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We have a reservation for Aragona tonight, as I had been meaning to get there for a while, and Opentable now has it billed as "Aragona, soon to be Vespolina". Here is the article I found:

Seems to boil down to not enough customers/repeat customers because of unfamiliar food. Am debating whether it is worth keeping the reservation or cancelling, since I am worried kitchen staff will be already checked out and it won't be the amazing culinary experience I was hoping for!

Aug 28, 2014
hppyheather in Greater Seattle

Seeking Input on Weekend Dining Choices

Thanks for the good suggestions! It looks like Balena is already booked for the night (next trip ...), and we were checking out Toni's so glad to hear its good!

Any input on the following places for Saturday dinner: The pump room, farmhouse, or boarding house? Personally, I'm leaning towards the farmhouse menu.

Oct 30, 2013
hppyheather in Chicago Area

Seeking Input on Weekend Dining Choices

Hi Chicagoans! A group of friends and I are all heading to your wonderful city this weekend and, because life is busy and hectic, we weren't able to put as much advance planning into the trip as usual. What we'd love is some feedback and suggestions for a bit of dining this weekend. I am in Seattle, and others are in Minneapolis, Orlando, DC, and NY. All enjoy good food, but I don't think any of us is drawn towards an offal menu. Also, we are staying at the hotel monaco in the loop.

The one advance planning thing we did manage to do was snag a reservation for Friday night at Topolobampo! I am super excited about this, as I've been to Frontera and enjoyed it, but have been dreaming about something more. So, the below is to balance against the price and culinary experience of Topolo.

Saturday Brunch: Priority is bottomless mimosas (or other brunch drink deals), but still need pretty decent food! Prefer reservations, because we hate waiting for hours. Right now have a reservation at Bistronomic. Input?

Saturday Dinner: I've read all sorts of threads, and investigated the great suggestions made elsewhere, but haven't stumbled on the right fit. We are looking for something really lively, more of a casual price point (approx $20/entrees), and somewhere that either takes reservations or doesn't have super long waits. We are seeing a late show at Second CIty, so are looking for dinner around 8 and where we can eat, drink, then head over to laugh (hopefully).

Sunday Breakfast: Looking for a good and simple bakery and coffee shop. Don't worry, I'm not too much of a coffee snob :)

Thanks in advance!

Oct 29, 2013
hppyheather in Chicago Area

Need a replacement for Il Corvo for lunch today

Thanks!!! All great suggestions - I appreciate them, as my mind was blanking. In thinking we either visit little uncle or il terrazzo carmine.

Thanks again!

Sep 06, 2013
hppyheather in Greater Seattle

Need a replacement for Il Corvo for lunch today

Local here. My mom is in town today, and I was going to step away from work and meet her at Il Corvo for lunch today. This was going to be a great choice because a) she absolutely loves pasta, b) it is walkable to columbia towers where I work, and c) I booked her on the underground walking tour and Il Corvo was convenient for her too. This ends up not being a great choice because he is on vacation this week and it is closed!!

Are there any other yummy, slightly special, not total touristy places that are semi-convenient downtown that can replace Il Corvo? I can have a car, though prefer walkable/bus. Your help is much appreciated!

Sep 06, 2013
hppyheather in Greater Seattle

Downtown lunch spots?

Thanks for the MSG blog -- that is hilarious! I'll use it for good, not evil. The other topic focused on more sit-down places, and I should have specified that I'm interested in places offering take out. I'm planning to try Red Bowls tomorrow -- which I walk by every day on my work and have been wondering about. Thanks!

May 16, 2013
hppyheather in Greater Seattle

Downtown lunch spots?

Are there any chow-worthy lunch spots downtown? I work in the Columbia Towers and am uninspired by the obvious offerings, but wonder if I'm missing something within an easy walk or bus trip. Any recommendations much appreciated. TIA.

May 13, 2013
hppyheather in Greater Seattle

Hot Pot?

Thanks for the recommendations! We look forward to checking them out!

May 08, 2013
hppyheather in Greater Seattle

Hot Pot?

Hi! Recent Seattle transplant (formerly a DC 'hound) and am interested in recommendations for Hot Pot. We have enjoyed Little Sheep in Bellevue, but I find myself wondering if there is something better out there. We love Little Sheep's spicy broth and enjoy the big selection of options for both the adventurous and not so adventurous. Any recommendations of other places we should try that may top Little Sheep?

