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« November 2005 | Main | January 2006 »

Dec 30, 2005

Komi

I'm officially adding Komi to my Foodie Experiences category. Why? Let me explain.

Actually, let me give you some background first...it was Amy's birthday (December 27th) and there was no other restaurant that she wanted to go to more than Komi. So when I tried to make reservations last Monday for tonight, I learned that Komi was going to be closed for two weeks for renovations. "WAIT NO!! You can't be!"

It wouldn't have been that big a deal if this didn't happen to us every year on Amy's birthday. Every year, we try to go out on her birthday and the restaurant we want to go to is closed for some reason. Her birthday either comes on a Sunday, or the restaurant is closed the week after Christmas, or the whole restaurant gets the flu.

I wrote some quick emails to our babysitter, "Hey, are you gonna be around this week at all? Any chance you're free for babysitting ANY night this week?!!" Lucky for me, she was.

So on Thursday night, we headed over to Komi for dinner. It had been a while since we'd been there -- probably at least two months and a good deal had changed, but in the end, it was still the same old Komi.

The most noticable change was the menu. There were a many new dishes on the menu, all of which I wanted to try. Lucky for me, there was a tasting menu available. For $57 a person, you get a series of small plates (which basically ends up being small portions of all the appetizers on the menu), your choice of pasta course and dinner course, a cheese course and your choice of dessert course. We also asked for a wine pairing which will run you an additional $40 a person, but is well worth it because they basically never let your glass get empty.

Our first dish was just a few olives that Chef Johnny Monis and his girlfriend discovered during their trip to Italy last summer. They were mild flavored and juicy to the point where you bit into them, the juices would squirt into your mouth.

Following the olives, was another amuse bouche and quite possibly the world's most perfect food -- two dates, heated to just before the point of carmelization, filled with mascarpone cheese and topped with olive oil and a touch of sea salt.  There's so much to this: flavors of sweet, salty, creamy, smooth. It's a huge dish of contrast and simplicity in four little bites.

Shortly after we finished the dates off, out came the Burrata di Bufala, which came topped with crispy breadcrumbs, a slice of fresh anchovy, and just the right amount of sea salt. If you've never had burrata before, it's a type of mozzarella cheese that's very creamy and rich in flavor -- and quite hard to find. I loved that the cheese was topped with the crunchy breadcrumbs. Normally burrata is great on its own, and I didn't think it was possible to make it better.

Next, two dishes were brought out at the same time. The first was a grilled bread topped with prosciutto and figs -- a perfect contrast of sweet and salty -- and is representative of Johnny's menu which embraces influences from Italian and Greek cuisine. The second was a crostini topped with a slice of deviled egg. Both were fantastic and nothing I ever would've thought to make myself.

Those dishes were followed by a fried ricotta ball, which was good, but a little too salty for my taste. Moving on.

Following the ricotta ball was probably one of the more adventurous and different dishes I've eaten all year -- a cauliflower and tallegio panna cotta. It took me a little while to figure this dish out, but once I found the quail egg surprise in the center of the panna cotta -- oozing out when you sliced into it with your fork -- and mixed it with the shaved rutabega and (of all things!) blood orange slices, I realized that Johnny Monis has raised the culinary bar for dishes in DC. Absolutely delicious!

One of the nice things about Komi is the pacing of the meal. When you order the tasting menu, the kitchen spaces it out each of the courses well to give you time to digest the food. I took advantage of this time to clear my mind of the panna cotta, finish off my glass of wine, and allow myself to move onto our upcoming pasta course. Lucky for me, our pasta course was excellent as well.

I chose to go with the bread soup with kale and homemade lamb sausage, which I had loved during our last trip to Komi when Amy had ordered it. This was overshadowed, however, by the ricotta ravioli with mushrooms and almonds that Amy ordered. After trying the ravioli, the bread soup just didn't seem quite as good as the last time I'd had it. I still have yet to eat anything with mushrooms at Komi I didn't love.

Moving on to our entrees, I decided to order the one thing that I've never had at Komi: a grilled lamb tenderloin with lentils and rutabega. The lamb was quite complex. The lentil and rutabega salad on the side was seasoned with something spicy -- most likely a curry of some kind, which went well with the lamb. Once again, Amy went with her favorite, the Bronzini Me Harti -- and why shouldn't she? It was her birthday for Christ's sake. The bronzini is a very light and fluffy fish which is simply topped with olive oil, lemon and salt and served with fingerling potatoes and some fresh greens.

