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VaPaula's Profile

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Where can I buy Rosé de Riceys?

I love wine searcher! I just used it yesterday to find some Irouléguy Arretxea. I found it, but I also found out I have to go to NYC for it (or get it shipped, of course, but going there is easy for me). It's a good resource.

Apr 16, 2014
VaPaula in France

Request for mini reports week ending April 13

Dolce Veloce, Fairfax

I've been wanting to try this place for awhile, but they have odd hours on the weekend, i.e. open at 1:30 Saturday and 3:00 Sunday. So we went for a late lunch Saturday. It bills itself as a wine & cicchetti bar. We tried three small plates: arancini, torre di mozzarella, and grilled calamari. Arancini, in general, should come with a warning label about how hot they are inside. This was not the case. They were room temp, not good. Although at least they weren't greasy. The grilled calamari was rubbery and bland. The torre di mozzarella was very good: layers of mozzarella, roasted red peppers, and roasted eggplant with a fig balsamic reduction. Both wines were opened the night before (if not a bit earlier) and weren't stored properly. I hate that, but I do understand you can't open a new bottle of wine for each glass when you have tons of wine by the glass.

So the verdict is that I'd go back and try some other dishes. The service was efficient and friendly and the space is nice for a non-descript shopping plaza.

Apr 16, 2014
VaPaula in Washington DC & Baltimore

Paris restaurants in September and a redo in April

Yes. I was thinking what a nice report this is, and how it's a shame no one will find it if they search for "foie gras."

Thanks for the report, ciaosusanna. I had to laugh as I had the exact same foie gras dish (which I enjoyed) at Le Hangar in about 1998. So you're right, the menu doesn't change much! Considering you were getting sick of food towards the end, I think you did well!

Apr 15, 2014
VaPaula in France

Sales tax on food consumed at the bar

Same here. When I first read your post, I distinctly remembered accidently stiffing a bartender on a tip many, many years ago because I merely doubled the tax at the time. (Not to worry, my friend and I were regulars so we made it up to him.)

But it sounds like it must have been something else that tripped me up that night. Maybe it was simply all the wine. ;-)

Apr 10, 2014
VaPaula in Manhattan

Brief Opnionated Boulangerie Report

Great research - sorry about the misses - and thanks for sharing your opinions. Our bread tastes sound similar (and I'm a metro girl, too, ha ha.)

Glad to hear the Abbesses Le Grenier à Pain is still up there. It was one of our favorites when we stayed in that neighborhood a couple trips ago.

Inconsistency just makes me nuts (although I understand why and how it happens) when it comes to food.

Apr 10, 2014
VaPaula in France

Any thoughts on La Lunchonette?

I was there about a year or so ago for lunch - good duck confit salad. I tasted friends' dishes and IIRC, everything was pretty solid. Just good, basic French fare. Nice people, too.

Apr 05, 2014
VaPaula in Manhattan

Santa Barbara

My husband and I rather enjoyed our lunch at Santa Barbara Shellfish Company a couple weeks ago. Granted, my main focus that day was 1. sitting outside (coming off a BAD winter in the MidAtlantic) and 2. view, so I guess my standards weren't set that high. Still, the abalone special was terrific - very light dish all around, but flavorful; and my husband, who loves any culture's version of fish soup, really enjoyed the cioppino. Good oysters on the half shell, too, and great service. Touristy, yes, but see numbers 1 and 2 above. :-)

Apr 02, 2014
VaPaula in California

Paris trip report: Le Bon Georges, Au Petit Sud-Ouest, Jeanne B, La Table des Anges, Candelaria, and a spot of foraging on rue des Martyrs

"The highlights of our weekend came in wax-paper wrappings rather than on restaurant tables:"

That sentence made me smile, although I am sorry to hear about all the restaurant misses. A weekend saved by Rue des Martyrs! Thanks for the thoughtful, detailed report.

Apr 01, 2014
VaPaula in France

Request for mini reports week ending March 30

It's not. :-( I tried calling them on MLK Jr. day since I had the day off, but no one picked up the phone and we were not about to make that trek for naught. (Makes sense they were closed given the location.) I regularly crave the pasta jambalaya, which I haven't had since Cajun Bangkok closed in Richmond.

