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Everything posted by cigarnv

  1. My thanks to all who responded to the thread and by messaging. With the help of you all we found a chef for NYE who we feel is going to be outstanding.
  2. Mark, behave!!!!! Now be useful and give me some suggestions for a reasonably priced champagne that is very yeasty and full bodied.... Enjoyed seeing you this past week.... as always a wonderful time!!!
  3. Can anyone recommend a chef who may be available for a small dinner party (6-8) on New Years Eve in Northern Virginia?
  4. 2941 has really stepped up the quality of service as of late. IMO one of the best high end spots in the area, not a Citronelle, but top notch. Krinn also takes that extra step to visit his customers in the dining room on a regular basis, something we see far too little of in high end spots these days.
  5. As of late Wegman's in Virginia has had the best. Whole Foods is decent as is Sutton Place and Giant Gourmet in Mclean.
  6. Citronelle is exceptional in every regard and for me the clear choice.....
  7. We had the pleasure to dine at Citronelle last evening with another couple that we regularly venture out with, and enjoyed what can best be described as a magnificent evening in all regards. While I had dined at Citus in Los Angeles 40+ times during the 90’s, I was blown away by the Citronelle experience. First off the entire staff was outstanding, professional and yet down to earth with a sense of humor. Daniel commanded our table for the evening and did an outstanding job in every way. Now what else can I say about Mark that has not been said before… he makes enjoying wines both fun and enlightening. The entire staff operates as a well-seasoned team and treats their customers as guests deserving of a wonderful dining experience. Michel Richard is a refreshing change from many of the new “celebrities” on the block who view customers as a necessary evil that expect far too much for their $125-200 per person evening. We began the evening with starters that included the cuttlefish, Nantucket Bay scallops and salmon offerings. All were outstanding, but IMO the scallops clearly stole the show. Perfectly cooked, sugar sweet and resting on a sweet corn risotto…. WOW! Entrée’s included the squab three ways, chateaubriand, dorade and venison all prepared perfectly. I was quite partial to the squab that was the best I have enjoyed in many years. Chef Richard’s presentations are so well done that you are reluctant to disturb them. They add significantly to the Citronelle experience. Desserts included the breakfast, crème caramel cheesecake, apple tasting and chocolate 3 ways. All were prepared perfectly and presented like artwork. Mark did a great job of assisting us in selecting several wines that were new to us. He also took the time to give us a personal tour of the wine cellar as well as visiting with us throughout the evening to insure all was well. While we appreciated Mark’s extensive knowledge of wine we most enjoyed his approachability, great sense of humor and concern for his guests. All in all Citronelle is one of the few diamonds in a sea on semi precious stones in the DC area. Michel Richard has put in place a team that clearly cares for their guests and takes the responsibility to create a “magical” evening very seriously. While the cost for an evening at Citronelle is not inexpensive, IMO Citronelle represents one of, if not the best, value for your fine dining dollar in the DC area. Bravo Chef Richard!!!
  8. edsz, too bad some restaurants blow off problems and assign the blame to the customer.. "they expect to much, I am doing my best, what do they expect we are busy tonight, etc, etc. Most of these restaurants are young upstarts and never reach maturity thank god..... in the case of NH a real disappointment Funny. We were there 3-4 weeks ago--had great food and the worst service I've ever experienced. I won't go into details because it's too painful. Complaining to the manager afterwards brought an "Oh Well" response. Somebody could have said that they were sorry. ←
  9. It has been a while since I have been to BF 9, but always found the food good. The service they have always done a nice job with. Their pre/post theater meals used to be a great value and you can just leave the car with their valet. Given the choice I would prefer to go to owner Umbi Singh's other property, New Heights where the food is always very, very good... as well as a bit more innovative.
