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Washington DC Restaurant Week, 2004


bilrus
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Well David, looks like we were dining together last night without realizing it. I had a very similar positive experience.

Morela, I did get your message in time. I would have probably gone with the soup over the ceviche anyway. The octopus salad was not on the RW menu, though the normal green salad was on there in addition to what David mentioned.

I arrived at 6 before it got really crowded, and the staff was very gracious as we waited at the bar for a few late guests. In fact, I was so enamored with their line of $7 specialty drinks, I ignored the wine list and stuck with them completely through the dinner.

For the appetizer I had the conch chowder, which was delicious. They served it with sides of some rum and a spicy pepper sauce. I drizzled both on without realizing quite how spicy that pepper sauce would be.

For the main entree I took the corn encrusted halibut. It was rivaled on the table by the rum and tamarind glazed tuna. It has been my increasing experience lately that at higher end places like this, I always come away happiest with the fish entrees. There were also two ribeyes at my table, which were very well received.

The flantastic flan was my dessert choice. I loved it. For some reason, like my experience at DC Coast, the desserts are the weakest part of this restaurant family's RW menu. Here you could choose from flan, chocolate cake, or a gelato rum raisin concoction. They were all very good, just not very exicitng. Our table decided to share an extra dessert of the cinnamon dusted churros with the mexican hot chocolate. Wow.

I think this easily makes my DC top ten list.

edit: almost forgot about the delicious caramel corn with toasted almonds they brought with the check! Best ever!

Edited by The Doctor (log)
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Bobby Van's RW report

It was very good and all 4 of us were happy with our entry into RW (and are ready to book again, later this week or next year :biggrin: )

The menu was: Appetizer: one choice, Field greens with shallot vinaigrette.

This was a small salad, but had a large roma tomato cut in half, blue cheese crumbles, and the vinaigrette was very good.

Entrees: choice of Penne pasta with smoked prosciutto, asparagus and Parmesan; chicken breat with mushroom sauce; pan-seared salmon with lemon butter; red wine braised short ribs of beef and filet mignon.

All served with mashed potatoes and creamed spinach.

The other 3 in my party all got the filet mignon. They were small (as expected) but good value for the price. One had a little gristle (just a bit, though), and they were all cooked as asked. I didn't want to get something I can get anywhere, so I ordered the short ribs. They were a little greasy, but the sauce was delicious and worthy of bread dipping.

Dessert: the menu said chocolate cake, but that does not do justice to the creamy, dark, fudgy piece of heaven that we got. :wub: I was having foodgasms over it. :wink:

There was nothing cakey about it. The other 3 are not chocaholics, and they prefer semi-sweets than dark, but they all agreed it was very good, just 'too chocolaty,' a phrase that does not exist in my vocabulary.

The bill for 4, including 2 iced teas and 2 sodas, and a side of onion rings, was $155 with tax. Service was excellent, and we did not feel rushed or being left out because we were eating 'on the cheap.'

Driving home in the pouring rain, however, was not so nice. :hmmm:

Ana the Librarian

Twins were born June 14th, 2006!!!!!

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I went with two friends to Vidalia last night. After reading all the limitations to the menu, I had my friends take a look to see if we wanted to shift someplace else. All were happy with the options so we went ahead. The only problem with that is that I spent 2 days looking forward to the chilled melon soup as a great start on a steamy summer day only to arrive at the restaurant to find they were substituting crab soup. I know it is blasphemy in these parts, but I hate crab. I went with the field greens and the spicy pecans were a nice counter to the sweet onion vinaigrette. While whole pecans might make for a better looking salad, I liked that these were crushed and sprinkled throughout so that you tasted them with each chew. Main was the stuffed pork rib eye. The stuffing was braised pork and the difference in flavor and texture between the two preparations was really nice. While the whole thing was pan fried, there wasn't a trace of grease. The chipotle-plum sauce gave it a nice kick without drowning the flavors. I'm not a big bean fan and found the mixed bean side to be just OK and kind of bland. I ordered the lemon chess tart for dessert and was not impressed. I was expecting a tarter tart and this was downright sweet. We shared a bottle of Chehelam Pinot Gris to round things out. Despite my disappointment at not having the melon soup and not loving the tart, it was an enjoyable meal and I'll definitely be going back. The servers were gracious and seemed to be handling Restaurant Week well.

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Cool -- I'll be with another couple and my wife will be the only Asian at our table, so stop over and say hello. (I'm coming from the office, so I'll be over dressed -- Gray suit/yellow tie) Love to meet some fellow eGulleteers!

Oh, J[esus]. You may be omnipotent, but you are SO naive!

- From the South Park Mexican Starring Frog from South Sri Lanka episode

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I snuck in a lunch at the bar at Colvin Run Tavern this afternoon.

