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Coming to Boston for the Marathon. A little help, please...

Hi there,
We've been to no 9 park and thoroughly enjoyed it (prune stuffed gnocci with foie gras=great)
although I'd probably do something a little less rich and something familiar to the stomach the night before the marathon.

I would recommend Clio Monday night after the marathon over no 9 park. They have a more casual bar that serves part of the menu. (not sure exactly as we've never eaten at the bar)

The cassolette (lobster, sea urchin in parsnip milk) is my favorite and the saltiness is especially enjoyable after 26.2!

my wife has run the past 4 years- have a good race!

Mar 25, 2013
Hatch in Greater Boston Area

Plume: All The Right Looks, All the Wrong Moves

Raids,
I was surprised as I had seen this restaurant on a lot of people's "Best of DC" lists. Maybe they were blown away by the pomp and circumstance and didn't care about the quality of food (#1) and service. The food is brought out by service teams, and a few of the servers were lousy (the guy that brought the bread, our lead waiter, etc...)
If the food was flavor-packed, I don't think we would have been hungry afterwards. I was still craving something salty and sweet at the end of my meal, because the food was so bland. Another gripe: When my wife left to use the rest room, they took her napkin (beautiful linen cloth served with silver tongs at the start of the meal) and didn't replace it until we asked. Weird. Why wouldn't they take the napkin, fold it, and place it on her chair or place setting?

Plume: All The Right Looks, All the Wrong Moves

My wife and I took a quick weekend trip down from NYC to DC to see the Cherry Blossoms. We stayed at the Jefferson Hotel, and heard some good things about Plume. Here is my humble review:

I had called ahead to ask if both of us were required to order the tasting menu, as my wife has pescetarian/vegetarian leanings and would not eat the loin of lamb, among other items. The restaurant receptionist was very accommodating, and it sounded as if they were well-versed in serving optional courses for guests with dietary restrictions. We were looking forward to a wonderful dining experience, as we were impressed that a restaurant of their caliber would "customize" the menu for us.

The restaurant, along with the entire hotel, was beautifully renovated 7 months ago. The "greenhouse" at the front of the main entrance is picturesque, and many original crown moulding details were lovingly restored. The manager (more on him later) greeted us at the door and was very friendly. I will cut to the chase: Service was ill-timed, brusque, inattentive, uncoordinated, uninformed and a bit robotic (think: broken robot). I will qualify this by stating that I put myself through college waiting tables and bartending, so I know a little about the hospitality business. Although attractively presented, the food profiles were not exciting and I questioned some of the serving temperatures and cooking techniques.

The most egregious offense was the service. After being seated at a great table in a very intimate dining room, we waited for menus. Then water. Then Bread. After waiting at our table for 5-10 minutes, the manager came over and asked how we had enjoyed our day in the city. He realized our drink and meal orders had not been taken, so he obliged. About 10 minutes AFTER we had received our warm bread (tasty), our waiter served 2 Italian olive oils and 3 international sea salts, which he errantly stated was "for accompaniment with your upcoming meal". Turns out this was for the bread, which we had ALREADY eaten as we waited for our amuse bouche. Bottles were slammed on the table, our server reached across the table between the 2 of us to adjust for the next course, and he mumbled out a few basic ingredients: Halibut, Lamb, beets. "What is the sauce with the Lamb?", I asked. "Um, wine sauce." After a second reading of the menu, turns out it was black olive infused jus.

I was hoping to have a glass of white wine with my 4th course, the Seared Filet of Halibut and Morels, but our server was no where to be found. He finally asked at the 6th course if I would like another glass of wine.

The Food:
We both ordered the 7 course tasting menu. My wife's Lamb was replaced by an asparagus napolean.
Our Amuse Bouche was a harbinger of things to come. Poorly done Tuna "cube" and run-of-the-mill mini-puffed cheese pastry. There was a second curious amuse bouche of cauliflower and cracked white pepper. Very bland, and the cauliflower was nearly frozen from sitting pre-prepared in the walk-in.

The Veloute of celery root, black truffle and apple remoulade was my favorite dish, and buoyed our hopes again that all was not lost. With that said, the raw celery root and truffle mixture at the center of the veloute seemed a little unfinished.

The Roasted local beet salad was a downer. The menu said Szechuan Pepper, but mine must have been missing it. No Flavor. See: Zaytinya, also in DC, for goat cheese beet salad done right.

