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Everything posted by syzygy8

  1. Now a Bible? The second class benefits just keep growing!
  2. That certainly does reflect one popular vision of manhood, gustatory or otherwise! ← They say you always remember your first time......
  3. I'm just hours away from my first time. I have visions of entering some new kind of gustatory manhood. I picture myself with bone in one hand, bottle in the other. Gnawing feverishly and slaking my thirst with happy grape juice like I've never done before. These dreams last longer than 90 minutes. I haven't even been there yet and already I have a problem!
  4. Care to add any insight as to what's pouring out of those taps?
  5. Met some friends for dinner here on Saturday night, my first visit here in, perhaps, two years. I started with an Otter Creek winter ale that they had on special for the night while I ran through the menu. Of the 10 or so tables in the place, only about 5 were busy. So service was very attentive. I really wanted to have a pasta for a starter, but they will not serve them in anything but entrée size, which kinda sucks. So we ordered the gnocchi pesto and all four of us shared it. It’s not as mouthwateringly divine like the gnocchi you get at Palena, but it’s still a luscious plate. I guess it’s the difference between “homestyle goodness” and “fine cuisine,” with Liliana being the former and Palena the latter. Both have their place. For entrees, the two women ordered the filet mignon special. Can’t recall the accompaniments, but this was a huge chunk of meat. It really was delicious, and easily beat the lamb dish that me and my buddy each ordered. The lamb (and probably the filet, for that matter) came with a side of organic vegetables (potato, carrots, green beans) simply sautéed. One word of note. My wife and I each ordered our meats medium rare, and they came out rare. I sent mine back for a little more fire. The couple we were with ordered rare, and got what they wanted. I suggest ordering medium if you want it medium rare. For dessert I had a pear tart with Belgian chocolate. When it was served it looked more like a Belgian Chocolate tart with a few pears. The desserts are made daily by the owners/chefs (both of whom, by the way, visited our table to chat with us a couple times during the meal), and if you see this tart on the menu when you go….get it. You won’t be disappointed. Another thing to note: The coffees and espressos were not hot. In fact they were only moderately warm. It’s easy to get to via Metro. Just about 3 blocks walk up Connecticut Ave from Van Ness station, which only means it’s about 10 minutes further than if I was going to go to Palena. Overall, we were really pleased with our meal. It’s a very comfortable place. I want to go again and try more of the pastas. I think there’s probably a lot more that I’ll like in addition to the gnocchi. I’m not going to wait another two years before my next visit.
  6. Boeuf Bourguignon (Beef Stew in Red Wine Sauce) Chateau Taillefer, Pomerol, 2001 Burgandy in the dish and Bordeaux in the glass? Who picked this combo? Well, at least it wsn't a left bank. ← Clearly the same folks who didn't think they'd need to have a bartender on duty at the same time 150 people were walking into their door.
  7. My wife and I would often go in on Sunday mornings after we finished shopping the Dupont market. They were always very friendly to us and the worst I could ever call their service would be "acceptable." A cheese plate, tartines, mussels, a bottle of wine, water and bread refilled as necessary....everything was fine. Perhaps our mileage varies because of the day/time we're there?
  8. It was...okay. We enjoyed the man, but not so much the meal and not so much the restaurant. For starters, there were a lot more people for this thing than I expected. Seemed like some 150 perhaps. The whole front of the house was closed for this event. Now it was planned for months. You'd think that Les Halles would have some kind of an inkling that their bar would be slammed at about 6PM that evening. Apparently not. They had one bartender, who eventually got some help from someone from the floor staff. Neither could figure out what they were doing, who's credit card they were holding, or even how much a glass of wine was. An absolutely massive clusterfuck at that bar. When you arrived, they had coatracks, and then were selling the book. Tony was there to sign and was happy to greet and chat with everyone, answer questions, tell jokes, etc. Then when everyone sat, the Smithsonian folks introduced the owner of Les Halles (his name is escaping me) who told stories and then introduced Tony. He talked a little about the book, about his next project (Travel Channel program), made fun of Emeril's hairy back, and busted on the Food Network. In the Q&A, he admitted that even though Food Network sucks, the world is a better place because it exists. Americans have access to better ingredients because Food Network has helped raise the demands of the consumer. The meal was pretty unimpressive. Some good sauces, but when you're trying to bring out 150 dishes all at once, you suffer, and it did. Terrine Alsacienne (Wild Board Terrine) Chateau Trimoulet, St. Emilion, 2000 We preferred the wine to the terrine. Lotte a l'Americaine (Braised Monkfish, Lobster Sauce) Chateau Preuillac, Medoc, 2000 Yummy wine, cold fish, but really good lobster flavor in the sauce. Boeuf Bourguignon (Beef Stew in Red Wine Sauce) Chateau Taillefer, Pomerol, 2001 Probably the tastiest of the dishes. Gateau Basque (Almond Pastry Cream in Brioche) Freixenet, Carta Nevada I was really surprised by the wine selection here which went down somewhere between a notch and a tall cliff. Liked the dessert though, which was huge. Aside from the dessert, the dishes were too small. I would have liked more beef. Thankfully, they were very generous with the wine. Refilling glasses constantly. And it wasn't just a few tastes. They were healthy pours and it contributed greatly to me enjoyment of the event. Tony wandered from table to table between courses and said hi, answered questions, etc. A real down to earth, likeable, genuine guy. A far cry from what I'd expect from other "celebrity chefs." I kinda was hoping the menu would have included items in the new book, which it didn't. The event wasn't worth the $85 I paid. And it definitely makes me less interested in returning to Les Halles. Although I really do like sitting outside there in the summertime with a bottle of wine and the cheese and meat selections.
