Sunday, August 24, 2008

Dogfish Head Alehouse

With the impending start of football season, I've had a hunkering for some good bar food lately. It doesn't help that we've been having so many awesome meals lately (see, e.g., Rasika, Bezu, and Cafe Atlantico) made with fresh, local ingredients, that I really needed some fatty greasy goodness to cancel some of it out.

So we headed out to Dogfish Head Alehouse in Falls Church, VA. And you know what? It did the trick.

Spicy buffalo wings, hearty alehouse chili nachoes, and some fried calamari.

I downed it with a glass of festina peche, which was fruity and refreshing.

On monday nights, they have a $5 half-pound burger and fries special. Me thinks Mr. BW and I will be going back, soon.

Poste Brasserie

A belated post for Poste. Get it? Okay, not that funny.

Before our fabulous dining experience at Rasika with Brother BW and SIL BW, Mr. BW and I met up at Poste Brasserie to check out the scene. Mr. BW had been before, but I had not.

I ordered a ruby red: stoli razberi, hangar one kaffir lime, cranberry juice, and finished with sparkling wine. Tasty.Mr. BW ordered a whiskey.

The bar was nice and I enjoyed the pre-dinner drinks. Will definitely have to go back and check out the reportedly delicious fries and check out the outside lounge. Not usually my scene, but I can do mainstream every once in a while.

Cafe Atlantico

On Friday, Mr. BW and I treated ourselves to dinner at Cafe Atlantico. And by treated ourselves, I mean we decided we needed to take one last run at the Restaurant Week specials. Luckily, Cafe Atlantico had openings and we've been wanting to go for some time.

We started with some obligatory cocktails: a caipirinha for each of us. Good, but not entirely sure it's worth the $11 price tag. Then again, I'm cheap when it comes to alcohol -- I would much rather pour my own drinks with ample alcohol and little to no filler and not have to deal with driving home at the end of the tunnel.
We each ordered the salad to start. Mr. BW was skeptical when I reported that numerous online commentators had mentioned that the spring salad was surprisingly tasty and highly recommended. Nonetheless, we both agreed ~ toasted rice on salad is scrumdiddlyicious.

For our main course, I ordered a daiquiri. Again, I should've gone with a glass of red wine, which was Mr. BW's wise course of action. I, however, wanted to see what the online buzz was and try these so called amazing daiquiris. Unfortunately for me, there was just a wee bit too much sugar in this daiquiri (again, I like mine to be heavy on the alcohol, skimpy on the filler) and for $10, I should've gone with a glass of red instead.For my main course, I ordered the feijao tropeiro. Grilled pork chop with black beans with pork, rice, farofa, oranges, and sauteed collard greens with garlic. I'm not sure I cared for the farofa* (the mealy yellow stuff which was largely tasteless), but everything else was heavenly. And this from a girl who doesn't really like collard greens. The meal also came with some heavenly and wickedly hot hot sauce *not pictured, which was delicious. I need me a tub of that, post haste.
Mr. BW ordered the striped bass veracruz. Presentation was wonderful and it was good, but my meal was better.
Mr. BW's dessert outshone mine by a mile: warm chocolate cake with banana espuma and fresh banana lime salad. So friggin good. I managed to stealthily sneak about 1/2 of it.
I ordered the sorbet of the day - passion fruit. Mr. BW said it was darned tasty, but just a bit too sweet for me. Should've gone with the chocolate cake.
BTW: service was outstanding. I've had a few disappointing experiences dining downtown with shoddy (ie slow and ambivalent) service, especially at the more trendy places, but Cafe Atlantico was amazing. Service was fast and friendly. Loved it.

*To be fair, I had no idea what the strange mealy yellowness was and didn't bother to ask our server what it was and how to eat it. After poking at it suspiciously and trying bits of it on the tip of my fork, I decided that it just wasn't for me and moved on. As we were leaving, I heard our server explain it to the table next to us. Evidently, it is not supposed to be eaten plain, but rather, should be mixed with the other goodies on the plate to add texture. Go figure.

Monday, August 18, 2008


This weekend, Mr. BW and I went to Costco and picked up a bag of frozen scallops on the fly.

