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Everything posted by hannnah

  1. Thanks to the good advice here, I had a great dinner at Franny's and a 10 minute walk to BAM on Saturday pre-King Lear. Very glad I'd planned on the walk, since the subway was undependable due to planned construction all weekend and Flatbush Avenue was a parking lot at the time I finished dinner.
  2. The Black Flip from PDT's menu maybe a year and a half ago would probably drink okay in the summer as well, since it had a definite milkshake/egg cream thing going on. I remember the main ingredients, but unfortunately not the proportions - it had a whole egg, Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout, and rum (not sure what kind), possibly also some soda. Hopefully johnder or donbert will fill in the gaps and correct what I've misremembered, because it really was a fantastic drink and I'd love to have a proper recipe for it.
  3. Tuesday nights the (now departed) bartender, Adam ← Technically he's not departed until next week, but their cocktail program will most likely not be as solid as before, unless Adam's chosen his own replacement already.
  4. That was my impression on my one visit to Flatiron, which unfortunately took place on a weekend night - it was super crowded, and a significant proportion of the people there didn't seem to give a crap about what the folks behind the bar were doing, which was a shame, because even at its most bonkers the drinks we got were excellent. I think the staff did an excellent job of managing the insanity, but it's got to be frustrating when you're putting in that level of effort and people are still ordering shots or rum and coke.
  5. Stumbled across another interesting St. Germain combination from the weekend that someone with more ingredients on hand may want to play with - equal parts St. Germain and Domaine de Canton ginger liqueur. The Domaine de Canton's got quite a bit of gingery burn to it - the St. Germain mellows that out very nicely, and the Domaine de Canton keeps the St. Germain from getting too cloying. Unfortunately, this happened at a party to which I took the Domaine de Canton as a gift/contribution, so I now am going to have to go out and buy bottles of both (and a new cabinet to store the rapidly expanding pile of stuff) if I want to experiment further.
  6. I think Gill's and Coren's reviews are wonderfully written and great fun to read, but their reviews are just about useless if you're trying to get an idea as to whether you'd actually like to eat at one of the restaurants they've just reviewed. I used to find Maschler's reviews helpful for that sort of thing 6-10 years ago, but it seems like she spends far more time now on reviewing how she was treated and whether she was properly acknowledged than on whether the restaurant is any good. I do like Marina's reviews - I think she strikes a good balance between the pants-wettingly-funny descriptions of the room and the service, and actually talking about the food. I'm not sure whether Charles Campion falls into the category of reviewer or blogger, since I only periodically see the dead tree edition of the Standard/Metro/etc., but I do find his online stuff useful - maybe because our tastes seem pretty congruent, maybe because it always seems that I end up reading his latest when I'm hungry.
  7. Is it actually *not good,* or just *not that special?* I'm an offalhead. Keep in mind that there aren't any restaurants like St. John (if any) on THIS side of The Puddle. ← There is no question that St John is both good and special - you don't necessarily have to order offal to have a great meal, but it's safe to assume that you'll find something of interest on the menu in addition to the bone marrow. I'd keep an eye on their online menu for a week or so before you go, and that should give you a rough idea of what to expect on the night. It'll also give you an idea of price, which is stunningly reasonable compared to some of the others on your list.Having eaten at both St John and Momofuku Noodle Bar relatively recently, I don't find St John all that dissimilar from the various Momofukus in terms of philosophy - they're taking excellent ingredients and doing their best to make them shine, whether that means slow-cooking them for hours at a time or serving them raw. That being said, I don't think we have anyplace on this side of the Atlantic that's quite so pure in focus - it's kind of awe inspiring, in its way.
  8. hannnah


