Wednesday, October 7, 2015

mellow mushroom

mellow mushroom
2436 18th street nw, washington, DC 20009
tel202) 290-2778

what was consumed: pizza! veggie lovers, meat lovers ... and beer.

despite previous trips to wdc, i didn't eat as much pizza as i would have liked. so, before the turkey trot, we opted for some carb-o loading the pizza way. with the cuisine selected, bjl suggested we go to mellow mushroom. i was a little skeptical especially because mellow mushroom is a chain (think what you will about chain restaurants), but i was happy to try. that it's down the street from home was a total plus, but the delicious pizza we ate is why we'll go back.

mellow mushroom has a variety of different pizzas, along with the option to make your own. they also accommodate so that if you can order a pizza that is half one kind of pizza and half another. they do a standard crust, and when you see that your pizzas are overloaded with toppings, you're glad that you have that little bit of crust to help shovel the toppings in. the veggie pizza was like a salad, made up of well-prepared veggie chunks, a top a cheesy crust-plate. and the meat lovers? a meat-y equivalent, that is for sure. 

big beer drinker? mellow mushroom also has a beer club. if you drink at least a pint of each of their beers, within a given period of time (i forget what it is), you get your name on their wall of fame. the club also has beer specials for its members. a neat way to try all of their different options!

mellow mushroom also has a nice rooftop seating area, according to bjl. i'll have to check it out next time when the weather is not so bone-chilling. the inside, though, is also really interesting. they have a circus motif with an acrobat suspended from mellow mushroom's high ceiling right as you enter. 

while i love the thin crust, neapolitan style pizzas, sometimes you just want to enjoy the great toppings, served pizza style, prepared well. yum yum yum. mellow mushroom, you will see me again!

Monday, October 5, 2015

the red hen

the red hen
1822 1st street nw, washington, DC 20001
tel: 202) 525-3021

what was consumed: pasta! and the burrata. and brussel sprouts. delish!

happy birthday (dinner), to me! when bjl asked about where i wanted to go for dinner, i quickly decided on the red hen. that a respected wdc chef once mentioned to me that the red hen was his favorite new wdc restaurant made a dining experience there a must. bonus: it was an easy bus ride from home.

by the time we thought about dinner, the few reservations the red hen offered had long been taken up. the website says they always leave room for walk-ins (that always fill up quickly) and i'd heard that they have quite a bit of bar space and that those seats free up pretty regularly, so we took the chance (with a contingency plan in the works) and head over. sure enough, the restaurant was packed, including all of the bar seating. our fault for not being more strategic (we went right at a popular dinner time), but it was a risk we knew we were taking. that said, we did what most diners do and assessed our surroundings and found a couple that was about to leave and politely asked for their seats as they were getting their things ready to leave. yay!!

the bartender at the red hen told us that while their menu was inspired by italian cuisine, their specialty was pasta. we took a look around to see what everyone else was ordering, along with recommendations from the bartender, and quickly decided on what turned out to be  some of the favorites. the burrata was oh so creamy and coupled with sauces that i drew out that creaminess even more, if that's even possible! the brussel sprouts were crispy in the right places and tender in the others, all well seasoned and delicious. and the pasta! the noodles were perfectly cooked (chewy and delicious) and the sauce was tomato-y with just the right touch of spices. and the meat in the pasta was highlighted just as much as the noodles (the dish was about half meat, half noodles ... !!!). the two of us most definitely were 2-seconds away from licking the plates, the dishes were so good. the healthy portions also ensured that we would leave the red hen with our hunger completely satiated, our bellies filled with deliciousness.

the red hen's decor was also so welcoming. the exposed brick walls, the open kitchen, the bar that sort of jutted out in to the dining area ... and diners with lots of smiles on their faces and laughter emanating from all of the tables. it all felt like i was entering a communal dining area of friends and i feel like that always makes food taste better.
i can't wait to go back to the red hen and try the other parts of their menu! no matter what, i know it will be so so so delicious.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

boss shepherd's

boss shepherd's
513 13th street nw, washington, dc 20004
tel202) 347-2677

what was consumed: delicious fried chicken! and some greens, salad with seared tuna, chicken pot pie fritters, and and and ...