At this point, I was pretty full, despite the spacing of the meal. We'd been there for close to two hours, and we still had the cheese and dessert courses to go. Luckily, the cheese course wasn't very big with three small pieces of cheese, one of which was a delightfully stinky blue. The cheese was served to us with a glass of Vin Santo, a traditional dessert wine from central Italy.

We had our choice of any dessert on the menu, which was a difficult choice. "Should I take the safe route and order the donuts?" I asked Amy.

"The donuts are good." Amy replied. "But you can't always write about the donuts. You should try something new."

It might have been because we were so full, but the desserts didn't leave quite the impression on us that the rest of the meal did. I tried the Pumkin Flan which was dense and sweet but I really wished we'd ordered the homemade donuts, because there's no dessert in the city that's better.

Ever since our first trip to Komi, service has never been an issue, and this time was no different. As usual, the whole restaurant worked as a team to make our meal seamless. No complaints there.

In my opinion, Komi is an extremely good value when you consider what you're getting. The food easily competes with that of Michelle Richard's Citronelle and Maestro and at those places you're guaranteed to spend twice what you'll pay at Komi. Our check came to $200 before tip and taxes. This included the tasting menu and wine pairing for both of us. I believe when Amy and I went to Citronelle for my birthday, the check came to over twice that, and Amy wasn't even drinking at the time.

One last thing I want to add (and for those of you who are still reading, I thank you): For every person I talk to who eats there at my recommendation and loves it, there's someone who just doesn't get it, and here's the reason I think they don't get it. They go, and order off the menu like it's a normal appetizer, entree, and dessert kind of place. This, in my humble opinion, is a mistake. You really need to get at least four courses at Komi to truly get the full experience.

Read about my past trips to Komi.

Komi
1509 17th St NW
Washington, DC 20036
(202) 332-9200
Map

Hours:
Closed Sunday and Monday.

Dress Code: Business Casual
Parking: None, nada, zip - street parking is a rare in Dupont. No valet either. I recommend taking a cab. Or take the Metro to Dupont Circle and walk a few blocks.
Smoking: Not Allowed.
Closest Metro: Dupont Circle
Reservations: Taken
Amy's Bathroom rating: Immaculate.

Categories: Foodie Experiences, Greek, Italian, New American, Restaurant Reviews
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Dec 25, 2005

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas everyone! I hope you're all having a happy holiday and are eating good food today.

Categories: Just Because
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Dec 21, 2005

This Week in Reviews

Let's start with the other blogs this week.

I recently came across Kitchenette, a blog about cooking, DC dining and all things food, and she wrote about her trip to Viridian, which sounds like it was pretty pleasant, but beware the parking situation in Logan and take a cab.

Chief Wino gives his opinion on Rasika, calling the food "ABSOLUTELY amazing."  Maybe I should have picked another restaurant to write about this week. I think Tom S. is going to feature them in his Weekly Dish today. Rasika already has too much press...

Now for the offline press...

An unknown author (bylines, anyone?) at The Times writes about Merkado, a Latin-Asian fusion restaurant in Logan. I personally have a hard time understanding what Latin-Asian food is, but the author gives me a pretty good idea.

Heat and spice are the centerpieces of the food here. Not everything works perfectly, but lots of dishes do, and it's fun to try them all.

Mary K. Hager gives us her insight into Turcuisine, which just happens to be near the VA office of my real job. I might just have to try it.

The Turcuisine mix is equally impressive with a more than ample serving of doner kebab, the house specialty of thinly sliced spit roasted marinated lamb and beef, as well as a chicken and a lamb shish kebab, a grilled lamb chop and kofte, patties of lamb and beef, served with yogurt sauce, tomato sauce and rice or, if you prefer, french fries.

This week, the Washington City Paper gives us an article about China Canteen in Rockville by Tom McClive. Tom seems to like China Canteen, which sounds like a place for the adventurous diner...

There are other meat choices that can easily stand up to aggressive seasoning, at least in theory. Offal is often paired with chilies, with numerous selections of tripe, intestines, and kidneys available. Braised intestines with scallion sauce arrive bubbling over a brazier, yet are still undercooked. A friend compared them on one visit to rubber bands. Their sauce, however, made with hot bean paste and cubes of gelled blood, is dark, sharp, and spicy—an excellent production, if only the meat were fit.