Tonight, we decided to cook some up! For dinner, we had three scallops pan-fried in butter and olive oil after a light smattering of salt and pepper.

We also had some whole wheat penne with Italian seasoning and parmesan cheese and finally, some peas with chopped up bacon! It was a delicious and easy meal. And not that bad for us, right?

My plate:

Mr. BW's plate.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Bezu - Potomac

Tonight, Mr. BW and I ventured out to Potomac, to dine at Bezu. Mr. BW read about Bezu online somewhere and asked that I make reservations during Restaurant Week so that we could try it out, without spending beau coup bucks to do so. It was work every penny and both of us agreed that we will definitely be going back.

Do not be turned off by its bland strip mall location.Fried beggar's purse with kobe beef, compliments of the chef. Served with a very tasty aioli sauce. Both of us gobbled it up. Unfortunately, the tray full of beggar's purses that I was secretly hoping for never arrived.
For Restaurant Week, Bezu was offering a three choices for each course. Mr. BW selected the calamari, which he said was delicious.
I went went the seasonal salad, which was also quite tasty. The warm goat cheese and poached pears were a refreshing start to the meal to come.
I couldn't resist -- I ordered the Fuzu rice noodles course. An interesting twist on traditional asian rice noodle dishes -- this one included shrimp, chicken, and scallops with snow peas, carrots, bean sprouts and onions! And black sesame seeds on top! A distinctly asian taste, but also just different enough to be unlike anything I had ever tasted before.
Mr. BW ordered the ginger crusted skate, which he enjoyed immensely.

After our server complimented us on our incredibly clean plates, he brought us our dessert selections. Mr. BW ordered the rice pudding.
I ordered the mango beignet, which was also delicious.
To accompany our meal, we ordered the 2006 Cambria Viogner. The last time Mr. BW and I were wine tasting in Santa Barbara, we tried to go to Cambria but could not find it. A series of very confusing signs, dead ends, and other available and readily marked vineyards thwarted our attempts to visit the winery, which is one of the few more widely distributed Santa Barbara wineries. Luckily for us, Bezu's wine mark up was not that bad, particularly if ordering off-the-beaten path wines (which is to say that the price for the oft-ordered and well-known veuve clicquot was a hearty 3x what you'd pay at the store). Anyhow, our wine was reasonably priced and next time we visit Bezu, we'll be sure to go on a Monday, where all bottles of wine are 1/2 off. Yes, you heard me. Go. Visit. Order wine.

See the Post's review dated February 22, 2007, auspicious, sayeth Mr. BW whose birthday happens to fall on the 22nd.


On Wednesday, after two days of eating steamed veggies and brown rice for lunch, Mr. BW and I met up at Zola for lunch! I was particularly excited because it was Restaurant Week and Zola was offering their full menu. Thus, we could try anything on the menu and only pay $20.08/person. My kind of adventure.

We were seated in the first room to the right of the entrance and this was the display in the middle of the room. Not something I'd seen before and not entirely sure how I feel about it as a decor.

Our bread was delicious. And the brown sea salt on the butter? Fab.

I started with the sunchoke tortelloni with grilled ramps, lemon-spring garlic jus, and sunchoke chips. It was okay, not great. A little too heavy for lunch and the individual flavors did not seem to stand out.
Mr. BW started with the scallop cress salad with watermelon carpaccio and dressed with ramp-pink peppercorn vinaigrette. He gave me a tasty taste and it was delicious. Wish I'd gone with my first instinct and ordered it.
Mr. BW ordered the blue crab omelette with a salad of baby lettuce, tomato vinaigrette and topped with crispy shallots. I didn't get much out of him except that it was "okay." My guess is he wasn't blown away.
I went with the grilled lamb sandwich with goat cheese aioli, sweet pepper and asparagus slaw and a side salad of arugula to finish the meal. My lamb was tasty enough, but I always forget that lamb is a hard meat to have in a sandwich -- just a little too chewy and messy for when you're dressed up and have to go back to work. The breading was delicious and I heartily enjoyed it.
For dessert, I selected the passionate tart -- passion fruit, meringue and brandy soaked blueberries. As you can see, I had to get my dessert to go because the service was so exceeding slow. Our reservation was for 1pm, and we did not receive our entree until well past 2pm. I understand that it was Restaurant Week and that they were over capacity as a result, but I don't believe restaurants (or any business for that matter) should sign up to participate in an event of any kind when they do not have the necessary manpower to do it well.
Anyhow, my dessert was not great, and had I paid the $7 sticker price for it, I would've been sorely disappointed. Mr. BW got the bombe...chocolate bombe and they packed it with a scoop of ice cream. Not the smartest thing to do when it's take-away!

