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coolblursn's Profile

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Looking for Bleu de Bocage...

I had this goat's milk bleu once before at Manresa in CA and it was incredible. Ever since that dinner, I've been looking for it, to no avail. I've asked Whole Foods and Balducci, but they don't have it, and did not seem eager or able to order it for me. Has anyone seen it in the DC or Baltimore area? Or know of any store/cheesemonger that could order it for me? Thanks.

Jan 18, 2010
coolblursn in Washington DC & Baltimore

Brioche in Rockville/Gaithersburg?

Thanks! I've passed by it before, but never went in. I'll have to see what they have.

Jan 14, 2010
coolblursn in Washington DC & Baltimore

Brioche in Rockville/Gaithersburg?

I'm looking for a good loaf of brioche, comparable in size and quality to ones I've had at Patisserie Poupon, preferably in Rockville, though Gaithersburg area is fine too. I haven't seen it in Whole Foods, perhaps I'm just missing it? Any suggestions would be great.

Jan 13, 2010
coolblursn in Washington DC & Baltimore

Any Restos open on New Year's?

Good idea, thanks!

Dec 29, 2009
coolblursn in Washington DC & Baltimore

Any Restos open on New Year's?

yeah, that's basically it, for the Baltimore area, please.

Dec 28, 2009
coolblursn in Washington DC & Baltimore

Stop the presses...Rays Hell Burger Now Serves French Fries

Though the fries sound disappointing, I always bemoaned the lack of fries with such a great burger. Any idea if this will be introduced at his other restaurants, such as Ray's the Classics where the burger is served at the bar?

Oct 27, 2009
coolblursn in Washington DC & Baltimore

Tabaq vs. Marvin for brunch

thanks! I'll try to make it early

Aug 07, 2009
coolblursn in Washington DC & Baltimore

Tabaq vs. Marvin for brunch

Thanks! I was leaning towards Marvin too, though I am also now considering Creme...they are all so close together!

Aug 07, 2009
coolblursn in Washington DC & Baltimore

Tabaq vs. Marvin for brunch

Since they are so close together, maybe I should go to both, but I was wondering which would be better for brunch, food-, ambiance-, and service-wise. Also, which has the better chicken and waffles.

Aug 06, 2009
coolblursn in Washington DC & Baltimore

Dessert amuse at Ray's the Classics

I've been twice since my posting, and I though it was peanut butter fudge, but regardless, it was still tasty, though not as good as the hot chocolate. Their key lime pie is a great way to end also.

Jun 29, 2009
coolblursn in Washington DC & Baltimore

Sushi Yasuda Omakase

Thanks! Maybe I'll just stick to a la carte, though the tasting would be cool

Jun 29, 2009
coolblursn in Manhattan

Sushi Yasuda Omakase

Does anyone have a general idea how much the omakase is at Yusuda? I have a lunch res at the bar and would like to indulge, though since I have to ask, I probably can't afford it, but just in case, I would like to be prepared. And how is it still worth it to get a la carte at the bar as opposed to the tasting, or is it really that much different?

Jun 28, 2009
coolblursn in Manhattan

Le Relais de Venise

Are they open for lunch or just dinner?

Jun 24, 2009
coolblursn in Manhattan

Dessert amuse at Ray's the Classics

What are they serving nowadays at the end of the meal, still their yummy hot cholocate, or something else? I remember peanut fudge before the hot chocolate, anything different?

Jun 19, 2009
coolblursn in Washington DC & Baltimore

Rockville Italian delis?

Thanks! That's too bad about Vignola, it's so close to my work. I'll try out your suggestions.

Jun 08, 2009
coolblursn in Washington DC & Baltimore

Rockville Italian delis?

I''m looking for a good italian deli, mostly for cheeses, cured meats, and fresh bread if possible, near Congressional Plaza. I read about Vignola, though I can't find an exact address for it. Is it still around/good? Anyone have an address? Angelo's looks good but a little farther than I want and I don't really want to go to Silver Spring or anything, unless there really isn't anything suitable near me. So please give me any suggestions, thanks.

