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Posts posted by JennyUptown

  1. 1789 is fine, but will seem downright stodgy to anyone looking for "hip."

    I think the food at Zaytinya is back to being very good after a recent visit.

    Palena is definitely closed on Sundays.

    My visiting parents, who also like a restaurant with flair accompanied by a good martini, LOVED Charlie Palmer Steak. That would be my pick (assuming it's open on Sundays - I cannot confirm that at this second).

  2. My visits have been pretty consistent, however I too get frustrated anytime I go to Indique during prime time (Friday or Saturday nights). It's a great Sunday night spot, though!

    This past Sunday, we had the paneer shashlik (grilled Indian cheese cubes skewered with onions and peppers and served with a scoop of rice) and the neo-classical deconstucted samosa (always good). Really, the only appetizers I haven't liked there were the crab tikki (fishy on both times I tried it) and the chaat whose proper name is escaping me (I think it's an acquired taste/texture thing).

    Our entrees were the usual chicken chicken tikka makhani (not a daring selection, but a very delicious one) and the lamb shank (huge and wonderful).

  3. Indique is one of my go-to restaurants. I really enjoy the food, accompanied by a bottle of Indian beer.

    But there's one thing that drives me crazy:

    The takeaway containers!

    I don't mean the ones you get if you call in and pick up an order. Those are fine usually. But the ones for leftover dishes? Those useless white styrofoam trays? UGH, the WORST. Especially when I'm trying to take home lovely soupy things like daal.

    If the container isn't sucking out the moisture, it's leaking sauce everywhere.

    Chef Vinod, are you reading? Please consider providing more of the nice plastic sealable containers so I can enjoy every last leftover bit of Indique's delicious food.


  4. fyi - Lebanese Taverna is nowhere near the Convention Center. Neither is Cashion's.

    Zaytinya is an excellent recommendation for ethnic, reasonably priced food in a location walking distance from the Convention Center.

    Avoid La Tasca at all costs. I would also steer clear of Cap City Brewery (although if you recall Rock Bottom fondly, you might like it).

  5. My ex and I picked up take out (for him, not me) the other night. It really was a comedy of errors - in the end, the burger was fine, but just about every ordering instruction was ignored and/or overlooked.

    He is temporarily on this very serious, very strict low sodium diet. He caved and got the burger, but made some specific requests such as no tomato (high in sodium), no fries on the side (to avoid major temptation), etc. It seems silly, but he made the requests for a reason. Everyone we encountered at Riedel's seemed very nice, but ultimately clueless. Oh well.

    On another Van Ness topic, does anyone have any information regarding what might take Passport's place?

  6. Belatedly...yes, that's the one! Good times.

    Here in DC, the Logan Circle vicinity is extremely gay-friendly. When I visit Logan Tavern or Merkado (same ownership, just doors apart), I am definitely in the minority as a straight woman. The food can only be described as good, not great, but both spots have a convivial vibe.

    I feel like Tommy might know this...there's a great neighborhood bar on the west end of W4th that just happens to be a lesbian bar.  It's relaxed, not divey but not swank either.  Can't remember the name.  It's not the bars on Hudson, but on one of the side streets.

    Jenny -

    The CubbyHole, maybe?

  7. My friend and I had some good meals during our trip to Orlando for Memorial Day Weekend. Thanks to you fine Florida eg-ers for your input!

    I'm buried in work post-vacation so I'll write little blurbs about our meals when time permits. Here's meal #1.

    We were feeling lazy on Thursday, the day of our arrival, and only made it as far as The Kitchen at the Hard Rock Hotel. More memorable than the food (which was better than I expected really) was our service. Our server, a woman named Mel, was clearly out of her mind. Friendly, but stir-crazy. She introduced herself by saying she couldn't read the name on our table slip because her "dog ate her contacts." This wasn't a joke-y excuse. She meant it...and proceeded to whip out photos of the English bulldog. Subsequently we also saw photos of her fiance (though, she said, he had since shaved his goatee - good for him!). It was all rather bizarre and all of the tables around us were laughing about her good-natured insanity.

