Ok, I have a new Top 5 for all of you. It's not the same type of Top 5 as before and I'll explain why.
It's nearly impossible for me to cover all the restaurants in the city. I wish I could, but I just don't have the time or the money to do it. I found that the last couple months I wasn't able to go to all of the restaurants I have in my Top 5. Particularly Spezie and Palena, which makes me sad, but I have been busy trying new places like Osteria del Galileo, Samantha's, and Sette Osteria. Of course, I do make it back to my favorites like 2 Amys, Indique, and Heritage India, but that's because they're right around the corner from me. So, since I am unable to verify that the restaurants on my Top 5 are still worthy of that status, I am posting a Top 5 Meals this month. So here they are, the Top 5 Meals of October.
Another side note:
I understand that I'm missing from my Top 5 lists what most people consider to be "the best" restaurants in DC like Citronelle, Galileo (the "real" Galileo), Minibar, etc, but you're guaranteed to drop at least $300 on a meal for two at those places and quite honestly -- that's ridiculous. I eat a meal like that maybe once a year. You'll start seeing reviews of places like that when my traffic quadruples and more people start clicking on my Google ads. :)
I was looking at my credit card bill this morning, and I found it pretty amusing that EVERY SINGLE CHARGE is from a restaurant...except for the TiVo charges and the flowers I bought my wife (Proflowers.com is the greatest site for buying someone flowers. Much cheaper than FTD and the flowers last a lot longer.). Anyway, beside showing that I am a hopeless romantic and a TiVo addict, my bill was 100% dining out. Being a food critic is an expensive job. Too bad I am not expensing all of my meals like some others I know of. :( I need an accountant. Anyone know a good one?
10/8/2004 PIZZERIA UNO #729 , LANDOVER , MD $35.86
10/8/2004 ARDEO RESTAURANT , WASHINGTON , DC $92.82
10/9/2004 SPICES , WASHINGTON , DC $40.20
10/9/2004 MARTINS TAVERN , WASHINGTON , DC $49.77
10/10/2004 HERITAGE INDIA , BETHESDA , MD $43.44
10/10/2004 TIVO INC RB5, 408-5199100 , CA $12.95
10/11/2004 QDOBA #147 00701Q71, LARGO , MD $8.16
10/11/2004 OLAZZO , BETHESDA , MD $55.73
10/12/2004 CHIPOTLE MEXICAN #0154, WASHINGTON , DC $12.10
10/13/2004 LEDO PIZZA , LARGO , MD $48.13
10/13/2004 STARBUCKS 00078Q48, LARGO , MD $7.35
10/13/2004 RUBY TUESDAY #4298 , WASHINGTON , DC $35.54
10/14/2004 CHIPOTLE MEXICAN #0154, WASHINGTON , DC $13.15
10/15/2004 LOCAL 16 , WASHINGTON , DC $27.50
10/15/2004 DUKEM ETHIOPIAN MARKET, WASHINGTON , DC $23.52
10/15/2004 DUKEM ETHIOPIAN MARKET, WASHINGTON , DC $52.52
10/16/2004 BISTRO FRANCAIS , WASHINGTON , DC $68.70
10/16/2004 P.F.CHANG'S #4900 , N.BETHESDA , MD $59.30
10/17/2004 LOEWS CINEPLEX , FANDANGO.COM , DC $21.50
10/17/2004 BREAD & CHOCOLATE, , WASHINGTON , DC $27.05
10/21/2004 #492 RED STAR RESTAURA, LARGO , MD $44.09
10/22/2004 SETTE OSTERIA , WASHINGTON , DC $61.70
10/22/2004 SETTE OSTERIA , WASHINGTON , DC $39.00
10/23/2004 HERITAGE INDIA , WASHINGTON , DC $46.92
10/24/2004 STARBUCKS 00007Q48, WASHINGTON , DC $6.16
10/24/2004 2 AMYS , WASHINGTON , DC $30.25
10/24/2004 2 AMYS , WASHINGTON , DC $61.54
10/24/2004 2 AMYS , WASHINGTON , DC $15.20
10/24/2004 TIVO INC RB5, 408-5199100 , CA $12.95
10/27/2004 GALILEO RISTORANTE , WASHINGTON , DC $91.95
10/27/2004 PROFLOWERS.COM , 888-373-7437 , CA $49.98
10/28/2004 CHIPOTLE MEXICAN #0154, WASHINGTON , DC $11.50
10/28/2004 QDOBA #147 00701Q71, LARGO , MD $8.59
10/29/2004 PANERA BREAD #3566 , BOWIE , MD $7.50
10/29/2004 CAFE OLE , WASHINGTON , DC $48.98
Wednesday night, I went to Osteria del Galileo with Amy on a whim. It was the first time that Amy or I had been there. I'm not sure what made me decide to go there tonight, but I was in the mood for good Italian food. Maybe it was the bad meal I had at Sette Osteria last weekend. Maybe I needed to reaffirm my faith that I could find good Italian food in the DC area.
