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art and soul restuarant week??

i'm glad to see a favorable review. i have a reservation for tomorrow but was getting second thoughts after reading some negative RW reviews on yelp and tripadvisor. still debating. service as well as food is key for me.

Maverick Southern Kitchens (SNOB, High Cotton)

has anyone taken the charleston cooks demo/tasting class ($25)? how was it?

Vermilion- RW 2008

Was disappointed with this RW experience. I had been really looking forward to it because of the great reviews regarding the fresh local ingredients, etc. The service was pleasant but the food was not as good as expected. I had the VA ham with peaches and feta cheese. The presentation was very nice but the white peaches just didn't stand up to the salt of the ham and cheese which was quite good. I'm not sure why yellow peaches weren't used. The dish could have used some more sweetness. I had ordered the filet of beef for the main entree. I had asked the waitress if the "crispy Maytag blue cheese and truffle sauce" was thoroughly covering the beef and told her I couldn't have too much blue cheese. She said the sauce covers it but she could put it on the side. When the dish arrived with the sauce we saw that there was no blue cheese in it at all. It was just a deep fried medallion alongside the meat. Not a big deal but it seemed like the waitress could have mentioned that. The filet itself was slightly dry and definitely needed the accompaniments. Finally, they were out of the goat cheese cheesecake I had ordered and the waitress made it sound like we were getting a great substitute with the Vermilion trifle describing it as a trifle with angel food cake, fresh blueberries and peaches. I said ok. The dessert was very blah in presentation--the cake looked like 4 small cubed pieces of bread atop a layer of trifle. There were 4 blueberries and what looked like canned apples used for apple pie. Me and my companion took a couple of bites and moved onto the dessert she had ordered, the peppermint pattie which consisted of a chocolate chip brownie and mint ice cream with mint sauce. That was much better. When the waitress returned, she asked if we like the truffle and we said not really. She didn't seem surprised which kind of annoyed me. Why did she make it sound so great then? So while the food was definitely decent, the overall experience didn't make me want to return and pay full price.

TenPenh- RW 2008

Just wanted to report that we had a great experience here on a Tuesday night of RW 2008. The service was top-notch all around from the man who confirmed our reservation to the hosts to the waiters to the busboy. Extremely professional and well-trained. It made for a very relaxing and enjoyable meal. Our food was not the best I've had during RW but very good. For starters I had the lumpia spring rolls. I prefer more traditional spring rolls that aren't as meaty but these were good and came 3 to an order. My companion really enjoyed his chicken hot and sour soup. For a gratis starter we had Asian gazpacho which was great and had a slight kick. My entree (you can choose anything from the main menu) was the lamb chops with tabouleh sauce and chow foon noodles in sauce. Very good. My companion really enjoyed his seared ahi tuna. His noodles in peanut sauce tasted even better than mine. For dessert the choices didn't seem to be from the main menu which was disappointing. But my companion had a rich german chocolate brownie dessert that was decadent and satisfying. My brown sugar blondie was a little dry and needed the ice cream it came with. I would definitely return to TenPenh for a special occasion. The surroundings are beautiful and you could talk without interruption.

Anyone been to Enology yet??

Went to Enology last Saturday night. Was a little underwhelmed. After our experience at Eno in Chicago we were excited to find a similar concept here even if it was all American. I realize the bar used to be Zebra lounge but the window side area was absolutely freezing with a lot of drafts from the vents. I prefer a cozier feel for a wine bar. This was more modern. I couldn't drink much but I did taste the wine flight of my companion. It was just ok and this was supposedly the Chef's Choice of reds. The wine didn't have a lot of depth. The individual chocolates were too small to split as opposed to the ones we had in Chicago. But I guess that's why you order more, huh? My four cheese plate ($14) was very good. I selected a goat cheese, a cheddar and a two others I can't remember. But they were all high-quality, generously sized and ample bread was provided with olives and a fig jelly. I thought it was a much better value than the cheese plate I had seen at EatBar in Arlington. The service was slow towards the end--the waitress had to cover the whole section. And she didn't seem that knowledgable or enthused about the menu. I will likely try Veritas or Cork next time. The happy hour did look like a good deal here though. We had a pleasant meal at Cactus Cantina beforehand. Street parking wasn't hard to find in the neighborhoods nearby.

Recap of where we ate last weekend

whoops--one more place. Eno in the Intercontinental Chicago hotel...fun place for late night dessert and wine. Pricey but fun to do once. Service was ok. Got the feeling the well-heeled folks were treated a little nicer even though we were in pants and shirts :) But that's ok because we had an enjoyable evening relaxing in the comfy chairs and learning about what we were eating and drinking. Would go back.

