A Little Taste of San Diego

I recently spent a few short days in San Diego--or, to put it more accurately, I recently spent a few days inside a hotel conference room that happened to be located in San Diego.  That said, I still managed to avoid hotel catering on a few occasions.  Unforch most of the suggestions I got and read were in La Jolla, and I didn't have a car!  Alas, next time--I'll even bring The Man with me.  Here are the highlights from this past trip, including this awesome tree:

Cafe 222: I gather this place is never really empty--it's only open for half of the day (serving breakfast and lunch from 7-1:45pm), and everybody got the memo that it's delicious.  Cafe 222 happens to be the site of Bobby Flay's favorite French toast, stuffed with peanut butter and banana.  I'd LOVE to share that with someone, but you all know I love eggs waaaay too much to trade them 100% for a sweet like that.  At this point you should be able to look at the menu and know what I got, so quiz yourself.

 Is it the Green Eggs and Spam?   Nah, I only eat green eggs at Belga.


 Pumpkin waffle?   No ya'll, that's out of season.

Answer?  Eggs Italia.  Eggs scrambled with pesto, diced tomatoes, and goat cheese.  The creamiest, herbiest, zangiest eggs I've ever had.  The pesto wasn't a sauce on top of the eggs, it was IN the eggs.  Sorry for the iPhone pictures, I was on my way back from a run along the lovely bay.  I got take out, and I was able to refill my iced coffee a few times from a little help-yourself station near the patio seating while I waited.  It wasn't shady, I promise--the host told me I should!  Their coffee was really really good.  There wasn't any milk out, and I could have asked, but instead I took a taste and decided it worked for me.  If coffee is really good, I like it on ice without the milk.

Cafe 222 on Urbanspoon
Shout House:  Going to Shout House is like watching TRL if you really love music videos.  A song you might like begins, but the AM rush hour-like banter and drunk girls ruin that moment for you.  And you're left with snippets of almost-happiness.  GRANTED, it was St. Patrick's Day--no fault of LC, who sent us there. Still, it was a good time to hear talented people play and sing.  I even ruined it a little by singing along myself.

Sidenote, I went up to LA for a day and hit up Gardens of Taxco again with the fam (chicken mole, SO GOOD--like it was born in the sauce, SPICY, not hot, etc), and also had a delicious oatmeal cookie and iced coffee at Urth Cafe.

But my first night we stopped in super cute and built up Culver City (sort of Clarendon-y).  Our destination was Ford's Filling Station, the joint by Harrison Ford's chef son Benjamin.  We ordered the fish & chips, which was pretty good.  My favorite part was the fish, and I was slightly disappointed to find all these other fried things in there--veggies, shrimp (granted, the description mentions the shrimp, I just didn't read carefully.  Bad me.).  MORE FISH, less other stuff!  But this isn't Eamonn's.   The curried lentil salad was really good--I didn't get so much curry, but definitely got lots of lentil.  Halibut with mashed potatoes was okay, but didn't blow me away. Our server was super sweet, and told us we HAD to have the mashed potatoes because they were AMAZING.  I'm not the hugest potato fan (I like them, but I'm not about to do a 5K on their behalf or anything), so maybe I just didn't get it.  The mushroom flatbread that came out first was actually my favorite.  I'll take two, please!!!!  Ford's calls itself an American gastropub (how very now), so if I lived nearby I'd bet the beer list and happy hours would do a body good. 

Ford's Filling Station on Urbanspoon

All in all, the most favoritest deliciousest thing I ate on this trip was my Eggs Italia.  I can't help it; I'm addicted to breakfast.  Thanks to my Seester for giving me the 411 on 222.

Coming soon: Birch & Barley, PS7's (again), Rosemary's Thyme, Seder 2010, and more.

I hope you are all having a lovely week!  Apparently the weather is going to get better any second.  ::listening for when the wind stops making the windows make scary noises::


Friday Fulla Tourists

Yes, it's that time again.  You're stuffed into the Metro with your heels in your bag, balancing your newspaper while not touching anyone around you, and the group in matching t-shirts is holding everything up, throwing everyone off.  WELCOME, VISITORS.  THIS IS RUSH HOUR.  ISN'T IT GREAT?

