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DCRandy's Profile

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Smith Mountain Lake Restaurants

I have lived at SML for a few years and found a couple of excellent restaurants, some good ones and a bunch of really marginal ones. I thought I would post some of my experiences and see what other folks either living here or visiting the area think about different eateries in the area.

My wife and I just ate at a newly opened restaurant called Eastlake Restaurant. We had hot buffalo wings, a cheeseburger and a chicken caesar wrap. The wings were moist and cooked to order. The cheeseburger was made from fresh beef and served on a nice, fresh bun. The chicken wrap was full of nice, moist chicken, not too much dressing and just the right amount of romaine lettuce. We shared a bottle of wine and the total bill was around $55 with tip. (the wine was about $22), We considered this a home run and will certainly return. Nice restaurant (just completed and opened a few weeks ago) and it was fairly busy on a Saturday afternoon.

Please let us know your thoughts about this restaurant or any others in the SML areas. Thanks for reading.

Mar 01, 2015
DCRandy in Mid-Atlantic

Can't miss spots?

Our favorites (most recent trip was on New Year's) was
- Bayona
- Herbsaint
- August (really fine high end restaurant)

we didn't eat at R'evolution (couldn't get in) but have heard really good things about it.

May 28, 2014
DCRandy in New Orleans

Request for mini reports week ending March 16

Try the fish and chips at Bidwell Restaurant in Union Market. They are the best I've had in DC. Fresh cod with crunchy beer batter, perfectly cooked. Great fries with spicy ketchup. Delicious!

Lenten Fish Fry in DC Area

My wife and I recently found the best fish fry we've had in years at Bidwell Restaurant at Union Market (1309 5th St NE, right in Union Market). The parking lot is right at the Market. We've eaten there twice in the past two weeks and it was fantastic both times. Fresh cod in a nice, crunchy beer batter and some terrific homemade fries served with their own spicy ketchup. You get a single, very large piece of cod; my wife and college-age daughter can't finish theirs, but I can't leave my plate alone until it's finished. Cooked perfectly, served with tarter sauce and, if requested, malt vinegar. Terrific! They also sell fresh oysters that are difficult to turn down and have a very interesting menu.

Seasoning cast iron or mineral pans

Thanks for the comments. I think I'll try it on one of my cast iron pans.

Oct 29, 2013
DCRandy in Cookware

Seasoning cast iron or mineral pans

Has anyone tried using food grade linseed oil to season a pan? I recall reading that this works so well that you can actually use soap on the pan to clean it up after cooking. Definitely DO NOT use regular linseed oil.

Oct 28, 2013
DCRandy in Cookware

Ethiopian food in downtown DC

Went to Etete last night with 3 foodies and everyone agreed that the meal was great. A couple of Wats (chicken and lamb) with veggies and some grilled beef (Tibs?). Great injera. Very reasonably priced. Great service.

Ethiopian food in downtown DC

thanks so much!

Ethiopian food in downtown DC

Where is a good place for Ethiopian food here in DC? Would prefer either U Street or Adam's Morgan, but can metro or cab to other places in downtown DC.

Mexican brunch in aurora

We are near Lowry and heading east on I 70. Where can we get a good Mexican breakfast (huevos w/ green chili)?

Apr 04, 2013
DCRandy in Mountain States

El Rey de Chivito - Fast Gourmet inside of a Gas Station, DC

Just at at fast Gourmet on Saturday. Very good. The chivito was great, as were the batter dipped fried eggplant. Excellent find!!!

Best sushi in D.C.?

I know this is dated board, but I had a great meal at Obi Sushi in Reston Town Center last week - excellent scallops. Everything except the eel was excellent. A little pricey, but they also have a very good sake list. This is consistently the best sushi in the western burbs that I have enjoyed.

Busara's in Tysons and Reston

Thanks Bubba - I will certainly try one of your suggestions.

Busara's in Tysons and Reston

Anyone have any opinions on either restaurant. We used to go all the time and enjoyed the wild pork and fresh flounder dishes, but haven't been there in over a year. Any feedback on the current dining experience?

Pizza and wings in Chantilly

thanks FFS. Appreciate the feedback

Pizza and wings in Chantilly

My wife is from upstate New York and has grown up eating wings with her pizza. Is there anyplace nearby that makes acceptable versions of both? They don't need to deliver, but it I can't find anyplace that does a good job of both. Any ideas?

best corned beef to buy?

We had the Wellshire Farms uncured corned beef brisket as well. They tried to fix the color with beet juice, but it didn't work. The flavor, though, was terrific.

Mar 22, 2012
DCRandy in Southern New England

Cajun / Creole food in DC?

