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Fresh Asparagus

thanks, coco!

Fresh Asparagus

Anybody know who's selling fresh local asparagus right now? Or am I rushing the season a bit?

Where's the Duck?

Why be embarrassed about loving duck l'orange? It's a classic! Here's something weird, though: The last few times I've ordered duck l'orange, it's been at a MEXICAN restaurant. La Lomita on Capitol Hill. Here's something even weirder: They do a good job with it! Personally, when I've got my duck jones on, I like duck confit. And for this, the drumstick at Bistro D'Oc and the cassoulet at Bistrot Lepic are my two favorite ways to inject the duck fat.

Ray's The Steaks is a mediocre steak house at best.

I have to agree with the original poster here. I fail to see what all the fuss is about with RTS. Both the Palm and Smith & Wolenski have superior meat, in my view. Granted, they're chains, but so is Ray's now. I've always felt that Washington restaurant critics, and maybe even some people on this board, seem to grade suburban restaurants on a steep curve. Every time I've made a trek out into the 'burbs to find some raved-about restaurant, I've been disappointed ... with a few exceptions on some Asian restaurants.

A Fish Story about Smoked Ciscoes

Many years ago, when I was a sophomore in high school, my father took me on a fishing trip to Canada with two of his buddies. Our plane landed in Duluth, MN where we had to rent a car and drive several hours to a small Canadian village called Ignace. From there, the plan was to hop on a pontoon plane which would take us further into the woods where the fishing would be so good, my father promised, “you’ll have to stand behind a tree to bait your hook!” It turned out the fishing wasn’t so good that week, but the companionship was unforgettable. On the road between Duluth and Ignace, we passed a small hand-painted sign tacked to a tree that said “SMOKED CISCOES: $2 each.” My father and his buddies, all of whom had been raised in the Midwest, reacted to this sign with unrestrained glee and turned off the road to follow the sign. “Let me get this straight,” I said from the back seat of the car, as it bounced along on what was not so much a road as it was two tire tracks leading into the wilderness. “You’re going to buy FISH from some guy in the woods? And you’re going to eat it? Are you nuts?” My father said, “You don’t have to eat any if you don’t want, son.” They bought the ciscoes from a guy who looked like he’d played a prominent role in the film “Deliverance.” My dad and his buddies ate the fish directly off them plain brown paper in which they were wrapped. After refusing several offers to try some I finally relented and took one tiny bite. Maybe I was just hungry. But even to this day, I recall it being one of the most divine and flavorful things I’ve ever put in my mouth. Oily and rich, but not the least bit fishy. Fortunately, my dad – a wise father if there ever was one – had the foresight to purchase four of them. So I sat in the back seat of the car, unwrapped my cisco, and enjoyed one of the finest culinary experiences of my life. Never had one before. Never had one since. So my question is: Where do you suppose you could find a “Smoked Cisco” in Washington, DC?
P.S. I’m willing to pay more than $2 now.

Wine Law/DC

Does anyone know what the law is in DC regarding taking an unfinished bottle of wine home with you from a restaurant. I know it's legal in NJ, not sure about DC.

Lebanese Taverna first-time tomorrow...

What should I order? Anybody got any faves? It's for lunch, btw.

Mufaletta?

thanks to everyone for the great replies!

Mufaletta?

I just learned about an amazing-sounding New Orleans sandwich called a "Mufaletta." Is there ANY chance I could find such a thing in old DC?

Is There a Good "Meat and Three" in DC?

... or are we not far enough south?

Good Thai food in Georgetown OR Adams Morgan area?

Busara in "Upper" Georgetown, aka Glover Park, very nice, not too expensive, very good pad thai, particularly nice place as the weather gets warmer when they open up the garden in the back.

Seeking recommendations for best steakhouse in D.C.

I'm not sure why you'd choose to exclude the "chains" ... since both The Palm and Smith & Wollenski offer far superior beef than any of the independents I've tried. Much better than Prime Rib, in my view. (Which, in fact, may be a mini-chain itself, because it has a sister restaurant in Baltimore.) Haven't tried Ray's yet, but if they serve a better piece of meat than S&W or Palm, I'll eat my hat for dessert.

What is your formal pick for DC?

From the list you provided, I'm inclined to select the Palm if the kids like steak or lobster, because the kids will be entertained by all the caricatures on the wall and might have a pretty good chance of seeing a real live celebrity, too. Plus, the steak and lobster are as good as you'll find anywhere.

Help - have to go to Mon Ami Gabi...

There are worst things that could happen to you than to be forced to go to Mon Ami Gabi. They could've forced you to go to Olive Garden, for example. Both are medium-priced chain restaurants that endeavor to replicate "typical" French and Italian restaurants. But while Olive Garden gets most of the details and atmosphere of an Italian trattoria wrong, M.A.G. gets most of the details and atmosphere of a French bistro exactly right. The escargots are among the best I've had anywhere. As DC Gal mentions above, the artichoke appetizer is a beauty. Service is informal, but generally very good. Steak frites is the thing to have, with some sauteed spinach on the side if you don't want all those fries. Or in addition to the fries! Hey, this is not Citronelle, but it's nothing to dread.

Going to Maestro

i'll second what bill from the hill said. we passed on dessert ... but were showered with sweet freebies anyway. since dessert is rarely the highlight of an italian meal, the smart play at maestro is to skip dessert and invest your money in an additional course.

Going to Maestro

here's something we learned on our first visit: the menu leaves you with the impression that you have to select your courses from either the tradizione or the evoluzione menus ... but, in fact, you can pick and choose from both

Restaurant Week

If you could only choose one, which would it be?

Restaurant Advice for Date in Dupont Tonight!

The date in question is long past now, but Al Tiramisu has always struck me as a nice place for a romantic dinner. Quiet, cozy, intimate, terrific food.

Does Authentic Italian Food Exhist in the DC Area?

you'd probably have to go all the way to des moines to find italian food that's WORSE than what you'd get in manhattan's little italy.

Lunch in Georgetown

was there today and had the cassoulet, super as always.

HELP! DC restaurant with chef's table??

obelisk?

sushi

Sushi-Ko is not only one of the best sushi restaurants in town, it was the first. I went in there shortly after it opened (c. 1975) because my office was located next door. At that time, I had heard, of course, that the Japanese were in the peculiar habit of eating raw fish. But I'd never actually seen it done in person, and I'd certainly never heard of a restaurant in America that was serving it. I walked in, and the place was crammed to the ... er, gills with Japanese people. I said to myself, "I think this is gonna be big." I was right.

favorite chinese restaurants in the bethesda,rockville,upper n.w. D.C. area

SPICES. Connecticut Avenue across from the Uptown Theater. It's "pan-asian," but most of the entrees are better than those produced by restaurants that are specifically Chinese, Japanese, Thai, etc. It's one of the city's best, in my view. Nice-looking place, too.

Most Controversial DC Food Opinion

Whenever my wife and I visit New York, where we lived for twelve years, she insists on bringing back a dozen bagels for herself and others. But I don't see the point anymore. There was a time when the New York bagel was distinctly superior and you couldn't find it down here. It's still superior to a monstrosity like Einstein. But I've never had any trouble finding bagels at Mel Krupin's place or even Whole Foods that are just as good as any in New York.

Looking for great food hole in the wall - $$ - french cusine

Bistrot Lepic (north Georgetown) is so authentic you could plop it down in Paris and no one would notice anything unusual. Not cheap, but not outrageous.

Anyone been to Comet Ping Pong?

You can tell it's not authentic New Haven pizza because it's misspelled. New Haven pizza is spelled "apizza" and pronounced "ah-beets!"