We celebrated a birthday this week, and we had some awesome weather.  High fives all around.

I can't believe my seder is Monday--if you've never seen an Ikea table + 3 folding card tables lined up, you're missing out!

I'm planning on making these cool charoset balls, obv the chocolate drop cookies (put them in the freezer, you won't regret it), and I put out a call through Google reader for someone to make Modern Domestic's pretty chocolate/almond/orange/praline tart.  Bossiest hostess ever...

Awesome story about an Iranian seder, and the family that comes along with it. 

In other (non Kosher for Passover) news, my in-laws are super into tea, and I've got to bring them some of these Earl Gray Cookies.  If only Inkpad herself would whip them up...I'd pay!

Michel Richard is whipping up pie in the sky...or rather, airplane food (via We Love DC).

More reasons to go out for Ethiopian food--turns out the stuff injera is made of is the #1 superfood for runners (via Runners Kitchen).

And a simpler, still delicious pie, from Eat, Run, Read--the lovely D sent me the link to that blog a few weeks ago, and it talks about most of my favorite things.  And the cupcake in her header graphic is SO CUTE.  And to think I almost named this blog Eat, Jog At A Moderate Pace, Read Sometimes, But Mostly Listen To Podcasts.  Didn't really flow, though.

Lastly, can we talk for a second about the Italian Store and BGR being in the same shopping center?  For serious?  DANGEROUS!

Have a great weekend everyone!  Kite festival, cherry blossoms, or wherever else it takes you.  Hopefully to brunch!  I leave you with happy flowers...



Sometimes I'm just in the mood for something saucey and delicious.  We go out for Indian cuisine all the time, and even make our own variations at home.  [Thank you Trader Joe's for making this possible.] But if you want something a little different than usual, try Afghan!  I was craving Ethiopian, actually, but wasn't sure what was good nearby--I spotted Faryab on Washingtonian's Cheap Eats and figured It Must Be Done.  Then we had a massive snowstorm and I needed to hold off on fulfilling that craving for several more weeks.

Pakowray Kachalu: Fried slices of sweet potato topped with yogurt and meat sauce.  You're going to start sensing a meat sauce theme...

I liked these guys!  The sweet potato was sweet, the meat was savory, yogurt has tang.  Good combo.

Sambosa-e-Goushti: spiced ground beef and chickpeas in this fried pastry.  This was my least favorite app--the dry fried outside stilted any flavor intensity the inside might have had once long long ago.  I just didn't get it.

Mantu: Steamed dumplings filled with meat and scallions, topped with meat sauce and yogurt.  I liked these little buggers, and would order a double next time. Meat on the inside AND the outside.

Faryab shiskleek:  Marinated chicken and veggies with basmati rice.  This dish was pretty good--T says that the chicken dish and the eggplant dish (not pictured: chalow badenjam) had excess oil that didn't add any flavor.  And in her words, "it's not like it's extra oil that's really really delicious flavorful olive oil.  It's just greasy."  Ouch!  I liked the eggplant dish better than the chicken, but I agree it was a little...wet.

Shalgham Goushti: Super tender braised lamb topped with "sweet and spicy" turnips that I found mostly sweet, not so spicy.  Everybody at the table thought these were pretty awesome turnips, and we didn't really consider ourselves turnip people.  Who is?  This was my favorite dish that I would definitely get again next time.  Sorry for the blur ya'll.

I'd definitely go back to Faryab.  The price is reasonable (especially when you share lots of apps, which you should), some of the food is really good--some is not AS good as others (and the bread is TERRIBLE, not at all what you want--you want Me Jana or Zaytinya bread!).  There was a little too much fried on the table for some of us, but you have to live a little and try stuff, even if it clogs your arteries.

These are yummy comforting ethnic flavors that you should be gettin' down with.  I definitely want to try something pumpkin-esque next time.  I have a feeling it will make me as pumped as the turnips did!

Skip dessert and go to BGR for the shake of the month, whatever it may be.

