Friday, November 30, 2007

Five Guys Fridays

Fridays in my office are "Five Guys Fridays", primarily because one of the other producers always goes and gets Five Guys.

It's unreal how people just flock to the smell of Five Guys. Our PA Julia just went and got it and everyone in our office has come out of their individual offices and grabbed a fry.

This place is flippin dangerous. Dangerously delicious.

Fatty Fridays

I've been wanting to add a regular feature to this blog. Though I already do a "Food Day" recap on Wednesdays, I've been trying to think of a signature feature that I could write weekly.

After so many people commented on the Thanksgiving Pizza post (hey, six comments is a lot for this guy), I figured, why not give my readers what they want - freak show food?

So my first feature was declared "The Worst Food in America" by the Today Show and Men's Health Magazine: Outback Steakhouse Aussie Cheese Fries with Ranch Dressing.

So once you chow down on this culinary masterpiece, what exactly are you putting into your body?

Well how about 2,900 calories, 182 grams of fat, and 240 grams of carbs.

So, do you think this is the worst food in America? What gets your vote?

Thursday, November 29, 2007

What I'm Reading: Food Rockz

No real food news to report today. However, I did stumble upon a new blog (well, it was new to me) that I thought was quite good. Food Rockz is a local food blog that has amazing pictures and solid writing. I've got to give credit to Metrocurean for putting it on her blog list (which is where I found it). Check it out.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Food Day - Italian edition

Happy food day all! It's been a crazy week in the real world, and ironically food has kept me from writing (I've produced more food segments this week than I care to count).

But now, here's a taste of what's going on in the food world today:

An offer I can't refuse: In the Dish section in today's WaPo, news that Savino Racine, the owner of Primi Piatti and Finemondo in Washington is planning on opening a new place in Rockville. Named "Oro Pomodoro", Racine will have a Naplese pizza maker manning the pizza oven, and will even show Italian movies on a ten foot screen.

Local Boy Makes Good: The New York Times came out with their updated review of Fabio Trabocchi's new home - Fiamma, located in SoHo NYC. The Old Gray Lady really liked it, though states that Fabio is, "about as Italian as a poodle in a Prada scarf."

Earning a solid three stars, it sounds like Fabio is wowing the NY crowd the same way he impressed us. Let's hope he comes back soon.

The Essence of Reruns: Emeril Live won't be well, live anymore. According to an AP story, after a solid ten year run the mega-New Orleans celebrity who also cooks will continue to star in the Essence of Emeril, while Emeril Live will run via reruns.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Book Report - The Perfectionist

Mention the name Bernard Loiseau to most and the word suicide will probably be one of the first things that comes to mind. While the larger than life, pendulum of a man's suicide did stop the culinary world (and the non-culinary world) in its tracks in 2003, Rudolph Chelminski's 2005 release, The Perfectionist: Life and Death in Haute Cuisine, focuses primarily on the great life of Chef Loiseau, balancing it with a haunting foreshadowing throughout the prose that death was never too far off.

Loiseau's is a life that is truly dedicated to his craft, while sadly neglecting his life. In his obsession to become the best he finds his strength - the strength to eventually get him his third Michelin star, and his weakness - a maddening complex that required constant praise.

The book as a whole is incredibly well written. Chelminski wants you to understand what drove Loiseau, not only to become one of the best chefs in the world, but to end it all so unexpectedly. Beyond this, I must say I learned quite a lot about the French haute cuisine culture, and just how important food is there.

The book isn't perfect though. Chelminski often acts as a cheerleader for French cooking, to the point where you'd think that the French invented food, and without the French we'd all be grazing in our front lawns and eating whatever we could bludgeon to death (probably raw).

At first I also believed that Chelminski overstated the importance of the Michelin Guide. Yet, after finishing the book, no matter how (un)important Michelin may be to me, or anyone else, it was everything to Loiseau.

There's a lot to take away from this book, and from the life of Loiseau - from his dedication to his art, to the dangers of undiagnosed mental disorders, BL has much to teach us. Thankfully, after reading this book, I'll remember him more for his life than his death.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

You know what else starts with "S"?

Strange. Oh so strange. They don't make children's cartoons like they used to.

