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isabellaflynn's Profile

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Looking for good venues for monthly happy hour

I just did a happy hour last week at Poste and it worked out well. They have valet parking and it is easy metro access, so it was convenient for people coming from all directions. We liked the outdoor courtyard and the inexpensive house red wine, which at $5, was a bargain. Only downsides, they don't serve the full menu outside and the lines were a bit long for the drinks, but otherwise it worked out well. I had a crowd of people of all ages and everyone seemed to enjoy it.

Overnight in Penn Quarter

My favorite spots in Penn Quarter are as follows:

Rasika - delicious, innovative Indian food, nice interior design - you won't be disappointed

Oyamel - interesting take on Mexican tapas with delicious margaritas

Poste - for drinks outside on the patio

Proof - fabulous wine list

PS7 - fun, particularly the lounge menu with the mini hot dogs and tuna sliders

Hope you enjoy - this is a great area with some wonderful places!

Most UNIQUE dish in d.c.?

Had lunch at Zenga last week which is fusion Asian and Latin. I had fish in a spicy latin-based flavored broth with Asian vegetables. Bizarre.

Annapolis, MD - Top 3 Restaurants

Agree with most people on here about the restaurants: Here's my recommendations:
O'Leary's (seafood)
Lewne's (For steak)
Joss (best sushi)
Other worthy candidates include either Tsunami or Yin Yankee for sushi. This is not a food town. If it doesn't have a burger or crabcake sandwich on the menu, it wouldn't be Annapolis. Avoid anything Italian.

Best birthday cake?

I'll second Patisserie Poupon - I had the best wedding cake of all time and it came from there - 12 years ago!

Stoney Creek Inn for Crabs?

Don't order the cream of crab soup. I was really disappointed. It was way too thick. I asked the waitress to bring me a cup of the Maryland crab instead and you would have thought I personally insulted her. She remarked that this is the way they make their crab soup and I could just add some sherry. I told her I'm a native Marylander from the area and the soup was WAY too thick to be enjoyable. I mean, I like thick soup, but not when it's so full of flour I can barely stand it! I wasn't happy and will not return.

Restaurant to Celebrate 40th Birthday in Orlando

My friend is celebrating her 40th birthday in Orlando, as she is there for business she's not happy about it, so I wanted to take her somewhere really fun and cool in downtown Orlando for her birthday. Does anyone have any good suggestions? I'm completely unfamiliar with downtown, but want to find a good spot!

Jun 15, 2009
isabellaflynn in Florida

Breakfast - Hell's Kitchen

Can anyone recommend a good breakfast spot in Hell's Kitchen? We are looking for something that will accommodate two young children and won't be too crowded, but has pretty decent food. Any thoughts would be very much appreciated!

May 26, 2009
isabellaflynn in Manhattan

Spot with good atmosphere to take friend from Europe

I think sleek and trendy fits the bill here. I took her the last time she was in town to Leopold's in Georgetown and she loved it. She is from Germany and she felt right at home there. I'm not sure the Diner fits the bill, but Proof and Sei are definite possibilities!

Spot with good atmosphere to take friend from Europe

I admit I haven't been out in the evening in DC in quite a while and a friend is arriving soon from Europe. I want to take her to a place with a cool vibe, good food and excellent drinks. I was thinking about Adams Morgan as a neighborhood or Logan Circle. Any thoughts? My friend has taken me to wonderful places when I have visited her in Europe and I would like to return the favor and impress her!

DC with very picky 7 year old

I agree with the choice of Brasserie Beck for a 7year old. They have a bunch of options and delicious Belgian waffles for dessert. My son loves it. I also think Two Amys would be nice, but it can get very crowded and it's close to the zoo, so not right downtown. Ella's Pizza might be a good option and it's fairly kid friendly. Jaleo is also good for Spanish - it's lively and fun and right in Penn Quarter. Poste in the Hotel Monaco also has a lot of good choices and you can eat outside in the courtyard if the weather is good. I really enjoyed Oyamel, also in Penn Quarter for Mexican tapas recently - not sure if it would be too outlandish though. Just a few thoughts - good luck!