Eve Zibart of The Post gives us an intimate look into Chez Mama-San, a Japanese-American restaurant in Georgetown.

Last but not least, Tom Sietsema, also of The Post, goes a little more mainstream with Zengo, giving it two stars.

Categories: This Week In Reviews
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Dec 20, 2005

Rasika

I had a chance to stop by Rasika last Saturday. I love Indian food, and as soon as I heard that a new restaurant was opening, I had to go and see what it was like. I was also curious what Sebastian, the former wine and service director at Komi, was doing at an Indian restaurant of all places. It was only the second week that Rasika had been open, so I'll try not to be too judgmental.

First the good: Penn Quarter is really a hip neighborhood now (not that I actually know what "hip" is anymore, what with being a new dad). The crowd there was pleasant and the atmosphere elegant. Yet everyone seemed fairly casual, which I kind of liked. Most people were wearing jeans, but some were a little dressier. I saw the occasional Sari. There's a huge bar area with short, small tables that are fairly...quaint, but probably hard on the knees to sit at for too long. I'm encouraged to see places like Rasika and Indeblu opening -- it goes a long way in saying that people are recognizing Indian food as "upscale" cuisine.

As far as the food goes, the highlight of the evening was my Lamb Shank Rogan Josh, which at $19 was a pretty good deal. The portion was large and the lamb was extremely tender but not overdone. The sauce it was served in was plenty spicy which I appreciate.

The menu also seems pretty adventurous, with dishes that aren't seen at other Indian restaurants like fish manga, a sea bass with curry leaves and onion and mango. I also saw some people at the next table order the Palak Chaat, an appetizer made of crispy spinach, yogurt and date chutney -- they were going simply gah-gah over it. If I return, I'll have to try it.

I actually had my first dessert at an Indian restaurant that I enjoyed. The Apple Jalebi was just what we needed after our meal. Unlike most Indian desserts, it wasn't overly sweet because the apple gave it that little bit of tart flavor. The apple was deep fried in a sweet, honey  and saffron-flavored batter and then served with cardamon ice cream. 

Other than that though, I wasn't overly impressed. The Trio of Chicken Tikka that Amy ordered was too small and she was left kind of hungry. There were three flavors in the dish: chili, cheese and basil. Both the chili and basil chicken were flavorful, and the chicken was very tender, but the cheese just tasted like plain chicken. Our appetizer, the Sev Batati Puri, while a good idea in theory, was weak in flavor. Rasika is a bit more expensive than other Indian restaurants, but I think you're paying for the atmosphere -- which can be worth it depending on how you feel about such things.

And how is the new Sommelier doing at pairing wines with Indian food? Well, the earthy bottle of Buttonwood Cabernet Franc that Sebastian brought us to go with both of our dishes went great with Amy's chicken, but kind of overpowered my already spicy Rogan Josh. I guess one for two isn't bad -- it's much better than I've ever been able to do. At Rasika, the wine list that Sebastian has selected is is quite huge and has many amazing wines on it, as I'd expect from his influence.

So that's pretty much all I have to say. I encourage you all to stop by and see what Rasika is like for yourselves. It has a good deal of promise and I think that if you order wisely, you'll really enjoy yourself.

Rasika
www.rasikarestaurant.com
633 D Street NW
Washington, DC
(202) 637-1222
Map

Hours:
Lunch:
Mon - Fri: 11:30am - 2:30pm
Dinner:
Mon - Thu: 5:30pm - 10:30pm
Fri and Sat: 5:30pm - 11:00pm

Dress Code: Business Casual - I wore "nice" jeans with a sport coat.
Smoking: Allowed at the bar.
Closest Metro: Gallery Place or National Archives.
Parking: Valet Parking is available. I wouldn't bother trying to find parking on your own in this area.
Reservations: Taken. Use OpenTable.
Baby-Friendly Rating: 1 out of 4 diapers. As with most places like this, I probably wouldn't take Noah there, mainly because the atmosphere is just way too nice to bring a baby too.

Categories: Indian, Penn Quarter, Restaurant Reviews
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Dec 19, 2005

DC Restaurant Week - Jan 2006

For info about the most recent DC Restaurant Week go here.

Update: The following restaurants have confirmed with me that they're extending the Restaurant Week special another week.

