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Underrated Summer Meal

Starting a thread for the most underrated summer meal in town. It must be something on the simpler side, doesn't break the bank, and is perfect for mid-summer.

My suggestion:
burger, fries, and milkshake (or other drink as you prefer. I like the bourbon drinks) at Westend Bistro.

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Westend Bistro
1190 22nd Street NW, Washington, DC 20037

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  1. I had a spectacular summer dinner at Ris the other night. Simply cooked stripped bass served on top of ratatouille. One of the best components of the dish was these little crispy potatoes. Served with their peach sangria (with fresh peach puree!) it was so so so good. Especially after spending too much of my day out in the 100+ degree heat.

    Another simple yet delicious dish can be found around the corner at the Westend Bistro. They have a summer tomato soup (served cold) which is out of this world. It is made with tomato water and probably has a grand total of 5-6 ingredients but it tastes just like summer.

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    Westend Bistro
    1190 22nd Street NW, Washington, DC 20037

    5 Replies
    1. re: Elyssa

      I had a similar soup served at Bibiana recently. Tomatoes and bread cubes in a bowl, with a clear "tomato water" poured over at the table. Really unusual and absolutely delicious.

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      Bibiana
      1100 New York Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20005

      1. re: woodleyparkhound

        It looks like it is time for me to spend some time with tomatoes. The few I got from Arganica last week were already too soft to use. I will let the pros handle the mid summer tomatoes.

        1. re: daves_32

          This is a problem with Arganica - did you tell them? I did and they credited me. I really think it's because they put them in the fridge.

          1. re: Jeserf

            I did it as part of a Living Social coupon. I won't likely pay for a membership. The kale was from California, plums from Chile, peaches from California, and some other items from everywhere. The only things local seemed to be the soft tomatoes and fingerling tomatoes. I know Arganica isn't a CSA but in mid summer, much more of the produce should be local. Especially since the a la carte ordering lists have produce from lots of different local farms. Like I said, maybe I should leave the use of summer produce to the pros.

            1. re: daves_32

              Right - I did the living social deal as well (3 month membership), but I told them and they credited me because I still have gift card money to use up (and might order another crate just to return the crate I have and with their new crate liner system, not worry about returning the next one). Some of the stuff you can order is very good - I got GREAT apple pepper jelly and have ordered a number of jars to keep around the house so I don't have to re-order it (graves mountain, I think).
              It's not a bad system, and customer service is very good so if something is wrong with your order, you should consider letting them know. Just a thought!

    2. The vedura al parmesean at Dino - SO good. Some pesto, some smoked mozz and lots of fresh veggies. So good.

      1. Rustik had a brunch that somehow seeked light and summery. It was their delicious biscuits, split and slathered with mayo and then topped with piles of super thinly cut ham and slices of heirloom tomatoes from the farmer's market a block away. It was ham, biscuits and mayo but seemed light! The endless mimosas helped too.

        1. Report from WEB tonight (I convinced myself I needed that summer meal) for my last burger until after I run Marine Corps Marathon. The milkshakes there are out of this world. Chef was doing peach tonight and it was excellent! Go try it!

          1. A burger, fries and milkshake are something I can get all year long. Plus (no offense) kind of boring considering the explosion of fruits and vegetables going on right now.

            Contrast a burger with what is on offer at 2 Amy's: Squash blossom pizza with sungold cherry tomatoes, burrata, toasted pine nuts and fresh parsley, all on a bed of fresh tomato puree. Incredible. Add a couple of sides, like roasted eggplant with green onions and pine nut sauce, roasted corn salad, some local melon wrapped in prosciutto, and peach melba, and you have a perfect mid-summer feast.

            7 Replies
            1. re: crackers

              no offense taken, though the fact that it was fresh peaches in the shake made all the difference. Now I need to get up to 2 Amy's. That sounds excellent!

              1. re: crackers

                wow that pizza does sound amazing...is it on the menu or a special on the board? Because I'm thinking I know where I'm eating next weekend since I'm out of town this one.

                1. re: Jeserf

                  I don't want to turn this into an 'Ode to 2 Amys' love-fest, but wow - their seasonal items are amazing. I went a couple weeks ago, and everything was very very fresh and delicious. Melon with proscuitto - perfectly slices, melt in your mouth. We also had a vegetable dish taht was amazign, but I just can't recall what is was. Also, we've had the housemade bresaola the last few times (cured beef) - wow, absolutely incredible. Sometimes we follow up the summer dishes with a shared pizza... they did not have the squash blossom one last time or we would have had it. Generally the specials are either on a board or the special list they leave at the table.

                  1. re: erinnf

                    the asparagus vichyssoise at Palena is also a big winner

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                    Palena
                    3529 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington, DC 20008

                  2. re: Jeserf

                    Jeserf, that pizza and the other items I mentioned, are on their specials menu, not their regular menu. The special menu is where to find the seasonal pizzas, side dishes and desserts. I don't know how often they change that menu, since unfortunately I don't get there very often. I didn't even intend to order pizza when I went, but that one looked too good to pass up. And it was.

                    If I recall correctly, the special ice cream flavor was creme fraiche, with blueberry sauce or something similar.

                    1. re: crackers

                      eh I just generally dislike "braving" 2 Amys on the chance that this will be available....but maybe on summer weekends it's less crowded because families are away? This still being a special next weekend seems unlikely, but if anyone sees otherwise, post and I'll go (have to be away this weekend).

                  3. re: crackers

                    Second 2 Amys. Not really into their pizzas as much, but ordering seasonal small plates and their excellent ice cream is perfect summer eating. Also second the chilled soups at Palena (along with the seviche).

                  4. Not a chilled soup, but the corn soup at Corduroy was amazing last weekend. SO fresh. And while the tuna won't win any creativity awards, it was delicious and light and perfect for a hot day. My cherry sling cocktail felt very summery as well.

                    I know red wine isn't summery to some, but I have to take a moment to rave about a new wine they added to their wine list from the Basque region of France. So so yummy.