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Buckhead for lunch, plus a dinner dilemma

Wednesday night I made it to MF Buckhead and anticipated some amazing sushi. I was warmly greeted and whisked to a nice table and brought a hot washcloth for my hands. The décor was elegant and modern with intriguing moving chandeliers. I ordered a cocktail which was mostly a manhattan with sake and a blueberry stir... tasty, slightly unusual, and fun. I was informed that the flounder was particularly good that night and since I love flounder, I decided to get the flounder with yuzu appetizer and a large roll for dinner (it had salmon, but I don't recall the rest of the construction at this point). The server seemed surprised that that's all I ordered, and afterward I can see why. I probably should have had another roll or something to fill out the dinner because it was rather light... but given the prices I thought that I'd be getting quite a lot more of both the appetizer and roll than I actually got.

The service was quite nice, ambiance pleasant, and the food was good, but I don't think it merited the prices they were charging for any of it. Here in DC I can get stuff of the same quality and innovation for probably about 60% to 75% of the price. Perhaps if I were more knowledgeable about their particular strengths I might've ordered better... maybe I just missed their specialties. But unless I go with someone who loves the place, I probably won't return.

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MF Buckhead
3280 Peachtree Road, NW #110, Atlanta, GA 30305

Jun 20, 2010
chinkleDC in Atlanta

Buckhead for lunch, plus a dinner dilemma

I was able to squeeze in lunch on Saturday at Bistro Niko. My waiter was very patient with me; I was hungry but indecisive. Ultimately, with some guidance, I ordered the Thon et Saumon appetizer and the Gigot d'Agneau sandwich along with an iced tea, which they brought quickly with the simple syrup I had requested. The tuna and salmon was okay. The fish was of good quality, but I could've done without the canteloupe bits that were scattered on top and the sweet sauce (ginger/orange, I presume) that pooled on the plate under the garnish greens in the center. The sandwich was very good -- the lamb was tender and flavorful, and I particularly enjoyed the preserved lemon bits along with the olive tapenade (although it was more of a coarse chop than a tapenade) that were on the sandwich. The bread (I'm a stickler for bread) was an excellent ciabatta roll.

The service was fairly quick (it's a bistro, after all) and pleasant. I'd probably go back if I were in the mood for French.

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Bistro Niko
3344 Peachtree Road, Atlanta, GA 30319

Jun 20, 2010
chinkleDC in Atlanta

Buckhead for lunch, plus a dinner dilemma

I was wondering if I'd be able to get into Flying Biscuit because they seemed quite the happening place, but I did get to stop in there for lunch on Friday and was quite happy that I did. The Fried Green Tomato BLT was calling to me, but the BBQ Chicken burrito also looked interesting, and upon the recommendation of the gentleman who noticed I was sitting a bit too long without having seen a server, that is what I ordered along with an iced chai. My server showed up at that point and very pleasantly apologized for having kept me waiting. She brought the chai I'd ordered, and it was quite good.

Then the burrito came, and I was thrilled. The guy's recommendation was spot-on. This was a wonderful taste sensation. I really enjoyed it thoroughly. I mean, who puts collard greens in a burrito? Answer: I will, from now on. It was fabulous. The "moon dusted" potatoes on the side were copious and delicious with their hint of rosemary. I had been looking for a dish that came with a biscuit, but settled for the burrito thinking I'd not get one... but I did, and it came, delicate texture and all, with what tasted like a spiced cranberry sauce.

The server came by and said she'd "accidentally" made an extra iced chai and asked if I'd like it. I took it gratefully, but it filled me up so I wasn't able to finish all the tasty potatoes. I was a little surprised when the bill came and the iced chai for $1.99 became a chai latte for $2.79... but since I got a free one I didn't complain and simply paid the bill. I'd happily return again sometime. The free wifi while waiting for my meal was a great bonus. :)

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The Flying Biscuit Cafe - Terminus
3280 Peachtree Road NE, Atlanta, GA 30305

Jun 20, 2010
chinkleDC in Atlanta

Buckhead for lunch, plus a dinner dilemma

I met up with a college friend of mine and we headed over to Antica Posta on Friday night. I was glad for the suggestion, but a little leery because, frankly, I thought their website was really awful. Fortunately it seems they put a lot more effort into their food and their staff than they do their website. :)

The valet was very quick and friendly, and we were greeted inside by Marco with a warm welcome and handshake. We were quickly escorted to our table. Our server was helpful and knowledgeable about the food, and when I mentioned that my friend and I hadn't seen each other in 15 years and needed some time to catch up, he became less hover-y and let us take our time.