All in all, I don't regret having gone to Zola, given that including the exorbitant dc restaurant tax of 10+%, the final bill was just $44.08. However, I definitely would've regret having gone if we had paid full price for the meal. Would not recommend it unless you happen to find yourself near the spy museum or even better, on an expense account.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

A Homecooked Mr. BW Meal

Tonight, after getting home from the gym, Mr. BW whipped up the following.
Pasta in spicy vodka cause and breaded pan fried chicken with fresh grated parm. There were any number of great things about this meal. First, we had all the ingredients already and were even able to finish up both the bread crumbs and the pasta sauce so less clutter in our cupboards and fridge! Second, the entire meal, from start to finish, took approximately 30 minutes. Third, I whipped up the following salad which was a perfect accompaniment to our main course:
Fresh tomatoes from our small urban garden, walnuts, artichoke hearts, and cheese smuggled in from Switzerland by our neighbor! (Just kidding all you wanna be ICE agents out there ~ he DID declare it on customs). Our salads always wear homemade dressing and tonight's outfit was my standard salt + vinegar + evoo + vinegar with a twist! For vinegar, I used sauvignon vinegar that we purchased last November after tasting it at Pasolivo.

Dinner was quick, satisfying, and inexpensive. We also cleaned up immediately after finishing dinner, instead of prolonging the pain, which means we're now finishing up our bottle of Italian pinot noir while watching the Olympics!

Aria Trattoria

Last Friday was one of those gorgeous summer days where the thought of sitting couped up in an enclosed air conditioned building was just too much to bear. And so, my coworkers and myself decided to head over to the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center to enjoy Aria Trattoria's patio. Because I'm still relatively new to the office, I didn't want to scare everyone by taking pictures right off the bat. And so, our started of "fresh" bread was not photographed. The bread was served in a cone shaped vessel and it was cold. Yes, cold. Did not bode well for our food.

Two of my coworkers ordered panini's. This is one of them.

For about $9, she seemed to enjoy her food well enough.

I ordered the pulled chicken salad which arrived in the following fashion.
The presentation was certainly interesting and the chicken salad itself was quite tasty. However, the puff of very thin bread it was served in was stale.

Nevertheless, a good time was had by all as we were in and out in less than 90 minutes and the final tab was reasonable, given the princely location. Not sure I would ever recommend that someone go to Aria for the food, but maybe the patio.

Indian Delight

Last week, I wandered over to the Old Post Office Pavilion to grab a quick bite to eat. Mr. BW's former boss always spoke highly of the Indian Delight, which offers a variety of vegetarian Indian cuisine. For less than $7, I got the following:

I don't remember precisely what it is, but as you can see, I got an Indian soup, which I didn't much care for, some naan, some spicy five-lentil type curry, and a healthy heaping of rice. The food was good, but not great. Then again, I was pretty happy given the close proximity to my office and reasonable price tag. With Greek Taverna only steps away, I'm not sure I'll be back.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008


This afternoon, Brother and SIL BW depart to return to sunny Southern California. To celebrate their visit, we went to Rasika last night to enjoy the six course chef's table. O.M.F.G. It was amazing.

The first course (Palak Chaat) was crispy baby spinach, sweet yogurt, tamarind, and date chutney. Each piece of spinach was crispy (duh) and the entire dish was oh-so-delicious. Mr. BW ate every single bite, and he's not a cooked spinach man.

The second course (Fish Chutneywala) was tilapia, mint, cilantro, coconut. It came with a cute little cucumber/tomato salad on the side. The first was perfectly seasoned and the combination of mint/cilantro/coconut/tilapia was amazing.