Interesting selections, probably five or six for each course (although I didn't think to remember what the others were). For my first I went with a Rosemary Biscuit with Chicken, Mushrooms and Peas - a deconstructed pot pie - which was very good and hearty with a very light biscuit and more chicken than I would have anticipated. My entree was also a hearty one - garlic braised brisket with gnocchi and large white beans. This came with an intensely wine-y tomato sauce.

Both of these were very good, although the entree portion was a little small (four slices of brisket and four gnocchi, along with a lot of beans). And in retrospect my first two courses were more appropriate for a winter restaurant week, but that was more due to my ordering the two heaviest, warmest dishes on the menu.

Dessert was just OK - a chocolate souffle with vanilla ice cream. My neighbors at the bar had the berry shortcake which looked much better.

Service was pleasant, but painfully slow. I was at the bar for nearly an hour and half, which is not the pace you are looking for when you are ducking out of work. The excuse was generally, "Its a crazy week around here."

Edit - I forgot to add that it seems like desserts have been the weak link in most of the restaurant week experiences I have had and the reports that people have posted. Anyone have any thoughs on why that would be? Are desserts that much more expensive and/or time consuming to produce that not much effort can be out into them? Is it because good desserts usually are used to bring in extra money and these are already part of the deal?

Edited by bilrus (log)

Bill Russell

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Cool -- I'll be with another couple and my wife will be the only Asian at our table, so stop over and say hello. (I'm coming from the office, so I'll be over dressed -- Gray suit/yellow tie) Love to meet some fellow eGulleteers!

And I'll be the blond in a dark brown top and linen pants, accompanied by a thinning-haired blondish (and likely underdressed) guy. We have 7:15 reservations. I'll keep an eye out for you and be sure to say hello! (and you too, WoodleyGrrl)

Btw- thanks for the report in the other thread, Sara. And Liam, I'm planning on ordering the 5 course tasting menu- did you enjoy it?

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Restaurant Kolumbia

1801 K

Anyone heard of this "contemporary American" fare restaurant? I had not but we tried it today for RW and was pleasantly surprised.

Tomato Basil & Buffalo Ricotta Pave-I'm not a chilled salad etc. type but this appetizer of fresh red and yellow cherry tomatoes, mascarpone cheese sandwiched between toasted bread disks was excellent. The sprouts added a nice peppery counterpoint to the creamy sweet cheese and tomatoes.

Roasted Leg of Lamb over Provençal Torte with Rosemary Jus. The lamb was a juicy medium rare and potato tart was a perfct accompaniment. Nicely prepared.

Peach Tart: Topped with a meringue but very light and satisfying.

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Restaurant Kolumbia

1801 K

Anyone heard of this "contemporary American" fare restaurant?  I had not but we tried it today for RW and was pleasantly surprised.

It was Le Tarbouche. Now, with new ownership and a new name, it's run by chef/owner Jamie Stachowski, formerly of eCiti in Tysons, Pesce and a couple other places I can't recall.

Edited by syzygy8 (log)
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Incidentally my first sandwich (the Mufaletta) since I started on the South Beach Regime.  Commiserated with Jared who is still on phase one, but he lived vicariously through my enjoyment of real bread  :smile: with some tasty viands in between.  Since I had already decided to call it a day as far as the office was concerned had two glasses + two tastes off their wine list

So, who's not on South Beach Regime? Is it working?

I usually call it 'today'and head to the 'office' after at a minimum of two glasses...

:laugh: Me too, but age has taken its toll...I'm on an incentive program -- the thought of Happy Hour gets me thru. H'mm I think Nectar is on the way to Yanyu.

On the South Beach -- it's more of a lifestyle change than a "diet". I'm freakin' scarred of getting diabetes (call me a Hypochondriac), but that would put a major kink in my party. Less danishes = more wine!

Oh, J[esus]. You may be omnipotent, but you are SO naive!

- From the South Park Mexican Starring Frog from South Sri Lanka episode

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Sorry about confusing the RW threads, everybody. I dunno, Rocks, do you want to amalgamate this with the main one? I’m easy either way. (Though I don’t actually go either way. Although I actually am easy. OK, that’s more than enough about me.)

Lunch today was at Poste, which may be Comfort-less these days, but is certainly not cheerless. It’s an odd layout, but that’s not really their fault as the Hotel Monaco they’re in took over the old Tariff Building and it’s pretty hard to move walls that are 4 feet thick and made of solid stone. I sat in the back room and rather regretted it, both because I would have liked to watch the open kitchen work and because the aircon is set to stun back there. The airy main room is warmer, in all senses of the word, and, in another peculiarity of the forced design choices Kimpton had to make, you can watch the grill smoke curl out the front door into the reception area and convince guests they probably do want to eat lunch after checking in.