(p.s. I've read about Shabu Shabu, but it seems to only be open on the weekends and we often do hot pot on Wed/Thur when we have a babysitter ...)

May 07, 2013
hppyheather in Greater Seattle

reservations at renovated minibar?

We are heading to minibar tonight and would love to hear about how the experience was! I hadn't realized the price increase prior to making the reservation .. so here's hoping its worth it.

Mintwood Place

I just ran across a stray reference to Mintwood Place. A bit of googling tells me it is an upscale restaurant in Adams Morgan. I read Sietsma's review and my interest is piqued. Has anyone been? If not, has anyone heard anything (good or bad)?

Client dinner in the city

Great suggestion! But, if you can believe it, no reservations available for tonight! Apparently a hopping wed night in DC? Should I assume there are a bunch of lobbyists in town? :)

Client dinner in the city

Looking for recommendations for a good place to take a client for dinner tonight (party of 6). The client has expressed that he likes meat (specifically, beef) and likes things that are spicy. Client lives in SF, so I feel pressure to choose somewhere that will compare! At the moment, I'm thinking of Firefly in Dupont, but I haven't been in about a year and a half. Anyone have input on Firefly? Or other recommendations?

(Musts: reservations, client-like atmosophere (i.e. no bars), vegetarian option)..

Romanesco anywhere

In the fall, Wegman's carries it -- I'm not sure if they have it now, but unless you're already planning to go to Wegman's, I'd recommend an advance call to their produce dep't.

Grilling caterer in Georgetown

I've had great luck with this personal chef: He does a lot of high end dinners, but I think he also enjoys the simple/fun events too.

Easy, cheap eats in DC - do they even exist?

I read Steve's review of his experience, but my experience has been actually okay. I wouldn't say that Kabob Palace is the best Kabob house around, but I've actually found the food to be perfectly acceptable. I would recommend the counter service side (unless you were wanting to smoke Hookah). I think their kabobs, chick peas, and sides are generally good. Also, it will be enough food for 2-3 meals, so plan to take it home with you or have two people share 1 order.

My personal favorite kabob house is Ravi Kabob, which is off of Glebe Rd in Arlington. If you don't have a car and/or don't live in the area, it isn't that convenient, but the food is definitely better.

Fettoosh (Arlington)

We also heard that Fettoosh offers Moroccan cuisine -- and so we'll be trying it out tonight. I called ahead and apparently they have Moroccan cous cous on Fridays, not sure what other Moroccan options there will be. I'll be sure to report back, but until then I'd be interested to hear if anyone else has been here!

Best places to take NYC visitors in DC

I've seen Ripple come up in a few places, and I've been thinking about trying it. I don't want to thread hijack, but if you could expand on your recommendation and give some details about the food there I'd appreciate it!

oh, no- the parents are meeting!

We're former SF dwellers, and our favorite place in the city is Eola. The are two stories in a townhouse in dupont, so not exactly convenient to Rosslyn, but I think a good feel. I would recommend calling to see if you could have the upstairs (which should seat 10 people perfectly) reserved and a menu arranged.

Inexpensive (Wedding) Catering options in DC

I asked because I was going to recommend the personal chef option. I don't know how many people you're having, but if you're able to go with someone that has low overhead, you may be able to get it down to $80 a person with plates, glassware, etc. I got married in May of 2011 and I'll just be honest that $50 is totally unrealistic for what you're thinking -- $50 will hardly get you bbq on paper plates!

The personal chef I use and that I recommend (and all have been happy as can be with him) is this guy:

Like I said, it probably depends on how large of a party you're having, but he may be able to work something out with you. Obviously he'll need to hire servers/helpers, so if you know people from your own life who would do it for free/cheap, that is another way to keep your cost down.

Inexpensive (Wedding) Catering options in DC

Does your wedding venue have an on-site commercial kitchen that could be used by your caterer? Or does everything have to be prepared either off-site and/or on-site with the caterer's own equipment? if you have a venue with a commercial kitchen, you open up your options a lot.

Small dinner party caterer in Bethesda

We've had good experiences using this private chef: He comes to your place and does the cooking there.

We've used him for parties in the 10-20 person range and have been really happy with the food -- super yummy, refined, and the food has always matched the mood of our parties perfectly.

