Tuesday, July 28, 2009

spezie

spezie
1736 L street NW, washington, DC 20036
tel: 202) 467-0777
hours: lunch monday-friday 11:30am-2:30pm; dinner monday-saturday 5:30pm-10pm
what was consumed: restaurant week - chicken salad, gnocci, radiccio and pear salad, quail, seafood pasta, mushroom risotto, creme brule, tiramisu, fruit tart
on my way to and from the metro near farragut park, i pass spezie. and when i look in, i always see happy people drinking wine, eating good food, and generally looking like they're having a good time. so, when we saw that spezie was on the list for restaurant week (AND their entire menu was open for selection), we were happy to dish out the moola for a nice little restaurant week eatin'~

our meal started off with small appetizer plates. i was SO happy to see gnocci on the appetizer list - you know how i can't resist. that way, i could get gnocci AND something else! what a great day - yeehaw! spezie has a nice combination of flavors and options for appetizers - some are heavier than others, but all are delicious.

our meals continued with entrees. so many options, but diminishing space in my stomach (sadly). i opted for the mushroom raviolis not only because mushroom ravioli is always delicious, but also because it was with crushed pistachios (and who doesn't love pistachios?). friends had the quail and the seafood spaghetti, both which were delicious. i'm glad we all shared (because sharing is caring!).

for dessert, we got one of each offered. being the non-dessert person of the group, i let the others choose first and i ended up with the fruit tart. i tasted all of the desserts and they were divine! rich, creamy, sweet, delicious. but those 3 bites were enough for me. worked out well for friends because they polished off my fruit tart without a problem.

so full!

i'm curious to see how spezie is during non-restaurant week times. probably delicious. i will have to visit again! i look forward to it~

online: http://www.spezie.com/

Monday, July 27, 2009

amsterdam falafelshop

amsterdam falafelshop
2425 18th Street NW, washington, DC 20050
tel: 202) 234-1969
hours: sunday-monday 11am-midnight, tuesday-wednesday 11am-2:30am, thursday 11am-3am, friday-saturday 11am-4am (yay for such a great late night eating option!)
what was consumed: falafel (duh). fries and soda on occasion ...
i'm relatively new to falafel. that is, it's only in the last 5-ish years (that's a not a long time for me - shuddup, i'm getting old) that i actually started to consume mediterranean/middle eastern cuisine, including the likes of falafel (my only regret is that i started to enjoy it so late in life ... sigh).
in the bay area, i enjoyed many a schwerma place as well as the falafel drive-in (which has also been featured on guy fiore's "diners, drive-ins, and dives" or whatever show on the food network). i'm sure i will find myself blogging about the falafel drive-in one of these days. at the drive in, they would sell falafel (i referred to them as "falafel balls") sans pita, sans veggies ... just the falafel ... for 25 cents a piece (i don't know how much they are now). they're not huge falafel, but i felt the 25 cents was reasonable. i'd get myself a nice bag of 'em on eat them on my drove home. ahhh, yet another joy in the bay area. i miss it!
anyway, i had heard about a falafel place with a falafel fixin's bar that served just falafel (sandwiches) and fries. this was my kind of place! the downside was that it was in adams morgan and, at the time, getting to adams morgan was a royal pain in the arse (it still is today, but i'll suck it up and head on over there). one day, i finally made it. and boy, was i glad i did!
so, here's how it works. once at amsterdam falafel, you get in line and you order - small or large, white or wheat (i usually order the small, especially if i'm getting fries). the difference is in the size of the pita the falafels come in as well as the number of falafel that fill the pita. next, you pay (CASH ONLY - they have an atm inside the eatery) and wait for your falafel. once it comes out, you crush the falafel balls a bit inside the pita (as to allow them to spread throughout the pita as well as absorb the great fixin's) and proceed to the fixin's bar. at the fixin's bar, you proceed to fill your pita with as much stuff as well fit, but be sure to spread it out throughout the pita so that when you bite into it, you're not getting a mouthful of fixin's in one spot and not in others. for the bulkier things (e.g. cucumbers), i often find myself helping myself by putting them outside of the pita, but inside of the wax paper wrap that the pita and falafel come in (they don't have forks and plates and stuff. while they do have "to go" wrapping things, don't ask them for it if you're not really taking your falafel to go. and even if you are, don't ask for it!). some people will put their falafel in the cups that are there (or other fixin's in the cups) as to maximize on the fixin's, but i try not to do that (i think it's sort of ... tacky (no offense), but that's just me). i can barely finish what i put in my pita as it is.
from the fixin's bar, i like to get the garlicky spread, the spicey spread (they're labelled as such), hummous, cucumbers & tomatoes, chick peas (if i have room), and tahini paste (if/when i remember). is there anything else? i'm sure i'm forgetting something. when people ask about it, i just tell them "get what looks good - i'm sure it is" - ha!. with my fries, i'll get the mayonnaise (one of the few times i like mayonnaise) and a little bit of the peanut sauce. i usually only have a little bit of it, but i usually can't leave without at least a taste of it.
i'll sometimes take the long walk from work, pick up the falafel, and walk back to work, enjoying the falafel on the way. for real, i'm addicted. i love it. sometimes you just crave the combination of spice and garlic along with all of the other fixin's. YUM. this is making me hungry. if it wasn't (weren't? darn the conditional!) so hot these days, i'd probably be all about the amsterdam falafel today ...
i've been to other falafel places in town and, more often than not, if a mediterranean/middle eastern eatery has falafel, i will try their falafel (at least once). i will have to say, though, that amsterdam falafel is my preferred location and where i default to when craving delicious falafel. oh, amsterdam falafel, i will be back! and it will be often~

