• 15Feb

    The Masala Art location in SW DC (Waterfront Metro) is featuring 3 courses meals different cuisine of India every month (on Mondays). The meat option costs $27, while the vegetarian option is only $24. You select one entree, and are served an appetizer platter (of 3 items). We tried some of January’s Punjabi offerings (see the above images).

    We ordered both vegetarian and non-vegetarian options and were impressed with the Punjabi menu, including the accompaniments, Maa ki Dal, Jeera Mattar Pulao and Butter Nan, dal makhani  and cumin and peas pulao. We practically fought over the dal (it was so good).

    Service was good. They dealt very well with us having a short amount of available time that evening.

    February’s menu is Indo-Chinese. The non-vegetarian menu will begin with an appetizer platter that includes hot mango chicken; chicken lollipop; and Sriracha honey fish, while the vegetarian menu will begin with an appetizer platter of spring rolls, honey chili potatoes and crispy friend vegetables. Entrees include a choice of Chili Chicken, Lamb Manchurian, or Hot Garlic Fish for non vegetarians, and Chili Paneer, Vegetable Manchurian, or Garlic Broccoli Tofu for vegetarians.

    Note: I’ll comment on this article when I know what region they are featuring Mondays in March.

    -JAY

     

  • 09Feb

    Delicious Chicken & Waffles made with tenders!

    Bread Basket with butter and house-made jelly!

    We sampled City Perch’s updated menu in the fall, and it was delicious, so we were thrilled to recently revisit the restaurant to check out their brunch menu. City Perch is definitely worth the trip to Maryland, praise I usually reserve for recommending (to DC-focused friends) a certain Bethesda BBQ truck, Hardy’s.

    City Perch’s Brunch Box is $19.99 and includes one entree and one drink (coffee, tea, juice,
    soda, house punch, sangria, mimosa, bellini, Moscow mule, or bloody Mary). Add $10 for bottomless drinks.

    We tried Chicken & Waffles, Slow Poached Egg with Short Rib, and the off menu Bread Basket, all three of which were excellent choices.We did not need to order dessert, since the bread basket is more of a pastry basket.

    The Chicken & Waffles is much better than the versions we generally see on brunch menus, included delicious and well-coated fried chicken tenders, and is alone worth the trip to City Perch for brunch. It is listed as a sandwich on their menu, which is incorrect. We preferred the vanilla maple syrup to the spicy bacon maple syrup, but you can certainly request for both syrups and decide for yourself.

    The Slow Poached Egg with Short Rib includes tender and flavorful slow cooked short rib, creamy mascarpone polenta, and wonderfully-executed bacon braised kale. You see, we aren’t anti bacon!

    The Bread Basket is a signature item from the previous menu that is presently an off menu option. As mentioned, it’s more of a pastry basket than a bread basket. It can function as a nice selection whether at the beginning or end of a meal for a group, and contains a butter croissant, chocolate croissant, cornbread soaked in honey butter, orange sage drop biscuit, and seasonal muffin, which in this case was orange cranberry. The pastries are made in house with the exception of the two croissants.

    We also tried the Crispy Latke Fries, which we’d personally prefer as a non French fry version of potato pancakes.

    Maryland (MoCo) diners should be happy to have access to such a wonderful dinner and brunch restaurant. Even DC diners should consider a trip to City Perch, and those are strong words! You may want to plan to see a movie after brunch; the iPic Theater on the same floor is owned by the same company as the restaurant.

    -JAY

  • 08Feb

    About six months ago, restaurateur and James Beard Foundation Award winner, Michael Richard passed away. His loss will be felt in the DC restaurant world.

    I was lucky to attend Sweet Hope, an annual charity event to benefit St. Jude’s Childrens Research Hospital a couple of months ago, and am happy to report that Central is producing desserts of the same quality and deliciousness of previous years. Above are some of the image highlights. Here, here (featuring an image of Michel), and here are three of our previous articles that featured this great French chef and his food.

