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  1. Hands down our favorite local spot is Kuna on U street. It's comfort food, but extremely good. The main thing is that when you go there, you feel like you are at a friend's place. They often offer an amuse bouche of something creative from the kitchen, and last time we were there, they were offering tastings of each of their by the glass wines for people to enjoy. It's bistro feeling - with tightly packed tables, but usually neighbors are friendly, and the staff is always nice - where they might not fit in at the best restaurants in town because they are so familiar with customers, the service is always good - our last waiter overheard my parents say they were going to Italy soon, and made several recommendations for Osterias in Rome for them to try out.
  2. hey all - My husband is "surprising" me with tickets to Streetcar Named Desire tickets for our 1st anniversary... and we wanted to have a nice dinner ahead of time. We're used to eating really well, but appreciate it more when we're not bowled over by ridiculous prices. Our engagement dinner was at Inn at Little Washington, but we regularly eat at Kuna. Along with this, any suggestions for something special that will be nice about getting us in and out semi-early (show's at 8)? We eat foods of all ethnicities, and basically will consume anything as long as it is on a clean plate and presented with a smile.
  3. If you can wait, and to stop about 20 miles north of DC, on 270 just above Gaithersburg is an Amish or Pennsylvania Dutch market that makes the BEST pies and has the best BBQ I've ever had (and my father owns a BBQ restaurant... sadly, I've now been disowned :) ) Also in the Gaithersburg area is some of the best chinese food in the area: Fu Shing - right off Frederick Ave. I would say that if you are going around the beltway, you want to keep moving. If you don't encounter traffic at 1, stop for 2 hours, and then try and get back on the road, you'll hit traffic almost immediately and it will just SUCK after that.
  4. puhorst

    Cold tapas?

    Does anyone have any suggestions for cold tapas to offer as hors d'ouvres to my parents (who spent 3 months traveling around Spain) when they come for a visit? I was thinking of offering some large capers, slices of manchego cheese, some olives and maybe some dried ham of some sort - but was hoping someone would give me some other ideas. I don't want to go crazy - this would be a little nosh before dinner
  5. When I was a child, my parents would literally have to take the bone away from me to get me to stop chewing on it. I inherited my father's love of marrow and gristle and joint tissue. I will pick a chicken bone completely clean, and then go to town on my husband's - he won't eat anything that touches the fat or gristle, and so I volunteer to dishes on nights when we have roasted chicken or T-bone steaks, just so I can lipsmack in peace. Thank goodness for this post... I thought I might be emotionally disturbed with have an oral fixation and a bent for destruction. well, I still might be - but at least enjoying chewing on chicken bones isn't abnormal.
  6. puhorst


    Right there with you. I grew up in SF, in an Italian household - and now when my parents visit me in VA, I BEG them bring me a bag of fresh artichokes from Castroville (luckily, my grandparents live in Carmel, so it's not unreasonable for them to drive 2 hours to buy me 2 lbs of artichokes, it's a reason to visit the old folks). My absolute favorite is freshly steamed, room temp artichokes with blue cheese dressing as a dip. In Gilroy you can buy "fried artichokes" that are frozen. Basically tempura artichokes. Again, tasty as anything with blue cheese dressing as a dip - especially if it's homemade. As part of a more sophisicated dish, I really enjoy grilled or braised artichokes. Prepared simply again - to let the flavor shine, but my mother would often serve braised artichokes as part of our Sunday dinners... yum...
  7. My family always did Easter pretty simply. We're from San Fran, so we took advantage of all the wonderful spring produce, also we're Italian - so lamb was the main deal Roasted, or grilled Leg of Lamb - usually spiked with garlic, and tied with rosemary. Just a little olive oil as fat. My dad would usually take care of this - searing the meat, reducing the juice down with some nice red wine, and maybe a touch of citrus juice. Roasted new potatoes - usually lightly seasoned with black pepper, salt, and a little rosemary, but not enough to be overpowering for the meat. Grilled asparagus with breadcrumbs, or maybe some squash or brussel sprouts. spinach salad with bayshrimp and egg - usually with roasted baby beets. Maybe occasionally another dish - perhaps something light like sauteed baby artichokes. Dessert was usually my mom's merangue baskets filled with fresh fruit, and a little sorbet or vanilla ice cream. Usually nothing chocolate - because we're all filled up on chocolate bunnies and marshmallow eggs. The past 3 years, I've done Easter for my husband and assorted family members livign on the East Coast. I usually do everything like my parents do as best I can - although I do a shortcake instead of homemade merangue (GEEZ that stuff is tempermental). This year we have a vegan, and Atkins follower - so I will be challenged in new ways... any ideas?
  8. My Husband and I go to the brew'n'view all the time. Cheaper than dinner and a movie dates, and we're willing to see 4 month old movies, because we're not really willing to pay $10 to see them first. the food's pub grub at most, but for a movie it's kind of fun to eat burgers and nachos (ours is pretty foodie though - nachos are made with machego, not plastic cheese). Ours is cool too because it serves microbrew local beer, not Bud... All in all - we're fans, as long as it's done well. The one near us caters to people who are a little more sophisticated, if it was plastic cheese and bud, we'd probably not go, we'd order in and watch a video.
  9. I have two: 1. My parents, being wonderful greethumbed Berkeley, CA foodies grew Swiss Chard in our backyard in the early 80s. As I child, I did enjoy the sweet goodness of the sauteed greens and garlic, until the fateful day when instead of my mother preparing, my father did the honors. He went outside, collected a few crisp leaves, and washed them with the garden hose. Brought them inside, tore them up and tossed them in a hot pan with some olive oil. Sauteed lightly - just enough to wilt them slightly... and served. I got the prize: a still LIVE snail crawled up and out of my pile of greens... much to my 4 year old horror. It took me 20 years to eat swiss chard again, and when I did, I washed the poor stuff almost into pieces. 2. My father, again. It ends happily though, with no emotional scarring. We were out to dinner. He ordered oysters rockafeller as an appetizer. Bit into one, broke a tooth on a pearl. A REAL pearl. Quite beautiful, and not terribly small either actually. Dinner was comp'ed, and my mother ended up with a new pendant.
  10. In my very first post ever on eGullet, I'd like to take a stand. I will absolutely, positively, REFUSE to eat tripe (aka cow, or sheep stomach) My mother made it at least once a year in our Italian-American household... and serving it was always a battle of wills ending in me not eating for at least a day - as she would bluff that if I couldn't have ANY other food until I at least tried one bite. Never will I eat it. The appearance, texture, and smell all remind me of a sweat-soaked wool sock.
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