Made my return to the lone location of Chipotle’s little brother today. Still a huge fan of the spicy corn. And I remembered from a previous visit that I did not like the noodles, so I went with Jasmine rice.
The Banana Upside-Down Cake at Clyde’s in Washington, DC was amazing. Better than mom’s famous Banana Bars? Nothing’s better than mom’s… but it was up there. Wow. My favorite dessert I’ve had all year.
And it came after a Browns victory; which was enjoyed in a room full of vocal (drunk) Browns fans. What could be better?
Spiced Smoked Salmon served with a toasted Bagel, Cream Cheese, Capers, Red Onion, Tomato, a Hard Boiled Egg and topped with a Dill Crème Fraîche
I’ve always lived in a neighborhood with a low Jewish population, and an even lower deli population (one, I think, and it’s just over a year old). So all of the old classics like Pastrami, Corned Beef, and Smoked Salmon are relatively new to me. That said, I’m catching on quickly.
I’ve already dubbed Pastrami Hash as my favorite brunch dish. Well as it turns out, this may have even been better. The smoked Salmon melted in my mouth. Cream Cheese and Bagels - an amazing combo; Capers and (raw) Onions - a briney and sharpness (respectively) that complemented the fish perfectly. So so good, and I wasn’t even hungover - as is normally the case on Sunday mornings in DC.
Now I’m just looking for a place closer to my home base in Ohio that can bring me this exact plate. Then they win. I’d be there every weekend.
Slow-cooked German Pot Roast, Homemade Spaetzle, Fresh Sauerkraut, and Roasted Apples.
This isn’t a normal menu item; but occasionally the kitchen offers a feast option that can serve multiple people. We split the serving three ways (this is just my portion), and it was plenty of food. It was my first time ever having real Spaetzle, and it was delicious. Big fan of that. Gotta try some more.
Virtue just seems like a cool place to be, even if you’re not eating their “modern pub grub.” Lots of place just to lounge around, including an indoor porch swing.
Rice Noodles topped with Grilled Chicken, spicy Charred Corn, Mild Curry, pickled Vegetables, Herbs (Cilantro, Mint, Thai Basil), and crispy Rice, Garlic, and Peanuts
On this quick low-key trip to The District, I was most excited for this meal. Why? ShopHouse is Chipotle’s Asian spinoff whose name comes from the buildings (or row of buildings) that have restaurants in the bottom floor and living quarters up top. “Asia’s version of fast food.”
I was impressed. It was really good. Not the portions of its big brother yet; but I was still full after it all. The chicken was great, the spicy corn was the best thing in the bowl, and the sauces and garnishes all added something. I just wish I got the spicier curry. Small misstep. Oh, and the noodles. They were cold - but apparently that’s on purpose. Haven’t caught on to that one yet. Maybe it’ll grow on me.
Will it be the next big thing? It’s hard to say. I mean, I doubt it. Americans are a lot less familiar/comfortable with Southeast Asian food right now than they were with Mexican before Chipotle arrived about 10 years ago. However, I could definitely see Steve Ells propping a few of these up in the major cities. It’s not like he needs to make a ton of money with these; he’s already made enough for 10 or 12 lifetimes on the backs of overstuffed burritos and amazing guacamole. But we’ll see. I hope I’m wrong.
Along with getting a few of the more “predictable” rolls, my brother and I chose the Spider Roll - Soft Shell Crab Tempura, Avocado, Spicy Mayo, Lettuce, and Masago (fish roe). It’s the one on the bottom left.
The Spider Roll was my favorite out of the four we ordered, and the only one that had a warm element. The contrast of temperatures, along with the crunch from the tempura was excellent. We were given a great window seat and the service was fast; so this place definitely gets a thumbs up from me.
Dessert Course at DC Coast during Restaurant Week in Washington, DC
Vanilla Panna Cotta served with Citrus Marinated Strawberries and Mint Oil
Originally I ordered a Peach Cobbler-like dessert, but I had to switch it up due to things out of my control. Unfortunately I scorched the roof of my mouth the day before, so the Citrus Strawberries couldn’t really be enjoyed. These things, aside, it was still extremely good.
My table discussed whether a Panna Cotta was indulgent enough to get during restaurant week, and decided ‘yes’ because — according to one of my tablemates — “they make it on Top Chef all the time, so it has to be.” Sure. We’ll go with that.
Main course at DC Coast during Restaurant Week in Washington, DC
Peppercorn-Crusted Tuna “Rossini” on top of a Portabella Mushroom, Wilted Spinach, and a Summer Truffle Pinot Noir sauce; topped with seared Foie Gras.
As previously stated, the goal of restaurant week is to eat the most expensive, over-the-top dishes that the Prix-Fixe menu will allow. Being a huge seafood person on a bit of a tuna kick, this was such an easy choice.
It turned out to be one of the best meals I’ve ever had, in one of the finest restaurants I’ve ever been in; and the first time I ever had Foie Gras. Normally it’s an ingredient saved for special occasions. A random Wednesday doesn’t normally count as special occasion; but oh well. It was unbelievably good.
Tuna seared on the outside, rare throughout. Little bits of fatty Foie Gras to go with each bite. And then this kick ass Pinot Noir sauce. Wow. This was a once-a-year dinner. There’s no way I could ever survive being wealthy because I would probably eat this every day. #firstworldproblems
Fried Green Tomatoes with Smoked Tomato Aioli at DC Coast in Washington, DC
After walking off my amazing three-courselunch from Zola and resuming my residency in Dupont Circle for much of the afternoon, I went back to my brother’s apartment to hang out before getting ready for dinner. A few episodes of The Wire and twice as many beers later, we were ready to go.
Of course, it was Restaurant Week, so we were going to go crazy with another three-course meal (here’s their RW menu). The goal, in general, is to get the most expensive things, and get as much for your money as possible. But having just had a seafood and corn soup earlier, I went with the tomatoes for my appetizer.
Normally relegated to bar food, DC transformed this (mainly) Southern specialty into a restaurant quality appetizer. Anything fried is going to be delicious, but these tomatillos held their tartness, and went real well with the smoky roasted tomato aioli. It was a great start; but the place is called DC Coast, which means I was definitely ordering seafood, and they did not disappoint.
Dessert Course at Zola during Restaurant Week in Washington, DC
Apple “Charlotte” with Apples, Toasted Brioche Ice Cream, Warm Vanilla Cream Anglaise
A traditional dessert deconstructed, then put back together in a different order. It was very cool what they did here with a dessert which (according to the unflappable source, Wikipedia) is also sometimes called an “ice box cake”.
Hot and cold. Sweet and sour. Creamy and Tart. Soft and crunchy.
The contrasts in this dish were pretty out of this world. The plating was also real cool - which, along with tons of natural light, makes it extremely easy to take an amazing picture of. It was an awesome way to top off a great lunch. I wouldn’t have to wait long until my next Restaurant Week experience because we traveled to DC Coast that evening for a late dinner and drinks.