Some competition for Ray's the Steaks?

Pay no regard to my failed attempt (in the comments) to implore Michael Landrum to open an enormous Ray's Hellburger in the Marriott Residence Inn, right across from Ray's the Steaks.

Instead, apparently Fire Works restaurant is coming. What is it? I have no idea. Here is the blurb from DCmud, The Urban Real Estate Digest of DC:

"Fire Works will occupy approximately 5,500 square feet at the street level on Clarendon Boulevard and open up to the Western end of Courthouse Plaza for patio dining. The 240 seat (160 indoor, 80 outdoor) restaurant will offer upscale casual dining featuring local, fresh and organic ingredients and is expected to open in Spring 2010."

Supposedly it's the same Fire Works as Fire Works Pizza in Leesburg. Anyone been? Is it any good? Should Faccia Luna be worried?

But my dreams haven't been crushed yet--there's still over 3000 sq ft of retail space available. Michael Landrum, are you listening now???

Thanks LB for the link!


Two Items of Interest

If you live in the DC Area: You can buy tickets to see one of your favorite Food Network stars this November doing a demo, or maybe go to their book signing. I'm still on the fence, but I'd looooove to see Paula Deen. It's tough, because I definitely make more Giada recipes, but I just want to give Paula a big hug like she's my grandma. I reaaaally want to go to her restaurant in Savannah. <3 No one even sent me an e-mail asking me to advertise this (and I ignore them all anyway!) so it's just a PSA for those of you who live on FoodTV/HGTV like me. This photo of Paula is from the event web site!

If you live in the NJ/NY area: Discounts in New Brunswick for Friday Night Date Night offer a STEAL at some area restaurants, including the fancy-shmancy deliciousness that is The Frog and the Peach. I probably can't get from DC to central Jerz fast enough on a Friday afternoon to enjoy this, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't. Mmmmm, cheap(er) food...

Coming soon, blogwise: Ridiculously amazing brunch dish at Poste, revisiting Beck, first look at Kora (from Chef Morou of Farrah Olivia), and Eamonn's.


Postcard: Before you leave New Jersey...

I know. Every time you leave New Jersey you are crying too hard to imagine stopping for a nice meal. But if you can hold it in until you cross the Del Mem Bridge, then stop around Exit 8 off the Turnpike for brunch at The Blue Rooster.

This place is cozy. And yes, I mean small, but I also mean adorably squishy and cute, and you want to cuddle on the windowsill seat with a girlfriend and drink tea and eat sandwiches for hours, later picking out a cookie from one of their MANY delectable baked goods. The house was built in 1850! Their selection of teas is impressive, and if you're around for tea time you should definitely stop by.

My omelet was cheesy, tomatoey, and spinachy, and not the least bit dry. I could tell this cheese was the real thing because when you took a bite of omelet, you tasted CHEESE, not a flavorless gooeyness. The special pancakes of that day were grainy, wheaty, and all around delightful. But the best part was the jam...OH the jam. Basically, blueberries in their natural state doin' their thang (being awesome). By the end of breakfast I was eating the jam with a spoon, and I'm not ashamed. So whether it's baked, cooked, sauteed, flipped, brewed, or jammed, it's delicious at Blue Rooster. And you'll get a piece of chocolate before you leave :)

The Blue Rooster Bakery & Cafe
17 North Main Street
Cranbury, NJ 08512

The Blue Rooster Bakery & Cafe on Urbanspoon


Teatro Goldoni

Once upon a time I went to Teatro Goldoni for a cute lunchbox-like lunch. Since bento boxes are apparently all the rage right now, I was reminded of this lunch.

The goods: Salad, cheese cannelloni (like manicotti--I'm really not sure there's a difference), salad, mashed potatoes w/baby spinach, protein (I had salmon, guest had two teensy scallops), and chocolate amaretto flan.

Overall I thought this was a great portion size for lunch, and quite reasonable at around $12 or so. There definitely could have been a slightly larger piece of fish (this photo is practically to scale--it was miniscule) and less in the pasta category. The cannelloni was very rich and cheesy, but good. Some might find it a bit much for lunch, but I never turn down something gooey and cheesy (and edible...I don't want to eat your gooey cheesy sock). It was tasty. My one suggestion is to put the flan on a separate plate. I know, it's cute to have the dish with all the seperators, but the thought of a stray flake of salmon hitting my flan was not appetizing at all. And I'm all about mixing my foods, so that's saying a lot.

I had heard that if you order the lunch special at the bar it comes with a glass of wine. I was with my supervisor from my internship, so suggesting it didn't seem appropriate. BUT it's ALMOST where I decided to go for my birthday for that very special. Instead we went to Java Green because--well, because it's awesome. It's [Rice and] Beyond, you could say.

So, K streeters, next time you are sick of Peacock Grand Cafe and the other minimal pickins in the area, know that you have a friend (and very friendly service, I might add) at Teatro Goldoni.

Teatro Goldoni
1909 K Street NW
Metro: Blue/Orange Lines to Foggy Bottom or Farragut West; Red Line to Farragut North
Teatro Goldoni on Urbanspoon


NYC: Burgers & Pizza

I spent a little too much time in NY this summer. As you may recall, it wasn't entirely by choice. The upside is, I got to eat there. And plenty. Here's a small sampling, to be supplemented at a later date when I FINALLY remember to add the pictures from Sip Sak--one of my favorite NYC meals. Not sure if it was the company (what up L!) or my intense love for Turkish food--prob a combination of the two.

Moving on! Ray's Hellburger is the only place worth eating a burger, with very few exceptions. It's the juiciest, most flavorful burger I've ever had in my life, and by it I mean the many that I have consumed since July 2008 (wow, has the year gone by that fast?). But if you're out of town, Rare in NYC is super fun and has a perfectly acceptable burger. And there are TWO! One on Lexington & 37thish and one on Bleecker, sooo you know that if you go to the one on Bleecker you should probably go to 16 Handles afterward.

Something Ray's does NOT have (which is fine with me, because I like the simplicity of the menu) that makes Rare shine are the frickles. Yes. Frickles. [Fried pickles.] Yummy hot crunchy coating with cool crunchy pickles inside--I couldn't get enough. Also, SWEET POTATO FRIES (sweet & salty, favorite combo)!!

So go! Drink beer! Eat Frickles! Enjoy!

Obviously you need to eat pizza in NY--it can even be after you have dinner at Rare, but you should wait about 4 hours or so. No worries, Delizia is open LATE! Delizia is a place we always return to, and that would be even MORE the case if we actually lived in NY. Before we hit the Turnpike home? Pizza at Delizia. After day 1 of the bar exam, when you're feeling super defeated and confused? Eggplant parm at Delizia. It's a cure to all pangs of hunger!

Pepperoni "Pinwheel," one of L's favorites.

1374 1st ave, ny, ny
Rare Bar & Grill on Urbanspoon
Delizia Pizzeria & Restaurant on Urbanspoon