    My friend suspected crack while I pegged the blame on crystal meth. :biggrin:

    To start, we shared a very good - but clearly not inventive - chicken and chorizo quesadilla. Very tasty. My friend didn't love her seared tuna entree (saying it was cooked way more than rare which made the tuna tough), but my portion of pasta with olives, sausage, garlic and a few other good-tasting ingredients was huge so the two of us gobbled it down.

    Desserts were fine, but if I did a calories/enjoyment ratio, I'd probably skip 'em next time.

    To be continued...

  8. We had a surprisingly good meal at Logan Tavern before seeing [all of the naked men in] Take Me Out. I thought we'd have a drink there and then have food at Rice, but when I arrived, my friend had already scored an outdoor table, menus and wine so...there we were.

    Nothing fancy, but it was good. I had the pork loin and my friend had the bonless fried chicken. Both come with a complimentary mixed green salad. Liked it all. Inexpensive too - I think it was $65 including entrees, three glasses of wine, tax and tip. The service was pleasantly speedy without feeling rushed.

  9. I received this promo today via e-mail.


    Grand Opening Of Bethesda's Newest Pub ...


    Occupying over 7,500 square feet in the heart of Bethesda, this mammoth pub will accommodate up to 700 people either dining or socializing at the bar, making Union Jack's one of Bethesda's largest evening entertainment venues.

    Union Jack's features three rooms. One room is a partially enclosed patio featuring 25-foot ceilings, and is inspired by Picadilly Circus in London. Like Picadilly Circus, this room will be known for its outdoor partying and will feature a mahogany bar, DJ booth, a Big Ben replica clock and a 20-foot TV screen showing various sporting events.

    COMING SOON ...!!!


  10. What a shame! Sorriso is baaaaaad, but Indique, just next door, is good. Bardeo is too. Spices is also better than Sorriso.

    Was Palena closed for a private event (again) or just closed?

  11. It's interesting that you say that because the friend who introduced me to the place, a regular customer, is a vegetarian. She found that their offerings suited her nicely, and if not, the chef was willing to accommodate her by making other dishes meat-free (e.g., the pasta with tomato, mushroom and scallions minus the crawfish).

    Also, the entree menu features a portobello sandwich presently.

    Why oh why is Evening Star so completely vegetarian-unfriendly? Would a single entree be too much to ask?

  12. Ardeo in Cleveland Park is really nice for brunch and they have opened a small deck upstairs. You can book at OpenTable.com.

    I also like Peacock Cafe, but it can be kind of a madhouse.

    The Melrose Hotel (in Foggy Bottom, but not affiliated with Melrose the restaurant) has a lovely three course brunch in their restaurant, however I believe it is $21 per person.

  13. There is a lot I like about the Evening Star Café. The atmosphere is casual. The food, generally delicious and a good value. I can always count on an interesting glass of wine or two—Evening Star and Planet Wine are part of the same family of owners.

    When my friend Emily suggested meeting there this week, I thought “great.” I have fond memories of ES beyond the general food experience; when I first moved to DC, a Del Ray-dwelling friend would invite me to join her and her many friends for food and drink at the restaurant, as well as its two barrooms, the Majestic Lounge to the rear of the dining room and the No. 9 Lounge upstairs. Evening Star is the reason I first learned to navigate the initially-terrifying—and still sort of scary—Rock Creek Parkway.

    I arrived, first and early. Punctuality is my curse. After picking up a bottle of wine for later at Planet Wine next door, I entered Evening Star. Reminded of the restaurant’s policy against seating incomplete parties, I retreated to the Majestic Lounge. Even at 6:30, the bar was crowded with young socializers enjoying specialty beers and wines by the class, not to mention lots and lots of cigarettes. A three year old, running wild around the small room while squealing loudly, was the topper (and I really like kids - honest). I paid for my glass of rosé ($5.50, I think, for a pour advertised as 5 oz) and headed back up front.