    -JAY

  • 05Jan

    I’ve been a bit obsessed with Mexico City recently following a trip in November. It’s pretty fantastic (if you can handle the smog  and speak at least a bit of Spanish) – great art, great culture, amazing food, etc. – I’m going back this month. But in the meantime, back up here in the cold, I wanted to bring myself  back to a bit of a warmer state of mind, and what better excuse to use everyone’s favorite  winter warmer, the slow cooker?

    So I decided to try a spin on a DF classic – al pastor. So I polled a couple Mexican friends  (ok, exactly two) for a recipe, and combining them got a semi-coherent list of ingredients
    with vague proportions. But it sounded good, and I’m not big on precise measurements anyhow.  Also note that al pastor is generally defined by use of the guajillo chili, which I didn’t
    have handy. I used chipotle. I also had no pineapple juice, so that got mucked about a bit,  and obviously I slow-cooked instead or spit-grilling.Tasty, not authentic

    You read the title, right?

    I also added the onion because I thought it seemed right. It was.

    I used:

    Product:

    • 2lbs pork butt country ribs, separated and stabbed repeatedly
    • 1/2 yellow onion, quartered
    • 11 oz cubed fresh pineapple

    Marinade:

    • 2 tbs achiote (anatto) seed, ground
    • 2 tbs ground chipotle
    • 1 tbs garlic powder
    • 1 tbs oregano
    • 1 tbs cumin
    • 1 tbs salt
    • 1 tbs pepper
    • 1c cider vinegar
    • 3/4c water
    • 1 tbs agave nectar

    Preparation is wonderfully simple: put all the ingredients in a glass or ceramic bowl, cover and marinate overnight. In the morning before leaving for work, I poured everything into my trusty slow cooker, and set it on low for 9.5 hours (its longest setting, just because it’s not like I was getting home in less than 11) . I arrived home that evening to a gorgeous aroma from the pot, now happily keeping things warm, from which I heaped lovely, fall-apart tender pork. It was truly delicious alone, but over some rice (I suspect hominy would be good too) it was really awesome.

    The cooked marinade, by the way, is a keeper: this may become a go-to barbecue sauce for me: transfer it to a saucepan and let reduce. Thicken with cornstarch or flour, and toss the pork back in, you could make tacos. I’m just sayin’.

    Buen provecho!

     – MAW

  • 23Nov

    We recently sampled the bar menu specials at Wildfire’s Martini Lounge at Tysons Galleria. This menu is available at the bar (and bar tables) Monday through Friday from 3:00pm to 6:00pm.

    Wildfire did a good job with the bar menu. My favorite items were the Crispy Fish Tacos and Crispy Chicken Sliders. I’ll probably also order the Macaroni & Cheese Bites and Pepperoni Pizza sometime soon. There are also two other pizza options: Fresh Mozzarella, Tomato & Basil, and Classic Mushroom.

    Prices:

    • $4.95 for Wood Oven Baked Mozzarella, Macaroni & Cheese Bites, or Mozzarella, Tomato & Basil Pizza.
    • $5.95 for Crispy Fish Tacos, Loaded Cottage Fries, Classic Mushroom Pizza, or Pepperoni Pizza.
    • Sliders (Crab Cake, Bison Cheeseburger, or Crispy Chicken) are $3.95 for one, $6.95 for six, or $9.95 for three.

    For IPA fans, Wildfire has Lagunitas IPA (one of my favorites) on draught, and Flying Dog Bloodline (Blood Orange) IPA in bottles. Either of those are wonderful paired with either fried or hot cheese-based bar bites!

    -JAY

    Wildfire Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

  • 18Nov

    One Eight Distillery (located in Ivy City, right around the corner from Union Market) new product line of whiskey is excellent for both drinking and baking.   Upon entering the tasting room which is just right outside the Distillery, One Eight presented an indulgent alcohol-infused brownie. The brownie and chocolate ganache were infused with One Eight’s spirits and went over very well with the crowd.