Sea Catch Restaurant - through the 21st
CABANAS - menu available at dcseafood.com
Nick's Riverside Grille - menu available at dcseafood.com
Tony and Joe's Seafood Place - menu available at dcseafood.com
Butterfield 9 - menu available at dcseafood.com
Sam & Harry's
The Caucus Room
Sorry, I added these two as a mistake. They are not extending.
Dino - Through the 19th
21P - Extending for Dinner only.

If anyone out there knows of other DC restaurants that are extending Restaurant Week, please leave a comment, and I will add it to the list. I am still getting responses from restaurants that I've emailed and I will add them as they come in as well.

DC Restaurant Week is scheduled for January 9th - 15th. As usual, lunch will be $20.06 and dinner is $30.06. I think this time, I'm not going to bother listing ALL of the participating restaurants here since you can see the complete list of restaurants at the washington.org web site.

I'm going to call or email as many of them as possible and as I get information from them I'll fill in the list below with their offerings. Usually, I'm not done until the week before, because many restaurants don't finalize their menus until then.

Some tips:
1) Make a reservation early.

2) Make sure you confirm with the restaurant when you make the reservation that they are participating in Restaurant Week. Some restaurants only participate for lunch or dinner so double check when you make a reservation for lunch of dinner.

3) Stick with restaurant that offers their regular, full or partial menu. Lot's of restaurants will only offer a "special" menu that isn't anything they normally serve, which completely defeats the purpose of Restaurant Week. This gets you in the door, and then you order off their real menu.

4) If OpenTable shows that a restaurant is completely booked, it doesn't mean that the restaurant doesn't have any reservations left. Call the restaurant directly to double check.

A B C D F G H I J K L M N O P R S T V Z

1789
Dinner
Like in past Restaurant Weeks, 1789 is offering a three course menu from their full menu. There will be an upcharge for the lamb and steak. Jackets are required for men. No jumpsuits or jeans for ladies.
1226 36th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20007
(202) 965-1789

21P
Lunch and Dinner
21P will be offering their whole menu for Restaurant Week, as well as a special tasting menu. They also plan to extend their Restaurant Week offering to the following week.
2100 P Street, NW
Washington, DC
(202) 223-3824

701 Restaurant
Lunch and Dinner
701 offers a special menu for Restaurant Week. You can find there menu in the events section of their web site.
701 Pennsylvania Ave, NW
Washington, DC
(202) 393-0701

A
TOP

Acadiana
Lunch and Dinner
Acadiana belongs to the same group of restaurants as Ceiba, DC Coast and TenPehn. They will follow suit with the rest of that groups restaurants by offering an extensive menu. Acadiana's menu can be found here.
901 New York Avenue, NW
Washington, DC
(202) 408-8848


Ardeo/Bardeo
Dinner
This Restaurant Week, Ardeo and Bardeo are offering their entire menu. I need to confirm if they're doing the same this time. You can read about my trips to Bardeo back in Sept 2004.
3309-3311 Connecticut Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20008
(202) 244-6750

B
TOP
Bistro Bis
Lunch and Dinner
Hotel George
Bisto Bis and it's sister restaurant Vidalia offer a very extensive menu for Restaurant Week. You can find the menus for lunch and dinner here.Their menus  aren't posted on their web site yet, but when they are, they'll be
here.
15 E Street, NW
Washington, DC 20001
(202) 661-2700

C
TOP
Ceiba Restaurant
Lunch and Dinner
Ceiba, TenPehn and DC Coast always offer a good majority of their menu during Restaurant Week. My first time eating at Ceiba was during Restaurant Week in August 2004 and my wife and I had a very good meal there. Ceiba's web site can be found here.
701 14th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20005
(202) 393-3983

Chef Geoff's
Lunch and Dinner
Read about my experience at Chef Geoff's. Chef Geoff's, in the past, has offered their full menu. Check out their latest menu on their web site: www.chefgeoff.com.
3201 New Mexico Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20016
(202) 464-4461

Chef Geoff's Downtown
Lunch and Dinner
1301 Pennsylvania Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20004
(202) 237-7800

Circle Bistro
Lunch and Dinner
Read about my trips to Circle Bistro here.
One Washington Circle Hotel
One Washington Circle, NW
Washington, DC 20037
(202) 293-5390

