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DonRocks

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  1. DonRocks

    Steven Shaw

    In many ways, I don't like these obligatory "RIP posts" that we all feel compelled to write after a tragedy such as this. Although I never met Steven, I can say with great confidence that I will remember him, fondly, for the rest of my life, and I owe him a debt that can never be repaid. Steven surely knew that I admired and respected him (after all, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery), but I feel like I never really reached out to him personally, and thanked him for helping to carve this very deep, extensive trail out of nothing. With only a precious few exceptions (two of whom I'm going to write immediately after posting this), Steven had no "Steven Shaw" to draw from; the rest of us did. How many of us wish we had written these posts last week?
  2. DonRocks

    Steven Shaw

    We have a tribute thread to Steven on my website which contains a link to this tweet that pretty much says it all. Thank you for everything, Steven. You're a major pioneer in this still-nascent world of online food writing. All my respect and prayers, Don Rockwell
  3. I just skimmed this entire thread, and am surprised to see no mention of "self-paying" versus "other-paying." 1) "Self-paying" means you pay for your own meals, accept no compensation from anyone, and refuse to accept free meals from restaurants. "Other-paying" can be divided into two categories: 2a) "Other-appointed Other-paying," whose work is generally paid for by a publication, such as the major food critics. 2b) "Self-appointed Other-paying," whose work is subsidized by accepting freebies and comps from restaurants. I know which category I fall under, and I rest comfortably. Cheers, Rocks.
  4. DonRocks

    DC's Dead Restaurants

    That's a great post, Charles.
  5. I believe you (and bilrus) that the stuffing can be good - although not having seen the cookbook, I'm still waiting to "understand" how stale bread, marinated in something approaching a red-wine vinaigrette, can EVER be anything more than tolerable. I'm sorry, but that's just gross. Yeah, I'm sure I'm missing some sort of enlightenment in terms of execution, but what am I supposed to think at this point? It is very rare when I don't finish something served to me, no matter how bad it is, but this went largely uneaten. Also, not having seen the cookbook, but having read your posting, I can verify that the bird was wonderfully drippy and moist, juicy not watery, and quite good. Like Johnny says: there's more than one way to skin a cat, or in this instance, to cook a bird, and it was quite successful. But the crisp-ish (not crispy, but crisp-ish) skin took a secondary importance compared to the juicy chicken meat, and at Palena, the crispy skin is of primary importance. And I love Palena's crispy skin just like I love the crispy salmon skin at Le Paradou, but that's for another posting, perhaps another place in time. Cheers, Rocks.
  6. I can't summarize the technique, but I can discuss the end result since I had dinner at Zuni Cafe last week: a $38 roast bird for two, a very GOOD roast bird, sitting atop a 'stuffing' of what seemed like sliced day-old baguette marinated in balsamic vinaigrette. Rewind... "day-old baguette marinated in balsamic vinaigrette." And yes, it WAS as bad as it sounds. Not the chicken - which was very good (though not, repeat, not as good as Palena's); the stuffing, which flat-out sucked, and remained on the plate, uneaten. But the oysters from the raw bar were as good as any I've ever had, Rocks.
  7. DonRocks

    Ray's the Steaks

    For whatever it's worth, about ten minutes ago, I called the regular number and booked a fourtop for August 13th at 6 PM, under a friend's name. I asked if it mattered if it was three instead of four, and the congenial hostess said no, it didn't. She did not mention a 90-minute time limit. She asked if it was for a special occasion, and I said no. Then right before the call ended, I asked if we needed to vacate at a certain hour, and she said they prefer 7:30, but then reassured me that the meal would not be rushed, and that we would comfortably finish within 90 minutes. I wonder how many of us have actually eaten at Ray's since Michael Hartzer, the former Executive Chef at Citronelle, began running the kitchen? Cheers, Rocks
  8. Joe, Would you mind expanding on this? In no way do I see York Castle being the same as the old Silver Spring Gifford's - base, swiss sundae or otherwise. Perhaps it's because I used to get Gifford's swiss sundae in a tulip glass, with nuts on top, served at a temperature well higher than freezer-level; at York Castle, I get scoops to go in a paper dish with a plastic spoon, served invariably too cold, and having seemingly little in common texturally, sugar-content-wise, flavor-wise, or much of anything else-wise, with Gifford's of Silver Spring. I'm not saying it's worse, or better, just so distinctively different that I'm shocked that you're comparing the two. Please enlighten. Cheers, Rocks. P.S. If you (or anyone else) have any thoughts on why Obelisk's ice-creams and sorbets are no longer living up to the standards of Two Amys, I'd be interested in hearing them. I always supposed Two Amys sort-of "got" their ice creams and sorbets from Obelisk, but my current hypothesis is that they flew the (s)coop, and took the good ice creams and sorbets with them.
  9. You just know some dweebly simp, fresh out of undergrad with a B.S. in Marketing, said to himself, "Tee hee hee, tee hee hee. I'm so clever and worldly. I'll combine mercado with Mikado. Tee hee hee, tee hee hee." YAWN I swear I'm going to open a place in an airport or a mall: Don's House Of Nuts Get your nuts in here.
  10. Hey Tom! Anytime, pal. I can't wait around forever, y'know! Cheers, Scottie Pippen.
  11. No doubt in Le Chateau, with an occasional stop at Bob's Big Boy for a double decker and Tony's Villa for your pizza fix before catching a movie at the Allen theater. Still too scared to go on the sideways roller coaster at Kiddyland, Rocks.
  12. Lackadaisi, I appreciate your passion, but the Post's core readership extends way beyond DC proper, all the way up to and including Baltimore. The Post's readers are fairly-served to get a couple reviews a year from Baltimore, Frederick, Fredericksburg, etc, as these towns fall well within the Post's purview. Cheers, Rocks.
  13. I had dinner at Vetri in December, and it's nothing like Maestro. It's more like a country-rustic Obelisk in style, size and pricing, and features less innovative, more filling, perhaps even (forgive me) heavyhanded cuisine that satisfies more than it dazzles. Marc Vetri is a wonderful, charming chef-host who made several appearances in the dining room, coming out to slice meats on his antique slicer (and Joe, you would appreciate this thing, given your regaling stories about your ice-cream maker), and at the end of the evening, proving himself as an engaging, interesting conversationalist. I had a wonderful meal at Vetri, and it's neither as ambitious nor as impressive as Maestro, but I assure you that this is a stylistic statement and not a value judgment. Cheers, Rocks.
  14. As long as I'm in "Joe H mode," a great little divey Italian place in that area is Trattoria E Pizzeria Da Enrico in King's Contrivance Village in Columbia, Maryland.
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