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Posts posted by bilrus

  1. I do however like the burger at Morton's. 

    Let me amend that. This thread prompted me to go to Morton's for lunch and it was disappointing.

    The burger was dense, where previously it was loosely packed. It was a shade over cooked where previously it was a shade under cooked. It was darn near flavorless where before it tasted like a good steak.

    But the oh so thin fries were still very good.

  2. We all know 5 Guys is good when you just need to mainline some grease.  But where do you go when you want to maybe sit and sip a glass of wine and tuck into a burger with toppings you have to sound out to pronounce correctly? 

    I had a great wagyu burger at Sonoma earlier this week with pancetta and gorgonzola and a tasty glass of Montepulciano to wash it down.  This followed an almost as good, but slightly overdone, "natural beef" burger at the Belga cafe. 

    Where else can a burger lover expand his horizons in the D.C. area?  I hear great things about the Colorado Kitchen, though I am a sworn enemy of all things Colorado.  Any bars at the high end places have burgers that shouldn't be missed? 

    And, by the by, what's the deal with this wagyu beef?  If it is supposedly as good as kobe, wouldn't it be a crime against nature to grind it like ground round?  And, for the perfect burger, wouldn't you want a higher fat content than something like that should provide?

    A lot of people swear by the burger at Palena, although I'm not a huge fan.

    I do however like the burger at Morton's. And I haven't been since the kitchen shake up a while back, but I have scarfed many a mini-burger at Matchbox, despite their ubiquitousness.

  3. I just returned from my too short trip to Charleston and had some awfully good food, with one strange element. We started with reservations at Peninsula Grill and McCrady's but ended up swapping McCrady's for Magnolia's, after deciding that Peninsula and McCrady's together might be a little too "haute".

    The food and room at Peninsula were great - it's been a few days and my memory is failing me, but everything we had was as excellent as I had expected. And the food at Magnolias - luscious shellfish and grits, one of the best fried chicken dinners I've ever had - is everything I fantasized that low-country cooking would be about.

    But aside from the food, a memory that lingers from both is the fact that we were in and out in 90 minutes at both places. And we had appetizers, entrees and desserts at both with an extra course thrown in at Magnolia's. I was hoping that in a city like this, whose reputation is based on the fantasy (or reality) of slow Southern life, and one where most customers are tourists would have a more liesurely, or at least not hurried, pace of service. At both Peninsula, where the waiters were doing their best not to run through the dining room, and Magnolia's where the waiter with our entrees was standing behind the person clearing our appetizer plates we felt rushed, like they were trying to turn tables for restaurant week.

    I don't want this to sound like a rant, because it isn't. The food was everything we'd hoped it would be. But we tourists come for leisure and at places like this, our dinner is often our entertainment for the night. We don't come to Charleston for New York pre-theater service.

    Beyond that - we did go to Jestine's for a properly leisurely lunch. The Mac and Cheese is out of this world.

    And the surprise of the trip was our dinner at the Ocean Room at the Sanctuary at Kiawah Island. Dinner was oart of our package and I was dreading it a little, with its jacket-required formality and expecting played-out country club cooking. But the cooking was more forward thinking than I had expected and, as this was the last night of our trip, the service and pacing was perfect. Although, after two days at the resort that was to be expected. This place did everything right from the second you pull up to the portico to the second you leave. Beautiful, luxurious, thoughtful.

  4. Bill`

    What kind of tomatoes do you have there? Green Zebras? What are your yellow ones? Did you make the dressing? Recipe?

    So many questions.......... :rolleyes:

    I wish I could tell you the types of tomatoes, but they were in a carton with about six types of tomatoes. The yellow ones were a very pale yellow with a little pink tint towards the center, the green and red ones both had stripes on the skin. I have another one still to eat that has a pale yellow skin with a matte finish and one with a pinkish skin.

    I did make the dressing - I've taken a couple of classes at the restaurant I mentioned, Lebanese Taverna. This was from one of those. It is very simple. Olive oil (4 parts), lemon juice (1), pomegranite syrup (2), salt and pepper. Sweet and tangy and worked well with the tomatoes.