  9. Well, I'm very much looking forward to seeing/eating/drinking with him at Les Halles for the Dec. 6 event. You gotta think he'd be allowed to turn his own restaurant into an appropriate den of iniquity, no? Is anyone else from here going besides me?
  10. We've had good luck at Hotel Opera and Hotel Plaza Mayor. Take a walking tour with "The Chairman" of the Wellington Society and he'll take you to a number of quality places that are not in the guidebooks. We had such a quality time with him we hired him to take us on a day trip to Salamanca, and a day trip to Chinchon twice over two visits to Madrid. Chinchon is a great day trip.
  11. No that's not it. The Bears is set back from the road by about 50 yards or so. I don't know enough about architectural styles to say that it's not a Federal but more of a whathaveyou. Looks like a typical white farmhouse, I guess. Interesting photo though. I swear I probably saw that place, and several more like it, in my time living in Duanesburg/Delanson. Any idea what street this Colonel North house is on?
  12. I had the distinct pleasure of living about a mile up the road from The Bears before moving to DC. That was almost five years ago, so some things may have changed, but here's how it was January 1, 2000. It's right on Route 7 just a bit west of the crossroads in Duanesburg in a white house on the right side. There's a sign for The Bears Steakhouse. There are two seatings each evening, although I don't recall what time each one is. Make reservations WELL in advance. It's not in the phone book...but you can use the white pages by looking up the number for the Paine family in Duanesburg. (or it could be Payne. I don't recall.). I believe they answer the phone "Bears." The chateaubriand and prime rib are the two specialties. Both are served family style and must be ordered in advance. Simple side dishes are also family style, such as baked potatoes and steamed broccoli. The key here is the meat. I wish I could recall the wine list...but I can't. I also recall there were some tasty appetizers. Salads weren't much to speak of. Let me know what you think of it if you go. I wouldn't mind an update on how/what they're doing these days.
  13. That's actually a very good point. The other thing about the perky holiday atmosphere, though, is that if enough of us e-gullet humbugs go (and the wine flows heavily), we can suck the Christmas spirit down from "overdone" to "just right" and get down to the meat and potatoes of Bourdain and his cooking, smoking, drinking and shooting things up in Cambodia.
  14. I don't picture Bourdain in a Santa hat, and I'd expect him to cut right through the perkiness. I'm also intrigued by the food being prepared by his own (relatively speaking) kitchen as opposed to the Press Club which would be a "catered-for-hire" event.
  15. Anthony Bourdain event at Les Halles DC. I don't know how many tickets will be available for this, but I presume not too many. This should be a rollin' good time. If you're not a Smithsonian Resident Associates Member, I think it actually comes out cheaper for you to join and buy the discount ticket(s). I would check this link pretty regularly to pounce on tickets the moment they become available. This is going to sell out faster than it takes to eat a bowl of Sweet Corn Raviolini at Palena.
  16. Okay. It is above Chef Geoff's. But it has been several years since I've eaten anything there. I learned early on that Brickskeller should be used only as directed....which was for drinking. Things might have changed with what comes forth from the kitchen. (But I'm not counting on it.)
  17. Annoying rules - "You're not allowed to stand there!" (Mind you, this was not in front of a service bar." "I'm sorry, we're out of that." Bar stools that are bolted to the floor. I hate that! "I'm sorry, we're out of that." An ego-driven owner who thinks he's da shit about beer because his bar sells more varieties than anyone else in this town. "I'm sorry, we're out of that." Food that's worse than Chef Geoff's (I'd never thought that possible!). Even RFD, their supposed "beer dining palace" serves garbage. "I'm sorry, we're out of that." Rocks, you haven't been there in years. Either have I. We've got great streaks going. Don't blow yours now!
  18. Assorted in-law relatives were in town last week. We had great welcomes, food, service, comfort and success. Friday night in the front room of Palena. Saturday at Restaurant Eve in Old Town, Sunday brunch after Dupont market at Bistrot du Coin, Sunday dinner at Jaleo.
  19. I hear they have a nice restaurant there. In fact, I'm almost positively sure that that restaurant happens to have bottles of Sam Smith's, not to mention a bottle of Highland Park should the beer not quite do the trick!
  20. I had a feeling that's what the answer would be! But the term "grey market cheese"..... kinda has a funny taste to it. Perhaps we can say that the raw milk cheese market is ripe for the food police to crack down on....or some such thing?
  21. A co-worker with whom I need to complete a project has suggested that we consider doing it at a pub, where she'll bring along a laptop and we can access the Web wireless. Does anyone have suggestions on pubs in DC, preferably close to Downtown/Mall/Metro Center/Penn Quarter, that serve a quality pint of something that's not Coors, Bud or Miller AND can let us log on to the e-world at the same time?
  22. I give my highest recommendation to the Chateauguay, a raw milk camembert-style cheese from Quebec. If I could give a higher than highest recommendation, I would do so. Since you can't get real Normandy camembert here, this is a great substitute. You will very much like this cheese.
  23. To stick with the cat-herding theme....... In contrast to laniloa, Mrs. syzygy8 eats seafood, but none of the land-based beasts......... As for dates......in order of preference: Oct. 18 Oct. 17 and 19 (no difference) Oct. 20 meow meow
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