Update: I want to clarify for everyone, that I went to Osteria del Galileo and NOT Galileo. They are different sections of the same restaurant. When you ask to be seated, ask for the Osteria, otherwise they will seat you at the regular Galileo, which is much, much more expensive. Sorry for any confusion I have caused anyone by not making this clearer.
I've hesitated to go to Osteria del Galileo for a while now. Ever since I read about it on Roberto Donna's web site I've wondered what it was like. I figured that since it was Roberto Donna and the Osteria only seats 20 the wait would be forever. Roberto Donna's web site says that the dress is casual, but I suspected that it might not be THAT casual. I mean, casual to me means jeans. However, when I called, the hostess said that jeans were fine and that there was no wait. Plus they have valet! GREAT! We were on our way.
As it turns out, the valet parking was free. I'm not sure if it's always that way, but it was on Wed. night. We had our pick of tables so we sat down right next to the window. Behind us was another table and then this huge cheese refrigerator. There were a ton of cheeses in there. At one point the waiter opened up the fridge to show some other people and you could smell all the cheeses. The smell immediately filled the room.
"We need one of those in our house," Amy commented. She's sooooo addicted to cheese lately.
The whole idea of Osteria del Galileo is cheap Italian food. And I don't mean cheap as in Taco Bell cheap, I mean reasonably priced. Appetizers are all $5, pastas from $7-$8 and meat dishes from $10-$11. That's just about the cheapest I've been able to find Italian food at in the DC area, regardless of how good it is. You get your choice for 4 to 6 dishes in each category. Oh, and the pastas...are all homemade. No boxed crap here. About half the dishes were something I'd never even seen at other restaurants. The wine menu has about 8 different wines on it, all of them under $22. We decided to get the Barbera d'Asti which was the most expensive one on the menu. IT WAS FANTASTIC - one of the best wines I've tasted in a while.
For starters, I went with a pasta dish, opting for the fettuccine with chicken and chicken liver. This was a very interesting combo that I'd never seen before. I really liked it...A LOT. Amy had an appetizer - the buffalo mozzerella with grilled marinated pumpkin. It was also excellent. Both dishes were very simple, but cooked perfectly. My pasta was al dente. The pumpkin in Amy's appetizer was just firm enough and not mushy.
For entrees, we both ordered a meat dish. Amy had the meatballs on a bed of polenta. She did comment that she thought Olazzo's meatballs were better. Sorry Roberto. My veal scallopine was great. It was lightly breaded with a nice combination of seasonings. All dishes were very simple - not too complex with a ton of ingredients. The chef managed to take advantage of all the flavors of each ingredient. We barely managed to finish our entrees and we were stuffing ourselves to even come close to finishing them. Obviously, portions were plentiful, which I did not expect. I was expecting that the portions would be tiny to make up for the cheap prices. We asked the waiter, and he said that the portions are usually a little smaller, which I would not have minded.
