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  1. Sadly, my last visit to the Enoteca echoes this sentiment. My gummy gnocchi with lamb "ragu" was a very poor showing, as were the beet salad (bring a magnifying glass and tweezers - a fork is too big for that dish) and the calamari. The soups were standouts, and the bartender was quite helpful with pairing suggestions.I regret we did not go to the bar at Charleston instead. There was not one single person in Charleston's serene bar as we were arriving or leaving Cinghiale.
  2. So how was the coffee? I was at Clementine for lunch this past weekend - also my first visit. I had a much different experience than you did, so maybe it was an off day, or maybe breakfast is not their strong suit? First of all, I love the space - very neighborly and casual, and they've set aside a nice nook for a childrens' play area - much appreciated with active little ones in tow. It was quite busy, so none of the waitstaff were doing any lollygagging. They could have used one or two more servers, but the ones who were there were doing their darndest to keep up. Lunch for me was a hefty grilled chicken sandwich on toasted wheat, with nice thick bacon, a light schmear of avocado and a sharp blue cheese mayo. A bit sloppily assembled, but each ingredient was top notch. Only complaint is that I wish it had more avocado. It came with a choice of sides - mine was a fresh green salad with an absolutely tangy-delicious Green Goddess dressing. When was the last time any little mom and pop in Baltimore had that on the menu?! Oh, and the ice tea was the real deal - it tasted fresh brewed. I also sampled the mac and cheese, which was of the firm brick variety, with tomato laced throughout. Not bad. Prices were very reasonable, and I would like to return for dinner. Judging by the fact that virtually all tables were filled when we left, and some had turned over once or twice, I'd say they are doing quite well.
  3. Even though I've been many times, I've never asked if they would make me an off-menu cocktail. Mostly because I've enjoyed working my way through the list of delightful special drinks. (Not necessarily all in the same evening, mind you.) Do they prefer that guests stick close to what's on the printed menu?
  4. Anything new or improved appear in the last three years in or around Bronxville? (i.e. between Mt. Vernon and Scarsdale) Looks like I will be making periodic trips up there for the next four years (starting this week) and it would be nice to have a few go-to places close by to bring a college kid with big city tastes, for lunches and dinners.
  5. Any recent reports for this part of the world? I read a few good things about a newer place in Nederland called the First Street Bar and Grill. We'll be taking a leisurely peak-to-peak drive up from Denver next weekend and would like a place to stop for brunch or lunch. Preferably with view, but that would be secondary to the food. Alcohol not important since I'll be driving and my passenger is too young to take over the wheel for me.
  6. I was at Komi with friends a couple of weeks ago and had a superlative meal. My review is here. I believe Derek Brown is already on board running the front of the house.
  7. I had it last year at Bistro Bis. They had a choice of a half-plank for an app. or a full-plank as an entree. Very nicely done.
  8. Congratulations on the big step Rebo. Check out Chef Shogun's blog - he's recently decided to take a "stab" at prepping too.
  9. It is a great deal. And if you order salmon, the price is $18 instead of $20. I ordered the salmon (choice of Diablo, blackened or grilled, I went with grilled) and received a very generous filet, perfectly prepared. The special offer is not on the menu, so don't hesitate to ask about it if the waitstaff does not mention it. There's also a wine special: a 2002 Condado de Haza for $38, down from $46. $18 for that meal is one of those too-good-to-be true deals, so get it while it's still there.At 9:30 on a weeknight there place was still busy, but there were a couple of tables open and no wait. Chef Landrum explained the new system: Sounds like Rays the Classic is mere weeks from opening - with a few of the usual building inspection issues to be resolved. Hoping for some good eating in June.
  10. Matyson is still one of my favorite byobs when I am in Philadelphia. This weekend I joined friends for a celebration and enjoyed fantastic service and food. For starters I had what chef is calling a "Sticky Bun II" - which is a pinwheel of flaky dough layered with dried fig and then topped with a generous mound of melting duck confit and tidbits of pink grapefruit. I also sampled the poached lobster salad which was first rate, though on the small side (hence I did not get a big sample.) My main course was a perfectly prepared whole bronzino that had been partially de-boned - with sprigs of rosemary and lemon slices tucked inside, between filets served with broccoli and sun dried tomatoes. It was just the right size fish - slightly longer than the plate and extremely meaty. I had been waivering between it and the wild rock fish and the waiter steered me to the bronzino. Other entrees at the table were a seafood chowder, duck breast, scallops, and the roast chicken. With my new years' resolutions still in force, I could only stare longingly at the desserts! They mentioned that they will be participating in Restaurant Week, although it sounded as though this was a reluctant decision driven more by the competition than by any profit potential. The room was full to the gills throughout the evening.
  11. The Calhoun half ham I picked up this weekend at the Alexandria Farmer's market was $3.59/pound uncooked.
  12. I'm excited to have snagged a table this Saturday at Corduroy! (See my ISO, above). I've heard nothing but praise and am wondering what three courses people would string together there. Also, what wines? Thanks!
  13. Oh, that's bad news about Johnny Boys. For the life of me I cannot remember the name of the decent bbq place in Waldorf. If it occurs to me I'll post - it would be on your way whether you take 301 or Rt 5 south. ← You may be thinking about Lefty's Barbeque in Waldorf: www.leftysbarbeque.com.
  14. Ah, I know the route back and forth to Camp St. Charles in southern Charles County all too well. Johnny Boys' south of La Plata, on the northbound side of 301, used to have great ribs. We'd even get some to bring to the long-suffering Salvatorian priests who ran the camp. I have heard that it has gone downhill in the last few years (the ribs, not the camp). I haven't been there in awhile - maybe it's improved. I like Randy's which is on Rt. 5 (Leonardtown Road). From La Plata, take La Plata Rd./Rt. 488 east to Rt. 5 heading south. Their website is www.randysribs.com.
  15. Wednesday night at Jackie's is skillet-fried chicken night. 8081 Georgia Ave. in Silver Spring: click here for Jackie's webpage.
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