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Everything posted by sara

  1. What is the name of that Cuban (is it Cuban?) place on Girard that used to be Las Tapas?? That might be big enough. Or has anyone been to Samba? I'm willing to venture farther away from the Mariott if I must... By the way, just to make this thread more useful for people in the future, here is a list I found on Open Table Open Table Banquet List
  2. Neat idea! They charge $2000 for the location, I don't think we can swing that unless they can cater for $25/head. But this is where I should've done my wedding.
  3. Herb--Thanks for the catering thoughts...but we've had this dinner in a restaurant in every other city for dozens of years...this is our first time having ASA in Philly, and I really want them to be impressed with our restaurants; and not be told we couldn't find one big enough for them. (I know that's not really a flaw, but could be perceived as one). So keep thinking guys! Madison is great--no Egullet events tho, I'm on the tenure track!
  4. Hi Philly! I'm helping to organize a dinner associated with the annual meetings of the American Sociological Association, which is being held in Philly in August (Yeah-I get to come home!!). We have 150 coming, and need a place that meets the following criteria: Good food (including good options for vegetarians) Not too expensive (good value, anyway), meaning no more than $50/per, without alcohol Not too noisy, i.e. maybe carpeted Located within walking distance from the marriott at 12th & market No strong preference here, but not BYO might be easier. I have already thought of the many Asian options (Pho Xe Lua, Vietnam, Lee How Fook, Rangoon), but we had this dinner last year at a Chinese place in San Francisco. So any non-Asian ideas would be greatly appreciated. I think we might be able to go a bit further out in terms of location, if public transportation were able to get us there. Thanks in advance! Sara
  5. Hi I lived and worked in Fairfax and Arlington for over 20 years, including a wayyy too long stint at Whitlow's on Wilson and Grevey's. It's true that people currently living in the area don't call it NoVA, because that's the name of the comm college, except what's interesting is that when they move down South to UVA (no I did not) to attend school, they start calling it NoVA... Anyways, several suggestions not noted here thus far... Cafe Dalat on Wilson Blvd, near Queen Bee, for terrific Vietnamese (yes, this is walking distance from Iota--and by the way, I'd definitely consider Ray's walking distance too). Unfortuately Mexicali Blues isn't what it used to be, but the ice cream shop next door, Lazy Sundae, is an absolute must, even in the winter. Also on Wilson near Iota. For outstanding sandwiches, try the Italian Store at 3123 Lee Hwy in the Lyon Village Center. Other posters and threads have mentioned Hard Times Cafe, and Cafe Asia, and the other little sushi place near Cafe Asia, the name of which escapes me at the moment, and those places are all good. I'm also a fan of Gino's pizza (square slices w/ provolone) on Wilson. I remember when Carlyle Grand was quite good, relative to much else in the area, but that was a LONG time ago... Still, their seared tuna salad makes for a decent lunch. I've always thought Arlington was chock full of good places and often wondered why more wasn't written about it here. But don't neglect Falls Church (of recent NY Times fame), and Annandale (yes, for Korean--esp Secret Garden on Rt 50). And I'd skip Whitlow's, unless you're going for the burgers or free pool (on Tuesdays?).
  6. Ah...after watching West Wing last night they do!
  7. Hi Coming to NO next weekend. Are crawfish in season at this point?
  8. sara


    Have to strongly disagree with the Rouques suggestion. 4 of us ate there over Xmas and had a very mediocre meal. The margaritas lacked tequila, the salsa lacked spice, the chips were greasy, the guacamole was blender-blah, all entrees were Chi-Chi's-esque---the only good thing we had was some decent pork on the nachos. And by the way, we only got nachos because of a major lack of interesting apps--cheese fundido, quesadillas, nachos...blah. Single Pebble, Smokejack's, Kitchen Table, Cafe Shelburne--these are better bets.
