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Single malts on the Red Line

A good friend who is an admirer of Scots whisky will be in town this weekend, and we're looking for a bar with a good selection. Since I'm usually a wine drinker when out, I'm not up on this subject.

We're looking for suggestions close to the Red Line (as in ~5 minute walk) ONLY between Bethesda and downtown DC. Specific thoughts of places I like but don't know the whisky selection are: Palena, Dino, Tabard Inn. But I'd be grateful for any other thoughts. As those names suggest, someplace comfortable and not loud/crazy preferred.

(PS The Royal Mile Pub sounds fabulous; but we can't go to Wheaton.)

3529 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington, DC 20008

Tabard Inn
1739 N St NW, Washington, DC 20036

Royal Mile Pub
2407 Price Ave, Silver Spring, MD 20902

Nov 17, 2010
Gee in Washington DC & Baltimore

Paris recap from early April (longish)

May 02, 2008
Gee in France

Paris recap from early April (longish)

My pleasure -- really.

Re: locations, from memory -- la Ferrandaise is in the 6th on the rue Vaugirard near the Odeon, le Dome du Marais is in the 4th, Deux Magots is in the 6th, and Balzar is in the 5th. Poisson Rouge is in the 10th, on the Quai Jemmapes. As Dodo says, they're all quite accessible, and all are more or less in the center except Poisson Rouge, which isn't far.

Apr 28, 2008
Gee in France

Paris recap from early April (longish)

After extensive research and some helpful suggestions from ‘hounds, we headed off to a week in the 7th (St. Germain side) on April 9. We’re back now, and I wanted briefly to thank everyone, and say that we were extremely pleased with our meals, and somewhat more surprisingly, in spite of the weak dollar, we felt we got decent value, if not any bargains. Some highlights:

Chez l’Ami Jean
As I noted in response to another poster, we went on a Friday night at 9:00 p.m. and found the jam-packed, cheerful bedlam all had described. Though it was louder than anyplace else in Paris, it was not loud by American standards, not even close. We got the 32€ dinner menu and a more-than-decent Chablis for around the same price (there were a lot of interesting bottles in the 25€ range). In spite of some stumbles – the kitchen produced a calamari with beef for my fiancée in spite of our specific request to steer clear of meat – the harried staff made everything good (incredible vegetable veloute swiftly produced in place of the calamari), and the meal got better and better. We had the cod and scallops, respectively, as mains, the former superb, complete with unbilled creamy mashed potatoes, the latter very good (shells covered with light pastry). The desserts were the best thing about the meal – mine especially, a raspberry, cream and ice cream confection layered between delicate thin biscuits.

la Ferrandaise (6ême)
Thanks to poster Dodo, we stumbled onto this place in seeking its now-defunct predecessor, I having been to the latter a dozen years ago. We booked for a Saturday night, when it turned out they were surprisingly – and quite unjustly – uncrowded. We had a pleasant welcome and were given English menus, though we hadn't asked for them (which was fine). Our starters were a very good salmon tartar. For mains, I had a wonderful delicate bream (dorade) with spiced grains; now I’m forgetting what my fiancée had, though I do recall she loved it. The wine list was decent and offered some nice 2/3 bottle pichets, a good choice for a couple who don’t want a whole bottle, and which are also great value (most under 12€). The three-course dinner menu was around 32€. This place is underrated and under-mentioned here. My advice: Go!

le Dome du Marais
This was a minor splurge, in the sense that we went off the menu, got more expensive wine, etc., though in fact its lower-priced menu (36€) is only a bit more expensive than the preceding two bistronomiques. The room is lovely, as described, and service was quite leisurely in a way we appreciated – most tables were not turned and we were there nearly three hours. I am blanking on what we ordered, but we were quite pleased with all courses. An excellent selection and decent value from the wine list, it seemed to me.

le Poisson Rouge (facing Canal St. Martin)
We had a wonderful, unreserved and spontaneous lunch at this place. I had a delicious Asian-inflected boneless chicken dish. It’s tiny, and the staff were extremely pleasant. It’s also a wine bar, and I loved the floral white Tarn by the glass. Other selections looked interesting too. Great value for money at lunch (maybe at dinner too, I didn’t check prices). I remembered this place because the late Maurice Naughton posted about it a few years back. Maurice, wherever you are, thank you – for this and so much other good advice.

les Deux Magots
I know, I know. But my fiancée saw someone’s post about the goat cheese sandwich and had to try it. So this is just to say – it’s as good as billed. Certainly not a place to go out of your way to eat, but the light dishes (that sandwich, the omelettes) are well-executed and don’t – perhaps surprisingly – break the bank. If you’re in the neighborhood and hungry, you could certainly do worse.