Apr 01, 2014
VaPaula in Washington DC & Baltimore

Request for mini reports week ending March 30

Veritas Wine Bar, Dupont - I had a voucher for wine flights and a plate of cheese/charcuterie for two. I've been here before and I find the staff 50/50 in terms of wine knowledge - it just depends on who you get. Regardless, they like talking about wine, and I do, too. I thought it was a pretty good deal and I like the place, in general. The "hot lomo" (spicy, dried pork loin) was quite tasty, especially with one of the tempranillos I had.

Mourayo, Dupont - hadn't been here in awhile and after we left, wondered why. The bar was empty on a Monday night. We didn't have a full meal (post Veritas), but enjoyed the dip/spread platter (red pepper dip was a favorite), cold seafood appetizer platter (good octopus salad) and a couple glasses of Greek wine. Nothing mind-blowing, but flavorful and hit the spot. Good pita, too.

Mar 31, 2014
VaPaula in Washington DC & Baltimore

Ongoing Visit in the Gard

What has me salivating more than the food is the dining en plein air. We had rain, sleet and snow in DC yesterday! So color me a deep green. :-)

Just wanted to say I've been enjoying your report, Laidback - thanks for posting.

Mar 31, 2014
VaPaula in France

Best Grilled Cheese sandwich

+1 on Earl's, I'm remembering a good, pungent blue cheese on my sandwich - perfect with the beer I had.

Mar 28, 2014
VaPaula in Manhattan

Report from my stay in Paris – and the much-debated overnight in Fontainebleau

Precisely why I did NOT call it Prosciutto di Parma nor Prosciutto di San Daniele - because it's not, so of course it doesn't bear any resemblance to those! The OP and others were talking about prosciuttos which are not from Italy, and I'd say one from Iowa fits in with that discussion.

Mar 25, 2014
VaPaula in France
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Report from my stay in Paris – and the much-debated overnight in Fontainebleau

Ccferg, if you see the brand "La Quercia," I highly recommend it. It's PROSCIUTTO made in IOWA. Delicious.

I just wanted to get back on topic to say thanks for posting your report. I was following that Fontainebleau thread with interest. And as a Montmartre fan (our base of choice) I was so happy to hear you liked the 'hood.

And it's Café Bruant, but you were close! I only know that because my husband and I wandered in there one evening for a drink. Definitely lots of locals.

Mar 25, 2014
VaPaula in France

Chop't' - Old G'town Rd, Bethesda (Wildwood Shopping Center)

Funny, I had lunch from Chop't for the first time yesterday (16th & L). I like sweetgreen better, but I enjoyed my Mexican Caesar from Chop't, and jalapeño = not tasteless for me. The spa Caesar dressing had some flavor, too.

I agree on the non-messy aspect - love that! Also agree that those kids behind the counter are something - it was ridiculously packed, but I was in & out in no time.

Nothing earth-shattering, but another lunch option for me.

Mar 25, 2014
VaPaula in Washington DC & Baltimore

Normandy Report - Bayeux, Port-en-Bessin, Granville

I've been known to use a U.S. quarter in a photo, for scale. But a baguette is much more civilized (not to mention delicious and more photogenic) that I will have to rethink that. ;-)

Btw, I've enjoyed all your reports. Thanks so much for sharing - love the detail.

Mar 12, 2014
VaPaula in France

What is around Duane Hotel?

Oops - should google BEFORE posting. Apparently Silver Lining is closed.

Mar 05, 2014
VaPaula in Manhattan

What is around Duane Hotel?

Weather Up and Silver Lining are in that immediate vicinity. I went to both while staying in Tribeca last year and would give a slight edge to Weather Up - better drinks and not as young a crowd.

Mar 05, 2014
VaPaula in Manhattan

Chef Christian Delouvrier at La Mangeoire

I'm happy to hear this. I ate there fairly regularly in the late 90s/early 00s and I would describe it exactly as you did today! I don't think we ever made a reservation; and the food & service were always good even if there weren't many culinary surprises. There's something to be said for consistency.

Mar 05, 2014
VaPaula in Manhattan

Going to Txikito for dinner, any must have dishes and recs for drinks near by?

+1 on the arraultza, morcilla and mushrooms. There was a brook trout special when we there a couple months ago - wrapped in Serrano and simply cooked. Really good.

