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Everything posted by Nadya

  1. Nice try...over my dead body. It's my Friday lunch and reason to come to the office :) If you try the grill, do try to come early - the line was really rather intimidating when we were leaving. Wonder what the ribs were like. What I loved about my sandwich was the execution - you know how in most sandwiches, you get edge bites that have nothing on them, and an overflowing middle that runs down your chin? Donna's sandwich was so well-made that every bite delivered good stuff.
  2. Second the delightful lunch report. Had the pork shoulder sandwich and sweet ricotta cannolli. The sandwich components are so well-proportioned that every bite is satisfying. The peppers, I think, were marinated. Pork had a right amount of fat in it, too. Chicken wings and another cannolli will keep me alive tomorrow.
  3. I am going to try ot swing it today by noon or so.
  4. Eunny, a good, less expensive way of eating around what normally are blow-the-budget joints is to order off the bar menu that many of them have. It usually comes from the same kitchen, but is priced 20% to 30% below regular menu rates. Also, you'll be in the bar and surrounded (hopefully) by studly men. Many posh places have such an arrangement (with bar menu, not studs). Palena, Citronelle, Bis, CP, Vidalia, Tosca...the list goes on. If you like what you eat at the bar, you can then plan a visit to the actual dining room.
  5. The last time I went (four months ago) with two girlfriends, we ended up walking out because it took them thirty minutes and ten requests to get us the menus, and they also served the wrong wine.
  6. Also, Old Ebbitt oysters go 50% off after midnight, which makes it a prime destination for weary restau workers lookin' for that lovin' feelin'.
  7. What I want to know is: did she accept? Boy, if a man can still love you after a front-row seating at the performance of your barfing routine...sign me up.
  8. As I recall, Restaurant Eve has some kind of sugar-spun box presentation deal for the ring (looks very pretty on the web page). Cathal and Todd are usually very accommodating, so I would give them a call and see what they can come up with re: the menu and ring thing.
  9. Hmm, Don, all this discussion makes me want to make a lunch trip from my sad Virginia office to happenin' Dupont just to weigh in, intelligently, on the Galileo discussion...is the grilling fare as good as it sounds?
  10. Some restaurants are just like some people. We’ve all been there. You are in ninth grade. Or freshman year, it doesn’t really matter. And there’s this guy in your biology class, or soccer club, or macramé practice, it doesn’t really matter. He seems perfect in every way. The way his hair falls across his forehead. The way a tight T-shirt shows off his pecs. The way he smiles and winks at you. The way he volunteers a deep and sensitive comment that seems to sum up your entire life in five words or less. And every girl is dying to go out with him. Except they never go out with him more than once. And everyone wonders: if you are so perfect, why are you STILL single? There are restaurants like that. The look is fetching. The location couldn’t be better. The menu looks intriguing. Yet they never seem to be, you know, full. Or even mildly populated. Enter Twist, a strange joint smack in the middle of what is supposed to be a happening and wildly expensive M St. strip of Georgetown real estate. I’ve been peeking in for as long as I can recall, and it always left me with the same feeling: intrigued but slightly disturbed. Last Sunday, a friend and I sauntered down M St. aiming at Mendocino, only to find out that they don’t do brunch on Sunday, only Saturday. And it seemed like a perfect opportunity to finally address both the intrigue and the disturbance of Twist. In we went. The décor is actually not bad. There’s lots of sunshine pouring in through the glass front, there’s a guitar player belting out serviceable tunes, there’s lots of neat nooks and crannies with curtains and chotchkes designed to drive home the point that the owners of this place have traveled and seen the world. Interesting corner couches clearly made for necking. Le Harem Lite, if you will. The menu looks weird. There’s a lunch menu, a “small plates” menu, and a brunch menu with a subsection “sweet stuff”. The language of the menu is what I would call “ambitious”: By that I mean that it makes good use of words like “aioli” and “brochette”. You know. Sophisticated stuff. Yet no lunch/brunch thing is priced over $7.95. Weird. There are two waiters in the entire joint. One is fronting the bar, and the other is working all the tables. They would look like twins except one has the worst case of saber teeth, not to put too fine a point on it. After about twenty minutes, I get my mimosa. Two points bear mentioning. First, it was not mixed – just layered, so first you get through champagne, and after a third sip or so, it’s straight OJ. Second, it arrives with a wee pink plastic giraffe cutely perched on the edge of the glass. (For those who think I’m making this up, I still have the giraffe.) Intrigued by the menu, I decide to see what their stuff is all about, and order a lamb brochette and a polenta triangles with roasted pepper aioli from the small plates menu, and a mascarpone crepe from the brunchy sweet stuff section. Lamb brochette arrives as pieces of hard, shoe sole-consistency meat on a skewer fetchingly displayed on a bed of pink rice (can you see the emerging trend here?) with diced tomatoes. (What makes rice blush?) There is, like, zero flavor in the entire plate. Polenta triangle is just that – a brownie-size triangle of something that clearly contains carbohydrates decorated with sweet roasted pepper tendrils just like those that come in $3.49 jar from Safeway. The sweet stuff plate looks like a third-grader art project. Mascarpone crepe is a pillow-shaped island the size of a baby fist surrounded by puddles of Redi-Whip and Hershey chocolate sauce. Pink and yellow round slices of grapefruit and mango frame the whole business. Service is clueless with a capital C. Have to ask for forks. Have to ask for knives. Requests for City Paper produce a last-week Georgetowner, so instead of desired movie listings I get to look at ads for a darling $1.2 million townhouse for sale. Finally, a