    The story/legend/theory goes that it was created in honor of the visit to New York by the first Japanese diplomatic mission to the United States., which occured just a few years before the recipe was first published in Jerry Thomas' 1862 Bon Vivant's Companion. Full story here. ← Great bit of history. Kind of makes you wish you knew Tommy, he sounds like someone you would want to have a cocktail with. ← Ain't that the truth ← Huh. I wonder if he's also the one who did the sketches of all the cities they visited? Our copy of the sketchbook isn't signed, but in addition to drawing the city views, the artist also draws sketches of the hotel rooms themselves - so on the facing page to this Capitol view, there's a drawing of the hotel room in the Willard the artist was staying in. Now, if he'd drawn a picture of the bar, that might be more of a clue. The date of the delegation was 1860, so that's consistent with the Thomas story.
  9. Bear in mind the "bypass" part of the equation - in addition to the reduced stomach size, you're also literally bypassing a significant part of the small intestine, where a lot of the nutrition from the food you eat gets absorbed. So, even if you eat a diet equivalent to the amount that a post-bypass patient is eating, you're still absorbing more of it than they would. This is why people who opt for the lap-band type procedures generally don't lose as much weight as Roux-en-y bypass patients, since all the lap-band does is limit how much your stomach will hold. The deal I made with my primary care physician to get her to recommend the surgery was that I would go on a strictly controlled low-calorie diet plan with a hospital dietitian, with accompanying exercise plan, just so the doctor could see independent documentation that I wasn't able to lose weight on a standard diet and didn't just have to take my word for it. After two months of a strict, no cheating, 1000 calorie diet with appropriate exercise, I lost a grand total of 5 pounds. Without gastric bypass surgery, it's highly unlikely I would ever have been able to lose weight - at 9 years post-surgery, my total net loss is around 125 pounds. Would I do it again? In a second. Would I recommend it? Yes. Just be prepared for drastic changes, not only in the things you're able to eat but the things you want to eat. I expected not to be able to eat various things - you're told about all that beforehand. I didn't expect my tastes to change as much as they have; there are a lot of things I wouldn't in a million years have considered eating before the surgery that I adore now.
  10. That's mostly accurate as of Saturday, with the addition of cervelle de canut under the cheeses, and swapping the baba for the savarin that's listed on the dessert menu. Also, I don't remember seeing the choron sauce listed with the salmon, but that may have been an oversight on my part.
  11. The vast majority of the patrons while we were there on Saturday were 65-plus. I suspect a lot of that had to do with the time, though, since we were there pre-theater, and the average was skewing slightly younger by the time we left. I don't really have anything to add as far as the entrees or desserts go - the cassoulet and quenelles are good, as are the baba and nougat glacé, although I confess to wondering what the baba would be like with a darker rum. My favorite thing all evening, though, was the large crock of cornichons and pickled onions that gets brought out with the pâté en croûte. Usually you get 2 or 3 measly cornichons with a serving of pâté, or perhaps a small dish of 5 or 6 if the place is feeling particularly generous. But to finally get enough cornichons with the flippin' pâté without having to ask, with onions to boot -- bliss! rapture!
  12. I saw a passing mention in the Washington Post last week that there's a shortage of Maker's in our area as well, but they didn't give further details.
  13. Any word on hours over the holiday weekend (ie open or not)?
  14. hannnah


    That, unfortunately, is going to be a much harder question to answer. None of the early 20th century US Customs records have been digitized, so finding out is going to involve an awful lot of legwork; the records themselves live at the National Archives locations in DC and Maryland, Philadelphia, and the Boston area, and it's anyone's guess as to which of the East Coast ports the stuff might have come into, assuming it was imported at all.There's not significantly more available online going the other way; the vast majority of the digitized content on ships leaving the UK deals with people rather than goods. Our best bet there might be the Guildhall Library, which is within spitting distance of Newall's listed address in the City of London - they have a pretty substantive manuscript collection. I don't suppose we have any lurkers who work at NARA or in the City who'd be willing to pop in and see what they can find?
  15. hannnah


