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Everything posted by slarochelle

  1. I'm not sure if this is the same location, but I've read Balducci's was considering a location in the Penn Quarter area. At first it was on, then they (Balducci's) said they wanted to hold off on expansion. Then DC added some more perks, aka tax incentives, so maybe it is back on? Though this could easily be somewhere else, as space needed for a Balducci's and Trader Joe's is quite different. For those of us in the suburbs, something to look forward to in the next 3 years: Congressional Whole Foods moving South, near White Flint to a store double in size, and Wegmans opening in Landover and Crotfton.
  2. Similar question....Goal is steaks after golf. I'm looking at Ruth's Chris and Knife & Fork because they have seating available on OpenTable. But I've read some decent stuff about Steak 38. The real question is; will we feel out of place at either restaurant having come directly from the golf course with minimal time to clean up? Other suggestions welcome.
  3. Others have answered regarding the MiniBar specifically, but I'll suggest this option: the vegetarian dim sum brunch. Many of the items in the dim sum brunch also appear at the MiniBar, even some of the flesh containing courses are made vegetarian. This at about half the cost of the MiniBar experience. However, they don't make it right in front of you, and it is brunch not dinner, so it's not an evening out.....but can be a nice way to start a Saturday/Sunday. Other potential drawback; the entire table must order the dim sum brunch. It didn't bother me (the wife is a vegeterian), good food is good food. Dim sum menu is online (as PDFs), not sure about the MiniBar. Enjoy.
  4. Who at the TPFM sells cheese curds? I was there Sunday and couldn't find them. The goat cheese & tart people, who set up on one of the ends, directed me to the cheese vendor. I asked them and they said they can't sell their cheese curds because they are from non-pasteurized milk, and the curds are not aged 60 days. Both of those vendors have been there all summer though. I didn't anyone I would consider new.
  5. As long as we are directing questions to Mr. Ruhlman.....what is the rest of the day like for the contestants? Are they spending the day taking lessons from yourself, and Chefs English and Tsai? Or from the guest Chef? Are they spending the entire day in the kitchen doing things that end up on the cutting room floor? Travel from one city to the next? They don't seem to be doing any TV/radio promotion of the show (maybe if it were on FOX), so I was wondering what they're doing outside of the 6-8 hours that probably go into a given episode. Regarding last night's episode......the bottom two terrines were chosen with good reason. I though Katie's(?) lack of local ingredients would be her downfall though. It was stated in the beginning: food should taste like where it came from. Her terrine could have been made exactly the same in Boston or Portland. And given the flavors of southern Florida, it's a slap in the face to not use the local produce. I found it strange that Yannick had so much trouble. I thought terrines were classic French cooking, which I (incorrectly?) assumed was his background? He seemed to be floundering with the entire process. I would have expected much better from him.
  6. I received an email from Amazon last week saying that Wine.com is one of their newest merchants. I checked Wine.com and they didn't ship to my state, Maryland. I assume Amazon and Wine.com hooking up is related to this news?
  7. For a half hour show, they didn't really cover much. It seemed like the episode was them given instruction, brief shots of a hectic kitchen, then a long parade of dishes and critique. An hour would have been better. I'd like to see the contestants explain what their goal was, maybe a peek into their 10 minute planning, or what they are thinking during the hour. To me, most of the episode seemed like the last 10 minutes of an Iron Chef episode, except drawn out.
  8. The premise of the show sounds good, although after watching the first two episodes, it doesn't seem like what I'd expect of a PBS show. Almost like it was filmed without knowing where it would run. A little more drama and it could have been a network show (a la The Restaurant), or more cheese and it's FoodTV show (a la most things on Food TV). I guess I expected something the quality of Frontier House. That said, I will watch again, since Wednesday evening has little to offer on TV. I liked the guy that did the custard with his egg. Very original. I bet they could have had double or triple the prospective chefs, and he'd still be the only sweet dish. And I'm also glad they'll have to use their mis in the next episode.
  9. Here's a substitution my mother-in-law made in a recipe I had given her for Fassolakia Iadera, a Greek stew of green beans, zucchini, potato and tomato: Instead of canned whole tomato, she used tomato sauce. As in Prego pasta sauce. Needless to say, the dish didn't come out so good. Now she wonders why we rave about it. Some people just don't understand that if you deviate from a recipe, and it fails, it may not be the recipe's fault.
  10. Speaking of Silver Spring....any update on a possible opening date? I first heard "spring", then later, May. Are things still on track for pre-Memorial Day?
