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Birthday dinner in Old Town - Restaurant Eve or Brabo?

I'd like to take my husband out for a special birthday dinner in Alexandria (we live in DC and will stay overnight in VA). I've heard great things about both Restaurant Eve and Brabo. Which one would you choose? Tasting menu or main dining room/menu? I'd like to stay at or around $250 including wine. Thanks!

Dinner with fiancee on a Sunday in DC?

I agree - Corduroy is amazing and should fit your needs perfectly. The outside is unassuming, but it's very centrally located near Gallery Place and the Convention Center. The food and drinks are wonderful and the service is spectacular - she'll definitely feel special here. This is a real gem.

Equinox is also wonderful and well known.

Jacques Pepin cookbooks on technique

Reading the NYTimes article about Jacques Pepin today made me want to buy one of his classic books on cooking technique. I see that in 2001 he released "Jacques Pepin's Complete Techniques", which is more or less a compilation of "La Technique" and "La Methode". The reviews are generally great and I think I could learn a lot from it.

However, part of me wants to buy the originals because they are classic. I know they are out of print, but Amazon has some used copies for sale.


Oct 19, 2011
lcole24 in Home Cooking

Slicing Whole Almonds

No, I wouldn't have been able to slice them thin - for any recipe calling for "sliced" I would definitely buy them that way. These were stand-ins for "slivered" which are the matchstick style almonds. They didn't get that matchstick shape, but the pieces were just fine for granola (probably baking too).

Feb 05, 2011
lcole24 in Home Cooking

Slicing Whole Almonds

I came across this post while trying to see if I could chop raw almonds for a slivered almond granola because I didn't have enough packaged ones in the freezer. Judging by the responses it looked almost impossible but I tried it anyway and it was super easy.

First I blanched the almonds in boiling water for 2 minutes, then rand them under cold water in a strainer, then pushed the skins off with my fingers (took 30 seconds total, very easy). Next I coarsely chopped them with a small Santoku knife like you would garlic, and that was it! Very simple and works just fine in a pinch.

Feb 05, 2011
lcole24 in Home Cooking

Which Le Creuset/Staub pieces for registry?

Thanks so much for the advice (and the congratulations)! So far I'm thinking:

5 qt Staub round (to replace the Emile Henry)
2.5 qt LC or Staub
7.14 qt LC round or the 6.75 qt LC low wide
5.75 Staub Coq au Vin oval

For brisket, I usually have to stack 2 on top of each other to fit it all in (10 lbs. usually). Do you think the low wide or the 7 1/4 round will be better? Maybe even the oval??

Oct 14, 2010
lcole24 in Cookware

Which Le Creuset/Staub pieces for registry?

I am registering for my wedding and want to get the right Dutch Ovens for my collection. I have a 5.5 qt Emile Henry in red that I've been using for more than 5 years and I love it. I make briskets, soups, stews and even a pork shoulder once. The bottom tends to burn a bit on the stove so I may give it to my SIL when the new pieces come in.

I am debating between Le Creuset and Staub, but I'll spare you that debate as there have been plenty of threads already. Ultimately since the reviews of both seem great and we like both, I think we're going to get a couple of each (thinking 3 total) and would like to know what sizes you would recommend? We are thinking:

- StaubI 5 3/4 QT Coq au Vin oval in blue
- a round to replace my 5.5 (same size? larger/smaller?)
- a very large DO for multiple briskets (round or oval? what size?)
- should we get one that's smaller??


Oct 14, 2010
lcole24 in Cookware

All this FEAR is making me HUNGRY!

I was going to say the same thing - for great seafood you have to check out the Fish Markets in SW during the day. If you don't mind a long walk, you can walk there from the mall on your way home after the rally. Walk down Independence Ave on the north side of the Tidal Basin (toward the Jefferson Memorial) but keep walking East toward the marina on Maine Ave. It's just past the marina on your right and you can smell it before you see it!

Don't be freaked out - the vendors are safe and have been there for 30+ years - it's a classic DC experience. Go to one of the prepared food counters to buy hush puppies, steamed shrimp, crab cakes, even whole steamed crabs if you can figure out how to eat them. There's a new area to stand and eat on the water, just ask someone to point you in the right direct. Finish it off with dessert from the pie shop.

Someone else touched on H street NE, which could be perfect for you and your friends. You will need to take a cab from the hotel (max $10) but the neighborhood has a lot of great restaurants - Granville Moore's Tavern, Taylor Deli, Sticky Rice Sushi, etc - and even better bars where you can hang out afterwards, including H Street Country Club (indoor putt-putt), Rock and Roll Hotel (live music venue), Biergarten House (outdoor beer garden).