  5. An attempt to recreate a dish at a local Lebanese restaurant called Salmon Meshwi - Salmon with sweet sauteed onions, pine nuts and cliantro with Lebanese rice pilaf - that was good on its own but not too much like the one at the restaurant. And tomatoes drizzled with a pomegranite and lemon dressing.



  6. I've got my reservations at McCrady's and Peninsula Grill for my two dinners for my trip next week.

    How about casual lunches while sightseeing and generally being a tourist. You know, shorts and t-shirts and tennis shoes. A little cheaper, more casual. Barbecue, cheap seafood, that sort of thing.

  7. Why debone?  It seems like you'd get a better flavor and juicier meat if you left it on the bone, at least that's how it works for other cuts of meat...


    Deboning and rolling does help with the shape, if you are looking to slice for sandwiches. And the more consistent shape will give a more consistent level of doneness throughout the breast.

    But my last time attempting this (without brining, mind you) it was a little dry as I documented on the dinner thread. I wondered whether draping the skin on the breast would help with that, although it would eliminate the nice crust you get from the dry rub.

  8. This weekend marked my first attempt to return to my hometown, and in addition to visiting my mother and catching my last game at Busch Stadium, to seek out good restaurants rather than the old favorites in my West County neighborhood. I made a list of ten or twelve places culled from here, www.mouthfulsfood.com, www.saucecafe.com, the Riverfront Times and the Post Dispatch.

    We ended up at 1111 Mississippi in the Lafayette Square Park neighborhood and Modesto, a tapas place on the Hill. And I had a few surprises.

    My first suprise was finding the vibrant Lafayette neighborhood in an area that for all my memories was a little too close to the now demolished Darst-Webbe hi-rise housing projects on the Near South Side. 1111 Mississippi is a small renovated warehouse with a small bar, open kitchen and two levels of tables - a more casual area by the bar and a slightly more formal feel in the upper level. The food, especially the fish entrees we had - potato crusted grouper with feek fondue and flash fried trout with chile soy vinaigrette - were excellent. This kitchen appears to have a way with fish. I also especially liked the surprisingly zippy kick at the end from the fresh tasting heirloom tomato gazpacho. A bread pudding that ended up like an overdressed TGI Friday's brownie and a white chocolate torte with the texture and taste of cheesecake (are you sure that isn't actually cheesecake?) were disappointing. I wish I would have gone with my gut and ordered the very St. Louis slice of Gooey Butter Cake with a glass of milk that was on the menu. This is the type of neighborhood restaurant that every neighborhhod wants but most can't quite pull off.

    My second surprise is that a Spanish restaurant could survive and thrive amidst the red sauce, veal and Italian statuary on the Hill and the conservative dining habits of St. Louisans. 10 years ago this place could have never gotten off the ground, but this Saturday, they were full four years after opening. Like most any Tapas place, there were a few dishes that were better than others but only a tasteless trio of housemade sausages in an overpowering mango barbecue style sauce was a real loser. And my first experience with white Sangria was a pleasant one. This was every bit as good as Jaleo here in DC where Jose Andres has a reputation as one of the best, even hosting his own show on Spanish television. Jaleo may have a deeper, more authentic menu, but for the basics Modesto did well.

    My third surprise is that I'm already trying to figure out how to get back to try some of the others from my list.

  9. So, who's up for it?

    Farewell, Todd Kliman

    We are sad to announce that award-winning food columnist Todd Kliman is leaving Washington City Paper to become the dining editor at the Washingtonian. In his two-plus years with City Paper, Todd has helped build Restaurant Finder into the city's premier online dining resource. We wish Todd great success in the future.

    The search for the New Young & Hungry is under way. Interested raters may send resumes, cover letter, and writing samples to:

    Restaurant Writer

    Washington City Paper

    2390 Champlain St. NW

    Washington, DC 20009

    E-mail: hungry@washingtoncitypaper.com

  10. I've only been to the Ascot in downtown DC a handful of times, but I've always enjoyed it. 

    jenrus worked around the corner from Ascot and says it is one of the only things she misses about that job. Although she ordered off the menu and isn't a big fan of buffets.