4917 Cordell Avenue
Bethesda, MD

Faryab on Urbanspoon


Free Cone Day: Tuesday, March 23, 2010!

Lexi says: "It's Free Cone Day, ya'll!" 

Many Ben & Jerry's will be servin' it up from 12pm-8pm.  Sometimes the line gets really long, so bring a friend and stick it out.  Last time I waited we were approached by some friendly fundraisers for a great cause.  Give 'em some bucks if you feel up to it--not like you're spending it on ice cream. 

FCD is early this year ya'll!  Check out my past coverage of Free Cone Day here and here

P.S., the majority of you were excited for "all of the above" when it came to Farmers' Markets, Sundresses, CSAs, or Grilling Out.  and PPS, grilling out was my idea of a little joke.  I'd never heard the phrase until a few years ago.  It must be a DC or Southern-ish thing...right?  Anyone have any insight on this?


Friday Fly-day

Or, almost.  I'm coming back from La La Land tomorrow night and hoping my chauffeur will pause for breakfast on the way home. 

See that photo?  That's my phone standing next to an ENORMOUS ICED COFFEE from Georgetown Bagelry in Bethesda with an incredible handsome shoulder peeking from behind.  A few firsts here: first time I've seen iced coffee in a paper Coke cup, and also first enormous IC I've had that's not from Dunkin Donuts. 

Via LB, Weezermonkey's post about The Bazaar by Jose Andres.  The place looks absolutely spectacular, and a few notes remind me of bites I enjoyed at Cafe Atlantico and Oyamel (in particular, jicama avocado ravioli from Cafe Atlantico and Greek yogurt panna cotta at Oyamel).  Next time I'm in Vegas I am definitely going to The Bazaar.  I discovered that I'm not the LV type, but dammmmn we still talk about our pasta tasting experience at B&B

Like it or not, Passover is coming, and Cara's Cravings and The Shiksa are both blogging recipes galore in preparation, including PIE!  I love pie, and it turns out that it's scientifically better than cake.  This is me, not surprised. 

Banner photo NSFW for this next linkm, so scroll down a few inches fast--The Passionfruits talk one of my favorite topics...ROAST CHICKEN.  You know I love a good roast chicken, particularly if I accessorize it with fried lemon slices

Mango & Tomato's Roasted Eggplant Dip with an Indian Twist.  I love scooping out a roasted eggplant with a fork; it's so simple, and you can add whatever you have around (garlic & salt alone!) to make it delicious.  This recipe shows how easily you can zazz it up for the benefit of your tastebuds or maybe some guests.  Now you just need an adorable copper serving bowl.

I'll leave you to your weekend with another photo:  Remember the papri chaat I was obsessed with at Indique Heights?  Turns out that when you get it takeout it's deconstructed.  That way it doesn't get too soggy.  We were a little confused, and J was disappointed that I didn't make beautiful swirls with the sauces.  Too bad so sad.


Zorba's Cafe

HAPPY ST. PATRICK'S DAY!  And HAPPY BIRTHDAY to M!  [Announcements over.]

Hmmm where to go with an enormous group of girls?  Ever split a check 26 or so ways?  I'm guessing your answers is NO AND I NEVER WANT TO THX.

Recently a bunch (a whole big bunch) of us went out to Zorba's for our first of hopefully many future food outings.  We took up the entire space upstairs and to the right.  Zorba's has pretty decent Greek food--it's not amazing, but it's good, cheap, and really conveniently located.  It's nice to have a bargain meal that isn't from an obvious source (a burger place, chain sandwich shop).  One of the best parts about Zorba's is that it can be quick--you order and pay separately at the counter then wait for your number to be called.  But it can also be long--the place is big enough that if you want to sit and hang out for a while, you can.  People waiting for a table might hover, of course.  And I'm not saying that a crazy talking probably homeless man didn't hang out on the stairs for a few minutes and shout things at us, because he did.  But it wasn't so bad, and after a good 10 minutes the staff convinced him to leave.

Above is Zorba's yero, or maybe you know it as a gyro.  This link is an example of how gyro/yero has the pho/fuh dilemma going on.  Balancing proper with pretentious, being correct with being understood.  WHAT STRIFE! 

