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  1. We are truly sorry that MiFi did not enjoy their meal at Komi and a separate letter has been sent addressing those concerns to MiFi. We value this forum for the opportunity to receive critical feedback. However, it is untrue and is demeaning to our hard won image as restaurateurs that actually spend time at our restaurant to say that we “skipped out half way” through the meal. The chef expedited every savory course (as he’s done every service for the last four and a half years), spoke with our pastry chef as the last desserts were about to be plated, and left. The pastry chef stayed, as he does every night, and plated the final desserts. I left out the back door (it is false that I left through the front) after all of the wine pairings were completed, save one dessert wine. We cannot determine for anyone else what constitutes value. We will say that whether our service is well-received or not, it is the best we have to offer and the result of a lot of people (not just the sommelier and chef) working very, very hard. We hope this response is received in the spirit it is intended and not as a criticism of this forum or one person’s subjective experience. Ultimately, we are grateful for a thread on egullet and for your input. Sincerely, Derek M. Brown Sommelier Komi Restaurant
  2. HIDALGO SHERRY DINNER Monday, May 14, 2007 6:30 PM $150 Per Person Join us May 14 as KOMI serves a dinner menu to complement the wines of Vinicola Hidalgo. Our Greek mezzethakia are a natural match for the sherries of Jerez. After all, the cuisines of Greece and Andalucía are both rooted in the Mediterranean Sea; it is possible that Greek sailors introduced viticulture to Andalucia around the 6th century BCE; and the word Jerez may even be of Greek origin. Winemaker Javier Hidalgo will be on hand to discuss his wines. Please reserve with Derek Brown at (202) 332 9200. Komi | www.komirestaurant.com | 1509 Seventeenth Street | Washington DC 20036
  3. The Copenhagen Citroen from the bar at Palena Aquavit Lillet Lemon Juice Simple Syrup Like a lemon drop with herbal undertones. I'd like to use Elderberry Flower Juice in a cocktail with Aquavit, but there's no place in D.C. I know to get the juice (apart from Ikea, maybe). Derek
  4. I have tried faithfully to recreate the Espresso Martini upon request, but the original recipe comes from Kelli Walbourn of Palena. The best Espresso Martini is from Palena, made by their lead bartender Jeff.
  5. Mark's dreaminess overflows from his tastevin. Go to Citronelle and order "Clos de la Boudriotte", Chassagne Montrachet, D. Ramonet 1998. Slurp. Only Markie has it. Flavor flav!
  6. "I would be pleased to find out that the service that night was merely a fluke and that the place is the model of all that is customer service." It was a fluke. Every one of us in the biz goes to work intent on making people happy. But there are snafus along the way. One thing to seriosuly consider is that service depends on more than what you see. The dining room is only 50% of the restaurant. Also, at Palena its hard to see in the back.
  7. "Let's not unman each other--part at once; All farewells should be sudden, when forever, Else they make an eternity of moments, And clog the last sad sands of life with tears." - Byron R.I.P. Nectar. Its on.
  8. Hey Michael, Thanks for chattin'. A certain egullet revered chef, who shall remain anonymous for now, called your story the most interesting story of the D.C. dining scene. You've taken on the big boys, steak houses, and made steak and red, red wine more accessible. But isn't there a threat of becoming the Nader of the restaurant scene, the spoiler? I mean, apart from people who don't pay their employees, to a certain degree don't we need celebrity, pomp, ritual? Isn't dining vertical to begin with? We can eat at home, we go out to express more than our want for a good steak. My question can be expressed a little more directly: Why can't we put on a show at restaurants and still give good food? Why strip away the fluff? Who's going to pay those expensive salaries for FOH people? Those nice suits? Your man with the fauxhawk, D (not naming names)
  9. I hadn't thought of that. John, call the reps up... more vino!
  10. "Scapinasch tradizionali dell' Alta Valsassina con ricotta e uvette al burro, salvia e Parmigiano" Scribble this down on a piece of paper and then go to Tosca chanting it as you walk through the door, its a magic incarnation. If you don't have a pen, just keep repeating Scapa-noush. Also, Kathy Morgan--Tosca's wine director--is top notch. She recommended the Cantina Tramin “Nussbaumer” (2002) for a seven-course lunch. Elegant, versatile. We followed it up with a half bottle of the Coppo Barbera d'Asti. Also Kathy's suggestion. Look for more of her influence on the fall list. Go, what are you waiting for? Scap-a-noush! Scapa-noush! Scapa-noush! Scapa-noush! Derek
  11. A '95 Isole e Olena Vin Santo still graces my breath as I write this post. Strudel on the nose? How many times have we been warned about posting after drinks? When else could I post? Todd Thrasher's version of the sour-apple martini, a saffron-infused onion gibson, Soutiran Grand Cru Champagne NV (booyaah-ka-shah), Langhe Reisling (would have been better if I hadn't started with Wabeck's roof top choice: a Kientzler Alsatian Reisling), plus, plus. Let me settle a bet, Todd Thrasher is the better mixologist...if I was to even consider myself in the running to begin with. I sort of dread writing the hyper-descriptive posts about every dish, wine pairing, etcetera. Not enough time in the morning. No interest in being a food writer. And I have to make Krispy Kreme by 5 A.M. Here's the Alpha/Omega: Restaurant Eve is not just hype. All I can say is Lobster Creme Brulee. Seriously, delicious. Chef Armstrong and Thrasher are doing a smashing job. My one word of advice... look at your watch periodically, you might lose track of time and leave at a quarter 'til one. Derek