  10. Four of us visited Restaurant 2941 last evening for dinner and at the very least found the establishment to be spot on. This is a restaurant that has emerged from youth with a few scars but has really taken it to the next level in all aspects. We started the evening with a bottle of wine from a list that has grown tremendously just over the past year. The new sommelier clearly has placed her stamp on one of the better wine strategies in the area. The “new” list is well balanced with old and new world selections, the expected names as well as some well chosen new comers and priced “ok”. The sommelier is a joy to work with as she comes with no pretense, is very well versed in her trade and handles her guests with a feminine grace that will impress the connoisseur and put the neophyte at complete ease. The food, while always very good and consistent has risen to what can best be described as magnificent in every way. The abalone in a truffle ginger sauce, the pasta folds with mascarpone and ricotta and the oxtail fettuccini were all superb starters. I followed up with the Hawaiian swordfish with Dungeness crab, which was the best swordfish I have had in many years. It was simply prepared and perfectly cooked. My fellow diners had the truffle risotto prepared as an entree and the bison tenderloin and short ribs…. Both were outstanding. As for dessert the cupcake was ok, the caramel apple crème brulee was very good as were the pancakes with ice cream. The most significant change we saw with 2941 was the level of service, which I found dramatically improved over past visits. The quality of staff, the level of professionalism and the execution in the dining room was all very, very good. Credit must be given to Jonathan Krinn for taking customer criticism and input in a positive and gracious fashion and acting on it. Jonathan is an extremely talented young man who takes both his craft and customers seriously.
  11. Mo... great point on the cheese steaks.. they get no better than your own kitchen...and very easy.. shaved rib eye, fried onoins, mushrooms, choice of cheese or Whiz... I do provalone and pizza sauce for pizza steaks
  12. The Italian Store does make about the best hoagie around these parts. The other option is to make them yourself which is quite easy given the availability of good cold cuts in the DC area. The recipe is simple, but the roll makes all the difference , almost rubbery in texture with a semi-hard crust... Amoroso in Philly makes the best... the White House in AC being very good also.
  13. This is an interesting question and one which I am not sure has an absolute answer. The tipping policy of sushi restaurants differ in many cases in how the tips are split. All tips regardless of where they are left may be split, tips at the bar may be retained entirely by the sushi chef or may be split, etc, etc... If you frequent an establishment regularly ask what the policy is and tip as you see fit based on the policy. At the sushi restaurant we frequent all tips are split with 40% going to the sushi chef.... so it really does not matter where it is left. At establishments where the chef keeps all tips for service at the bar, I tip both the chef and the server seperately. When in doubt.. ask.. JMO
  14. Just a few quick points... first off not sure who Todd was referring to but the reservation for our party was not placed via Opentable. We did not speak to anyone next to us until evenings end when we were asked by two young ladies what we had liked, at which point we recommended the short ribs, rock fish and raviolis. On another note I cannot recall anything negative being said to Todd other than the young lady serving the wine did not handle the situation in a satisfactory fashion. We made no comment of the other service issues to anyone during our visit. At no point were we rude and after all was said and done left a 20%+ tip. If commenting on poor wine service to the manager is considered rude then I am guilty. If honestly stating the food was good but not great is being obnoxious, I am guilty of that also.
  15. We visited Restaurant Eve last evening with another couple with very high expectations given all the “hype” we have heard about the place. Unfortunately we left with the feeling that RE was a bit more hype than substance. RE is a very attractive spot and a very comfortable place to enjoy a meal. We dined in the bistro at a very comfortable table. From the start service appeared a bit stretched due either to a lack of staff, or the fact the staff was not performing at the level one would expect. The service issue was an irritation throughout the evening as water glasses went empty, we resorted to pouring our own wine at times and bread was MIA. Our waiter was a nice young man but clearly his mind was else ware this evening given he was apparently moving on to work elsewhere in the near future. The food was good with the oxtail raviolis getting high marks and the bacon, egg and cheese salad being nice, but not all that special. For dinner the short ribs were very good, the bouillabaisse on a par with most others at decent restaurants. The rockfish was very nice and prepared perfectly. The desserts were fine. We had the chocolate offering which was average, the fritters, which were quite good, and the crepes which were very good. The best offerings of the evening were Todds green apple cocktail and the hot white chocolate cocktail. Again, good food… but not at the heights we had our expectations at. The disaster of the night was the wine service. The young lady who is the part