Anyway, marinated & sliced beef and lamp, tzatziki, feta, and some greenery on a pita.  $7.95.  Not the most filling dinner for a big eater like me, but if you pick at the food of the people around you it's fine.  Next time I'll order fries.

That's the spanakopita I was snacking on, even though it's ER's.  It was very far from my favorite spanakopita--there was way too much crust, and it seemed a little stale.  I want a thin outside and a warm gooey inside.  This guy reminded me more of a previously frozen situation popped in the toaster oven. 

And some baklava.  Again, I wouldn't write home about the pastry part, but the filling was yummy, even though it was very very sweet.  You need a few napkins for this sucker between the stickiness and some general greasiness.

Zorba's Cafe
1612 20th St NW
Metro: Red Line to Dupont Circle

Zorba's Cafe on Urbanspoon



Brunch is my favorite meal.  We had a brunch wedding for crying out loud.  Happiness is a post-nuptials omelet station.

J&J are great dining companions because they are up for anything and have pointed me in the right direction more than a few times.  So recently we made a last minute rez at Ris early on a Saturday morning--add it to your list of places open for Saturday brunch.  And BTW for all things brunch-related, check out brunch and the city.

I won't lie--the inside of Ris is a little nicer than I expected.  Not that I thought it was going to be gross, it's just that it's a little more grown-up nice and less downtown funky than I imagined.  The namesake, Chef Ris Lacoste, is the woman behind the great eats in some of the city's best restaurants.  And that's not all--her dog is ADORABLE.  Check out the slideshow in this WaPo article.

Our drinks kicked off our amazement.  A tiny creamer cup came with our iced tea.  Lemon juice?  No.  SIMPLE SYRUP!  I can honestly say that this is amazing because we have ordered iced tea pretty much everywhere we've ever eaten, and we have never seen this presentation.  If sugar falling to the bottom of your iced tea without dissolving bums you out, then RIS is right up your alley.

Foodwise, first came the house made donuts.  My only complaint is that there weren't twice as many, but I know that's more gluttonous than an actual valid gripe.  YUM.

Obviously I had a delicious fluffy omelet filled with veggies and cheese.  It's my trademark.

Chicken fried skirt steak with poached eggs and collard greens for the Dude.  That plate got CLEANED, ya'll.  The steak was cooked at a true medium to medium-rare, which can be tricky with the "chicken-fried" element.  Big portion, too.

Deconstructed lox and cream cheese bagel!  White pile?  Egg whites.  Yellow pile? Egg yolks.  Capers, tomatoes, and onion round out this DIY delight.  The Philadelphian was happy.

Chorizo, fried egg, and sheep's milk cheese on a Portuguese roll.  Talk about a good looking breakfast sandwich, this thing is adorable.  And I hear it tasted great.

Looking back, I could have used a wee bit more food.  The portions were the right size for regular people, but I pretty much always wake up starving.  Next time I'll get the French toast and make everyone have a few bites.  Side of extra entree, anyone?   : )    Although if I go that route I probably won't have room for a Z Burger shake on the way home.  Ohhhh decisions.

I'll definitely go back to Ris--brunch, dinner, whatevs.  Maybe one day I can make it for happy hour, aka Rush Hour

2275 L St NW
Metro: Blue and Orange Lines to Foggy Bottom

Ris on Urbanspoon


Finally Friday

Ya'll it is FINALLY Friday.  I don't know about you, but let me guess--this week slogged on for what seemed like an eternity?  And it was warm and sometimes sunny but now it's set to rain all weekend and you're sad about it?  Me too!

And no, the picture from GTC on the left of your screen has nothing to do with anything.  I'm just trying to make you want a cupcake.  ::reaches for Clif bar in cabinet, aka closest thing to cupcake::

Anyway, back to this week in most important somewhat food-related stories:

Un-DC related, I watched Sandwich Paradise on the Food Network---it made me really hungry but also was a good way to keep track of my future travels.  Primanti Brothers, I'm coming to get you! (After breakfast at Pamela's of course, WCP!)  And when my Google Reader says that Smitten Kitchen is new it really bums me out because I know I'm about to get super hungry, no matter the time of day.  Look at this breakfast pizza.  SERIOUSLY. 