kdk and i got together for a delicious birthday lunch. she had mentioned eating some of the best fried chicken in the city, so i was pumped abut trying it for myself.

boss shepherd's is located beneath (or near beneath) the warner theater. i was running late (why!?!? when did i become that person who is always late?!?! so so sorry, friend!!!), so was frazzled and a bit confused by the time i got to boss shepherd's entrance. turns out, i entered through a side door and not the main entrance. whoops. of course, that didn't deter their friendly staff.

once seated, our server was prompt and attentive, without being too overbearing. he had his opinion about what he recommended along with why he made those recommendations. and we were happy to listen. so, in between all of our girl-y chatter, we ordered a feast of deliciousness.

the chicken pot pie fritter balls were served crispy on the outside and oozing with delicious gravy on the inside and with just the right amount of salty to match the creamy. the greens were cooked to perfection and while they were served in what looked like a small container, they certainly went a long way (of which we totally consumed, of course). and the salad! fresh, properly dressed, and a good accompany-er to ... the fried chicken! at first, i thought that, albeit "gourmet," the dish still had a bit of a hefty price tag for what it was (fried chicken) and the time of day (lunch). but one it came out and after kdk and i polished it off in its entirety, i can't wait to order it again. the fried chicken batter was crispy without being too oily. the chicken was juicy-ly cooked, and the entire dish was seasoned so perfectly. i did not have the urge to douse my chicken in any sort of sauce or feel the need to peel off an overwhelming batter. rather, i gobbled up each and every bite, commenting on how delicious it was and how happy i felt consuming the food. 

boss shepherd's has a wide array of other dishes, many of which have been recommended by other diners. i have confidence that no matter what you eat, you'll enjoy it most definitely! so for now, i'll dream about the fried chicken ... 

Thursday, October 1, 2015

west end bistro

west end bistro
1190 22nd street northwest, washington, dc 20037
tel: 202) 974-4900

what was consumed: my order included hand cut beef tartare, moulard duck breast ...  and dessert!

bjl has the great opportunity to work with great people while in wdc. and when meeting with one of his contacts (let's call him the charming arab), i got to tag along. the charming arab was staying at the hotel that houses the west end bistro (it's a fancy hotel, but i can't remember what it's called right now!) as he and his family is waiting for their residence to be completed (fancy pants!), so meeting at the west end bistro was an easy choice. and lucky for me, i'd wanted to go for some time.
we sat at the fancy bar, waiting for the rest of our party to arrive. the bar was well stocked, the bartender had a heavy hand when pouring drinks, and they offered a series of homemade sodas (so i was happy ^^). once the rest of our party arrived, we were quickly seated.

the charming arab is a regular, so he ordered a special version of the roasted chicken. the charming arab is super health conscious, but the "healthy" version of the roasted chicken still looked so delicious! i got to indulge with some steak tartar, topped with a mashed guacamole-like sauce. it's a combination i wouldn't have thought of, but the creamy avocado brought out the smooth-ness of the tartare. then, i enjoyed the superbly prepared duck. it was presented in a small pool of seasoned broth that i couldn't get enough of. a bit of sweetness that followed the savory goodness that was based in delicious duck fat. and at the contact's insistence, we ordered one of each of the desserts - donuts with caramel, chocolate lava cake, and a fruity cheesecake. how decadent!  i definitely felt super fancy and very pampered. and if i was half as charming as the charming arab, then my job is done and my delicious dinner deserved (hehehe).

i remember reading, once, that eric rippert was the executive chef at west end bistro. yes? no? if yes, cool. if not, i still had a great time. either way, i look forward to future encounters to eat delicious things and have fun conversations. yay!