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  1. I used to live just a few blocks away from the Omni... its true that the area doesn't have a wealth of good eatin, but there's always Petits Plats, right up Connecticut (towards the northern end of the strip). Its a pleasant little French restaurant, but more relevantly, it also has a takeout area below. Great rotisserie chicken, duck confit, soups, etc. Here's the website, click on the side that says "Petits Plats To Go" and that will give you more info & the menu. And if you cross over the bridge to Adams Morgan, I second So's Your Mom (its the only local deli with Boar's Head meats, and they make the best sandwiches). Tryst is on 18th St about half a block past Columbia and also has delicious sandwiches, albeit yuppified. But they serve alcohol too, so.... Another option would be La Granja de Oro (just about across the street from So's Your Mom) for that DC staple, Peruvian chicken. This place has been around for a while and is good, if you're in the mood for chicken.
  2. I've worked in managerial, server and bar positions in several fine-dining restaurants for about 10 years now, beginning in college, and I can say this is one of the things that most bugs me when people make reservations. I usually treat everyone very well - it gives me satisfaction when people enjoy their experience while they're in my care, and I when taking reservations I want to help someone find a table. But if someone insists on making a reservation with some sort of title (especially when asked for the first name, and they will only give the honorific), my co-workers and I are usually annoyed enough by that to make a note in the reservation about snootiness, arrogance, etc. I think it just serves to make the person taking the reservation think that YOU think you're above him or her. It's similar to when someone calls and says that he or she wants to make a "VIP" reservation. To whom are you a VIP? To us, our regulars are VIPs; considerate and friendly people are VIPs; etc. Go with your gut reaction on this one- I think using a title will result in worse service, not better. Just one gulleteer's (emphatic) two cents...
  3. thank you all so much for your help, I truly appreciate it... Two more questions: 1) would either Olea or Carlyle be a good place to eat at the bar? Would one be better than the other? Does anyone know if either or both offer the full menu at the bar? We don't know what time we'll be getting into Portland, so if possible, we'd like to keep our dinner plans flexible. We already have a reservation at clarklewis... and we'll be going to wineries the next day, so we plan on some picnicking then. (I did most of my backpacking when I used to live in Eugene, and unfortunately we won't have a tent or sleeping bags with us.) Thanks for the tips Busboy! And 2) (though its not quite food related) - we're planning on staying one night in Bandon because its about the right distance we'd like to drive for the day. If anyone knows any hotels, motels, cabins or b&b's in bandon, or within about 30 miles, please please let me know. You can PM me if its not relevant to the thread. thanks!
  4. Alright, I think we've narrowed it down to: clarklewis for one dinner Park Kitchen for lunch and either Carlyle or Olea for the other dinner - can anyone help me out and let me know about atmosphere at both? are they stuffy, trendy, laid-back, etc...? Which would you pick between those two? we do drink wine (will be visiting Willamette valley wineries on the way back), I just mentioned that we're not BIG drinkers so you would have that info in terms of the price - basically, $50-$100 per person doesn't include a bottle of wine, just a glass or two thanks for all of your help, especially the coast stops. If you ever come to DC, PM me and I'll help you out! Carolyn
  5. thanks for your response! I've checked out those sites and gotten some really good info - I just can't decide between the ones I've narrowed it down to. I was interested in Park Kitchen, I'd just heard mixed things, or that it was inconsistent. Thoughts? And which two of those I've picked would you choose, if you could only do two? Anyone else? thanks...
  6. Hello there! I'm going to be driving up the cali and oregon coast with my SO, and we are looking for some help with the Oregon restaurant recs. I've read about some great-sounding coastal restaurants, and any more would definitely be helpful. I believe we're spending one night in Bandon , i'm not sure where else (besides Portland.) As far as Portland, we really only have a fri and sat there. I'm trying to pick two out of these restaurants for dinner, any opinions? (in no particular order): Carlyle Paley's Wildwood clarklewis Hurley’s Olea Siam Society Noble Rot we both really love tasting menus; love little plates/grazing; and would not mind spending $50-100 per person, including tax and tip (we're not big drinkers, and we're from DC so we're used to high prices.) The most important factor would be the food, and then the service. We're both in the industry so i guess we can be a little picky We also plan on doing some of these things: going to Saturday market; the rose gardens and chinese garden; 23rd st; powell's, checking out the West Hills, and maybe taking a cruise down the Willamette to see the city. any other ideas? would you nix any of those? THANK YOU!