Yummy, mid-priced, downtown dinner?

Thanks for the suggestions so far! I'm not totally stuck on the price point, so options that you would consider "mid-priced" are fine (and in case it wasn't clear, that was $20 an entree per person). But, what I'm looking for is a mid-priced restaurant with lots of options that are mid-priced, not a fine dining place where you could "budget order" if that makes any sense.

Yummy, mid-priced, downtown dinner?

About once ever few months, my boss comes in from out of town and he and I go to dinner. I'm very familiar with all the fine dining restaurants in DC, and often stay in VA if I'm looking for something mid-priced, and so I've found that I'm stuck when trying to come up with a place to eat tomorrow. We both enjoy really delicious food, but we're looking for something in a more casual environment. Our office is at 15th and K, and I'd like to find somewhere reasonably close. My definition of "mid-priced" is less than $20 per entree. Also, since I'm eating with my boss, I actually prefer a more corporate type of environment (but NOT corporate type of food!). Does anyone have any good recs?

Farm to Table Recommendations

We've only had wonderful experiences at Eola and found it to be more "farm to table" dining than most other offerings in the city.

Private event for 40 at excellent/trendy restaurant

Honestly, the first word that comes to mind with respect to Adour and the Ritz are "stuffy" and "corporate" (the last words that comes to mind, for me at least, are "trendy" or "hip"). I haven't been in a while, so you may want to poll others, but last time I was at Adour I was totally unimpressed with the food and if you're looking for fantastic food, I think you have some better suggestions on this board. I have never even thought about dining at the Ritz -- it just isn't a dining destination (though it is a perfectly acceptable hotel bar, if that is what you're looking for).

As far as City Zen, I've had mixed experiences. A few years ago, it was out of this world food and was very "hip". The last time I went, I did not have the same great experience. Others who have been recently should chime in.

You may also want to look into Central and Zaytina -- again, not sure of their buy-out options, but could be good.

Private event for 40 at excellent/trendy restaurant

Check out Estadio. They don't have a room, so you'd have to do a buy-out, and I'm not sure if that is something they do, but I think it would probably fit the vibe you're looking for.

I think the food is fantastic, and can accommodate all types (gourmands and picky eaters). I don't know if I'd call it Michelin star type place, but I honestly don't think DC has a lot of those Michelin star type places that also have a hip vibe or are considered 'swanky'.

In love with KOMI but need to give others a chance!

We've had fabulous culinary experiences at Eola. I would not put it in the same category as Komi (because, honestly, I think Komi is in a class by itself), so it would be a step down. However, tasting menu is only $65, so I think it is a fair trade off. We've found their food to be very inventive, super delicious, and art on a plate. They change their menu often, but I would recommend checking it out!

One dinner in Chicago?

Thanks so much for your insight (and proper neighborhood orientation!). I think we're between Naha and sitting at the bar at Frontera Grill.

(on a sidenote, I noticed that Naha is having a "bake sale" and a culinary tool sale from 8am-2pm on Saturday, and wanted to pass the word along to anyone interested)

Nov 09, 2011
hppyheather in Chicago Area

One dinner in Chicago?

Hello! I live in DC (I guess I'm technically a "dc hound", but that feels like a weird term), and my husband and I will be in Chicago on Saturday night and will just have time for one dinner. He is a chef (formerly in SF, now in DC) and is an ultimate foody. I love good food, but you won't catch me ordering off of an offal menu. I've been perusing your board and you all have some great reviews of some really great restaurants. Do you mind if I solicit recommendations for just one dinner from you?

Here are some details on what we're looking for:
*We are staying at the Hotel Allegro. I believe this is in the West Loop (I don't know your city well though), but we are totally willing to travel via cab or public transit.
*We are considering Frontera Grill (no reservations, right?), because we spent a good bit of time in Oaxaca and do love Rick Bayless -- but if we only have one dinner -- is this the best?
*We're looking for something not on the price level of Alinea (oh, how I can dream), but are open to most price points below that!
*We love all food and all cuisines. We are looking for innovative, and most of all, DELICIOUS food. Would love something that we will be talking about for quite some time ('remember that great meal we had in Chicago?')

Thanks in advance!

Nov 08, 2011
hppyheather in Chicago Area