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espresso in DC suburbs

I think MoCo's best (by far) is Dolcezza in Bethesda Row, just across from the Apple Store. Good beans (Intelligentsia among others), and baristas who know how to properly texture milk for lattes and cortados. The gelato is an extra reason to go.

Napa hounds in DC: sweets, wine & breakfast sandwiches?

Some random thoughts by way of response:

For sweets, may people love the doughnuts at Birch and Barley's Sunday brunch. They take reservations, but also save some space for walkups. It's on 14th just a bit south of Cork and Cork Market ... it might be a good way to fortify yourselves after the redeye and before the monuments. They've got a great selection of beers from all over, and might be a good counterweight to your wine-loving ways. You may also want to try the gelato (or excellent coffee) at any of the three branches of Dolcezza -- DuPont Circle, Bethesda or (far from metro) Georgetown. Terrific gelato, from a local microchain.

For wine, I disagree that Cork is worth looking into -- I love the restaurant and the market, but I think the wines are largely a selection of off-the-beaten path $20 bottles that are a bit meh. On the other hand, I think DC has a few shops worth seeking out -- Schneiders on Capitol Hill (well-selected wines from all over the world), Andy Bassin's MacArthur Beverages (occasional snooty service and a LONG way from a subway, but one of the first shops to sell Bordeaux en primeur in the US and with a good selection of wines across the board), and Weygandt Wines (at the Cleveland Park metro stop, they import their own wines and often have a really good selection of Austrian wines, incl. FX Pichler).

Hope that helps. Hope you have a great time.

Komi...a huge disappointment...just saying

We've been a handful of times, always as parties of four. In our experience you can specify between "meat" (goat + pig for the party of four) or "fish." I'm guessing that as a two-top you could specify goat, pig or fish. I've always wanted to try the fish ... but not enough to miss the pig.

Good food, casual atmosphere, kids in tow

We'll be in Denver for three days next week. Haven't been in town forever, but we're longstanding fans of Toshi's Sushi Den on Pearl. Basically we like any food that's high quality, well prepared and not pretentious. Even more important since we'll have our 10 and 8 years olds in tow. They're well behaved ... but don't have the patience for hours at a restaurant.

Where should we eat? Three lunches, three dinners, maybe a breakfast. And where's the best coffee in town?

Jun 17, 2012
kelewis in Mountain States

Status of China Bistro (aka "Mama's Dumplings") in Rockville?

Update -- windows still blacked out as of April 5, although the view through a torn bit in the paper looks exactly the same as before -- i.e. no sign of any renovations. There was no stop work order on the door ... but no signs of life.

Has anyone heard anything more?

DC recs for one stellar meal?

Yep -- go with Komi. Even with v high expectations it doesn't disappoint.

Three dinners in Bethesda

For sushi, skip the recs in Bethesda. Take the subway one stop south to Friendship Heights and eat at Sushi-ko -- beats the Bethesda sushi shops by a mile ...

One or Two dinners in Vancouver (plus coffee)

On short notice I'll be in Vancouver this Sunday and Monday evening. Looking for great food, not worried much about budget, and need a place where I can eat alone (ie no romantic hideaways)and dinner won't last three hours. Over a decade ago I had great meals at Bishop's and Tojo's. A fellow hound says Tojo's has gone way downhill, and Vij's now has must-eat status. Any thoughts?

Extra points for a coffee place downtown that makes a good latte, with well-textured milk.


Feb 07, 2012
kelewis in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)


I really don't like Quartermaine, especially with Dolcezza ~100 feet away...


I second Peregrine, and would throw in Dolcezza (Gtown, DuPont Circle and Bethesda). Dolcezza has excellent baristas who know how to texture milk for a very good latte. And theyve got great gelato.

help! long stay in wellington. where's the food?

Here's a list of favourites from our five years in Wellington (we're now back in DC):

Cafes: Nikau (in City Museum at Civic Square), great for coffee/sweets, lunch and weekend brunch, with a very seasonal menu -- high end food for the cafe crowd; Maranui (Lyall Bay on the beach), great for brekky, casual lunch, coffee and a view of the South Coast; Astoria (Lambton Quay), best latte in town, especially if Shane's on the machines (but middling food other than the fries and an occasional soup); Kalamata (Karori on Gipps St), good sweets and a very good Saturday brunch (try the currant buns and the excellent eggs benedict).

