Monday, July 28, 2008

weekend revival

Mr. BW and I rarely go out on the weekends to try a new restaurant because weekends are the perfect opportunity for us to enjoy some home time. We also like to grill out during the summer and on weekends, we don't have to worry about rushing home after work, preparing the food, and waiting for the grill to light up ~ we can get ready at our leisure and actually eat before 9pm! And yes, we regularly eat at 9pm on the weekdays, sometimes even later.

On Saturday night, we decided to grill up some fresh veggies tossed in olive oil, garlic salt, and herbs. I ordered these fancy skewers after Mr. BW saw similar ones on Good Eats and they work much much better than the cheap, disposable wooden ones we used previously. Mr. BW is always the king of the meats, so he marinated the sirloin in some soy sauce, oil, salt, pepper, and some worcestershire sauce.

We stood around the grill enjoyed our pre-dinner margaritas, which we make using fresh squeezed lime (no mixes for us). The wine Mr. BW had picked out at our local wine shop and was very good on Saturday night. We finished it up last night (Sunday) and sadly enough, it tasted a bit more vinegary than I would've liked. So, definitely drink it all the first night! On the right, you'll see my bottle of homemade salad dressing. Almost 2 years ago, Mr. BW decided we should switch to homemade salad dressing because it was healthier, cheaper, and would lead to less clutter in the fridge! I was reluctant at first (for no good reason), but now I love our homemade dressings and love coming up with new ideas and thoughts for making it interesting.
I tossed a quick salad with artichoke hearts, grape tomatoes, walnuts and cheese.

Our plated meal. Tasty, quick, and good for us! Since the sirloin was huge, we have plenty left over for sandwiches today!
Sunday night we grilled shrimp kebabs in a lime-cilantro glaze, with jalapeno peppers and plums. Mr. BW loves grilled summer corn, so we threw some on the grill. Tasty, simple, and healthy.


On Friday night, Mr. BW and I went out to dinner with my brother who is in town for a conference. Earlier that afternoon, Mr. BW sent me a list of recommended places to eat that he's quickly compiled using our nifty membership. I quickly zeroed in on Mourayo because of its central location (Dupont Circle), interesting cuisine (Greek), and my recent hunkering for seafood.

The pita-esque bread for dipping in olive oil was divine.
Mr. BW ordered the Ouzo Meze - an assortment of seafood appetizers (see remnants above). I'm not a fan of octopi and other assorted sea creatures, so I had only a piece of shrimp, but Mr. BW and my brother are great fans!

I ordered one of the special appetizers, the crab meat in phyllo dough. It was so delicious, I didn't think to take a photo until we'd already gobbled it up.
My brother went with the salted cod - "Bakaliaros Skordalia" - which was by far my favorite of all the entrees on the table. I love dining with family, because we always sample and share.
I'm a glutton for scallops and the "Htenia me Menta" did not disappoint. Mr. BW thinks this was the best entree on the table because there are few more simple joys in life than a perfectly done scallop.
Mr. BW ordered the monkfish on recommendation of our waiter. It was a tie between this and the John Dory fish. We all enjoyed his entree which was good, but unlike the other two, was not great.
The photo is bad, but the restaurant is tastefully done in a nautical theme. The waiters are even wearing cute uniforms!
Dessert was walnut cake. Okay to eat, but not wonderful.
Mr. BW ordered the greek yogurt, honey, and walnuts, which was delicious! But then again, I regularly have greek yogurt, honey, and some kind of nut (usually slivered almonds) for breakfast.

Our meal was delightful and Mr. BW and I will definitely be going back. It's an older crowd so there's not so much of the Dupont Circle hubbub, even on a Friday night, and the food is excellent.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Greek Taverna (Old Post Office)

Sometime around noon, my stomach started grumbling and I decided to jump across the street to the Old Post Office and visit the food court.

The Old Post Office from across the street.
As you can see, it's a beautiful old building. They just don't make them like this anymore. Above, a statute of Ben Franklin, printer, philosopher, founding father (I'm not being a corn ball, this is what the statute actually says around the base).