Clydes - Georgetown
Dinner
House or Caesar Salad, Crab Cake Dinner & and glass of Clyde's house wine
3236 M Street, NW
Washington, DC 20007
(202) 333-9180

Clyde's of Gallery Place
Lunch and Dinner
Lunch:  House or Caesar Salad, Crab Cake Lunch Entree and glass of Clyde's wine
Dinner:  House or Caesar Salad, Crab Cake Dinner Entree and glass of Clyde's wine
707 7th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20001 (202) 349-3700

Corduroy
Lunch and Dinner

Corduroy is always a great choice for Restaurant Week since they offer their full menu and their food is some of the best in D.C.  
You can also expect a small surcharge for some of the more expensive items on the menu, like the Sunnyside Farms Strip Steak. You can read what I wrote about Corduroy In April. I also went to Corduroy last Restaurant Week in January, and now it's one of my favorite restaurants.
1201 K Street, NW
Washington, DC 20005
(202) 589-0699

D
TOP
DC Coast
Lunch and Dinner
DCCoast works very similar to Ceiba and Tenpehn. They all offer a very large subset of their menus. Check out their menu at DCCoast.com. If you can order the whole crispy striped bass, I'd recommend it. 1401 K Street, NW
Washington, DC 20005
(202) 216-5988

Dino
Lunch and Dinner
Dean emailed me Dino's menu. Here's what Dino will be offering:
First course: Any dish up to $12.00. 
Cheese plate will be Dino's selection, not ala carte.
Second course: Any dish - no upcharges or restrictions
Dessert: Any dessert - no upcharges or restrictions
You'll also have your choice of two wine pairings for $10 and $15.
3435 Connecticut Avenue NW

Washington, DC 20008
(202) 686-2966

F
TOP
 
G

TOP
Galileo
Lunch and Dinner
Last Restaurant Week, Galileo's full menu was available and you were able to design a 3-course menu from it. I haven't received confirmation on what they are offering this Restaurant Week. Honestly though, you should take advantage of the half-price dinner special that's going on right now. Check out the Galileo web site at www.galileodc.com.
1110 21st Street, NW
Washington, DC 20036
(202) 293-7191

H
TOP

Hanks Oyster Bar
Dinner
Thanks to Jamie for providing this to me today.
Small Plates
Choose one   
Half Dozen Oysters on the half shell
Seafood Ceviche
New England Clam Chowder
Fried Oysters
Popcorn Shrimp & Calamari
Wild Salmon Cake with Romesco

Large Plates
Choose one
Oyster Po’ Boy
Seafood Pasta with Salad on top
Romesco Roasted White Tuna
Chili Crusted Rockfish
Garlic Steamed Johnnny Blue Mussels

Special Entrees
Monday -> Braised Short Ribs            
Tuesday -> Mom’s Meatloaf       
Wednesday -> Smothered Pork Chop       
Thursday -> Grilled Lamb Steak            
Friday -> Grilled Flatiron Steak       
Saturday -> Blue Cheese Crusted Sirloin
Sunday -> Citrus Roasted Chicken

Dessert
Warm Berry Crisp

1624 Q STREET, NW
Washington, DC
202.462.HANK (4265)

I
TOP

IndeBlue
Lunch and Dinner
Menu's for IndeBlue's Restaurant Week offering can be found here.
707 G St, NW
Washington, DC
(202) 333-2538

Indique
Lunch and Dinner
Indique is a wonderful Indian restaurant by the Uptown theater in Clevelan Park. I've eaten there many times and I always enjoy it. They will be having their full menu available as well as a special addition.
3512-14 Connecticut Ave. N.W.
Washington, DC
(202) 244-6600


J
TOP

K
TOP
 
L

TOP
 
M

TOP
Mie n Yu
Lunch and Dinner
The only thing I've ever had at Mie n Yu is a really bad martini, but I don't know anything about their food.
Lunch menu here. Dinner menu here.
3125 M Street, NW
Washington, DC 20007
(202) 333-6122


N

TOP
Notti Bianche - GWU Inn
Lunch and Dinner
Last Restaurant Week, Notti Bianche offered their full menu with some upcharges for certain items. They also offered a discounted wine pairing menu.
824 New Hampshire Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20037
(202) 298-8085

O
TOP

Old Ebbitt Grill
Dinner

House or Caesar Salad, Crab Cake Dinner & and glass of Ebbitt house wine
675 15th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20007
(202) 347-4800

