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Everything posted by brioboy

  1. Bourbon - I don't eat a lot of burgers but I thnk this should be on the list of contenders. Topped with carmelized onions, on a bun that doesn't take itself too seriously and with a small silver cup (a la Blue Duck) side of duck-fat fries. Wonderful bar staff too.
  2. To bring this topic up to date - what restaurants are planning on having this on their menu this year and who had particularly good shad roe in a restaurant last year?
  3. The anti-McCormick & Schmicks is the voluptuously decadent boho-chic Brewers' Art in the tattered remnants of a gloriously grand century-plus old row house. Dim light, beat up old sofas in which to slurp the ridiculoulsy fresh Belgian-style beers brewed in the rear greenhouse. Short ribs, black bass and other straightforward food premised on high-quality ingredients more than cutting edge presentation give this place street cred no national chain could ever hope to touch. Funky, cool staff complete the scene. I feel like I'm spilling a state secret writing about it here - if I lived in Baltimore I would be entirely selfish and keep it to myself.
  4. Despite the flashing red lights and sirens posted above (ominous foreshadowing here) we ventured to Edo's last Sunday night on the high props of the people we were staying with and by God, does Edo's have rockfish down! A big generous hunk seared crisp and well seasoned on the exterior, moist delicate on the interior. That's good because the appetizer was from hell and back. Asked server which of the squid dishes he would recommend (a cunning way to get around the salt lick danger zone). Endives and mushrooms. Sounds cool. So it comes - in an Exxon Valdiz slick of tamari sauce rendering everything other than the squid completely inedible. Squid itself is sort of rubbery. Not horrible. Bravely mediocre under the circumstances. Waiter returns and I give him back the squid and do the "Hey, I know it's not your fault..." thing. The bill comes at the end of the meal and the squid is still on it. "Do me a favor, could you take this off?" At $15 it's the principal of the thing not the cost. He returns to the quasi-open kitchen, can be seen consulting with chef and returns with a revised tab. "I took the squid off. The chef feels that when he has prepared a meal it is supposed to be that way. So it's on me." What? Yes. The bastard chef made the waitstaff pay for my screwed up squid. So now we are left adding back the extra 15 into the poor guys tip. Or maybe it was his ruse to goose the tip? I don't know. But the whole experience was weird and upsetting beyond the poorly prepared appetizer. Dining out is about good food (service and decor trailing way behind for me as long as they are not actively awful). It should not be a political drama with my credit card being used as the arbitrator. Still in shock here. Edos is supposed to be the nice alternative to 'Zus. I can only imagine what would have become of us there. Maybe that's the secret of the squid at Edo's: it's actually fricasee of customers at Zu's who dared send bad food back. Soylent Green redux. Proceed with caution.
  5. Uh oh - I think I'm .... I'm in love. Front of the bright, airy store features a happy beautiful young woman handing out samples of CG label cow cheeses. Back of store features mounds of hard cheeses and another happy beautiful young woman handing out samples of chevre (somehow made without rennet so they qualify as compleltely vegetarian - who knew?). Gorgeous bright-eyed women reverently dispensing very good quailty cheese. Bliss. Small library of well selected books on cheese and cheese-making runs along the middle section of the store along with jars of rather pricey capers etc. The cheese is competitively priced with Dean & Deluca, Whole Paycheck etc at around a dollar an ounce and up. Peggy Smith - a co-owner - is a wise and grounded presence dispensing advice on all cheese-related matters (the best recipes and methods for novice affineurs, in my case) and gives the feeling she would probably be able to give very good advice on a wide array of other topics. Anyone who can get a bi-coastal gourmet operation up and running out of one 200 gallon cheese-making vat clearly has all kinds of smarts. And passion. Which is what this place exhibits - and evokes - so plainly.
  6. Daily Candy suggests that Cowgirl Creamery is now up and running - competition for Cheesetique in Alexandria! Looking forward to the opportunity to contrast and compare. Just rang and they say they will be opening their doors around noon today. My lunch just added several thousand calories.
  7. Chewy, smelly, glorious Bonapart baguetttes can also be had at Wagshal's on Mass Ave in Spring Valley (as opposed to the other Wagshals in the Sangamore Road shopping center across the MD line - what's up with that?!?) with the same fiscal hazards expressed above by Busboy.
  8. I hate Coca Cola - it is purile. Anyone who likes Coca Cola should be immediately disqualified from passing judgement on any wine above and beyond Two Buck Chuck (which I find Coca Cola drinkers tend to find just dandy). Coca Cola is nasty and people should not drink it. That said, just like some of the great spicey red sauces that rely on Heinz ketchup as a base, Nigella Lawson's Ham In Coca Cola in "How To Eat" and then refined in "Nigella Bites" is a brilliant way to dispose of the syrupy rubbish that people insist on having at the bar for big parties. God bless her great big blubbery lips.