  7. I love going to Pearmund Cellars to for wine tastings, as well as fruit picking out in that area, so my SO and I have had a few occasions to try some eating around Flint hill and Sperryville: Sunnyside Farms does have a great burger - I'm not a big burger-eater but they were excellent Four and Twenty Blackbirds was less than stellar. We ate there in October 2005, and we really wanted to like it, too. The service was excellent, but we found half of the dishes to be inedible, the other half decently mediocre, and the bill wayy overpriced. I only ate there one time, so I can't say it wasn't an off night, but I was really disappointed. The Epicurious Cow isn't a restaurant, but its a great little food shop right off the highway that sells great cheeses, wines, etc; they also make excellent sandwiches - http://www.epicuriouscow.com/ Please please please keep posting more info here - the more places to try the better! And here's a link to an article (tho its 5 years old) called "The Gourmet Trail of Rappahanock" : http://www.farms-estates.com/fe/WashPost2.htm e.t.a.: well, now that Sunnyside discontinued their beef program, you might need to ignore my comment on that
  8. Any restaurants to add to the list? It's my SO's birthday coming up, and we're going to drive up to manhattan from dc for a few days... I'm like to take him somewhere romantic, but the food and wine are most important - somewhere not snooty/cold would also be nice, with a price not much higher than about $100 for a tasting menu (not including wine or tip or anything) - but I could go up to about $125 if its definitely worth it. We loved Babbo, so something in the same vein would be great - Marche and Chanterelle look good, as does GT. But any other ideas? thanks...
  9. Soul Food/Southern (i.e. cornbread, fried chicken, mac&cheese, pork chops, collard greens, & also CRAB CAKES): Oohhs & Aahhs, at 10th & U St 1005 U St. NW. (202) 667-7142 check out these reviews: Oohhs & Aahhs @ www.DonRockwell.com Its the best southern/soul food in the city, and its cheap-o
  10. I grew up in Buffalo, and we regularly went to Andersons and Nina's for frozen custard. With loganberry to drink, of course. Plus all of the places in the little towns around Buffalo have custard stands, like Jac N Mary's near Rushford Lake (about an 1.5 hours outside Buffalo). In fact, when I moved down here to DC I searched for years before finding ONE frozen custard place in NW - Dickey's Frozen Custard (1710 I st). I haven't had the Western NY custard in a while, but from what I remember Dickey's seems comparable. I just had Del Ray Dreamery for the first time two days ago - like Joe H's comparison with Neilson's, it wasn't quite as rich and thick as Dickey's (or Buffalo-area custard). But the chocolate bordeaux cherry flavor was just a different kind of delish. I also agree that Two Amy's is one of my favorite places in the area for ice cream - as i wrote in the 2Amy's thread, their rhubarb ice cream was just the right blend of tart & sweet. Another place not particularly known for ice cream is Magruder's (on Conn. Ave in Cleveland Park). Their gelato - especially hazelnut - is creamy & flavorful without being too sweet. You can buy their gelato by the scoop or in a pint container. And speaking of gelato, if you're in NYC, Mario Batali's restaurant, Otto,makes their own gelato in flavors like olive oil, and goat's milk ricotta, as well as more typical flavors like chocolate chip, and caramel. Thinking about gelato is making me miss the little gelaterias of Spain (and Italy and France....) My favorite is the "yogurt" flavor (it doesn't exactly taste like plain yogurt, but its flavor is impossible for me to describe - anyone want to chime in?) Its especially good alongside a scoop of noisettes. Edited to add: None of the three Buffalo-area locations, nor Dickey's, scoop. They all have soft-serve machines, but I don't know specifically what kinds of machines are used.