  9. Hi My fiance and I celebrated our first anniversary, and New Year's Eve this year at North Pond. We had a spectacular time. We were seated in the best room (without requesting it), with a view of the frozen pond and the city skyline (complete with fireworks at midnights). We enjoyed a very gracious funny waiter, a relaxed pacing of the meal, two incredible wines from a very thoughtful well-priced wine list, and simply outstanding food. I'd put our meal in my top 5 for the year, and perhaps my top 10 during my lifetime (to give that some context, some of my other favorite meals have been at Chez Panisse, Spring, Nectar in DC, Barbuto in NYC..). For $110 we were offered a 7 course tasting, with a $50 paired wine menu optional. We opted out of the latter, and chose to start with a 2001 VonKesselstatt Scharzhofberger Spatlese Riesling from Mosel-Saar-Ruwer, and then move to a 1/2 bottle of 2003 Ken Wright Savoya Pinot Noir, finishing with glasses of Domaine Renardat-Fache, Cerdon du Bugey Demi Sec Rose. While the Riesling was outstanding (sweet, fruity, sophisticated), the Ken Wright stole the show-- while a bit young, this pinot had the promise of outdoing any Oregon Pinot, and perhaps any Pinot period, I've ever tasted. North Pond's wine list (the real one, not the online one) feature no less than 3 Ken Wright pinots, along with this half-bottle. Ok, now to the food. Here's the lineup: 1. Caviar, Cauliflower. Smoked Caviar, Cauliflower Panna Cotta, Parsley Jus This amuse came in a little bowl: creamy cauliflower covered in a thin layer of parsley gelee, topped with black (herring maybe?) caviar, with a little blini on the side. The combiination of slick cream, salty fish, perfectly prepared blini was a great promise of things to come. 2. Stone Crab, Celery. Chilled Stone Crab Claws, Celery Root Slaw, Green Apple Gelée The fruity gelee was bright next to the cold claws, and this dish has little bits of lobster too. 3. Foie Gras, Truffles. Warm Foie Gras Mousse, Red Wine-Black Truffle Syrup Outstanding! Superb! Bravo, Warm, spicy, incredible match with the Pinot. 4. Lobster, Scallop. Coconut-Poached Seafood, Glazed Beauty Heart Radish, Fennel, Curried Carrot Emulsion This was fresh and lovely, but I don't recall much else. 5. Lamb Rack. Slow-Roasted Chops, Mushroom Turnover, Spinach, Bacon Onions, Cinnamon Jus A generous portion of 2 medium rare chops, incredibly woody mushrooms, deeply flavored spinach and onions. 6. Cheese Capriole Mont St. Francis, Sally Jackson, Truffled Nancy's Hudson Valley Camembert, Quince Paste, Fruit and Nut Croutons A wonderful selection of stinky and creamy artisanal cheeses with a crispy raisin bread. 7. Chocolate, Fruit Chocolate and Citrus Chibouste, Winter Fruit Tartelette, Rose Petal Ice Cream The tartelette had candied apricots, the chocolate was dense and sweet, and the ice cream was worth scooping up instantly. I'm drooling...I'd love to revisit this meal again! IMO, North Pond is worth the price, no question, and I'd go back again in a heartbeat.
  10. I had a wonderful meal at Green Zebra last night with 2 friends. Together we shared the following: Seasonal Salads: moonglow pear & red onion; lemon & arugula; fennel, apple & olive 14 Avocado Panna Cotta, with tomato gelee, crème fraiche and sweet corn chips 9 Chilled Kinnikinnick Farms Beets, with mascarpone and port wine vinaigrette 9 Celery Root Soup, with truffle essence 9 Prospera Farms Baby Carrots, carrot cake, black truffles and aged balsamic vinegar 10 Okinawan Sweet Potato Dumplings, fresh water chestnuts and star anise broth 9 Greengold Farms Chicken Egg, spinach puree, lentils & country sourdough 8 Oregon Chanterelle Mushroom Gallette, Nichols Farms baby shallots and sweet corn 14 Lake Erie Walleye with smoked potatoes and saffron-tomato broth 13 dessert Tasting of Creme Brulees, jasmine green tea, Japanese yuzu and lavender 7 Spiced Ginger Baba Cake, roasted banana ice cream and fresh coconut 7 Tastings of ice creams: carrot cake, tarragon, hot chocolate and cranberry-orange 6 Wine 02 Fiano di Avelino, Di Prisco, Campagnia, Italy 44 01 “Frederick”, Spring Valley Vineyard, Walla Walla Valley, Washington 37 (half bottle) Outstanding dishes: pear and red onion salad--a sparkling seasonal dish Avocado panna cotta--lived up to the hype! a smooth guacamole baby carrots--i want to make these at home Sweet potato dumplings--i'm still dreaming of these--a big portion of them on a cold winter day would be a perfect meal. The star anise broth provides an unexpected Asian (Japanese-like) flavor. Chicken Egg--another dish I want to make at home Slight misses: Too much truffle oil in the soup, all you tasted was the oil Walleye--to me, forgettable, tho friends liked it. The desserts were good but not memorable. The Fiano was a particularly good match for the food. Both wines were the waitress's recommendations--we were pretty puzzled with what to order and left it up to her--she turned out to be quite capable. I didn't particularly like the atmosphere--I found it a bit casual and yet a bit cold, and not at all a special occasion vibe, like Spring is. The food way outdoes the setting, which is generally fine with me-- but I think jeans more so than skirts fit in here. If I could make veg food like this, I'd eat like a veg all the time!
  11. sara

    Moving with wine

    Hi We recently drove our wine collection--5 boxes or so--all the way from DC to Madison WI. We simply wrapped each bottle in paper towel and put them in a normal wine box. Everything was fine. This is a good time of year to move, temperature-wise too.
  12. Said it before, will say it again-- I've been to Pasion numerous times and last year's visit was among the most disappointing meals I've ever had. The place has slid down hill... On the other hand, I'd strongly recommend Lolita. Of the places I miss most since moving away from Philly, that's near the top of the list. Others: Chloe, Rx, and Morimoto.