I want to commend the waiter who was serving the Osteria. There were only three tables that he had to wait on, but he managed to make us feel like we were really at a five star restaurant. He was constantly attending to our needs. He even noticed that we were staring inquisitively at the bread and came over to explain to us what each was. Our wine and water glasses were never empty and everything came out in a very timely manner. A+++ on service.
To finish off the meal, we had some coffee. It's Galileo's special recipe and comes in a huge coffee press. Seriously, there was enough coffee for four to six people in that coffee press. As we sat there drinking our coffee, we looked around and wondered why Osteria del Galileo wasn't packed. I mean, we were one of three tables taken at the restaurant. Towards the end of our meal, we were the only ones there. We asked the waiter if it was usually as empty as it was, and he said it was...EVEN ON THE WEEKENDS.
Which leads me to my last statement...
D.C. What the hell is the matter with you???!! We have this excellent Italian restaurant that is run by one of the best Italian chefs in the country, and you're going to Maggiano's and Bucca di Beppo? It makes me weep. Oh well, more good food for me I guess.
Update: See my latest post about Osteria del Galileo. My most recent experience there was quite different than this one.
Osteria del Galileo
1110 21st St. NW
Washington, DC 20036
Dress Code: Casual (you might feel a little out of place though with all the suits and ties going into the real Galileo)
Reservations: Not Accepted
Nearest Metro: Farragut North or Farragut West or Foggy Bottom (Thanks Chef Shogun)
eh. 'twas nothing special. Sette is basically a 2 Amys rip-off in a swanky location.
Ok, that is probably not enough for a review, but that about sums it up. Friday night, Amy and I went to Sette Osteria in Dupont Circle. I decided to try it was because I received recommendations for Sette from a few of my friends after reading my review of Olazzo. They said I should try the pasta at Sette if I liked Olazzo.
Now, before you read the rest of this entry, I have to be honest with you - I was sick. I'd been coming down with something all week, and Friday, when I was at work it finally hit me. Hard. So my taste buds were probably not at their full tasting capacity. Nothing was going to keep me from going out though. I had no temperature so I medicated myself up with Theraflu and we were off to Dupont Circle. I tried calling ahead but Sette Osteria doesn't take reservations. On the phone, the hostess said that there was no current wait for a table for two. By the time we arrived at 7:30 though, there was a 45 minute wait.
I looked back at Amy and she shrugged her shoulders, "Where are we going to go, Etrusco?" she said with a sarcastic tone.
"Ok. Fine. I hope this place is worth a 45 minute wait though"
We went over to the bar, which was large and very crowded. There were no seats so we just stood for a while and ordered a couple glasses of Zinfindel. After a while a chair opened up so Amy could sit down. Looking at the wine list, the first thing I noticed was how expensive the glasses of wine were. They charge $8 for a glass of Ravenswood Zinfindel and that was one of the cheaper glasses on the menu. You have a choice of a half glass of full glass. Most of the half glass prices are the same as you would be charged for a full glass other places. Just a tip, if you plan on having more than one glass each, order a bottle from their extensive list of wines. (Gee, isn't that a helpful tip?) Bottles of wine are fairly reasonable ranging from $22 - $80, with a majority of them below $40.
We were seated almost exactly after 45 minutes AND ONLY AFTER I REMINDED THE HOSTESSES THAT WE WERE STILL WAITING. After we sat down, we were greeted very quickly by our waiter asking us if we needed anything to drink which I appreciated. (I really appreciate it when a waiter greets you right after you sit down.) The best thing about the whole meal was the service.
