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RW'07: Where have you been so far?

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  1. My coworkers and I tried 100 King in Alexandria for lunch today. It's an upscale Mediterranean-American place. The space is very welcoming, a sleek comfy contemporary in dark wood tables, pale gray and sage walls, stainless steel bead curtains/room dividers, and gray-green translucent chairs. We didn't check out the bar, but a glimpse showed dark woods, deep orange-y reds, stainless and a sexy curve to it. Lovely space. And not overcrowded with tables, and the tables are big enough so you don't feel cramped. China is creamy white and most pieces are square-shaped. Square glass vases with black river rocks and a floating orchid were on each table.

    The RW menu is limited. Three choices of appies and entrees for both the lunch & dinner menus, and one dessert per (although they traded out our lunchtime pistachio creme brulee for the dark chocolate gateau & gelato served at dinner, since we ran out of time and had to get back to the office).

    Lunch appies were butternut squash soup, a no-lettuce salad with a lemon/olive oil/garlic dressing and feta & greek olives, and a goat cheese pita pizza. We each got a different one and all enjoyed them thoroughly. Food was obviously very fresh and treated with care, even if it wasn't very adventurous.

    Entrees were a chicken panini with gruyere, hangar steak with a zin sauce and pommes frites, and grilled salmon with olive oil mashed potatoes. We got two steaks and the salmon. Everything was cooked perfectly, the mashed potatoes were excellent, the pommes frites were hot and crispy when they hit the table -- but unfortunately soaked up a little too much of the zin sauce that I would have rather stayed with the steak. Again, not adventurous cooking but very nicely done.

    Service had a few minor flaws. We had to remind the waiter about our beverages, and to bring another fork when one diner relinquished hers with the empty salad bowl. It was unfortunate that we had to get back to work, as it rushed the end of the meal a bit, but that wasn't the waiter's fault. The food was being cooked to order and we were given time to enjoy each course.

    I think the appetizers were the same for the dinner RW menu, but I can't remember what the main courses were, but I think the salmon was one of them.

    1. Four of us had dinner at Tosca last night. They allowed full of their menu for RW. It was heavenly - great food, great service.

      1 Reply
      1. re: rcooperman

        I would agree with the positive review of Tosca. Two of us went last night, and it was a pleasure to be able to pick from a large number of dishes. The only upcharges were for the lamb and serloin, a great deal. The three course menu allowed you to pick the pasta as either a first or main course, which was nice, as it allowed us both to try the pasta without missing out on the entrees.

        I had the pasta with seafood, which the waiter explained was not served with spagetti but instead a house made pasta, as the chef wanted people to try the house made version, but assured us we could substitute the dry stuff if we wanted to. We also had the veal ravioli, quite nice. For mains, had the sea bass and the fish of the day -- swordfish. I thought the swordfish was the better option, a nice sized portion and very well cooked, just simply grilled with a hint of lemon and olive oil. For dessert, we had profiterols (yes, I can't spell), and the tiramisu. The tiramisu was almost too smooth and creamy, it would have been nice with a little more texture. The profiterols were filled with a cappuccino cream, so an interesting twist.

        All in all, a great meal, esp for RW. Service was excellent, though obviously quicker than a normal meal would be. But to get out of there at such a reasonable price but being able to try the items we actually wanted to try was great. There didn't seem to be a sacrifice of quality in the meal. I would highly recommend Tosca for RW.

      2. Did Ceiba on Monday night.....they offered a choice of all their entrees (with an extra charge for 2 of them), but the apps were limited to a few salads/soup/one ceviche, and only a few desserts (and their "signature" Churros were left out). We ended up just ordering off the regular menu so we could chow down on exactly what we wanted and spending more.....but it was good.

        3 Replies
        1. re: stacylyn

          Heading there tonight, and I've had ceviche on the brain. Which version are they offering for RW? Please, please not the hottest version!

          1. re: stacylyn

            I ate at Ceiba Monday night too and while there were some appetizer and dessert limitations, I was content with the choices and thoroughly enjoyed my meal (as did my friends). Had the conch chowder, crabcakes (I love theirs, and the slaw on top - I could eat a whole bowl of that), and the guava bread pudding. Tasted the coconut sorbet on top of the chocolate cake dessert and that was quite good too. Also tasted the scallop entree - anything with bacon tastes good to me, but they also expertly cooked the scallops. I often find that many restaurants overcook scallops and these were perfect.

            Going to Tosca tonight - looking forward to it after reading the previous posts!

            1. re: stacylyn

              I went to Ceiba for lunch; I work around the corner and always felt like trying it. The restaurant week menu was pretty limited--a couple options from each section, only one ceviche. I got the shrimp cocktail ceviche and thought it was pretty good. It was nicely tart with lemon and cilantro, it had a slight hint of spiciness in it. They really should give you more than four tortilla chips with it though; that's not nearly enough.

              I got the special for the main course: a rainbow trout sandwich with blue potato chips. I really liked the trout sandwich but for some reason I couldn't help thinking "maybe I should have gotten the tilapia." I shouldn't complain or second guess the trout though; it was a great sandwich and trout always brings back some nostalgic memories for me (but I digress) It was the chips that were a bit sub par; they just seemed a bit burned to me.

              For dessert I got the chocolate chili cake. Great cake, went really well with the ice cream on top and the caramel around it. But I didn't taste any chili, at least not until the very last bite and even then it was just a hint. It really did taste great, but they could add a little more chili to it.

              I ate by myself and my server was as friendly as can be. They were busy but it didn't affect the service at all.

            2. The only Ceviche they offer on the RW menu is a Shrimp Ceviche. I ended up getting the Yellowtail Ceviche (not on the special menu) and it was really yummy...with coconut milk and cashews.

              1. Oval Room is grossly overrated. The menu was not even a glimpse of their normal dinner menu and the staff was somewhat condescending.

                1 Reply
                1. re: gillysue21

                  I went to Oval Room at lunch earlier this week. True, they had a limited menu, but the portions were full size. Our server was outstanding, and I thought the meal was excellent. I would definitely go back, even at full price.