Though, I guess a cartoon based on crime fighting pieces of sushi (see it to believe it) is better than a pair of Big Macs battling the forces of evil.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Somehow this doesn't seem to far fetched...

A special thanks to Slice, a NYC based pizza blog for showing us why The Onion is the best publication on the planet...and all other planets that may or may not produce a newspaper.

I know this is a joke, but really, how far is Domino's from coming out with this?

Photo courtesy of The Onion

If you're reading this, you're running out of time

So I'm sitting here, watching Battlestar Galactica and I can hardly contain myself (and not only because it's been nearly a year since SciFi has put a new episode on of the best show on TV) as a commercial just came on for Sonic's new Mac & Cheese Snacks - FOR A LIMITED TIME ONLY!!!

Yes folks, for a limited time only you can get deep fried Mac & Cheese in bite sized snack form.

Here is the description from Sonic:

"Today I'd like to introduce the term "unrestricted eating." It refers to eating whatever you want, whenever you want it. Like macaroni & cheese, for example. Typically, you'd need a bowl, spoon and both hands to enjoy this quintessentially American dish. Lucky for you, SONIC® invented Mac & Cheese Snacks—a cheesy favorite packed into crunchy bite-size morsels. It's portable and pop-able. Which means you can now have Mac & Cheese anytime, anywhere. So like I said, it's "unrestricted eating." Got it?"

Anyone ready for a heart attack?

A taste of home

Since many of us who went home, or somewhere we'll consider home for the weekend for the Thanksgiving holiday, I wanted to see where everyone was eating in their own respective corners of the universe.

Me? After a long nap on the beach I strolled down to Bizzaro's Pizza on the beach with my parents and had a wonderful slice of pizza.

Bizzaro's is classic New York style pizza, made by a bunch of Italian guys from New York - it says so on their sign.

So, what food of note have you had in your respective "hometowns"?

Friday, November 23, 2007

While you're recovering...

here's a really interesting video from the NY Times on what and how the presidential candidates eat on the campaign trail.

It really says a lot about not only the nature of campaigning and of the candidates, but also the difference between the people that represent us, and

Thursday, November 22, 2007

I can't move

Damn, turkey is good.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

First Look and T-1 Day to T-Day

Well happy Food Day everyone. No traditional food day material as I haven't even read Tom's Chat today (I know, it's been one of those days).

I do however want to give a quick first look to Comet, where I went last night with Ags, Evan and Joe after a visit to Politics and Prose.

To paraphrase Joe, it's like a hipster family restaurant. He wasn't a big fan of the atmosphere, I enjoyed it. I thought it was relaxed enough to be a place where I'd want to be a regular.

But how was the pizza?

To be honest, I was a little thrown. Reading up on Comet, and their constant comparisons to 2 Amy's, RedRocks, and Bebo, you'd think they're serving Neapolitan style pies.

Well, they don't. The pies are New Haven style, or at least that's what I thought, and when it comes down to it, quite good. I had one with "melted onions and Italian sausage". I felt the onions and sausage (my favorite combination on pizza/anything) worked perfectly with the pie. I did find the crust a little tough however, and a little too charred at parts (though I understand that's the trademark of the New Haven style pie).

If I had to choose between Comet and 2 Amy's, at least from what I've had to Comet, I'd still prefer 2 Amy's, but that might just be because I prefer the Neapolitan style about the New Haven.

That's it for now, I'm off to the airport to head back to the Sunshine State!

Have a happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Snobbery or Taste?

If this blog has done one thing for me, it's opening up doors to new foods and new food experiences that I probably would have never opened or experienced.

With experience comes a better sense of knowing what's good food and what's not.

When I was growing up in a small town, what I thought was good is food that I probably won't touch unless forced.

I remember the first time I went to the Cheesecake Factory. I skipped the second half of school with a couple friends to go. I thought it was the best thing ever.

Now, I wouldn't go if you paid for my meal. (I have my reasons, I just don't want to get into them now)

So, my question to you out there - is this me being a food snob, or just my palate being refined?

Monday, November 19, 2007

Big changes coming to Ballston

Straight from The Buckingham Herald Tribblog, it looks like Ballston is in for some big changes which will make it a better place to eat and live.