    I knew I'd seen a more detailed ad somewhere that I couldn't find again; now that the Times has beefed up their archive, look what turned up (this one's dated April 21, 1928). Interestingly, it mentions quite a few other products similar to Hercules that must not have been quite as good for mixing, although the "Matruby" (which is presumably a ruby port version) sounds awfully interesting.
  16. There are quite a few velvet-rope type clubs right around there, but they're not really known for their cocktails. You're reasonable walking distance (4-5 blocks up/4-5 blocks over) from pretty much everywhere I listed except for Restaurant Eve, though - downtown DC really isn't that big. You'll get a reasonable amount of argument on this, but I vote for Citronelle, which is Michel Richard's fine dining restaurant. It's tough to get a last-minute reservation, but fortunately they serve a selection of the menu in the lounge, along with the original versions of some of the dishes you'll see on Central's menu. Restaurant Eve in Alexandria is another star - again, tough to get a last minute reservation, but the lounge is an option. You might also have a look at Vidalia - they're doing really interesting things at the moment. I don't think the menu on the web site is completely up to date, but it'll give you an idea. I really, really like the food at Pilar. A lot. Even more than the cocktails, and I like those quite a bit as well. Most of their cocktail menu is not online - the Tuesday specials are generally handwritten. There'll be a couple of specials on the regular menu, or if you're sitting at the bar, you can chat with them and see what's percolating ingredient-wise. There are a few cocktails on the online brunch menu, but they're not really representative of the high standard (except for the bacon bloody mary). ←
  17. Cork and Bar Pilar are both doing interesting things at the moment, and are conveniently located more or less across the street from one another in the vicinity of 14th and R/S Streets NW. Cork's bar tends to get incredibly crowded with non-cocktail drinkers, so it's worth going either early or late. Pilar's extra-special cocktail night is Tuesday, but you're in good hands there any night of the week.Along Pennsylvania Avenue between the Capitol and the White House, you've got the choice of either the uber-traditional Round Robin bar in the Willard Hotel (Penn Ave @ 13th St NW), or the modern twists on classics approach of Central Michel Richard (Penn Ave @ 11th St NW). Proof is also trying the twists-on-classics approach; I don't think they've been quite as successful at it as Central, but others have had better luck than I have. There are another couple of uber-traditional bars in the vicinity of the White House that come highly recommended - the Town and Country bar in the Mayflower Hotel, and Off the Record in the Hay-Adams Hotel, although I can't personally vouch for either. Nearer Dupont Circle, the bar at the Tabard Inn is an oasis of calm and civility. They're increasing their focus on classic cocktails, particularly on Wednesday and Thursday nights, although there are at least a couple featured every night, including an excellent Sazerac. If you're willing to venture into Virginia, Todd Thrasher is doing great things at Restaurant Eve (King St at S. Pitt) and PX (King St. at Columbus). PX is the DC area's entry in the modern speakeasy stakes, and has a dress code - reservations are recommended. Fortunately, you'll find that the food at most of these is equally as good as the drinks, so you really can't go too far wrong.
  18. The original Five Guys location is in Old Town Alexandria - the Arlington location you're close to might be one of the early expansion locations, but it's not the original.
  19. That looks about right, but doesn't make much sense as far as a name, unless they happened to be making it for a German customer who'd wandered in one day.
  20. I think that thread's been merged into this one since the links are broken, but yes, Pancake Pantry and the Apple Barn are still safe bets. The Burning Bush has actually been converted into a second location of the Apple Barn, so there's no point in recommending both any more except for the park view at the former Burning Bush location. There also appears to be a Calhoun's in Gatlinburg now - it's a local chain, but it has pretty reliable ribs.I'd have to agree with carpetbagger, though - just have a big breakfast at Pancake Pantry and that'll pretty much do you for the rest of the day.
  21. My first guess as far as misspelling would be "Ich dien," which appears on the crest of the Prince of Wales - German for "I serve." The Prince of Wales cocktail does have brandy and curacao, so maybe this started out as a variant?
  22. Thirded - I've been waiting to try the Benton's Old Fashioned since the preview menu was posted here a few months ago, and it was everything I expected and more. My spouse absolutely fell in love with the Black Flip, and I'll be experimenting with trying to recreate it at home judging from his particularly ecstatic reaction. Thanks to all for another great visit - we'll be counting the days until we're back next.
  23. Except for the unfortunately hilarious reviews of the place which you've got to overcome, you're not completely screwed when it comes to Ukrainian/Russian food - there's definitely room to come up with a decent menu. Absolute worst case, you can try to chase down some local grandmas and mug them for their varenyky recipes - it is possible to make non-stodgy ones, and they really are good when they're done well. I'd also look at a solyanka variant; they're tasty, easy to tweak, and much less offputting to people who aren't familiar with the cuisine than a borscht would be. Hallie's "grand cafes" idea has merit as well, although it sounds like it'd be kind of difficult to turn the existing interior into high-ceilinged late-19th-century grandeur. But if you could find references to dishes in Pushkin or Taras Shevchenko which you could then work into your menu, that would work as a higher level nod to the original theme without being quite so, for lack of a better term, nouveau-oligarch about it all.
  24. Why? Smoked haddock's remarkably inoffensive, unlike jellied eels (which not even a lot of Londoners like). Plus, it's not at all London-specific, since most of it's produced in Scotland or further north in England.
  25. hannnah


    Okay, after several days of combing through the volume on my desk, it would appear that I either dreamed or hallucinated that the larger, more detailed ad in the Strand existed, because I can't find it again. I did find one in the Times, also from 1927, but it's remarkably nonspecific.
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