Jun 07, 2009
coolblursn in Washington DC & Baltimore

Denver Trip Itinerary-Yay or Nay?

Thank! Will try to check these out

Apr 27, 2009
coolblursn in Southwest

Denver Trip Itinerary-Yay or Nay?

I've been scouring the boards to make the most of my 6 day trip to denver with my BF next week, and this is my run down so, and would just like some feedback before I finalize it. We're staying in the Central Business District, and are mostly looking for places within walking distance and generally not crazy expensive, so here's what I have so far:

Breakfast/Brucnch: Lucille's, El Taco de Mexico, Sam's #3, Snooze
Lunch: Mici, Wynkoop, Falling Rock, any of the above
Happy Hour: Jax Fish House, Panzano
Dinner: B-Day dinner at Fruition, and reservations at Marco's Coal Fired.

We're probably going to recycle a bunch of places that are closest to the hotel, but I'm up for any other suggestions. I'm also looking for some cool dessert places, maybe a gelateria, or a cute bakerie. Thanks.

Apr 24, 2009
coolblursn in Southwest

Caribbean Feast

Sorry you didn't enjoy it. It's close to where I work, so it's a pretty common choice for lunch, for a lot of people. Actually, just today, about 10 of us met for a little work shindig, and maybe it's not the most authentic interpretation, we always have found the food to be tasty, reasonably priced, and the staff are extremely friendly. I especially like the brown stew chicken, and the spicy chicken patties. I loved the spicy beef loaf but they stopped making them, which saddened me terribly. We've gone for awhile now, and it's good for what you make and expect of it.

Mar 26, 2009
coolblursn in Washington DC & Baltimore

Whole Tiramisu for B-Day?

I'm looking for a good tiramisu for a co-worker's birthday this week. Does anyone know of any bakery or restaurant that will sell a whole one for 8-10 people, either in Silver Spring or Rockville? Thanks.

Feb 15, 2009
coolblursn in Washington DC & Baltimore

Seattle and Tri-Cities Trip Report: Part II

Wow, that sounds really bad! I'm sorry that you had so many problems, maybe I lucked out?

Jan 06, 2009
coolblursn in Pacific Northwest

Grandaisy vs Sullivan Street Bakery

I haven't been to either, but I'm visiting NY in a few days and would like to try both if possible, but if not, I would like to try the more consistent of the two. What are the biggest differences between the two, and which do you prefer? Thanks.

