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marcj's Profile

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stores w/ Scharffen Berger chunks or Guittard wafers?

I know that Biagio on 18th (I think between Willard & U) has Scharffen Barger chunks, and I believe they have some Guittard products. Definitely a go-to place for high-quality chocolate.

Aug 28, 2011
marcj in Washington DC & Baltimore

Locolat in Adams Morgan - Report

Wow, I bet. Some of their paninis are fantastic, and I say this as a panini skeptic (they're like the wrap sandwich of the aughts--ubiquitous, and rarely done well).

Jun 22, 2011
marcj in Washington DC & Baltimore

Locolat in Adams Morgan - Report

Plus, after a couple of trappist ales, it can almost be entertaining watching people try to figure out how to negotiate the asinine intersection of 18th, Florida, and U.

Jun 21, 2011
marcj in Washington DC & Baltimore

Locolat in Adams Morgan - Report

Really glad someone finally wrote up Locolat--I live around the corner and my wife and I have been regulars for years. I don't have much to add in terms of recommendations--I tend to gravitate towards the potato-chive waffle with asparagus and smoke salmon--but I should note that some of their cakes (particularly a chocolate-raspberry one) are amazing. Their coffee is also good, and they have a small but extremely well-chosen selection of Belgian beers.

Overall, it's just a great neighborhood spot, especially when the weather's nice.

Jun 20, 2011
marcj in Washington DC & Baltimore

Citronelle or Marcel's?

I prefer Marcel's, largely on the basis of service and menu flexibility. The food at both places is excellent (and Citronelle's food is definitely somewhat more exciting and flamboyant, if that's important to you). Either way, you should have an excellent meal.

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Citronelle
3000 M Street NW, Washington, DC 20007

May 24, 2011
marcj in Washington DC & Baltimore

Best DC upscale weekday lunch deal

If you can get a table, go to Rasika. Might be tough as a walk-in, though.

Failing that, I second Bibiana, it's a very very good place for lunch.

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Rasika Restaurant
633 D Street, NW, Washington, DC 20004

Bibiana
1100 New York Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20005

May 19, 2011
marcj in Washington DC & Baltimore

Going to Komi

Yes, definitely do the pairing--they do a beautiful job of matching the food, with lots of wines (and, last time I went, a beer) that are not the usual suspects (i.e., lots of Greek wines, including some beautiful whites).

I've never done it this way, but I understand that you can do one full pairing for a couple, so you each get half a pour of everything. This might be a great way to go both from a budgetary standpoint and to avoid getting too buzzed to fully appreciate the fabulous food.

Enjoy!

May 17, 2011
marcj in Washington DC & Baltimore

Looking for an anniversary dinner place?

I like Cashion's but a) I doubt you can get dinner there for $50 pp, unless you skip either wine or dessert, and b) although I haven't been in a few months, I don't remember ever seeing either a prix-fixe option or steak.

I'd suggest Cafe Saint-Ex on 14th (http://www.saint-ex.com/). It's got great outside seating, nice drinks if you want them, the food ranges from good to very good, and they have a fantastic 3-course prix-fixe option: you order off the regular menu, but get three courses for a set price; I think $30 or $35 before 7, a bit more afterwards (but don't quote me on that bit of detail). And last time I went, one of my friends had a steak and liked it quite a bit.

May 13, 2011
marcj in Washington DC & Baltimore

Lunch recommendations for next Sunday in DC?

If you opt for Rasika (which, I agree, is clearly the best choice, with Kushi and then Zaytinya very solid backups), please do yourself a favor and order the palak chaat, it's a stunning dish, delicious enough to make even a lifelong spinach-hater clean his plate (I've seen it happen).

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Rasika Restaurant
633 D Street, NW, Washington, DC 20004

Zaytinya
701 9th St NW, Washington, DC 20001

Apr 28, 2011
marcj in Washington DC & Baltimore

Romantic Steak dinner?

I haven't been to Prime Rib, but you are right not to rule out CG or CP. You can get a great cut of meat at either place, but the settings are very different, so it will probably mostly come down to aesthetics. Capital Grille is old-school: dark wood walls, low ceiling--this IS your grandfather's steakhouse (not necessarily a bad thing). One strange thing--when I ate there recently, our red wine was quite chilly; we asked the waiter why, and he informed us that they keep all of their wines at 55 degrees. While I'm sympathetic to their need to preserve something like $5 million in wines, I did not appreciate having to warm my wine with my hands in order to bring it up to a reasonable temp.
CP is much brighter, with high ceilings--it's definitely a more "nouveau"-feeling room.
The bottom line is that you probably can't go wrong in either place if you're focused on getting a great steak, it's really a question of personal style.