Restaurants: Matterhorn (Cuba St), excellent seasonal menu, terrific wine list, good mixed drinks/bar scene, surprisingly good weekend brunch for a good restaurant; Logan Brown (higher up Cuba St), beautiful building, terrific (but overpriced) wine list, food prepared to a very high standard but menu changes too infrequently for my tastes; Martin Bosley's (Oriental Parade), beautiful view, usually very good food (but occasional unevenness -- tough to take at that price point), good (but even more overpriced) wine list, I had the best fried oysters of my life here; Ambeli (Majoribanks St), smaller menu of very well-prepared Mediterranean food, with an indiosyncratic but very interesting wine list.

Moore Wilson: deserves its own category. Excellent fresh food, including beautiful local produce; good cheese selection; various products from good NZ producers (must try the Piako passionfruit yogurt!). Wine selection represents the best NZ wines (and some reliable Aussies) at prices typically better than each winery's cellar door, with sale prices often much below cellar door prices. Dried goods section has reliably good baking ingredients, including Caillebaut chocolate chips (a requirement for recreating chocolate chip cookies).

Purveyors: La Bella Italia (Petone) for excellent Italian meats (including culatello -- which I rarely see in the US); The French Baker (Greytown in the Wairarapa, but also inside at the Sunday Market near Te Papa) for the best breads we found in NZ, excellent brown sugar brioche, and expensive but delicious granola (especially with the aforementioned Piako passionfruit yogurt); Kaffee Eis (Oriental Parade, Frank Kitts Park and Courtenay Place) for excellent gelato (especially the cinnamon, lemon and passionfruit) plus well made Mojo coffee; Le Moulin (upper Willis St) for reliably good baguette on days when the French Baker isn't in town; Gipps St Butcher (Karori on Gipps St) for the best meat in town (including ham they cure themselves), an always-friendly reception, and whatever custom cuts you want (if you call ahead); Island Bay Butcher (Island Bay) for a huge variety of very good sausages (a few varieties of which are also carried at Moore Wilson); Le Marche (Thorndon Quay and also inside at the Sunday Market) for excellent French cheeses including excellent Epoisses and Reblochon (they do their own affinage); Regional Wines (Basin Reserve) for slightly better wine selection than Moore Wilson (esp for non-NZ wines), but much higher pricing.

Notable NZ producers to try in Wellington: Emerson's Beer (from Dunedin -- available various locations including Regional Wines) is truly world class; many many wineries including Neudorf (Nelson), Seresin (Marlborough), Ata Rangi (Martinborough), Craggy Range (Hawkes Bay) and many more; Zany Zeus cheeses (from Petone), especially for the feta; Te Mata cheeses (from Hawkes Bay -- available at Moore Wilsons and New World).

I could write more ... but this has already gone on long enough. Bon apetit.

Jul 09, 2011
kelewis in Australia/New Zealand

Dinner in Riverside near Mission Inn (moved from LA board)

I've got a single night in Riverside, staying at the Mission Inn. Can anyone recommend a good place for dinner -- doesn't matter high-end or low-end, whatever type of food. Just has to be a very good example of whatever it is. Extra points for regional Mexican ...

Apr 10, 2011
kelewis in California

Melbourne Recommendations

For brekky we really enjoyed Birdman Eating (Gertrude St), Alimentari (Brunswick St) and Dench (Scotchmer St -- both for brekky and baked goods generally). For casual, we liked Lladro (pizza and Italian) and Anada (Spanish), also on Gertrude St.

You're very lucky -- I'd be thrilled to have a week to eat in Melbourne ...

Feb 25, 2011
kelewis in Australia/New Zealand

Dinner near Logan Circle, kid-friendly?

We took our kids to Birch and Barley for brunch a couple of weekends ago -- admittedly a different crowd than dinner -- and didn't have any issue. Ours are older (9 and 7), but we actually thought it was pretty user-friendly for kids at that time of day.

Birch and Barley
1337 14th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20005

Best Egg Rolls and Spring Rolls in Rockville/Gaithersburg

We need to pick up some snacks for the Super Bowl. What are your favorite places for egg rolls and/or spring rolls in Rockville or Gaithersburg? Extra points for other viable takeaway snacks/appetizers ...

