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Everything posted by rhodegirl

  1. Docsonz, If you’re interested in Chesapeake Bay oysters, Rappahannock River Oysters company is a good source. I’m not affiliated with them in any way, but a couple of years ago, as a reporter, I wrote a piece about the company for Chow.com: http://www.chow.com/stories/10143 Here’s the Rappahannock River Oysters website: http://www.rroysters.com/ Note they don’t ship oysters in July and August because of the higher water temperature, but they’ll resume in September.
  2. Mr. Lynes, I love Michael Ruhlman's work and it was a pleasure to read your interview with him. I was so happy to see his comments about Chef Kelly. I don't know her personally, but I've been to Primo, in Rockland, Maine, a couple of times while traveling, and it's one of my favorite restaurants. (She seems truly dedicated to using local, seasonal ingredients as much as possible, she makes some of the best fresh pasta I've ever had and even her simplest salads are amazing.) The fact that she runs "a comfortable, wonderful kitchen", as Mr. Ruhlman said, comes through in the front of the house too - good karma all around at Primo.
  3. Great interview. just fyi, it's Chef Melissa Kelly, not Keller.
  4. Thanks for your review, JennyUptown. I enjoyed reading it. (I've never been to Evening Star - I'm guilty of nearly always staying in DC when I go out to eat.) Do you happen to remember the particulars about the glass of wine you had? It sounded good from your description, especially with summer almost here.
  5. Just to note, the person in today's chat who wrote about Colorado Kitchen said at the beginning of her post that they visited CK two weeks ago, not this past Sunday. Not defending anyone's actions or doubting your description of the man who berated the hostess this past Sunday, DCMark. It just sounds like the incident you witnessed and the situation described by the person in today's chat occurred on two different Sundays.
  6. I highly recommend a number of dishes that were on the menu as of last week: Artichokes Sott’Olio – Artichokes marinated in olive oil with house cured Portuguese sardines and Spanish mackerel and Mozzarella di Bufala from Naples. This chef knows his way around an artichoke, not to mention cured fish. Galantine of Organic Chicken, with mostarda di frutta, lentil salad, treviso and arugula dressed with hazelnut vinaigrette. A delicious pate-like dish served with a kind of fruit preserves, which was a nice contrast with the sharpness of the treviso (a type of radicchio, I think) and the arugula. If you see this dish on the menu, do yourself a favor and order it. Penne with lamb meatballs. Sublime. One of those dishes so perfect you want to take as long as humanly possible to eat it because you don't want it to end. In fact, a tear may come to your eye as you savor the last bite. Thanks to Kelli and the staff for excellent service.
  7. Chef Michel Richard is featured in a great radio piece on Chef's Garden, a family farm in Huron, Ohio that caters to chefs around the nation. The story ran on NPR's Morning Edition today. You can listen here: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=4566575 Warning: the sounds of Chef Richard in his kitchen and the photos of the vegetables from the farm (on the NPR website) may prompt you to drop everything and run to Citronelle as soon as possible.
  8. I too thought Joe H's story about the staff at the Hot Shoppe looking out for elderly patrons who came in alone every night was touching. But I have to say, the last word that came to my mind when I read Todd Kliman's great piece about Dr. Hall was 'elderly'. He is professor and chair of the Department of Psychology at University of Maryland. That's present tense, meaning he's not retired. In that position, he's most likely still doing research and he most certainly does not spend his days alone. Maybe he enjoys going to Marcel's every night just to relax and escape the faculty squabbles he has to referee. In any case, Kliman's story did not leave me with the impression of a lonely, elderly man, but rather that of a vibrant, interesting person with an active career who has good taste in food and wine (and ambiance, of course), who knows what he likes and sticks with it.
  9. In a feature that ran on the front page of the Metro section of Sunday's Washington Post, Chef Ris Lacoste of 1789 and other women chefs head out for the evening and talk shop. <In the past decade, women have increasingly landed starring roles in the kitchens of some of the nation's best-known restaurants...But government statistics are unequivocal. While women make up more than half of the food-preparation workforce, fewer than one in five is a chef or head cook. The industry's most prestigious awards go mostly to men. Most of the recognized top chefs in the country are men. Most of the students at the L'Academie de Cuisine in Gaithersburg are men. No wonder the women vent.> To see what they vent about, check out the full story: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/artic...-2005Mar26.html
  10. Docsconz, One place that’s great for families with a young child is 2 Amy’s. It has excellent pizza and antipasto dishes. It’s one of the best restaurants in the city, I think, and it also happens to be one of the most child-friendly restaurants in all of DC. Kids seem to get a kick out of seeing the guys slide the pizzas in and out of the oven. (There is a thread on 2 Amy’s on egullet, but I’m not sure how to link it -sorry.) It’s three or four miles from downtown, off Wisconsin Avenue. (The address is 3715 Macomb St. NW) It would be a good choice if you felt like venturing away from the Mall for a couple of hours, just for a change of pace. The National Cathedral is nearby - interesting architecture – check out the gargoyles if you go. Have a great trip!