P
TOP
 
R

TOP
Red Sage
Lunch and Dinner
Red Sage usually offers their full menu for Restaurant Week. I've only eaten at the Red Sage Cafe and not the much nicer full restaurant downstairs. (You can read what I've written about Red Sage Cafe or check out the Red Sage web site at www.redsage.com for the latest menus.)
605 14th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20005
(202) 638-4444

Rasika
Lunch and Dinner
Rasika is offering a special selection from their menu for Restaurant Week. Both their lunch and dinner menu contain some of the less adventurous dishes from their regular menu. Read about my recent trip to Rasika. You can see what Rasika is offering on their web site's events section. Just buy some Dramamine before you visit it.
633 D Street NW
Washington, DC
(202) 637-1222

S
TOP
 
T

TOP
Tosca Ristorante
Lunch and Dinner
Tosca is offering their full menu with upcharges for certain items like the foie gras and veal. It can be found here. I ate at Tosca before and had a great time.
1112 F Street, NW
Washington, DC 20004
(202) 367-1990

V
TOP

Vidalia
Lunch and Dinner
Vidalia usually offers their full menu for Restaurant Week. Their menus can me found at their web site. I tried Vidialia last Restaurant Week and it was pretty damn good.
1990 M Street, NW
Washington, DC 20036
(202) 659-1990

Z
TOP

Zengo
Lunch and Dinner
Zengo has their menu for Restaurant Week online here.
781 7th St NW
Washington, DC 20001
(202) 393-2929

Zola
Lunch and Dinner
Zola's full menu was be available for lunch and dinner last Restaurant Week. For the latest menu, check out Zola's web site at www.zoladc.com.
800 F Street, NW
Washington, DC 20004
(202) 654-0999

Categories: DC Restaurant Week, Events, Restaurant Week
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Return of Galileo Half Price Special

Galileo's half-price dinner menu and wine list has returned on certain dates after Christmas, although, this time they're not letting you print out the deal on sites like mine and take it to the restaurant for the discount. You have to be on their email distribution list. Now, if that's not a reason to join their email list, I don't know what is. You can join it by sending an email to info@galileodc.com and requesting to be added. After that, all you can do it hope they send out another announcement email in the next week.

Here are the dates that it'll be available:
Monday, December 26, 2005
Tuesday, December 27, 2005
Wednesday, December 28, 2005
Thursday, December 29, 2005
Friday, December 30, 2005
Monday, January 2, 2006
Tuesday, January 3, 2006
Wednesday, January, 4, 2006
Thursday, January 5, 2006
Friday, January 6, 2006

Oh, and I've emailed Galileo to find out if I can post a link to the online version of the email here, but we'll see if they give me the OK.

Categories: Events
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Question and Answer

As I've been getting caught up with my emails in the last couple of months, I came across a bunch of good questions that many of you probably want to  ask as well. Just as an FYI for all of you, I won't be doing a Christmas or New Years Eve post this year, so if you're waiting for me to recommend places, to go, you'd best go elsewhere.

Jason, When is Restaurant Week?? January is fast approaching and there's no word of then the dates are? HELP!!!

Okay, this is probably the 10th time someone has emailed me asking me about this and for the last time...it's Jan 9th through the 15th. The list of restaurants participating is not published yet, but I can guarantee you it wont be much different from the last list. I've been trying to get the list before it officially get's published, but my emails to the DC Convention and Tourism Corporation have gone unanswered. Keep checking back here for more updates.


Congrats on Noah. He's adorable! The help w/Thanksgiving dinner was fantastic. I
finally convinced my family to go out to eat. Only downer: we wound up at
America instead of Citronelle. Oh well. At least we went out. Anyway...

Here's my silly question. Or silly thought really. I think you should have a
"foodie connections" or something. Wouldn't that be great for the single
foodies of DC? Yes it would.

Totally self centered reasons: I have been dating around DC for a couple of
years now. And I like dining around town. The bulk of the fellows SAY they
like to dine. But I've learned that they will SAY anything to get out on a
date. Now, in my truly humble opinion, dining is different from going out to
eat. You go out to "eat" at P.F. Changs or Cheesecake Factory or Outback
etc. You dine at Ceiba, B9, Oceanaire. Why am I explaining this to you? You
already know. My situation is (I'm sure) not unique among the female
population in the DC Metro Area.

