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October 2005
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December 2005

November 2005

Galileo Grill

Galileo Grill will be open this Thursday and Friday (Dec 1st and 2nd) from 11:30 Am to 1 PM. Per-orders are taken until 11:30 AM although I'd recommend against it (call 202-293-7191).

Here's the menu:
Sandwiches* - Chicken, Pork Shoulder, or Pork Sausage - $5
Pork Ribs - $5
Pizza (Broccoli Rabe and Cheese) - $3.50
Meatball Sandwich - $6
Homemade Hot Dogs with homemade ketchup and relish - $3.50
Vegetable Soup - $3
Sodas & Bottled Water - $1
Sweet Ricotta Cannoli - $2.50
Italian Country Bread - $3

Add to your sandwich:
Provolone - $1
Broccoli Rabe - $2

* All sandwiches come with green sauce, green peppers & onions, and lettuce. Other condiments available upon request include: Mustard, Homemade Ketchup, Barbecue Sauce, or Sauerkraut.

Good Wines that I've Tried Lately

Writing about wines is something new for me. I haven't done this very much in the past, mostly because I don't know much about wine, but given the amount of wine I've been drinking lately, I thought I would tell you all about the good wines that I've been trying.

AvalonThe first wine I want to tell you about, I came across completely by mistake. I ran into Burkas down the street from me, looking to grab a crisp, white wine to go with the Indian food that I was having delivered from Heritage India, and they were having a wine tasting (like they do every Thursday and Friday night). The 2003 Avalon Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley was the first wine I tasted. Normally, I'm not particularly crazy about Cabs -- they tend to be too dry and have weak flavor with alcoholly finishes -- that might just be because I've never had a good one though. I wasn't expecting much from this wine, but it was free so what the hell, right? The Avalon had a full flavor with chocolate and spice and a smooth finish. I liked it so much, I bought a bottle that night, and now I've bought two more bottles -- I think I might buy a case...At $15.99 a bottle, that wouldn't be very cheap, but for how good this wine tastes, it seems like a bargain to me.

A bit on the cheaper side is the 2003 Genofranco Grillo. After trying another Grillo at 2Amys, I sought out another at wine stores in the area. I finally found the Genofranco Grillo at Burkas and it turned out to be very similar in taste to the one at 2Amys -- and it was only $9.99 a bottle instead of $27.99. I find that Grillos have a similar flavor to a French Chardonnay, but with a slightly crisper and fruitier flavor. This one has hints of apple and grapefruit.

On the more expensive side, The 2000 Stage Leap Petite Syrah is one of my all-time favorite Petite Syrahs. The first time Amy and I drank this wine was at El Gaucho in Aruba and I managed to find it at Bacchus Wine Cellar in Georgetown. When I was paying, the manager of the store who happened to be taking care of the cashier said "This is a mighty fine Syrah! Did you pick this wine out on purpose? Because if you did, you know your wine." Well, I don't really know my wine, but I did pick it out on purpose. I love the wines predominant berry  and pepper flavors and it has a hint of spice that the wine finishes with. I can find this wine for about $36 a bottle and it's definitely a special occasion wine (at least for me).

Restaurants Open Thanksgiving - 2005 Edition

I know this post is a little late and that many of you have probably already made plans for Thanksgiving, but I guess this is better late than never. This year, not as many restaurants are open on Thanksgiving day, but there's still a pretty decent list of choices. Once again, please do me a favor and call before you go, because I could've screwed up some of the details in this post. Here are the places that I'd go to, although since I'm out of town this year with family, you probably wont find me at any of these places.

Circle Bistro
Washington Circle Hotel, One Washington Circle.  (202) 293-5390
Open noon till 5 PM. 3 course menu for $40 per person.  Children 8 years and under are $20. 

1201 K St NW. (202) 589-0699
3-course, prix-fixe, holiday menu will be offered from 3 - 9pm. $40.00 per person.

Old Ebbitt Grill
675 15th Street, NW. (202) 347-4801
If there's a favorite place of mine to take family from out of town for dinner, it's Old Ebbitt Grill.

Tabard Inn
1739 N Street NW. (202) 833-2668
Four-course prix-fixe menu can be found here.

1990 M Street NW. (202) 659-1990
Open from 3:00pm - 8:00pm with a menu of 8 entrees ($25.50 - $32.50) See their Thanksgiving menu here.

Here is the full list of restaurants open on Thanksgiving.This year, I only included restaurants that had some information about their menu available online. If you own or work for a restaurant that is not listed here, feel free to leave a comment with the details. Also, there is a more extensive list of all the restaurants that are open on OpenTable.

DC Restaurants

15 ria
1515 Rhode Island Ave. NW. (202) 742-0015
Prix-fixe menu at $ 43.00 per person. Thanksgiving menu will be served from noon - 7:30pm.

701 Restaurant
701 Pennsylvania Ave NW. (202) 393-0701
3-course prix-fixe menu including lobster creme brulee, butternut risotto, roast turkey, prime rib, and pumpkin bread pudding, will be offered for $35 per person

Ardeo / Bardeo
3309 Connecticut Avenue NW. (202) 244-6750.
A 3-course, prix fixe dinner will be served for $34.95 per person.

Bistro Bis
15 E Street, NW. (202) 661-2700
A la carte menu served from 12 to 8 PM. The full menu can be found here.

Cafe Milano
3251 Prospect Street, NW. (202) 333-6183
Complete menu available on Cafe Milano's web site. $55 per person.

3000 M Street NW. (202) 625-2150.
Traditional Thanksgiving buffet. Menu can be found here.

(All locations)
Serving a traditional thanksgiving meal for $17.95 per person and $9.95 per child. The bar will be open showing football for you sports fans. Check here for hours and locations.