  11. I had lunch today at the Indian Supper club in the worldgate center in reston.  They have the lunch time buffet for $9.  I have been to a lot of indian buffets and i can definetly say that this was the worst indian buffet I've ever eaten.  The rice was greasy (i'm assuming alot of ghee), the quality of rice used was poor, the selection of condiments and dishes was limited.  What was there was bland and poor.  I will not go back to this place.  What a waste of time and money.

    I went a few months ago and would agree - never again.

    Not with Minerva a two minute drive a way on the other side of the toll road.

  12. I'll be in DC next week and am eagerly anticipating my first visit to Corduroy. I'll be having dinner there on Thursday (all by my lonesome  :sad: ), ordering off the bar menu. However, I can't seem to locate an online menu. I've read through this topic, though, and have deduced that the don't-miss items are the spring rolls, lamb w/goat cheese ravioli, scallops, pistachio bread pudding, and chocolate sabayon. OK, that takes care of the first hour, but I'm planning to be there for at least two.  :wink:  Bill and Heather, I saw that you ate at Corduroy about two weeks ago. Do you, or anyone else who has been there recently, have any highly recommended seasonal items?

    The lobster salad appetizer is always a hit.

    And my choice for best dessert is the "Michel's Kit Kat bar." It is Chef Power's version of the dessert Michel Richard does at Citronelle (Chef Power worked at Citronelle before Corduroy) and I think it is as good or better than the original. Layers of dense but light chocolate (is that possible?) with crunchy layers of unknown origin and a hazelnut flavor.

    My last visit I ahd the Wagyu Strip steak and it was very flavorful and is accompanied by a small piece of some root vegetable gratin. But I'd still go for the lamb or scallops first.

    Sorry I can't join you, but I live in the deep 'burbs and weeknights are tough to get into the city. I hope you enjoy.

  13. Grilled ham steaks with a molasses dijon glaze, and disappointingly tasteless corn (from a stand on a back road) and tomatoes (from a farmers market).

    1 out of 3 would be great for one of the Washington Nationals right now, but not for a dinner in the middle of the summer.

    But they are nice to look at.


  14. Had a nice but FAST Restaurant Week dinner a Tosca tonight. Arrived at 8:20 for an 8:30 reservation and was out the door at 9:30. They were turning and burning the tables tonight.

    That said, they do offer their entire menu and even give you some flexibility in choosing a pasta for your appetizer or your main or even for both courses if you are so inclined.

    The risotto with smoked scamorza, figs and rosemary. This reminded me a of an eposide of Frasier where Gil the food critic described something as a "fromaggian delight" and Martin said, "Yeah. Cheesy." But the fig made it something more than cheesy. The subtle sweetness cut through and complemented the strong cheese flavor from the saucy risotto and the pieces of barely melted cheese scattered througout.

    The raviolis we both had as appetizers - a ricotta and raisin in a butter sage sauce and a veal and spinach in red wine and butter sauce were both as rich and as refined as pasta can be. Neither of these are some southern Italian peasant dish.

    Only a penne with crab and olives in a red pepper olive oil sauce underwhelmed. Too subtle, almost bland, but at the same time too many flavors competing with the crab, which should be the star of the dish.

    Jenrus' dessert was a watermelon granita that was simple - a little too simple? Maybe. On the other hand, the strudel of blueberries and peach with vanilla gelato was summery and more importantly, didn't feel like a dish they created for Restaurant Week, but a dish they created because it was in season.

    I want to return to Tosca when it isn't Restaurant Week. I want to savor the full effect of this place. And I'm not sure you can do that in an hour and ten minutes.

  15. Right now, were I not here on this newly revamped Rated PG website, I would be using some language that would make a sailor blush.

    I miss that. If there is anything that justifies dropping some GD's and MF's, it's a good pile of barbecue.

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