I was hoping for kind of a tasting menu, and while they didn't offer one, we sort of created our own by each getting an appetizer, splitting a pasta, and taking advantage of their "small-bites" entrees. This left room for dessert without feeling unpleasantly full. To start, I had the grilled octopus which was simply perfect. The octopus was tender and juicy without the slightest hint of rubberiness. If memory serves, it was served with arugula, the pepperiness of which complimented the grilled octopus quite nicely.

Our split pasta was the spinach and ricotta ravioli with sage and brown butter and parmesan. The pasta was exquisite. It seemed to be homemade; the spinach had great texture, the pasta was nicely cooked, and the sauce had a wonderful depth of flavor. The one regret here is that I didn't make it clear we wanted to split a full portion of the pasta -- they gave us an appetizer portion which was just one raviolo each.

For the secondo I had the baked sea bass served on swiss chard. It was perfectly cooked and delightful. My friend had the steak with black truffle carpaccio which she enjoyed very much. I had ordered a pinot grigio to go with my fish, and (this was the only service let-down of the night) I had to ask for it twice. No big deal on that, though. (Oh, and I think the cocktail I asked for had Diet Coke instead of regular, but I didn't mention it to them, so they had no chance to fix it.)

Finishing the experience, we had the Torta Caprese, which is quite brownie-like and delicious, and the Semifreddo, which is quite like a hybrid of a Snickers bar and soft ice cream. I would definitely return to Antica Posta and recommend it to friends. I like to think that I know good Italian food, and this is definitely that.

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Antica Posta
519 East Paces Ferry Road, Atlanta, GA 30305

Jun 20, 2010
chinkleDC in Atlanta

Buckhead for lunch, plus a dinner dilemma

I'm back from my trip... I was able to go to MF Buckhead, Flying Biscuit, Antica Posta, and Bistro Niko... I'll write up each of them. Thanks again for the recommendations!

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Antica Posta
519 East Paces Ferry Road, Atlanta, GA 30305

MF Buckhead
3280 Peachtree Road, NW #110, Atlanta, GA 30305

The Flying Biscuit Cafe - Terminus
3280 Peachtree Road NE, Atlanta, GA 30305

Bistro Niko
3344 Peachtree Road, Atlanta, GA 30319

Jun 20, 2010
chinkleDC in Atlanta

Buckhead for lunch, plus a dinner dilemma

Thanks all... these sound like some great options. :) I wish I were staying longer!

Jun 15, 2010
chinkleDC in Atlanta

Buckhead for lunch, plus a dinner dilemma

Thanks Ryun... Sounds like Bone's would be a quintessential Atlanta experience. Are there other restaurants that would also be uniquely "Atlanta" that you'd recommend? It looks like getting a reservation at Bone's might be iffy on short notice.

chinkle

Jun 14, 2010
chinkleDC in Atlanta

Buckhead for lunch, plus a dinner dilemma

I'll be at a conference hosted in Buckhead this week and will be sans car. I've got room on my schedule for two lunches (lamentably only an hour long break on Wednesday and Friday), plus dinner on Friday and Saturday.

I'm looking for fabulous (and quick) lunch recs. w/in walking distance of the Hyatts on Peachtree Rd NE and Piedmont.

Dinner gets more complicated. Friday night I plan to go out after dinner, so I'd like a feast for the senses that won't sit like a rock in my stomach... light, but not simple, if you know what I mean. Aria has piqued my interest... any thoughts there?

Saturday's tricky because I'll have checked out of the hotel already and will need to be at the airport by 8pm for my 9pm flight back to DC. The conference is done by 6. Should I stay in Buckhead for dinner and then catch a cab or MARTA to the airport, or should I head toward the airport and dine somewhere closer?

I'll more than likely be dining alone and I have no dietary restrictions. Thanks for the help!
chinkleDC

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Aria
490 E. Paces Ferry Rd., Atlanta, GA 30305

Jun 14, 2010
chinkleDC in Atlanta

Lunch Suggestions in Reston

I happened to try El Manantial today. I asked for sweetened iced tea, and the waiter said that while they didn't have any sweetened, that the tea was black currant flavored and very good. He was right.