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Capital Grille
601 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, DC 20004

Prime Rib
2020 K Street, NW, Washington, DC 20006

Apr 28, 2011
marcj in Washington DC & Baltimore

Celebratory Dinner in D.C for NJ/NYC hound....and more

Komi would be great, but I'd be stunned if you could get in at this point (you'd surely be put on the waitlist, and probably be pretty far down it). The dinner at Cafe Atlantico is nothing special, although the cocktails are nice; even on short notice, you can probably do better. I haven't been to Vidalia in years; it used to be one of my favorites, but I hear it's gone substantially downhill.

Have you tried Corduroy? That might be a really nice fit for your specifications. The food is excellent, it's a nice, classy, quiet room, but not stuffy (unlike Citronelle).

Rasika might also work well for you--they make some lovely cocktails, and some of the dishes (black cod & palak chaat, I'm looking at you) are as good as anything in DC. It can be a bit loud, but not overwhelmingly so--it might be very nice for a celebration. It's short notice, but since you're eating late they might have availability.

For tasting menus, I would definitely choose Komi first, it's just a fantastic experience, although I think you might have a tough time getting out of there in under 2.5 hrs (is that too long?). My second choice would be either CityZen or Marcel's.

Enjoy!

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Cafe Atlantico
405 8th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20004

CityZen Restaurant
1330 Maryland Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20024

Rasika Restaurant
633 D Street, NW, Washington, DC 20004

Citronelle
3000 M Street NW, Washington, DC 20007

Komi
1509 17th St NW Ste 1, Washington, DC 20036

Vidalia
1990 M Street, Washington, DC 20036

Apr 26, 2011
marcj in Washington DC & Baltimore

Here's What We Like in Manhattan and in New Orleans. Please help us in DC

Yeah, Central is definitely your DBGB match (not that I've been to DBGB, but it sounds exactly like Central, which I love).

I've not had any Italian in DC that comes close to Lupa (one of my all-time favorites), but you might try Bibiana. The atmosphere is somewhat stuffier than at Lupa, and the food a bit less exuberant, but you will still eat very very well there.

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Bibiana
1100 New York Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20005

Apr 25, 2011
marcj in Washington DC & Baltimore

2nd Anniversary Dinner

I second Komi, with tremendous enthusiasm. It hits all of your specifications (great food, good service, non-stuffy atmosphere), and it's creative without being fussy. Overall, you're just about guaranteed an unforgettable meal there. Frankly, I prefer it to the Inn at LW.

In case you have trouble getting a reservation (call exactly one month to the day in advance, starting at noon), I also enthusiastically second Corduroy and Bibiana. I've never been to the main dining room at Palena, but based on everything I've heard (and the food I've had in the Cafe), it would also be an excellent option.

But Komi is definitely your number 1 option.

Apr 25, 2011
marcj in Washington DC & Baltimore

Power Lunch DC-Where To Take My Dad For A Power Lunch In DC-He Is From NY

I strongly second the recommendations of Charlie Palmer and Capital Grille, and would add Johnny's Half-Shell as well, in case your bf's dad (or your bf) would prefer seafood to steak.

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Capital Grille
601 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, DC 20004

Apr 18, 2011
marcj in Washington DC & Baltimore

Looking for a Great One Night Meal in D.C.

I agree with WPH and DMNGT--Komi is most definitely not uptight, and if it's possible for a meal to be worth $135/pp (food only), then the Komi dinner is. My wife and I go once a year, and I've never been disappointed (although I do get pretty sad afterwards, when I realize I've got to wait another year!)

I also like Beck a lot, and the downthread rec of Central makes much sense, although much of the fare there isn't really French (of course, it's "Frencher" than Komi).

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Komi
1509 17th St NW Ste 1, Washington, DC 20036

Apr 11, 2011
marcj in Washington DC & Baltimore

what to get at birch & barley?

Yes, the beet risotto is fantastic.

