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Everything posted by Nadya

  1. I have indeed been to Briskskeller; considering I live next door, it's a wonder I don't have a charge account there. Or get greeted by "Hey, Baltika girl!" - the only Russian beer on the list, I believe. I have been known to toss back a few fruity beers. In particular, I recall one cherry-flavored and tropical fruit dealio...I believe, made in Holland. Oh, yeah. The food is vile. Also, zero romance in the air.
  2. Ah, it's always such an easy choice! Months of expensive therapy, or three glasses of wine? Both result in this amazing ability to speak one's mind with candor that belongs only in the movies. (Wonder what it would be like to drink with a therapist? Just curious.) So...Tom...tell....please...pretty please.
  3. Both McCormick & Schmick and Smith & Wolenski have outdoor seating in summer. You may want to call and check if they still do. Bistro Bis has four tables on the patio that I know for a fact are open. The glitch here is that you cannot reserve them - first come, first served, baby. Although if you telephone and ask nicely, you never know. La Tomate on Connecticut has a patio on the back street away from traffic of Conn. Ave. White tablecloth, hostess speaks Russian, what's not to like? Don't know if you consider Mimi's in Dupont a fine dining establishment...but patio is still open. Morton's across the street from Mayflower hotel has a cunningly concealed terrace on the second floor of this concrete monstrosity of a building.
  4. I think one five-page thread was enough for me. Tom, may I ask you a naive question? What is the significance of the name of your restaurant? Do you love corduroy above all other fabrics?
  5. And to be perfectly fair...an average European does not only appreciate the food and wine accomplishments in the U.S. - he doesn't want to! This is just something that the Rude Euros love to hate, and taking this argument away would undermine their sense of superiority. "What? The U.S. has good wines? Next thing you vill tell me is zat they make good shoes???" Guilty as charged. Totally agree about appreciation of good food. It's not a matter of innate superiority. It's a matter of growing up with good examples around you. If you thought that Red Lobster is the epitome of fine dining when you were 15, it aint' getting much better unless surgical removal of memories is in the cards for you. In my experience, the food we eat every day until the age when we leave home has a dramatic impact on our food choices for the rest of life.
  6. Interesting thinking! It's a great point you make about the U.S. being a young country. I suppose being young has its negative and positive sides, and with respect to food and wine, this "youth" is translating into a wonderful surge of creativity and an infusion of global influences. And I couldn't agree more about the chain restaurant thing. Sure, there are great, creative, ethnic restaurants in urban areas, but that said.....A couple of weeks ago I drove four hours to get to the beach in Maryland. This stretch of highway should have been dotted by mom-n-pop seafood places, but what do I see instead? An endless kaleidoscope of red, white and gold with Mickey D's, Popeyes and KFC every twenty miles. And it's the same in every direction. Walking into Bob Evans always makes me sad... I'm not saying local holes-in-the-walls don't exist, but they sure are harder to find. And this is the impression that contributes to the "Big Mac jackass" stereotype, unfortunately.
  7. Vermillion now has a new chef - Bobby Beard, formerly of Pesce, and hopefully things will improve there, at least food-wise. I am not sure exactly when he starts - some time in the next two weeks - and after about a month, things should be looking up.
  8. Nectar, Nectar and Nectar.
  9. I am ever so glad you mentioned this. This issue of how American food is (mis)perceived by non-industry folks both here and abroad is a bit of a pet cause (and peeve) for me, and it came up a few weeks ago in a Q&A with John W. I would love very much to hear your take on this as well: How would you describe "American quisine" to a foreigner? And what do you think can be done to break the stereotype held as gospel truth by The Rude Euros - i.e. that culinarily, nothing greater than a hamburger ever came out of America? When I go visit my family and friends now and try telling them how great the U.S. dining scene is, I often get a reaction of incredulity along the lines of "oh, I know, burgers & fries for breakfast and dinner, morbidly obese people wandering around", followed by, "so what is it that American food is all about?" This is where I get lost, because how do you explain the great variety of choices we have here in a few conceptual terms? This perfect piece of rockfish, this little mound of sweet potato puree, this butterfly shrimp, this lamb chop? Honestly...I would like to have something intelligent to tell them. I am sure people in food biz know it well, but an average European still thinks Americans don't know a plate of good food from a prophylactic...and I mind that very much. Thanks for reading!