I made the mistake of ordering their "crunchy and fried Thai chicken." While it was both crunchy and (over)fried, it was not, IMHO, Thai. It tasted like a poor imitation of sweet and sour Chinese food. Probably my fault for ordering something Asian at a place that bills themselves out as European.

The bread served before the meal was very nice. The service was attentive and pleasant. If I go back (this was my first time in Reston, and I don't have occasion to go... ever), I might try the pizza... but they should take that Thai dish off the menu.

What's the 2nd best sandwich place in DC?

Oops, that should've been Bethesda Deli. :) It's on the ground floor (outside entrance) of the Bethesda Place tower, across from the copy center. Just south of Philadelphia Mike's and the Mongolian Grill.

7700 Wisconsin Ave Suite G
Bethesda, MD 20814
(301) 652-3354

http://www.urbanspoon.com/r/7/100580/...

What's the 2nd best sandwich place in DC?

This reminds me of the Bethesda Cafe... haven't been there in a while, but it's run by a bunch of fun Asian women and they do the same thing -- hand carved turkey, brisket, etc. Great sandwiches and wraps very fast. I love going there when I find myself in Bethesda for lunch. :)

unsweetened, Dutch-processed cocoa in DC?

I've never had a problem finding it at Safeway or Giant... Hershey's makes an acceptable product for my taste.

What's the 2nd best sandwich place in DC?

Maybe it's not that chow-worthy, but I really like Potbelly's. :) I don't get to go there very often, though. Their hot peppers are great (I need to go back to get another jar for my homemade sandwiches, which, of course, I prefer to restaurants' sandwiches, but anyway...).

German in NoVA?

Another not-nearby one is Zum Rheingarten in Stafford, VA (near Quantico). As I recall it has an atmosphere like you're eating in someone's home... It's been YEARS since I've been there, though, and I've only been once or twice, so I'm not sure how chow-worthy it is. :)

http://www.zumrheingarten.com

Le Bledo Bakery

In Brookfield Plaza I always advocate House of Siam for Thai food. :)

Le Bledo Bakery

We tried Green Olives once a few years ago. Weren't thrilled.. it was only okay. Sorry to say I haven't tried Le Bledo. I walked in there thinking it was a traditional French bakery and when I saw that it wasn't I left (was looking for a special cake for a birthday and was running late). I didn't realize what it really was. I'll have to try it sometime soon. (Happened to be in that shopping center this morning for my cat -- the Vet Referral center there is top-notch, but that's for a different board. :) )

Mint Crisp M&Ms -- anyone spotted them yet?

The Target on Rt 1 south of Alexandria has the Wild Cherry ones on discount. :)

Need Recs in South Alexandria

Cut over to Telegraph Rd (take S. Kings, for example) and head south to the shopping center before Hayfield Rd. There's a great Chinese place there called House of Dynasty. North of you on Huntington is a fun Latino place called Pilar's which has good stuff.

Gazpacho in DC

I liked the gazpacho at Sol de España on Rockville Pike just south of Rockville.
http://www.washingtonian.com/restaura...

Just moved to Cherrydale, Arlington area

Mmmm... I've not had that, but it sounds awesome. We usually go there for their white chocolate mousse cakes for special occasions (that is, when *I'm* not baking!). :) Their site is kind of sparse, yes... probably because they're SO popular they don't think they need to put much more energy into advertising online (which is a mistake, IMNSHO as a web developer by trade). Maybe we could help them with that in exchange for some goodies... :)

Just moved to Cherrydale, Arlington area

Don't miss Randolph's... http://www.pastriesbyrandolph.com/
It's got some of the best goodies in the metro area... :)

Figs needed

I'm afraid you'll probably have to try again in June/July. The only other place I could think to try would be Wegman's, but only by reputation as I have never been there (but it's on my list of things to do when I have a spare couple of hours, which is never).

Mint Crisp M&Ms -- anyone spotted them yet?

I got them at Safeway in the Rose Hill shopping center on Franconia Rd (or was it the Giant in Springfield? now I can't remember). Anyway, that was a week ago and my bag's almost empty. :) They were in a big display in the dairy section (? yeah, I know).

ANYTHING to eat in Springfield/South Alexandria?