In a completely different vein, I agree with Steve--the bratburger is super. It's very rich, so plan (or omit) appetizers accordingly.

Mar 30, 2011
marcj in Washington DC & Baltimore

Adams Morgan dinner tonight

Wow, so the real, Korean-style karaoke. I don't know where they fit all those rooms in that building (doesn't look very big from the street), but based on your rec it sounds like it's worth a visit to at least try the food, and if my pipes are in order, maybe belt out a few.

Mar 27, 2011
marcj in Washington DC & Baltimore

Adams Morgan dinner tonight

Sounds great. How was the karaoke?

Mar 26, 2011
marcj in Washington DC & Baltimore

Bombay Club vs Rasika

Merzi. I've heard so-so reports, haven't been there myself.

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Merzi
415 7th St NW, Washington, DC, DC 20004

Mar 24, 2011
marcj in Washington DC & Baltimore

Great Itlaian in DC?

Enthusiastic second on Bibiana's agnolotti--the best Italian dish I've had in DC.

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Bibiana
1100 New York Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20005

Mar 24, 2011
marcj in Washington DC & Baltimore

Food at Union Station

I assume you meant "love" tomatoes, in which case I think the fact that they choose not to inflict what pass for tomatoes at, say, Subway, and off-season, might be a blessing rather than a curse.

I fully agree with you about the need for a health boost, especially considering my favorite (the 1 or 2 times a year I eat there) is the Wreck, which also accurately describes what it invariably does to my cholesterol/sodium/self-esteem every time I eat it. So bad, but soooooo good.

Mar 19, 2011
marcj in Washington DC & Baltimore

Food at Union Station

I don't know, on some level I think it's an admirable decision. For example, Breadline never has tomatoes off-season, because they're just not very good then. And although there's clearly a diference between a local shop and a national chain--and between their stated justifications in these specific cases--the bottom line is that you're not missing much by not having tomatoes in DC in March, since even if you had them what you'd get would almost surely be relatively mushy and flavorless.

Mar 19, 2011
marcj in Washington DC & Baltimore

Lunch, U Street? Somewhere else you love?

Yeah, I think Fast is your best option, especially for Monday lunch, when most of the best U St. options (e.g., L'Ocolat, Bistro La Bonne, St. Ex) are closed.

And frankly, if you're in the mood for a killer sandwich, Fast might be the best option any day of the week (although L'Ocolat makes some delightful paninis). But if you're back in the neighborhood in the future, definitely try the aforementioned places, and throw in Bar Pilar, for good measure.

Mar 09, 2011
marcj in Washington DC & Baltimore

Good date night recommendations please

Second on Palena and Cashion's, which appears to be experiencing something of a renaissance, at least according to Tom Sietsema (I haven't been in a while).

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Palena
3529 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington, DC 20008

Mar 06, 2011
marcj in Washington DC & Baltimore

Cubano Sandwich in DC NoVA Area?

Good to know. I had a nice salami-based sandwich there a while back--maybe on election day 2010?--but hadn't been there since, and didn't remember seeing a cubano on the menu.

Mar 05, 2011
marcj in Washington DC & Baltimore

Cubano Sandwich in DC NoVA Area?

I'll be the nth to sign on to Fast's Cubano, but I'm also curious--hamster, where's this shop you're talking about? Is it A & M? If so, I didn't know that they had a Cubano.

Mar 04, 2011
marcj in Washington DC & Baltimore

Lunch along K Street?

Don't they have tables set up outside when it's nice?

Feb 28, 2011
marcj in Washington DC & Baltimore

Got approx. $250 to spend and need a great restaurant recommendation

That's nice. I was there in December, and didn't see any male diners in ties.

Feb 28, 2011
marcj in Washington DC & Baltimore

Marcel's dress code?

I know you already heard from me on this, but I'll just reiterate--I was there two months ago, and from what I could see, I was the only guy in the dining room in a tie, much less a suit (I was wearing a sports coat and slacks). I'll be interested to hear if others have had different experiences.

As for dishes, the boudin blanc, lamb in phyllo, and lobster pappardelle are standouts.

Have fun!

Feb 24, 2011
marcj in Washington DC & Baltimore

Looking for pork belly

I bought a big hunk of pork belly at the P Street Whole Foods about 2 weeks ago.

Feb 18, 2011
marcj in Washington DC & Baltimore