  9. Adding to Bilrus' list of particulars, GB has always struck a chord with me as one of the few really integrated dining rooms I see in town. B Smiths - and the bar more than the main dining room - is another in a pathetically short list of places where a K Street foodie could feel they are living in a diverse city. I eat out a lot at linen tablecloth joints and it says something that you would never believe that the city is 30% anglo and 60% afro american.
  10. Call Tim at Wagshall's. 202.363.0777 He hooked me up with the 50 pound pig for my Caja China orgy of porcine priapism. I imagine his barnyard contacts could easily procure other victims.
  11. Thanks for this thread. Great ideas for the future and it got me into Barrio over Xmas which was far away the best SW food I ate in what turned into a small orgy of the stuff (bringing along Diana Kennedy's "From My Mexican Kitchen" meant that hardly a meal went unscathed thanks to all the great fresh ingredients at Food City). But I can't wait to get back to Barrio and try more of what they got. Poblano chicken and all their soups were revelations of what SW food can be (and what it fails to be at some places - notably the ersatz El Charro tourist trap in Tucson that survives courtesy of some misguided USA Today endorsement). Barrio has a website at http://www.barriocafe.com/pages/1/index.htm I also went skiing at Sunrise (yes, Virginia, there is snow in Arizona - and probably a lot more this week than two weeks ago) and this really cute ski bunny told me that Tee Pee on Indian School Road is the real "hole in the wall" deal. Was I just smitten by her smile or is she credible? Anybody know if this should really be added to the list?
  12. Ciroc vodka, Inniskillin Late Bottle Harvest Reisling, frozen grapes. Sorry, but if they sold this in paper bags I would have skipped the dinner and been sucking this down all the way home while crunching on the grapes for the nutritional value. Yes, it sounds damn odd, but works very very well with the sweet wine playing off the tart vodka. Mercifully I was stuck in the back of a booth and so had to stay for the highly amusing dinner. We got one of everything on that part of the menu and while it ain't the Minibar it serves as a fun and reasonably priced way to interact with friends over and about food. When I saw the provenance of the restaurant I feared that this would feel like a chain but dang, they got it right. Or it could be that divine wine martini talking...
  13. Hail, fellow Gulleteers! (I think I can say that by now without catching flack). Who would you say makes the best croque en bouche in town? You know, the profitaroles filled with custard and piled in a tower held together with spun sugar? The event is in Alexandria but I'm assuming any local baker would be able to deliver. Steve?
  14. Saddened to see the Ceiba mojitos dissed here - they are the only place I know that actually employs a sugar cane press to make the "guarapo" sugar juice replaced in most recipes by simple syrup. The clear liquid turns dark pretty quickly so cannot be stored too long without an aesthetic loss - although the kind folks at Ceiba let me mooch some for the lab back home and taste did not seem to collapse too hard over the very brief period. That might be a solution to the complaint that Ceiba's were too weak - bring the guarapo home. Or you could just bring a hip flask of your favorite rum to top it up. But either way, I contend that using the fresh pressed cane juice gives the drink a flavor base worth the extra hassle.
  15. There's a PhD dissertation in here somewhere.... Aside from the quite correct construct of chef as impressario, the interesting idea raised here was that it matters to those for whom it matters and not for those concentrating solely on the objective experience/food/reality of the meal. But why would it matter to those for whom it does? David Mamet (who should know/think about fame) has a line about how the product of the artist has become less imnportant than the fact of the artist. We wish to absorb this person. We wish to devour someone who has absorbed the tragic/sublime/epitomized experience and in this society that person becomes more important than anything he/she might create...
  16. Yesterday's glorious evening weather would have made Poste a mandatory slam dunk - so obvious even the CIA guys taking their kids to the Spy Museum next door would be there. Poste has a wonderful terrace for al fresco boozing. But it looks like rain this evening. So try Circle. The smell from last weekend's fire should have subsided by now and they give you these fun little fritas with your drinks. Although you'll still get the touristos.
  17. I was misinformed; Eric Ziebold (Vidalia, Spago Los Angeles, then with Keller at the French Laundry as chef de cuisine and assisted with the opening of Per Se) will open the (new) formal restaurant at Madarin in August. Hide Yamamoto will continue to run Café Mozu.