  11. I've been to the one in Rockville a couple times, although not recently. It's at Rockville Pike and Rollins Ave, near the TGI Fridays and Benegans. Although I have heard they may be moving to a spot behind the CompUSA in the neighboring shopping center, which would put it on E Jefferson St. I believe. It's a quiet and dimly lit place, and I'd say more apt for a romantic dinner then for "girls night out", even though they have booths that seat 6. If it's fondue you're after, it will be fine. If it's a good meal your are after, there are plenty of other places to take your $30-50/person. The only thing I remember about the food was the raspberry vinaigrette on the salad; it was super sweet, and no way I'd chose that again. Oh, and the server told us which combination of sauces tasted good together. Like others have said, I prefer my fondue at home.
  12. Sweetfreak posted it first, but I though it should get it's own thread: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/artic...-2005Jan18.html This terrific news for a few reasons: 1. It's another non-chain in an ever growing dining/entertainment area. 2. The original has already proven to be worthy destination - hopefully the same will happen here. 3. I've been in my house for 3 1/2 years, and just recently learned it's only a 1 1/4 mile walk to Colesville & Ga Ave. 4. Our kitchen will be renovated this spring and out of commission for a month, hopefully after Ray's opens.
  13. ....and while you are in Rockville, the Twinbrook Deli, next to CVS on Veirs Mill make a tasty Italian cold-cut.
  14. Another suggestion.....I think near Cafe Deluxe/Mamma Lucia's is a paint your own pottery place. Depending on how long your in the area, it could be fun for kids (and adults), without the light and noise of D&B. I don't know if you can take your creation home that day, or pick it up days/week later. I'd imagine they could mail it to you if you aren't local.
  15. You didn't say how young the kids are, but there is a Dave & Busters approx 2 miles North of NIH, in the White Flint mall. If they are older then 8 or 10, they'd enjoy it. Within D&B is a restaurant serving food along the lines of TGI Friday's, Benegans, etc. For the kids there is a huge midway/arcade with dozens (hundred?) of arcade games, ske-ball, and similar games. Many games give tickets redeemable for prizes. South of NIH is Bethesda, with more restaurants in a square mile then anyone needs. Rio Grand Cafe attracts a lot of families, but I don't know if I'd take someone from Texas there (I'm sure they already have there fill of Tex-Mex). I'm sure others here could give good family restaurant ideas. There is a Chuck E. Cheese in Rockville, actually close to the mall mentioned above. If you want a plastic ball bin and animated figures, check there. Otherwise, D&B is good for kids slightly more mature.
  16. I was consider stopping at Matchbox for some mini-burgers before the above mentioned show with the royal one this evening. How busy was Matchbox? I'd expect it to be super crowded given the 20,000+ people converging on the area. But you were seated in 20 minutes? Can I be that lucky on a Friday evening, given the area attraction and happy hour patrons?
  17. Good timing on bringing this thread back up, I've got a watermelon waiting to be turned into something..... I have a question on the Watermelon Sorbet recipe though. What is meant by: "3 c pureed Watermelon flesh (seeded & strained) " Is this it: I cut a big hunk of watermelon, it is seedless so no need to seed. Run it through the food processor, and put it in some cheese cloth to drain the liquid. Once drained, I'm looking for 3 cups of the remaining pulp/solid? That seemed strange to me, as I thought I saw other recipes that used the strained liquid and not the remaining pulp.
  18. The wife and I made it there Friday evening, around 8. Outside tables looked full, as did inside. The very small "waiting area" was full, although 6 or 7 people makes it full. Our quoted 20 minute wait turned out to be 5 as a two top opened up. I felt bad walking by the two famlies of 4 who had gotten there before us. The only thing new to report is that they had begun serving alcohol that day. They had one each of a red and white by the glass, and a couple bottles. We never got the info on bottles, and I don't remember the label names on the by the glasses. We each had a nice light chardonnay though. For beer, I saw a pale ale, and a few other large name micro brew type beers going around. The waitress mentioned nothing is set yet regarding wine (and alcohol), as they are still deciding what to carry. The service was spotty, as others mentioned. I think I saw three waiter/waitress, and a manager type helping the bus boy. Toward the evening, I saw one of the chefs serving plates. We had some delays in getting menus, drinks and refills, although I'd expect as much from a new place. Overall, the food was good. We split the baked goat cheese and tomato sauce appetizer. The cheese was tasty and the sauce was simple and light (reminded my wife of her grandmother's gnocchi sauce). The bread served with it was mediocre; it needs a sauce or topping of some sort. We'd have it again without question. I had most of a margarita pizza. Crispy crust, thin but still chewy. Maybe a little too much cheese, and could have used more tomato and basil. It was still good the next day too, briefly reheated. Wife had a half portion of mac and cheese, which was very good. Not too gooey and the pasta still had good texture. Most of the deserts were gone, except the bread pudding, which is what we wanted. As someone else said, not much bread for a bread pudding. More like a custard with bread, and a caramel sauce on top. It was good, but not what I expected. I'll try something else next time. And next time will probably be soon. The place looks great and the food is pretty good. The best part is that it is close to my home, although it'd be nicer if it were in down town Silver Spring. Guess I'll have to wait for Ann Cashon's place later this summer.