  12. For Rocks, here's THE BINGE... "Burgundy makes you think of silly things, Bordeaux makes you talk about them, and Champagne makes you do them." - Jean-Anthelme Brillat-Savarin 1:45 A.M. I arrive at Bistro du Coin. The first taste of beer, I've often found, makes me thirstier. A Leffe Blonde goes down. Wabeck is drinking Burgundy and thus this night seems like so many before, I'm sure. The crowd is afterwork revelers, cooks, waiters, wine people. Be afraid, be very afraid. 2 A.M. Last call, off to Timberlakes. Jarad leads the pack. I'm struck by his saintly post at the head of the swell. He reminds me of an apostle leading the flock. Who said Jarad was evil? He may be the messiah. Roughly after 2 A.M. Its hard to squeeze into Timberlakes. I barely make it to the bar. I ask for Scotch and Bourbon. Rocks gets the scotch, on the rocks no less. I'm a bourbon fanatic. Any bourbon will do. John and crew toast Julia with Gin & Tonics. Rocks seems so peaceful in the corner. He keeps declaring his intent to leave. So far peer pressure has worked. He wants up in the morning. Sure we can do that. After all, we were up and at breakfast by 8 A.M. All right, respect (*Ali G snap*). Don leaves. Possibly around 2:30 A.M. John and I are dragged out of Timberlakes. Off to Shelly's. We leave the crowd behind. The company we were with shall remain anonymous to protect the innocent. We arrive at Shelly's only to run in to more "bad" company. Bubbles. A glass goes down and I ask for whiskey. That goes down too. Slightly after 3 A.M. Last call. A cab to Wabeck's house. A bottle of Chianti. A bottle of Gevrey-Chambertin. Chess. A bottle of Champagne. Reaching 6 A.M. The wine and conversation are running out. I'm in no shape to play another game of chess. John and I are tied after I lose the last one. I have already started chasing the cat around the apartment at considerable risk to my life. What's up with all the conversation about Taiwan? Wabeck is playing Sick of it All (Punk Rock). I'm sure his neighbors love him. Reaching 7 A.M. On the roof the conversation turns toward breakfast. Where can you get good breakfast in D.C.? Four Seasons? We decide to settle for a vintage Champagne. Only after we get there we find out the wine list isn't available until 10 A.M. Which turns out to be a good thing, seeing as those $200 receipts you find in your wallet after a night of drinking suck. Some time after the last time. We leave. The food doesn't do it for us and no booze. A bottle of Darioush post-breakfast? Yeah. We head back to Wabeck cellars. Bottle up, bottle dry. First person in our company to pass out passes out. We leave her on the couch. Throwing the cat at her didn't get her up, nothing will (no animals were harmed). Our other companion leaves. Time folds into the daylight. Sometime after the last last time. Bistro du Coin. Another two beers. Stumbling out of Bistro for the second time. Sette. Two shots of black russian and espresso. A bottle of Soave, short one glass I spill on the counter. Sorry Mia. We order a Quattro Formage. We go for one more bottle. Only we run out of steam. 1:30. 15 minutes shy of 12 hours of drinking. Not quite a record yet. Next time we head up to New York after last call. A NOTE OF CAUTION: All parties involved were professional drinkers. If you drink like this all the time, seek help.
  13. Mssr. Wabeck, All right, I sent some softballs last time but its go-time now. I understand you were a music major and, obviosuly, a punk rock affecianado. So I want to know a little more about the intersection of these worlds... I'm on a philosophical bent so follow me... Greil Marcus, one of punk's foremost historian's wrote the following (check out Lipstick Traces for a great book on punk): Rock 'n Roll is a combination of good ideas dried up by fads, terrible junk, hideous failings in taste and judgment, gullibility and manipulation, moments of unbelievable clarity and invention, pleasure, fun, vulgarity, excess, novelty and utter enervation. It strikes me that you could simple replace the phrase "Rock $ Roll" with "Modern Cooking in America" and it would ring somewhat true. (Not that I'm really qualified to make this statement anyway) With that said, do you think Culinary America is reaching a point of enervation, where copy follows copy and the whole thing looks like a cookbook from the late 80's? Young chefs feel confident borrowing other Chef's recipes ingredient for ingredient with little if any varation. Is the proliferation of restaurants in D.C. anymore than a second coming of already established scenes from New York and San Fransisco? Green Day vs. Stiff Little Fingers, to borrow from High Fidelity? Y'know what I mean? Also, to what extent do you think chefs need to adhere to classics, French tradition, etc? Punk was founded on a reversal of predominate aesthetics. Where is the same movement in cooking? Is there any connection. Where are the surreal, the dada cooks? Chefs with mohawks and saftey pins through their noses, jamming out Angry Sams? This isn't prescriptive, just a question to provoke thought. Your's truly, Derek Booooyaaaahhh!
  14. Mssr. Wabeck, I'm not sure how you escaped the preliminary "this or that" questioning, but it has become standard for getting to know our respondents on the Q&A . So, please... Descendants or ALL? Eat First or China Express? Lawn Bowling or Badminton? The Colonel of KFC or Rick Bayless of Burger King? Pinotage or Spatburgunder? Sushi or Ceviche? Ladies WITH Riedel glasses or ladies WITHOUT Riedel glasses? All right, joking aside. Here's a few your way: (1) If Burgundy was to instantaneously disappear, God forbid, what viticultural area would console you? (2) If you had only three bottles of wine, three ingredients, and three albums with which to prepare a meal on a remote island what would they be? Thanks for doing the Q&A. Derek
  15. This is my first post in this forum, and I'm not likely to say too much, but I wanted to say that Frank--our commander-in-chef at Palena--was the one who fielded the call and mentioned it to me. Mostly, its his thoughtful gesture. But I do appreciate the response and welcome you back... I think we have half-a-bottle left and we'll get more ;) Plus we have plenty of Captain Morgan's, uuhhmm, Mark. Derek
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