  11. I have some good quality cold-pressed walnut oil, do you guys think that is a good match for either cauliflower or asparagus? ps. I've actually loved cauliflower since I was little, when I was served raw cauliflower with blue cheese by a friend's parents. In Buffalo, we ate everything with blue cheese. Blue cheese dressing, not bleu cheese crumbles, that is.
  12. The scallops had been fresh fresh fresh - my SO was kind enough to bring them home for me from the organic restaurant where he works (as a manager - neither of us have much talent in the chef department). But since we both work at restaurants, we rarely have the opportunity to eat dinner at home (nor the desire to cook!) so we froze them. But your defrosting technique worked wonderfully. Thank you so much for debunking that rumor and for helping me out so quickly! The scallops were delish.
  13. I know this is last minute, but my SO and I are trying to come up with some dinner for tonight (we eat pretty late, so I have a few hours) , andI have some great scallops that we froze (cuz we couldn't use them right away). We just want to sear them, so its going to be any easy cooking job. BUT, i've heard that defrosted scallops don't turn out well. Any suggestions? thank you in advance!!!
  14. After reading the cheese issue of Saveur, I wanted to give Laura Chenel's goat cheese a try. I don't know if anyone's looking for it, but today I found several types (plain, pepper, herbed, etc) at Marvelous Market (the one downtown). Beware, though, as a few were past the printed expiration date. I'll let you know how it is if you're interested! Also had some great cheeses from P St. Whole Foods - Parlick (hard-ish sheep's milk cheese with green wax); Pipe Dreams aged goat log w/veg ash; Coach Farms goat log (also aged, but with a white rind); Piave; and they finally brought back Cypress Grove Purple Haze after many many requests. All looked, smelled and tasted good. Also, the one guy who was always very friendly (he was the only one who remembered me although i'm there every week, and he always recommended cheeses based on what he knew I liked) is gone, but apparently he's moved to the Gtown location. I think his name is Robert, & he's young (late 20's , maybe?) with dark black hair. H'es very knowledgeable about cheese and is actually NICE. imagine that. So if you shop there, look for him, he'll help you. But know i'm on my own again at P St. EDIT: oops, I have since seen Laura Chenel chevre at Whole Foods P St. maybe its not as uncommon as i thought...
  15. Looks like we were there the same night, Alan... I had the sparkling aglianico the last time I ate at 2Amy's, and it was great with the Margherita pizza. But my boyfriend ordered a coke, and as I kept stealing sips I realized how amazingly well coke and pizza go together. I don't really like the drink all that much, but they just tasted so perfect together! So Thurs night I drank coke. A '99 vintage, I believe I kind of felt like by not ordering wine, I was taking for granted a list with more than 4 by-the-glass offerings, but my pizza&coke combo was good so screw it. The deep-fried fingerling potatoes w/ aioli were a pretty good start, then my Margherita and for my SO, the server's recommendation of the pizza with salami and roasted red peppers. This time the pizza (and server) were much better than our last time there. Last time, the pizza crust was too doughy at the edges and then when you got to the middle it was wet. This time was more consistent. Oh, and my SO's calzone (the last time) was all dough and ricotta, none of the promised varieties of meat. This time, his pizza was the winner. The salami was crisp around the edges and full of flavor. Then dessert, which was my favorite part: the same vanilla bean panna cotta with shortbread cookie - it was a lot looser than most panna cotta I've had, and the yellow caramel sauce pooled in the middle of the white dessert made it look like a sunny-side up egg. i don't know if it was intentional, but it was clever. And the best dessert was the rhubarb ice cream. It was smooth and creamy, and just tart enough. Oh thinking about it makes me crave another scoop right now. My only 2Wishes for 2Amy's are: 1) a little more basil on the Margherita and 2) (just a fault of my on bad timing) that they have the lamb meatballs on fried pizelle one night when I come in. All in all, YUM
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