    After your ID was checked (Good Looking Out, Loved the Complainant), the individual  received a bracelet with 3 tear away coupons for the tasting room.  The tasting room presented Rock Creek Whiskey, Ivy City Gin, District Made Vodka, and Untitled.  These Spirits were distilled in DC; each of the ingredients were hand picked from local vendors in DC. The rye and corn were locally grown.  Rock Creek Rye has the distinct honor of being the ONLY “Grain to Glass” bottled in the District since Prohibition.  Now I caution you that when I stuck my tongue in the shot glass, my tongue stung. (Editor’s Note: A Christmas Story flashbacks, anyone?)

    #MadeInDC network theme ran though the event from the individualized Photo Booth (take a selfie with the bottle!) to the  “Make Your Own Cocktail” bar (craft their own personal spirit!). Also, food vendors from neighboring Union Market were on hand to wow the mouth with either pizza rolls and gelato.

    Additionally, the bar was serving various cocktails featuring the One Eight product line.  My favorite was the “Constant Gardner.”

    Happy Exploring the NEW IVY CITY,

    -CLF (Crystal)

     

     

    One Eight Distilling

    1135 Okie Street NE | Washington, DC 20002

    Metro: NoMa-Gallaudet U; Rhode Island Ave

    Bus: D3, D4; E2, E3

    Parking: Free on-street parking is available. Please be respectful of neighboring businesses/residences and any posted parking policies.

  • 17Nov

    Aperto Restaurant serves contemporary Italian Fare featuring homemade food by an authentic Italian chef, Luigi Diotaiuti. At a recent event, he offered up passed antipasti including tiny focaccia sandwiches, sun-dried tomato and ricotta on a cracker, steak tartare with salsa, lamb curry risotto balls, lamb chop lollipops, mussels, and the ever elusive tortellini on a silver spoon.

    As the food was great, the atmosphere was really engaging and conversation flowed. The bar area was decorated with all the homemade sauces, and limoncello touches a patron would expect of this downtown bar near George Washington University and the Foggy Bottom crowd.  The waiters passed around the plates and ever-hungry patrons swarmed the trays.

    The drink of the night was the “Riding the Vespa” (Earl Grey-infused Tito’s vodka/Cocchi Americano/ ginger/lime/soda water).  The non-alcoholic version was delicious as well.

    The bartender who sported the ever popular handlebar mustache was in a very excited state when dipping the punch from the silver punch bowl; he served the drink with a traditional “Salute”!  Peroni Beer paired well with the Blue Cheese Polenta, served on a cracker with sun-dried tomato and ricotta.

    Chef Luigi Diotaiuti was decked out in a bowtie pasta inspired chef Jacket that was made especially for him in Naples, Italy.  Chef Luigi was happy to speak to each of the patrons about his excited adventures though Italy.

    Happy Eating,

    Crystal (CLF)

  • 17Nov

    cr-invite-mokiCotton and Reed (1330 5th Street NE) is a new distillery recently opened near Union Market.  This bar does not offer any food; co-founders Reed Walker and Jordon Cotton contract local food truck vendors to make sure that they are in the parking lot for the last night ready for the crowd.

    Chaz Jefferson, Head Bartender, when asked about what type of bar does he want to have: “I want to have rowdy bar.”  His favorite shot is: 1 oz shot, and is so smooth. His advice to Novice Drinkers: Chaz suggest that individuals start with a daiquiri to taste the rum; its not a sweet bite, but its sneaks up on you!” Lucas, the Head Drink Designer, states, that the “sweetness comes from Turkish sweets.”

    The official opening was November 12, however we attended a soft opening which was open to food bloggers, friends,  and publicists, but some locals did manage to get in and enjoy free spirits that night.

    The menu normally contains simple offerings at only of $10 a drink, which is very generous considering the quality of the spirits and cocktails.

    When speaking with one patron, he stated, “The Spice Boy is my favorite: I just love it!”  Another man, whose 21st birthday was this day, marked the occasion with a 1 oz Spice Rum Shot which he stated as “Transverse.”  A group of women joined in and cheered, “This rum makes me speechless!” while the other woman stated, “This rum makes you wonder why other rums aren’t this good.”

