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Everything posted by bilrus

  1. That is a leftover from an early Sietsema review or maybe even a weekly dish where he used that exact same phrase. I've seen it used several times since then. But they have added a curtain between the dining room and bar and art on the walls since they first opened. It is certainly not a flashy Adamstein and Demitriou style place, but it works with the cooking - solid and tasteful.
  2. He was asked the question in his chat yesterday and bascially said that he had had better meals there in the past but his last few weren't as good. I'd still think it would rate in the top 100 even with an off night or two.
  3. B. I noticed that Wabek got more props for his wine than his cooking. ← Someone have an axe to grind maybe? ← It's clear that Chef Wabek has not always been supportive of the magazine's food and wine criticism. Though that was a couple of issues back. Of course, neither was Washingtonian's new wine writer... ← Or the Washingtonian's new food editor for that matter. I liked the format. They are taking their coverage in a completely new direction and I think the addition of "The Scene" helps with that. Older readers need to know more about the style of these new restaurants and I would assume that the younger readers they are tryign to pull in are more concerned with the scene. I just like the fact that the list reflects reality more than it has in the past.
  4. In my opinion, no, Keller and Per Se have not goe too far. If that is their policy, and they are up front about it, so be it. You don't have to agree with it or understand the reasons behind it, you can even complain about it, but you do have to respect it.
  5. I think this is the key difference here: Much different than a litigious letter. And part of the reason for the uproar, at least in DC circles, is that this plays right into the reputation Chef Greenwood has and has earned and, for all accounts, takes great pride in.
  6. Looking back at my list from 2004, I see that this year didn't quite measure up, so I am only going eight deep. But it wasn't for a lack of trying. In the interest of giving some context, I've posted some fairly lengthy reports from some other sites or linked them if they were from eG. #1 - Maestro, Tyson's Corner, VA, June #2 - 2941 - Falls Chruch, VA, November #3 - Topolobampo - Chicago, June #4 - Komi - DC, December #5 - The Modern - New York, March #6 - Charlie Trotter's - Chicago, June #7 - Magnolia's - Charleston, SC, September #8 - Modesto - St. Louis, August
  7. Also consider searching ebay randomly as I have seen them for sale there and fairly reasonably priced. They are expensive. ← Gump's has carried the full line in the store in the past, but they don't seem to have anything on their website now.
  8. Their lunch prices are much more appealing then dinner. I haven't been, but I've been tempted to take a long lunch there sometime when I'm downtown for work during the week.
  9. I'll second that. Three and a half months later and that is the thing I remember most from the Pig Pickin. Good to look at, good to eat.
  10. bilrus

    biscuits and gravy

    It is just fine where it is. I just about licked my screen when I saw that picture. It doesn't have to look good.
  11. A few places I can think of that might work - El Manantial is a Mediterranian place with some pretty good pizzas and decent tapas in the pretty non-descript North Shore plaza. Also in that plaza is the best Pho place in the area - Reston Pho 75. They also have a pretty good selection of non-pho Vietnamese dishes as well. At the Town Center, the only non-chain places are the Market Street Grill in the Hyatt and Obi Sushi. The rest of the bunch are Clydes, Paolo's, Busara, Big Bowl, Rio Grande, American Tap Room, Panera, McCormicks and Schmicks and their M&S Grill and a Morton's (think I've spent a little bit of time at the old Town Center ?). Of these my choices would probably run (in order) Rio Grande, Clydes and McCormick & Schmick's and Busara. I've nver really liked Big Bowl either. The food all seems to taste the same there to me. Another favorite of mine for good food and no atmosphere in Reston is Reston Kabob, on the other side of the toll road from the town center near Sunrise Valley and Reston Parkway. In Herndon, a little further out I've come to like Yee Hwa for Korean and am a big fan of Minerva for Indian that doesn't pull any punches. Another place in Herndon that might do the trick is SBC Cafe.
  12. The two best meals I had this year outside of restaurants both happened to be extensively documented on eG. # 2 - My 4th of July smoked butt. # 1 - My stab at making a five course meal from the French Laundry Cookbook in April. This was probably my all-time food highlight. I've certainly had better cooking in restaurants and made better individual dishes on my own, but sharing the whole experience and the feedback and support that I got from the eG members following along made this a great food memory.
  13. bilrus