    My friend still hadn’t arrived, however with my glass of wine in one hand, bottle in the other and ten empty tables (yes, I counted), the host would make an exception to the seating policy, right? Nope. So there I stood, in the way sometimes, but a big help others when I juggled my possessions to help staff bussing the outdoor tables, their arms full of glasses and plates. How awkward.

    The host said to me “there’s a reason for the policy…” his voice trailing off, as I looked at him, “but I don’t know what it is.” Not his fault, I suppose. He has a job he’d like to keep.

    I would be ever so pleased to see a common sense override function installed, but I won’t hold my breath. Does it make sense to keep tables free on a Friday night or some other prime dining time? Sure. On a Tuesday at 6:30 with all of those empty tables? No. It wasn’t long of a wait, but no matter; when my friend finally arrived, I was steamed. Sipping my wine, redolent of summer strawberries and served nicely chilled, helped. Catching up with a good friend helped more.

    Oh, the food? That’s right. This is a food web site. I’m getting to that.

    The food at ES was very good and just the value I remembered. The prix fixe ($28) doesn’t offer much flexibility, however it is a somewhat budget-friendly option for three courses. My friend opted for that, choosing the pistachio-crusted mahi-mahi with artichoke hearts, spinach, capers, tomatoes and a saffron citrus broth to go with a pear and stilton salad with (not on, as the menu states) flat bread.

    My own dishes were chicken and apple sausage on cheddar scallion mashed potatoes with a shallot demi-glace ($7) followed by grilled pork chop with chipotle black beans, avocado salad, pico de gallo, and fried tortillas ($17). I enjoyed both, particular the starter. Chicken sausage really seems to polarize people; this one, to me, is a clear vote for chicken sausage being a good thing. Full of rich flavor, it doesn’t taste particularly chicken-y, nor is it too full of apple sweetness.

    The double-cut pork chop was also delicious, if not quite as tender as I would have liked. It wasn’t overcooked (I went with the suggested medium) so that wasn’t the problem. The avocado “salad” was actually guacamole and the beans were a little odd in that they were black, but had the texture of refried beans; still, I liked the spiciness.

    In retrospect, I could have done without our dessert, a brownie a la mode, but my friend loved it. Served with a choice of ice cream flavors (last night’s were “Jack Daniels/chocolate or vanilla; we chose the latter), there was also an unannounced appearance by some marshmallow topping which, to me, was the highlight of this dish. I found the brownie to be somewhat dry and its walnuts life-threatening in their size. Seriously! They were HUGE.

    Service is one area where the Evening Star could stand to gain some polish. Our server last night, while both nice and relatively eager to please, was guilty of “we” syndrome. She would say “well ladies, are WE ready to order?” and “do WE need more time to decide?” Excessive chumminess? There are worse things, I realize. Our food delivery was herky-jerky with prompt-arriving appetizers, but very slow entrée arrivals. Whatever. Fortunately I was with a friend with whom there is plenty of great conversation.

    The bottom line is that I like this place, and will certainly return, but I’ll have to do something about my stupid internal clock that just won’t let me be late. There’s no freakin’ way I’m waiting in that doorway – or in that smoky bar – again.

    Evening Star Cafe


    2000 Mount Vernon Avenue

    Alexandria, VA 22301

    Telephone (703) 549-5051

    No reservations.

    (except for holidays including New Year’s, Mother’s Day and other dates on which we all know better than to go out for meals)

    All credit cards.

    No seating of incomplete parties in case you didn’t catch that.

  14. ARGH, in the end I missed Cheesetique completely. Traffic in downtown DC was a nightmare - it took me about twenty minutes just to get to the 14th Street bridge. It made me appreciate my usual Metro routine.

    By the time I got to Del Ray, it was 6:45, the appointed meeting time for dinner at Evening Star.

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