  13. Now that really is funny-- My in-laws to be took us out to dinner there Friday night as well... Seems the EG crew was all present & accounted for. The spring rolls are indeed divine, as is the pork belly, and the bread puddin' is actually a very intelligent riff on baklava-- I was quite impressed. Power does an outstanding vegetable plate--it is actually on the menu and includes such things as seaweed salad, sauteed mushrooms and other delites that made 87-yr-old great Aunt Rita quite happy. Only complaint was that the Raspberry Point oysters weren't very exciting--they lacked brininess, and could've been a bit colder. Other than that, which was no big deal, the family left quite happy-- beautiful presentations lovely food, a reasonable price point. Oh, and an absolutely perfect Manhattan for my dad-to-be, accompanied by the bartender who shared the recipe with him. Terrific!
  14. Willie, what did you have? I've been frequenting the Thai-Vietnamese place next to Bandung. I'm originally from Falls Church VA and accustomed to fabulous Vietnamese food, so this stuff isn't perfect, but it certainly does the trick when I'm craving a bowl of pho and spring rolls/rice noodle.
  15. Holly-- You could go another route. Instead of searching for the typical stuff you usually go after, in DC, which really doesn't have it-- maybe instead you might try what IS good and cheap in DC. Or VA. I'm thinking about the wonderful inexpensive Vietnamese joints in Eden Center, and the Salvadorean places up and down Columbia Pike. It's like getting the lobster roll rather than pizza in Maine, where the pizza is lousy but the lobster fresh. Just an idea!
  16. Holly, Go to Colorado Kitchen and think about Carman's. Two very different, yet strikingly similar, places. Well worth the trip.
  17. Hi Thank you for all of this! I'm not sure how helpful this will be but we're thinking along the lines of not spending more than $2500 for a week of hotels and dining. So $300/day on average, with some days more expensive than others. I'm hoping the exchange rate helps us out here.
  18. Hello We're a couple of Egulleteers (DC-based originally) getting married in June (in Madison, WI) and we're planning on honeymooning in Vancouver. We're very very excited by all the talk on this board of seafood and wine, and beautiful views. But we need your help-- neither of us has ever been "up" that way (as George W would say) and there seems to be plenty to learn. So-- please advise. We'd like to spend our first 3 days in Vancouver, and then spend the remaining 4 on Vancouver Island. From my reading thus far I'm aware of the following favorites that appeal to our senses and budget: In Vancouver: Lumiere Tojo's Viji's Legendary Noodles Rodney's Oyster House Sun Sui Wah Seafood Restaurant Hotels--Opus? Pacific Palisades? West End Guest Home? On Vancouver Island: Cafe Brio Snooke Harbour House Aerie Resort Pointe Restaurant Are these the best choices? Are any outrageously priced and not worth it? What are we missing? What's a good ordering of the options on the Island? We want the best seafood and Asian, and wine options for dinner, with more casual lunches. Thanks much in advance! sara and liamdc
  19. I hate to be a drama queen (and perhaps it's just PMS), but this annoucement just made me cry. All the way from Madison.
  20. Dude--you rock! 201 Decatur looks perfect! Thanks so much.
  21. Hi We're staying at the International House. My 1st preference for the night we arrive (the late night) is oysters. I assume at least a few of these places have them? Glad I got the wrong impression about Sunday nights--I got that from looking at Herbsaint and August (2 places I'd hoped to hit for dinner); both are closed (so I'll have to choose between them for Saturday night).
  22. Thanks all. For clarification-- I am looking a) for a place open late (for a Friday night arrival) and b) for a different place, open Sunday nights. Need not be one and the same. Casamentos is a good option-I've been there before and liked it. Is it possible to get there from CBD using public transportation?
  23. Hi Help please! I'm looking for the best restaurants open late (i.e. after 10:30; my flight gets in at 9:45 on a Friday night), and those that are open on Sunday nights (i.e. not Herbsaint, not August..) for a mid-Jan trip. Your recommendations will be greatly appreciated. To get a sense of my tastes--already on my list are Elizabeth's, Herbsaint, Uglesich, and Frankie & Johnny's. I've been to Lilette and Bayona, wasn't terribly enamored of either. Casual or fine-dining--it matters not, so long as the food tastes great! Thanks Sara
  24. You can easily fill up on chips, guac, and salsa --all good, and a margarita. Just stick to that.
  25. Hi First of all, thank you so much for all of your help with all of these ideas and such. Being not in the area at the moment, it really was great to have people on the ground with feedback and suggestions. But Liam and I have decided to alter our plans and get married here in Madison WI instead. The difference in price is TREMENDOUS--you can get the best places here for well under $800; many are free, and the food prices are so much lower. Most importantly tho, we're both living here now, and it's so much easier to plan closer to home. So, while I'll miss the opportunity to get married in your lovely city, and to have special treats like a rehearsal dinner at Rx, I think in the long run I'll be a saner woman for it! Miss y'all!! Sara
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