DCFoodies.com DC Restaurant Week - January 2008 - DCFoodies.com

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Jan 07, 2008

Comments

jb

Daniella C. I went to Tosca last night too. Loved it as well, and did try the quail--it was fantastic, stuffed with sausage and garnished with tiny onions. My friends tried the branzino and risotto entrees. The risotto was kind of heavy but the branzino was fabulous, as were each of the 3 pasta appetizers we tried.

roo

Just went to the Morrison Clark Inn for RW--it was very good. Loved the shrimp and grits appetizer. The lamb duo with polenta and green beans was also terrific. And 3 cheers for the Inn for providing a vegetarian entree without prompting--a beautiful butternut squash risotto served in a gourd. My spouse loved the lemon chess pie and I also liked my toffee pudding, despite not having much of a sweet tooth.

Megan

Help!! We have the chance to go to either The Caucus Room, Sam and Harry's, Cafe Promenade, or Bobby Van's Steakhouse for Restaurant Week tonight. I don't see much mention of them in your reviews. Which, if any, do you recommend? Or should we bail on all of them and go to Outback? Thanks!!

Mike Bober

Megan - Sam & Harry's and the Caucus Room are owned by the same people, so I suspect they'll be offering similar menus. Having recently enjoyed a lunch at the Caucus Room, I can attest to their quality and their service. The location is nice, as well, depending on what time your reservation is - there are plenty of places nearby to go for a night-cap if you've got time for post-dinner cocktails.

I've never been to Cafe Promenade, so I can't speak to their quality.

Bobby Van's does steak very well, but I haven't tried any of their other offerings.

If the choice is one of these four or a chain, I would recommend flipping a coin (or several, if need be) among the four you mention. Personally, I'd probably opt for the Caucus Room.

Roo - Glad to hear that the Morrison Clark is doing Restaurant Week well. After a shaky period a while back, I've heard that they're definitely back on solid footing.

JoeN

Guys, just visited Domaso Trattoria today. They've decided to extend their RW deal to the whole month. [confirmed w/ Asst. GM]. Can you update that fantastic list? Very good place to eat, it's now in my top 3 Italian restaurants in the DC Metro area.

Mike Bober

Good to know, Joe - thanks for the heads up! Out of curiosity, what are your other two top Italian places?

My wife and I did dinner at Willow last night. Good, not great. Their menu offered plenty of selections, and the food was generally tasty, but it didn't really have much "wow" to it.

We started with the seared shrimp and the chestnut gnocchi with duck confit, both of which sounded delicious. The shrimp delivered on the flavor, but they were a little bit tough (as though they had been seared a bit too long). The gnocchi and duck didn't really live up to its billing, coming in a watery broth that seemed to have ruined the texture of the gnocchi. But our server was very understanding and replaced it with an outstanding spicy coconut chicken soup that could have been a meal unto itself.

For our entrees, we tried the potato-wrapped salmon and the sausage-stuffed rack of pork. The pork was wonderful - lean and juicy, with a great savory note from the sausage that was stuffed just under the skin.

We were a bit confused when our waiter asked my wife how she wanted her salmon prepared, as we had never been asked that before. We were told the chef normally does salmon "medium rare," so she decided to go with that. The potato crust was nicely crisped, but the salmon inside was a bit dry. Both entrees were well-matched with sides, and everything was subtly flavored - nowhere near as salty as many local restaurants seem to prefer.

Our desserts were rich and tasty - a thick slice of chocolate hazelnut layer cake and a dense chocolate tart offset by the sweet citrus flavor of a blood orange sorbet.

We opted for the wine pairings that were offered for $15 per person, and were pleased to see that each course was accompanied by a full serving of the selected wine - sparkling to start, a tempranillo with the entrees, and an Australian port with dessert. Definitely a value for the price, though I have a hard time accepting the concept that these three wines were "expertly paired" with each combination of appetizer, entree and dessert on the menu. When your entree list includes salmon, pork, chicken, beef, skate and tofu in a variety of sauces and presentations, is it possible to expertly pair a single wine with all six?

We definitely enjoyed our meal and were glad to have the opportunity to try out Willow, but it doesn't make our list of all-time best Restaurant Week experiences.

JoeN

Hey Mike,

Sorry haven't visited this page for sometime.

My other 2 favorites Italian restaurants in the area are Dino [Cleveland Park] and Notti Bianche [Foggy Bottom].

Dino I love for the rustic Italian food [good cheese selections here!], the FANTASTIC 250+ winelist [really a book moreso, owner Dean's irreverent musings are entertaining at least] that btw is only ~15% over retail by my judgement, quality service, good bartender, and owner Dean if asked is happy to choose an excellent paired wine to your meal.

Notti Bianche, old faithful. Great place to eat before or after a Kennedy Center event. Good service/food/wine. I know I wrote a lot by Dino, but I do like both equally [and Domaso after eating there 3 times, is quickly entering that same realm]

Neither place wins on decor style points, but that's fine by me. It's the food & service baby!

Sure there are others, like Al Crostino/Tiramisu [owned respectively by 2 brothers]. Good places as well, just I have my personal top-3.

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