Friday, July 24, 2009

cafe promenade

cafe promenade (in the mayflower hotel)
tel: 202) 347-2233
hours: breakfast - daily, 6:30am-11:30am; lunch - monday-saturday 11:30am-5pm; dinner - monday-saturday 5pm-11pm, sunday 5:30pm-11pm; afternoon tea - reservations only - monday-saturday 3pm-5pm, sunday 3:30pm-5:30pm
what was consumed: restaurant week - carpaccio of roasted beets, seasonal mesclun salad, pistachio crusted rainbow trout, paillard of beef, fresh fruit tart, white chocolate mousse, coffee latte cream brule
a few restaurant week seasons ago, my co-workers and i head over to the mayflower hotel (soon after the whole elliot spitzer scandel) to enjoy the culinary fares of the hotel's cafe promenade. this was actually my first experience with restaurant week (as well as the hotel altogether), so i was looking forward to dining sensation, good times with good people - what more can you ask for?

we made reservations for lunch (despite the protests of some in our group) primarily because we didn't want to spend too much time waiting. good thing, too, because the place filled up pretty quickly, and despite getting there at an earlier time. we sat in a large dining area, well lit by open skylights and decorated with some fancy shmancy chandeliers. we began our meal with the standard bread and butter. loved how there were little herbs on the butter! man, it's all about those little touches.
then came our appetizers (or what the french call entrees. i know, totally confusing! i will err toward the americans being the ones who got confused - haha). i had the lovely beet carpaccio. i'm new to the world of beets, but let me tell you ... DELICIOUS. the combination of flavors made things not too strong, not too bland, not too salty, not too sweet. even their "standard" spring mix green salad had a lovely vinegarette-ish dressing (how come i can't make anything like that at home!?!?).our selected entrees for restaurant week quickly came out. i, of course, chose the option that came with fries - the paillard of beef. and it's beef - what more can you ask? cooked just right so that you don't even need a knife to cut it. it also came along with this fancy butter that made the meal that much more rich in flavor (that is, i remember it being rich in flavor. maybe i'll have to go again to refresh the memory ^_^). others had fish (which i was considering as well, but i couldn't pass up the fries) that was in a pesto sauce. also yum!!!
and then, of course, dessert. now, let me make a comment here about dessert and restaurant week. i'm not a big fan of desserts so i usually don't order them (i'm sure i've mentioned this before and i'll mention it again). but as a part of restaurant week, the 3-courses includes dessert. many a time have i wished i could exchange the dessert for an appetizer (and you can be sure that i'd ask!), but the answer is usualy no. sigh. oh well~ i have to admit, though, i have had quite of number of completely delicious sweet treats.
of course, our experience here at cafe promenade would not be complete without photos. not only did i take photos of the food, but of us as well. many of these photos ended up on our work intranet page as the lighting of the restaurant was so wonderful. hahaha. people ask where we were when they see the photos on the intranet; we just tell them it's a secret (haha).
i have to admit, as we were leaving cafe promenade, we wondered who the people were around us. why did they choose to stay at the mayflower hotel? and, of course, we couldn't help but to wonder if any of them were following in the footsteps of other scandal makers - ha!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