Those in need of specialty food items can now save themselves the trip to Georgetown or Clarendon by stopping by the new Marvelous Market, and if you're looking for a good cup of coffee, you can soon stop by Saxby's Coffee or Bruegger's Bagels.

I'm not a coffee person at all, but I really like Bruegger's a lot and I've got a feeling it'll be packed on weekends.

What I'm really excited about is DC Boathouse, the seafood joint in the Palisades will be opening up their second location, which will add to the increasingly growing number of credible options in the area.

For those of you who, like me, live or even visit the Ballston area of Arlington frequently, which restaurants or types of restaurants would you like to see move in?

Onward to Victory and back to business

What a weekend. I always look forward to my annual pilgrimage to South Bend, and already can't wait to go again next year. Below is a kick-ass picture of me before the game.

But hey, this is a food blog, so where's the food?

The Washington Post Book section (yes, books) has a ton of food book reviews out today, and was supposed to (?) have a book chat with Anthony Bourdain now, but that might be canceled.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

DC Chef on Iron Chef America tonight

If you read this in the next half hour be sure to turn on the Food Network to catch DC's own Ricky Moore of Agraria going up against new Iron Chef Michael Symon in Battle Thanksgiving.

As for me, I'm going to sleep - the magic of reruns will catch me up from here.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Conditions are a little windy...

Hello from the great state of Indiana! No real food related news as there's not much in the way of real food here. It really makes you appreciate what you have in a city like DC when your choice for dinner is between Chili's and Applebees.

Other than the lack of solid food options, the flight into Chicago and drive into South Bend was great, and Mike and McKenna (my BFF and soon to be Mrs. BFF) have really gone out of there way to take care of me - they put those little chocolate Andes mints and bottles of water in my bedroom for me, if that's not adorable, I don't know what is.

Well, it's three hours until game time, so it's time to suit up.


Friday, November 16, 2007

Liberty Tavern - Revisited

Clarendon has always interested me. A neighborhood in transition, empty store fronts stand next to hot restaurants and bars which feed countless yuppies (such as myself) living in their grossly overpriced apartments.

Almost nothing embodies the new Clarendon like Liberty Tavern.

I visited LT a few months back for brunch and found a lot of promise there, so last night I had a chance to visit for dinner.

I sat upstairs, which is significantly less noisy and crowded than the bar downstairs. The service was solid, though a little intrusive at times (on a side note, our waiter had a little Patrick Swayze thing circa 1984 going for him, and was a pretty nice guy).

The menu is fairly causal and limited (in size, but not variety), which I'm a fan of and I think works well in that area.

I decided on the mussels, which were prepared very well in a tomato broth. I got the appetizer sized portion, which sufficed for my entree.

My dining partner got the gnocchi, which must have been pretty good because she devoured the whole thing (plate and all) - so consider that a second hand recommendation.

The drink list was also a winner, which a decent wine selection and enough girly drinks to accommodate any company you might have.

As with last time, I left LT with a good feeling (perhaps it was the wine, perhaps it was the good food and service, who knows?), a good feeling that Liberty Tavern will anchor an improving Clarendon for years to come.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Um, sir...there's something in my $25,000 sundae


After my open letter to chefs to stop making this rediculous novelty food, I'm so glad to see that the same restaurant that brought us the $25,000 ice cream sundae is being shut down due to:

"rodent and fly infestation and conditions conducive to pest infestation, including stagnant water in the basement."

Here's an idea - stop buying the La Madeline au Truffle from Knipschildt Choclatier, which costs about $2,600 a pound, and start buying some $3 rat traps.

Just a thought.

I'm gonna...go home?

Woooo! Beaujolais Nouveau!!

After seeing No Country for Old Men - which I simply can't say enough good things about. See this movie. See this movie now, and then see it tomorrow. I don't see a lot of movies twice in the theaters, but I might just see this three times.

Where was I? Oh yes, so after seeing the movie the family went to Gordon Biersch. Steve was hungry, and GB is a brewery, so this all made sense. What doesn't make sense is the food there. JohnManning got some sort of apple bread pudding cake pie(?) - ok, so I don't know what it was, but it was massive. Thankfully JohnManning rationalized it by stating that apples are healthy, and bread is healthy, so it had to be a good idea.

Even worse looking than that was Meg's peanut butter and chocolate pie which didn't look like food at all.