So. If you are tending to Young Noah one snowy afternoon this winter, and he
falls asleep and you have any neurons left to think about this veritable
"foodie hookup" or (I hate to think about it this way but:) "foodie
personals" (single TenPenh female seeks single Acadiana male for drinks,
appetizers, entrees and dessert"), or it could even be as simple as the
"foodie classifieds" please please please consider my silly thought.

Happy Holidays to you, Amy, Noah (so cute, so so cute), and the pets.

Thanks in advance.

p.s. - I knew I was forgetting something. What in the world happened to
Signatures? Is it closed permanently? I walked past and the stools were
upended on the bar at prime time. What's the deal?

Well, I'm actually not in the business of doing personals, but I think this is a great idea! Foodie Personals -- You should start your own web site. I'd gladly link to it. If I can give you some advice about trying to find a foodie hunk? Try becoming a member at DonRockwell.com. They have regular get togethers, and you'd probably meet someone with similar tastes to yours there.

Oh, and Signitures is closed. Kaput. If it wasn't nailed to the post, it would be pushing up the daisies.

Hi Jason,

I was thinking that my boyfriend would love to take a cooking class and that it'd be a fabulous idea for a Christmas present.  You sounded like you loved the one at Galileo.  I was considering signing him up for a class at Galileo, but he works full time and attends law school part time, so finding free time is a chore in itself.  Do you know of any other (good) one-day sessions that would allow me to purchase a session yet not schedule it?  Like somewhere that would allow me to more or less purchase a gift certificate that could be used any time?

Thanks a bunch.

I'm sure if you call Gallileo they will let you work something out. The class that I went to was very cool and I enjoyed it very much. It was well worth the money. If you want, you can read about my experience there in this post.

Other restaurants that I know have cooking classes are Tosca and Citronelle ($$$). Circle Bistro will have them once in a while as well.

Another place to check would be tastedc.com. They have cooking classes all the time and I'm sure that Charlie Adler can work something out with you. I'm sure this kind of request really isn't that out of the ordinary.

The Washingtonian also has quite a complete listing of cooking classes available in the area if you want to use them as a reference.

Hello. I hope it's ok to email you for a restaurant recommendation. I am a fan of Amy's site and found your site thru her's.
 
We are fairly new to the DC area (live in Montgomery County MD) and have tickets to see Wicked at the Kennedy Center on 12/22. Matinee show.  We were thinking it might be nice to eat out on our way out of town after the show - let some of the traffic clear etc.
 
Can you recommend a good place in DC or nearby that might be special and fun for our family, nice atmoshphere.  We are a family of 5 - our 3 daughters are 21, 19, and 15.  Overall we like Italian, Mexican, Chinese and American cuisine best.  My 15 year old is a somewhat picky eater & my 19 yr will not eat seafood! 
 

Any suggestions you could provide would be greatly appreciated.

It's definitely ok to email me for a restaurant recommendation! You're best choice in the area of the Kennedy Center is Circle Bistro, a personal favorite of mine. Chef Brendan Cox is doing some incredible French-American cuisine at the restaurant on the bottom floor of the Washington Circle Hotel. Make sure you have the Madelines for dessert.

Hi there. I'm a big fan of your site. So far, all of your recommendations have been spot-on.

I have a quick question about Corduroy. I am planning to take my boyfriend there for his birthday next Friday. We will be coming from a cocktail party, so will be dressed accordingly. I keep seeing that Corduroy's dress is casual.  Will we stick out like sore thumbs?

Thanks for your wisdom. ;-)

You won't stick out too much, at least not as much as the occasional person that shows up from the hotel in sneakers and shorts. Most people that go to Corduroy actually do get somewhat dressed up and I see people there in sport coats most of the time.

Jason,

I was waiting for you to post your Christmas Eve and New Years Eve recommendations, but they never came. Do you have any plans to give us some guidance this holiday season?

The funny thing is, when you eat out on holidays like that, your likely to get a much less memorable experience than if you went there on say, a normal Tuesday night. If you think about it, most of the staff don't actually want to work on holidays just like the rest of us, and the seasoned, experienced people (chefs, waitstaff, and management included) are the first to get nights like that off. You end up spending just as much (and maybe more depending on the type of menu they're serving), but the quality just wont be the same. So save you're money, make a nice pot roast or lamb shank in your oven and spend the money on a nice bottle of expensive champagne.

