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Great coffee in DuPont Circle

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Choc Mousse, what am I doing wrong , adding eggs to chocolate, it goes beserk !!!! ???

This exact problem happened to me when making chocolate mousse tonight. My chocolate seized HARD when I added my egg yolks.

When confronted with the seized chocolate was of Herve This' water and chocolate only chocolate mousse. http://food52.com/blog/2932_herv_this...

I've never been a huge fan of the texture that the This mousse, but I figured it was better than seized chocolate, so I quickly added about a cup of water to my seized chocolate and whisked it over the heat until all the chocolate was dissolved and then moved the mixture over an ice bath and started whisking.

When I was about 90 percent the way to having the this mousse set up I realized that the water chocolate had taken on the texture of soft peak whipped cream. I had already whipped egg whites and cream for my mousse, so I decided to just fold the egg whites and into the chocolate mixture and see what happened.

Overall I'm pretty happy with the result. All the extra water means the mousse has a less intense flavor than it otherwise would have and I have nearly a third extra mousse, but the texture is lovely and the chocolate still come through.

Apr 04, 2012
jbeales in Home Cooking

Sazerac Jelly Shots

Any particular reason you chose to integrate the bitters in the topping as opposed to in the jelly? It seems to me that combining the bitters and rye flavors is integral to a proper sazerac, while the absinthe is there primarily for the aroma, making the brushed on approach a good compromise.

Feb 14, 2012
jbeales in Recipes

Craft Cocktails

I'd definitely second just about all of the previous suggestions. The Columbia Room is a must. Gibson is nice.

The 2 I'd add to the list are PX, in Old Town Alexandria and Wisdom, in SE DC just off Capitol Hill. PX is a fantastic speakeasy style cocktail bar that really goes over the top on homemade ingredients and fantastically creative drinks. Wisdom is a bit off the beaten path, but well worth it. It is quite small but a lot of fun. They make some really nice drinks there, especially the Tortoise and the Bare.

Help figuring out a drink I had at the Gibson

I believe what you're looking for is the First Go Round. I don't think it's on the menu anymore, but it was quite nice.

If it is what I'm thinking of it had a full half ounce of angostura bitters. I also think it had an egg white in it to create a frothy head on it. Also, I think it used lemon.

Here's what I'd try, and tweak it to taste and based on your memory of the cocktail. .

1 oz Cointreau
1/2 oz Angostura
1/2 ounce Lemon Juice
1 dash orange flower water
1/2 egg white

Shake without ice to froth the egg, then shake with ice to chill. Pour over fresh ice and top with club soda.

Hope this helps.

Aug 18, 2010
jbeales in Spirits

Where to find the best butter?

I've never personally tried it, but I know that Blue Ridge Dairy, who sells at the Dupont Farmers' Market on Sundays makes a cultured butter. If it's anywhere near the standards of their yogurt or fresh cheeses it will be fantastic.

Where to find a great DC/Nova sandwich?

American Seafood in Arlington. Not too far from the Italian Store at Lee Highway and Lorcom Lane. Absolutely great fish sandwiches. Good selection of blackened fish sandwiches based on whatever he has fresh, some very good fried sandwiches and po'boys and a good selection of sides. Definitely worth checking out if you're looking for a good sandwich.

Hilton Head Island (HHI) - Report on Food

Thanks for the reviews. We're just finishing up a trip to Hilton Head and this post was incredibly useful to us. We've been to Hilton Head many times before but there were a lot of new places since the last time we were there.

It's a couple of years later but much of what is here still holds true, but some has changed, so I thought I'd post an update.

Our best overall experience was hands down the Old Fort Pub. Service was indeed fantastic and the food was a cut above any other place we went. Appetizers were all very nice and their bouilliabaisse was absolutely fantastic. It was a little unconventional, as the chef mixed in a saffron aioli to give the broth a richness and depth that were just fantastic. The service was just outstanding and was the best we found on the island.

Aqua was a major disappointment. The food was quite good, but the service was absolutely atrocious. We arrived right at 7 for our 7 pm reservation but they didn't manage to get us seated until 7:35. Once we were seated things didn't get any better. Two of the four of us were given water glasses that were dirty and it took the waitress more than 10 minutes to replace them. There was a 35 minute gap between our appetizers and entrees and after we finished it took them another 20 minutes to clear our plates. The food itself was quite good, though not substantially better from other places available on the island. Sadly, the terrible service ruined the meal for our group.