Dec 29, 2008
coolblursn in Manhattan

Seattle and Tri-Cities Trip Report: Part II

Sunday morning in Richland, we headed to a bar to catch some brunch and football. I don’t know of many sports bars in Baltimore, where I’m from, that serve breakfast/brunch foods, but apparently there are a number of them in the Tri-Cities. We went Uncle Sam’s, where the chicken fried steak was highly recommended, and which I love to death, so I had the steak with sausage cream gravy, eggs over easy, hash browns, and well buttered dark rye toast, with a cheap but tasty mimosa to wash it all down. Oh Lord, that was a lot of food. For a split second, I truly believed that I could finish it, but I barely ate half of that monster chicken fried steak, and I really wanted to finish it. It had a lightly fried crust, slightly underseasoned, but the sausage gravy it came with more than compensated for any lack of flavor. That gravy had huge chunks of sausage and was creamy smooth, in no way the gloppy, gluey nightmare pastes of lesser establishments. Probably one of the best sausage gravies I’ve had; I had a hard time remembering that the gravy should go on the steak first, not just directly into my mouth. The toast was even memorable; I love a good rye, and when you slather it with butter and dip it in some yolk, and some gravy of course, well that’s heaven, or at least it will help you get there faster. After that belly buster, we went to some tasting rooms and spent the afternoon getting ready for our next meal. We went to Carmine’s in Kennewick, a sweet Italian restaurant in a little house, where dinner is done family style, to match the family atmosphere. Every night brings a different entrée, which is served with salad, bread, and housemade meatballs and Italian sausage; for us, Sunday meant homemade lasagna, which is a very good day indeed. We were joined by some family friends and it really was quite a party, very cozy and homey, with plenty of good food and sweet service. For dessert, we all sampled amaretto bread pudding, ice box cake, and cheesecake, nothing fancy, but ultimately satisfying.
Monday brought on more wine, and more food, natch. In Pasco, we started with a private tour of the Gordon Brothers winery, which makes some incredible wines, especially a great Syrah and a decadent blend called Tradition. The winemaker, Tim Henley, was an excellent guide and led us through barrel-tastings of about ten different wines, including a reserve Chardonnay that was amazing. Then we went to another local favorite, Sage Port Grille, a restaurant/bar, with a biker motif, and great burgers. I had a burger with swiss, mushrooms, a fried egg, and ham, and hand cut fries. Just an all around good burger with quality ingredients, can’t complain about that. Later that night, we had pizzas from Round Table, which apparently is like a West Coast Pizza Hut, but I found the pizzas to be quite good, the Artisan Pepperoni, with roasted red onions and sundried tomatoes, and Hawaiian, which I always love. With it we had snacks of Cougar Gold Crimson Fire cheese and alderwood smoked salmon from Pike Place Market.
We headed back to Seattle the next day and thus began our last day of fooding. We started in Issaquah at the Rogue Brewhouse, where Kobe burgers rule the menu. So it was burgers again, of which I had two sliders, one regular and one stuffed with Rogue creamery bleu cheese, a Kobe bleu ball, with wasabi mayonnaise, which I wasn’t crazy about. I’m still not convinced that one should use Kobe to make burgers, especially if they are going to be overcooked, but the sliders were tasty, though compared to the bleu ball, the regular slider seemed underseasoned. And the blue ball was a little more akin to a meatball in seasoning, but was less cooked than the other slider, thus offering a little more moisture and better mouthfeel. We had buffalo chips, spicy crinkle cut fries with ranch dressing, which were a good accompaniment to the burgers. My boyfriend and I love Rogue, which is why we stopped in the first place, for the beer. I had a Younger’s Special Bitter, which I didn’t like as much as their Brutal Bitter, but was still good. My favorite was Captain Sig’s Deadliest Ale, which was strong, bitter, and deliciously hoppy; just so refreshing. When we got to Seattle, we went right to eating again, this time having a late dessert at Gelatiamo, where we had gone before on the food tour. Their gelato is very good, convincingly authentic and smooth, though some bites had more ice than desired. Their pistachio was earthy and rich, and the highlight flavor was the limone, which was so refreshingly after that heavy meal. After buying some hot soppressata at Salumi, we headed to Serious Pie again for a mid-afternoon snack. We tried the Yukon gold potato and rosemary pie and the chanterelle and truffle cheese pie again. They were both good, but it seemed like the first time we had it was better. The crust wasn’t as crisp and in some parts, a little too salty, and the chanterelles turned out to be maitakes, which was disappointing as there weren’t many to begin with and shriveled in the heat, becoming a little too dry. The chanterelles were perfect before because of the generous portion and their meaty and juicy texture, but I assume they ran out. Still, a delicious and enjoyable snack until our final meal at Tilth.
We rested and digested until our reservation, and waited at the bar until our table was ready. I was really excited about Tilth and their whole farm to table philosophy, though I know a lot of Washington restaurants are committed to locality. We ordered a few cocktails while surveying the space. It is quite small, in a quaint house, and it was busy for a Tuesday night after a snowstorm. I understand that restaurants get busy, but we were seated well past our reservation time, and our cocktails languished at the bar, one finished, and one half prepared for a bit too long before they were presented to us. They tasted fine, but considering I was staring at these cocktails for at least ten minutes before we were served them, I probably didn’t expect much. The night did improve rapidly after we were seated and started with a bottle of Alexandria Nicole, I believe Cabernet, and ordered a few starters to share. I’m not sure how hungry any of us were at this point, but we did our part in the interest of proper fooding and plowed ahead. We started with Yukon potato gnocchi, with almond emulsion, preserved lemon, and escarole and mini duck burgers with housemade ketchup and hot mustard and fingerling chips. The gnocchi was very light, and the bitter escarole helped cut through the rich sauce, but it was a tad undersalted, though their table sea salt rectified that. The duck burgers were great, perfectly seasoned and oh so rich, but lightened by the condiments, and the chips were so cute and crisp. We ordered a few small and large plates to share for main course, and had the Spot prawns, with chive spaetzle, grapefruit, and salsify, Chicken confit with collard greens, sweet potato, and semolina pudding, Hangar steak with brown butter sunchokes, spelt berry, and Brussels, a sous-vide rabbit special with roasted root vegetables, and though I had ordered the sablefish, we received the albacore tuna with celery root, celery heart, and celeriac remoulade. I had never had sablefish before so I didn’t know what it tastes like, I just assumed it tasted a lot like tuna, until I saw the menu afterwards and recognized the mistake. Still the tuna was impeccable, and I’m not sorry to have received it, though now I still don’t know what sablefish tastes like. Food for another day perhaps. Overall, every dish hit its mark; the rabbit was two large leg portions, almost too much to finish, but such silky tender meat, the chicken confit had a wonderful skin and the mixture of parmesan-rich semolina pudding and bitter collards was quite enticing. Though the steak was good, I loved the spelt berries mixed with citrusy, rich sunchokes. It reminded me of faro, so nutty and chewy, absorbing all the different flavors, I speared every grain. We shared a chocolate ganache cake that thankfully was bitter, not too sweet, and very dark. It was a wonderful meal, with excellent and enthusiastic service, it was probably the best food, quality and presentation, that I had on my trip, though honestly, most everything I ate, from dive sports bars, to specialty shops, and beautiful restaurants, was delicious.

