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Best of 2007

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Dear Parents,

2007 has been an amazing year for us all - parents, teachers, administrators, and of course our terrific students. While all of our many hundreds of students continue to grow and develop, ten of them have earned special mention by finishing the year on our honor roll.

Have a safe and happy New Year, and we all look forward to a wonderful 2008.

Andrés, José - José is one of our most popular students. He excels in science and math. This year, he became distracted by video games and had too many unexcused absences, often mailing in his assignments, and leaving important details for others to finish, C

Armstrong, Cathal - Cathal is a very hard-working and determined young man who is not afraid to take risks. His excellent organizational skills allow him to exceed expectations in a variety of subjects. This year, he also wins the award for “Most Likely To Succeed,” A

Cooper, R J - Little R J likes to put on a tough exterior for the other students, but has a heart of gold. He should continue to work on his written-communication skills. His hard work finally paid off this year, and he is now widely recognized as one of our very highest achievers, A-

Donna, Roberto - Although he now attends vocational school, Roberto remains an honorary member of our class. He is well-liked and still a very capable student. This year, Roberto has continued to let his performance be negatively influenced by an unfortunate group of friends, C+

Monis, Johnny - One of our most diligent students, Johnny is quiet, focused, and consistently exceeds grade-level expectations. He has a perfect attendance record. While many of the other students began new subjects this year, Johnny chose to concentrate on what he does well, A-

Richard, Michel - The entire student body respects our Class President Michel, who won a national award this year while representing our school. He is a proven leader. However, his grades have recently suffered because he has become preoccupied with other interests, B

Ruta, Frank - Because of his superior talent, work ethic, and genuine humility, Frank was voted “Most Admired” by his fellow students. He always does his homework. Once again this year, Frank volunteered to work in the lab while other students were out on the playground, A-

Trabocchi, Fabio - Withdrawn.

Wiedmaier, Robert - Robert seemed to become distracted earlier this year, but did quite well on his final exam. He is very street smart. During the next school year, he should work to refocus his efforts on the core curriculum, and be careful about overextending himself, B-

Ziebold, Eric - Eric is talented, hard-working, and extremely popular with both students and teachers alike. He is widely admired and respected. With an almost disarming modesty, Eric has quietly risen to the top of our honor roll, and is our Class Valedictorian for 2007, A+

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Charles's truffle sausages with bacon, onions, and apples, eaten at 5am last New Year's Day. That set the tone for the whole year.

John Wabeck's mushroom soup.

Eating roasted kid at Komi with my fingers.

The pig we roasted.

The Meursault we drank at Citronelle in June.

Tongue and wild hare at Vidalia.

And how could I forget the wagyu?

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Our anniversary dinner at Eve

Our meals at the Mendocino Grille (see you in January!)

Many, many Saturday lunches at Eamonn's


Dinner at Vetri in Philly

Our stay at the Inn at Little Washington

The charcuterie plate (in particular, but all the food in general) at Proof

Dinner at Ray's the Steaks with friends and their family

Lickety Split at Eve

...and more!

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I didn't eat too many meals out this year. The highlights I recall:

Arancini and Pasta Al Fruitti De Mare at Locanda

Bouchee a la Reine at Cafe Du Parc

Our anniversary dinner at Komi (everything :()

Corned beef and cole slaw sandwich at Central

Cheese board, charcuterie and risotto (various occasions) at Sonoma

Skate at Beck

At home, there was the Ethiopian meal I made for Valentine's Day.

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* Omakase at Morimoto in Philly (the cilantro martini and the sushi board were particularly memorable)

* Pork jowls with shad roe at Vidalia

* Black cod with uni, zucchini, green papaya, and ginger basil broth at Cyrus in Healdsburg, CA

* "Sweetbreads, cabbage-kaffir, water chestnuts" at WD-50 in NYC

* Drunken noodles with seabass at Lotus of Siam in Las Vegas

* Pumpkin soup with chestnuts at L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon in Las Vegas

* Perfect pillowy gnocchi at Proof

* Wagyu, of course!

* Mussel chowder and spaetzle at Central

* Minibar--the whole experience was just magical!

* Palak chaat at Rasika

* Tuna sliders at PS 7's

* Pupusas and shrimp quesadilla at El Riconcito in Columbia Heights

* Braised lamb, couscous, and eggplant salad with the Moroccan Ambassador (at the Meridian International Center)

Wow, I am one lucky girl--here's hoping that 2008 finds me as well-fed as 2007! Happy New Year, everyone...

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I have had too many great meals to remember the good ones, especially after two weeks in Italy, a long weekend in London and a week in Tokyo, not to mention all of the great food to be found around the area. The Four most memorable meals from this year have to be

1)Lunch at Per Se,

2)Kaiseki dinner at a Ryokan somewhere near Hakone.

3)Dinner at Rasoi Vineet Bhatia

4)Eating Gelato from Gelataria Neri every night I was in Florence.

