This Week In Reviews

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.

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.

This Week in Reviews

Todd Kliman from The City Paper reviews Sonoma. Like many people Todd notices so-so service but gives positive reviews to the food. In my trips there, I never noticed the service to be slow, but I was always there pretty late in the evening. I can only wonder what it's like for lunch on The Hill.

Old Homestead Streak House in Bethesda is the topic of Tom Sietsema's review this week. Tom thinks that the service is far superior to the food.

"Typically, I depart a steakhouse toting a lighter wallet and some meaty leftovers. At the Old Homestead, I found myself exiting with some nice service stories -- and free hands."

Alex MacLennan from The Hill Rag talks about the  DC Barbeque Scene.

Mjf from DCFUD gives a fairly positive writeup of the Crystal City Mexican tapas restaurant, Oyamel, saying, "I don't really think of myself as a fan of Mexican food...Then I went to Oyamel."

Finally, Alexandra Greely from The Examiner likes China Canteen in Rockville.

And of course, get your latest restaurant news and rumour from Amanda at Metrocurean.

Thursday Review Rundown

I would have posted this last night, but I was too busy eating my birthday dinner at Citronelle. I'm sure you want to hear all about it, and I'm currently in progress of writing my review, so stay tuned.

Todd Kliman cracks me up with his review of Hollywood East in Wheaton.

"I like good; I’m a fan of good."

Me too, Todd. Me too. It sounds like the dim sum is worth going for, but otherwise, you might want to skip it.

That's all I have this week. It's sad I know, but everyone was either writing reviews of places in Annapolis or the middle of bumblef*ck Maryland. Nope, no coverage for that here. This blog is called DCfoodies...well, and maybe its immediate suburbs.

Thursday Review Rundown

Tom S invades Petworth's Domku.

A pink slab of smooth pate, ringed in gently sweet aspic, would look at home on an elegant buffet; a couple of plump browned sausages on carrot-laced sauerkraut prove homey and strapping. Of the sandwiches, I'm most drawn to crawfish, fennel and bell peppers bound in lemony mayonnaise and tucked inside a baguette.

DC Food Blog gets snarky

DCFud enjoys La Tasca

Todd Kliman praises Leopolds, but I wonder just how good the food is that it makes it worth some of the service problems he mentions.

The Austrian dishes, for all their innate heartiness, are no less finely wrought. The veal schnitzel, a winter dish if ever there was one, comes across as the very embodiment of spring, lightly breaded and quickly fried and bedded atop lemony field greens. There’s no sense in trying to lighten up a crock of spaetzle, and the kitchen doesn’t try; but it does create more than the usual cheesy, gooey interest by caramelizing the thick, nubby noodles, scenting the dish with a generous pinch of nutmeg, and applying a finishing crunch of crispy fried shallots. And the oxtail soup is constructed from a clear broth that somehow sacrifices none of the richness of the Old World original.

I wish I could write sentences like that.

This Week In Reviews

Wow! I can't believe how long it's been since I did a "This Week In Reviews". I was reading around the different newspapers and DC Food Blogs so I figured I would write a quick recap of what I'd read.

Gabriella Boston of The Washington Times reviewed my favorite Indian restaurant -- Passage to India. I think she agrees with me that the new menu is a welcomed change to the DC area Indian food scene.

Chef and owner Sudhir Seth, who opened the restaurant a little more than a year ago, thought it time to go beyond the usual tandoori and tikka masalas and decided to include such exotic, tasty treats as salli boti jardaloo, a lamb stew with apricots and straw potatoes. It's a dish that mixes the flavors of the Middle East with those of India.

It looks like Indian food was a theme this week among the newspapers. Bruce Starr of the Washington Blade reviewed Curry Club in Georgetown (well actually Glover Park).  My own experience ordering delivery from Curry Club was less than eventful. I really should probably try actually eating at the restaurant itself. Bruce seemed to like his meal there:

For my entrée I chose the Curry Club’s signature Beef Vindaloo, tender simmered morsels in a Massala of chiles, mustard seed, and an array of other seasonings. The first bite was … let’s just say spicy hot would be an understatement. But with the help of some mild rice, I ventured forward and found layers of new flavors beneath the heat.

Continueing with the Indian theme, Tom Sietsema at the Post gives two stars to IndeBlue, the new French Indian fusion restaurant in Penn Quarter.

IndeBleu, which debuted in Penn Quarter in December, is many things, none of them ordinary.

I Hate Brocolli talks about digestive problems as well as his trip to Tia Queta in Bethesda, which has some of the best chicken wings I've ever had outside of Hooters and Hard Times Cafe. And YES. I did say that Hooters has good wings!

DCFud talks about York Castle Ice Cream in Silver Spring, which supposedly has a kick ass empenada. Ice cream and empenadas? What else can you ask for?

This Week In Reviews

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 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).

This Week In Reviews

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.

This Week In Reviews

This week Gabriella Boston of The Times reviews Coggins' Sandwich Manufactory in Foggy Bottom. Here is a short excerpt of her review:

"With the George Washington University campus so close, the clientele is almost 100 percent collegiate. If the rush during a recent Thursday evening is any indication, Coggins' is headed for success, overcoming the Atkins challenge and ample competition. Does it deserve it? Well, the industrial look is cute, the quality control good, the prices low, the service adequate and the sandwiches pretty good. So, the answer would have to be -- probably."
I've never been there, and I probably wont ever travel down to Foggy Bottom for sandwiches.

The Blade's Aaron Flynn reviews The Regent in Dupont Circle. The headline for the review says:

"On the outskirts of Dupont Circle, a Thai newcomer is mixing style and tradition with sometimes decent results. But there is room for improvement."
Personally, I am totally sick of Thai food as is Aaron from the sound of this review. I have yet to find on in the area that is good.

My idol at The Post gives Le Paradou 3 stars. Citing the reason for not giving it 4 stars being that the service is rough. If you read the user reviews at The Post as well, you will notice that this is a common theme.

Andale is reviewed by The Metro Weekly. Author David Garver praises their food and says "You'll want to experience Andale as soon as possible."