  18. Lunched today with a couple of friends at Cafe Mozu and found myself chuckling all the (long) way back to downtown. I know that they are new, but wow. I really didn't mind that they lost my reservation. I had called on the hotel reservations line and - hey - they're new and so maybe the handoff of the information didn't work. I thought I had been transferred to the restaurant when I called, but so what? They had a table for us. When I asked the waitress what their "signature dish" was I got a slightly terrified blank stare. But so what? I'm a pretentious git who wears a pocket square and spends too much on food. She pointed us to some good dishes once my colleague translated for her. This is good food even if some of it feels out of place in this opulent setting. Gorgeous light pouring in from the water, the lobby is simultaneously massive and airy - it's cool and doesn't leave you feeling like your business is an apendage to the real mission of the place as when other hotel restaurants force you to walk through the lobby (sorry - a pet peeve - I told you I was pretentious git). What do I mean by out of place? Shrimp tempura. Solid spicing, pretty good batter. Still feels like food from a street fair. A bento box (that turns out to be the signature dish at lunch) that incorporates kobe beef and "chinese vermicelli" (a.k.a. noodles), red pepper soup, green salad with bits of crispy pancetta and more. Gussied up sushi bar food. But hell, at $16 well priced for a white linen tablecloth restaurant with entertaining architecture. My Japanese red snapper with buckwheat risotto was slightly more mysterious - a perfectly cooked piece of fish - really really nice showing off the the red cross hatching on the skin - sitting in a puddle of broth with a few bits of diced, err, buckwheat I guess. We ordered a half bottle of Pinot Gris and she bought Reisling instead. We tried to tell her it was wrong. She tried to tell us that we were wrong. She bought the wine list back and we ascertained that Number 861 on the wine list was indeed Pinot Gris. Charmingly, instead of asking us to choose something else she came back with a full bottle of Gris. Ah, I said, a full bottle! No, she said, this is a half bottle. She then wrestled with the corkscrew and failed to open the bottle until, mercifully, someone at the wait station it or her. Then it sat there for several more minutes. By now we were wondering what was next. Would we get the wine while we were eating? Would they allow us to drink half the bottle and then take it away from us? But they let us have the full bottle and only charged us for half, which I thought was very decent. Dessert was babah rhum, presented beautifully but somewhat bland. This place, when it gets its act together, despite being in outer nowhereseville, is going to rock. Even the slapdash service was excused by the lack of self-importance that this place could so easily take on. The food is good good good and the light, the architecture and the setting all felt like somewhere other than DC. I felt like I had taken a quick trip to somewhere expensive in California - a perception that will no doubt be enhanced by the arrival of the French Laundry dude later this summer. Viva Mozu! Next week I'm putting on my pocket square and goin' back for their high tea.
  19. There's this obscure, transporative, divine place nobody really knows about called Ben's Chili Bowl on U Street - but I've only gone there pretty shattered after a show at the 9:30 Club w/mandatory cocktail stop afterwards at the Velvet Lounge so I can't really be sure it exists except as a dream of redemption through sloppy, spicy, flourescent, greasy, booze soaking-up, incipient-hangover helping half-smokes and a juke box so jamming it must have been stocked by the Archangel Gabriel himself. Eat there enough and St. Peter will be sooner in your future than might otherwise have happened, too. And can that be all bad?
  20. Moby - can't say I was terribly ambitious; just wanted to try the basics with straight unbleached all purpose or bread flour and see what came out. If I had use of the machine for longer (it was a loan) I would have tried mixing in sundried tomato paste et. al. or used graduated amounts of durum and/or cornmeal. My host had lost the bit that makes strips wide enough for ravioli which saddened me as that was always the best fun with an Atlas and a spare afternoon - as your gorgeous pix conclusively prove.
  21. Vace info (for Cleveland Park) is at http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn?n...ofile&id=806680 but pizza is such elemental comfort food - I've found it often depends on what you grew up with.
  22. Lowbrow 'za in upscale 'hoods is provided by Vace (Cleveland Park and Bethesda).
  23. I Richhi? Can't attest to dinner but lunch is always smoothly executed and over years and years I have always been well pleased with the specials. Only hazard (for me anyway) is the irresistable pile of bread that comes before the main event.
  24. Nectar. Food & drink. Mmmmm. Nectar. Wallet and credit card bill. Argghhh. Not to say it isn't worth the splurge but I wouldn't put this - or the divine Marcel's (the evanescent boudin blanc implies some sort of contractual arrangment with Lucifer in the kitchen) - in the realm of "moderate" akin to Kuna. Maybe a longer trek to Kaz Sushi? Downstairs at Kinkaids? Or dare I suggest one of the shared dishes at the Kennedy Center Rooftop Cafe?
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