Service was very good -- smooth and correct without being at all fussy – and the Restaurant Week selections from the usual menu are quite generous. For starters, you can get the New Zealand mussel salad with hijiki, toasted sesame seeds and red chili, the arugula salad with basil, mint, figs, parmesan and sherry vinaigrette, or the tomato gazpacho with crab, cucumber and avocado – which I went for. It’s probably closer to a bisque, really, smooth, rich and pleasantly spicy and poured separately from a jug over three little nuggets of the other ingredients on your soup plate.

Entrees are all from the main course section of the usual lunch menu, which is admirable from a bean counting point of view. I wouldn’t have minded, personally, if they’d sneaked their excellent steak/provolone sandwich on. Anyway, there’s a crispy SS crab with tuna tartare and avocado coulis (usually $18 on its own), a summer veg risotto with pea shoots, morels and zucchini and my pick, a hangar steak salad with roasted tomatoes, grilled onions, fresh anchovies and blue cheese/cognac dressing. Good, although the dominant element is still iceberg lettuce.

Desserts are anything you like off the normal menu, usually $7. There’s watermelon soup with frozen yoghurt parfait, lime tart with chantilly cream, chocolate 3 ways, poached nectarine with late harvest granite, vanilla bean crème brulee and a cheese plate, made up of three very generous helpings of triple-cream brie, a green-veined bleu (does that compute?) and a semi-soft white sheeps cheese I couldn’t place. Served with the decent house bread and salted butter.

Overall, a very good value, particularly if one were to order the mussels and the crab. I had a couple of glasses of the Graham Beck Pinno, at $6, a cheap, uncomplicated South African wine that is popping up in some interesting places (like Nectar, say). Interesting story, though a digression: after the Apartheid system collapsed under the weight of its own contradictions, the SA wine industry were sure they were going to take the world by storm with the local favorite varietal Pinotage, a cross of Pinot Noir and the less-known Cinsault grape. But alas, international palates were less than thrilled by the prevailing nose of cabbage and taste, bluntly, of feet, and fashion and plantings moved on to more successful dalliances with Shiraz and Bordeaux blends. Luckily, some smart guys like former coal tycoon Graham Beck and his cellar masters Pete “Bubbles” Ferreira and “Chunky” Charles Hopkins figured out you could make really pleasant quaffing wine, and get rid of the ‘vegetal’ character, from all those unfashionable grapes if you weeded out the green tannins, which they did. Bottom line, $10 in your local wine store, $22 at Poste, a decent drink and a bonus (honestly) bouquet of bananas. Booyah!

Edited to add: "cross" (hybrid?) not "blend". Mr. Slipp is right of course.

Edited by iamthestretch (log)

"Mine goes off like a rocket." -- Tom Sietsema, Washington Post, Feb. 16.

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Went to Tosca for lunch with a friend today. They have a very extensive, generous RW menu. The pastas were definitely the highlight, but there's a bunch of other things that look appealing that we didn't try*. The branzino with balsamic zabaglione was interesting, but the rich, sweet-tart sauce got a little tiring. The tomato tart is on the menu, and it's a surprisingly good dessert.

I've experienced some brusque service here before, but today was completely the opposite. Our waiter was very friendly and knowledgeable-- he even downsold us on a bottle of wine (during RW no less!).

*They are extending RW through to next week there-- might have to go again.

Chris Sadler

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I had a couple of glasses of the Graham Beck Pinno, at $6, a cheap, uncomplicated South African blend that is popping up in some interesting places (like Nectar, say). Interesting story, though a digression: after the Apartheid system collapsed under the weight of its own contradictions, the SA wine industry were sure they were going to take the world by storm with the local favorite varietal Pinotage, a blend of Pinot Noir and the less-known Cinsault grape. But alas, international palates were less than thrilled by the prevailing nose of cabbage and taste, bluntly, of feet, and fashion and plantings moved on to more successful dalliances with Shiraz and Bordeaux blends. Luckily, some smart guys like former coal tycoon Graham Beck and his cellar masters Pete “Bubbles” Ferreira and “Chunky” Charles Hopkins figured out you could make really pleasant quaffing wine, and get rid of the ‘vegetal’ character, from all those unfashionable grapes if you weeded out the green tannins, which they did. Bottom line, $10 in your local wine store, $22 at Poste, a decent drink and a bonus (honestly) bouquet of bananas. Booyah!

Pinotage is a grape all to himself, a hybrid of Pinot Noir and Cinsault, but not a blend. 90% of the time it blows. The G.B. Pinno however is a tasty little quaff.

Food for thought.

Jarad C. Slipp, One third of ???