David Greggory
2030 M Street NW. (202) 872-8700
Serving a yearly southern-style buffet. They will be open from 1:00pm to 7:30pm.

3100 South Street NW. (202) 912-4110
A four-course prix-fixe menu including Roast Pumpkin Soup with Foie Gras Dumpling, Roast Prawns with Crispy Red Lentils and Ancho Chile Vinaigrette, Roast Organic Turkey or Venison Loin with Chestnuts and Sweet Potato Croquettes and an array of Fall harvest desserts will be served for $75 per person, $30 for children 12 and under. $130 per person for four courses including sommeliers wine selection, exclusive of tax and gratuity. Open from noon - 7:00pm.

Georgia Browns
950 15th Street NW. (202) 393-4499.
Southern-style turkey meal. $36.95 per adult, $25.95 per child. For the full menu, look here. Open 12:30 PM - 7:30 PM.

707 G Street, NW. (202) 333-BLEU
Four-course, Thanksgiving meal with a French/Indian flare featuring Tandoori Turducken (YUM!) and spiced pumpkin cheesecake. If I'd eaten at IndeBlue before (and liked it) I'd probably have listed this up top because their menu sounds sooo good. Full menu can be found here. $75 per person. $40 for children 12 and under.

The Grill
Ritz-Carlton Hotel, 1150 22nd Street NW. (202) 974-5566
Four-course, fixed-price menu, with four seatings: 11:00 am, 1:30pm, 4pm and 7pm. Full menu can be seen here. $90/adults. $40/children

Willard Room
1401 Pennsylvania Avenue NW. (202) 628-9100.
Five-course Thanksgiving meal. Menus for lunch and dinner can be found here.
Dinner: $89/adult, $45/children. 5 PM to 9 PM
Lunch: $55/adult, $45/children. 11:30 AM to 2 PM.

MD Restaurants
Normandie Farm
10710 Falls Road, Potomac, MD. (301) 983-8838.
A la carte dinner menu available, with entrees priced from $20-34. Open 11:30 AM to 7:30 PM. Full menu available here.

VA Restaurants
Ritz-Carlton, 1700 Tysons Boulevard, McLean, VA (703) 506-4300.
Thanksgiving buffet available for $79 per adult and $34 per child under 10. Open 11:30 AM to 2:30 PM and 4 PM to 7 PM.

Galileo Grill

Heads up. Galileo Grill is open tomorrow (Thurday) at its usual time of 11:45 AM to 1 PM. It will also be open Wednesday (11/16) and Thursday (11/17) next week.

Galileo Restaurant
1110 Twenty-first Street NW
Washington, DC 20036
[email protected]

Judge This

Last night, Amy and I attended Old Ebbitt Grill's 10th Annual International Wines for Oysters Competition where we were asked to be judges. This, to me, was interesting since I have a fairly novice palete when it comes to pairing wines with oysters, but I was assured by the organizers that the only requirement was a love of oysters, which I most definitely have.

The purpose of the competition is to judge how each wine pairs with oysters. In this case, the oysters were Olympia Oysters, from Washington. Michael Franz (from The Washington Post) and Paul Lucaks (from The Times and Washingtonian), both oyster enthusiasts and wine columnsts, managed to pare down the list of wines from over 400 to 20. Those 20 wines were the ones that Amy and I were responsible for judging which paired best with oysters. The winning 10 wines will be served at Old Ebbits Oyster Riot on November 18th and 19th.

Amy and I humbly accepted the honor of judging the wines and at the time, we didn't know who the other judges were. We found out later that the list of judges was quite distinguished and I was quite proud to be included with them. Here's the list of judges:

  1. Phyllis Richman, author, freelance writer, former food critic for The Washington Post
  2. Gerald Boyd, wine writer, San Francisco Chronicle
  3. Michael Birchenall, Editor & Publisher, Foodservice Monthly
  4. Michael Franz, former wine columnist for The Washington Post and wine consultant
  5. Tom Meyer, executive vice president, Clyde's Restaurant Group
  6. Antonin Scalia, US Supreme Court Justice 
  7. Marc Silverstein, author, host of Food Network's "The Best Of" and a new Discovery Channel show 
  8. Ronald Kessler, author 
  9. Alexandra Greeley, author, freelance writer, Slow Food 
  10. Sabato Sagaria, F&B Director at Greenbriar Sporting Club 
  11. Traci Dutton, F&B manager & at CIA in Napa 
  12. Amanda McClements, Roll Call, Washingtonian, (and also of Metrocurean!) 
  13. Peter Abrahams, publisher of DC Magazine

The event was very organized right down to the pouring of the wines which was completely synchronized. I guess that comes from doing this event 10 years in a row. Props go to the organizers who had a tough job organizing the selection of the wines and judges.

The judges all sat around a large table in a private room downstairs at Old Ebbitt Grill. Each seat had a complete setting of 20 glasses and each glass was labeled with a letter. We also had a clipboard for scoring each wine. Once everyone was seated and the rules were explained to us, an entire plate of Olympia Oysters were put in front of each of us and the blind tasting began. All in all, I probably ate close to 30 or 40 oysters. The oysters were all perfect -- briney and salty like they should be and incredibly fresh.

After the judging, we all assembled upstairs in a private bar area, ate more oysters and had dinner -- I don't think I've ever eaten so many oysters, but it was all wonderful. Dinner was great and very typical of just about every meal I've eaten at Old Ebbitt. Of course, I only ordered the fish and chips since I wasn't that hungry. But the waiter brought some of the utterly delicious crab artichoke dip, which I couldn't help but dig into.

I'd tell you the list of wines that won, but they're in a "lock box" until they're announced officially by Clydes Restaurant Group themselves. Last year's winners can be found here.