Where to go to impress my friend from Europe.

Is there a price range? Also, is there anything not to your friend's liking to narrow the field?

May 05, 2009
isabellaflynn in Manhattan

Proposed July Eating Itinerary

I would forget DiFara personally and try another pizza place. I have never gotten over my one outing there for my sister's birthday in which my husband and I schlepped all the way out there only to be thwarted by Sal's perfectionism. Sal is the elderly owner who takes great care in placing the ingredients on each and every pizza. We had our son with us and I just remember this guy coming in and saying he called an hour and a half ago and still there was no pizza. My son could not understand why we could only have three slices - since that is all they had. Totonnos is fabulous, big fan of Lombardis in Manhattan as well. Have you thought about trying Murrays' bagels? They are delicious. Love the itinerary and how it is completely built around food!

May 05, 2009
isabellaflynn in Manhattan

Belgium and the Netherlands for a budget gastronomist type

I work in Brussels frequently and in fact I'm heading there this weekend. The only downside to your request is the lack of money aspect, given that it isn't an inexpensive town. The best chocolate for me is Pierre Marcolini, which you can purchase by the individual piece in the Sablon or in the Conrad Hilton. Even if you have just one piece, you will have tasted heaven. Highly recommend the violette flavor - my personal favorite. In terms of good eats, you really can't go wrong. There is an embarrassment of riches in terms of good eating establishments. I love Porte des Indes for Indian food, La Kasbah for Moroccan, and Aux Armes des Bruxelles for Belgian. There are too many places to mention in fact. One thing you might consider is going to the Place du Chatelain on a Wednesday afternoon and visiting the marketplace - lovely treats at affordable prices.

Seafood with 5-Year Old

My 5-year old son absolutely loves fish and seafood and we would like to take him to an excellent restaurant featuring his favorite foods. We took him to the Oyster Bar in Grand Central a few months ago and he really enjoyed that, but are looking for a new experience with him for our next trip into town in a few weeks. I'm not looking for a kiddie restaurant, but rather a restaurant that would not be uncomfortable serving a child. Are there any options you would recommend?

May 04, 2009
isabellaflynn in Manhattan

Looking for Fresh Prickly Pears

Whole foods usually carries these and Shoppers as indicated. My mom is Sicilian and these were popular in my house when I was growing up. Enjoy!

Need Good Butcher Rec.

Agree on Lebanese Butcher in Annandale. I have driven many miles from where I lived in AA County in Maryland to buy items there. They have this ground meat mixture with spices and herbs already added that is perfect for making grilled meat patty kebabs and there are many other meats that are excellent. A great places!

Turkish Restaurants in DC or NOVA

I lived in Turkey for a while and you will not find anything that will be comparable to Turkish cuisine in the DC area unfortunately. If you were willing to make the trek to New York, I have had many meals that do justice to this wonderful cuisine, but not in this area unfortunately. Nizams for example, offers a "Kebab special" only on certain days which is called Iskender in Turkey. It's simply marinated and grilled lamb torn pita pieces with a yougurt and tomato sauce topped with melted butter. It's absolutely delicious in Turkey and very cheap. It not on;y doesn't taste the same at Nizams but it is fairly pricey. We did not return again after that.

When you are in Istanbul, look for manti, delicious lamb ravioli with yogurt sauce and try the Adana Kebab if you like a little spicy kick with your lamb kebab. The ekmek (bread) is fantastic and sandwiches are made there that I still dream about! Enjoy your trip!

Cooking Courses

I bought one of the ICE classes for my sister a few years ago and she loved it. It featured French cuisine in the Time of French Impressionism. The instructor gave everyone a copy of her book which included beautiful artwork. My sister has raved about it since. They made a delicious meal from the sound of it as well.

Apr 07, 2009
isabellaflynn in Manhattan

Soft Serve Ice cream - D.C. metro area?

I agree about Dickie's - they even have a lower fat version which tastes pretty good. An excellent choice.