He was a sweet and tender hooligan and he swore that he'd never, never do it again. And of course he won't (not until the next time.) -Stephen Patrick Morrissey

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Pinotage is a grape all to himself, a hybrid of Pinot Noir and Cinsault, but not a blend. 90% of the time it blows. The G.B. Pinno however is a tasty little quaff.

Food for thought.

Yeah I thought Pinotage was a separate grape variety, although it sounds like a blend. Anyway, Jarad, save me a glass -- I'll be right over.

Edited by FunJohnny (log)

Oh, J[esus]. You may be omnipotent, but you are SO naive!

- From the South Park Mexican Starring Frog from South Sri Lanka episode

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The pastas were definitely the highlight, but there's a bunch of other things that look appealing that we didn't try*.

Last year I went with a fish dish at Tosca and regretted not having a pasta. The fish was OK, but paled in comparison to my wife's crab pasta dish.

Bill Russell

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I had a wonderful meal at Kinkead's today with Chef Shogun and his roommate. The menu is not large, three appetizers, three mains and two desserts, but full of dishes I would have ordered anyway.

I started with the cohog clam chowder. It was perfect. Creamy, clammy, full of potato and onion. Floating on top was a hush puppy. While it was the perfect way to sop up some of the broth, it was hard to cut in half.

Someone over there is reading eG. My main dish, a soft shell crab, was accompanied by hush puppies and tasso ham, among other things. The soft shell was on the small side, but perfectly fried. It was accompanied by a sauce, but I have no idea what it was. The tasso ham made the whole dish a bit saltier than I would have liked, but not enough so that I did not enjoy it.

For dessert we all had the chocolate soufflé cake. It was sublime. The inside was oozing with molten chocolate. The rest of the cake was also wonderful, but paled in comparison to the molten chocolate. It was served with a scoop of melting vanilla ice cream that sat on a bed of loosely whipped cream.

All in all, an excellent RW meal. Despite the fact that we were clearly there for RW and much younger than most of the other patrons, we were treated perfectly. Our servers were as gracious as they could be and did not seem disgruntled by their crazy week.

Next, it's lunch at Firefly. I am eating well this week.

Edited by hillvalley (log)

True Heroism is remarkably sober, very undramatic.

It is not the urge to surpass all others at whatever cost,

but the urge to serve others at whatever cost. -Arthur Ashe

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Dinner last night at David Gregory...super....AS USUAL.

Two of the four opted for the RW special #30.04 and were mightly pleased with

their Morrocan shrimp.pork chop selections, less thrilled with the peach crisp which wasn't (crisp that is).

The other two ordered off the menu and as previously sugested were very pleased.

Tasted a new to me ( a wine guy) Pinot Gris from Oregon...Big Fire, this was a

stuner for varietal expression (for the UNinitiated this is Pinot Grigio in it's proper style)and was also the best priced PG on the list.

I am an unabashed fan of Gregg Hill, having followed his career and cooking from New Heights to Garbiels and now to his own "joint." Always interesting, always tasty, always innovative. If you have'nt been there.give it a try.

Caucus Room the other night (NOT on RW ) and can attest to "Little" Richard Beckel's cusine....yes, there is more than steaks and chops!! Wonderful appetizer of tempured soft shell in an elongated bowl of cioppino. Stunning rockfish presentation and , yup, some great steak, all the while drinking our own wines.

This is one to watch as he reworks , readjusts and restyles.

Ted Task

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I too was at Kinkead's at lunch yesterday. Thought the Clam Chowder good, mine also came with a hush puppy, while it was supposed to come with clam fritters (maybe the ran out?). I loved the soft-shell preparation, the tasso ham wasn't too salty for me. I wasn't quite as enamored with the soufflé, though I did enjoy it. Overall Kinkead's did a very nice job for RW.

Edited by MCJB2 (log)
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I haven't read this whole thread yet so will go back afterwards and edit this post!

Went to Firefly on Tuesday for Lunch. WONDERFUL, with the exception (sorry John W) that they had run out of ice cream and were offering three different fruit dishes for dessert. Luckily, a supply of lemon sorbet was delivered while we were dining and I had that...but I was dying for ice cream. Oh well. Had the soft shell open faced sandwich, which was heaven, so that made up for the lack of ice cream.

Tonight, going to Ceiba, and Saturday night to Yanyu, and am very glad to read everyone's reports!

So who else will be at these restaurants at these times?!

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Well, thanks to Tosca for extending their RW specials. I had to cancel my original reservation since I'll be out of town this weekend, and was nervous after reading a few initial posts, but I've decided to forge ahead after reading some later reports here and on the chowhounds forum.

So do we have a comprehensive list of who will be running their specials next week as well? So far I've heard Equinox, Tosca, Butterfield 9, and Corduroy will be doing it.

Also, a personal comment on RW dessert choices I'd like to see: the more fruit involved, the better.

Edited by The Doctor (log)
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