About this time, our naan arrived. Clockwise from top: plain naan, mint naan, and onion/vegetable naan. Yum.
The third course (spicy reshmi kebab) was minched chicken, mint, coriander, green chili and a side salad. This dish was not amazing, as the other dishes were, but by no means was it difficult to enjoy.
The best course of the night was the fourth course (black cod) seasoned with fresh dill, honey, star anise and red wine vinegar. The best fish course up until last night was the ginger crusted onaga that Mr. BW and I had enjoyed at Alan Wong's in Honolulu. We spent some time debating whether this was a suitable rival, but ultimately decided both were unique, different, and absolutely amazing.
The fifth course (bhindi amchoor) was sliced okra seasoned with dry mango powed and basmati rice...
Served with andhra lamb curry and chicken makhani. The chicken curry was hands down the best curry I have had in a very very long time. We were so full by this time, but I nonetheless still swept up as much curry goodness as I could with the naan and basmati rice.
By the time the final course (apple jalebi) rolled around, we were all uncomfortably full. But how could we resist the delightful apple ring beignet (yes, there was an apple slice baked in there) and orange cardamom ice cream topped with pistachio bits? The ice cream was amazing and just the right way to finish off the mean. I was too full to enjoy the apple ring beignet to the fullest, but I did turn to find Mr. BW sopping up his melted ice cream with the edible orchid.
Dinner was not cheap, but it was amazing and worth every penny. We also ordered two wine pairings to go with our chef's table tasting menu and the wines were wonderfully selected to accompany our entrees. If you have not been to Rasika, Go. Now. Eat. Enjoy.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Viet Bistro

Tonight, for dinner, we went to Viet Bistro at Eden Center. Eden Center is a huge Vietnamese complex out in 'burbs and where Mr. BW and I go for Vietnamese!

We started with the vietnamese spring rolls and also an order of fresh spring rolls.

Mr. BW and I decided to go simple tonight and get our old standby, the grilled pork vermicelli.
SIL BW had the grilled pork + shrimp + fresh egg roll vermicelli. SIL BW had a bad vietnamese experiences when she was in college and has not been a fan since. She heartily enjoyed her meal tonight and hopefully this signifies a turning point in her Vietnamese food enjoyment!
Brother BW ordered the lemongrass beef, which, strangely enough, he did not offer to share. It must've been delicious, because he slurped it right up!
We also ordered the Carmel Fish to share. Mr. BW has ordered it before and we enjoyed it greatly, but none of us were willing to commit to it for our entree. It was so tasty, I ended up eating most of the Carmel Fish and saving my vermicelli to bring to work for lunch tomorrow.

Majestic Cafe (Alexandria)

After church this morning, the crew headed over to Alexandria to do some window shopping and to just enjoy our leisurely Sunday afternoon. After a few hours of moseying around, we headed over to the Majestic Cafe, where we had reservations for lunch. Mr. BW's co-worker, who lives in Annapolis, had recommended that we go for Nana's Sunday Dinner. This month, Nana's special was: buttermilk fried chicken, cole slaw, mac and cheese, and peach cobbler. Mr. BW loves buttermilk fried chicken, so we quickly made reservations. The food is served family style at $78 / 4 people. Additional persons are $25 / each.

We started with an order of fried green tomatoes (not pictured), which I had to order in addition to Nana's menu because they came with goat cheese and a corn/salsa dressing. So delicious. Would definitely go back and order again.

Mr. BW was concerned when the chicken came out so dark, that's usually a sign that the oil should be and hasn't been changed. Nonetheless it was tasty ~ very juicy and well done.

Mr. BW's plated meal (before the mac and cheese).

The glorious mac and cheese. I only ate one piece of chicken so that I could pick at the mac and cheese, which was
I am not a huge cobbler fan and this didn't really do it for me. Accordingly to Mr. BW, it's like no cobbler that he's ever had before. It's baked in an aluminim pie pan and there's a very pie like crust on the bottom ~ not biscuity like he's had it before. Nonetheless, the streusel and the peaches were very good, so all parties we happy.
The best part about The Majestic Cafe is that everything but the butter is made in their kitchen. Including the bread. Everything is fresh, they encourage local, and the menu prices are very very reasonable. Nana's Sunday Dinner is also a great concept, and one that we'll definitely be going back for, as the menus change every month. Reservations fill up quickly, so call early and go.