Top Chef in DC?  For real?  Metrocurean brings us the story from the NY Post.  I'd like to think that this decision has something to do with the Capital Spice contest a while back--commenters tried to win stuff by shouting out ideas for DCTC in an effort to convince Bravo to bring it to the District.  For archiving sake, here were my thoughts (which did not win, for the record):

-Outdoor catering function at Mount Vernon or Monticello (or even Montpelier). -Michel Richard as guest judge/Chief Intimidator of the challenge.
-Involve the Kennedy Center.
-Chili quickfire whipped up in the kitchen at Ben’s.
-VA winetasting/pairing quickfire.
-Hill visits to talk about sustainable eating/cooking/growing with offices from contestants’ states/districts, followed by reception in the new Capitol visitor’s center.
-I’d like to see them in a dining hall with the director of dining/food services as a judge–GW doesn’t have one, so maybe Georgetown?

Aaaand after that sunny conversation, onto the gross.  Health inspection issues aren't pretty--The Examiner got the these reports from the Bureau of Community Hygiene.  Of course, even DiFara has been closed for health code violations, and it won't stop me from returning.  And if you don't want to worry about health codes and rules and compliance, just go to an underground dining establishment! The Post's mysterious article on exclusive invite-only supper clubs has been buzzing all week long.  Sounds fun.  I'm not upset about not being invited.  Honest...   sniff      sniff

In other news, I'm going to San Diego SOON!  I'll be carless, so I ask you: what is downtown and can't be missed?  I noted your recs from here.

Have a great weekend!  Don't let the rain bring you down.  In like a lion, out like a lamb.

P.S.  This is my 200th post.  A little slim for more than 2.5 years according to some people's rules, but I was..ahem...a serious student!  And poor!  And just doing this for fun.  Anyway, thanks for reading.  I'm having fun, and I hope you are too.


Comet Ping Pong

Waiting for a table when a place is packed can be tricky.  If there's a big bar area then GREAT, but if not you can end up standing outside (not good in cold or rain) or awkwardly hovering inside.

What if I told you there was a place where so long as it wasn't freezing or precipitating you could play table tennis while waiting for your table?  Would you believe me?  I know, it's awesome sauce.

The booths at Comet are huge and comfy--we easily sat 8 on a recent night.  Our server Will was the bomb, attending to our $2.50 PBR needs (of which there were plenty) and making us laugh.  We enjoyed the Smoky (bacon, gouda, mushrooms, onions, garlic), the Steel Wills (greens, fresh ricotta, garlic, olives), and the Jimmy (MEATBALLS!!).  There may have been another pie somewhere, but those are the ones I remember.

I liked the pizza at Comet.  Is it my favorite "sit down" pizza?  Probably not.  Do I prefer it to NY's DiFara or even Delizia?  I don't think so.  But it's good!  And it's nearby.

The crust is nice and chewy, the toppings are good even if a little lopsidedly distributed (meatball, I'm lookin' at you).  But grabbing friends for some rounds of ping pong, eating pizza, and drinking beer---this is what we were meant to do.  This is America, and I'm a patriot.

And sometimes there's live music at Comet--you can be hipster-y artsy and eat pizza at the same time.  NICE.

Comet Ping Pong
5037 Connecticut Ave. NW
Washington DC 20008
Metro:  Schlep from Friendship Heights or Tenley (about a mile) or take one of many bus lines that travel along Connecticut Ave.

Comet Ping Pong on Urbanspoon


Holiday Cookie Recap: Purim

I'm a big fan of holiday cookies--all holidays, I don't discriminate.  The most recent holiday cookies baked and consumed were hamantaschen (great history from The Shiksa Blog).  These triangular tastebud tantalizers often look so...what's the word...symmetrical in stores, yet they continue to cause trouble when baked at home.  If you've made them, you know I'm talking about how these bad boys flower open and look like pancakes with a jam belly button. 