Contrasting those are the four worst meals I have had this year, those would be

1)an over-priced and disastrous meal at BLT

2)my first and last meal at Overwood

3)the unpalatable meal at Basin Harbor Club in Vermont, and

4)Roy Rogers on the New York thruway.

My palette wants to disown me every time thoughts of any of these meals come to mind, and I curse all of those that were involved in taking my money and not providing me with even a minim of value in return.

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Lamb shanks and cassoulet at Martin Picard's "Au Pied de Cochon"

Jamie Stachowski's mind-blowingly amazing smoked meat

Heather's duck rillettes

Dry spicy beef at JNH

The appetizer assortment ML put together for us at my wife's graduation dinner at RtC

Boudin noir at Severo and andouillette sausage at Le Petit Tournneau in Paris

Trotters at Heather's (I'm not sure who actually made them but they were f**king awesome)

Chris' martinis at Dino

Skirt steak salad made on my Weber countless times over the summer

Poutine at Dunn's in Montreal

I predict 6 out of the 2008 Top 10 to be products from the Silver Spring Sausage Co-op :(

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I didn't make it to as many restaurants this year as I would have liked to (resolution #1 for 2008?), however:

Brasserie Beck - the croque monsieur, the frites, the amazing duck confit, the staggering riches of beers... I love that place.

Bourbon (Adams-Morgan & Glover Park) - the best onion rings ever, ever, ever, delicious chili-mac, the Bourbon-decker, the incredibly-reasonable beef tenderloin, and, oh yes, the potent potables.

Best part of 2007? Call me a sentimental Irishman, but I'll say it proudly: the friends that I made here.

(I proudly put the "mental" in "sentimental")

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--Spice night at Passage to India, especially the Shrimp Balchao and Mussel Vindiam.

--Wild mushroom polenta and wild boar pasta at Dino

--#5 at Inka's Chicken, on Georgia Avenue (fried tilapia and an assortment of seafood, with a sauce to die for.)

--Pho 75.

--Pranee's Thai food in Hana, Maui. She only cooks on Sunday and Monday, and you have to follow the hand-lettered signs to find the her tent on one of the side streets. It's well worth the effort.

--Red chicken curry at Ruan Thai.

--The fries and key lime pie at Bobby's Crabcakes in Rockville.

--Caprese in our kitchen--heirlooms, aged balsamic vinegar, good olive oil, basil, and fresh mozzerella. I could eat this every day during the summer.

Food resolutions for 2008: Get to know Joe's Noodle House and learn a lot more about Korean food.

Happy New Year to all!

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-The staggering amount of knowledge that I have become privy to thanks to joining this community this past year has to be the singular best experience of 2007. My palate and I thank you for expanding my knowledge. My wallet, however, thinks you're jerks. :(

-Anytime I went to Ray's the Classics, particularly for hanger steak.

-My evening with friends at the Restaurant Eve Bistro

-My increased forays into cooking, particularly Japanese thanks to my newish copy of Japanese Cooking: A Simple Art by S. Tsuji.

-My new copy of Brillat-Savarin's text.

-Repeated visits to Brasserie Beck.

-Birthday dinner at Corduroy.

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*An amazing meal at Cityzen complemented by the fun people I attended it with

*Gougeres at the bar at Eleven Madison Park

*2004 Sine Qua Non "Pokerface" Syrah

*Fried spinach, tamarind, sweet yogurt and dates at Rasika

*Brandade at Brasserie Beck

*Every single pizza I've had at Cafe Pizzaiolo

*DPB&J at PS7's

*Crispy duck at Thai Square

*Farrah Olivia

*Roasted shoat at Vidalia

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- I had it with only a few hours left in the year, but the Eco-Farms Braised Rabbit at Mendocino is the best dish I have had of its type.

- All of my experiences at Proof

- Stinging nettle gnocchi and veal two-ways at Maestro

- Best dinner of my life at Komi

- Grouper with the Marie Rose sauce at Eamonn's

- Pork sausage at 2 Amy's

- Pulled pork sandwich at PS7s

- Spicy seafood pasta at Tosca

- Corned Beef sandwich at Central

- Pad see ew at 1Gen

- Kabob Karahi at Ravi Kabob

- Every RTS and RTC visit

I could go on and on, DC has really become a great place to eat.