So after all that was said, done and paid for, JohnManning and I ventured down to Les Halles to meet Ags.

Our reservations were for 10:45, a little over an hour before the Beaujolais was set to flow like rain.

Did I make it?


I think a combination of sitting three feet from the massive movie screen at E St. and having four sliders plus a ton of other food at Matchbox beforehand totally did me in.

So instead of drinking the first of the Beaujolais, I was drinking water - with about a dozen Advil.

Oh well, there's always next year.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

We're all gonna get drunk! (Beaujolais Nouveau edition)

Happy food day folks...

Not quite sure if I'll be able to write my normal food day piece (actual work calls), but I'm all kinds of excited about going to Les Halles tonight for the annual Beaujolais Nouveau.

As the press release states:

"Massive barrels of Beaujolais Nouveau are pierced at midnight, releasing a torrent of wine for the thirsty masses."

How can this be anything but awesome?!?

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

What I'm Reading:

LTH Forum is basically Chicago's version of

The fella who started the forum, Gary Wiviott, just recieved the Chicago Tribune's Good Eating Award (one of ten given out each year) for his efforts.

So now if you're going to Chicago (like I am this weekend), and Tom doesn't answer your question on Wednesday, you know where to look.

Monday, November 12, 2007

What's on your Thanksgiving Menu?

Thanksgiving is a little more than a week away, and already I'm all kinds of excited for it.

Every family has their special recipes - those dishes that make that dinner special.

For my family, it's a sweet potato casserole recipe that my grandmother came up with, one that we all wait a whole year for (and it's worth it).

So what's your family's special dish? What are you most looking forward to having or making this Thanksgiving?

Where I come from...

I've been living a lie.

If you've met me, odds are you've heard it, and simply accepted it as fact. Well, it's not.

Often, when people ask where I'm from, I say Miami. Or South Florida.

Well, both are technically true. I'm from Miami-Dade County in South Florida, but in all reality I was raised in Homestead, Florida - saying I'm from Miami is just so much easier.

Homestead now is very different from Homestead when I was there. Homestead was ground zero in the housing boom (which later became the housing bubble, which now is a housing crisis) which started around 2002.

When I grew up there, the only chain restaurants were of the fast food variety and we got made fun of for living in the "sticks".

Real progress in Homestead was measured by the little things - a new ice skating rink, the arrival of the Super Wal-Mart...but the thing that truly signaled the evolution of Homestead from a sleepy small backwater redneck town to a busy Miami suburb was the arrival of the Ruby Tuesday.

When Ruby Tuesday opened, it was the event of the year in Homestead. I remember my mom talking about all of her friends going, and my classmates lining up to get jobs there. This was the equivalent of Eric Ripert coming to DC.

Just as Homestead has evolved over the past few years, the restaurant that changed it has moved on as well. Once filled with catchy little trinkets and animal heads, Ruby Tuesday now describes itself as, "Simple Fresh American Dining" and has shed the image as the family feedbag in search of yuppier audiences.

This isn't an isolated case though, "casual dining" restaurants are making increasing attempts to keep up with a country more culinary sophisticated than ever.

I haven't been back to Homestead since this summer, but every time I go, it's hard to find something I recognize.

If you walk into a casual dining restaurant today, you'll probably feel the same way.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Review - Burma Restaurant

The reviews on the walls looked promising. Top 50, top 100, best bets and top cheap eats. Unfortunately, the reviews were ten and even fifteen years old - and after eating dinner at Burma Restaurant earlier tonight, I can see why no critic has been there since.

Steve, Agatha and I ended up at Burma because every other restaurant in Penn Quarter/Chinatown had a two week wait. I remember someone mentioning it at some point, and before you know it, I was hobbling up the steps into the restaurant.

I honestly hate to say this, but I can't think of anything good to say about this restaurant.

After walking upstairs and finding no host or hostess, Steve had to search the restaurant for someone to seat us. There were a couple people standing in the doorway waiting for someone to greet them - if it weren't for Steve, I'd still be standing there with them.

The decor of Burma resembles a elementary school cafeteria, right down to the clock on the wall made with novelty oversized pencils and the bright yellow paint on the walls.