If Brookfield Plaza is the "orange mall" on the west side of Backlick (as opposed to the "blue mall" on the east side), then that's where House of Siam is. It's one of our favorite Thai places. It's very mom-and-pop... except in this case it's daughter-and-son-in-law. :)

It's probably not very "foodie," but the people are nice and the food is tasty. We refer to it as "Cheesy Thai" because of the décor. :) Until a couple of years ago they had real silver utensils on the table... but the tables were covered in those plasticked diner-style tablecloths, and they used paper napkins. Very strange, but it spoke to us on some level. :)

Zorkafor's Sandveg

Ok, so I tried it. Color me less than impressed. A "SandVeg" is a pita pocket stuffed with shredded iceberg lettuce and your choice of: Falafel, "Veggies", Beef, Chicken, or a beef hot dog. They also have regular buns for hot dogs. That, by the way, is their entire menu of entrees. A "combo" will include fries (done in peanut oil) and a drink. Lest I forget, you can have "extras" on your SandVeg: Hummus, Baba Ghanoush, or Feta Cheese for $0.50. You can also add more an extra piece of falafel, chicken, beef, or hot dog for the same price (except $0.75 for chicken). The fries are advertised as "fresh cut," but I didn't get them, so I can't comment. I got myself a chicken SandVeg, and added hummus.

All that said, it doesn't describe the concept of the place -- which is that they provide you a salad bar-ish array of veggie toppings to put on your sandwich after you get it (you're free to bag it yourself after you've topped your SandVeg, if you want it to-go). The chopped veggies include your standard lettuce (more lettuce?!), tomato, onion, carrots, etc., and then they throw in fancier things like fresh salsa, hot peppers, pickled beets, pickled turnip, pickled mini-eggplant, green olives and such. They have hot harissa, jalapeño, tahini, mustard, and a couple other spreads for toppings.

My sandwich was ok the way I made it up... hard to complain about something you end up making yourself, of course. I detest shredded iceberg lettuce, though, so if I go back I'll ask them to leave it off, and probably add the feta. The hummus on it was ok, but the pita pocket itself was less than stellar... certainly not fresh baked. The four chicken breast nuggets on there were done appropriately -- juicy, not dry.

So... there you go. I don't particularly think it's Chow-worthy, but you might like it if Mediterranean-style fast food is your thing.

website: http://www.zorkafors.com/

Everyday Eating: Restaurants you frequent

Agree about Thaiphoon, however we've never had decent service there, and the tables are packed in so tightly it's impossible to get up and go to the bathroom without disturbing 3 other parties. We prefer Thai Chef across the street.

Everyday Eating: Restaurants you frequent

At work in Rockville/Bethesda:
- Mediterranean House of Kabob on Rockville Pk (make their own pita -- get it with the hummus; friendly staff)
- Tara Thai
- Panera on S. Jefferson (been to others, but this one's better)
- Popeye's (I know, I know, but when I'm running late...)
- Chipotle (as above, but their steak salad is great)
- Mamma Lucia for pizza when I'm feeling particularly self-indulgent

At work in Alexandria (King St):
- Asian Bistro
- Bumblefish
- Cafe Salsa (service can be slow, and they seem reluctant to handle takeout, but the food's very nice)
- Also stopped in just recently at the new bakery place there at King and Washington across from Bumblefish -- don't remember the name, but it was quite good... took a while to get the sandwich from the kitchen, but tasty anyway.

At play in Dupont Circle... a group of us pick a place once a week after church... here is our list of "regulars:"
- Banana Leaves
- Thai Chef
- Timberlake's
- La Frontera Cantina
- Sette (good pizza, a bit upscale)
- Cafe Odeon
- Anna Maria's
- Alero

Zorkafor's Sandveg

I've been watching this place for a while, wondering when it was going to open... thanks for the heads-up. I'll try it the next time I'm at my office (which is on the next block).

D.C. : Funky near GWU? Did I make this up?

I liked DJ's Fastbreak... never knew what the actual name of the place was, but whenever I had a show at the Kennedy Center, I'd stop there first on my way to rehearsal or a concert.

Where to get your Knife professionally sharpened?

La Cuisine on Cameron St. in Alexandria: http://www.lacuisineus.com/. It's $3 or $4 per knife, depending on type. They do a good job (managed to slice my finger last night cleaning one of my recently-sharpened knives...). Usually a two-day turnaround time.