Michael Anthony's was indeed outstanding. We had a great experience there and both food and service were very nice. The highlights were a Sicilian style crab salad with fresh oranges, arugula and blood orange vinaigrette and a lovely cobia special with a citrus beurre blanc and sauteed escarole.

Our major new find on this trip was Riviera Oaks Cafe. It was a great experience. The place is right across from Michael Anthony's and was a very charming, intimate little cafe. They did a great mix of French, Spanish and North African cuisine. The highlights were the entrees, which were a a char-grilled salmon with a lemon dill buerre blanc and crispy fried capers and a fantastic Moroccan spiced grouper with a lemongrass creme fraiche. This place is small and the decor is a little unique (there are large oak trees in the dining room) but the food was very good and right up there with the Old Fort and Michael Anthony's.

Our other meals during the week were at CQ's, Redfish and Alexanders. All were serviceable but nothing to really write home about. Redfish and Alexanders had definitely declined since the last time we were on the island and just didn't pop. Redfish in particular was one of our favorite places when were were last here 2 years ago, but just didn't pop this time. The fried green tomatoes were outstanding but was at all memorable. Alexanders was just a little heavy and had some real duds, like their fried green tomato appetizer, which was a greasy, sloppy mess.

CQ's was nice overall, and definitely a cut above Redfish and Alexanders, but it was lacking compared to the other offerings. Service was a little slow and generally not on top of things. It took too long for our wine to arrive and it wasn't chilled when it did. Our waitress disappeared for several stretches as well. Not nearly as bad as Aqua but bad enough to stand out compared to the other places on the Island. The food was nothing special. The local wreckfish was interesting, but the spice rub on it was grainy and not really seared properly. The grouper BLT with brioche breaded grouper, yellow tomatoes, fresh greens and a bacon vinaigrette special was nice, but was a little out of balance, with too much bacon (3 large strips) and not enough tomato.

Hope this update was helpful to people heading to the Island soon.

Aug 07, 2009
jbeales in Southeast

Fish sandwiches

American Seafood in Arlington. It's in that shopping center with Arrowine at Lee Highway and Lorcom Lane. They do a very good variety of blackened fish sandwiches based on whatever they have in that's fresh.

If you go in and try it definitely try the key lime pie too if you want another taste of Florida.

Birthday Lunch in NOVA

I'm looking for suggestions for where to take a friend for her 21st birthday lunch in Northern Virginia. We're looking for somewhere that is relatively inexpensive and has good food and an interesting drinks list. The Fairfax city/Vienna area would be best but we could do the Clarendon/Courthouse area too.

New Year's Meal - Would love some help

How about doing the scallops as prosciutto wrapped scallops with a dab of herb oil?

For the rest of the dish a light salad sounds about right. The other thing you could do, which I just did for Christmas Eve with great success, is doing it with a smoked seafood spread. I did prosciutto wrapped shrimp with smoked scallops and mussels and roasted corn blinis topped with smoked salmon and sour cream. It was a big hit with my crowd.

I get the smoked mussels and scallops from my local fish guy, who has them behind the counter. They are great and go really well in a spread. If you wanted to be able to work more ahead too you could do something like smoked salmon mousse on a thin cracker.

Dec 28, 2008
jbeales in Home Cooking

Restaurants in Vienna

Vienna Inn and Anita's would both be great choices. Easy for kids to find stuff to eat and good for groups. The food is pretty good at both as well.

Joe's Pizza and Pasta. The pizza isn't nearly as good a Church Street Pizza but it is much more group friendly. I've been there often with groups of kids and they love it.

Top-5 Cooking Goals for 2009

1. Great idea on the confit! Did duck for the first time this Christmas and was stunned how good and easy it was at home. Confit is definitely at the top of the list for next year now.
2. Make stock more often. Something else I've done a ton of over the holidays and boy does it make a difference.
3. Learn to use more cuts of meat. I really need to break out of my chicken breast/pork loin/steak/sausage rut. More stews and braising are definitely on the list for this winter.
4. Eat more seasonally. To do that: plant a garden.
5. Learn more about wine.

Dec 28, 2008
jbeales in Home Cooking