Jul 08, 2008
foodallthetime in Chicago Area

Recap of where we ate last weekend

Thanks for the suggestions for our Chicago trip. Just my opinion on some of the places we hit. I have to say overall, the service was really good. Very friendly. Went to Gino's East just to see what the fuss was about. Don't know after going. We waited an hour to find the place 1/2 empty on Fri afternoon. Then the pizza just tasted dry and burned out. I imagined cornbread crust to be softer. Oh well. I wondered to myself if they just keep up the "wait" for the publicity and to make you order appetizers. It worked. But disappointing. Next day at Lou Malnati's was much better. Good service, much quicker and better tasting in my opinion. The Lou pizza tasted very flavorful. We also went to Heaven on Seven despite the mixed reviews I saw. Went to the Mag Mile location. We enjoyed it a lot. The coconut cake and gumbo were my favorite parts. Waitress was friendly and recommended Bandera when we asked for a place to relax with live music in background. We went for a dinner and enjoyed the jazz trio very much. Had a very nice burger and my SO enjoyed his sausage dish. I enjoyed the atmosphere and food at Old Jerusalem in Old Town after the Second City show. Would go back to try a whole meal v. the falafel sandwich I got. We went to Cafe Iberico with relatives. I didn't find the paella that flavorful but my cousin liked his beef steak dish a lot. Thanks for all the tips. Much more to try on my next trip!

Jul 08, 2008
foodallthetime in Chicago Area

Le Pain Quotidien at Bethesda

The service overall at this location was awful. The address given at the site is not on a map yet so you have to google to find other addresses (Arlington Blvd. was close). We had to put our name on a waiting list mid-afternoon on Sunday (today). Although my friends were standing next to the hostess, she claims she called our name and we missed it. When we were finally seated, it took over 10 minutes for a waitress to come by. She didn't say anything about the delay. After ordering it took another 10-15 minutes to get our lemonades. The homemade lemonade had absolutely no sugar in it. We had to add sugar and water. Our food (two cold tartines and side of hummus) took about 45 more minutes. During this time, the waitress only came by once (about 15 minutes in) to say the food would be coming shortly. After that, nothing. After about 35 minutes, I went up to her at the stand and asked her to go check again. She replied all the orders were backed up but she would go see and apologized. She didn't check back in with for another 10 minutes and said it would be two more minutes. When the food finally arrived, it was nothing great, especially for $9-10 per tartine. My baguette and hummus was ok but again, nothing spectacular or worth waiting 45 minutes. I asked for a bag to put my baguette in. She gave me a little salad box.

I'm all about leisurely lunches but this was a little too much. Especially with all the indifference. As we were paying the bill, the waitress said this was her last day since the kitchen is always behind which leaves her with lousy tips. True? Who knows. It seems like people around us were getting their food. Either way, I think more could have been done. I tried to spot a manager-looking person but most looked bored to be there and were standing around. I didn't have the energy so wrote an email instead. In the meantime, make sure you have a lot of time if you go to this location.

Ceiba 2008 RW food recommendations?

Just to report back..thank you for the recommendations! I have to say I was a little disappointed with the overall experience and food I ordered. The Peruvian ceviche was good although the shrimp cocktail ceviche my husband ordered had a great kick to it. My steak with chimchurri sauce had maybe a teaspoon of sauce on it so was quite dry. The mushrooms and onion rings did not add anything to the dish. The Brazilian carrot cake tasted more like a dry overcooked muffin. My husband fared better. His pork tenderloin was the most flavorful I've tasted and had great accompaniments. Service was somewhat inattentive during the meal and the restroom was a complete mess with overflowing trash as well as a lack of paper towels and tissue. I don't think I'll be returning to try the full menu. Corduroy still remains my favorite.

Ceiba 2008 RW food recommendations?

Has anyone eaten at Ceiba during this RW? Any recommendations on what to order? We are going tomorrow night.

Late-night chow in Dupont or U Street?

We got hit with the per-person minimum at 9:30 at Chi Cha on a weekend night--even our pregnant friend. They wouldn't even let us average it out. It was also very crowded. I've eaten at Bistro du Coin very late in Dupont.

zola, oyamel, 701 and cap hill questions

Thanks everyone! Le Bon sounds perfect, I hope its open. The NMAI is great but I've already taken them there. Otherwise good backups! Does Belga have good service? I thought I had read somewhere no? Does Bistro du Coin have vegetarian? I can't remember. Great info on Chinatown too.

zola, oyamel, 701 and cap hill questions

Hi, parents are coming to town so a few questions:
oyamel--no reservations available; is it possible to walk-in for 4 w/o waiting all night?
want to take them somewhere in the area afterwards
701--they like jazz but is the atmosphere very stuffy/staid after dinner on a saturday?
zola--was a cool bar from what i remember but are there tables if just having drinks?

also, does anyone know a good place near Capitol or LOC for a late lunch on Saturday (post 2:30?)

thanks!