hong kong palace

hong kong palace
6387 seven corners center/leesburg pike, falls church, VA 22044
tel: 703) 532-0940
hours: sunday-thursday 11am-10pm, friday-saturday 11am-11pm
what was consumed: among other things, dan dan noodles, cumin beef, tofu and veggies, some green beans things, some shrimp thing, mapo tofu, fried rice, some of these crazy fried potatoes that tingled in your mouth ... and, of course, tsingtao beer!
it's been just about a year since i've been to the hong kong palace. part of it is because it's far (remember - i'm sans car! for now), part of it is because i really do feel like it's a place you can't go to by yourself (i.e., you have to order a variety of different dishes in order to get the full experience. this necessitates quite a number of people to be in attendance). why has it taken me so long to write about it!? especially when i'm often looking for chinese food (yes, it is true that the options in chinatown are few and far between. oh, the irony). maybe it's because i'm lazy. maybe it's because i'd forgotten and only recently came across my photos again. maybe it's because it's almost my friend's birthday (sort of the reason we were there to begin with). most likely, it's a combination of all of those, with the biggest blame being on the laziness. leave me alone!
anyway, here's the story. i'm at an afternoon bbq (i think it was a baby shower?) and it's also my friend's birthday. i get a call saying that they're meeting at hong kong palace and i respond with, "huh?" i then proceed to arrange for some sort of ride situation (i had ridden with others to the baby shower). of course, i had no idea where hong kon palace was and all people kept telling me was, "oh, it's in virginia." hello, that is not enough information! but if someone else is driving, then i'm not one to ask questions. just drive me home, please. oh, and thank you (these days, i feel really restricted not being able to drive myself around. does this mean i'm "growing up" and becoming more adult-like? or maybe it means i'm being more frivolous. a combination of both?! who knows. anyway ...)
so, once we figure out the ride situation (thanks, mike!) and we actually find the place, we meet up with the rest of the crowd and begin to order. there were probably a good 8 of us there ... and here's what we ate:
YUM.
what a great combination of foods! apparently, a mix between szechuan and cantonese cooking (who am i kidding, as though i know the difference outside of the most obvious) and despite having been still full from the previous event, i proceeded to consume my fair share of the lots and lots of food that was presented to us (lots of people were also recovering from a night of debauchery - how great is chinese food for that? awesome). they have the standard chinese dishes as well as some special ones. i still remember those crazy tingle-y fried potatoes (bottom right). i think we concluded that it was the boatload of msg that was in it (love me some msg!!). i have no idea if that was the case, but i want to go back and eat them. besides, you know me and fried potatoes ...
hong kong palace is also right next to the dogfish head alehouse. so, after a filling meal of chinese goodness, maybe a nice dessert and some great beer is in order. that's what we did last time. let's do it again!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

hello cupcake

hello cupcake
1351 connecticut avenue NW (at N street), washington, DC 20036
tel: 202) 861-2253
hours: monday-thursday 10am-7pm, friday-saturday 10am-9pm
what was consumed: cupcakes (duh). i've had the you tart!, 24 carrot, peanut butter blossom, prima donna ... yeah, for someone who doesn't like sweets and other desserts, i've tried a whole bunch ...
i teach classes in dupont circle. for the most part, i go to and fro the dupont circle metro station. for a long time, there was a store space that had at one point been filled with a stationery store. one day, i passed by, and i saw the sign for "hello cupcake, coming soon!" i was very excited.
i'm not all up with the cupcake craze, nor do i eat an incredible amount of sweets. but i do like trying new things, so i wanted to give hello cupcake a try as well. additionally, i'm usually the one who brings the cake to birthdays and other functions. i like cupcakes because they allow for variety - love it!
so, once i knew they were open, i made the short walk up from work and had the prima donna:

