Sunday, April 29, 2007

Poste (Modern Brasserie) is the Moste

Poste Brasserie at the Hotel Monaco is a stand-out in Gallery Place. Unlike other "brasseries" this is a modern and very American take on the french idea of brasserie or "brewery" which typically means very casual seating and typical comfort items like steak frites and escargot. This place is more like California wine country with some snails and some hanger steak thrown in for good measure (and when I say "thrown in" I mean, plated carefully using very fine ingredients and artesinal acoutriments). The service is impeccable, the modern and clean dining room with high ceilings and the wide, wide open kitchen are airy and inviting. There is quality at every turn. I even spied a sign that read "sauces must be strained two times" on the industrial freezer. Now that's attention to detail! Best bites:

Truffle fries (matchstick fries with a dusting of truffle powder--crispy, salty, earthy)

Kona Kampachi (thinly sliced, farm-raised-trade-marked-sushi-grade, white fish served with pink grapefruit, ginger vinaigrette, and a little micro arugala--spritely, light, flavorful)

Escargot (deliciously garlicky, served sans shells on a tray with individual cavities for each little snail, which is lovingly topped off with tiny little puff pastries)

They have a nice selection of wines as well. There is outdoor seating in the lovely courtyard of the hotel and a beautiful open glass vestibule that houses one of the two bars. Great place for happy hour and dinner.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Can I Have Four Beers?

Delirium Tremens blond beer (at Pizza Paradiso)

Samuel Smith's Pure-Brewed Lager (at Lebanese Taverna)

Asahi (at Tono Sushi)

Stella Artois (at Bistro du Coin)

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

What-Washington-Eats Wednesdays: Clinton

Bill liked everything super-sized: interns, cigars, and value meals. Probably frequented the 13th and F location McDs--a convenient three block jog from the White House.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

What-Washington-Eats Wednesdays: GWB

New series dedicated to what famous Washingtonians eat. The first installment: GW Bush. Apparently loves his Mexican. (His push for comprehensive immigration reform is all about TWP.)

Probably would enjoy the enchiladas with frioles a la charra at D.C.'s most popular Mexican establishment, Lauriol Plaza.

¡Viva la frontera abierta!

Sunday, April 08, 2007

California Wine Country Cuisine on Capitol Hill

Like its sister restaurant, Mendocino, in Georgetown, the spare but stylish Sonoma Restaurant and Wine Bar on Capitol Hill is like a slice of California wine country. There's, of course, an extensive menu of wine. The list is basically divided up into "old world" selections--which are mostly Italian--and "new world" which are almost all Californian with a sprinkling of Oregonian and Virginian.

Staying true to its name, the menu at Sonoma offers plenty of great wine country cuisine, the hallmarks of which include light, fresh, and local ingredients. No wine bar would be complete without cheese, and this place delivers an extensive array of cheese--for starters or dessert--that includes cow, goat, sheep, and blue.

Everything, including the service, last night was excellent.

Amish chicken patte (very light and fluffy, mousse-like)
black risotto with calamari and prosciutto (can be undercooked sometimes, but beautiful flavors--their take on the classic Spanish Arroz Negro Con Calamares)
sicilian oil-packed tuna (their version of the salad nicoise--too salty, not a highlight)


quail with--what I think was --(beautifully fragrant/herby) micro sorrel with flowers, polenta cakes (the quail was grilled perfectly, remained juicy and firm but tender)

free range lamb loin with cannelini bean puree, pea shoots and minted yogurt (medium rare and delish)


Cosentino "The Zin" (had Cosentino Cab Franc at Mendocino, which was equally good)


Panna cotta with some sort of blood orange syrup

Good tea:

Harney & Sons jasmine (really fragrant with hibiscus)

Obviously I broke my salad streak from last week. It was worth it.
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