  10. Ms. K's Tollhouse on Colesville Rd. may be an option - seems like a traditional place with a pretty setting and good (if non-adventurous) food. URL is http://www.mrsks.com/
  11. Methinks this calls for a new thread: "What eating/drinking habits of your beloved would be a deal-breaker?" For instance: Would not date an otherwise serviceable teetotaler. Or: Women who avoid garlic need not apply. Or something like that.
  12. You taunt me enough, I just might bike there and check them out.
  13. Tastee Diner location in Silver Spring has the best blueberry pancakes. I lived across the street from them for two years, and they were my weekend brunch pleasure and reward for the sweatshop that is going to graduate school on a teaching assistantship. The right thickness, loads of blueberries, nicely browned and just enough. For this, I can forgive families with five children brunching at the booth next to mine (hello, unsolicited massage of back via kicks of little feet), refills of coffee that splash like Niagara Falls, and waitresses with no teeth and Fedex truck-size bottoms. Everything else in TD sucked, to my taste. On a different note, anyone went to Komi for Saturday-only brunch yet? They have corn pancakes that are just excellent...
  14. Hi Tom, thanks for your time at eGullet. Hope you have the software figured out by now :) I was wondering if you can share a few insights on: 1. What is your most and least favorite thing about being a chef? 2. Is there anyone in the D.C. chef/restaurant community who you think does a particularly admirable job and why? 3. What is your take on the difference between working for a corporate/hotel-based restaurant vs. an individual chef/owner? Thanks for your time, I look forward to eating at Corduroy one day.
  15. Don, this has to be the most concise and expressive restaurant review I ever encountered. I will commit this to memory effective this evening.
  16. Champagne truffles, good. (Or in fact, any kind of truffle). Chocolate and bubbly, not good. (Or in fact, any kind of beverage meant to be imbibed COLD.) Chocolate is meant to be enjoyed at room temperature and melt in your mouth. Having it with a cold beverage makes it freeze in your mouth. Just my opinion. I admit freely that my experience in chocolate trumps my experience in champagne by about 16 years (or whatever the drinking age is Back There.)
  17. Bubbly and chocolate are both good, just not together.
  18. IF they work like they're supposed to, anyway For the best sexy-time food, I say, load up on the darkest chocolate known to man. Although the best tip food-wise has to be to Not Get Stuffed.
  19. Don, a few years from now, I can see a limited-edition book titled "Pearls of Wisdom from Egullet Eagles." Some things you come up with are simply too damn funny.
  20. My friend and I checked it out a few weeks ago. I agree that the location is a bit odd, with Thomas Sweet being two blocks down the street and all. I had a scoop of chocolate hazelnut and a scoop of tiramisu. Both were delicious. My friend had some kind of cheesecake flavor. The place has a charming mom-and-pop feel to it - the second floor, for instance, has a distinct daycare vibe. Also, nice windowsill cushions one can park at to survey Wisconsin Ave. while eating.