yum.
a nicely flavored berry frosting (the sugar kind, not the butter cream. i'm not a fan of the butter cream), moist and delicious chocolate cake that wasn't too sweet and just the right amount of chocolate. YUM.
now, some people cannot justify paying $3 for a cupcake (yes, they are $3 - sort of pricey). but if you think that people pay a lot more for desserts at restaurants, doesn't this sound pretty reasonable? and what about people who pay $5+ for danishes and the like? and, you know, sometimes, you just need that perfect sweet bite. in that case, $3 is nothing.
anyway ...
i've tried other cupcake places in the city (which i will write about in due time) - georgetown cupcake, cake love, red velvet ... but i'll have to say that hello cupcake is my favorite. the way that they make their frosting, the combination of flavors, etc. their peanut butter blossom is always a favorite one - a dollop of peanut butter frosting atop lovely chocolate cake, and a hershey kiss as decoration. their carrot cake cupcake has just the right combination of carrot-y goodness mixed in with the other flavors that often accompany (e.g. cinnamon) topped with a delicious cream cheese frosting. one of my favorites, though, has to be the you tart! cupcake. a lemon cake with a just-enough-tart tart frosting and a twist (as in lemon twist). christine agrees with me - this is her favorite.
don't get me wrong - their classics are great too (e.g. chocolate cake with chocolate ganache aka chocolate cake with chocolate frosting, vanilla cake with chocolate frosting ... ), but if the option is available, why not choose one with a bit more ... flair? they have a number of cakes that are the standards (i.e., hello cupcake serves them on a daily basis), but they also have a few that sort of rotate during the week. their schedule is available online. and for those who have issues with gluten, hello cupcake has a gluten-free cupcake. i believe they also have a vegan cupcake (i believe both are availabe all week long ... ?). try 'em and let me know how they are ^_^ because i'm pretty sure i'll be spending s'more time at hello cupcake.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

chop't

chop't
1105 1/2 19th street, NW, washington, DC 20050 - there are a number of different locations here in DC (and, apparently, in NYC), but i've only been to the one near work ... su's dprk encounter (encounter? confrontation?) happened at the chinatown location, in case you were wondering ... if you don't know about su's experience, let me know and i will happily share - haha ...
tel: 202) 955-0665
hours: monday-friday 10:30 am-9pm, saturday 11am-5pm
what was consumed: chop't salad - make it yourself, folks! i usually put spinach and mesculun mix, corn, tomatoes, chick peas/garbonzo beans, mushrooms, and broccoli with a little bit of the texmex ranch dressing
growing up in so.cal, the idea of salad bars was pretty ... normal. that is, there were always salad bars (even in the carl's jr.s! ahh, i miss carl's jr. ...) and the idea of "make your own" was found everywhere. when i first came to DC, this was one (of many) things i missed because salad bars are no where to be seen. not really, anyway. i mean, there are places that will make salads for you (e.g. cosi), but nothing really comes close to souplantation/sweet tomatoes!!!
then, i started seeing chop'ts everywhere. they sort of reminded me of cosi with their plastic containers and the like, so i didn't think anything of them. then, one day, i had a hankering for a nice salad (as i often do - i will always take a salad over dessert ... even if i've already had salad - ha!) and thought i'd give chop't a try ... and then i proceeded to visit them 2 more times that week. i will have to say, then, that chop't is good to go in my book!
so, for those of you who don't know (or who've never been), it works like this: you pick your lettuce, you pick your fixin's, they chop up all of the different ingredients (thus their name), mix in the dressing, and then you eat. simple.
though, if you go during lunch, there is usually quite a line. the line moves pretty quickly, but you'd better know what you want by the time you get to the middle of the line (i say middle because that's where they begin taking your order). if not, the people behind the counter will move onto the next person and when you get back into line, people behind you get all mad. don't mess with hungry cubicle folk during lunch! haha ...
chop't also has a variety of pre-set combinations. you tell them you want "---" on the menu and they will make it (i.e., they're not pre-made; rather, the ingredients are just already pre-set). in addition to salads, they also have wraps. something for everyone! i think the reason i like chop't better than some of the other salad places is because i can make the salad the way that i want, with the ingredients that i want, at a pretty reasonable price. they have lots of fixin's, lots of dressings, so if i wanted, i could get so many different combinations (this is starting to sound like a math problem: how many combinations of chop't salads can i get if i have 4 lettuce types (no half-and-half as grace does), 4 of the 15 fixin's, and 15 dressings, provided that even something as little as changing the dressing changes the option ... ? any takers? haha ...)!
and while i have yet to go again this week, i imagine they will be seeing more of me now than they have in the past. hooray for salad!!