But decor alone doesn't make for a bad experience. The service was downright horrible. It took Steve (again springing into action) to flag down the waitress after several attempts just to take our order.

Once our order was taken, our dishes all came out at different times, and was delivered to the wrong person each time.

I got a noodle soup with chicken and coconut cream - well, that's what I ordered. What I got was pretty much Campbell's chicken noodle soup with coconut milk.

Agatha got a split pea and onion soup that was gritty, though the taste wasn't bad.

The entrees weren't much better, in fact, they were worse.

I ordered a fish entree - fish tamerind (sp?). It sounded like a good idea - though not so much. The fish was overcooked, the sauce was grey and bland.

Thank goodness it came with a huge bowl of rice, because otherwise I'd be very hungry right now.

During the meal I asked for soy sauce to have with the rice - instead I got some sort of hot peppers. And instead of delivering Agatha the Diet Coke she ordered, a server plopped some chicken dish in front of us, and couldn't explain what it was.

Finally, when it was time for us to get the check, I actually had to walk up and demand the check from the server.

I've never written anything this negative in over two hundred posts, and I really hope I'll never have to again. It would serve Burma well to take the 1991 Washington Post review off of the wall and focus their efforts on 2007, or else there might not be a 2008.

Burma Restaurant
740 Sixth Street NW
Washington DC 20001

Saturday, November 10, 2007

The times they are...well, slightly altering

So I'm sitting here doing what all the cool kids are doing on a Saturday night - updating the blog. Actually, I'm using the excuse of both Miami and Florida playing on ESPN and ESPN2 and the fact that I can hardly walk due to a football injury sustained today to really take a hard look at the blog.

Don't worry, I'm not changing this to a blog on seagrass (just making sure you're reading Jack-o), but I'll probably be making some (purely aesthetic) changes to the blog.

As you can see, I made a temporary change to the banner. If anyone knows how to make a better looking banner without the annoying ad, let me know. We should talk.

Also, I feel that the rediculous amounts of green space on either side of the text is well...rediculous.

I'd like to stay with blogger, but I think after 200+ posts, it's time to take this blog to the next level.

Seriously, if you have any ideas, any suggestions on how to make the blog better, let me know. It's something I'm very proud of, and I'd like to be able to roll something better out in early January for the one year anniversary.

First Look - Hudson

There are a lot of places that have pre-theatre menus, but not a lot of obvious places to venture after a nice evening at the opera at the Kennedy Center.

First off, I'd like to thank Evan for taking myself and "the family" to see Don Viovanni at the Kennedy Center. I've got to admit, I'm horribly uncultured (unless yogurt counts) and know almost nothing about the opera, but I only fell asleep a couple of times, which is a minor victory for me.

So after the final curtain, the question of where to go next appeared. Wanting to stay somewhere close, I suggested that we give Hudson a shot.

Arriving around 11:30 or so we were able to get a table for seven pretty easily. The place wasn't dead, but there was plenty of places for us to sit.

As soon as you walk into Hudson, you're very aware that suddenly you're not hip enough to be there. That's not exactly a bad thing, in fact, if that's what you're going for, that's a good thing, but don't go in expecting to find a little place to have a quiet little meal, this place is cool, and it knows it.

We decided to get some food and a few drinks, so I got a good look at the wine list and the late night menu.

I really like the late night menu - which has an Evan Tucker approved matzah ball soup (they need to put that on a sticker and plop that on the menu), a solid looking burger (yet another in the line of big money burgers), a variety of pizzas, mussels and fries.

I ordered the fries, which were thin cut and quite nice - coming with mayo, mustard and ketchup all in little containers.

The wine list was quite extensive, with some very afforable glasses and bottles. The glasses are actually glasses and a half, coming in a larger mini bottle (for lack of a better description) that's then poured into the glass sitting on the table.

The size of the wine list stands in stark contrast to a lacking beer selection, which our server really wasn't incredibly familiar with. I think this also is a larger reflection of the overall vision of Hudson to be more of a "lounge" than a "bar".

Speaking of the service, it was a little off, but not bad in general. Wine and food came out at a decent pace, but our server, once asked to come back to one of my friends after he didn't know what he wanted to drink, completely forgot about him. He made up for it though with some free fries.