More suggestions needed - this time for NZ

Not sure where you're headed on the South Island, but here are a couple thoughts: try the Mussels at Mussel Boys (last time I checked there was one in Havelock and one in Kaikoura); the crayfish at any of the roadside stalls along the drive to Kaikoura; the Store at Kikirangu on the drive toward Kaikoura. Lots of great wineries in and around Blenheim -- Cloudy Bay is a classic, and we also really love Seresin (both the wines and the lemon olive oil, which is fantastic), Dog Point, Auntsfield and Saint Clair. If you like pottery, there's also a wonderful, quirky, terrific potter outside Blenheim named Fran Maguire. She's got a little studio, and is hilarious. If you see her, tell her Kent and Meredith said hello. If you head to Nelson (and you should), must visit Neudorf winery (a ways out of town, but worth the drive for terrific wine) and eat at Hopgoods, just below the Cathedral.

Jan 27, 2011
kelewis in Australia/New Zealand

More suggestions needed - this time for NZ

I'd have given GP a pass. The Belgian place is very good for Belgian beer and frites, but mediocre otherwise. Our favourite fish and chips places were Starfish (near the New World in Thorndon) and the fish shop further up Cuba (past Logan Brown).

Agree you should trot out to Petone (if you've got a car) to stock up on Italian goodies at La Bella Italia. They've got very nice prosciutto, culatello and mortadella. You can buy much of it pre-sliced at Moore Wilson, but it's better when it's freshly sliced.

Also should mention Bohemein chocolates, on Featherston street (just a couple blocks closer to the train station from the Belgian place) for lovely chocolates. I'm a particular fan of the sea salt caramels -- not as good as Fran's in the US, but a good Antipodean substitute.

Please have a latte for me at Astoria. I'm in withdrawal.

Jan 26, 2011
kelewis in Australia/New Zealand

More suggestions needed - this time for NZ

We're just back from five years in Wellington. One of our favourite places. Here are some recommendations.

Cafes: Astoria on Lambton Quay for excellent latte and v good french fries; Maranui Cafe in Lyall Bay for good coffee, good good and a beautiful view of the South Coast; Kalamata Cafe in Karori on Gipps Street for Saturday brunch (try the currant buns); L'Affare for coffee.

Restaurants/Cafes (on the casual side): Nikau next to the City Museum for coffee, sweets, lunch and weekend brunch; Trade near the Old Government Building.

Nicer restaurants (but we still took our kids, esp for lunch): Matterhorn in Cuba St (plus great wine list and great drinks at the bar); Logan Brown further up Cuba Street; Ambeli (Majoribanks St around the corner from the Embassy Theater); Capitol (nearly next door); Martin Bosley's.

Wineries in Martinborough (great day trip, especially on a weekday when everyone's at work): first, be sure to stop in Greytown for sweets and coffee at The French Baker and a mosey through the town, then off to Ata Rangi (lovely wines, especially the Pinot); Martinborough Vineyards; Alana; Daniel Schuster (with a very talkative Daniel himself often in attendance). We tend to prefer the silkier Martinborough style to the burlier Central Otago style.

Hope you love Wellington as much as we did. Cheers.

Jan 21, 2011
kelewis in Australia/New Zealand

Brunch options near Arrowine (Arlington)

Any suggestions for a good, low-key brunch near Arrowine/Pastries by Randolph/Lebanese Taverna Market in Arlington? Anything well-prepared and non-chain; extra points for excellent latte and interesting menu.

Sydney Downtown Recs. Please

I'll second (third? fourth?) Becasse and Quay. Both are required dining for any tour of higher-end places in the city. And both fit quite comfortably in the company you mention. Becasse gets extra credit for having a NZ chef!!

Oct 25, 2010
kelewis in Australia/New Zealand

Largest wine store in the area

I'd go with Total Wine, at several locations in Virginia. ( Weygandt is a terrific place, but very boutique and not a good choice for finding "representative" wine styles from all over the world. Total Wine has a good, broad selection including a lot of California wines, and the pricing is generally pretty good. I think their most glaring weakness is German wines (for which you'd do better at many of the higher-end shops in DC). But if you're looking for a broad, worldwide selection of representative styles as a basis for tastings, I think Total is the way to go.

Tuscan Kale

I bought some last week at the Gaithersburg Whole Foods (in the Kentlands), and again at the Bethesda Farmer's Market yesterday morning. I've also had good luck in the past at the Whole Foods in Clarendon ... so maybe it's just a name thing? Some people also know it as cavolo nero.

