Wednesday, August 26, 2009

kinkead's

kinkead's
2000 pennsylvania avenue NW (between 20th street & 21st street), washington, DC 20006
tel: 202) 296-7700
what was consumed: restaurant week! new england seafood chowder; grilled squid with creamy polenta, tomato fondue, and pesto; pistachio crusted salmon medallion with saffron acini de pepe served with a fennel, arugula, and olive salad, savory tomato butter; brioche crusted cod with artichoke puree, garlic mashed potatoes, and spinach; warm molten bittersweet chocolate cake with hazelnut ice cream; vanilla creme brulee with pistachio biscotti ...
it's restaurant week! yeehaw! while some people don't think restaurant week is a "good deal" (i had a conversation about this with my coworkers yesterday), i don't look at RW as a time for "good deals," necessarily. it's a time to chekc out restaurants that i would not otherwise think of, otherwise not be able to afford (not really anyway). and yes, it's totally an excuse to go out, splurge a little, and eat totally yummy food. but whether or not RW is good is a whole other topic (we won't get into that here).
anyway, c & i decided to get together for lunch, commencing our RW, and we headed to kinkead's. it's been on my illustrious (and ever growing) list for some time, and what better time than RW to check it out! oh, and it's 2ish blocks from work. score!
after we ordered, we were served a basket a bread. and while i'm not a big bread person, they had 3 different types of bread in the basket that i just had to try. there was one with cardamum that i wasn't particularly fond of, though i did eat the enter center part (not a fan of bread crust). my favorite? the bread that had a layer of cheese. yes, cheese. cheese makes things better. delicious.
after the 3 different breads that filled our baskets, we started on our appetizers. grilled squid, seafood soup ... YUM. what is with pesto on things that make them so good? pesto on grilled squid? totally lovely. and why doesn't the poleta that i or c make ever come out like the polenta that appeared on my plate? creamy and delicious. no fair. must try again. and the seafood soup? don't think it is anything even remotely close to campbell's chucky soup clam chowder. while campbell's version is tasty in its own way, it does not even compare to kinkead's seafood chowder. creamy and delicious, not overpowering in that often strong seafood smell (which i actually enjoy - leave me alone!). do you think the servers were alarmed that not only did c & i inhale our food, we practically licked our plates because it was so delicious? ok, we didn't lick our plates, but i can tell you we were totally tempted. yikes.
entrees! i went in wanting to order the pistachio crusted salmon. c was easily swayed to get the cod. i don't know a whole lot about fish outside of thinking that they're delicious. but when they're cooked properly, crusted, and with some delicious sauces, you really can't go wrong. the accompanying sides were also quite delicious. a comment about the artichoke purree on the cod - DELICIOUS. i'm not a big sauce person, but there was just something about this puree that made me want to slather it onto everything and lap it up. yum. overall, the combination of flavors between the fish, the side vegetables, the included starches, the sauces ... fabulous. fresh, delicious, totally appetizing. i need another stomach so i can eat more ...
we ended our meals with dessert (of course). they had a cheese plate on the menu which i sort of wish i had gotten. but as i get older (notice older, not OLD >.< ...), my body seems less able to digest lactose (which is also in cheese). -sigh- ... and i love cheese. so maybe it was good that we opted for other options. funny, though, how it didn't deter me (and c) from ordering other desserts that are filled with cream, butter, and other dairy products. we win! and the stomach is good - so far so good, anyway. point is, we're not really dessert people, but we ordered desserts anyway. talk about rich is flavor! not sweet as in sugary; rather, sweet as in super chocolaty, super vanilla creamy. and what delicious biscotti! there's something about the almost flavor/scent that makes them so delicious. and, of course, like the rest of the meal, we ate all of it. and we even finished before the couple before us (who had ordered the same thing for their entrees as well as their desserts! but they were at kinkead's way earlier than us and started way earlier than us as well. whoops. oh well - as the woman told us, we must have good taste ^_~).
now, if only they would fill my water glass when it's empty ...
no matter. i look forward to visiting kinkead's one of these days for their regular menu (btw, kinkead's is extending their RW menu for an additional week - check 'em out!). i read, i think in the 'washingtonian,' that they have some amazing fried clams. i. must. try. YUM.