bill arrives. I give it a required cursory look, and my eyes almost pop out of my cranium and end up on the table in manner of Walt Disney characters. There is a $1,200 glass of ice tea on my check, bringing the total to $1,346.29. (For those who think I’m making this up, I still have the check.) Now, I am open to the idea that perhaps somewhere out there, there is a glass of tea worth THAT much. You know, these organically bred varieties based on thousands of years of ancient wisdom, lovingly brought back by horticulturalist Ph.Ds and hand-picked by virgins that can only grow in one mathematically pinpointed acre of land in the middle of Sri Lanka forests when the stars are perfectly aligned. Mike Landrum can probably put it in words better than me. Except I’m pretty sure that wasn’t what I had. Both waiters collapse in giggles when I gently point it out. The error is quickly corrected, but the memory still lingers. We were there for a couple of hours, and there’s never been more than 8 to 10 people in the house. And I’ve never seen them full before. How does this place stay in business, being where they are? How? My problem with Twist is similar to the problem I have with some people. If you are a clueless crappy-food $4.95 joint, please don’t pretend to be a hippie-chic, smarty-pants, urbane café. Please look and feel like a crappy joint from the start. If you are a skank, please don’t ever act like a nice person. Please act and sound like a skank from the very start. This would save everyone time, effort and these super-expensive brunch checks. On the other hand, I still have the check and the giraffe. To remind me that sometimes intriguing and weird is just plain weird.
  11. That's a great idea. I wonder if he would like to hang out. I'd certainly be up for that.
  12. Well, Michael, it's been a few days and I do hope you are ready for a new batch of questions, and no, you do not need to fit it all in two minutes. Pressure, pressure! With regard to the points raised above, I would adore it beyond all sense if you can elaborate on what obviously is something you care deeply about. What is it that you despise? What would you like to change? Come on, you can't just bring it up and expect to not be asked about it. Aside from the above, your description of the chef lifestyle/character myth made me laugh very hard. I can so see the type of person you had in mind who believes his own PR and rates himself on the units of arrogance expressed in one day. This makes me appreciate the down-to-earth cooking types I know (few as they are) even more.
  13. Well, at the risk of sounding like a shill, I would in all honesty say that Bis is NOT a bad place to hang out and eat. I grant you that you can't dine there every day if you're not Sen. Kennedy or whatever. But the bar is packed every single weeknight. There's a bar menu. There's mussels and fries. There's flowing booze. There's a late-night dessert menu. There's a thickly-accented hostess. It may not be a mom-and-pop joint you may want it to be, but as far as I'm concerned, a very serviceable way to spend the night nevertheless. Oh, and I come for brunch all the time and I honestly think it deserves more notice.
  14. Michael, I will get to your other replies in a bit, but thought I'd throw this one out: Why don't you do lunch? Seeing as I work but a few minutes away, I could bring in hordes of my (female) coworkers to eat your steaks. Because our choices at Courthouse, frankly are pathetic: either hideous Thai or vile Greek (or Lean Cuisine, if door to own office is locked and no one can see.)
  15. Cobb salad sandwich on muffaletta bread from Vie de France. You can get one at the shop on 1725 K St., and then go enjoy it lounging on the grass at whatever passes for "the park" next to Army-Navy club. This way you can avoid the lunch crowds of K St. pasty-face legal eagles.
  16. There is also a little hole-in-the-wall-of-an-alleyway place called A Well-Dressed Burrito that's literally in the alleyway off of I Ricchi. You kind of have to know where it is to find it. I recall the burritos were quite serviceable.
  17. Can you, er, comment on this in more detail? What do you mean?
  18. Fine. No, fine. Johnny's has all kinds of fish I haven't eaten at Pesce since they had a new chef...wonder what it's like now. I think the old sous is at the helm right now.
  19. And really, the filthiest bathroom this side of Tijuana.
  20. Al Tiramisu...they've been there longer. Besides, if you don't like Tiramisu, you can move next door to Johnny's or Paradiso, or Mimi (if you carry earplugs.) If Spezie sucks...whatchugonnado? Haul bottom to Smith & Wolensky?
  21. Michael, 1. What do you like to eat when you're home alone? 2. What do you like to eat when you're home...but not alone? 3. Where do you like to eat out in DC? 4. Breakfast in bed or her arms in your sink? 5. I am curious whether your travels, as oblique as Rocks was about them, have influenced your cooking, or contributed to your views on food, and if so, in what way? 6. What do you like about being a chef?
  22. Nadya

    21 P

    I ate at Beduci a couple of times a few years ago and it was vile. Unimaginative and overpriced. One redeeming value was a little-known Beduci carryout around the corner. Yummy sandwiches, salads and cakes, Italian deli-style. I will miss them, but not the main deal.
  23. Nadya

    21 P

    Oh Mark...but we are all about swingin' couches.
  24. V. curious about IndeBleu for two reasons... 1. WashPost says that "dance instructors from the studio will be brought into the restaurant to help the future staff work on "appearance, posture and style," says Coldren." That's a novel concept...having dabbled in both dance AND scurrying around the dining room, I can say with confidence that the secret to success there is not posture and style, it is the ability to move nimbly through crowded space without bodily harm to yourself or to those who crowd you. Also, being thin helps. Otherwise, go ahead and train, just don't be surprised when your perfectly pointed foot and extended let gets into someone's scallop plate :) And let's don't mention your exquisite port-de-bras sweeping every bottle in your range of motion from the tables. 2. Also, v. curious about "swinging C-shaped couches on the main floor." Hmmm. Hmmm. Interesting.
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