  21. Thanks for the pics! Now you can see that much fun has been had by all. Yes, that grin widens as the evening unfolds ;)
  22. It was awesome. It was also the reason why I am going on a celery stick diet and will not drink again for rest of life. Or at least tomorrow. I am just going to cover the food, because the wine, I am sure, deserves a more capable reviewer. We started with little teasers of corn chowder and deviled eggs (I wonder if anyone took pictures? do not remember.) The chowder was excellent, with a nice texture, and very...corny, meaning it tasted exactly like sweet corn, but liquid. With corn being one of my favorite tastes in the world, no complaining from me. Once we sat down (I was at the tall people's table in the corner, prominently featured in the picture right behind Chef Clark), the food started coming and it kept on comin'. First course: green salad with caramelized cauliflower and a goat cheese fritter. Not a combination that would immediately spring to mind, but went very well together, with a nice tangy sauce with a bit of bite to it. P.S.: How does one fry a piece of goat cheese and not have it smeared all over the place? Is magic. Second course: wee crabcake with mango chutney and cucumber sauce. Great dish, crabcake consisted of basically lumps of actual seasoned crabmeat (not minced) with just enough of whatever that is that holds it together. Disappeared very fast, as it should. Third course: slice o'meatloaf with some kind of berry sauce and mashed potatoes. Here I need to stop and rhapsodize. Usually, when I see the word "meatloaf" on the menu, the message conveyed to my brain is "keep on readin'." I have NEVER ordered a meatloaf voluntarily (or eaten one, come to think of it.) The dish I had yesterday made me see the light (and I owe it all to Gillian.) It was incredibly rich. And fluffy. And tender. And all these things. A regular home dish executed with so much purity and richness that it blew my Rude Euro mind away. I regretted having only one slice...I wonder if they have it on a regular menu? Fourth course: seared duck with mashed parsnips. I believe at this point there was a bet at our table that these were indeed parsnips and not mashed potatoes. I lost (you know who you are, you parsnip eater you). Some gastrite-type sauce for duck. Once again, done very well, just rare, juicy and tender. Now, these dishes were all tasting-menu size, and I felt reasonably comfortable. But after the duck...you know this feeling that says "I do believe I need to explore other notches on my belt....like the one two inches looser than present"? It started to set in once the duck went bye-bye. Then hillvalley stopped by our table and whispered in my ear: "This is not the main. Get ready for the main. Main is coming." Go out. Have a cigarette. Reconcile self to the imminence of More Food Coming. Briefly consider jogging around the block, abandon the idea immediately. Main course: regular size pork chop with apple cider reduction (and some kind of fruit mash). I could only have a few bites, and it was very good, but my stomach was nearing the point of spontaneous explosion. Of course, near lunchtime today I will regret not eating all of it quite bitterly. In fact, I am feeling first tinges of regret as I type this. Lunch today: raw veggies (penance.) Dessert: cobbler and pineapple upside down cake. I had two slices of pineapple - just enough sweetness and lovely texture in the underlying sponge cake. I recall vaguely at some point people went over next door to check out Da Sto - cute little area with aprons, kitchen thingies and whatnot. It was all a blur from that point on, some sort of food-induced intoxication. All I remember is not functioning at the summit of my mental capacity, and giggling a lot. Chef and Robin came out and mingled a little, and were as gracious as they could be. We owe it big to these ladies who opened on their off night and accommodated our unruly presence. I will definitely come back, for the meatloaf, the crabcake and the biscuits...wait, did I mention biscuits????? (loud slap of forehead) Man oh man. They were SO GOOD. Biscuits are a great accomplishment of La Cuisine Americaine, and I really do appreciate them, and these were The Best Ever. Tiny, crusty on top, tender inside, sweet-tasting dough with salt crystals on crust (how? how?) oooh mmmmm. I had three and half, I believe. (Wish had more.) CK does great food. No, excellent food. I really do appreciate the concept of taking a relatively simple dish, and giving it as much attention in ingredient and execution as you would expect at a white tablecloth joint. Every single thing we had was cooked at that level where it couldn't have been any better for that particular dish. Thank you, Chef and Robin, for the wonderful meal. Its memory will keep me warm through at least three ruthless lunches of cut-up veggies. It was lovely to meet everyone in person and put names to faces!
  23. What's so irrational about lurving BdC? Very palatable food, super atmosphere, cheery hosts AND romantic vibes aplenty :)
  24. If anyone needs a ride from Dupont Circle to CK, I am driving and can take three more people; four if they are skinny and like each other. I probably won't have time to stop by Firefly, but I can pick y'all up outside this estimable establishment. Please PM me if you need a ride.
  25. Malawry, I'm glad I'm not the only freak with irrational attachments! Now, there was also that place in Moscow called Starlight Diner with five-dollar milkshakes - the only place in the middle of the clubland that stayed opened 24 hrs a day. The menu was boring as hell and the entire place was smoking, but still....there every Saturday night/Sunday morning. Sigh - when I was young and pretty...
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