Lime Fresh Mexican Grill opened recently in Clarendon (and is opening a Pentagon Row location). The standouts here are the sopapillas (little round cinnamon flavored doughnuts), guacamole (I prefer the Abuela and Hombre), and their own salsas and hot sauces. They didn’t make one hot sauce or salsa that I did not like. They also carry a variety of hot sauces from other companies.
Lately, I have been making French fries and tater tots as an excuse to use Cucina Antica‘s organic ketchup. It is tasty and very “fresh” tasting for a ketchup. Their tomato basil tomato sauce tomato sauce is great as well, but while I have a bottle of their “La Vodka” sauce as well, I haven’t gotten to opening it yet. They also have a line of organic dressings, including the “Fat Free Tuscany” which is the favorite of the few varieties “S” sampled on behalf of DCFüd. In recent news, Cucina Antica has opened its first retail location in Westchester County, New York, off of bustling Route 117 at 333 N. Bedford Rd, Suite 118, Mt. Kisco, NY; The retail store offers customers all-natural and organic products from both brands: Cucina Antica and Monte Bene.
Northside Social is a great Clarendon coffeehouse. My favorite items there are the Tuna Nicoise Salad (sushi grade olive oil poached tuna, capers, haricot vert (thin green beans), eggs, olives, lemon, and capers), cranberry ginger scones, cardamom biscotti, chocolate salt caramel tarts, chocolate espresso tarts, and both kinds of cinnamon rolls (one has frosting and one has a gooey topping). “S” prefers the frosted cinnamon rolls and the chocolate chip cookie tart (yes, it’s a tart). Their online menu does not list all of these items. They also have good coffee and a good selection of teas. Their upstairs space is a wine bar, and the downstairs space is a coffee house/cafe.
Bangkok Golden is a Thai/Lao restaurant in 7 corners that puts out delicious food. You can order from the Thai or Lao menus, or opt for the buffet. JC Gibbs had been raving about this place in person and through her writing for quite a while, so I decided to try Bangkok Golden. I enjoyed the food so much that I ate there two more times in the same week. The steamed tilapia with herbs (served in banana leaves) is a standout, as are the curries, and the crispy rice salad (which you get to wrap in lettuce leaves), but the menu is full of standout dishes. This is hidden gem you must seek out!
Boqueria is a new tapas restaurant in DC. The last Food Blogger Happy Hour was hosted there, and we tried some great tapas. Some of the standouts were the Cojonudo (Fried quail eggs and chorizo on toast), Tortilla Española (Spanish omelet), Pimientos de Padrón (Blistered Shishito peppers, coarse sea salt), Patatas Bravas, Buñuelos de Bacalao (salt-cod fritters), and a dish that included anchovies on toast.
Zaytinya gave us lamb’s tongue! Not in my words: “Through April 22nd, Zaytinya is celebrating Greek Easter by featuring delectable Mediterranean-inspired dishes presented by Head Chef Michael Costa. Throughout the two-week festival, guests can enjoy a Chef’s Experience menu featuring a variety of spring lamb dishes, as well as the return of the popular lamb sandwich cart and Easter cookies. Guests can also toast the holiday and the return of spring with two cocktails created especially for the festival. ” In my words: I was wonderful walking into a room and seeing several lamb roasts side-by-side roasting on a spit. They had some great dishes at the media preview for this event. Some of our favorites were the lamb sandwich, lamb tongue, spanikopita, and the Easter cookies. The cookies were extraordinary!
We also ate well at the 2012 Rammy Nominations Party! I’ll share a category with you:
“New Restaurant of the Year A restaurant that must have been opened between December 1, 2010 and November 30, 2011 and already distinguishes itself as a pacesetter in food, beverage and service.
Elisir Restaurant by Enzo Fargione
Hill Country Barbecue Market
Pearl Dive Oyster Palace”
Many wonderful restaurant served food at the event, but in my mind, Pearl Dive’s table was an instant hit! They served a great assortment of fresh and tasty seafood including some stupendous West Coast Oysters. It was fun watching people trying to peel humongous shrimp while holding a plate and glass of wine.
The rest of the finalists are listed here, and are the shining stars of the industry. Maybe next time they will all give me humongous shrimp and oysters and it will be a really long article. Did I mention that the mixologist finalists were on hand? We had some wonderful cocktails that evening.