Dec 29, 2008
coolblursn in Pacific Northwest

Seattle and Tri-Cities Trip Report: Part I

My boyfriend and I visited his parents in the Pacific Northwest the week before Christmas and we had already planned much of our meals weeks ahead of time, which to me is the best way to plan a trip. We started out in Seattle for two days, and moved on to the Tri-Cities where his parents lived, and ended up back in Seattle for our last meals. After some luggage mishaps, we set out to dinner at Dahlia Lounge after a visit to the Space Needle. I’ve been excited to go to a Tom Douglas restaurant for awhile now, and though I’ve read negative posts about his empire, I always like to check out successful restaurateurs in every city I visit. The space is beautiful, very festive with holiday decorations, and dahlias everywhere. We started with an amuse bouche of diced grapefruit and cucumber marinated in a citrus- sesame seed oil, finished with sesame seeds, which was as unusual as delicious. We shared three starters, ricotta dumplings with braised chicken, leeks, and I think Pecorino, duck confit with herbed waffles, apples, and fennel, and shrimp and scallion potstickers with black vinegar- soy dipping sauce. The dough of the potstickers was different from Chinese or Korean dumplings, a little thicker and more pasta-like, but the filling of whole small shrimp was very good with the slightly spicy sauce. The ricotta dumplings were very delicate and seemed to melt on the tongue, and the dish as a whole was the most successfully seasoned, though the duck confit with waffles was the table favorite, with rich, crispy shards of duck and the warm, slightly vegetal waffle that was undercut nicely by the fresh produce. For entrées, we had the pan –roasted Idaho trout with Brussels and brown butter spaetzle, topped with a hazelnut gremolata, which was wonderful and very generously portioned, five-spice duck with flatbread, spicy cabbage, and curried lentils, which was ridiculously generous, probably half a duckling, and Berkshire rack of pork and Dungeness crab cakes, which were both thoroughly enjoyed by their diners. For dessert, we shared the cinnamon sugar doughnuts with mascarpone and cranberry jam, which were light and just yeasty enough, and the chocolate caramel tart with malted peanut butter ice cream and fudge, which was quite decadent after our meal, and the ice cream had already started to melt on its way to our table, but we still managed to finish every bite. We had a bottle of McCrea Mourvedre with dinner, and it worked with most of our selections and was delicious, lots of fruit, and a fragrant nose.
The next day, we spent the morning at the Pike Place Market, having a quick breakfast at Piroshky Piroshky; the smoked salmon pate piroshky was the best, though the rhubarb one had the comfort of homemade pie in the convenience of a handheld pastry. After a lot of shopping, stocking up on local products of preserves, pickles, smoked salmon, and the like, we had a light lunch at Beecher’s before our Savor Seattle Food Tour later that afternoon. The grilled cheese sandwiches and macaroni and cheese are justly popular, while their Flagship cheese provides tasty contribution to both. After a break from eating, we started on our tour, which is a guided walking tour from Savor Seattle, with nine stops at restaurant and specialty shops, and several wine and beer tastings included. As a whole, I was very glad to have taken the tour, and there were a number of very memorable stops. The first was Andaluca, a tapas restaurant where we had sangria and a delicious crispy duck cake. This was seasoned with cumin and coriander, rolled in bulgar and fried, with raita and apricot chutney, and the richness and gaminess of the duck were accented by the spices, and tempered by the yogurt and fruit. The next was Serious Pie, another Tom Douglas spot, where we had a classic Margarita and one with chanterelles and truffle cheese, which I preferred. The crust for both was perfect, with a slight salt and consistent crisp texture; we learned that the bottom of the crust is dusted with Murray River Salt, a salt that I love, though use sparingly. Place Pigalle was the other highlight, which incidentally uses Murray River salt as their table salt, where we sampled their mussels with bacon, shallots, celery, and balsamic vinaigrette, and Six Prong Chardonnay. The mussels were well cooked and the balsamic vinaigrette made an unusual but well matched addition to the cream sauce, adding a layer of sweetness that accentuated the mussels and of richness that interplayed with the bacon. The other stops had their own edible charms, but these restaurants stood out for the quality of their food, and each had a little twist to dishes that are becoming more commonplace. Because dining out can become monotonous, restaurants become complacent, and to experience that element of surprise again, an ingredient or a flavor combination that is unexpected but makes you smile, it is refreshing and it makes the experience all the more of an adventure. After the tour, we drove to Richland to try to beat the storm, and had a midnight snack of Seattle goodies and wine and rested up for the next few days of wining and dining, which will be in Part II.