  11. Daddy-A, Thank you so much for this wonderful blog. My husband and I visited Vancouver for the first time last summer and we fell in love with the city. It's an amazing place for anyone who loves food (not to mention gorgeous natural surroundings). At one point, after indulging in an outstanding dinner at West, we briefly contemplated sending for our dog, Gilbert, and moving from DC to Vancouver right then and there. Obviously, we didn’t make the move (at least not yet), but we are inspired by your blog to go back for more visits as often as possible. (And thanks to you and the others on the Vancouver board, we have many, many ideas where to eat when we go.) p.s. Your dogs are adorable. p.p.s. Thanks especially for the photo of Deep Cove. We spent a wonderful day kayaking there. Canucklehead is right - you can spend the day in a beautiful place that feels like an island town and then zip back into Vancouver to eat dinner in one of the best food cities in North America. What's not to like?
  12. [Ah, ah, ah, he says, shaking his finger disapprovingly and with scorn... this will either need to be submitted as an eGullet Calendar Event, or if it's within seven days, to be posted on the ISO DC Dining Friends thread and organized via private mail. Sincerely, Luca Brazzi. ] ← Egads, didn't Luca Brazzi end up sleeping with the fishes? Tell us this is not your fate, DonRocks...
  13. One night last week, I finally had the chance to try the Filipino style spring rolls, and they were delicious. I can see why the spring rolls - and Corduroy in general - has received such high praise! I’d also recommend the parsnip soup and the seared sea scallops with Thai curry sauce, which were served with mashed Kabocha squash. We only had time for a few quick appetizers in the bar this time, so we’ll have to return for a full dinner. Those goat cheese ravioli sound enticing.
  14. Most of the tables were filled on both the weekend nights we went. In fact, one night, by the time we were leaving around 8:15 or so, there were people waiting for tables. Our waiter said they've been busy on Friday and Saturday nights, but the weeknights have been much slower. (By the way, I believe they are also open for lunch on weekdays and for brunch on Sundays.)
  15. Hmmm, I don't remember if they have cassoulet on the menu. If your heart is set on it, you might want to call ahead to check.
  16. I hesitate to write these words for fear of jinxing things, but Le Chat Noir might be the neighborhood restaurant we've been hoping for in the Friendship Heights/Tenleytown area. I'll offer these caveats: the restaurant has been open less than a month and we’ve only had two dinners there. But both meals were excellent and we enjoyed ourselves so much, I thought I’d start to spread the word. It’s a bistro style menu, featuring dishes such as onion soup, pate, quiche, steak frites and crepes. Over the course of our two dinners, we tried each of these classics, figuring if they could do these dishes well, it would be a good sign. (I was also inspired by Russ Parsons’ wonderful LA Times piece about quiche, in which he points out how this much maligned dish, when prepared as it should be, can be sublime.) I’m happy to say the quiche at Le Chat Noir is quiche as it was meant to be. The custard filling is creamy, with sautéed mushrooms scattered throughout, the crust is flaky, and the top is a perfect golden brown. (On the second visit, we tried the bacon quiche, which was even better than the mushroom, mainly because…well, it involved bacon.) It’s a generous portion, served with a mixed greens salad or fries. The onion soup, another dish that was mistreated and in danger of becoming a cliché in this country back in the seventies and eighties, is done the way it should be, as well. The pureed vegetable soup was also very good. The steak frites: the steak, cooked medium rare as requested and served with a pat of butter on it, was tender and flavorful, and the fries were nice and crisp. (I believe the steak was entrecote.) We also enjoyed the terrine de canard, which was served with carmelized onions, cornichon, olives and crusty bread, and a buckwheat crepe with spinach, ham and crème fraiche, served with a mixed green salad and ratatouille. The address for Le Chat Noir is 4907 Wisconsin Avenue. It’s a small restaurant, with mustard yellow walls, funky tulip-shaped light fixtures and a faux tin ceiling. Diners who are seated along the wall sit on long, comfortable dark wood church-pew-like benches. Each table is covered with a white tablecloth and white textured butcher paper. The front room has large mullioned windows on three sides, with black walls and trim and a red ceiling. The place has a warm, relaxed atmosphere, with lively French music and servers who speak French. It’s a charming little escape.
  17. Potentially stupid question: I feel a sudden need to try the famous spring rolls at Corduroy. If we get a table, can we order any of the dishes from the bar menu? Or shall we just park ourselves at the bar? thanks in advance for your guidance. (I also welcome any advice on any other favorite dishes.)
  18. From Sunday's Washington Post Metro section, a fun story for Ray's the Steaks fans who also happen to be baseball fans: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/artic...3-2005Mar5.html <After sitting down at Ray's the Steaks on Wilson Boulevard, they started picking about 9:15 p.m. Lemke used the first pick to take the Nats' home opener, against the Arizona Diamondbacks on April 14.> (The story is off topic, but I thought egulleters would be interested in the reference to Ray's since it is the setting for much of the story. Plus, the photo shows Ray's welcomes Red Sox fans, which is good to know. )
  19. <So they have a separate lunch menu with some of the Cafe items?> Exactly. They have a separate lunch menu that includes several of the 'regular' Cafe dishes, such as cheeseburger, hot dog, cafe salad. They also said they plan to offer at least one paninni each week, as well as a dish that includes eggs. They will also have several other offerings, such as the BLT, stuffed breast of lamb and and the smoked salmon with potato frittata that I mentioned. I don't know how often the lunch menu will change. The hours for lunch are 11:30 am to 2:30 pm on Saturdays, by the way, and it is served only in the cafe, not in the main restaurant. (The restaurant and the cafe are both still closed on Sundays.)