Half of the menu was dedicated to pizza and the other half to the appetizers, pasta and specials. Appetizers or Antipasti, range from $6 - $8. They had the usual tomato and mozzarella salad, which we saw other people ordering and looked very fresh, but we wanted something different. There were a few that really looked interesting to me, in particular, the panzaroti (mini calzones) and gateau di patate (potato cake with salami and smoked mozzarella). They came out pretty soon after we ordered. The mini calzones tasted all right. They are better in concept than execution. I would have to say the best dish of the night was the potato cake, which came with marinated red and yellow peppers.
For entrees, we tried both a pizza and a pasta, opting for the lasagna and the proscuito e rucola (prosciutto and arugula) pizza. Standing at the bar, I saw both coming out and they both looked mouth watering. They looked a lot better than they tasted. The lasagna was overcooked and did not have enough sauce. I make a better lasagna. The lasagna I had a couple weeks ago at Olazzo was much better. The pizza was ok but nothing really special. I would equate it to that of Pizzeria Paradiso with a better tasting crust, but toppings that were not as fresh.
We thought about ordering dessert, but decided that I needed to get home because I was getting sicker by the minute. The bill came to $85 before tip. We had 3 glasses of wine each (mostly because we waited forever for a table), 2 appetizers, pizza and lasagna. Most of the cost of the meal came from the wine, and like I said before, we would have saved a lot by ordering a bottle of wine instead of the glasses.
1666 Connecticut Ave NW (Corner of R and Connecticut)
Washington, DC 20007
Dress Code: Casual
Reservations: NOT Accepted
Closest Metro Stop: Dupont Circle
Valet: After 7 PM Sat. and Sun. $8
I just found out that Heritage India delivers. Holy Sh*t! Guess what I am getting tonight. :)
JennyUptown at eGullet points us to an article at The Post where Monica Bhide unlocks the secrets of chicken curry.
Last Friday night, Amy and I got together with a couple recently engaged friends of ours - Mike and Jen. You might remember them from our trip to Komi. But to start this review off, I want you to read the IM conversation I had with Mike to set up Friday night. Keep in mind this was on Monday:
Mike: yt? Give me a holla' when you get a chance
jasewyndu: hey, whatup!
Mike: not too much - just chilling
Mike: hey Jen and I are finally back in town this weekend. you all going to be around?
Mike: want to do some dinner?
jasewyndu: sure, sounds good
jasewyndu: I'll do a writeup on the trip ;)
Mike: lol - i'll make a reserv
Mike: 8:30? 9?
jasewyndu: do they take reservations?
Mike: someone around here said i should get one
Mike: ok, i'll call and make a reserv
Mike: damn they're booked
Mike: fri and sat.
jasewyndu: no effing way!
jasewyndu: that blows
Mike: haha yeah
Mike: i guess you have to call at least a week in advance
Mike: or more
jasewyndu: so where else can we go?
Mike: hmm i'm not sure - i just im'd jen - see if she comes up w/ anything
jasewyndu: I'll think too. there are a bunch of places I want to try
jasewyndu: I am just drawing a blank right now
Mike: ethiopian? How about Dukem.
Jason: Oh yeah. I've been meaning to try that for a while now. People emailed me that I should try it.
Jason: supposed to be the best Ethiopian in DC
Mike: Ok, I've never had Ethiopian before. Guess this is a good time to try it
Jason: OK. So Dukem, Fri night.
Jason: Cool, see you Fri night then. Call me when you leave. We can meet at our place.
Dukem, which is probably the least rated Ethiopian restaurant, is regarded by many as one of the best Ethiopian restaurants in DC. I've had a number of people email me telling me that if I liked Meskerem and Zed's, I'll definitely like Dukem. So when Mike mentioned going to Dukem, I was all over it.
So Friday night, instead of meeting at our place, we decided to meet Mike and Jen at Dukem. It was 7:30 and rather than wait till 8:30 when we had said we would meet them, we decided to just go down and get a few drinks before dinner. Looking around the restaurant, in front of the bar where we sat, was a small dance floor, and behind that, as small stage with a large projection screen TV. Supposedly, bands play live music after 10. All around us, people were eating their dinners and they all seemed pretty satisfied with their meals.