We also had a lovely first dinner at Brasserie Balzar, for which I must thank another poster (whose name escapes me, apologies) who waxed rhapsodic about its charms. A wonderful introduction to Paris for my fiancée.

One other observation: in a half-dozen previous visits to Paris over the past several decades, I have never noticed so few Americans. It was quite a stark contrast, I assume the result of the exchange rate.

Again – thanks, all.

Apr 25, 2008
Gee in France

L'Ami Jean - Lunch over dinner?

We were there last Friday night, with a 9 p.m. table. I wouldn't say that we were hurried, particularly, though service was faster than is perhaps usual in France.

The place was, as promised, jammed, and jammed together. Compared to an American restaurant, however, I would not call it loud. My hearing isn't the greatest, but I had no trouble at all hearing my companion throughout the meal. I put this down to the ingrained French habit of not howling at the top of one's lungs -- as we Yanks, and in my experience some others, are prone to do, especially once the wine kicks in -- but instead speaking only as loudly as is needed to be heard across the table.

By the way, the meal was as wonderful, and as good value, as 'hounds had led us to expect. Thanks, all. I'll try to post more detail on this resto and others later.

Apr 18, 2008
Gee in France

Paris: romance for under 100€/person

Many thanks, Souphie. I thought you might well have l'info.

Mar 31, 2008
Gee in France

Paris: romance for under 100€/person

My fiancee and I are traveling to Paris in ten days for a week. She's never been, doesn't eat meat or poultry, has at most a single glass of wine with a meal.

I've already make a couple rezzies, at l'Ami Jean and la Ferrandaise, may try La Cagouille.

But--a kind family member wants to treat us to a nice dinner (not lunch), with a 100€/person limit all inclusive--ideally less. We need a venue. We'd like: something more on the traditional side; someplace sure to have good fish on the menu (one of us doesn't eat meat or poultry); preferably someplace we're not too stuffed in to our table (not that there's anthing wrong with that!); and if it's old and beautiful, so much the better. It doesn't have to be in the center. Although I've gotten up to speed with many of the recent recs on this board, I'm less clear on prices at many of the mid-level (one star?) places.

Suggestions, O wise 'hounds?

Mar 29, 2008
Gee in France

La Table d'Aude, Paris - recent experiences?

Ah, well I stand corrected. And thanks for alerting me to its replacement, which sounds quite worthy.

Feb 18, 2008
Gee in France

La Table d'Aude, Paris - recent experiences?

I last went to the Table d'Aude probably a dozen years ago -- I remember it as being very pleasant and reasonable southwestern country cooking, nothing fancy, paper tablecloths, excellent house wine. French comfort food, in a word. It's in the 6th on the rue de Vaugirard (around the corner from the Odeon, IIRC), and according to it's still there.

Anyone been lately? If so, how are prices/quality?

Feb 17, 2008
Gee in France

Albi, Toulouse, Gaillac & area: any rec's please?

About five years ago I had a wonderful, and reasonably priced, dinner in the restaurant at the Hotel Minerve in Albi. They had a beautiful terrace that faced the old city across the river (this was in summer). It's worth at least checking into, because if they've maintained the quality at all, I'd highly recommend it.

Nov 01, 2007
Gee in France

In DC for convention, would like suggestions

Dino is marvelous. Excellent Italian food, warm atmosphere, unfussy. If, as I detect from your BYOB question, you're interested in wine, it is unmissable. I'd recommend going on Monday -- they have a 1/3-off discount Sunday/Monday on $50+ wines, and their wine list is spectacular.

And count me as one more vote for Palena's front room, too.

