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Long weekend of gluttony in DC

Zeb A

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This really isn't worth its own thread, but I wasn't sure in which existing thread to place it.

I was in DC for a long weekend and had an opportunity to check out quite a few places that I have heard about, but not had the chance to experience. I ate dinners at Zatinya, Cafe Atlantico, and Citronelle, and lunches at Jaleo and Peking Gourmet (in Arlington). Enough has been written about these places that I really don't have anything new to add. Just a few random thoughts.

1. Thank you Steve Klc for outstanding desserts. My favorites were: Tres Leches con Tres Piñas (Home-style cake soaked in milk and presented a new way, with pineapple, milk jam and caramelized almonds) from Cafe Atlantico, the Basque cake at Jaleo, and the rice pudding at Jaleo. Amazing stuff.

2. At Cafe Atlantico, I really enjoyed: "Feijao Tropeiro" (Traditional Brazilian stew with chicken breast, pork-bean mash, farofa, oranges, and sauté collard greens with garlic)--very different with an incredibly hot habanero sauce on the side

3. At Zatinya, I particularly enjoyed: (i) I can't see its name on the website, but it was watermelon topped with feta and (ii) Garides Saganaki (shrimp with tomato, green onions, kefalograviera cheese and Ouzo)

4. Citronelle was very good, and not nearly as stuffy as I had somehow incorrectly believed it would be. We ordered three course price fixe meals (I wanted the fourth course--cheese--but there was just no room.) For appetizers, we had: (i) CRAB CROMESQUIS with Tarragon Remoulade and (ii) ESCARGOTS in Spinach Gnocchi, Pearl Pasta and a Cornucopia of Fines Herbes. Both were very good. I particularly enjoyed the escargots--I had never eaten them whilst they were hidden in gnocchi before. For entrees, we had: (i) LOBSTER MEDALLION roasted Artichoke & Sunchoke, Citronelle Sauce and (ii) LOUP DE MER (Baby Spinach, Chanterelle Mushroom, Pissaladière Sauce). Both were good, but the lobster was a mistake. It cost extra, and was, basically, lobster. Because most years I have an opportunity to visit Maine and prepare lobsters myself (at a reasonable price), I usually don't make the mistake of ordering lobster in a restaurant, which is always disappointing to me. Nonethless, the lobster was fine, just not worth the cost in my mind. For desserts, we had (i) NAPOLEON (Caramel Maple Sauce) and (ii) LEMON MERINGUE TART (Mint Sauce). Both very good.

5. Peking Gourmet--good basic Chinese food near my mom's house. Beef Proper = Good.

6. In short, it was a very rewarding weekend from a food perspective. I really wish that a place like Jaleo or Zatinya would open in my neck of the woods. I really enjoy being able to order in such a fashion, and it appears that others do as well. Perhaps the business-side of the equation complicates things (bird-like eaters occupying table for long time while ordering little, etc.)

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Citronelle was very good, and not nearly as stuffy as I had somehow incorrectly believed it would be.

I'm glad to hear you thought this. In my experience Citronelle is as open, friendly, and fun as any place you will find. That goes for the food, the wine, the service, and the room. The whimsy of the food, in particular, and the care and detail put into preparing it, is really fantastic.

Chief Scientist / Amateur Cook

MadVal, Seattle, WA

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Glad you had a good time culinarily speaking. DC doesn't get its due for fine food.  Did you get to meet any egullet locals?

Unfortunately, no.

It was a pseudo-business trip and scheduling was a bit chaotic. Maybe next time . . .

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In my experience Citronelle is as open, friendly, and fun as any place you will find.  That goes for the food, the wine, the service, and the room.

Speaking of the room, we sat near the wall that changes colors throughout the course of the evening. Pretty cool. For some strange reason, I half-way expected some sort of fish to come swimming into view, thereby revealing the wall to really be glass behind which was color-changing water. I have no idea why I had that thought.

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  • 2 weeks later...

New poster here -- and my third consecutive of the day as I race down these forums.

Mark -- I don't know you, but I have always had excellent meals at Citronelle. At the risk of inflating the Chef's ego, I have to say that the cooking is of the most consistently high quality of anywhere in D.C. The srevice has always been terrific, without being overly officious.

Alas, it's not a spot that I can afford to eat at regularly, and unfortunately, it's too far away from my office (downtown) to reach for your average business lunch. :sad: (sniff')

Keep up whatever you're doing!



Part of the secret of success in life is to eat what you like and let the food fight it out inside.

Mark Twain (1835 - 1910)

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