Or you can go to Corduroy, which I know is open on New Years and I'm pretty sure (although I could be wrong) that Tom Power will be in the kitchen that night. I mean, it's not like he has anything else to do...

Okay, that's all for this week. I'm going to try to do a Question and Answer post every Monday assuming that I get enough questions emailed to me each week, so send your questions to jason@dcfoodies.com.

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Dec 16, 2005

Weekend Food Events

There's nothing going on this weekend people. Noth.ing.

Unless of course you feel like spending $100 a seat for the Winter Solstice dinner tonight at 7PM at Equinox.

In other news I missed the Rachael Ray book signing yesterday at the Borders at White Flint Mall. wonder if she would've let me have her sign my copy of the FHM magazine.

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Dec 15, 2005

Top 5 Restaurants

Okay. I know I haven't updated my top 5 restaurant list since May, but quite honestly, I haven't felt the need to change it. So here I am, reaffirming my top 5 list. I know it's kind of lame, but these are really the restaurants that I feel are the best in the city when you consider quality of food, service, and value.

1) Komi - Where else in DC can you get meals as adventurous and pleasing as you do at Komi. I really don't think I've ever had a meal at Komi that I was disappointed with. Sebastian, the wine and service director left recently, so hopefully this doesn't affect the overall atmosphere of the restaurant.
2) Corduroy - Two words - Duck Confit. Go there. Try it. NOW.
3) 2 Amys -  Yeah, I don't need to say anything else about 2 Amys.
4) Heritage India - Definitely the best Indian restaurant in the city.
5) Samantha's - If you go to Samantha's, make sure you order off the Salvadoran and Mexican specialties. This isn't the place to get a standard enchilada. While it will be good, this isn't what their specialty is.

If there's a restaurant that I'd want to put on this list if possible, it'd be Circle Bistro. I love the soups and Chef Brendan Cox continues to serve up consistantly perfect food at his restaurant. Maybe someday I'll drop one of the restaurants about off the list and replace it with Circle Bistro, but not today.

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Dec 14, 2005

This Week in Reviews

This week in reviews...

Tom Sietsema leads off this week with his review of Willow which he gave 2 stars. I personally like the sound of the desserts in his review:

Jansen arranges apples in a fine tart shell, gilding the treat with caramel sauce; she partners a port-glazed pear with pastry made with ground walnuts and topped with a layer of blue cheese -- the sweet and savory flavors duel for attention in your mouth. Creamy pumpkin mousse cake gets a nice lift from cranberry jam. And the pastry chef's cookie plate finds a hit parade of flavors accompanied by something better even than a cold glass of milk: buttered almond ice cream.

I like any dessert with pear in it!

Scott Haring of The Times reviews Italian Market and Restaurant in....Gambrills, Md?? Moving on...

My friend Alex MacClennan writes about his favorite meals of the year for the Hill Rag including 2 Amys, Komi, and Hanks Oyster Bar. I really need to try Hanks! Alex, if you're reading this, shoot me an email. We never did get dinner...

Mary Hager, food critic for the DC Examiner, writes about Thai Square stating,

Somehow this small gem of a restaurant has managed to avoid the Westernizing pitfall that snares so many ethnic restaurants, so the food remains true to its Thai roots.

I've actually been to Thai Square and wasn't extremely impressed, but they could've been having an off night when I was there.

The City Paper continues to rotate their food writers since Todd Kliman left. This week, Brent Garland writes about Extra Virgin saying, "When Extra Virgin hits its mark, the results are astonishingly good." However, he gives the wait staff a couple strikes. "In addition, the staff, while well-intentioned, is sometimes lacking in knowledge. he waiter who brought me a very good cheese plate for dessert one night could not identify a single cheese of the four, including the most obvious one, a deliciously salty pecorino pepato." Sounds like it's a little hit or miss from his review - order at your own risk.

In the blog world, Matt Singerman writes about his trip to Vegetate's Sunday brunch which left him wanting. Oxymoron of the year...vegan Caesar dressing.

Last but not least, Amanda at Metrocurean gives her first impressions of Rasika, who stole Sebastian Zutant from Komi. All I can say is I'm depressed that Sebastian isn't at Komi anymore -- it won't be the same without him. But, I look forward to finally eating at an Indian restaurant that knows how to pair wine.

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