Seared Filet of Halibet with Spring garlic and morels. At this point, we were hungry and desperate for some tasty sustenance. The halibut was cooked well, although under seasoned.

Roasted Loin of Lamb was wrapped in eggplant. My aforementioned sauce was a congealed smear, and I could not taste much of it. The lamb was tender and juicy with clean flavors. A large chunk of fat was left on mine, and the meat (Medium rare) needed to be seared or roasted on the exterior just a little bit longer to contrast the texture (I think the eggplant moistened the exterior too much, and did not allow the meat to be cooked properly)

Asparagus Napolean (my wife's veggie alternate)
OK, but the ratio of sauce/asparagus with puffed pastry was too high on starch.

Strawberry Shortbread, basil ice cream with candied basil

Candied basil was inspired, but the shortcake was not soft and light, it was dense and crunchy like a stale cookie.

Not once did our server ask how our meal was, how was the prosecco, wine, etc.
He did wheel around a massive cheese cart and asked us if we wanted some "not included in your tasting menu" fromage. We declined. I mentioned to him that I might want a glass of muscat and asked for a menu. Instead, we ordered green tea and a cappucino. After our drinks were served, he asked if we wanted to order the muscat. Clueless.

Finally, we noticed a few couples were ceremoniously presented a small bag of biscotti as they were leaving. Our server dropped off the check, and we never saw him again (I signed the bill over to the room), nor received the biscotti, until the hostess awkwardly handed us a bag as we were leaving.

I believe a better level of service may have resulted in a more enjoyable experience, and I suppose the restaurant is still having growing pains (only 7 months old); but the food was not worth the visit.

Full disclosure: Upon leaving, I dropped off a comments card to the front desk. The manager must have read it within 24 hours, because our bill was reduced 50% at check-out. While I appreciate the gesture, I would have preferred a wonderful dinner the night before...

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Zaytinya
701 9th St NW, Washington, DC 20001

Plume at the Jefferson Hotel
1200 16th Street NW, Washington, DC 20036

Farm Fresh fine dining in heart of DC?

All,
My wife and I are headed to DC for the cherry blossoms and we are looking for flavorful cuisine that offers flexible tasting menu options with and with-out meat in a memorable setting. My wife is a pescatarian and likes her fresh greens, veggies and fish. She will eat food prepared with eggs, chicken/beef stock. Conversely, I am an omnivore and look forward to eating it all...

I hear good things about Volt, but it is about an hour outside of the city (we are traveling via Acela, Metro and cabs), so if you have other ideas, please chime in, Thanks!

Some possibilities:
Plume
Restaurant Eve
?

Some of the more recent places that we've enjoyed (to get a feel for our tastes in food and atmosphere):

Kajitsu, NY
Hangawi, NY
Momofuku, NY
La Bernadin, NY
Redd, CA
Cyrus Healdsburg, CA
Clio, Boston
We have been to Zaytinya in DC and enjoyed it on our last trip.

PS-Will it be difficult to get to Alexandria @ dinner time on April 10 due to the Cherry blossoms parade?

Boston Restaurant Tonite

Sorry, realized that you wanted other places than Clio & No.9. Sorry!

Mar 11, 2010
Hatch in Greater Boston Area

Spring trip report - Rome/Florence (part 1 of 3)

Great post Ms. Chow. Can't wait! Our trip to Florence, Siena , Rome, Barcelona is just a mere 2 weeks away!

Sep 26, 2009
Hatch in Italy

Eating My Way Through Rome, Florence, Siena

SNS, Great tips. I love neighborhood "hole-in-the-wall=local" spots. Thanks for the best wishes!

Sep 25, 2009
Hatch in Italy

Eating My Way Through Rome, Florence, Siena

That is a heck of a detailed review. Thanks for the link. It was so love-hate that I am not sure if I should find another restaurant!

Sep 23, 2009
Hatch in Italy

[Siena] Il Canto -- March 2009 report

Tremendous report.
We are headed to Il Canto in October and curious if you think that because you ordered the extended tasting menu, the chef experimented too liberally. Perhaps his standard tasting menu or ala carte would be better taste-tested?
There is a bit of a love-hate to this review. Would you recommend another restaurant in Siena over this one?

Sep 23, 2009
Hatch in Italy

Eating My Way Through Rome, Florence, Siena

Sorry, I posted this on both boards, should have split the Italy and Spain portions!

