" answer is, this is a classic case of using an opening crew during "review season" - that several-month-long period when restaurateurs and chefs strategically give restaurant critics et al the illusion that they're going to be stationed there permanently, thus getting the "ratings," and having something to hang on their wall. The entire process (including the complacency of critics themselves) is bullshit.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

20 minutes ago, DonRocks said:

Regardless of what the "official" answer is, this is a classic case of using an opening crew during "review season" - that several-month-long period when restaurateurs and chefs strategically give restaurant critics et al the illusion that they're going to be stationed there permanently, thus getting the "ratings," and having something to hang on their wall. The entire process (including the complacency of critics themselves) is bullshit.

But Don, by all accounts Mario Almeida is a great chef, just as James W. is.  Is there any reason to think the quality will diminish at SE -- and rise at Maketto -- with the change?  And anyway, it's not as if James's presence, as such (i.e., as opposed to the quality of his cooking) was responsible for the good press.  There's something else going on here, methinks.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 hours ago, Marty L. said:

But Don, by all accounts Mario Almeida is a great chef, just as James W. is.  Is there any reason to think the quality will diminish at SE -- and rise at Maketto -- with the change?  And anyway, it's not as if James's presence, as such (i.e., as opposed to the quality of his cooking) was responsible for the good press.  There's something else going on here, methinks.

You may be right. (Incidentally and unrelated, the chef replacing Frank Ruta at Mirabelle has an impressive résumé also: He worked for Barbara Lynch (of #9 Park), and was Sous Chef at Alinea).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The set Spoken English breakfast available at Brothers and Sisters (the lobby) is excellent.  Congee with bonito flakes and wonderfully woody shitake mushrooms, perfectly broiled salmon with crisp skin, egg in dashi stock with salmon roe.  All very savory, so the fresh fruit is a helpful offset.  Endless coffee as well. Not "cheap" at $25 but so much more satisfying than the oversweet dessert/booze brunches nearby.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...