I'm not married to any particular recipe (no long-standing family tradition exists that I know of) so this year I tried Smitten Kitchen's from a post a few years ago.  The comments were all "You didn't fold them enough!" and "You overfilled them!" judgey mcjudgersons, so I decided I'd make several batches and try different folding methods to end up with some acceptable hammies. 

Above is the first batch, raw--almost all of them popped open during the baking process, even though I pinched them shut supertight (or so I thought).  They still tasted good, but I was bummed about the result.  So naturally I made them again the following night.

Take 2 was more successful.  Above were some fine examples of the results, where only ONE half-opened and the rest remained in good form!  Are they stunning?  No.  But are they distinctly triangular and delicious?  Yes.  Mordecai would be proud.

After Take 1 bummed me out I decided to try this pocket method described in the Post, the rolling from the Shiksa blog (roll the edges up to form a triangle instead of folding), and some suggestions in the comments from the Smitten recipe page.  Roll it out thinner!  Don't overfill!  It turned out that the folding didn't make a difference--almost all of them stayed in shape.  So that means it was the a) do not overfill and b) roll out thinner advice that made the difference.  After all, the cookie puffs up during cooking, and if the "walls" are too thick that puffing will cause it to give up its standing position.

BTW, the chocolatey-looking one above is the filling from the Shiksa Blog, and in the past I've made a filling with a brownie-type mixture.  If you just use chocolate chips it's too dry, and that's upsetting.  DO NOT USE CHOCOLATE SYRUP.  College mistake.  It exploded everywhere.  My favorite flavor is apricot, so use your favorite preserves.  Yummers.

Above you see T's grandma's hamantaschen, in a world where nothing is measured with tools that we have and everything is by sight and feel.  And I believe there's alcohol in the dough.  But I have the filling recipe for you!  It makes a LOT of filling (recipe called for nearly 2 lbs of flour) so divide it based on how many hams you're making.  If you have naked dough circles and you're out of nutty filler just take out your jam!

3 heaping tbs honey
1 tbs water
1 tbs sugar
A couple drops of lemon juice
About 1.5 cups (ish?) of chopped walnuts (mine were finely chopped by a hand mixer)
1 tsp vanilla

As for the cookies, the cream cheese in the dough makes it creamy and delicious, the ingredients are simple (I subbed lemon zest for orange zest because I always have lemons), and we all agree that the dough part of the cookie was better than other hamantaschen I've made in the past, especially super weird whole wheat ones I made in college.  I was raised by a fitness instructor, I can't help it!

What are your favorite holiday cookies? 


First Friday! (of March)

Wow, March.  This week had some sunny days, but I wouldn't call it warm--we have a few more weeks to go until it's officially spring (yes, that link tells you that you get free Rita's on 3/20/2010. You're welcome).

This week in radio there was talk of wild game.  Caught my eye (ear, really) because I heart bison, etc, and it's just so very now with talks of Michael Landrum's Ray's the Game.
 The Times took on rabbit slaughter. J says "They are soooo cute.  But so delicious.  These bunnies are particularly cute, they don't all look like that!"  Whatever you need to say to sleep at night, dude.  The outtakes are precious, too.

I like to knit, in a hip, young, totally not grandmotherly sort of way.  LOOK AT THESE CUPCAKES! It would be cruel to put these in an empty Georgetown Cupcake box.  But also adorable.

If you're having an Oscar Party, you're the host(ess) with the most(est), and you have plenty o' time, then these are for you

Sometimes I miss New Brunswick and its surroundings (via eNJoy), and my word, look at those fried globes of goat cheese. Of course other times I don't miss it at all.

In the local blogosphere:
And if you're wondering: Yes, I took all of the above wildlife photos.  There are more, that's just the tip of the iceberg...



Squeeee Top Chef restaurant trip!!!!  One of us had a plan to go to our favorite cheftestant's restaurant earlier this winter, but it was foiled.  Bryan Voltaggio was a close second, and his restaurant is a heck of a lot closer.  So off we went to Frederick with a pair of our most adventurous friends

I made the reservation over the phone--although OpenTable says that you can only book 30 days in advance, click at midnight of what would be the 30th day, and alas, it is booked.  You have to call (at least for now).