    Per Se

    I was about to say the same thing, but with a different ending. I enjoyed my meal at Per se more than French Laundry. At French Laundry the place felt dead and the service, while fine, matched the somber feel of the room that night. A very different description than many I've read. Per Se, on the other hand was buzzing the night we were there and the service and atmosphere seemed to thrive on it.
  14. Whatever happened to Tunks? Didn't he used to be cool? ← His places are still cool for occasions like this Cutting edge they aren't. Reliable they are.
  15. How about Majestic Cafe in Alexandria or Black's in Bethesda? Both have good size menus, variety and fairly mainstream.
  16. bilrus


    I have very big hands and love my Shun Santoku. It has completely replaced my Henckels 4-star 10 inch chef's knife as my everyday knife (which had replaced an 8 inch, which had replaced a 6 inch). I like the maneuverability of the shorter blade and it is a very sharp knife (of course this will very based on how well it sharpened, etc.). I only use the Chef's knife these days if I need to do lots of back and forth rocking (for lots of mincing, for example) or I need to cut something particularly big or long (like a watermelon).
  17. A bunch of guys looking for red meat, presumably looking for further "after-dinner" entertainment couldn't do better than starting at Ray's the Steaks. ← He said in DC. ← That could be interpreted by many as meaing the "DC area" vs the "Baltimore area" or the "rest of Delmarva area". A few metro stops away isn't exactly a different timezone and is more than worth it for the best, not-too-haute steaks in, or out-of, town. Do you have any suggestions?
  18. A bunch of guys looking for red meat, presumably looking for further "after-dinner" entertainment couldn't do better than starting at Ray's the Steaks.
  19. In concept I like pork belly. It's where bacon comes from. But I've had one too many unctuous, braised with root vegetables, too rich versions at "hatue" places. But - Crispy pork belly with chili basil. My go-to dish at any Thai restaurant is chicken or beef kaprow. I love the heat and the garlic and everythng that you can love about Thai flavors. So I gave this a try, but I went so far as to order a second entree of Drunken Noodles just in case the pork belly was the flabby version I've had before. But the meat proved itself to be the perfect counterpoint to the spice of the sauce. And the sauce iwas the perfect counterpoint to the rich meat. It helps cut the rich texture of the pork fat where most preparations only serve to make the mouth feel more oppressive. I've been fortunate enough to have eaten at dozens of great restaurants here and around the country over the last eleven months. I've spent a lot of money and had too many expensive ingredients to count. But this $9.95 dish from a store front restaurant on Columbia Pike turned out a top contender for my "Top dishes of 2005" list. And it restored my faith in pork belly.
  20. ...or gnocchi - again, as good as you'll find anywhere in town.
  21. bilrus

    Chili – Cook-Off 15

    Sorry I missed your question last week. The zucchini doesn't add much in the way of flavor to the chili, but after it cooks up and absorbs the flavors of the other ingredients it adds texture - a little chew - and some bulk. It makes it feel more stew-like, rather than soupy. Grilling strips of the zucchini would be an interesting addition to the taste.
  22. We might be tired of hearing about those dishes that have been featured in the worth the trip section. But we are also obsessed food geeks who spend half our lives talking about and eating food. I'd bet that a lot of readers of the food section have never been to Palena, only know about Colorado Kitchen because of Chef Clark's "reputation" and have never even heard of Corduroy We talk about these things because they are worth the trip.
  23. I've always been pretty happy with Blue Ridge. Decent burgers and their salads are always pretty good. It is a few dollars more than a comparable Friday's or Applebee's type place, but the cooking is more than a few dollars better.
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