I've got to say, I really liked Hudson. It's not the kind of place I'd go every weekend; but next time I feel like pulling out all of the stops and don't have a reservation at PX, I'll be in the West End - I'll be at Hudson.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Sushi Taro - Revisited

The first time I went to Sushi Taro was a watershed moment in my culinary life. It's there that I first really fell for sushi and really appreciated what it could be.

I hadn't been back since until last night, and I must say, it's just as good now as it was then.

I must say that I was a little disappointed in the edamamme, which came out cold and unsalted, but the fish was nearly perfect.

The omakase was fantastic, enough for two with plenty of variety.

Great dinners consist of a lot of things going right. Solid service, good food, and even better company.

Luckily, I had all three last night.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

An open letter to chefs

Dear Chefs,

Please stop making bulls*it dishes with gold leaf and hundred dollar bills and charging obscene prices for it.

I understand this is a gimmick, and that you always get press for it. But if I see one more $25,000 chocolate sundae or $1,000 bagel, I'm going to go nuts. Not gold covered nuts grown by members of a Guatemalan insane asylum and dipped in diamonds once owned by the fifteenth King of Uganda.

I'm going to go just plain old nuts - which would be a nice, affordable alternative to the crap some of you are peddling now.

Stop listening to your PR people and start being chefs again.

Hugs and Kisses,


R.I.P. Childe Harold

This article reads like an obit - one that deserves to be written.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Capital Food Fight 2007 Recap

I've never been to an orgy. Hell, I'll probably never get the chance. But I'd imagine that Capital Food Fight is probably close enough to the real thing to count. Lust and Gluttony were on display as what seemed like an endless crowd reached for sample after sample, and glass after glass of wine.

There was a lot of sin for such a good cause.

In short, Capital Food Fight was a blast, and for those of you who didn't go, there's no excuse not to go next year. All the food you can eat, all the wine you can drink, and some of the best chefs and personalities in the food world - not to mention it was for an amazing cause.

So - who among the battling chefs won the day (night)?

After beating RJ Cooper from Vidalia and Cathal Armstrong of Restaurant Eve, Barton Seaver of Hook ended up beating the duo of Roberto Donna and Anthony Chittum.

A couple quick observations.

-Seaver was the crowd favorite from the beginning. Was it because he's so flippin hot? Who knows, though I'm sure that had a little something to do with it. Honestly, I think Cathal beat him in their faceoff in Round 3 - but that's just me.

-My favorite shot of the night, which, like most of my pictures came out fuzzy, was of the Armstrong clan watching the first battle. Seriously, it was like watching Liam Neeson's character in the opening battle scene of Gangs of New York - I honestly thought that Armstrong and Todd Thrasher were going to run up, draw swords and start effin some people up.

-Anthony Bourdain and Jose Andres were awesome. Holy crap Jose has a lot of energy; I can see why he's been able to sell his brand and his ideas so effectively (that and a great PR team).

-Oh Roberto Donna, why'd you have to hand make pasta in a TEN MINUTE COOKING COMPETITION?!?!? This isn't Iron Chef (which you also didn't finish your dishes in), you only had TEN MINUTES. Seriously, you could have poured a bowl of Corn Flakes and milk for the judges and you would have won - that's how much they love RD. But no, you didn't bring your A-game. Barton did. Kudos to Barton.

As for the actual food served:

-Kaz sitting there making hand rolls was awesome. Yeah I could just go to the restaurant and get that - but there's nothing like the service of sitting at the bar with no line.

-The cake at 1789 was awesome. Great texture play with the crunchy bottom and the creamy top.

-Whatever the hell they were serving at Cafe Atlantico was intense. Some sort of liquid cheese - like a food acid trip.

-Too much tuna tartare. I saw this mentioned elsewhere - but I had to echo it. Enough it with folks!

A very complex dish that I don't remember (just that it was bigger than average and good) won from PS7's.

In all - it was a great event that raised a lot of money for a cause everyone should support.

I can't wait for next year.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007



I'm all kinds of excited about this - as if you couldn't tell.

My camera is ready, I've got my copy of Kitchen Confidential, and I'm having a very small lunch.

Leave me a comment if you're planning on being there - this just might be the food event of the year.

