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applerochez's Profile

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Tysons Corner/Vienna area Restaurants

i second Shamshiry! it's my only persian dining experience (apart from sampling a friend's mother's food) outside of moby dick and i loved it.

Moved to Alexandria instead!

i fourth the momo suggestion! it's the best in OT for sure. and southside is as close as you'll get to southern--unless you want to venture into section 8 territory--and it's damn good. definitely try the "815" biscuits.

i sincerely second driving to woodbridge for dixie bones, as well.

one of my favorites is bastille--on the north end next to abaca imports. wonderful steak and frittes, house made ketchup and general rustic french fare. they're closed on mondays, though.

for an east coast diner-style lunch or breakfast, try out table talk (on duke) but pass on jack's place (lee street).

the best nearby indian imo is dishes of india out in belle view. and if you can take the long drive, los toltecos out on duke has the best nearby mexican (a little further is el paso on route 1, totally worth it) and for an orgasmic chicken experience, trek out til duke becomes little river and stop into bon chon, for the most delicious korean fried chicken on earth.

but most importantly, have you been to lavender moon cupcakery?

National Harbor: Any choices beyond Gaylord and Rosa Mexicana?

my friend that lives in fort washington recommended sauciety, she goes to the harbor often. but as i live in old town, i have seen the need to hit up the harbor yet!

In need of a brownie recipe

i've made every brownie recipe under the sun--including ina's. for me (we like gooey brownies), the one that wins every time is the betty crocker dark chocolate brownie mix, to which i add a tsp or two of instant espresso (a tip i learned from ina) and a half cup of dark semi sweet, higher quality chocolate chips. i've seen people pass out after one bite!

for an old-school vibe, i'll sometimes swirl york peppermint patties on top when the brownies are hot (learned this one from my mom). sometimes i'll add chili powder for a little kick.

Nov 14, 2008
applerochez in Home Cooking

Looking for awesome brunch.

if you can handle taking the metro to braddock road in alexandria, definitely trek out to fireflies in del ray at some point. everything i tried was banging--particularly the french toast and omelette--but my own dish sucked (biscuits n gravy, it's just one of those things you don't try to spruce up). live bluegrass band, cute decor, highly recommend it.

Pumpkin or Butternut Squash Ravioli

i'm a little late, but for future reference, a la lucia in old town alexandria serves these through the fall and they were really delicious last year!

The Source by Wolfgang Puck?

i can't wait! i'm a slider fiend so i'm psyched to hear about the kobe beef variety.

Mid-price dinner near DC convention center, safe to walk?

good point, i didn't think about that! i usually go as a party of 2 and we wait an hour nearly every time... 10 would probably be a tough thing to pull off.
what about zola? i've never been (but have been meaning to try), but i've heard they have great escargot and they have char! i know they take reservations...

Mid-price dinner near DC convention center, safe to walk?

i love matchbox and go often, but i always find it VERY loud. i think the price and offerings might be better suited for a variegated crowd (basics kicked up a notch), however ps7 is very delicious, much more creative and way more quiet. i would put it about twice the price (at least) of matchbox though and the portions are tiny where some diners are concerned.

L'auberge Chez Francois or Obelisk

i agree that platter verged on disgusting--i got to l'auberge every year and usually get the briand... the last time i strayed and truly regretted it.

Rustico, Alexandria

bumping because...
i am not sure if they had the trios back in may yet, i've been going to rustico since it opened and have always had mixed reactions to the food. the oyster croquette is awesome, and the pork bellies with grits, as well as the grilled cheese. you can mix and match all of the trio options, or order only one or two.
i tried the new-ish guinness cupcake for dessert--wow! whoever the pastry chef is (maybe the new fella from buzz--i think they use the same one there and at vermillion in old town too) gets a lot of love.
i'm not too into beer, but rustico's one of the only places i've been that will serve a belgian sunrise (my fave). i loathe the parking, decor and service, though.