I've had good luck at the Acadiana downtown - good BBQ shrimp (cajun style), gumbo, blackened redfish and fired green tomatoes. Not strictly authentic cajun by any stretch of the imagination, but they do seem to provide very good dishes with a cajun or creole flair. Somewhat expensive, though.

901 New York Ave NW Ste 200A, Washington, DC 20001

Reviews of our Anniversary trip to Paris

Folks on this site were so thoughtful with suggestions, we thought we would write our experiences with a few restaurants during our recent trip. We took a lot of advice from the staff, especially around wine, and were rarely disappointed. We are not connoisseurs, but we certainly do know what we enjoy. Your advice was extraordinarily helpful.

First night - ate at L'Ardoise - not expecting much but was thoroughly impressed. Escargot brioche was super, roast veal with veggies as well, but the highlight of the night was the superb creme brulee with whole raspberries in it. Entire meal for two with wine (house - 75 ml) was 120 euros.

Second night ate at La Regalade on St. Honore - The appetizer can only be described as a Coquille St. Jacque served cerviche style (raw, marinated in citrus). Outstanding. Seared duck with foie gras was great as well. Gotta tell you, though, the Grand Marnier souffle was the absolute best we've ever been served - then or since. Light, fluffy and not too strongly flavored. Truly exceptional. $130 euro for two with house wine.

Next big night out was at Chez Denise, and we have to say this was the least favorite restaurant. Choucroute with halibut, salmon and mussels just didn't work, roasted short ribs with veggies was tough and not much flavor. Traditional escargot was good, house wine was fine. 125 euros for two with wine.

Then we hit our favorite meal at Chez Josephine Dumonet. Endive salad with blue cheese, walnuts and balsamic reduction was great, as was the boeuf bourguignon, but the veal chop simply fried and served with fond riche was spectacular. Long wait for the Grand Marnier souffle, which was good, but couldn't compete with the La Regalade souffle. We had a 95 euro bottle of wine which pushed the bill (for 2) to 225 euros.

Before we left we then visited Benoit. Escargot was very good, filet with bordelaise and mac and cheese was also very, very good. The cassoulet was heavenly - lots of great duck, sausage and pork. Dessert was a frozen Grand Marnier souffle that we didn't understand (or like) at all. Felt like it should have been on a stick to lick as we left. Again, spent more on wine (105 euros including two sauternes) for a total tab for two on 250 euros.

Also had some great oysters at a place that looked like they were selling a lot of them, and other great lunches and lighter meals.

Many, many thanks to all of you who helped us navigate the food in Paris. Very memorable trip.

Dec 21, 2010
DCRandy in France

Anniversary trip to Paris

Thanks for your suggestions. Here is how our dining is shaping up (provided we can get reservations, of course):
L'Ambroisie for our celebratory dinner, then also be sure to enjoy Violon d'Iingres, Aux Fins Gourmets, and La Relagade. Does anyone have any ideas of a lunch place for fresh oysters?
We have also heard there are great Vietnamese restaurants in Paris. Any ideas or parts of town to visit? We will probably hit these for lunch.
Many thanks for your input everyone.

Nov 13, 2010
DCRandy in France

Anniversary trip to Paris

Thanks so much for the tips. We are assembling our list!
A couple of more inquiries, if I may: First, there is a lot of discussion here about L'Ambroisie. Is this a place to take my wife for our 25th anniversary celebration? We would like to find a romantic place, and, of course, the food and wine is of utmost importance. Second, a friend (living here in DC) from Alsace says she eats at le Coupe Chou whenever she is in Paris, but hasn't been there for awhile. I haven't seen much discussion about it and am curious if anyone has any thoughts.

Again, many thanks for your input Nancy S and Parigi. We are looking forward to this and will certainly post our comments when we return.

Nov 11, 2010
DCRandy in France

Anniversary trip to Paris

My wife and I are heading to Paris - staying near the Musee de l'Orangerie. Arriving Dec. 7 and leaving Dec. 15.
We haven't been to Paris for 27 years and are looking for a couple of great dinner experiences as well as other fabulous (but perhaps less expensive) Bistro or other moderate restaurants. We are looking forward to foie gras, escargot, and oysters, as well as cassoulet, canard a l'orange, coq au vin, boeuf bourguignon, blanquette de veau, etc. We are also very adventurous eaters as well.

We would very much appreciate some insight into restaurants, as well as time of evening to make reservations. We will probably contact the hotel in the next week or so to ask them to make reservations for us.

Any other tips or advice would be most appreciated.

Nov 10, 2010
DCRandy in France