There are three (or really FOUR including the bar) areas in which you may dine:  a main dining room where you may order a la carte; the chef's dining room, where you are offered a 6 course tasting menu; and Table 21, where service includes--you guessed it--21 courses.  I know you're rushing to pick up the phone, but when I called T21 was booked through 2011.  Don't sigh with sadness just yet. Follow the chef on Twitter; he sometimes shouts out about last minute T21 cancellations, and a spot for 2 or 4 might just open up for you!  Just beware of weekday evening traffic up 270.

I'll run through what we had and then sum it up tastefully at the end.

The amuse--ahem, I mean chef's canapes--was a trio; a light crunchy poof of celeriac, a sunchoke soup (a fancier word for soup, but bear with me, it was liquid), and tuna confit on the right.  All different, all delicious.  This place is texture-tastic, as you'll continue to see.


Next, shiitake veloute with chili oil, basil, and pine nut sabayon.  Smooth.   Rich and delicate, at the same time.  We wanted to buy some jars of it before we left, but there were none available.  : (


Next course was a choice between a snake-shaped foie course that actually tasted like chocolate (I'm not kidding at all) and the goat cheese ravioli, which is what you see below.  The ravioli had some serious savory but sweet going on, with butternut squash and sage brown butter complimenting the still-firm pasta.  More!

Ever had fish that tastes like meat?  This shad (sitting on farro) has a dusting of dehydrated bacon, and the dish just doesn't taste like fish!  It's meaty and well-seasoned, and if you got a larger serving of this alone, you'd leave satisfied and convinced (aka, you'd "drink the Volt Kool-Aid").  The orange you see is carrot, and please, feel free to drag your fork of food along the various bright-colored purees that adorn these stunning dishes--it will never lead you astray.

NEXT:  I know, you're feeling full already.  BBQ pork shoulder with cannellini beans, glazed turnip, and pickled mustard.  If you like tender meat that falls apart at the fork's touch with flavor that makes your tongue write you a thank you note at the end of the night, then you like this dish. 

When J saw the bright colored fillings on these mashed potatoes, his first thought was HAMANTASCHEN.  After all, it was Purim.  But no, those were mashed potatoes, and although the one with the golden raisin filling was my favorite, they were not the star of this plate.  That would be the beef strip loin.  You know I'm not a big red meat person, and not really a big steak person--I'm the one who orders blackened salmon at Ray's the Steaks!  It's a texture thing, and it's part of the aftershocks of my former vegetarianism.  NO LONGER!  This piece was delicious, and I'd gladly eat it again.  On a daily basis.

White chocolate ganache, shaped into S-curves and chocolate ice cream, yummmm. 


We thought our meal was over, but these itty bitty ice cream sandwiches came out--dark chocolate, oatmeal raisin, chocolate chip---yum!

Swiped credit cards returned, we had one last gift--wrapped up lemon poppy muffins.  J generally isn't a huge fan of lemon (or poppy, for that matter) and he enjoyed his muffin.  ME TOO!!!


The waiters wear suits and Chucks (are you listening, fashion police?).  The wine (we did the pairing) was spot on and delicious, the sommelier quite cheerful. The place is modern and sleek without being sterile; it's comfortable, it's fun, and best of all it's unpretentious.  The bar has awesome lights, comfy and funky couches, and a TV that went from playing the Olympics to showing a view of the kitchen.  On this particular evening Chef Voltaggio was in the house, and in the Chef's Dining Room you can watch him (and everyone else) work--I was a little starstruck, but I held it together.

This is one of the best meals I've ever had.  I liked everything, and I'd have each and every dish again--you wouldn't even have to twist my arm.  Now my "Before We Move Away" list includes Minibar, The Inn, and Table 21.  Not so good for the wallet.

Have you been to Table 21, Minibar, and/or The Inn?  What reigns supreme in this town (and its nearby surroundings, of course)?  Any of these, Komi, Citronelle?  CityZen?

I leave you with the view from our table.

228 N. Market St
Frederick, MD
Metro:  Take the closest line to your house to your friend's house who has a car.  Ta-da!

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