time sommelier was weak from knowledge level and a bit over the edge in terms of implied self-importance and talent. She made a recommendation on a cab, but failed to inform us that it was their last bottle. The bottle was then placed in the ice bucket, which none of us noticed?? Given our concern with the abilities of this young lady we asked Todd to recommend a pinot which he did.. it was excellent. He does know his wines. Well back to the cab…. first off all our cab glasses were empty and not a soul seemed to notice. We were pouring the pinot ourselves as the bottle was on the table. We asked our waiter for the cab, which he found in the ice bucket!! Clearly, at 35 degrees it was of no use to us. About 10 minutes later the sommelier put a bottle of wine on our table and then headed off somewhere. A few minutes later she returned and was about to open the bottle when we asked why it was not the same… reasonable question. We were informed that they were out of cab and this was the replacement chosen for us ….a cab merlot blend from South Africa. Asked why it was selected we were told it was in the $59 price range and the rest of the California cabs were higher priced… as if a great favor was being done for us. She did not offer to let us taste it and pass on it if it was not acceptable… she just said this is what we picked. We said that was not really an acceptable solution… as we would have expected that they offer another bottle of the pinot. She then left with the wine shaking her head…. As my daughter does when she does not get her way. In any case very unprofessional and immature. It would be the last we saw of her. Once again we had to ask our waiter what happened to the wine…after a long wait Todd showed up with the same bottle and offered to let us try it and if we did not like it they would provide something else. At this point no one in our party really cared given the handling of the situation so we just drank what we were given. Todd did provide us with the remaining cab to take home with us… a nice gesture on his behalf. Overall the food was good, not great and the service was lacking. Todd appears to be a fine gentleman, but IMO he needs to significantly raise the bar with his staff and pay closer attention himself to the “details” of resolving problems of their own making at the moment they occur. Possibly it was just an off night but we will most likely not return
  16. Well we did our first outing at Ray's last evening and had a wonderful time. Ray's is really a classic in this area...loud, plain looking and great steaks. This is a place some folks will love and others will hate...I am firmly in the love category! We had a sort wait to seat our gang of 8, but for the most part the group did a nice job of getting us seated quickly. The people watching is great fun with all kinds of folks... even a few uncles dining with their "neices"! The place is hoppin and folks running all over the place. Our server, Daffney" took great care of us as did Michael who checked in several times during our dinner. He is a crazy fella who at one point told a member of our group that he is a vegetarian and does not est steak!! Food was great..Cowboy steak is a real wiiner as was the Black and Blue. Scallop's were great as was a plate of shrimp that Michael provided to start us off. Great sides of mashed and spinach. The ceasar was ok but not great. Overall a great spot with personality and top notch food. Reid
  17. We had dinner at Corduroy last evening and it was just great in all repects. The place is also a bargain... if you behave with the wine list. How do you pass up a 1999 Paloma Merlot for $67! AS for the food..starters- lobster salad was outstanding as was the pumpkin soup and the oysters Entrees- the crisp grouper was probably one of the top fish dishes I have , the scallops were outstanding and the pork belly... well what can one say bad about roast bacon!! For dessert I will say just one thing...Pistashio (spg??) bread pudding..WOW!!! Tom Power is a treasure.... and turns out great food a very civil prices. Also, he has one of best staffs in DC these days!
  18. Pomodoro Pizza in the FairFax Towne Center makes about the best pzza we have had anywhere in the DC area. Very thin crust, great cheese and seasoned very well. Hard to beat if you like thin crust...
  19. We have been big fans of Reataurant 2941 since it openned, but have gone less and less as of late. While we feel the food is still outstanding and some of the best in the area they have some things, imho, that need to be addressed. First is service, for the prices charged they need to get this under control. This has been a problem since the day they openned and little seems to have improved. Secondly is wine pricing. Clearly they practice the "what the market will bear" strategy, which is great for short term profitability, but tends to drive the non-expense account patrons like us away. Lastly, food value on the starters. While I don't mine paying for great food, I do mind spending $16 for a few stalks of veggies and a tablespoon of crabmeat. Several of the starters fit this value issue and really turn you off from the beginning of the meal. I think JK has a great thing going at 2941, but IMHO he is very close to turning a lot of folks off if he doesn't get pricing and the front of the house under control. We still love the food, the bread and JK... but each time we go we seem to be getting closer to finding another" go to place" or to keeping our 2941 dining to lunch....
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