DC this Thursday Evening through Sunday Morning....need recs

I agree on all of these suggestions. Tosca is very good and Oyamel is a new favorite. Might also think about Brasserie Beck which has a huge list of Belgian brews over on K Street and Belgian specialties. I work in Brussels and the food is fairly authentic and the portions are fairly large. Breakfast is tough. In Adams Morgan there is The Diner . DC is not a breakfast town. One of my best friends is a freak for brunch and we usually head to Georgetown and try our luck. Maybe you can try the new Pain Quotidien on Capitol Hill. They have nice open faced sandwiches and big cups of delicious coffee and egg dishes. Another Belgian spot. For inexpensive tacos and Mexican also near the Hill is Tacqueria Nationale. If it's a nice day you can buy a delicious fruit drink and a couple of tacos and sit around the parks on the Hill.

What are the most overrated DC restaurants?

Agree completely Chowbeth on Burma. We went many years ago for a work lunch and I thought the food was inedible. I couldn't believe when I saw good reviews. I wondered if I ate the same food!

Weddings in Baltimore Area

We had our wedding nearly 12 years ago at the Garrett Jacobs Mansion which is on Mt. Vernon Place. The mansion is owned by the Engineering Society of Baltimore. Everything about it was lovely including the food and the setting was perfect. Everyone was very impressed and the photos are still nice to look at all of these years later. Only downside is that you need to know someone who is a member who will "sponsor" you to use the facilities. If you cna make it happen, it's a wonderful spot.

DC/Md. stores with good liqueur selection

Schneiders is good for wine, not sure about liquor though. My local liquor store in Annapoils, Bay Ridge Wine and Spirits hasn't let me down yet. I was able to find a nice calvados and a an Italian muscat. They didn't have the creme de cassis from France that was authentic (had to put a bottle in my luggage on my last trip to Brussels) but they've had every other hard to find bottle and will order it if they don't have it. They are very customer friendly and have big sales throughout the year. If you're ever in Annapolis, it's a good spot.

Harris Crab House @ Kent Narrows

I don't agree with this suggestion unfortunately. To my taste, Maryland Crab Soup (this is what we call the "red crab" soup locally) sould have a kick (i.e. a nice peppery Old Bay taste). The soup here is too bland and tastes canned. So many places screw up on the Cream of Crab as well - too thick. I actually think one of the better versions I've had is at a steak house, The Prime Rib in Baltimore. As for the Maryland Crab, my mom makes the best in the entire state hands down. I've tried to convince her to sell it, but she isn't interested...

Maryland & Delaware Crab Shacks?

Agree with Joe H - Waterman's is a very good choice. Cantler's is fun as well and you would have a good time there. I base my opinion on crab shacks as much on the atmosphere/location as the food.

Best Date options in Annapolis

Edgewater Restaurant might have good crabcakes but in terms of ambience it is seriously lacking. It also is not in Annapolis. I agree with the earlier poster on O'Learys. Another option is Lewnies right across the street for a decent steak with a perfect sidecar or classic cocktail. Only issue is that both places are expensive. For a cheaper option, you could consider Tsunami's which has enough space unlike some restaurants to get to know someone. My first date was with my husband at what was once called Little Campus. It is now Galway Bay. Little Campus was an old dive and we had a roach crawling on the wall, but I still married him! I wish you luck!

Birthday Cake in Annapolis

Main Ingredient will make a cake and deliver it. You can try them - they are located on Bay Ridge Road in Annapolis.

Unique and fabulous foods to take home

You can try going to Maille right near Fauchon, which has several different varieties of dijon with many different flavors. I would also recommend finding a market - I'm fond of the one near the Bastille that sells sea salts flavored with lemon, truffles, etc. It makes a nice keepsake. There is also a man at that market that sells olive oils from all over the world. I travel to paris for my job frequently and recently brought back my favorite chocolates and brand of creme de cassis. Now I can have a kir that tastes as good as the one's I have in paris (of course you will need to pack all of these items very carefully!)

Feb 17, 2009
isabellaflynn in France

You Haven't tasted D.C. Until...?

I like to go down to the DC waterfront to Maine Avenue and eat oysters on the half shell. It's very unique and completely DC. In fact, Anthony Bourdain recently went there on his show "No Reservations." Nothing fancy, but a fun experience.