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Andrés, José - José is one of our most popular students. He excels in science and math. This year, he became distracted by video games and had too many unexcused absences, often mailing in his assignments, and leaving important details for others to finish, C
Jose doesn't appear to be very concerned about his "grades."
Ziebold, Eric - Eric is talented, hard-working, and extremely popular with both students and teachers alike. He is widely admired and respected. With an almost disarming modesty, Eric has quietly risen to the top of our honor roll, and is our Class Valedictorian for 2007, A+
And teacher's pet... :(
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-Komi! Komi! Komi! with my parents

-Hamachi appetizer at Poste (also the Basil Lemontini- addictive)

-Guacamole at Oyamel

-Everything I ate at Tapas del Pep in Barcelona

-A romantic dinner prepared by Chef Bruno Ungaro at L'Amphitryon, Aix-en-Provence

-Scallop "ravioli" appetizer filled with caviar, plus the amazing desserts and fabulous wines at Crabtree's Kittle House, Chappaqua, NY

-The best pumpkin soup of my life on Thankgiving

-Steamed mussels with garlic and white wine at Brasserie Beck

-Spinach salad with salmon at Juice Joint Cafe, Vermont & K NW (perfect lunch)

-Roasted garlic in sauce with golden raisins at Dino

Bon appetit, here's to 2008

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-Wagyu tasting @ Vidalia

-Being asked to write a pizza blog

-The porcini/balsamic/truffle/parmesan pizza I made for said blog

-Both trips to 2941 (thank you, Kathy!)

-Meeting Don "007" Rockwell

-Birthday @ Citronelle (was that really 2007? It seems so long ago... like a dream)

-Mark Slater

-The opening of and my subsequent multiple trips to American Flatbread

-The bacon pizza @ AF

-Finally having been to Ray's the Steaks enough times that I get recognized even when Michael's not there (thanks, Danielle)

-Perfecting my steak grilling

-Getting a perfectly fried Chalupa @ Taco Bell

Resolution for 2008: Get to a Vidalia happy hour.

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Since I don't travel for work anymore, 2007 was likely my LEAST exciting food year since the turn of the century, but there were still some great dishes and experiences...

- Komi in April. Every single thing that I ate was wonderful (especially the oxtail mini gyro), the wine pairing was perfect (Albarino is now my only go to white wine) and the service was spectacular.

- Minibar in February. It came in a close second to Komi for meal of the year, but while the experience was top notch, the food lagged behind the winner.

- New Virginia Sausage pizza at American Flatbread, a real winner of a restaurant out in the suburbs.

- Carrot flavored pappardelle with a rabbit ragu in a white wine sauce and fresh thyme at Tosca.

- Pretty much everything at the March of Dimes Signature Chef event in November, the best food tasting event each year for me, 30+ amazing chefs all under one roof.

- Burgers galore! Central, Palena, etc., really made my year, glad to see that my favorite food is getting the full respect that it deserves!

- Finding out that they film porn at Marrakesh after we ate there. Hey, it wasn't a great food moment by any stretch of the imagination, but I can tell you the exact look of all of our faces when we heard that bit of news.

- Our trip to Portland, Maine. Drinks and small bites at the bar at Street and Company, Mark wins for the best bartender of the year. Flounder at Fore Street, the best piece of fish that I had all year, and the tomato salad there, the best tomatoes that I had all year.

- Shocked escolar with wasabi pearls and pickled watermelon rind at Farrah Olivia on a beautiful and mild August evening.

- The fries at Brasserie Beck. I still like the ones at Poste better, but since I didn't go there in 2007, Beck wins for the best that I had this year.

- Drinks at the bar at Town in NYC. The drinks were great, but the atmosphere was just awesome that night, lots of fun people having a good time in a place that generally is a bit stuffy, pretty surreal setting that night.

- Almost everything that I ate at B&B Ristorante in Vegas - warm lamb's tongue with chantrelles and a three minute egg, beef cheek ravioli with black truffles and crushed duck liver, fennel dusted sweetbreads with sweet and sour onions, duck bacon and membrillo vinegar.

- Every damn hot dog that I ate at Yankee Stadium, either in 2007 or in one of my 30 other years, we will miss you in 2009.

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Goat cheese kulcha at Rasika

Chili chocolate pot de creme at Poste

The pear napoleon and pear sangria at the Lounge at Citronelle

The skin-on squid sushi last week at Kikuzushi near my house

Grilled pork cartilage at Miyarabi, our local Okinawan joint

My first takikomi gohan

My last meal in America (because the crappy bagel and coffee from the Potbelly in the B terminal at DCA don't count): steak salad and a martini at RTC, followed by key lime pie eaten while sitting on the floor of my den, talking to my father-in-law on the phone.

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First prize goes to our lunch at Ray's the Classics two weeks after the baby was born. Pink meat, cava, raw eggs, etc. It was a meal I had been waiting nine and a half months to eat and every note was perfect.

Other winners:

Thanksgiving at Corduroy

Stinky cheeses at Dino

The Palena Burger

The corned beef at Central

Desserts at Central

My first post baby onion bagel with whitefish salad

The duck at Pacifica

Imos pizza in St. Louis

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In approximate chronological order:

Beef cheek ravioli at Babbo

Soup dumplings at Pacifica Cafe

Butcher board at Restaurant Kolumbia

Tomato "trio" and the burger at Palena

Shrimp balls at Hollywood East

Onion tart at Central

Hamachi at Eve

Eggs Benedict at Colorado Kitchen

Sweet pea and basil soup at my house on NYE using LBH's recipe

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