After a couple beers, Mike and Jen arrived. The hostess/one of the waitresses, told us she would get us a table. After about 15 minutes, we cornered the waitress again, asking about our table - "Yeah, it will be a few minutes more." Ok. Some people had just left and the waitress then came by and told us our table was ready, but it really wasn't. Another 5 minutes later after they actually cleaned off our table and put some place settings down, they were ready for us. If getting our table seemed awkward, the service seemed even more awkward. We were looking at the menu, and we decided to try a couple sampler platters - one with kitfo and another with tibbs and watt. We also order 4 lentil sambusas. One thing worth noting, Dukem seemed to be out of an awful lot on a Friday night. We first wanted to order 4 meat sambusas and they were out of them. We also wanted a combination platter with lamb watt and they were out of that, so they had to substitute in chicken watt instead.
When we ordered the Kitfo, our waitress checked to make sure we really wanted it, which is understandable. None of us had never had Kitfo before, but wanted to try it. Kitfo is very lean rare beef ground up and mixed with spices. This combination is particular, served it with homemade cottage cheese and fitfit, which is injera soaked in the sauce of the rare beef. Ok, so it does not sound like the most appetizing thing in the world, but we wanted to try it. After a few beers, we were feeling a bit more brave than usual. ;) Our waitress was very insistant that we did not want the Kitfo combination. When we insisted that we in fact DID want it, she brought over the manager who proceeded to draw a diagram on a piece of paper of the dish and explain what kitfo was to us again. "YES. WE KNOW WHAT IT IS. PLEASE PUT IN OUR ORDER FOR IT!" No, that's not really how I said it, but the situation was rather frustrating for us all. They must had a lot of people order that dish and send it back because they don't get what it really is.
About 20 minutes later, the food came out, and they had forgotten to bring out the sambusas before the rest of the food. Well, actually, we had to remind them to bring them out. I wasn't to crazy about their sambusas. They were really greasy compared to others I've had. My favorite sambusas are the cabbage sambusas at Meskerem.
Ok, now this is where my review of Dukem takes a turn and starts to sound a bit more positive. The kitfo was good. No. Really good. We were all diving into it. It was spicy, and full of flavor. The chicken watt was very good as well. The chicken was tender and juicy - not overcooked and dry. (Although, I have to say that I'm not crazy about Ethiopian chicken dishes because they leave the chicken on the bone. Eating chicken on the bone with no utensils and only injera isn't the easiest thing in the world to do.) The lamb tibbs was pretty good, although I thought that the versions of the same dish I've had at Zed's or Meskerem were better.
In the end, Amy and I were pretty unenthused about our meal and we were ready for the check. Jen seemed to really like Ethiopian food - it was her first time eating it, so that was a good thing. The only thing about the meal that I thought was particularly rejuvinating about the trip to Dukem was the bill. For 4 people, it only came to around $90, which I thought was extremely reasonable. We ordered appetizers, enough entrees for 4, a bottle of wine, and a beer. That, however, doesn't make up for the spotty service, and slightly above-average food.
1114 U St., NW
Washington, DC, 20009
Sunday - Thursday 11am - 2am
Friday - Saturday 11am - 3am
(Kitchen closes 1hr before closing time)
Carry Out: 9am - Midnight
Dress Code: From the Dukem web site: "We are an upscale restaurant with no formal dress code. We have an appropriate atmosphere for formal dining and entertainment but we welcome people in relaxed, casual clothing as well."
Dukem Web Site
I finally noticed this week, that The Post is the only newspaper that actually creates a new web page for each review they publish online. All of the other online newspapers update the same page every week. This is a problem for me because my links to these articles become out of date every week. So if you are looking at my old review recaps and the links don't work, this explains why. It is not because I am completely making these reviews up in my head. Anyway, on to this week.