Brisbane (Inner City) - Restaurant with a View

I'd vote for Alchemy -- had a great meal there ~12 months ago. Lovely setting, exciting food. I'd skip Il Centro and Char Char Char. And I agree with the previous poster about the terrific food at Urbane. You could always eat there and then stroll along the water through the Botanical Gardens ...

Aug 31, 2010
kelewis in Australia/New Zealand

Wine Store in DC

I'd add the following:

MacArthur has a terrific selection and a broad range, but I've always found their staff very snooty. It's almost painful to spend money there ... but their selection really is as good or better than anywhere else in town. I think they've got the best selection of German wines in town.

Schneider's on Capitol Hill also has a broad selection, but I think it's more limited than MacArthur (except for Australian wines, where I think it does a bit better). It's possibly the most cramped wine shop I've ever been in, and parking is virtually nonexistent. And for me at least, I think the temperature inside is usually at least 20 degrees too warm for storing fine wine.

Calvert Woodley runs a strong second to Schneiders for most cramped shop. I'd put it behind MacArthur and Schneiders in terms of breadth of offerings.

Weygandt is a terrific little shop, with a limited and eclectic lineup. Best selection of Austrian wines I've seen anywhere in DC (or in most other cities), and a lot of carefully selected producers that have reasonably narrow distribution. If your friend is a wine lover who's interested in tasting something unusual, this is where I'd go (and it's subway accessible).

I've personally found the selections at Zola to be limited, uninspired and aggressively priced. Cork has perhaps the narrowest selection of all, but it's got a lot of interesting wines that are selected with care ... and they've also got lots of other gourmet treats in the shop. So it's another strong contender for overall experience.

Georgetown, Washington D.C. help

I'm not generally a cupcake fan, but would put in a big plug for Georgetown Cupcakes. You may want to cruise Dean & DeLuca for yummy (and expensive) foodie things and terrific cheeses, and I personally love the pizza at Pizzeria Paradiso. And if you make it out of Georgetown and up to Capitol Hill (not walkable), Peregrine is a great little coffee shop.

Pizzeria Paradiso
3282 M St NW, Washington, DC 20007

Georgetown Cupcake
1209 Potomac St NW, Washington, DC

Thank you gift needed in the form of a Frederick, MD restaurant gift cert

I'd say Volt as well. If they're retirees, they could do well (even with a smaller gift certificate) for Volt's prix fixe lunch. It's cheaper than dinner by far, and easier to get reservations.

Dinner in Omaha

Any suggestions? I'll be there with two colleagues one night only (Thursday), and would like a nice meal.

Aug 18, 2010
kelewis in Great Plains

Late July and Early August...New Zealnd and Melbourne, Sydney...Something new and interesting?

Re Martinborough, I'd suggest you try wines at the vineyards but then motor over to Greytown (~20km) for food. The French Baker is superb for bread, sweets, quiches and the like, and also features good coffee. (And their muesli, while expensive, is top notch.) Right next door is Salute with a terrific Med-based menu and a decent wine list. Whenever we're in the Wairarapa, stops at both these places are mandatory.

Not sure whether you'll be buying wine in Martinborough ... but if you're going from there to Wellington, Moore Wilson (food and wine shop on Tory Street in the city) undersells virtually all the wineries on their own wine. So if you're planning on buying anything in quantity, it's worth waiting to do it at Moore Wilson.

Aug 18, 2010
kelewis in Australia/New Zealand

The Observer's 50 best cookbooks EVER.

Not sure about anglocentrism vs US-centrism, but I'm surprised by a few omissions: anything by Duguid and Alford (I'd have chosed flatbreads and flavors, both as a cookbook and adventure guide), Lynne Rossetto Kasper's Splendid Table (one of my all-time favourites, and still one of the best regional Italian cookbooks I've seen), Judy Rogers' Zuni Cafe Cookbook, maybe an all-American standby like Joy of Cooking, and possibly Bittersweet by Alice Medrich as a chocolate-focused dessert cookbook. I'm also a big fan of Shirley Corriher's Cookwise, which is a great examination of the method of cooking, with lots of lessons on how to fix/alter recipes to produce better results.

Aug 16, 2010
kelewis in Food Media & News

Peregrine Espresso coming to 14t St. NW

I live in Rockville and regularly find excused to go to the Hill and drink Peregrine's coffee. So the new location saves me a few blocks. If we could get one out in Montgomery County, though, THAT would be progress ...