Friday, August 21, 2009

2 amy's

2 amy's
3715 macomb street NW (between 38th street & wisconsin avenue), washington, DC 20016
tel: (202) 885-5700
hours: monday 5pm-10pm, tuesday-thursday 11am-10pm, friday-saturday 11am-11pm, sunday 12pm-10pm
what was consumed: deep fried squash blossoms, norcia pizza (tomato, salami, grilled peppers, fresh mozzarella, grana - for me), pepperoni & mushroom pizza (for ines)
i love pizza. my friend (frank) once called me a teenage mutant ninja turtle because of my love of pizza (and my superb ninja skills, of course). i like pan crust, thin crust, thick crust, wood-fired, pizzagna, pizza rolls, calzones (which pretty much are folded and baked pizza, no?), cheese-less, sauce-less, etc. i like cheap pizza, gourmet pizza, microwave pizza. you name it, pizza related, i will eat it and enjoy (much like most delicious foods, of course). with this love, it's a surprise to some that it's taken me so long to visit 2 amy's. but when they think about how difficult it is to get there sans car, they understand. lucky for me, i had a car last weekend, and i loaded up ines in the volvo and head to the nw of the nw in DC to visit 2 amy's.
now, 2 amy's opens at noon on sundays. with ines in tow, we got there at 12:30 and already the restaurant was packed. i asked if it would be ok for ines to sit at the bar; when the hostess said ok, we made a bee-line for the bar and bypassed any and all waiting for another table (oh, and we were not about to sit outside in the opressive summer heat of dc). yay!
we got ourselves situated and started looking at the menu. i took a glance at their specials and saw that they had fried squash blossoms. i remember kristina saying something about how squah blossoms are so delicious, so i had to try. YUM. maybe it's because they were fried? no matter. ines and i polished off the appetizer real quick. they tasted like a cross between what you think flowers would taste like and vegetable tempura. yum yum yum yum yum ... ines said that she like the greet part better than the orange part (or was it the other way around ...?). all of it was delicious to me. i wish the order came with more than 5 ... sigh ...
when it came to ordering the pizza, i think ines got really confused with what to order (who am i kidding - i was a little confused too. i just have a voice that's louder than hers, so i asked the questions) ... in the end, after my little chat with the bartender, i passed on the info to her by pretty much gaving her a few options to choose from - she chose a pepperoni and mushroom pizza. good choice, ines!. i asked the bartender what he recommended/what was popular and he told us about this one woman who comes into 2 amy's at least one a week (and has for the past 2 years) and orders the norcia (is that true? whatever). norcia it is!
the pizza at 2 amy's is italian style (or so i'm told) where there's a thick crust, but it's thin everywhere else. when our pizzas came, i could barely eat even half my pizza (what was wrong with me that day? i don't know) not because it wasn't delicious, but because i was full. ines fared much better than me finished 2/3 of hers - good job! i had her take all of the leftovers home, so i don't know how it heats up, but i'm sure it's delicious. the dough is delicious, the combination of flavors is delicious, the cheese is all gooey (but not too gooey) when the pizza comes out, and food comes out pretty quickly. yu-um.
there was an older gentleman who sat next to us and ordered this baked meatball thing (in fact, he asked the bartender what it was because it wasn't on the menu (?)). omg, they looked so delicious. maybe i'll order that next time. too bad i don't live closer; otherwise, i would order 2 amy's all the time. maybe that's a good thing (can you imagine how enormous i'd be?). no matter - i look forward to visiting 2 amy's again - YUM.