The Blade has completely removed their dining section from the online version of their newspaper. Maybe it's because they don't have a food critic anymore. Maybe they would hire me? Or they could just link to DCFoodies.com instead...
The Times this week reviewed La Mona Lisa, and Italian restaurant in Annapolis? Someone needs to remind these guys that the Washington Times is a DC newspaper. Summing up the review with the last couple sentences:
The restaurant is the perfect place for a romantic dinner for two, or with close friends. Just don't expect it to be a cheap night out.
The Metro Weekly, which has an online dining section that I am really starting to respect, reviewed an Indian restaurant this week - Connaught Place in Fairfax, VA. David Garver writes:
This is Indian cooking of the old school, traditional dishes from a variety of the nation's regions executed with exceptional care. You'll not find the contemporary flourishes of trendy Indian-American places (such as Indique in Cleveland Park, for instance) but rather the steady hand of centuries of culinary custom.
Mmmmm. Sounds good to me. Now how do you get to Fairfax? :) Just looking at the photography in this article makes me want to go there and try their rogan josh.
And finally, The Post just linked to Tom Sietsema's Fall Dining Guide this week. Some restaurants on the list worth noting: Cashion's Eat Place, Palena, Restaurant Eve (I desperately need to go to this place), Heritage India, 2 Amys, and Ray's the Steaks (also, dying to go here as well).
You'll remember from my write-up of Taste of Bethesda that I thought that Olazzo was the star of the show. They by far had the best offering of food in my opinion, between their chicken cardenale and meatball sandwich. Since Taste of Bethesda, I have been there twice - both times for dinner. I've also tried to go there twice for lunch with no success. Both times they were closed. Now I'll mention that the first time I tried to go for lunch was on a Sunday, a day on which they are closed for lunch.
(God, what is with Italian places being closed on Sundays. We had the same problem with Il Pizzico in Rockville. )
The second time I tried to get lunch there was yesterday. Amy and I got a really late start and didn't get out of the house until 3. WE WERE STARVING!!! It turns out that they are only open for lunch until 3. Ugh. So in this review I will keep my observations to dinner and I won't cover Olazzo's lunch menu.
When you first walk into Olazzo , it seems very small. In reality, it probably only seats about 60 people including the tables on the patio. There is no entry area. People waiting for tables, have to wait outside. In the cold months ahead I bet this is a real deterrent to eating at Olazzo - especially since they don't take reservations. The bar is the only waiting area. It too is very small and when you get more than 6 people waiting at the bar, they start to get in the way of the servers. The hostess told me that the most popular nights are Friday, Saturday, and Monday nights. You can count on there always being a crowd on those nights.
With all the inconvenience to eat at Olazzo, people still line up to eat there, which tells you a lot (or….maybe it doesn‘t). On the weekends, if you arrive after 7:30, you will wait for a table. The two times that Amy and I went for dinner, we arrived before 7 and we were able to get a table soon after we arrived. People arriving after us though…they were waiting because both times we got the last table.
Everything at Olazzo is meant to give it a homey, trattoria-like feel, right down to the TV with a DVD loop of a fireplace. The tables and chairs remind you of those that you would find in a corner coffee shop in Italy (not that I would know because I've never been there - but I have seen them on TV).
Looking at the menu, you see that Olazzo serves no nonsense Italian American food. You don't see any fancy cream sauces like you'll see at Spezie, nor do you find any hand rolled tortellini or ravioli. You will, however, see lots of penne, lasagna and fettuccine. Their "fanciest" and best dish in my opinion is the chicken cardinale. It contains penne, a tomato cream sauce, sun-dried tomatoes, bits of white-meat chicken, and parmesan cheese. There are two styles of Lasagna on the menu, a "normal" style with ricotta cheese and a Bolognese style with marinara and mozzarella cheese. Out first trip, I ordered the Bolognese style and it was very good. Amy ordered the chicken cardinale and enjoyed it very much as well. Our second trip, we BOTH ordered the pasta with meatballs. I have to say the meatballs at Olazzo are some of the best I have ever had. They are very large and contain the perfect combination of meats and seasoning. Portions are on the larger size. Both times, Amy couldn't finish her entrée and we did not have room for dessert. The good thing is you have leftovers for lunch the next day.
