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Apr 10, 2007 07:08 PM

NY Hound Back From D.C.

OK-here goes. Citronelle was wonderful. Tasting menu including the mini-lobster burger, foie gras opera cake, squab minute steak, mushroom "cigar", haricot vert tartare, faux egg, cheese, chocolate 3 ways-all fantastic.
City Zen-7 courses- egg, leeks and serrano in broth, foie gras in lemon beer gelee, sturgeon, crepinette of veal, mini-Parker House rolls, cheese-amazing
Inn at Little Washington-worth the hour drive-to die for-lamb carpaccio, crudo, hot and cold foie gras, rabbit, deconstructed veal parmesan, mooing cheese cart-unbelievable
Maestro- beef carpaccio with quail egg and tofu, hamachi, suckling pig, mushroom risotto, gnocchi bacala, marzipan souffle, hay broiled brill- mind blowing.
Also Pizza Paradiso (great beer selection in Georgetown), 2 Amy's (on a par with Una pizza Napoletana in NY plus great charcuterie), Five Guys double greasy cheeseburger and spicy fries, Jaleo for tapas (loved the conejo) and of course, Ben's Chili Bowl for a chili half-smoke with the works.
Lastly-big greasy vegetable egg rolls from the hot dog stands on the Mall.
How'd I do?

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  1. You left a few great spots for your next trip but you couldnt better than the choices you made.

    1. You did the crème de la crème in the Area. Try to nail MiniBar and Laboratorio next time. Maybe 2941and Equinox...

      4 Replies
      1. re: cookiejesus

        Maybe 2941? 2941 shouldn't ever be a maybe- it's incredible. Chef Krinn is doing some amazing things right now.

        Also you've still got Restaurant Eve which is simply the best restaurant in the region and Palena as well.

          1. re: jpschust

            I never did get to go to 2941 in my time there. I heard both good and not so good... but then again, you hear that about everyone.

            Maybe next time I'm around I'll be sure to go.

            1. re: cookiejesus

              I'd ignore the bad, and I'll even explain why I feel that I can say that. I've now eaten there 3 times in the last 2 weeks. It's a long story (let's just say drinks turned into a much more serious conversation and we decided to dine), but I've now eaten off half that menu including some repeats and the quality has been consistent, the service has been excellent, and the selection is amazing. I can't imagine anyone giving this place a negative review at this point, but that said everyone has some off moments.

        1. Planning my return in March. Have to repeat City Zen and the Inn at LW. Thinking 2941 and Eve to try for the first time. Any other recs?

          20 Replies
          1. re: guttergourmet

            Krinn left 2941 and they "imported" a French chef from NY. People left in droves because 2941 was all about Krinn. He will be opening a new place of his own in the middle of Tysons Corner in the fall.
            For your next visit, try Le Paradou, Gerard's, and maybe Puck's new place called "The Source". Eve is right up your alley, and you might try their casual "English Chipper" down the street or another of their "American Eclectic" casual places called The Majestic.

            1. re: HSBSteveM

              Not sure where you're getting your information about people leaving in droves when Krimm left 2941. Basedon on our observations during Scott Bryan's tenure, a different way to put this might be that if people left in droves and equal number of people arrived in droves. Now that the new permanent chef is on the scene, it's time to visit 2941 again.

              Frankly, one of the big draws for us has always been the stellar sommelier, and she was still there as of December. There seem to be fewer top sommeliers compared to top chefs. The late-lamented Maestro had one (and he's still on the Ritz scene), but I can't think of any other restaurants with sommeliers performing at that level.

              1. re: Indy 67

                Well, to be more accurate, the "drove" consists of everybody I know who went there because of Krinn. So your point is well taken. One thing they can't ever take away from 2941 is the dramatic space - almost nothing like it in DC metro area - feels like NY, eh?

              2. re: guttergourmet

                See if you can get a reservation for Komi. Unbelievebale chef's tasting. The best restaurant experience I've had in DC.

                1. re: gatorfoodie

                  I absolutely agree - best DC restaurant for me. I feel like I'm in one of those little places in the Village in NYC. Johnny's great!

                2. re: guttergourmet

                  Yes: Marcel's and The Oval Room.

                  Eat at The Oval Room and you'll be reminded of Jean Georges. Four of the principals in The Oval Room are ex-Jean Georges.

                  Marcel's is classic French with some Belgian influences. Superb execution of dishes and polished service.

                  1. re: guttergourmet

                    In order: The Source. Minibar.Tosca. Komi. Equinox.
                    Tasting room @ Black Salt. Vidalia. Palena. Hook. Rasika.

                    1. re: guttergourmet

                      First I have to say 2941's braised veal is incredible, I don't think they lost much with Scott Bryan it might have been a gain, but their even newer chef will be there then and I haven't eaten there under him, yet, so I can't say. Their wine list is incredible we were so happy to find Jean Leon on their list for our dinner.

                      I would have to say: Eve, Komi, The Source, Minibar would be on the top of my list having eaten at the places you have.

                      1. re: ktmoomau

                        Ditto on The Source, and try their Cucumber Martini!

                        1. re: ktmoomau

                          I hear Eve is wonderful. I just haven't been yet.