Friday, August 14, 2009

oegadjib

oegadjib
7331 little river turnpike, annandale, VA 22003
tel: 703) 941-3400
what was consumed: all-you-can-eat gogi! yum~
oegadjib (more or less) means "mother's house" in korean (that is, the house on my mom's side, that sort of thing. there's a whole explanation about korean society and culture behind all of this, but i won't get into that here. ask if curious/interested). in my attempt to find good korean food, friend leonard and i ended up at oegadjib. that is, once we found it. for whatever reason, it was hard to find. probably because it's in a sort of shopping center (different from others) and sort of set back, to the side (but behind) a salon/bath house. i remember making fun of it, but i'll have to admit it's been a bit of time since i've visited oegadjib.
above all else, i kept hearing about oegadjib for their all-you-can-eat special. oh, and that they have dduk-bo-ssam (a la sikdorak, etc. in so.cal). so, when i finally got the chance, i was super excited. they also have all-you-can-eat shabu shabu, but we didn't have that (everyone in the party has to eat the same thing - all gogi or all shabu shabu).
we opted for the all-you-can-eat gogi. yum.
once we ordered, the food came out pretty quickly. and once the plate of gogi was gone (primarily consumed by me - wtf, leonard? man up! haha), another plate was quicly offered. hurrah! on top of that, the beef was cooked on top of this rock-plate-slab-thing (i don't know how else to explain it ...). it cooked the gogi well and was quickly consumed (yes, by me).
the bahnchans were good and the meal also included dwenjang jjigae as well as gyerahn jjim (the steamed egg bahnchan - delicious. what korean bbq is complete without it?!). and so, i can definitely say that i enjoyed my meal. the downside? the dduk for the dduk bo ssam was totally not to my liking. -sigh- too bad! especially because i luuuuuuuuv dduk bo ssam (have i already mentioned that i have it at least once when in so.cal?). the dduk was mooooshy (i.e., overcooked) and not so good. sucks. but that's ok. everything else made the trip worth it.
so, all in all, delicious meal! i look forward to visiting again ... let's go!!! i hunger~

Thursday, August 13, 2009

mio

mio
1110 vermont avenue NW suite 1 (between L street & thomas circle), washington, DC 20005
tel: 202) 955-0075
hours: lunch: monday-friday 11:30am-2:30pm; dinner: monday-thursday 5pm-10, friday-saturday 5pm-11pm; bar/lounge: monday-thursday 5pm-12am, friday-saturdya 5pm-1am; happy hour (selected house drinks and draft beers): monday-thursday 4pm-7pm
what was consumed: restuarant week - beet soup, egg & clap appetizer, salad, grilled chicken with rice, mini burgers, skate, desserts~
as the summer 2009 restaurant week is upon us, i'm reminded of a time in the recent past when my co-workers and i head over to a delightful downtown eatery: mio.
so, christine met up with the rest of my co-workers as she was green with envy at all of my stories of the good food we were eating during restaurant week. of course she was always welcome to join us, but it wasn't until this trip that she finally took us up on our offer. after making the short trek from the office to vermont avenue (which felt longer than it actually was. yes, we are wimps), we finally entered a pretty empty dining area that was mio. now, i don't think it was empty for any other reason than us getting to the eatery right when it opened (literally, we saw the people unlock the doors right before we reached over to open them to enter) to ensure that we would get a table (one of my (now former) co-workers refuses (with us, anyway) to make reservation. yes, you know who i'm talking about - hee hee). additionally, there were 5 of us hungry hungry hippos - not relaly a pretty sight (i.e., the servers may need extra help to accomodate us hooligans).
4 of us decided to participate in the restaurant week menu while one of us decided to get the mushroom and veal ravioli (which was tasty, but not a part of the restaurant week special. shucks). anyway, we started with a cold beet soup (c was working at domku and i imagine i had recently left my position there; we couldn't help but make comparisons. our conclusion? both are delicious in their own way. yay for diplomatic answers! haha), a poached egg with clams (i ordered this one!), and a mixed green salad (i'm sure there were fancy names for all of these things, but i have since forgotten). can you ever really go wrong with clams? there were also bits of bacon/ham in the mix and everyone knows that everything is better with bacon.
for our entrees, we had an assortment of things: grilled chicken and rice (2 of us, one of whom was me ordered this), mini angus burgers, and skate. the burgers were fantastic, as was the skate. even mr. i-don't-like-burgers (who is also the same mr. i-don't-make-reservations) even said the burgers were delicious! and oh, wow, the onion rings. deep fried onions? delicious. the grilled chicken and rice was cooked "oaxaca style" (i don't really know what that means) was tasty as well, but a bit salty for my liking. yes, even me who prefers the savory over the sweet. it was just a bit salty. of course, that didn't prevent me from eating the whole thing because it was still so freakin' delicious.
and then, dessert. the dessert lovers always fight for whatever they love and i usually get what's left over (for tasting). since there were 4 of us and 2 options, we got 2 of each. a tart lemon flan like custard thing and chocolate cake. the lemon dessert was quite tart, causes faces to pucker just a bit. but, you know, some people really like it. once you get past that sourness, though, it's such a refreshing (albeit on the sweet side) dessert. the chocolate cake was good too, but i think it was a german cake (i'm not so much a fan). of course, that didn't prevent all of the people in our party from polishing off all of the desserts - ha!
during the meal, there was very little talking (if i remember correctly) beyond compliments about the food and the sharing. that's a good sign of deliciousness, but does not lend to as entertaining of a post. just look at the photos and wipe the drool from your mouth please (oh, wait, that's just me). gawd, this is making me hungry ... per usual.
in the past, mio has extended their restaurant week specials up to a month (thus the appeal for us - if i recall correctly, we visted mio after the official restaurant week was over). looks like they're extended it this year (summer 2009) as well. in fact, looks like they're doing different "restaurant week" menus every week. definitely something to check out! YUM.