As an aside, when you search on the US Post Office website for the nearest post office to my building (which is catty corner from the Old Post Office building), the nearest post office is called Ben Franklin Station. Now, you would be a very silly ridiculous little Asian girl to assume that the Ben Franklin Station Post Office is in the building called the Old Post Office building, with the statute of Ben Franklin outside. No, the Ben Franklin Station Post Office is actually across the street, in a nondescript building. Silly me.

Anyhow, back to the food. Mr. BW had kindly agreed to meet me for lunch and we decided to visit my favorite stop, Greek Taverna. We ordered two original gyros, one order of fries, a diet coke.

All this for less than $14! What a steal! A fancy place it is not:
But it sure is delicious.

Dino Restaurant

On Wednesday night after my facial, Mr. BW and our neighbor met me at Dino. Unfortunately for us, the heavens decided to open up right as we had reached the Cleveland Park metro area and so all three of us were drenched by the time we finally were settled in our seats.

After a quick browse at the menu, we decided to start with the "wine wednesday" special ~ 3 wines and an appetizer trio for $25.

They served, not surprisingly, three tasty italian wines. The first was poured into our glasses for us, with the other two to await patiently for their turn. I did not take a picture of the menu and it's not listed online, so I have no idea what the wines were (although the website does say they were from Montalcino). They were yummie though!

The appetizer trio was slightly disappointing. Starting from the top center: some sort of frittata with egg and mushroom, which was not delightful, but that may be because we were already cold and wet, so we desperately wanted something warm. Then, chicken pate on toast (delicious), some raw veggies for dipping in the balsamic reduction (center), and finally, three cheeses. By the time we'd shivered our way through the appetizers and most of our wine, so we decided against ordering entrees and to just head home instead. We got home and enjoyed two more bottles of wine (hey, the power went out temporarily, what else were we to do?) between the three of us. Needless to say, it was a bit too much wine for Mr. BW and myself especially in light of the minimal amount of food consumed. So, we had a few glasses of water and went to bed.

I would definitely try Dino again, especially during their special prix fix menu deals. It's a small, quaint little restaurant that definitely has a "family run" feel. And I love me that hearty italian dining. The "Wine Wednesday" special is definitely a deal to be had. The $25 price tag is imminently reasonable, basically, they're charging for the cost of the wine and giving out the appetizers for free. Had we ordered entrees (~ $20~$30/each), we could have continued to enjoy our wine and the total bill would have been around $50~$60/person, which is not terrible for a nice hearty italian meal with three wines to boot.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Tackle Box (Georgetown)

Last night, we went to the Tackle Box at 32nd and M.

The ambiance: Designed to make you think you're in New England, but not quite there. First off, the restaurant is located in the heart of Georgetown, so it's very hard to go from bustling chic urban shopping area, to rustic and New England. Also, the air conditioning was either broken, not on, or not powerful enough. While the authentic buoys (purchased off ebay, I hear) hanging in the corners helped some, the contrast between inside and out was too much for this former New Englander.

The food: abundant and plentiful. I had the lobster roll with came with a healthy helping of tasty french fries ($19). Mr. BW had the fried scallops which came with grilled corn and a side salad ($13). We also got an order of calamari + spicy marinara to start. I had no qualms with the food, but my two dining companions were non-plussed. And by non-plussed, I mean, would not go again. Also, what piqued my interest initially was the promise of delicious pie, from former pasty chef at Citronelle.Mr. BW is a huge fan of pie and well, hands down his mom makes the best pie known to earth. He took one look at the purportedly fresh blueberry pie and decided to pass. So, no verdict this time, but he's eaten his fair share of delicious pie in his lifetime so that's sure to mean something.

The seating: casual seating on picnic tables. I like this in theory, but poorly executed given the location. See "The Ambiance"

Suggestions for improvement: crank up the a/c and rush the liquor license. Nothing screams "I need beer" more than fried seafood.

Final grade: B