Gloppy Risotto and Overwhelmed Lobster
The other day, I had lunch at Jimmy's on K Street. (The food was generally OK, but at those prices, it should have been better.) Notably, the risotto was gloppy, with that gluey, reheated look. Where do you go for good risotto around here? I am not sure I have ever found it. I always like my own better, but is that because I make good risotto, or because I have never had good risotto to compare it against?
As for the lobster, I ordered a lobster salad with mango. It would have been far better if the mango hadn't completely overwhelmed the lobster. Between the sweetness of the mango sauce and the chunks of mango, the lobster was sort of lost. Not a well-conceived dish. Another pet peeve--when a server asks if you want ground pepper before you have had a chance to taste the food. Although this mango-with-lobster dish could have been improved by having the sharpness of the pepper cut through the cloying sweetness of the mango sauce, I could not have known that when I was asked about my pepper preference. When I said "I don't know yet," the waitress dashed away and I lost my chance.
It's a pretty, cozy place, but the sort of place you would only want to go on an expense account, I think. At least based on my experience. Maybe I should have tried one of those KC aged steaks, but steak for lunch? The lobster put me to sleep as it was.
I haven't been there for a few years, but I've had wonderful risotto at Cesco in Bethesda. I like making it myself too.
good risotto is hard to find in DC. I have looked at a ton of places, and the only one that I can say is great is at Teatro Goldoni. It is made in a saute pan and taken off the flame for the mantecatura... Risotto made in a pot is wrong. Plus, most places use arborio rice, and not carnaroli, which yields a tender and less gloppy product.
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I work above Jimmy's, so I have desperately wanted to like this place. In the past, I found myself going back somewhat often (because of the proximity and co-worker desires), so I feel that I've given it more than a fair chance, all the time trying hard to like it.
But I must report that the food, expensive as it is, is just nothing special and can at times be downright awful. I vowed never to go back when I was first served a crabcake sandwich without the top of the roll (the bottom was there), and then, after I asked if that was how it was supposed to be served, the plate was taken away and brought back with the full roll there, the top of which was rock hard. Rock Hard. Like it had been sitting under the heatlamp for the half-hour, just waiting to be reunited with the rest of the plate. I tapped it several times on the table as an attempt to bring some humor to a dreadful dining experience.
To their credit, most of the folks who work there (like the bartender, straight from central casting) can be warm and friendly. But they are hampered by the inadequate kitchen.