Oct 10, 2007
Gee in Washington DC & Baltimore

Advice for Heathens


Aug 14, 2007
Gee in Features

Italian Restaurant in Washington DC

I second Dino, emphatically. Moreover, if you or any of you are wine lovers, run, do not walk, to Dino, because the food is very good, but the wine selection, service and value are simply amazing -- for Italian wines, the best in the region and probably the best I've ever experienced. There is also a nice separate dining room upstairs; can't remember if it would fit 12, but it might be worth asking.

May 31, 2007
Gee in Washington DC & Baltimore

French In DC What's Happened!?

I've been a big fan of Bistro d'Oc since they opened, I love the food, the ambience and the incredibly warm staff. I have to say that recently their prices have taken a rather dizzying upward spiral to a point where I think that they are really out of line. $22-23 for roast chicken? That's higher than Central territory. (And incidentally, on my one visit to Central our large group had excellent service; I wonder whether the top poster might not have visited rather early, when they were still ironing out the bugs?)

I'll keep returning to d'Oc, I am so fond of it. But at those prices, I won't go nearly as often as I used to.

May 24, 2007
Gee in Washington DC & Baltimore

La Fin du Monde

Just saw this very one at Whole Foods on 14th St. in the District the other day.

Mar 14, 2007
Gee in Washington DC & Baltimore

Is there decent mexican in DC?

I would not lump La Loma on Capitol Hill in with Lauriol Plaza, as one poster did. I've had some quite good fajitas at La Loma, and have gone back for them many times. Lauriol Plaza's fajitas--setting apart the wait, the noise and the higher prices--were lousy. La Loma also is more of a quiet neighborhood spot (except in summer, when the big terrace gets filled with loud parties of margarita drinkers), something you could never call L.P.

Feb 06, 2007
Gee in Washington DC & Baltimore

Where do I find a cup of Illy or Lavazza Coffee in DC

Our wonderful local coffee house in Shaw, Azi's, serves Illy coffee. Corner of 9th and O NW. I think they sell the beans (or ground, whichever it is), too. Also excellent pastries and free wireless.

Jan 23, 2007
Gee in Washington DC & Baltimore

Favorite Thai restaurants in D.C., nothern Virginia?

Actually, I've been favorably impressed with the quality and imagination of the cooking at Rice on two or three visits. Decent wines by the glass, too.

The only downside from my point of view is that it tends to be thunderously loud when busy.

Jan 10, 2007
Gee in Washington DC & Baltimore

Chinese on the Red Line?

Yep. It's City Lights. And it is good, though I haven't been lately. Terrific salt-crusted shrimp.

Dec 28, 2006
Gee in Washington DC & Baltimore

New England Style Calamari

FWIW, Legal Seafoods started in Boston (or actually I think Inman Square in Cambridge) before turning into a big chain. Though I suppose it's quite possible they adopted a Rhode Island style recipe for calamari. New England is all in the family, after all....

Dec 17, 2006
Gee in Washington DC & Baltimore

El Rinconcito/11th Street NW D.C.

I've seen several older posts on the Salvadorean place El Rinconcito in Columbia Heights. I'm curious whether the 11th St. resto of the same name is a branch or a separate establishment. I've been by it many times, living a few blocks away (it's just south of M Street).

Has anyone tried the one on 11th? Comments?

Dec 17, 2006
Gee in Washington DC & Baltimore

Santa Monica Breakfast

I had a late breakfast just today at the Broadway Deli, having not been in several years. It was--as ever--terrific.

Certainly not diner-(or for that matter deli-)cheap, but everything was very well-executed and fresh.

Nov 15, 2006
Gee in Los Angeles Area

Bethesda with a client....

Great suggestions. Will try David Craig (and keep Cesco and Passage to India in mind for later). Many thanks, all.

Sep 18, 2006
Gee in Washington DC & Baltimore

Bethesda with a client....

For a weeknight dinner with an important and probably food-savvy client, looking for a resto anywhere between downtown Bethesda and Rockville around White Flint (no further north).

Cost not an issue, but *low noise level* definitely is.

I'd appreciate hearing any suggestions. I'd also appreciate any recent experiences with food (or noise level) at Jaleo, Rock Creek.

(Persimmon, alas, is booked at the time we want. The reopened Blacks sounds very promising but is apparently too loud.) Thanks!

Sep 15, 2006
Gee in Washington DC & Baltimore