Finally, if you want to venture to U Street *and defy Glenn Beck* there are a lot of great options in a very cool neighborhood. First, the famous Ben's Chili Bowl is right outside the U Street metro (13th St exit). If you want to sit down or the line at Ben's is too long, Creme Cafe has excellent, inexpensive Southern food like shrimp and grits, crab cakes and pork chops. We also love Ulah bistro for sandwiches and salads with a Southern touch. Up the street you'll find Eatonville Tavern, another Southern-ish place and its neighbor Busboys & Poets. The latter is more of a coffee bar and cafe, but has good, cheap food.

In my opinion, the best Ethiopian is Dukem at 12th and U. For 3-4 people order the large veggie plate (on the back of the menu) with 7 items then two meat dishes like Doro Wat and Beef Tibs. The food is spicy and filling, and a totally unique experience for you and your friends. Yes, you will eat with your hands and you will like it!

Enjoy DC!

Ben's Chili Bowl
1213 U St NW, Washington, DC 20009

H Street Country Club
1335 H Street NE, Washington, DC 20002

Eatonville Restaurant
2121 14th St NW, Washington, DC 20009

Busboys & Poets
1390 V St NW, Washington, DC 20009

Sticky Rice
1224 H St NE, Washington, DC 20002

Large Rehearsal Dinner in DC?

I am getting married next Labor Day weekend on Sunday and need a large Rehearsal Dinner venue in D.C. for Saturday night (which we realize is a lot to ask). Our guests are going to be staying near Dupont Circle so somewhere withing walking distance would be ideal. We are looking for a venue that can seat 150 for dinner, or at least have a standing reception for 150. We would love something casual with great food, especially showcasing local/Southern cuisine, but we understand that few places will be large enough for our group. I have already started calling the venues recommended by Washingtonian magazine's bridal issue, but could use more suggestions. Thanks!

Aussie traveling for authentic american cuisine on a budget

I agree that typically "American" food is rather boring (sandwiches/burgers) or not our own (sushi/pizza/Mexican), but there are a lot of places in DC where you can get good, cheap food that is representative of our cuisine. Some top choices:

- Ben's Chili Bowl. Forget taking it easy, order a half-smoke and chili-cheese fries. Great bars nearby for before and after your meal. Go for lunch, dinner or late-night eats.
- New Orleans-style cajun food in a good option. There's a decent place in Adams Morgan right on 18th Street (forgetting the name). Brunch is good and different.
- Georgia Browns. A splurge, but the Southern cuisine is uniquely American: collard greens, fried catfish, mac and cheese, etc. Amazing biscuits and cornbread. For a cheaper and greasier version try Oohs and Aahs on U Street.
- You need to have bbq. DC's offerings aren't great, but Old Glory in Georgetown is ok and offers a variety of regionally inspired sauces (Kansas, Memphis, North Carolina, Texas).
- I concur that Tacklebox is a good seafood choice, also in Georgetown.
- The Diner in Adams Morgan is nothing special but they do have a Thanksgiving-style dinner platter: turkey, stuffing, potatoes, cranberry sauce, and basic American breakfasts, which you need to try (no beans here!).
- Ethiopian food at Dukem. This is uniquely DC and something you won't get anywhere else. Lots of vegetarian options and a good story for your friends back home.
- Cactus Cantina for Mexican. Say what you will about the authenticity of their food, but strong margaritas, good fajitas and a festive atmosphere are worth the trip for someone unfamiliar with Mexican food. Oyamel is great, but only if you're looking for a twist on Mexican. I say go classic tex-mex. If Cactus isn't convenient, others to try are Lauriol Plaza (Adams Morgan - not good but very busy and popular), Guapos (Tenleytown) and Rio Grande (Bethesda).

Celery Root and Squash Gratin with Walnut-Thyme Streusel

The first time I made this it was amazing - got rave reviews at Thanksgiving. Yes, almonds are a suitable substitute in the topping. However the second time I made the dish it came out bland and the texture wasn't right. I think the problem was using a large squash with less flavor and baking too long so avoid my mistakes and it'll be wonderful!

Dec 17, 2008
lcole24 in Recipes

National Harbor: Any choices beyond Gaylord and Rosa Mexicana?

I'm going to the National Harbor next week to see Cirque du Soliel and was wondering what food options are available. I met a friend at Rosa Mexicana out there this week and it looked like the only place open beyond the Gaylord restaurants, but I'm sure there are others. Becaues we're seeing an 8 p.m. show I'd love something quick, but I understand my options are limited. Thanks!

Celery Root and Squash Gratin with Walnut-Thyme Streusel

This sounds amazing, I'll definitely try it. Does anyone have a suggestion for a walnut substitute? I'm allergic but the rest of the dish sounds like a winner. Was thinking almonds in this case, but please let me know if you have other ideas. (FYI: allergy is only to walnut, hazelnut and pecan, the rest are fine).

Re: cut celery root, at this point I'm just happy to find it in stores - a year ago I had to go to 3 grocery stores just to find it.

Nov 12, 2008
lcole24 in Recipes