Monday, July 20, 2009

arisu

arisu
1734 wisconsin avenue NW, washington, DC 20007
tel: 202) 333-8822
hours: monday-thursday 11:30am-10:30pm, friday-saturday 11:30am-11pm, sunday 11:30am-10pm
what was consumed: haemul (seafood) soondooboo jjigae ... others had dduk mandoo gook and stirfried noodles
korean food in the city! there is definitely a dearth of (good) korean food in DC. and i, sans car (for now), have a hard time getting out to annandale and other koreatown-y places to get my fill of k-food prepared by others. and as much as i don't want to admit it (sometimes), having access to korean food, marketc, etc. is really important to me (shoot, i even considered living in annandale!) anyway, when i heard about arisu, i was super excited to try.
so, my coworkers and i drove up to the georgetown area once we decided we were going to try out arisu (one of my coworkers is always asking me about korean food in the city. it was nice to be able to tell him that we have another option to add!). by car, this place seems pretty accessible. it seems it's off the main georgetown drag, so i imagine that'll be helpful with parking during other times of the day. parking in georgetown is always a pain ... or so they say.
anyway, it looks like arisu is a row house turned restaurant, as many of these restaurants in dc proper are. we entered to see a little bar-y area on the first floor and a sign instructing us to go upstairs - that's where the main dining area is. and by main dining area, i mean seating for about 25?30? not a whole lot (which was fine because there were only 4 other people there at the time).
their menu seemed a bit small (maybe it was condensed because it was lunch? maybe it's because i've grown accustomed to teh immense menus that other korean restaurants seem to have?), but i did see the yookgehjang that i usually use as my marker for good/bad korean food. but i didn't order it this time because i wanted the seafood in the soondooboo jjigae. i was also concerned that my meal would be hurt by the absence of banchan (i had heard you normally have to pay extra for it), but when my jjigae come out, so did 3 banchans. works for me! anyway, the food came out in good time and while it wasn't the best korean food, it was most definitely not the worst. i will say that the mandoo in the dduk mandoo gook was handmade - not too shabby!
so, heres a quick overview ...
pros: it's korean food in the city! and pretty ok korean food at that. what else is there to say about that?
cons: 01) though in the city, it's still hard to get to! argh ... 02) no website! 03) (potentially) having to pay for banchan. umm ... there were some others, but i can't seem to remember right now (i seem to be overcome by incredible fatigue, thus making my brain not work. or maybe that's just a normal condition of mine ... ?). when i remember, i will update and add ...
so, while it looks like the cons seemingly outweigh the pros, i wouldn't totally rule out arisu for k-food.
online: none. fail!