  19. People Garden sound similar to http://www.washingtonsgreengrocer.com I've been getting fruit and veg from them for over a year now and have been pleased w/everything; quality, service, price. Steve
  20. My experience was similar last summer. The service was great, although almost overly attentive. It seemed we had multiple waitresses stopping to see that everything was going smoothly. The food was amazing, even for my vegetarian wife. She was given grilled red pepper and mushrooms, seasoned with one of the seasonings used on the steaks (can't remember name). All of us enjoyed the mashed potatoes and creamed spinach served family style; and we were given a little to-go box of the creamed spinach on the way out. I started with a spinach salad that was good, but nothing special. The steaks are the highlight, everything else was secondary. I don't think we even had desserts. The chef did come around when we where there also. He made sure everyone was pleased with their food specifically asking about the vegetarian entree, and my friend's steak. He had initially asked for a NY Strip, "Pittsburgh" style, and was told the chef would not make it that way (I never asked what exactly that meant). What he was given, a strip with the same seasonings on the mushroom/pepper plate, was "the best steak he'd ever eaten". I had a NY Strip w/gorgonzola and butter. It was loud then too, and reservations were needed on a Saturday night. We had a couple bottles of a lesser expensive Merlot, and I think spent ~$140 for four of us. I'd go back in a second given the opportunity.
  21. I watch SNL fairly regularly, and don't recall seeing many Food Network parodies. I remember some pre-conviction Martha Stewart skits, a Jamie Oliver character in a skit, and maybe an Emeril joke here and there. Did I miss something, or do they run all the Food Network jokes in the last 15 minutes of the show (which I rarely see).
  22. I'd imagine eGulleters who read Tom's chats do so regularly or even religiously, but I think these regular readers are in the minority. Otherwise, the same questions would not be repeated. It seems as if most questions come from people who have not read more then a few chats, or can't recall beyond a few weeks ago. With such "transient" readers, there is no history, so us regular readers will see the same similar questions over and over (this applies to a few of the chats I regularly read, not just Tom's). Occasionally the chats have moved towards the larger issues. Carol Greenwoods inflexibility was one topic that came up leading to a minor eGullet-ish exchange, over a couple session even. But that is in the minority. I think most people just want to know where to have dinner this weekend. For the rest of us, there is eGullet.
  23. I read weekly, usually real-time. I participate occasionally, maybe once a month. This week's Q didn't get answered though (looking for a quick bite/drink Friday before the Jon Stewart show at Constitution Hall, something within walking distance if anyone wants offer ideas). One a couple months back did get answered though. I don't remember it exactly, but something to the effect of if he ever gave someone a suggestion/recommendation other then (what, in his opinion was) the best recommendation, because he was tired of always recommending the same places over and over. I'd have to dig through his archives for the exact question and his answer. I asked because Zatinya kept coming up as his answer. Good relatively inexpensive eats downtown? Zatinya. Good Mediterranean? Zatinya. Good vegetarian options? Good deserts? Decor & ambiance? Impress out of towners? Zatinya. Zatinya. Zatinya. Zatinya. Assuming Zatinya is the right answer, which may or may not be the case, would he ever suggest elsewhere to relieve his own boredom? And actually be doing the questioner a disservice?
  24. I'd like to try the mini-bar with my wife, but she's a vegetarian. With the menu as-is, she wouldn't enjoy it (although I would, eating all her non-veg items). Given the format, would they entertain the idea of creating an all vegetarian friendly meal? Would it help if both of us went the vegetarian meal route, instead of just one? FWIW, cheese and eggs are ok, although no roe or caviar.
  25. I'm heading to La Miche in Bethesda. Anyone know what I should expect? I've never been there.....and didn't make the selection. Sounds like they are doing a stripped down fix price menu though. I'm glad someone else chose for me actually. I was torn between finding some place nice and/or higher end, or as others mentioned, staying away from the masses, and going out for a nice dinner a week or two later. For no real reason though, just to enjoy a nice night out.
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