Monday, August 10, 2009

central michel richard

central michel richard
1001 pennsylvania avenue (between 10th street & 11th street), washington, DC 20004
tel: 202) 626-0015
what was consumed: oysters on the half shell, cheese puff balls, french fries, cassoulet, beef cheeks, sea bass, braised rabbit ...
michel richard is known for some of the best french food in DC. here's the thing - i don't know that much about french food besides the fact that i enjoy it (i know i've said that before). oh, who am i kidding. food is exciting to me (thus this blog, of course) - i like eating and talking about the things i eat. it just so happens that central is a french place.
so, teresa's cousin was in town and they wanted a recommendation for a nice place to eat. last minute! not enough time! it's saturday night - need to make reservations! ahhh!!! i made calls, made arrangements, etc. why do i say yes when people ask me to do that sort of thing? probably because i enjoy it more than i admit, but ... anyway, we decided on drinks at poste, then dinner at central - hurrah, we got reservations! and thanks for taking me along ^_^
all of us finally met up at central and i (at least) was STARVING. and everything on the menu looked absolutely delicious. madonna (cousin) suggested oysters (who doesn't like oysters?!?!), cheese puff balls were recommended, and you know me and fries - always on the menu. totally get the cheese puff balls - light and airy, with a lovely cheese in the middle (don't know what kind of cheese, don't really care. totally delicious).
we all decided on getting different entrees (i got the cassoulet - remember? starving - despite it being more of a stew because who doesn't like a stew-y combination of a gillion meats?!). not only were the dishes so pretty in their presentation, but the flavor combinations were absolutely delicious. fresh, seasoned well, and most definitely pleasing to the palate. i was thinking that stuffing my face with the appetizers and bread would diminish some of my thoughts about the entrees, but that was not the case. i had a bite of the others' dishes (which were all delicious) and proceeded to finish off my dish as well. and for those of you who have ordered cassoulet before, even a small bowl is deceivingly filling (but my bowl was large). all gone, and totally delicious.
no dessert for us fancy ladies! maybe next time. and i do mean next time. can't wait to go back! maybe i'll have the mussels. or the rotisserie chicken. or ... so many things to choose from, that is for sure. yummmmmmm~~~~
my couple of notes: i would recommend making reservations. better to than not. the place seemed to get filled up pretty quickly and they turned their tables over a few times in the night. and if wine and dessert are going to be added to your tab (and for sure you should add wine - we had a great white wine. don't remember what it was, but much of it was consumed), this won't be an economical meal (but totally worth it, let me tell ya); however, the portions are not small ... something to consider.