Praise aside, I think Olazzo would be a LOT better if they used homemade pastas. The pasta they use is very obviously out-of-the-box. It is always al dente, but that only makes up for so much. This is one thing that places like Il Pizzico and Spezie will always have over places like Olazzo and Maggiano's.
Appetizers are pretty typical for a restaurant of this style. Mozzarella Neapolitan (which is really just a Tomato and mozzarella salad stacked vertically) with olive oil and balsamic vinegar, fried calamari, peel and eat shrimp, ceviche, etc. Oh, and I almost forgot the Italian wedding soup, which was really good. In reality, you really don't need to order an appetizer at Olazzo if you plan to order an entrée for yourself.
If you have room for dessert (and that's a BIG if), they have cannolis and tiramisu. We've never had room for dessert, so we have yet to try either. However, the cannolis seem very popular - I don't know how people have room for them.
Overall, the service has been pretty consistent the few times we have been to Olazzo. The servers are friendly and eager to please. Food comes out promptly and is well timed and glasses of wine are kept full, which is always a bonus. This leads me to Olazzo's half-price wine Mondays.
Monday night is a very popular night at Olazzo. We went last Monday, and it was very crowded. Luckily, we arrived before the crowd showed up. In reality though, the half-price wine does not buy you very much when the most expensive bottle of wine on the menu is $45. However, it does cut a good chunk of the check off. The wine list is extremely average and nothing worth making a special trip to Olazzo. That said, it is very rare to find out-of-the-ordinary wines in a Maryland restaurant, mostly due to state liquor laws. Also, on Wednesday nights, Olazzo has $5 martinis.
The average check varies for Amy and I at Olazzo. Entrees range from $10-$15 - appetizers average around $6. When we went on half-price wine night, the check was around $50 with two entrees, an appetizer and a bottle of wine. The other nights we went, the check averages about $10-$20 more without the half-price wine.
If you want good, consistent Italian American food at a budget price, I would say your best choices today are Olazzo and Il Pizzico. If you live closer to Il Pizzico in Northern Rockville, I would say you should go there though. The prices are about the same, and Il Pizzico uses fresh, homemade pasta. If you live in NW DC like myself, Olazzo is the best choice that I know of.
7921 Norfolk Ave.
(they are not posted anywhere online, so I will have to update this the next time I go there)
Open Daily for Dinner)
Closed for lunch on Sunday.
Dress Code: Casual
Reservations: Not Accepted
To lead things off this week, I'll start with Tom Sietsema's review of Sweet Ginger, an Asian fusion restaurant in Vienna, VA which, according to Tom, was about as ho-hum as the entire Asian food scene in this area. He says that the best thing about his meals there have been the appetizers. He gives it 2 out of 4 stars.
Eve Ziebert, also of the Washington Post, reviews Meyhane. Meyhane is a Turkish restaurant near Eastern Market in DC. Eve seems to like Meyhane although she does not seem to come out and say it is a complete winner.
Surprisingly, Divino Lounge in Bethesda was reviewed last week by Corinna Lothar or The Times. I had not heard of Divino Lounge until I went to Taste of Bethesda last week. I remember they had a great Argentine sausage. Corinna does not really express an opinion in this article, which I find to be resounding pattern to reviews in The Times. I did find it interesting that for $10 you can get dancing lessons on Wednesday and Friday.
The Washington Blade reviews 2 Amys. God. Where the hell have they been??
Albert Eisele of The Hill reviews Le Petit Mistral in McLean, VA. He gives it a pretty good rating - 3.5 domes. According to Albert, owner and Chef Joseph Alonso has worked in such restaurants as the Four Seasons and the Occidental.