ray's hell burger

ray's hell burger
1713 (1725?) wilson boulevard, arlington, VA 22209
tel: 703) 841-0001
hours: monday 5pm-10pm, tuesday-sunday 12pm-10pm
what was consumed: burgers (i asked the guy at the register which one represented ray's the best, and that's the one i had - with blue cheese, grilled onions, mushrooms, and a patty covered in pepper) and a soda ... no fries (i know! no fries! minus 1)
burgers, burgers, burgers! burgers are so delicious. i love them so much! so when the famous "ray's the steaks" (which i haven't been to, yet ... but they're famous) openened a burger joint, i wanted to try. in fact, i had wanted to try for some time, but it wasn't until only recently that i was able to try ray's hell burger for my own.
i took the metro out to the country of virginia and got off at courthouse, like many recommended. the thing is, ray's is right in between rosslyn and courthouse. i.e., either way, you'll have a bit of a walk. the question is, do you want to walk uphill or do you want to walk downhill. good thing i got off at courthouse because my walk was downhill. more specifically, ray's hell burger's current location is where ray's the steaks used to be. i.e., just down the street from the 1713 wilson boulevard address. but the sign still says "ray's the steaks" so it's really confusing. on top of that, ray's is next to guajillo, another popular restaurant. so be patient and look closely! you'll find it ...
we got ro ray's just as it was dinner time (7ish). the place was packed. while people kept getting up to leave, there were more people waiting for those seats. luckily for us (there were only 2 of us - leonard and me), there were a couple of 2-seater tables available. supposedly, having to order before grabbing a table is to help with the turnover with tables, but you know how people are - they'll grab a table first and have one person go and do the ordering. oh well~
we stood in line to place our orders. but what to order? so many options, so many choices ... but no fries! i LOVE fries, so not having fries was disappointing (even though i knew, going in, that they didn't have fries - minus 1 again, even though i took a point off earlier. yes, that's how much i love fries - haha). i was thinking about ordering what president obama ordered, but i couldn't remember what it was (turns out, no one really knows), so i asked for recommendations from the staff immediately in front of me instead.
anyway, we ordered our burgers and then proceeded to wait close to 20 minutes for the burgers to be served. that's a long time for a place that reminds you more of a fast food joint than not. minus 1.
but here come the burgers! the patty, nice and large, was bound to fill my emaciated self (ok, so i was just really hungry, but i felt like i was starving). i ordered my burger medium rare (because then they'll cook it medium), but leonard ordered his burger rare, so maybe that's why mine came out pretty rare as well ... ? minus 1. that's ok, though. i cut my burger in half (as i often do with larger sandwiches and the like) and when i picked it up, the burger fell through my fingers - minus 1. i should've just stuck to my usual plan of cutting my food with a fork and knife instead (don't ask) - minus 1 for me ... ? i proceeded to finish off my burger with a fork and knife and while i didn't eat it like a burger, the flavor combination was totally delicious - plus (as in the opposite of minus, not "and") lots of points. the flavor made all of the bad stuff up until now easier to forget ... i've since been told that i should order my burger "medium" (even though the ray's people say that it's best medium rare) and that that'll make for the perfect burger. oh, and also that the burger i ordered, while the ray's peeps said that that's the most representative of ray's burgers, it's really not. argh!
and oh - ray's hell burger is cash only - minus 1. don't forget!!
so, despite the minus points, i'm sure i'll be back at ray's some time. if not for anything else, to try the cheesy potato puff/tater tot-y things that people keep telling me about. must try!
online: none. what sort of place these days doesn't have a website? argh ... minus 1.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

the hat

the hat
multiple locations in so.cal
23641 rockfield boulevard, lake forest, CA 92630
tel: 949) 586-9200
hours: sunday-thrusday10am-11pm, friday-saturday 10am-1am
what was consumed: pastrami sandwich, fries, onion rings (and omg, their chili cheese fries are delicious)
a local favorite from my (sort of) youth ... the hat!
i remember my friend taking me to 'the hat' during my college (or near my college) years. he claimed they were the best pastrami sandwich in the area. now, i don't know much about pastrami sandwiches (beyond like vs. dislike and the answer is usually like), so i took his word for it - i'm glad i did!
now, unlike some other areas, so.cal is not really known for their pastrami sandwiches (i guess that fits in with the whole "hollywood" perspective on food, fad diets, etc.). there are a few places that liberally use pastrami in their meals (e.g. carl's jr.'s pastrami burger! though i don't think they have it any more. that's too bad), but there are a few local sandwich shops, restaurants, and the hat!
there are some other options (roast beef instead of pastrami, e.g.) at the hat, but this is definitely not a place for vegetarians (not really anyway) and not a place for people to get lots of greens or "well-being" foods. rather, if you want a mouthful of pastrami, a bag-full of fries, and/or a bag-full of onion rings, the hat is the place for you! of course, this isn't to say that the bread is the best (it's really pretty generic, honestly), but that is quickly forgotten by the massive amounts of pastrami you begin to shovel into your mouth upon receiving your food. the hat also has a whole counter filled with all sorts of condiments - some as basic as ketchup and mustard, all the way up to relishes, hot sauces, and peppercinis. so, make your pastrami sandwich just the way you like it.
portions are not small at the hat. one pastrami sandwich (or two, if you're really hungry), one order of fries, and one order of onion rings will more than fill two hungry bellies. the hat also has some amazing chili and cheese fries, but this is a total meal in and of itself (as well as an aid to future heart attacks. well, what can you do?).
a number of diferent locations have since sprung up in so.cal. while the first one i visted was in the vicinity of pasadena (i think), i usually now go to the one near home home in lake forest. yay so.cal! and yay pastrami sandwiches at 'the hat'!!!! YUM.