These are all the photos throughout the trip, with Dahlia Lounge starting at the bottom:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/seattlet...

Dec 29, 2008
coolblursn in Pacific Northwest

Best Whole Bean/Ground Coffee in Seattle?

I'm visiting Seattle for a few days and would like to buy some good local coffee to take home. I am not particularly fond of Starbucks, but any coffee that is well sourced and preferably organic would be great. Any suggestions?

Dec 11, 2008
coolblursn in Pacific Northwest

Ippudo Question

Does anyone know if they have a split entree charge? Or if they will just give dirty looks if two people share a bowl of ramen?

Nov 19, 2008
coolblursn in Manhattan

Update on Bing?

So I missed out on Roll and Dough before it closed, but are there any other places in Manhattan that have comparable bing? I prefer not to go to Flushing or such, even if there are better options there, so any suggestions would be great.

Oct 22, 2008
coolblursn in Manhattan

Poutine in DC Area?

It's not in DC, but in Columbia, at Victoria Gastropub, they have poutine on the menu, but its not really authentic sounding; their description: Duck Fat Fries, Duck Confit, Gruyere Cheese, Duck Gravy. It sounds really good, but not sure how it would compare to a purist version.

Oct 15, 2008
coolblursn in Washington DC & Baltimore

Cheap in Bethesda?

If you are closer to White Flint than Bethesda proper, I would recommend staying in your area and go to one of the many places on/near Rockville Pike. Addie's is reasonable for lunch, I love Tapei Tokyo, there are a lot of ethnic restaurants up and down the Pike, Chinese, Vietnamese, Greek, etc, for noodles, dim sum, and lots of other fare. That might be closer than going to downtown Bethesda.

Oct 10, 2008
coolblursn in Washington DC & Baltimore

Where to buy a good chicken pot pie?

I've had their chicken pot pie, and mine was of their noodle variety, which I did not particularly enjoy. I did not see the one with crust offered, is this a new addition?

Oct 07, 2008
coolblursn in Washington DC & Baltimore