Mar 04, 2014
VaPaula in Manhattan

Foggy Bottom Restaurants

I'm going to jump on the "other" too and suggest Ris. We've been there many times, but this past Saturday was the first time we ordered the Marquee menu. What a steal! $35 for 3 courses before 6:30 or after 10:00. Sweet potato/bourbon soup to start; grilled quail & pappardelle with mushrooms for mains; sorbet for dessert. All delicious.

Mar 03, 2014
VaPaula in Washington DC & Baltimore

Requesting recent reports on Ray's to the Third

We were there 6 months (or so) ago and enjoyed it. We don't eat tons of red meat so I am not a burger aficionado, but it was cooked to order and flavorful. I went with the blue cheese one. I'm not remembering the fries, which likely means they were just ok. Service was good, efficient.

Mar 03, 2014
VaPaula in Washington DC & Baltimore

What person would you most like to dine with in Paris? No rules, Jesus to Dieudonné M'bala.

My father, of Polish descent, who was the antithesis of a foodie (I get my love of food from my Sicilian mother), ate to live, and found oregano much too spicy!

But when I told him many years ago that I was going to spend a semester in Paris, he shared his fondest memory of the city with me. He was there Post-Normandy (WWII, Army) and all he could remember were the women on bicycles, whose skirts would fly up from time to time. No Eiffel Tower, no Notre Dame, nothing like that, but as he said, he hadn't seen a woman in a long, long time. :-)

I don't know where I'd take him, but some place with a good choucroute garnie, because he would definitely enjoy that, and a quiet place so we could chat. He was a shot-and-a-beer man, so I'd ply him with those because that was the only time he ever truly opened up and told stories of his colorful (pre-my mother) past. Boy, do I miss him.

Mar 03, 2014
VaPaula in France

Relative advantages of a la carte and chef's tasting menus

If forced to choose between the two, definitely "no choice." I love surprises.

Feb 26, 2014
VaPaula in France

Relative advantages of a la carte and chef's tasting menus

I love no choice menus (I think I started a thread on it once and I don't start many threads!) and being put in the chef's hands since this usually means tasting many different things - and that is how I like to eat. In fact, I hope that the "small plates" trend never goes away.

I also like, as others have already mentioned, the idea of 2 choices since my husband is exactly like me and this way, we get to taste the whole menu.

I am not a dessert person either and don't order it in an a la carte situation, but I love it in a tasting menu and never ever regret it. As a mainly non-sweets eater, it totally opens up my world to what dessert can be - and many of them are so very creative and delicious these days. They're not my mama's desserts, that's for sure!

Feb 26, 2014
VaPaula in France

40 Something overweight couple looking for nice lounge or quiet place to have drinks and some food after a show...

+1 for Lantern's Keep. Went there for the first time in November before a show (thanks to kathryn & others) and just loved it. Totally laid back and very friendly (not to mention talented) bartender. It will be added to our regular rotation pre- and/or post-show. Awesome cocktails.

Feb 26, 2014
VaPaula in Manhattan

Recap MoKoMandy ChowMeet 6/11/13. Well worth the visit. Definitely worth a repeat.

I dream about the foie gras dumplings, so I'm not surprised that those came out on top.

We really need to get back there one of these days, but between them not offering the dumplings during their weekend brunch, and it being quite a haul, it just hasn't happened.

Thanks for the report.

Feb 19, 2014
VaPaula in Washington DC & Baltimore

Best foie gras dishes in DC area

Yes - I was responding to holdtheline who mentioned Fiola.

Enjoy!

Feb 17, 2014
VaPaula in Washington DC & Baltimore

Lunch at Verjus?

Great, but I'll still add that I'm with jock - we had a great experience about 9 mos ago (had been to HK years ago, which is how Verjus was on MY radar) - dinner, though - not lunch. The tasting menu is a steal, imo. Given the time of year, we were treated to a taste of Spring (the season not the resto!) - so much green, fresh & delicate on my plate, I was one happy camper.

Do report back if you go for lunch!

Feb 16, 2014
VaPaula in France

Explosion at Denise Acabo

Oh wow, that picture makes me want to cry. We were there for the first time last May, and vowed it wouldn't be the last. It was such a unique experience! Here's hoping all the injured recover & that Mme Acabo can rebuild & reopen. I think she might whither away without her shop - she has such passion for her craft.

Feb 16, 2014
VaPaula in France