Friday, July 10, 2009

firefly

firefly
1310 new hampshire avenue NW(between N street & 20th street), washington, DC 20036
tel: 202) 861-1310
hours: breakfast - monday-friday 7am-10am, saturday 8am-10am; lunch - monday-friday 11:30am-2:30pm; brunch - sunday 9am-2pm; dinner - sunday-thursday 5:30pm-10pm, friday-saturday 5:30pm-10:30pm; happy hour - monday-friday 5pm-6pm
what was consumed: chopped organic chicken liver (with pickled radish, soft herbs, honey-grain toast), collard greens & house made Italian sausage summer squash & smoked mozzarella sandwich (baked on ciabatta bread with pesto aioli, tomato and arugula) with greens, hot ham & cheese sandwich (smoked va ham, gruyere cheese, sauerkraut, and herb-mustard on ciabatta) with fries (yay internet where i can get all this detailed information!) ... lots and lots of options for lunch!
i've mentioned this before, and i'll mention this again: i love all of the eating delights that i get from working downtown. there are lots of cuisines to choose from at a variety of diffrent prices, all walking distance away. and even those places that aren't walking distance, a short trip on the metro or bus makes so many things in this city accessible. so, on this nice and sunny (and not humid - woohoo!) summer day, we ventured out to find a nice place to eat. sushi? couscous? ultimately, we passed by firefly on the way to dupont circle and decided it was time to try (that is, try for me, revisit for my lunch companions).
also serving as hotel madera's (a kimpton hotel) restaurant, firefly is located south-ish of dupont circle. i think all of the vegetation around the front (i.e., trees) and odd way the streets start getting in that area sort of prevents people to go in that direction unless they are specifically looking for the hotel or are on a walking adventure (i.e., lost). i remember stumbling upon it when i first came into DC, but didn't really think anything of it and moved along my merry way. but not today!
i had already eaten today and had originally intended on simply tagging along with my co-workers for their meals. but you know me and my insatiable hunger. besides, the lunch menu looked really yummy.
while firefly has other options, their sandwiches (served with either a green salad or fries) were right in the middle of the menu's page, as though they were calling, as though they are destined to be the center of attention. co-workers, anyway, were drawn to the delicious sandwiches. the bread was good (though, i'm not a connoiseur of breads, so what do i know), the sandwich fillings were delicious and flavorful, and the portions were pretty large.
i, however, did not succumb to the pressure and instead ordered the chicken liver pate (of sorts) and the collard greens side. the collard greens were tasty, but a bit tough for my liking. the collard greens are cooked with sausage and that's always a plus. ... and the chicken liver. oh, how i love pate, fois gras, and other things along that vein. firefly's was nice and creamy, not too heavy, not too light, simply delicious. i spread the liver on the nicely toasted slices of bread and was in a state of flavor bliss. YUM. just thinking about it, now as i write, is making me want s'more. yes, i think my stomach is officially growling (despite the massive amounts of food i feel i've already consumed today. how is that possible!?!??!)
anyway. also, to note, our server (olivia) was fabulous. attentive, funny, helpful, etc. - all of the things that you want to see in great servers. and believe you me, my co-workers have the strange ability to wear a server thin in just minutes. the entire wait staff, in fact, seemed to bring good service. ahhh, it's so wonderful when service is good.
and so, i imagine i will find myself back at firefly. maybe i'll try their dinner next time. hurrah!