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Everything posted by johnb

  1. But it's a lot more than "pricing" and that's the key. For example, Laboratorio, while it's contained within Galileo, is an entirely separate restaurant with its own kitchen and its own staff, menu, philosophy, etc. etc. It's actually more different from Galileo than the various outposts of the Tunks and Andres empires are from each other. So splitting up the reviews makes good sense.
  2. If I found myself in front of Ben's I'd just walk a few blocks to the east and eat at Oohs and Aahs. That's good food, and the service ain't half bad for what it is--they bring what you order upstairs, or sit at the counter and watch the passing show.
  3. I would think CityZen, or at least Cafe Mozu, in the Mandarin Oriental would fit the bill. Not sure but I think they're both open Sunday. Certainly hip, talked about, good decor, take AMEX. It's in the city but on Maryland Ave. if that helps (lol)
  4. Marrekesh's food is certainly not up to the sophisticated level of some of the other places mentioned, nor does it appeal to typical egullet/chowhound types, but the food is certainly several steps above "terrible." It also has the advantage that the menu is fixed so they can do what they do fairly well. And after all, it is not trying to appeal to foodies who are looking for the greatest and latest. It is there for those looking for entertainment and a good fun time with their dinner, generally folks from all over and who's view of "good food" can even include places where foodies wouldn't be caught dead, i.e., groups which are probably not unlike the one the OP is planning to entertain. They have a very good product for that market.
  5. One good choice, a fairly easy walk from the Convention Center (5-6 blocks), would be Zaytinya. Middle East themed small plates (mezze). Run by Jose Andres, one of the area's top chefs. Most everybody loves it, and you should be able to put together something in advance which would be well-received and fits your budget. Book well in advance. Fun for a group. Another fun for an out of town group place, also Middle Eastern (North African to be more precise) and nearby, would be Marrakesh. Fixed menu, cazbah decor, belly dancing. Food's not bad, but don't go for the food, go for the fun. It would also fit your budget, and everybody would be talking about it for a long time. Best Ethiopian IMO is Queen Makeda. Very small, homey, family run place. Definitely not fancy. Skip the menu; just ask Mama to bring out whatever the good stuff is that day. It would be a short taxi ride from the CC.
  6. I recall seeing something on Tom's chat to the effect that Graig has left UM? Does anyone have the skinny on that? FWIW I ate there on Tuesday lunch and the mini-burgers and onion rings seemed same as always. Also had their take on mozzarella en carrozza which amounted to an excellent toasted (fried) cheese sandwich.
  7. The linked thread mentions "the Wine Rack" which is part of Bottom Line Wine. I think that was Dave Gray's place, but I thought it went out of business years ago. Is it still there? I bought a fair amount of wine from him in the old days.
  8. If I recall correctly, Tung Bor also did a brief stint over in Bethesda after Wheaton Plaza; it was never the same tho--maybe different owners? I didn't know Good Fortune was the same folks.
  9. Here is an excerpt from the little piece I sent out. Menu: This will be a 13-course (for good luck obviously!) more-or-less traditional Chinese banquet. More details will follow, but the current plan includes as highlights suckling pig, scallops on the half shell, King of the Seas (lobster, Dungeness crab, razor clams, baby clams), tenderloin steak, chicken in XO sauce, spicy chili jumbo prawns, and firecracker boneless whole fish. The style of the cooking is generally Hong Kong (some dishes will be a bit spicy but for the most part the food will not be spicy/hot). Seating/Service: The banquet will be served at traditional round tables for 10, course by course. Drinks: Tea is included. Cost will be $72 plus tip and tax There is still plenty of scope if anyone would like to join. Since it has come up, I will also post a note on the Dining Friends thread.
  10. Hollywood East is a Hong Kong style Chinese restaurant, i.e. not hot spicy. So it seems unfair to criticize them for not being something that they aren't trying to be. For HK style food, I think they are quite good. If you would like to have a closer look, I'm throwing a Chinese banquet there on May 21. All are welcome. e-mail me at janjohncottage@yahoo.com if you're interested. I think it will be a spectacular meal.
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