Sep 23, 2009
Hatch in Italy

recent st. martin trip notes

I haven't been in a few years, but we had a great time. Definitely worth it to rent a car and explore the Dutch and French Side.
Raf, here's my tripadvisor report. Have fun, it's a great island.

http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUserRe...

Where Would You Eat After 2 AM In Manhattan?

Il Triulau: While I appreciate the attempt at humor, I answered Hoc's question with 3 very different choices. Blue ribbon in Columbus Circle will serve you around 2am, you just need to get your order in at that time. And I prefer their version of the bone marrow to the one downtown, which is open later. I had actually come home from there at 4am when I posted my response, so I consider it a late night spot.

Sep 22, 2009
Hatch in Manhattan

Eating My Way Through Rome, Florence, Siena

During our honeymoon in October, My wife-to-be and I will be munching our way through Rome, Florence, Barcelona and Girona over a 3 week span. Whew! That's going to be a lot of eating. We're training for the NY Marathon, so hopefully we'll find time to run some of the food off...

Here's a few of the restaurants we have reserved (either because we are staying at the property, or have heard good reviews). I will post reviews when we get back. Please share any dish suggestions, any horror or love stories if you have dined at any of these places. Also, breakfast, lunch or hidden gem suggestions welcome.
Cheap eats and fine dining, doesn't matter, as long as the food is amazing!

Italy
1. Il Canto in Siena
2. Podere Terreno in Chianti region (an agriturismo suggestion from walking and eating in Tucany)
3. The Cesar @ La posta vecchia in Rome

Spain
1. El Cellar de can Roca in Girona
2. Les Cols in Olot (for the modern arhitecture and the food)
3. Comerc24 in Barcelona
We will stop by El Quim de la Boqueria to peruse the market and nibble on some food there...

The rest of the days we will try to find informal or off the beaten path restaurants.

Sep 22, 2009
Hatch in Italy

Eating My Way Through Barcelona and Girona

During our honeymoon in October, My wife-to-be and I will be munching our way through Rome, Florence, Barcelona and Girona over a 3 week span. Whew! That's going to be a lot of eating. We're training for the NY Marathon, so hopefully we'll run some of the food off...

Here's a few of our reserved places. I will post reviews when we get back. Please share any dish suggestions, any horror or love stories if you have dined at any of these places. Also, breakfast, lunch or any suggestions welcome.

Florence/Siena:
1. Il Canto in Siena
2. Podere Terreno in Chianti region (an agriturismo suggestion from walking and eating in Tucany)

So here's the preliminary list for Barcelona/Girona area:
1. El Cellar de can Roca in Girona
2. Les Cols in Olot (for the modern arhitecture and the food)
3. Comerc24 in Barcelona
We will stop by El Quim de la Boqueria to peruse the market and nibble on some food there...

The rest of the days we will try to find informal or off the beaten path restaurants.

Sep 22, 2009
Hatch in Spain/Portugal

Where Would You Eat After 2 AM In Manhattan?

Pan,
I agree. There is an article in this month's Travel and Leisure where some notable chefs meet up at Great NY Noodletown to discuss great late night restaurants.

http://www.travelandleisure.com/artic...

I highly recommend NY noodletown duck, shrimp with flowering chives

Sep 22, 2009
Hatch in Manhattan

Where Would You Eat After 2 AM In Manhattan?

Hoc,
You'd have to go to Blue Ribbon Brasserie in Soho which as Kathryn said is:
"7 days a week 4 pm - 4 am"
http://www.blueribbonrestaurants.com/...
Map is attached. Have a safe flight and happy eating...

Jun 03, 2008
Hatch in Manhattan

Korean restaurant with good variety of banchan (side dishes)?

Please please stay away from KGS-it's a tourist trap!

I visit Dae Dong just for the Spicy Soft Shell Crab Banchan, which is truly tasty. This a complimentary side dish which is not served at a lot of Korean restaurants along 32nd St.

I also like KunJip's egg soufflee (Gyeran Jjim)

Jun 03, 2008
Hatch in Manhattan

Where Would You Eat After 2 AM In Manhattan?

Blue Ribbon Sushi and grill at Columbus Circle-the ubiquitous bone marrow is sliced lengthwise, and has a "leaner" more asian twist than the one downtown. Try to get there before 2am, because that's when they close...

I also like K-Town: Kunjip is 24 hrs. Sumdooboo jigae is great after-drinking food.

cafeteria for mac and cheese and waffle carmelized banana split sundae.

Jun 03, 2008
Hatch in Manhattan