Monday, November 5, 2007

First Look - Morrison-Clark Restaurant

The building looks like it doesn't quite belong - but that just makes it all the easier to find. And once you've been inside, you'll probably want to find it again and again.

The restaurant at the Morrison-Clark Hotel is a throwback - and like old time uniforms day at a baseball game, this 70+ seat restaurant, under the steady hand of Chef Janis Mclean, has a certain unspoken elegance to it.

Since I'm a bit short on time I'll send you the Sauce on the Side's article on the same dinner I was at.

At the end of the dinner, partially put on by Barboursville Vineyards, Barboursville rep Jason Tesauro took a sabre to a bottle of bubbly to open it.

I actually got to keep the decapitated cork as a birthday gift - very exciting!

Sunday, November 4, 2007

What's on your list?

Unless you've lived in DC for a while and have the funds to do so, odds are you probably haven't hit up every restaurant you've wanted to go to.

My top five is as follows (though it certainly doesn't stop at this):

1) Restaurant Eve
2) Comet Ping Pong
3) CityZen
4) Sushi-Ko
5) Ray's the Steaks

So, I'll toss this to you - which restaurants in the DC area are on your list?

(If any of the restaurants on your list are also on mine - let me know, company is always welcome)

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Goodbye to a classic

I'm quite sad to say that with very little (if any) warning, the Childe Harold has pretty muched closed its doors tonight.

The restaurant, which has been in operation for 40 years, will serve its last meals tonight.

The closing seemed to come as a surprise to a friend who works there, which makes me curious - to say the least - why this bar and restaurant is closing.

I've always been a fan of the Childe Harold. Always a good place for brunch or a cheap eat, the service was always friendly and the food quality.

If this is the offical end for the Childe Harold, I hope whomever takes over that space does it justice. It'll be pretty hard shoes to fill.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Twizzlers! Fig Newtons! Candy Corn!

What do you need after 20 miles of running? Well, sugar of course. I went out to the Marine Corps Marathon this past weekend with the running group I belong to, DC Road Runners, and passed out all kinds of sugar laden snacks to keep the runners going through that last 10k.

Twizzlers seemed to be pretty popular, as did Fig Newtons. The candy corn was a surprising hit and got a lot of laughs from runners who were surprised to see Halloween candy on the course.

I'll be out there for the next marathon in DC - the National Marathon in March. Hopefully someone will be out there with Twix bars. I do like me some Twix bars.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Blogging on the Big Screen

Big news for Julia Child fans - the queen of modern cooking will make her way to the big screen, played by Meryl Streep in the new movie "Julie & Julia" - based on the Julie Powell book, "Julie and Julia: 365 Days, 524 Recipes, 1 Tiny Apartment Kitchen."

According to Variety Magazine:

"[The] project centers on a frustrated temp secretary who embarks on a yearlong culinary quest to cook all 524 recipes in Child's "Mastering the Art of French Cooking." She chronicles her trials and tribulations in a blog that catches on with the food crowd."

Amy Adams is slated to play Julia and Nora Ephron is set to direct. Work is expected to start next year.

First Look - Vegetate

If you're a vegetarian, or if you've got vegetarian friends, you know how hard it is to find a good vegetarian selection these days. Unless you're going to one of the few places that has a vegetarian tasting menu, odds are that you'll be stuck with a few bland salads or a stereotypical pasta dish.

What I like best about Vegetate is that you won't find that here. I went this past Sunday and made it just in time for the Chef's Sunday dinner, which is a fantastic concept - Chef Caesare Assad goes out to local farmers markets, picks what looks good, and comes up with a menu for that night.

It's so simple, and it works so well.

And honestly, you can say that about the restaurant as a whole. The dining room on the first level is small, but cozy, and is supplemented by a bar and more seating upstairs.

The food at times doesn't quite live up to the creativity behind it (just as a note though, I know that Caesare wasn't in the kitchen that night) - a salad of enemamme, heirloom carrots and other vegetables was quite good, with a good texture play between the soft soy and the crunchy carrots; however, an eggplant cake(?) was dry and too gritty.

Overall, I'm looking forward to going back and really exploring this menu. A year ago I wouldn't have set foot in here - but as my childhood fear of vegetables has subsided, I'm glad that there are places like Vegetate to allow me to explore the wonderful world of vegetables.