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New restaurant in Hampden - Le Garage

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occasionaldiner May 25, 2014 08:50 AM

Went to a new restaurant in Hanpden last night - Le Garage. Food was great. The menu was one page and I found at least four things I wanted (which is unusual for me). The sauteed mushrooms were excelent. So was the cod appetizer. Then there are the french fries. There were numerous ramekins of sauce to chose from to accompany them. I had the ketchup kimchi. It was great. The service was great and the restuarant itself was nicely redecoraterated from what was there before. Altogether, I would highly recommend it. This is my first post on Chowhound. I plan to offer recommendations on other restaurants in the Baltimore / DC area. My GF, a regular lurker (apparently that is a Chowhound specific term for someone who regularly views the site but rarely posts), just showed me how.

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  1. k
    knitone RE: occasionaldiner May 25, 2014 01:31 PM

    Tj

    1. k
      knitone RE: occasionaldiner May 25, 2014 01:32 PM

      Thank you

      1. s
        stephanieg RE: occasionaldiner May 26, 2014 06:47 AM

        Thanks for sharing! We have a reservation next weekend, so I'll report back soon too!

        1. t
          tartuffe RE: occasionaldiner May 27, 2014 02:14 PM

          Loved the aioli for the fries--as good as Ive ever had anywhere. I though the bone marrow was meh, however

          2 Replies
          1. re: tartuffe
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            gregb RE: tartuffe May 28, 2014 05:42 AM

            Which aioli did you have?

            1. re: gregb
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              tartuffe RE: gregb May 28, 2014 11:35 AM

              Lemon-mayo

          2. f
            fdaapproved RE: occasionaldiner May 28, 2014 12:31 PM

            Are they still charging $8 for a draft of Union Craft Brewery? That's the only issue I've got with this place. Overpriced beer from a brewery that's a .7 mile walk down the street.

            2 Replies
            1. re: fdaapproved
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              gregb RE: fdaapproved May 29, 2014 07:29 AM

              $6 for a Union Rye Baby when I was there. I thought the prices were reasonable given what they were offering.

               
              1. re: gregb
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                fdaapproved RE: gregb May 29, 2014 11:19 AM

                Good to see that they've gone down. I don't mind paying $10 for a good mixed drink. $8 drafts from a place down the street is ridiculous no matter how good the food or decor.

            2. curioussheridan RE: occasionaldiner May 28, 2014 01:43 PM

              Thanks for posting! Hope to go there soon

              1. l
                ladilettante RE: occasionaldiner May 29, 2014 04:43 PM

                I wil be the dissenter here. Went to Le Garage a couple of weeks ago. It is not bad but it is a bit of a disappointment because the menu looked awesome but the food was just slightly above average.

                We had a crude - I think with grapefruit - that was under flavored. The mussels were ok but Corner BYOBs are better and the frites were a major disappointment. The chicken fried rabbit was fine, but utterly forgettable.

                Beer was good although as some posters say not cheap.

                If it has gotten better since it first opened happy to hear that here and try again but otherwise I will be eating at Food Market or the corner charcuterie bar, both in Hampden within walking distance.

                3 Replies
                1. re: ladilettante
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                  isabellacat RE: ladilettante May 30, 2014 09:39 AM

                  You are right about the fries. They remind me of boardwalk fries...not frites. I did note that the wine pour was very generous, which is unusual these days.

                  Even though I live in the neighborhood, I have not been to the Corner. Early reviews scared me off (are they still charging for a box to take home leftovers)? Also, I attempted to make a reservation once, and the afternoon of the day we had our reservation, someone called and said that they had decided to close that night. Um, OK. That just rubbed me the wrong way.

                  1. re: isabellacat
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                    ladilettante RE: isabellacat May 30, 2014 09:52 AM

                    I agree that some of Corner's policies are odd (it's a $1 charge for a container, which is silly but honestly not much in the scheme of things). I like Corner but it is not to everyone's taste and it's a bit variable -- some nights it's genius, other nights, less so.

                    I was suggesting Corner's new charcuterie next store. It's really a gastro-pub kind of thing and much lessy fussy than Corner. The food is a mix of small plates and entrees.
                    No reservations needed -- I recently walked in on a weeknight around 7 and it was >50% empty.

                    1. re: ladilettante
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                      isabellacat RE: ladilettante May 30, 2014 04:18 PM

                      I'll give the chauctuerie place a whirl. Love me some cured pork. So we'll see. I'll report back.

                2. s
                  stephanieg RE: occasionaldiner May 31, 2014 11:24 AM

                  Last night, we had our first visit to Le Garage. Here's my report:
                  The space: Wow-- for anyone who was familiar with Dogwood, you might be shocked by how different it looks. I really liked what they did with the space, which seems much bigger than before. The tables are also spaced apart nicely, so although it was a bit loud (after all, it is in a basement), it wasn't terrible.
                  The service: It was great. We had a lot of questions about the menu, and our server was patient and helpful. The staff also did a great job of ensuring our water glasses were always filled (and those are neat glasses-- they resembles jars, but have a sleek, almost modern look).
                  The fries: Of course, we had to try the fries. After reading all the reviews posted here, I had no idea what to expect, with some raving and some describing them as Thrasher's like. Overall, I'd give them a very good. They were thicker than those I would rank as my local favorites (those served at Salt, Petit Louis, etc.), but much, much better than the often limpy Thrasher's variety. The fries were clearly very fresh, firm, and perfectly crisped-- but because they were a bit thick, they lacked the same crunch and texture of what I think of as "the best." As for sauces, our table tried the green goddess and the old bay ketchup. They were both good, but the old bay one looked and tasted like ketchup mixed with cocktail sauce, not old bay.
                  Other food: There were 5 of us, and 2 got the mussel frites and raved about that choice. The other 3 in our party (including me) shared a spring salad and 2 tartines, which were described on the menu as open-faced sandwiches. When we asked the waiter about them, he said they were more like bruschetta, which was a much better description. Basically, they were slices of French bread with toppings. We had one with brie and figs, which was good but not knock-your-socks-off good, and one with goat cheese, apples, and jalapenos. The jalapenos were so fiery that they completely overshadowed the flavor of the other elements—I knew the cheese and apples were there by looking, but only tasted the jalapeno. The salad was fine but didn’t meet its description—the menu mentioned carrots, and there were none, and said nothing about asparagus, and it had a couple limp pieces. For dessert, we all shared the salty caramel bread pudding. It was good, but lacked the gooeyness/richness that I think makes bread pudding such a luscious treat.
                  I do want to return and try other items on the menu (but I definitely will not be running back anytime soon). I think this place has great potential and there were some winning dishes, but it wasn’t the fabulous experience I was hoping for.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: stephanieg
                    curioussheridan RE: stephanieg May 31, 2014 03:35 PM

                    Also there last night! They did not seet us for 15 minutes after our reservation, which pisses me off, but after that service was good, and there were some outstanding dishes. If you like rich, start with the generous serving of delicious bone marrow. Another member of our party had the pork chop, which was good meat served both charred and medium rare as requested. The only downer was the fish special, which was only one small soft shell on fried green tomato. Great choice of beers, very few red wines for some reason. Ditto on the fries, and agree that the 'truffle' aioli is not, but the lemon aioli is great.

                    In spite of the noise level, I will be back

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