                          1. re: keithdcil

                            Eve is incredible. I would definitely keep that on your list for your next visit.

                        2. re: guttergourmet

                          Nix 2941 and Eve. Both are in VA and neither is as good as a few groupies would lead you to believe.

                          Go to ($$$$): Minibar, Komi, Kinkeads, Le Paradou, Marcels
                          Go to ($): Eden Center, Myanmar, Old Ebbit (Oysters only), Central
                          Good, but certainly no big deal: Equinox, Blue Duck, Gerards, Source, Tosca

                          1. re: guttergourmet

                            2941 is between chefs. Don't bother.

                            I like Eve's Tasting Room. The Bistro is good but not worth a trip from NYC.

                            I recommend trying Komi -- small, informal,and fabulous food.

                            The Minibar at Cafe Atlantico is a must but you really do need reservations inadvance. I call one month to the day in advance I want, and often can't get in. They start taking reservations at 9am,by the way.

                            I also liek La Paradou very much but it doesn't get near the press it deserves.

                            I don't think DC has better ethnic food (Thai, Vietnamese, etc, than I have had in NYC, so why bother with that.

                            1. re: Dakota Guy

                              Thanks everyone. Interesting about chef Bryan. I'd been to Veritas in NY where he made his name which was great. Am I correct in understanding that he'll be gone from 2941 by the time I get there end of March? If so, I guess I'll be looking elsewhere. By the way, chef Trabocchi from Maestro is in NY at Fiamma wowing people though I haven't been able to get there yet. For what it's worth my ranking from my last visit to D.C. of the high end restaurants was 1. City Zen 2. Inn at Little Washington; 3. Maestro and 4. Citronelle. What's the thinking on Jaleo? Tell me more about Komi and Paradou.

                              1. re: guttergourmet

                                Jaleo serves a purpose, as most tapas places do, but not as a destination restaurant for fine dining. In fact, as Jose Andres's empire grows, some have complained that Jaleo has suffered. I do think, on the other hand, that Jose's star is just beginning to rise, and my guess is that his name will be as well known as Mario's in a few years. Even if you can't get into Minibar, a meal at Cafe Atlantico is a treat.

                                Komi is a small, slighly under-decorated place with a young, enthusiastic wait staff, and a wine list that probably tops out at $100. The draw in Johhnie Monie's (I think I butchered that name/spelling) cooking. Think gourmet Greek. The meal begins with a dozen successive courses of mezze, all perfectly cooked and artfully presented. When you can't possible eat another bite, a wonderful al dente pasta is presented with curious additions like dried fish roe, pine nuts, and chili. Finally, the main course might be a whole roasted fish, or a braised pork shank. A big-time meal, full of flavors.

                                Le Paradou is one of the most refined meals in town. Yannick Cam mans the kitchen. He was one of DC's first star chefs at La Pavillion 20 years ago (maybe even 30?). Very well prepared high-end cuisine of fish, squab, veal in magically light reduction sauces, with all the accompaniments of starched linen, heavy silver, delicate crystal and tuxedoed waiters and a wine list well into 4 figures.

                                1. re: Pappy

                                  That's pretty spot on for Komi...although I wouldn't say "under-decorated", maybe just subtle.

                                  The main course we had when I was there was roasted leg of goat. It was the most delicious piece of meat I've ever eaten, served with a lime / sea salt mix and a selection of greek sauces.

                                  It was a good thing that eventually the wait staff removed it from the table, because I would have seriously eaten everything that was there...(read: become seriously ill from stuffing my face full of so much fabulous food)

                                2. re: guttergourmet

                                  Bryan is gone already; he stayed at 2941 through the New Year's celebrations. This was always known to be a temporary arrangment, a brief post for Bryan while he was waiting to open his own place in NYC some time in the spring.

                                  Krimm's permanent replacement, Bertrand Chemel, ex of Cafe Boulud in NYC, is now on the job.

                              2. re: guttergourmet

                                You must go to Le Paradou and get the 10 course tasting menu (which is whatever the chef decides to cook).

                              3. You hit all the spots I would have wanted to hit if I was a visitor. Great trip!

                                1. awesome!

                                  can you give a bit more detail on the trip to CityZen? I have reservations there for Valentine's day and am just curious to know how you think it fared against the rest of the places you went to.

                                  4 Replies
                                  1. re: MarcDC

                                    I am not guttergourment but I have been to all of the same places. I would rank them Citronelle, TIALW, Cityzen, ...all the rest [of course Maestro is no longer in business]. You will enjoy Cityzen, I am sure. It has great food, service, and wine. I only wish that all of the deuces (2-person tables) were not lined up along one interior wall.

                                    1. re: Dakota Guy

                                      great thanks for the info. do you think i should get the wine tasting for $90 or buy a bottle of wine (to go along with the 7 course meal)?

                                      1. re: MarcDC

                                        I have found some great new wines doing wine pairings; I have also had some I really dislike. Usually when I am having an expensive meal, e.g, Citronelle, Cityzen, etc, I buy a bottle simply because I am more assured that I will get a great wine to go with a great meal. I tend to experiment more with wine tastings with more modest meals. But that's just me.