  20. Here's the information on the doughnuts' pedigree from Tom Sietsema's Fall 2002 Dining Guide : "Doughnuts: Based on a White House recipe for rolls, the high, tender, yeasty and butter-rich doughnuts baked by chef Frank Ruta of Palena and sold at the Amernick bakery..." (obviously no longer sold at the now closed Amernick bakery) <Sweet! That's probably my best chance to get over there. Was it really busy at lunch?> While we were there, I'd say business was steady, but not too busy. Of course, it was their first day serving lunch - I would imagine as word gets around, they'll probably draw quite a crowd, especially judging by the number of people walking by who did double takes as they noticed people eating in Palena at lunchtime.
  21. Mmmmmm.....donuts. For all of you pining for those beloved donuts from Palena, good news. Palena Cafe has started serving lunch on Saturdays, and the menu features - drumroll please - Chef Frank Ruta's much-in-demand donuts. They are served two to an order, one glazed and one sugar, and are accompanied by a pot of sublime dark, rich, European hot chocolate. But first, lunch. We ordered two dishes and shared. First, Artichoke and Fontina Paninni, fontina cheese and artichokes on semolina bread with olives, fried artichokes and lemon. The sharp, pungent melted cheese oozes over and around the tender, warm, lemony artichokes, all of it tucked in between two slices of perfectly grilled bread. (I admit I don't know from paninni, but I'd be willing to bet this is what paninni is meant to be.) On the side are olives and delicate, crisp fried artichokes. We also had Buckwheat Blini with poached organic hen egg with green sauces – with grilled pork cutlet optional. The poached egg sits atop the relatively large blini, around which the green sauce is drizzled. Each bite combines the creamy yolk, melt-in-your-mouth blini and the delectable green sauce, which involves anchovies, capers, herbs, and olive oil. To the side is the delicious pork cutlet, served with a scattering of mushrooms and a bit of sage butter. Desserts choices at lunch, all of which are made by Chef Ruta, include the Donuts with hot chocolate; Fudge Brownies with vanilla ice cream, bananas and hot fudge; and a Crespelle di Ricotta, crepes filled with ricotta cheese, with orange segments marinated in liquors. Excellent service, as usual. By the way, the lunch menu also includes several favorites – the cheeseburger, the hot dog, the fries. Here are the menu descriptions of several other dishes offered this past Saturday: BLT – Palena’s Way, arugula and our own bacon grilled on house baked sourdough bread, with an arugula salad and tomato condiment; House Smoked Salmon with a salad of leeks and almonds and potato frittata; and Stuffed Breast of Virginia Raised Lamb with piquillo pepper bread sauce and grilled treviso. Did I mention the donuts?
  22. The cocktails at Firefly are mentioned in today's Weekend section in the Washington Post: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/artic...-2005Feb24.html We sampled Derek's excellent version of the Bellini last week, followed by the roasted squash soup, the roasted chicken and the lamb minute steak with macaroni and cheese - a great way to start off a weekend.
  23. I do not remember its name. But, at the risk of being tossed off egullet, I don't necessarily memorize the restaurant name and star rating for every review, even the three and four star ones. My point is, I think Mr. Sietsema's review of Blacksalt and the two star rating was fair and - in my opinion -not in any way disrespectful to the owners or the chefs. I'm sure we can agree to disagree about that. Cheers!
  24. Oy. The 'ratings code' for Tom Sietsema's reviews explains that a rating of two stars signifies the following: 'Good - restaurants with generally appealing cooking, service, and settings; they tend to be worth driving across town for.' Somehow, I don't think people who read the Washington Post review this Sunday are going to say 'You know, I was going to try that new restaurant, 'Blacksalt', but now that Tom Sietsema says it's good and worth driving across town for - forget it!' In my humble opinion, I think the Post review is fair and on target. (In the interest of full disclosure, I'm a native Rhode Islander who has not traveled hundreds of miles for pizza. For gnocchi, maybe. But not for pizza. )
  25. We had yet another great dinner at Palena Café the other night. Fluke marinated with grapefruit flesh and celeries, curry flavor, Duxbury pearl oysters and radish. A ceviche-like dish. The sharp, fresh flavors of grapefruit and celery complement the relatively mild, sweet flavor of the fluke and the escape-to-the-ocean taste of the oysters, followed by a little kick from the curry. The celery, our server explained, is in two forms in this dish, as a stock and in thin slices. Raviolini with sheep’s milk ricotta and herbs, porcini mushrooms, glazed sunchokes, Gaeta olives and sautéed spinach with Roman inspired sauce of pinenuts and raisins. This is one of the few dishes that has lured me, temporarily, away from the gnocchi. And, of course, the chicken. Better than ever.
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