    My question remains, “WHY DO ALL OTHER RUMS BURN, when this rum is so SMOOTH?”

    Smoothly Signing Off,

    -CLF (Crystal)

     

     

  • 16Nov

    District Fishwife, located in Union Market against the right wall, has a special secret.  The Shrimp Bahn Mi sandwich!

    District Fishwife introduced the Shrimp Bahn Mi sandwich re-imagined. District Fishwife’s original Shrimp Po’Boy – which is known in New Orleans as fried shrimp balls on a bun with a slaw – recently received a Vietnamese splash (fried shrimp balls on a bun with Vietnamese accompaniment). This sandwich’s relaunch has justifiably increased its popularity.

    When the creative chef team behind the sandwiches went back to the drawing board, the Shrimp Banh Mi was designed.  The sandwich comes with your choice of curly fries or apple slaw.  Nolan, one of the managers, was gracious enough to answer my questions in regards to where the fish originates.  Most of the fish come from Florida and the East Coast during the cold months, ensuring freshness, since the time from water to plate is shortened.  The fish is full of Omega-3 fatty acids which good for a growing body.

    The sandwich was good, but with 4 little shrimp balls, this sandwich is more like a good snack than a meal.  That works just fine if you are walking around Union Market perusing food stalls and planning dinner.  But, the addition of 2 more shrimp balls might make the sandwich fuller and seem more like a meal.  Overall, I like the Vietnamese influence in this sandwich.

    Happy Eating,

    -CLF (Crystal)

     

  • 09Nov

    A new restaurant that can possibly break the curse of the doomed location? It always baffled me how businesses can’t strive in what seems to be prime location. VinPearl – Viet Taste Lounge took over the spot off Little River Turnpike between Pep Boys and Ara on October 15th. For the last 5 years that I’ve been in Annandale, this location has been 3 different restaurants.

    I was very skeptical when I first walked in, they have poor signage and nobody in their dining room. It’s a semi-fast food setup and feel. You walk up to the counter, order and pay first and then sit down and the food is served to you. Honestly, I like this style. It gives the customer a little more control as to when you’re ready to order without the hassle of a server irritating you because you need to tip them for doing a good job, but perhaps they really didn’t give you good service.

    This restaurant offers you pretty much anything you’d like in the realm of Vietnamese food: banh mi, phở, Vietnamese entrees and bubble tea. They don’t have appetizers on their menu for some reason, but they do serve rolls. We had their chả giò and it was delightfully crispy and not that oily.

    o-1o

    We had the Shaking Beef (bò lúc lắc) and it was absolutely delicious. It came out on a sizzling plate, the beef was well flavored and portioned nicely. The Beef Noodle Soup (Bún bò Huế) was a little lacking though. They give you a nice portion and a lot of beef and pigs blood but only one small slice of pigs feet. The soup was pretty oily and spicy, but it wasn’t inedible. I just probably wouldn’t order it again.

    I know that the restaurant has only been open for a couple of weeks now, but I would suggest getting some better signage. The restaurant is setup like a sit down restaurant so people walk in expecting to be seated, and then not realize they’re supposed to order first.  An “Order Here” sign would be great. They keep one door locked and one door open, but there’s no signage that says “Please Use Other Door.” We almost turned around and walked away thinking the restaurant was actually not open because there’s such aa lack of signage. And for a new restaurant, they weren’t really on it with customer service or sales” It’s a figure it out for yourself kind of situation. If it wasn’t for the phenomenal bò lúc lắc and chả giò, I probably wouldn’t bother returning, but I think this place could stand a chance.

    -ADT

Subscribe Now!!

Please enter e-mail address below and click the subscribe button. Thank you!

Subscribe in RSS Reader

RSS Feed

Categories

Archives

View my food journey on Zomato!
View my food journey on Zomato!