my minibar experience: 08/09/07

i haven't posted too too much here, but i loved minibar and thought i'd share my take (you guys might already know a lot of the info):

i FINALLY got to eat at minibar, one of the most renowned molecular gastronomy restaurants in the country. i can safely say it was the best culinary experience so far of my life, and probably in my top five coolest things i've done, too.

securing a reservation is hard. if you haven't been, the drill goes like this: you have to call 202.393.0812 at 9 a.m. sharp. the line is busy 99% time, and when you do finally get through there are usually no seats or one seat left. minibar only does two seatings a night, and only six diners at a time. my friend nemo and i were trying to secure a spot to celebrate our birthdays (his in june, mine in july), so we started calling in may (both of us). i finally scored a spot for august 9th. you can't request a particular date; you are given the date 30 days following the day you finally get through.

parking was a madhouse and nemo just moved out of the city (bummer because he lived a few blocks away only a few weeks ago). i arrived at 8:25 (our seating was at 8:30 sharp) and of course in true nemo fashion his car died and he was late, which was a little scary because they charge you a fee whether you eat or not. (price per person is $130). i sat down and felt awful because everyone was feeling sorry for me and the two chefs were waiting. i finally told them to go ahead, nemo miraculously showed up 10 minutes later and everyone clapped saying "there he is!"

you are literally seated at a bar on the top floor of cafe atlantico, behind which is a mini kitchen and two chefs who prepare your 30ish course meal. most of the dishes are one or two bites. you can do a wine pairing for a mere $40 and you can choose from five different groups of wines. i'm not into wine, but i highly recommend it. however i got hammered so that being said, you will too.

the chefs prepare and then introduce each dish, and you all eat it together and react/discuss, it's great fun. one was really neat (the deconstructed glass of white wine) as the chef challenged us to guess the 11 flavors from right to left and then revealed the answers at the end of the dish. below is a copy of the menu. items in " " are decon/reconstructions, things with a C were my favorites, things with an * i did not like and things with an N after them were nemo's faves.

1st course "munchies"
passion fruit "tequila sunrise"
crispy apples C
tumbleweed of beet CN
olive oil bon bon C
"mojito" C
"bagels and lox" N
cotton candy foie gras
conch fritter
curried chicken wing

2nd course "flavors and textures"
salmon-pineapple "ravioli" with crispy quinoa
deconstructed glass of white wine
zucchini in textures N
sun dried tomato salad
caesar salad
egg 63 degrees with caviar C
sea urchin "ceviche"
corn on the cob CN
"guacamole" C
smoked oyster and apples*
new england clam chowder
breaded cigala with lemon C
"philly cheesesteak" N

3rd course "dessert"
pistachio beets and mixed berries C
thai dessert

4th course "sweet endings"
saffron gumdrop
maracuya marshmallow
piƱa colada injection

i'm ruing the fact that i don't have a copy of the wine pairing group i did, because some of you wine fanatics could help me out there and i absolutely loved my third glass, some chardonnay from france. if you go, i chose the "lively" one.

food is one of my favorite hobbies, and i've been to most of washington's great restaurants. in fact the night before i was at restaurant eve, which seems like a joke after minibar, though at the time i enjoyed it (particularly the mini birthday cake on the dessert menu, pink and sparkled, so cute and delicious).

i highly recommend this to ANYONE who loves food, surprises and being delighted for two hours straight. set your alarm clocks!

we talked with the chefs afterward, and minibar will be closed the first two weeks of september, and then some additional downtime thru the fall/winter for redecoration. will be back on normal schedule by late dec/jan.

Formal and Exquisite for family (plus 2 teens)

restaurant eve is awesome!

Elegant/Formal dinner to impress a family

the willard is really formal--and only a stone's throw from the white house. the food isn't that great, though.
citronelle, although noisy, has amazing presentation. the food will probably be too weird for teens, though. i personally find better dining in the suburbs (particularly va) than within the city limits.
i don't know if they have ruth's chris or morton's where you're from, but the waitstaff is 100% formal there and everybody loves steak.